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Stress-Free Holiday Selling: The Mega-Ultimate Planning & Marketing Strategy Guide

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and we know you have enough on your plate as a handmade seller, even before the holiday madness starts. The little elves over at MadeFreshly want to make your holiday selling season jollier and smoother so they made this free, downloadable–even printable “Holiday Sales Guide”.

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This holiday planning guide will leave you knowing how to:
  • Create promotional material that converts
  • Promote your sale across all platforms (before and during sale)
  • Time your offers (with day-by-day example sale templates)
  • Be customer service ready
This guide also includes:
    • Holiday Planning Checklist for marketing strategy
    • Promotional Content Calendar

Download your Free Holiday Planning Checklist and Promotional Content Calendar Now! 

Let our tried and true tips make this holiday time less stressful and more organized…all you have to do is read and apply what you’ve learned. Afterward, you’ll even save yourself enough time to leave Santa and his reindeer some cookies and carrots…or crafts. Here are the key strategies laid out simply in MadeFreshly’s Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide. The full article contains all of our useful advice but if you’re busy crafting and short on time, below is the condensed version of our sales guide. Read ahead to get ahead because your holiday selling season can’t afford to miss any tip here.

Before The Sale Be proactive, not reactive when it comes to preparing for the holiday sales season. Choose the deal you’re going to offer

  1. Define your profit margin
  2. Decide how much you can afford to discount

    *Bonus tip: This is a great time to get rid of excess inventory! 02_discounts1 Marketing Channels to Promote Your Sale Your promotional material or creative has two main goals:

  1. Lay out all sales information clearly
  2. Create a sense of urgency and desire

Focus on your strengths and make sure your promotional material is consistent and creative.

Channels to promote your deals:

Homepages/landing banners: Include promotional material on your own website so customers know there is consistency between internal and external marketing.

Social media platforms: Promote on any and all social media sites to get the most eyes possible checkin’ out your one-of-a-kind deals.

Send out an email newsletter: Copyblogger lays out 37 tips for writing emails that actually get opened and read. Check out MailChimp too and have your newsletter emails automatically distributed.

Promotional blog posts: Spark customers’ interests with a blog post showing the usefulness of your products and then mention you’re having an awesome sale coming up. Remember, customers want to know your product can solve a problem and make their life easier!

How to Create the Right Copy and Images for Your Promotion

When writing your copy:
  • Include a discount code
  • Be clear and specific
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Include a link with a Call-to-Action

    Here’s a great example of a promotional image with copy included: 07_SimpleBoldEnticing1 Make sure: -The image is clear and eye-catching -You include text, but not too much -Has a Call-to-Action: “Shop Now” -The image is the right size for each platform Here’s a cheat sheet for social media image sizes: social-media-image-size-cheat-sheet Part of the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping is because of the limited time deals. Make sure you stress that element of “limited time” in your creative.

If your deal is for a limited time, shoppers won’t want to miss so make sure you stress the urgency of buying NOW.

EXAMPLE:

“Black Friday Sale!”

75% OFF FROM 10:00AM – 12:00PM

65% OFF FROM 12:00PM – 3:00PM

50% OFF FROM 3:00PM – 10:00PM

The Most Important Part of Your Promotional Creative That You Probably Don’t Know About

If you don’t get anything else out of this section, make sure you remember to carry your creative consistently throughout the entire promotional process.

How’s that for alliteration? Consistently Carry Creative

Customers go through a 5-step process when deciding to take the final purchase plunge. Your consistent copy needs to meet them at every step and encourage them they are making the right choice. decision-making How to Time Your Holiday Deals-From Beginning to End

Not sure what deals to give on which days, or how to market them to get the most out of your sales? Not to worry, here are example sale templates you can use to guide your sales. Remember, your deals could be slightly different depending on your profit margin!

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale 09_BlackFriCyberMon1 Right upfront, your best holiday deals should be especially focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because that’s when you’re going to generate the most money. But whatever you do, don’t offer the same deal every day…you want to lead customers with a sense of…wait for it…URGENCY!

Black Friday

Marketing: Again, urgency with your ads and deals are key. “60% OFF or BUY 1 GET 1 FREE” are always great to use.

Your second best deals, after Cyber Monday, should be marketed today so make ‘em worth the virtual trip to your store!

marketing01_blackfriday1 Saturday

Marketing: You know what I’m going to say…urgency. Let your customers know today’s deal won’t be as good as tomorrow’s so they need take advantage of today.

“25% OFF” is a solid deal…it’s less off than Black Friday but more discounted than Sunday. marketing02_sat1 Sunday

Marketing: Get your customers excited for Cyber Monday with some well-thought out promotional creative. No one likes a tease…but a little something to look forward to never hurt!

FREE SHIPPING ALL DAY goes a long way. marketing03_sun1 Cyber Monday

Marketing: Today is the day to finally let it all go. Let loose and offer your best deal of the season. Be clear and direct…you want customers to understand exactly what and how great your deal is.

