It’s not enough to have a creative business in which you make things you are proud of and connected to. It’s probably not enough that your mother, girlfriends and fellow soccer moms love the products you make. After all, the idea is to grow your business and make a living from it. You know, pay a bill or help fund a home improvement. That means you need to expand your audience. That means you need to reach more people than you currently are. But how?
The first thing to do is to get a handle on who your target market is. Is it women of a similar age, income and family status? Young 20-30 somethings who are still having children because you make a baby product? Is it fine jewelry that you sell to co-workers? Maybe you make knitted wearables that appeal to a wide variety of people?
Who buys your products? Who would you like to sell to that you currently don’t?
Now, lets look at some creative ways to reach your audience.
Offer a sale to a daily deal site such as Zulily.com, TheMiniSocial.com, PlumDistrict.com, , VeryJane.com, FairIvy.com, GroopDealz.com and, PickYourPlum.com. These sites are best when you have a super abundance of product and aren’t overwhelmed with life or business because when they work the way they are supposed to you will be SLAMMED with work. Just be sure to research the company, read reviews and make sure you completely understand the process and expected outcome.
Pitch your products to a magazine. Not only should you consider “women’s” magazines such as SELF, Glamour, Woman’s Day and the like but also consider trade magazines. Search Google for trade magazines in your industry and then download any available editorial calendars. If you feel that your product would be a GREAT fit email a pitch to the editor.
Blog giveaways. Do you know of a blogger who writes about the niche you create for? Reach out to him/her and offer to do a giveaway on their blog of your product. Keep in mind that bloggers with an larger audience will often charge for this service but the exposure to a new audience that is geared toward your niche could be well worth it. Be sure to follow through on your end and ship the product to the winner IMMEDIATELY and be sure to thank the blogger for sharing her/his audience with you.
Sell your product to a a monthly gift box or kit company. Monthly kit and gift box websites seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Get in on the trend and offer your kit or product in an upcoming promotion. Most companies allow you to include your marketing materials in the kits so make sure to have materials that WOW.
Attend trade shows and networking events. Everything from big national trade shows to small, local networking groups could net new customers. Be sure to have samples of your product as well as promotional materials on hand.
Local Press. Even though you may be targeting national magazines as mentioned above, don’t forget about your local press. Local newspapers and magazines might be a good fit for your product especially if your product relates to upcoming events such as a bridal fair or home show. Reach out with a sample, a short bio and a note. You never know when your product might be featured in your local media.
Finally, back to your friends, family and fellow soccer moms. Hand out a business card with their name on the back and offer a gift or discount for every new customer that comes from it. Ask someone to host a trunk show to introduce you to his/her friends or to bring a friend to a show you host in your own home or a local venue. Do your best to be positive, outgoing and congenial. You never know who may introduce you to your next big customer.
Have you tried creative ways to reach new customers? How did they work out for you? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!