Butterfly Crafts Christmas Giveaway

Yes its time! I have not run a giveaway for a while and now is the time - today is the day!

From Saturday 10th to Sunday 18th October you can enter to win two Christmas cards and a 20% off coupon for a future purchase. I will pick two winners from a random number generator. The cards are currently not made but you can check out the Christmas section of my Artfire store to see examples of what you might win.

Here's how to enter:

Twitter about my store or giveaway and get 1 entry - include @butterfly_craft in your twitter

Facebook - Write about Butterfly Crafts or the giveaway and get 2 entries. My fan page is www.facebook.com/ButterflyCrafts

Newsletter - Sign up to the Butterfly-Crafts newsletter and receive 3 entries

Write a blog about Butterfly-Crafts or the giveaway and receive 4 entries

Make a purchase from the store or run my ad on your blog/website etc for 5 entries. Please email me at butterflycrafts@ymail.com for the ad.

Also, please post a comment to this thread of how you have promoted and how I can contact you if you win!

Saturday, 10 October 2009 | 12 Comments

Business Set Up Tips Part 21 - Marketing Plans

Part 21? Wow, this series is officially an adult!

So with all your new found publicity skills you might just have been promoted in a magazine article or a feature on Hand Made News or receive a thousand hits from a high profile blog feature but what was todays feature will be tomorrows fish wrappers as the saying goes. You will need to start thinking longer term to the next six or twelve months and ask yourself one question: How can I keep the momentum going?

A successful marketing programme is based on frequency and keeping your business name and products in your audiences face until they recognise your brand and then buy your products.

Before devsing a marketing plan or create your marketing materials, you need to have a clear understanding as to who your target audience are. Get to know your customers, how do they spend? How much to they spend? What blogs or magazines do they read? That way, you can create materials they will respond to. Knowing your customers specific wants and needs will help you put together products to meet those desires.

As you begin to put your marketing plan together, assess your goals and budget. If you need immediate results to stir up interest quickly try advertising or getting into a high traffic blog (like mine!) However for most of us small business owners in the craft world we have the time but no money! In this instance, put your money into publicity rather than advertising. Send new material to editors, follow up and remind them of your company until they bite. Publicity is not a marketing method for the impatient, you may spend days putting together press kits and sending them out and get no response, it might even take months for an article to be published.

It is also worh bearing in mind that not all of your ideas, products or sales are appropriate for PR activity - it is for you to decide what is important to publicise and what can be skipped over.

I must admit, writing this blog has made me think about having an actual marketing plan, something I donot have as yet. It would be great if you have any marketing tips to share, please comment......

Friday, 9 October 2009 | 2 Comments

Business Set Up Tips Part 20 - Hiring a Publicist

Are you like me and struggle when it comes to publicity or do you not have the energy? Have you considered hiring a publicist?

A publicist is paid to sing your praises from the roof tops to the press but also consult with you on every aspect of your business. The most imporant thing a publicist can do, is develop your marketing strategy.

A publicist will want to present your products to their contacts every season so you will need to be prepared and committed to delivering an agreed quota. You need to ask yourself if you are really ready for major recognition and the sales (and production) this will bring - I know I'm not just yet but Butterfly-Crafts will be one day! Finally, and most importantly, can you even afford one?

Remember you are hiring a publicist for their expertise and contacts and this unfortunately does not come cheap. On top of their monthly fee, you may also have to pay out for their telephone calls, postage and copying costs. You will still have to create your press kit and advertising because although the publicist can advertise you, they are not necessarily a graphic designer.

If you do decide to take the next step in marketing and hire, choose carefully and pick someone you have a good rapport with and who you feel will represent you well. Do your research with different companies and ask fellow store owners for their contacts. But, when it comes to signing that contract, put your expectations in writing and stay in contact.

It is really important to realise that a publicist can be selective about who they choose to work with. Like all of use, they will want a client who is easy to work with and whose talents and skills they truely believe in as you are likely to be committed to a minimum contract.

One thing to bear in mind with a publicist however is that the results are cumulative so you may not see immediate results but when they do start, they are likely to snowball!

Monday, 5 October 2009 | 1 Comment

Business Set Up Tips Part 19 - Press Kits

In the last business tips blog we looked briefly at being your own publicist. Now we look at what to do next and how to develop a press kit.

If you hear back from the editor or their designers from the publication you approached, it is possible that they will be working on a deadline and want your information yesterday. The best way to be prepared for this is by having a web page with high-res images, key facts, press releases and suchlike that can be downloaded quickly. Sometimes this approach can be quicker than snail mail and if you make work easier for your contacts, they may be back for more.

However, it is good to have a hard copy press kit as one way to express your creativity in your business material. Standard components of the press kit would include:

  • a catalogue with clear photos and descriptions,
  • a line sheet with product numbers and whole sale prices,
  • a biography,
  • colour copies of any press cuttings,
  • press releases if what you are announcing is newsworthy,
  • a few samples if you can spare them as often Editors prefer something visual to a press release.

A press kit is a great chance to be imaginative, but is can go terribly wrong if you try and jump through too many hoops and end up confusing the viewer and losing the message whilst you're at it. If you can balance out simplicity and creativity you'll have a winning kit. You may also consider:

  • Including your contact information on the bottom of every item in the kit,
  • Reflect your brand by reinforcing your colours and logos,
  • Everything in the kit, aside from samples, should remain flat as editors often keep a stack of kits on their desk - and you wouldn't want to be the person who sent in a poster tube and you roll off or get binned.
  • As a precaution label each and every item in the case it were to be separated from the rest.
  • Don't include too many loose small items incase they get lost.

A note of caution though regarding samples - if you send unsolicited samples to publications, it is very unlikely that you will receive them back as they would be considered gifts. However if an editor was to request something specific from you, you will be more likely to see it again.

So your challenge for this week is to think about what you would include in a press kit.......

Image from http://www.theangryrobot.artfire.com/

Friday, 2 October 2009 | 0 Comments