With so many options for spreading the word about your business—social media, Facebook ads, online marketplaces, traditional advertising—it’s guaranteed that your efforts will lead to sales, right?
There’s no such thing as a guarantee for any aspect of marketing your handmade business.
No one can guarantee that daily Facebook posts will bring you five new fans each day.
Writing one blog post per week doesn't mean it will lead to a sale each week.
Let’s be honest, if we could make those predictions, we'd all be millionaires!
Getting press leads to exposure for your brand
Getting press and being mentioned on media that get thousands of views can translate to sales with minimal work from you.
It's one of the most reliable ways I know of that almost always makes a positive impact on my business.
If you sell a handmade product, whether it’s soft toys, handbags, clothing, jewelry, stationery, bath and body products, or accessories, it's likely you will also find this to be true.
Look before you leap
It’s important to research who to pitch to be sure you’re reaching your target market.
Your greeting cards are more likely to be a success on a lifestyle blog rather than one that focuses on sports cars.
Even so, not all magazines and blogs are created equal.
One blog that featured my product has thousands of social media followers. Should be a hit, right?
What happened was the total opposite.
Just two people came to my website and I made no sales.
I've also pitched to dozens of bloggers without receiving a reply from them. Sometimes I would even get a “no” (but let me tell you, a reply is better than silence).
The point of this story isn't to discourage you, but to make you aware that through the process of pitching to the press, you’re likely to experience results that are less than stellar at some point.
This has nothing to do with you and it doesn't mean they didn't like your product or anything like that!
It could just be that the blog is not very active any more. Or that the blogger is already covering a similar product on her blog and doesn't have room for you.
Getting press = free advertising for you. Need I say more?
There are more hits than misses, and even if you don’t happen to get any sales from a feature, guess what?
Your products were just seen by hundreds of new potential customers.
These are people who otherwise wouldn't even know your product existed.
That's free advertising! Click to tweet it!
The more places your product is seen the more it will establish credibility in the minds of your customers.
You can start gaining traction with smaller blogs and magazines.
Starting small will help you get comfortable with the process.
Think of it as starting off in the kiddie pool rather than diving from an Olympic platform.
Eventually, you'll want to aim for more reputable magazines and blogs that have thousands—if not millions—of readers.
Don’t be offended if you never hear back after pitching your product.
The owners of big blogs receive so many pitches that they can’t always respond to all of them.
Doing your homework before you pitch can make your product stand out and increase the likelihood of receiving a response:
- Build a relationship with bloggers and magazine editors by following them and communicating with them on social media.
- Tailor each pitch for the person you’re sending it to; many people have “how to pitch me” pages on their websites.
- Communicate as clearly as possible.
- Keep it brief! Think of your message as a 30-second elevator pitch for your product.
- A picture is worth a thousand words, but you should only include one or two in your pitch.
Remember to be careful with your expectations.
Don’t let yourself be easily frustrated.
You must keep putting yourself out there if you want to make more sales and grow your business! And sometimes, this means doing things that make you feel uncomfortable, at least starting out.
I've made tens of thousands of dollars through getting publicity, and I'm not the only one. It's definitely an effective way to make sales in your indie business!
Building connections and getting your product out there takes time. If you’re consistent and focused, it will pay off.
Now that you know what pitching the press is like, I'd love to hear what you think!
Have you pitched your products to the media before? What was your experience like?
What hits and misses have you experienced?
Have you ever gotten negative press before?
If you haven't pitched your products before, what's stopping you?
Share your story below!