Are you finding it hard to make sales in your handmade business? Some days you feel like you're not sure what you're doing. What's the magic key, the secret that other businesses that have “made it” aren't telling you?
I want to peel back and show you the exact strategy I've used to take my business to consistent five figure sales every month:
I have my handmade jewelry featured in magazines and on popular blogs. It's a great way to boost sales, taking your brand and your business to the next level – that's exactly what happened in my business!
What is public relations to your business?
Business cards, packaging, advertisements, craft fairs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… It can all be confusing, and sometimes, just too much.
All of this falls under the umbrella of marketing.
When you market something, you are communicating the value of the product to your customers.
You are promoting your work, in the hopes that someone will buy something from you.
Marketing and promoting your handmade products is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
It's a lot of work and can take a long time for you to be noticed and to build your following.
If you're feeling unsure of which direction to go in, consider letting someone else advertise for you, practically for free.
Public relations (PR) is the management of the spread of information from you to the public. PR ranges from you speaking at a conference to volunteering to being mentioned in the press.
And the best thing is, you don’t have to pay for this kind of exposure.
How getting publicity can help you
I used the strategy of getting publicity when I launched my business in 2006.
I remember the first time I was featured on a blog. I cringe when I see what my products looked like all those years ago.
But the blog feature got me thousands of new visitors and many sales. Up to this day, I still get a couple of clicks from that feature.
Today I still rely on PR to grow my business to a level of sustainability and profitability that supports me and my family.
It's easy to learn how to do (there's literally a formula to it), it's fun and exhilarating, and best of all, it costs next to nothing to pull off.
PR for your handmade business is all about getting mentioned on popular blogs, magazines, and even on TV.
I don't pay a single dime to get my products mentioned!
What I love about PR is that it's very cost effective. The cost of PR typically includes:
- Your time
- The monetary cost of creating an item
- Packaging and shipping
Not so bad, right?
What PR did for my handmade business
Consider the screenshot above of a few months of business back in 2012.
In a short period of 4 months, I was featured in three different popular websites – Huffington Post, Cupcake Project and Girls' Life Magazine.
The crazy spikes in my traffic coincides with when those features were published.
By now, you probably know that it's no secret that getting featured will get you tons of traffic.
And traffic equals sales.
I got my products in Daily Candy, a now defunct email service with more than hundreds of thousands of subscribers, during my first full-time holiday season.
My jewelry was featured among dozens of other cool products.
And the sales kept pouring in and it didn't stop after Christmas.
How did I make this happen?
All I had to do was pitch the editor and send samples. It took at most a few hours of my time. It was time well spent, translating into my first five-figure quarter in sales revenue!
Later I was featured on Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, bringing in $20,000 worth of sales in one month. It was like Christmas in February!
And I saved a fortune compared to the cost of advertising.
Not only that, my content was featured article-style, rather than in an advertisement that’s easily ignored by readers.
- Advertising cost in a magazine = $60,000
- PR cost = $60
Millions of people saw my products in the magazine and I kept making five-figure sales even after the magazine was no longer selling on newsstands.
That was the first time I made five figures outside of Christmas, and the momentum didn't stop there.
Are you convinced yet?
Now let's talk about how you can get press for your own business.
How to Get Press
Getting press isn't scary, time consuming, or expensive. You don't need to hire a professional agency at the cost of thousands of dollars a month.
You can do this all yourself:
- Identify the magazine or blog you want to be featured in
- Choose media that’s likely to reach your target audience
- Find the editor’s email address
- It’s probably on the “press”, about or contact page
- Submit your pitch
- Use a concise headline and clearly and briefly describe your product
- Send your samples, if editors need them
- Package them as you would if sending them to your best customer
- Include a note that follows-up with your original email
- Follow-up via email
- Wait a week or so and send another email checking to see if your samples were received
- Ask if the editor has any questions about your product
While pitching may seem intimidating at first, know that it’s mostly common sense.
Use correct spelling and grammar. Be polite. Know who you’re pitching.
Once you've sent your best pitch, wait patiently for a feature. Patience is the key!
The process can take a while as most media, especially magazines, schedule their work many months in advance.
When you finally see yourself or your products in a glossy page, don’t forget to print and frame your recognition! Tell everyone about it!
It’s a great idea to create a press page on your website as the mentions start to pile up. Then you—and your customers—will know just how famous your work is!
On to you
Do you have any tips on making more sales?
Have you been featured on popular blogs before, and what was your experience like?
Share in the comments!
Have you seen my e-course on pitching blogs?
Are you ready to take your sales up a notch?
If so, In the Limelight is for you! Head on over now to learn more about the class!