Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holiday Boot Camp Part 2

Here is Etsy's Boot Camp Newsletter from last week with their handy checklist, ah the checking items off a list - what a wonderful feeling.

This week had three key components. The first was offering custom work, which I have done in the past with personalized ornaments and the Illuminated Manuscript beads pictured above. This was really fun and customers do like to have that personal touch. Be sure to read the Etsy Guide to Custom Work for a few brainstorming ideas. Even if you've never thought about offering customized work, take a look at the article - you might change your mind.

I like how Etsy is providing articles on the emotion of running a handcrafted business. We can be our own worse enemies sometimes, getting in our way of success. Take a look at their 6 Secerts for Sucess article for a little inspiration. I was drawn to "Embrace the Optimist." That is one I am working on for the week.

The next part was picking something from our to-do list and getting it done this week. Mine was creating a few new pieces of jewelry and photographing them and to send out a newsletter for October. So what's something you've been putting off for your business that you could finish for this week? Maybe it's planning a Holiday Open House and ordering the invitations. Creating new stock for an upcoming show. Maybe it's ordering new business cards or listing something new on Etsy each day for one week. Or creating a holiday promotion plan. Whatever your goal is, share it in the comments here and work to complete it before next week.

Holiday Promotion Plan
1. Will you pay for an advertising on blogs or websites? Find possible opportunities and see if they still have openings, create a budget for advertising. Look into Facebook Ads.

2. Will you host a sale or virtual open house this year? Can you group together with 3 or 4 other artists to hold an event at the same time and help promote each other?

3. Plan your newsletters for the next three months - don't have an email list - start one today.

4. Set up a schedule to blog or utilize social media on a consistent basis.

5. Connect with your previous customers - send out an email with a customer appreciation offer. It could be a 10% discount code, free shipping or a free gift.

6. Plan a promotion for Cyber Monday - the Monday after Thanksgiving - it's the busiest online shopping day of the year.

7. Create a holiday gift guide on your blog or website with items in certain price points or with categories like 'Stocking Stuffers', 'Teacher Gifts', 'Gifts under $50', etc. Here is a gift guide blog I created for the Bead Art Originals street team as an example. You could do something similar with a few different artists, like with the same ones you'd team up with a virtual open house.

Get creative, think outside the box, make a personal connection with your customers and offer something unique for a successful holiday selling season.


sharon said...

Your bead is beautiful Heather.

This is a wonderful and informative post...many thanks!

SummersStudio said...

Wonderful, Heather. I'm actually feeling a bit better about my progress on the holiday work. I have a plan in place and I've even said no to a few of my own ideas. That feels good because I think we can all be our own worst enemies when we work for ourselves. There really is only 24 hours in the day!