So you’ve set up your crafty website through IndieMade — great! Now exactly how should you go about promoting it to potential visitors and customers? It's time to actively share your website's address and content both in person and online. Here are five easy ways to market your small business' site, all with your artistic side and budget in mind.
1. Business Cards
Attractive business cards are a must for any crafty business owner, so be sure to promote your website on these portable marketing tools. Include a clear and concise link to your online site on the business card, as well as your other contact details (like your email address and social media links). You can even get super-creative and use the reverse side of your card to offer a coupon good in your website's shop, encouraging more visitors. Be sure to double- and triple-check your card for spelling and spacing errors before sending it to the printing company!
Once you have your amazing business cards ready, hand them to shoppers at craft shows and to interesting people you meet in person. Also include a few in the package with orders that come from your website's store page. Visit IndieMade's resource article, Great Business Cards Can Help Market Your Indie Business, for more ideas for creating memorable cards.
2. Social Media
Using social media to draw views towards your website is free (or low-cost) and really effective. Share the various pages from your site via a Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, Instagram account, and Pinterest page. You can even add buttons to your website pages so that visitors can share your content and products on social media. (If you're an IndieMade user, check out our Web Promotion and Social Sharing Links handbook page to find out how to add social media icons to your site.)
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Don't feel pressured to be active on every social network — instead, just focus primarily on the ones that you enjoy the most. This way your content will seem more natural and fun, resulting in more views!
3. Mailing Lists
Once you have established a mailing list with an email marketing service (like ConstantContact or MailChimp), use it to draw people towards your website. Try to send out a newsletter or announcement email at least every few weeks, and include clickable links back to your site.
You might use your newsletter to promote a giveaway, provide a coupon, or simply show off your photos of new products for sale, like the newsletter example at right. If you are promoting an update to your website, explain why it's even better than ever in order to create interest.
You can start increasing your mailing list size (beyond your friends and family) with a sign-up sheet at public events and a tab on your Facebook fan page. Most mailing list providers offer details about connecting accounts to social media in their support forums.
Consider running a crafty contest: offering up one of your products or a gift certificate through social media, email, blogs, and more to bring in more views and sales to your website. A gift certificate is especially good for getting site visitors if they must redeem it via your online store!
Research other handmade contests and giveaways to get tons of ideas about how to structure yours. Always keep it fun, whether it's a Twitter retweet contest, a craft show email list sign-up incentive, or a giveaway based on blog post comments. It should be enjoyable for the winner and not too stressful for eveyone involved!
Also consider promoting your website and products by writing a blog. Artists blog about a variety of topics, from business advice to crafty tutorials to seasonal product gift guides. Your blog can be located on a tab or page on your website, or can be posted on a blogging platform while linking back to your site.
For example, if you have a Tumblr blog where you upload DIY photo how-to tips, make sure that somewhere in the post there is a link to your website to buy the finished product if they love it and want it ready-made. This will bring shoppers and even other bloggers to your site, giving you more business opportunities and sales! Once you start blogging, also be sure to promote other artists besides yourself. This also applies to social media in general and Pinterest in particular.
Tutorials also make great blog content! This IndieMade resource article can help you write amazing step-by-step DIY craft instructions.
Using at least a few of these five marketing suggestions can help you build a successful, profitable website for your handmade products or art. Soon, you will be cross-promoting, handing out business cards and encouraging customers to sign up for your mailing list!