Friday, April 23, 2010

Get Your Store Found

Remember the quote from Field of Dreams- If you built it, they will come. Well it worked with Kevin Costner- he built the field and all the famous players of long gone came to play. We want to believe the same thing will happen when we open our store. We put all this work into making our goods, why wouldn't everyone just want them.

The biggest hurdle any online seller has to deal with is - buyers can't come if they don't know about you. Yes Kevin's players came but then they were dead and I don't think a lot is going on in the afterlife. Your customers are alive and busy and the internet is crowded. Somehow you have to shine. You want people to find your shop but actually you need to find the customer and pull them in.

There are plenty of free ways to stand out, most take some effort. Blogs, fan pages, twitter, the forums, message boards, and anything else worthwhile take some time.These are all social forums, to be social you need to interact- not just spout off that you just listed this item. Use the Artfire forums and other forums to reach out to people and make contacts.

I have to give a big Kudos to PromoPixie , she started selling ad spots in brochures to be handed out in person and is also selling the brochures. What a great idea- she has really branched out. The spots in the brochures sold faster than the wind and quite a few people have bought them to hand out at craftshows and what have you. They are available in small bundles, unlike the large minimums you often are required to buy. The kudos is for coming up with a new idea and then going out and pushing it. Would anyone have bought these unless Promo talked it up in the forums. She's doing sales on both sides and making a name for herself.

Outside forums help too. I got my son to post on game sites that he already belonged to about my gaming pieces. I got quite a bit a buzz from that. It helped he was established on that site and people trusted him. But that's what social media is about. Interacting, making connection, the same idea as real life. If a sales person says, ours is the best ice cream sold anywhere, you take it with a grain of salt. But if your friend says, you have to try out this ice cream, it is to die for- you'll probably at least consider it, maybe buy it.

We're back where we started, if you want to get people to recommend your items they first have to find them. Talk them up, blog - talk about what you make, techniques, what your plans are, not just what you listed. Engage your readers so they keep reading. Do the same on your Fanpage.

It's all about letting people know you are there. Tweet, post in the forums, blog, reach people in person- if you sell jewelry, market it by wearing it, anything to get people to see what you make.
Remember they can't come if they don't know you're there.