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We can still feel the warmth of the summer sun on our faces, but now is the time to start planning our holiday marketing strategy!
You’ll soon be deep in the handmade trenches, working hard on your creations like the good elf you are. Now is the time to plan your marketing and try to schedule as much of it as possible.
By doing it now, you’ll have peace of mind that your marketing is in place, which will also (hopefully) increase your sales during this very important period.
I've got some tips and advice for getting your marketing strategy in place for the holidays. My hope is that by taking action now, you'll have a smoother and more successful selling season.
Let’s get planning!
For many small business owners, paying for advertising is not in their marketing plan. Luckily social media gives us a chance to share our products with the world! This free advertising isn’t really “free”, though - we give of our time in return.
So think about where you’d like to market your business. Pick the social media platforms where your perfect customers are most likely to be.
If you have an email list, you’ll definitely want to include that in your marketing efforts. Most email software gives you the ability to schedule as many emails as you need.
If you are doing some craft shows, you may have an opportunity to advertise with them. Look into these forms of marketing and see if they’re a viable option for you.
If you can afford to give a discount on your products, decide what that discount will be and when it will be available for your customers.
Maybe you want to include a free gift with purchase, or create special gift combinations for the holidays.
If you can make all these decisions now, you can think them through completely, which will save you any heartache later on. Slapping a discount onto your products at the last minute is the wrong move - you may actually lose money on every sale! Do this planning now so you can make sure you’ll still bring in a profit.
And obviously if you’re planning on making new products for the holidays, the sooner you can plan them out, the better. You may need to order supplies, create a few prototypes, and figure out how much labor is involved.
Think about what your overall marketing message will be for the holidays. Then, come up with a few ideas on how you can communicate that message to your customers.
Take photos of your products that have a “holiday” feel to them, so you have a few new photos to use in your marketing.
If this isn’t your first time selling during the holiday season, take a look at last year’s numbers. Review what you did in terms of marketing, and try to determine if it was successful. What can you do differently this year?
Will you offer the same discounts and products to craft show customers as well as online customers? Or will you tailor your offers depending on where your customers are?
Write out your entire marketing strategy for the holidays so you have it in front of you as you start to create your plan.
I am a huge fan of scheduling social media and email marketing. Doing this sort of work in batches makes it so much easier!
Once you have your marketing strategy in writing, and you’ve taken pictures, written out your marketing message, and decided on your offers, it’s time to create!
Use a social media schedule like Later, and get your posts set up now. Try to schedule everything for your busy season - set it and forget it!
You can schedule Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Pinterest so you have posts going out throughout the season without you having to stop your production to hastily post a picture.
The same goes for email marketing. Most email programs allow you to schedule emails. Do this now so you can craft emails that will get your customers’ attention...you know how inboxes get clogged with promotional emails during the holidays!
For anything else that you cannot schedule in advance, put a reminder in your calendar.
If you’re just getting started with building your handmade business online, take a look at my Craft Business Kickstarter! It has everything you need to get started selling your products to an online audience.