Home sewing / crafting entrepreneurs are always on the look-out for new ways to promote their products or services. It makes no difference if your business is just a local one or an online venture, advertising is a MUST in order to keep our names in front of potential customers.
Some of the following ideas have been used by us for years, and I would hardly consider them “new”, but I’m amazed at the number of people who say “I would never have thought of that!” Whether you choose one or a combination of the following ways to promote your business, the most successful methods can be incorporated into your year-round promotional strategies.
1. MAKE “MINI-FLYERS” – One of my personal favorites are “mini-flyers” that contain advertising messages about your products or services. Mini-Flyers are made 6 or 10 to a page (depending on what size you want them) and contain basic information such as a catchy phrase about your product or service, followed by “FREE information” or “FREE catalog”, a website address if you have one, and your name and address. The “mini-flyers” can be made easily in Microsoft Publisher, or similar software, that can be saved and reprinted as needed, as in the following example:
The first thing to do with your mini-flyers that have been printed on regular paper is to put one in every bill you pay (electric bill, gas bill, newspaper bill, telephone bill, credit card bills, etc). Remember that the clerks who open these envelopes must surely get bored with the job, and when they open your envelope and the mini-flyer falls out, you can be assured that it will be read. It will probably also be passed around to others working in the same area. The mini-flyers that are on labels can be stuck to every package you mail out – right next to the mailing label. These will catch the eye of some of the postal employees along the way who will make a mental note of the website address, etc and perhaps check it out later.
2. REBATES. Almost any business you can think of can benefit from giving rebates. Rebates are usually associated with large purchases such as automobiles, computers, etc, but can easily be adapted to smaller businesses. We’ve had great success with offering a “rebate” to customers who refer their friends to us. When one of the customer’s friends makes a “first time purchase” from us, the customer receives a rebate certificate that can be used as a discount on their next purchase.
3. GROUP RATES AND DISCOUNTS can be used by many businesses. For example, a seamstress can contract with a community theater to do all of the alterations for an entire season, and give a 10% or 15% discount on alll the work. School cheerleader alterations, repair work and sewing could be handled in the same way.
4. HOLD FREE SEMINARS, workshops or lectures for people interested in your type of product or service. If you’re in the crafts business, you could teach interested people how to make one or more of your craft items. After the “mini-class” you could have a table of crafts, projects and/or books for sale. Women’s clubs, sewing clubs or home extension clubs would be great places to start – they’re always looking for “program” ideas for their meetings.
5. SUBMIT A PRODUCT, PATTERN OR YOUR WEBSITE to individual websites, such as this one, for “review”. Naturally you’re not guaranteed that every site will do a review, but the ones that do will be putting your name and website name on the review, which will then be a permanent link to you, which could be read by potentially thousands or millions of people who may be interested in what you have to offer. Remember, if you don’t ask (or submit your item) your answer is already a “no” — so do yourself a favor and do some submitting.
6. MAGNETIC CAR SIGNS can be a wonderful way to increase your business. For “local” sewing / craft businesses, be sure to do the sign with a catchy phrase about your business – “Cathy’s Quick Turn Around Alteration Service” and your phone number. If you do the majority, or even a little, of your business online put your website address on the sign — http://SewWithSarah.com — and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the increased traffic to your site. Also, don’t forget – if you’re taking a vacation, be sure your magnetic sign is on the car. It’s amazing how many people along the travel route will see your sign and check out the website.
For additional information and books to help you get started in a business or push it forward faster, visit our “Business Book” shelf and see for yourself the many ways you can make additional money with your business/website.