Let's Talk Turkey. Average sales, advertising, and target markets
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Okay. Let's talk turkey. Selling is hard. Selling online can be even harder. But it's not impossible, you just have to change your thinking a little. As my dad always says, you have to work smarter, not harder. So... how do you get to where you want to be?
First, here is no such thing as an "average" amount of sales. (Thank GOD. Because I want to be above average.) So don't judge yourself by how another shop is doing. You can certainly study their successes, but if you do, look at more than just their sales number.
It isn't a race, or a marathon. There is no "you should be --> here <-- by one month/ one year/ ten years". Likewise, there is no disappointment that you are not here. You are not winning, or losing.
You are making your own goals, and using your own strategies to reach them.
Likewise, if you are not getting the sales you want, there is no "best place to advertise". 30-second TV spots during the Superbowl are great for ads, but unless you are selling beer or cars or half nekkid women, spending a crapload of money to be seen by a crapload of people still may not reach the people who actually want your work. Nor will advertising on a blog that reaches a completely different audience than the one that usually buys your product.
To get more specific: "the one that usually buys your product" is a long way of saying "Target Market". Don't know who your target market is? Write a personals ad for your ideal customer. What is their gender, income, where do they live (rural, suburb), what magazines/ blogs do they read, where do they hang out, what do they do for fun? That gives you a clue how you might market your items to reach them:
~ sell baby items? Reach your marketing by writing a blog on tips for new moms.
~ sell bookmarks & notecards? Team up with a local bookstore or library.
~ sell high-end jewelry? Wear your best, pack a purse full of business cards, and go to a wine tasting.
There are lots of ways to get your work out there. The trick is remembering that you want to reach people who will want to purchase your work. Get creative, get specific, and try something new. There *are* people out there interested in your things. Even with the economy, even though it's summer, even when they're on vacation... go out and find them! :)
Posted at 2:38 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT
I'm thinking about this all the time, and as a newbie it can be kind of hard to muddle through at times.
I like your exercise to write a personals ad for my customer. One problem I may have is that my shop sells a variety of things that may appeal to different folks.
doing the twitter thing, and blogging, trying to work up to facebook (not my favorite).
Posted at 3:05 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT
Great advice Copper! it's taken me a while, but i'm starting to understand the idea of target market. you really can't be all things to all people; i try to focus my products, descriptions, materials and price points so that it'll appeal to 'my customers.'
thanks for the words of wisdom:)
Posted at 3:13 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT
I like the way you think Copper...wholeheartedly agree with you.
My DH has been selling his metal roses at work. The guys are buying them up for their SOs. It's interesting because none of the women have purchased them for themselves, it's been all men.
He's just in the beginning stages of this project, but once he gets his business up and running I told him that this bit of information is really important.
He could advertise them on websites where guys with expendable income hang out, like golf websites.
Knowing your target market is THe most important thing you can do for your business.
Posted at 3:14 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT
Gina, cool re: your SO! So funny that he found his real market was men. Bet he could add a punch line: "Went fishing too long with the guys? Stay out too late on the course? Fix it with a metal rose!" or "Flowers with a manly touch". Could be a fun thing to play with :)
re: your work, I once saw an artist selling metal switchplate & doorbell covers that marketed them as "jewelry for your home". I always thought that was an interesting way to market it. Took the issue of a mundane object being pricey right out of the discussion.
Posted at 3:24 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT
My target market is plus size women. I post on all the BBW web boards. Summer is my month since I design and sell swimsuits. It's a niche market but that is a good thing! I just sent my swimsuit stock to a BBW bash in Florida and sold 3/4 of it there. So, yes knowing your market is essential. There is another one coming up in Vegas. My swimsuits travel where my target maket is. :)
Posted at 3:47 pm Jun 27, 2009 EDT