Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Etsy How-To: Free Advertising Through the Holidays

Now, I can't say from experience that I have used tons of paid advertising.  I have paid for advertising and been pleased with the results (another post sometime), but I have also sought out lots of avenues for free advertising and that's what I am going to talk about today mostly because it is HOLIDAY SEASON!  It is time to get your shop out there so people in the holiday shopping mode can find you.  So today I present you with 10 ways to advertise for free throughout the Holiday Season.  Make it your goal that by November 1st, you will try at least 5 of these.  I promise it will bring you more traffic and the more you work at it, the more traffic and sales it will bring!

1)  Start a Facebook Page for your business.  There are lots of how-to's out there.  Also consider Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.  Get your voice heard and your products seen!

2) Read blogs in your niche and comment on them with your shop link.  Aka if you sell wedding decor, start following some wedding blogs.  Don't spam them with your comments, but try every day to leave a comment on at least 3 blogs with insightful thoughts and leave a link to your shop with the comment.  People will click and be interested.  They were already somewhat interested because they were reading about weddings (or whatever your subject might be).

3) Start a blog.  This one may sound like a lot of commitment and it is more than the others, but it's always great to get your web personality out there.

4) Don't want to start a blog or already have one?  Doesn't matter which, seek out guest blog spots.  It is a great way to get your name out there so start contacting blogs that feature writers or DIY projects from other artists and send them an email with your ideas for a guest post.

Vintage Book Heart Paper Garland
5) Get your products featured on blogs.  Contact blogs that feature items like yours or in your style.  Give them a 3-4 sentence blurb about your shop and your product and include 2-3 great photos.  Follow up if you haven't heard back in a week.

6)  Get Pinterest and start working on building up a great inspiration board.  Include a couple of your items in your boards, but not too many.  You don't want to be a spammer.  (See how to grow your business with pinterest here.)

7)  Leave business cards sitting around in public places.  People are bound to look you up.  If you include a coupon code on the back, they are even more likely to purchase something.

8)  Go for wholesale accounts now.  If you are considering wholesale (which you should at least consider), this is the time for sales and the time that brick and mortar shops will really be looking for great products for holiday sales.  You have great products!

9)  Come up with new items and tell people about them through Twitter, Facebook, your blog... every avenue you have.

10)  Talk about your shop to everyone you know.  You are your biggest advocate and you should be proud that you took the time and energy to start your own business and nurture it!  Your shop doesn't have to be the only thing you talk about, but people should know you do it!

Now commit a bit of time every day to work on these ideas.  Free doesn't mean you don't work at it.  You will have to work even harder than paid advertising, but if you even commit 10 minutes a day to building a Facebook page, you will see a difference! 

Happy free advertising!

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