Tuesday, August 3

More than lemonade, part 2

This time I even brought cookies. So, where do I advertise? First, I think about what I'm creating and who will buy it. My target market doesn't generally share demographics, so much as the memories that places evoke. That means young brides and grooms as well as adoptive families and people who just love travel and adventure.
I don't want my ads where people are selling the same thing. My map necklaces are my best seller. So, after a long search, I found a cooking and travel website that accepts only 4 ads. All of them were for travel tours and cooking schools.
I thought, people that like to travel and attend cooking schools abroad, might like a memory of their vacation. How about a vintage map necklace? Voila! I placed an ad, waited my turn and they ran it for 2 months. The response was amazing. I'll probably go back to that site again next year.
I also have a small niche of bicycle jewelry. For months I searched for affordable ads on a bike related site. Affordable? Most were not. Then I stumbled upon a bicycle blog. He's snarky and insightful and has had over 100,000 hits to his blog. He graciously took my ad, and except for the 2 commercial mainstream skyscraper ads, I have little competition. You can't beat that.
If you are just starting out and have little to spend, I highly recommend playbills from your local college or high school. People tend to keep them awhile and love to purchase from someone local. I never invite anyone to my home, I just say I'm not zoned for that. I'll usually meet them at the post office. I don't want to sit and have coffee with them either.
What I didn't say yesterday was that I twice placed one of those small sidebar ads. I even paid extra for one of the top three spots both times. My google analytics were enough to make you cry. In the entire month I had 70 and 103 hits from those sites. And not once was the 10% off coupon I offered used, Not once. Lesson learned.
I know there are thousands of talented blog writers who can tell you how to run a better business, where to advertise, how to market your work and where to sell it. After all, it is the telling that is how they make their living. Some of them are really smart and do it well, most do not. I believe at some point you have had to sell a tangible thing to understand the complexity of selling art and craft.
They are your dollars and your business, choose wisely. Being an artist in business is not an easy path, and I want you to keep what you earn. Need some help trying to figure out what might be right for you? Just ask, no I don't charge. I make my living as a jewelry artist not as a disseminater of business acumen.
I could go on and on, but I know your ice is melting and your loved ones need kissing,


Kathy said...

Wonderful advise Sherry. I am making some major changes in my shop and have much work to do before I am ready to advertise, but when I'm ready I just might ask for a bit of advise.

I'm sure this post will help a lot of people. Thanks so much!

Catherine Ivins said...

EXCELLENT advice Sherry! I love the idea of advertising on craft blogs as a way of supporting THEM- when they are affordable to me and provide good content- but I only see them supporting me back by helping to build my name within the craft community. I agree it is not the best way to get buyers.

I love your idea of targeting specific items to a specific ad campaign and market and have never done that- thank you so much for posting this!

xo- Cat :)

Lisa Hopkins said...

Fantastic advice. I really appreciate your thoughtful, helpful post.

Gallery Juana said...

Thanks for sharing your experience on this topic.

lisaroyhandbags said...

Such smart advice! I agree - having your ad amongst a sea of competitors doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing some great ideas! xx

Orion Designs said...

I'm glad your targeted research paid off for you and your business.

Your paragraph about the business advice blogs is spot on. You said it better than I ever could.

Anonymous said...

Okay, researched - I just booked a slot on the disappointing blog you mentioned. :) I'll tell you in November how that went... but now I know not to expect too much.

Glad your more targeted ads work, though! Still busy optimizing those for me...

Hugs from Hamburg,

Kristen said...

Such a thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing. (I always look forward to reading your posts because they make me think. Thank you for that, too.)

Sherry said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, both days and to my new followers as well as the stunning number of those that peeked at my profile. I'm not all that interesting.

Thanks also to the anon. emailer who is sure I am trying to discredit all the other blogs so that everyone will advertise with me. Ha! I will never have paid advertising. In you ever see someone's work on my side bar, it's simply because I love it.

I love that people can make a living with their craft and since it's required that we also are wise business poeple, I'm just pointing out the facts.


jodie said...

All good advice, Sherry. I've never understood why crafters/artists pay to advertise of craft and art blogs, unless they sell supplies.

Anonymous said...

Damn I wrote a reply and then I lost it :(

Just wanted to say thanks for this post. I saw your post on etsy.

The info for me, went a bit deeper than the normal "this is what works for me" threads on etsy. As a lot, repeat what has already been said, so it's nice to see something that is a little more outside the box.

By the way, why couldn't you post the blog on etsy...I see people posting blog addresses all the time on etsy?

Julie Boyles Journals and Books said...

Very sound advise Sherry, and very well put. Here I thought I was the only one that does research on this kind of thing... glad to know I'm not the only one.

I'm off to look for some good places where men hang out for my advertising opportunities.


Maggie May said...

Very good advice, although I'm not placing ads! :) I still found it interesting. It's fascinating to me the way people are navigating through this new market.

Waterrose said...

What a perfect place to meet...at the post office!!!

YES! targeting to your demographics is the best way to advertise. Finding those niche blogs is perfect. You aren't competing with the normal advertisers. I do really well with sending postcards to local, high income demographics. When we were in Colorado I sold some pieces to shops in Telluride...she was so excited to get something "different." I was excited too!

SarahKelley said...

Thanks for sharing this Sherry. I don't think most of us knew you blogged:)

I've been deeply contemplating advertising on one. When I looked at the shops that were advertising, they weren't selling much so I was hesitant. Still I'd probably have given it a shot. Now I won't.

It's always made sense to me to advertise online but where is key and I have no idea where:)

Rebecca said...

Sherry, you're one smart cookie! Learning from experience and doing the research... well, dedication to your product too = sales. Thanks for the tips!

Pretty Things said...

Such a good post. I tried Project Wonderful and it stank. I need to figure out my niche and advertise correctly.