Monday, February 15, 2010

Tip 6 l Where Can I Get That

by guest blogger, Shirley of ::Wild Blueberry Ink::

Now that you have your business up and running, it’s time to get out there and sell that stuff!

It’s been proven time and time again that word of mouth is really the best marketing strategy out there… and it’s free! But we really can’t talk about your business if we don’t know it’s out there. So, where do you begin?

Why not begin with the old fashion approach and put your stuff in stores. No I am not talking Claire’s, Bloomingdales or even Target. I am talking about something cooler, hipper, something local. Start in your town and look for funky consignment shops or antique stores, cool cafes, locally owned bookstores, independent clothing stores, artisan boutiques, and really any sort of privately owned store that you would like to be associated with and just ask if they would be interested in carrying your items. You’re may hear a no or two…. but it will be worth it when you get that yes!

Always approach the owner prepared. Have samples of your work, catalog of all the designs that you offer, an idea of cool ways to display your products and an what kind of deal you are looking for. I am going to suggest a consignment deal. This will benefit you and the store owner and they will be more likely to give it a test run if they know they are not at risk of losing any money.

When I had my own store front, I loved to get inventory in there with no over head. If it sold, the artist got their cut and I got mine. If it didn’t, the artist just picked it up - no money lost. It was really the way to go. With the economy in the state it is in at the moment, now is the time to hit these stores. They may have said no two years ago, but can’t really afford to turn you away now. And you don’t have to stop with your town. On your next free weekend, take a road trip and hit every store you can find. My sister and I lived in Raleigh but were selling our jewelry in stores at the beach which was two hours away. You can’t go wrong with those tourist towns.

Odds are, stores like this already have a consignment agreement on file just waiting for someone like you to come along. But come up with your own just in case. This is a form with your terms ie) pricing, payment and percentages, display, and consignment period. You want to have some sort of agreement. You are after all giving these people your items at no charge. It’s really easy to find examples of consignment agreements online. Just find one you like and alter it to fit your needs. It’s even easier than it sounds.

Once your items are being sold in local boutiques, it’s just a matter of time before you over hear someone talking about you in line at Starbucks! It also makes it easier to direct someone to your goods. Always carry business cards with you that list all stores that carry your products and YOUR ETSY SHOP. You never know when the topic may pop up in conversation.

Think about it. . . you are in line at the grocery store and you of course are wearing your brand new glass pendant with one of those totally awesome Wild Blueberry designs. The clerk says “I LOVE THAT NECKLACE where did you get it” You simply pull your card out and say I made it and you can buy one just like it through my etsy shop or at “The Totally Awesome Gift Boutique”. (I made that up but you can use it if you ever open up your own shop - haha)

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