Oh, the holidays! They bring lots of joy and cheer, along with about a gazillion emails and social media posts from every indie business, promoting every Tom, Dick and Harry’s new holiday products. How can you promote your shop without getting a one-way ticket into everybody’s spam folder?
This year, why not think about ways that your indie business can help provide ideas and holiday inspiration to all, rather than using a "sell, sell, sell" tactic?
This would be a great time of year to use your blog to talk about your Great Aunt Mimi’s secret holiday recipes, or those cocktails your guests can’t get enough of. Why not use your events page to post about all the great local things that are happening in your neck of the woods? Fill your calendar with loads of information about all those amazing indie markets, holiday theater shows, art openings and Christmas parties. Giving out this information will promote your shop and get people coming to your website, without you pleading for those product sales!
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Are you handy, or do you have some holiday decorating tips? Well, why not write up a great Christmas DIY tutorial on your blog? Who knows, a major crafting site just might publish your post or link to it, which will bring you more traffic than you could dream of during the busiest season of the year.
Here’s an example of a post my indie business, Vintage Renewal, came up with a couple years ago that we were lucky enough to have published by ReadyMade.com during the holidays: a tutorial for making a transportable vintage Christmas display (shown at right).
If you do get that traffic to your site, than make sure you add a mailing list form onto your site to grab those emails! I made mine through wufoo.com and linked it back to my web page. I can’t tell you how much I hated not having that mailing list feature when I got press before having my fabulous IndieMade site.
You’ll want to capture those people who dig your style. They might not shop with you over the holidays, but you can bet they will follow what you are doing and eventually they just might wind up a customer down the road.
To make the most of your fan base, turn on all those social media sharing icons on your web site. (This page of the IndieMade Handbook offers a quick tutorial on how IndieMade users can turn those icons on.) Let those fans promote your shop for you! If you write up that awesome family recipe or share some decorating tips on your blog, you just might find the pinning is done for you and the traffic might just come to you without all those pesky promotions.
Take advantage of all the tools that your indie business can use to promote your shop. Put out great content and you just might be surprised about how that comes back to you as the biggest gift of all.
Happy Holidays from our home to yours!