“70% OFF TODAY ONLY” is an example. marketing04_mon1 Tuesday

Marketing: Include one last deal that rounds up all of the customers who weren’t able to catch your Friday through Monday deals–20% OFF gives them a chance to still save but not get the same bargain as the weekend shoppers. marketing05_tue1Christmas Sale

A FREE SHIPPING deal is perfect for your ecommerce shoppers who missed the Black Friday/Cyber Monday craze.

      • Decide your cut-off date on offering free shipping so your customers can receive their gifts in time for Christmas.

10_Free-shipping1 New Year’s Sale

People celebrate the new year like it’s a holiday, so why not ring ‘em in with a deal? 10%-20% OFF should be enough to get them to your store. marketing06_ny1Be Ready For Questions

People always have questions so be ready to happily answer. That little extra customer service turns first time customers, into loyal, repeat ones! Common questions:

  • How long will my product take to ship?
  • Will it ship internationally?
  • What’s your return policy?

Get Planning Now for a Stress-Free Holiday Season!

I know after reading these tips you’re eager to know more…and there is more! Download our Promotional Content Calendar here that will help you lay out your marketing plan for November and December. All you have to do is cut and paste your copy and images. Start planning now and you’ll be totally prepared for the holiday craziness that is about to ensue! Get even more detailed marketing strategy in the full article here: The Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide (With Snowflakes On Top).

rachelmadefreshly

This is a guest post from Rachel at MadeFreshly: Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the ecommerce platform that makes your passion pay off. Click here to get her actionable tips and inspiration for entrepreneurs every week!

The Social Media Breakdown

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There are 2 important concepts you should understand before jumping full-on into the realm of social media marketing. These concepts apply to ALL of your marketing, not just social media, and are relevant regardless of the platforms you choose to operate on.

Concept #1: Know your market

Who are your target customers? What do they like? Where do they hang out online? It would be a pointless waste of time, for example, to pine away on Snapchat if the demographic of people you are hoping to reach aren’t even there. So make sure you are doing your Ideal Customer work first and foremost.

Concept #2: It’s all about delivering value

There are 3 main reasons people spend time on the internet. The first is to learn–to be informed. The second is to be entertained, and the third is to connect with other people. At least 70% of your marketing should be about delivering one (or more) of these things to your potential customers. Nothing but a stream of links to your products will get you ignored, and you’ll probably start to feel like all of your efforts aren’t worth it. On the flip side, if you NEVER mention that you have a business or products to sell, you may also wonder why you’re efforts aren’t paying off. Sure, your list of followers will continue to increase, but you need to make an offer to your audience once in awhile if you actually want to generate any sales from them.

Getting started:

After you’ve figured out which social media platforms your target customers are on, start with one or two to set up profiles on, and brainstorm how you can use this platform or platforms to deliver the value your customers are looking for.

I recommend starting with only one or two because you don’t want to overwhelmed yourself, or spread yourself too thin. When you’re overwhelmed and exasperated you’ll feel like you keep working on your marketing, and the results aren’t coming. That would probably be because you aren’t able to direct the time and attention to each platform at the level required to really connect with your potential customers. Instead, if you are ambitious and strive to be on ALL THE SOCIAL NETWORKS, I recommend adding them one at a time. Get yourself comfortable and in a steady flow with one before adding another, ensuring always that you are leaving plenty of leftover time in your day for your other marketing efforts and business tasks, as well as time for all of the other aspects of your life.

Getting familiar:

Learn the “lingo” and social etiquette of each platform you are on. Think of each site as a separate community building, each with it’s own set of rules and expectations. For example, just as you are expected to act and behave a certain way at a karaoke bar versus a public library, you are expected to interact differently on Twitter than on Pinterest. All it takes is a bit of lurking and TOU reading to learn what those differences are.

Getting social:

Social media is called SOCIAL media for a reason. People are there to socialize with one another. While I am a huge fan of pre-scheduling your posts to save yourself time, I also stress the importance of logging in and spending some time INTERACTING with your followers. No one likes to be involved in a one-sided conversation. If your fans are leaving comments on your Facebook posts, acknowledge them and respond when appropriate. Reply and re-tweet on Twitter, and like away on other people’s pics on Instagram. Connect. Connect. Connect! That’s what it’s all about, baby.

Some specific platform tips:

Facebook:

  • Unless you have a highly engaged audience, don’t post more than 1-3 times a day. Otherwise you may be overwhelming some of your fans’ feed and they will choose to “unfollow” your updates.
  • When you can, include an image in your post. They reach more people and are more likely to be shared.
  • Ask your fans questions to get them to interact with you more. “This” or “this” questions work great.

Twitter:

  • The feed moves fast, so you can tweet often.
  • Follow other industry leaders to harness the power of networking and partnership opportunities.
  • Follow and interact with your Ideal Customers by finding them through other brands you know they love.
  • Use appropriate hashtags and tweet under trending topics when they are suitable for your brand.
  • Create a bio that will make browsers curious.

Pinterest:

  • Don’t just pin your own items: pin lots and lots of images that go well with your brand.
  • The more pins you collect, the larger a following you will accumulate.
  • Organize your pins into sorted boards that would also interest your Ideal Customers.

