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The Handmade Highway!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where o' Where Are My Contributors?

May is right around the corner and I need contributors BADLY! I know the economy is down. I know people are afraid to put money into anything right now. It's scary! However, people are still purchasing from The Little Black Box because they want to stay on top of what's cool and hip in the land of handmade!

One of my favorite blogs recently posted this the following blurb and I can't not agree more! I spend about 200 dollars a month putting banner ads all over the net. Some work - some don't. Advertise advertise advertise!

Here's an ugly truth that people do not want to address often because it hurts feelings. YOU MUST PUT $$$ INTO PROMOTING A BIZ. If you do not plan on spending anything ever on getting yourself out there, you are hurting your business. Like going medieval on its little cute pikachu eyes self.

I certainly know broke. I know broke-ass broke. It's not easy. That's why you KEEP some of that day job money or you reserve some of that craft show money, or you borrow 200 bucks from a friend who gets what you're trying to do until you do not have to do such things - to be visible. Period. Stumbleupon advertising or Adwords type stuff is a good start.

Which is a good ad? An insular 10 cent spot on a craft blog with 6 readers running Project Wonderful ads because you like the chick with the blog ?

Or A 10 cent Project Wonderful spot on a NON-craft blog?

Come on, Suzy. I know you can answer this, please. Etsy noobs have this incredible tenacity about the importance of marketing to other crafters. Doesn't anyone eventually sit up and say "I would pay 30 bucks to get out of this circle-jerk?" "I would pay 30 bucks a month to be able to make some more amigurumi or feed my children or take a walk instead of posting like a deranged squirrel on Ning communities?"

Every time a non-supplier buys an ad on a site where only crafters hang an angel pulls its feathers out.

It is definitely possible to waste money on a paid ad that you think is where the shopper ladies hang - sometimes ads will misfire. I've placed a few bombs. Expensive bombs, but I didn't buy them unless I knew they might.

This is the ugly truth. Many many indie businesses you see with sidebar ads and blog features everywhere on earth making sales out the azz got that way by eating tuna and rice so they could afford their first ads. They understood and were willing if barely able to shoulder the risk. Don't do something you can't do - but DO do the most you can afford. At every step. I know there are exceptions and people very talented with social networking, but frankly, me bringing my A game means being willing to invest. Time - in a smart way. Money - in a smart way.

When I started out, print it yourself business cards were the most I could do - so I do understand. But to grow you need to bust ass. Busting ass is not enhanced, but sidetracked by placing spam on every city's craigslist when you could just put 20 bucks into adwords or renew 5 bucks worth of listings or email 10 blogs with nice pics and "hi, like your blog. Wanna post my shiz? thanks!" (Jena at Modish has great how-tos for how to do this, that was the vastly abbreviated version)

-or get out yo, and scope out the boutiques near you. Or email them if they're not near you.

This said, your paid ad is as good as its 1. placement 2. design. If those are both azz, you will get nothing. Do not buy visual ad placement unless you are secure with the look and the notion that the venue is talking to the peeps who will buy from you.

With that said - take a chance! Do something new! The Little Black Box has just over 8000 people on it's mailing list with people wanting to buy from businesses JUST like yours. Of course some businesses have better luck then others but you'll never know unless you try! I'm not saying that we work for everyone but I know we work for a lot of different types of businesses.

Sign up for one of our next round of sample boxes and come have fun with us!

Thank you Etsy Bitch for saying things that I'm not so great at saying!


Patrice @ The Soap Seduction said...

You are so right on! I just blogged about this myself the other day. I'm signing up for your May box now:-D

~Kimberly said...

Well said!