Instagram:

  • Use hashtags that are appropriate to the image you are sharing to get found.
  • Share pictures of your process, not just your final products.
  • Follow and interact with other users!
  • Don’t forget to put your website link on your profile.

Wanelo:

  • Post other original items along with your own to get seen by more users as the person who “originally posted” something cool.
  • Create “stories” with your collected products that will show off your brand

Other:

  • Insert your own platform tips in the comments below!

meganbio

 

Megan Petersen – Megan’s Beaded Designs

Megan designs and creates unique beaded jewelry for http://MegansBeadedDesigns.com, and writes articles to help her fellow handmade sellers at http://BeadingForBusiness.com.

Social Media Cheat Sheet – Facebook 2014

“One of the easiest and best ways to promote + market your handmade business is to have an online presence through social media.  Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Dribbble, YouTube… the list goes on.

Today, I’m talking about Facebook… Pages, to be exact.

Sure, having a Facebook account for your friends and family is great, but if you’re serious about your business and wanting to communicate that to potential customers/clients, you should really invest in a more professional Facebook Page.  They’re free, super easy to create and you can invite all of your friends and family to like it to get the ball rolling… who knows?  Some of those friends might have two friends who really like what you’re offering and then they may have two friends and so on and so on… (please tell me I’m not the only person who remembers that commercial!).

Keeping your brand professional and cohesive within your social media is just as crucial as with your online shop or printed material. Having recently updated mine (you can view it here, I thought it would be helpful to have  a lovely little cheat sheet to help you make the most out of your Facebook Page design and start getting all of those lovely sales/clients!

032 [Converted]

Use a high-quality picture for your Cover Image (it holds a lot of real estate, so you don’t want to show something that’s hard to see or that has folks wondering what the heck it is in relation to what you do).  Why not show a shot of your studio, a selection of your wares, or of you happily working with a client?

Try to use Facebook as an announcer for your biz… you don’t have to spend a lot of time on any posts, just a quick “this is what I’m up to” or “hey, we’re having a sale over on the blog/shop” or “how ‘bout this extra-long, snowy, weird, are-we-done-yet-winter… anyone else feeling the cabin-fever?”.

Also, a good thing to remember is that all of your timeline photos will automatically be resized to 403 x 403 pixels, except for the Milestones (which, incidentally, I never use).  Simply put, remember to resize any image you’d like to upload to a square – any size will do – and it will look the same when you upload it to your timeline!

I won’t get into all of the great things that you can do with your Facebook Page, there are tons of resources out there to look into for that… I’m just here to give you a few design tips, shortcuts and to get the ball rolling!

Enjoy and happy designing ;-)”

Geribiowashi

 

Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion

Geri Jewitt is a graphic designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, a design studio focused on branding for small businesses and helping them stand out from the madding crowd.  Recently adding custom letterpress design + printing to the studio, she loves working on custom projects, such as wedding stationery or branding collateral! She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about owning a small creative biz and offers tips, tutorials, templates and design inspiration.

The Languid Lion – CharlieBoy Press – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Instagram

Let’s Connect!

capp

Happy Friday! I hope 2014 is off to an awesome start! I would like us all to share our social media links today to help us connect and give us better opportunities to support each other in the coming year. Plus, I love the idea of connecting with you while drinking a beautiful cappuccino like the one in my Instagram pic above!

Facebook:

– I just discovered that when a business likes a page it does not show up as a new like. I have “liked” so many of your pages as Handmade Success but want to “like” it personally as well. I tend to be on Facebook a bit more on my personal page (Kerry Sweeney Burki) too so please share your Facebook page below so I can like it from there.

– If you are not following us on Facebook you can do so by going here: https://www.facebook.com/myhandmadesuccess. If you already like us but do not see our posts then please go to the same link, hover your arrow over the”liked” button and either select “Get Notifications” or “Add to Interests Lists” to be sure you see our posts regularly.

Twitter:

I struggle with being on Twitter regularly but would really love to develop some stronger connections on there. I would like to create a list of Handmade Success readers so I can check in with everyone more often. Please leave your link or handle/id in the comments.

– You can follow us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/handmadesuccess

Instagram:

– I have totally fallen in love with Instagram in the last year and am on there a lot! I love all of the pretty photos! Let me know if you are on there too!

– You can find me on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/kerryburki

Pinterest:

– I have recently started pinning a bit more and would love to follow your boards! I love all of the inspiration and think it would be neat if we were doing some of the same DIY projects. Share the link to your Pinterest page below!

– Most of my boards are personal and I am now starting to create more business-minded ones too. You can check out my boards here: http://www.pinterest.com/kerryburki/

I would love to hear which social media you love to use and can’t wait connect!

Facebook Marketing for Etsy Sellers Infographic

Claudio and Nicoletta are the awesome duo behind Fanchimp. They wrote a guest post for us a little while back about getting traffic from your Facebook page to your Etsy Shop. Now they have this amazing infographic meant for all of you and I just had to share!

Facebook Marketing Made EasyDon’t you just love the idea of your Etsy shop being the one at the top! Too cute! Thanks so much for creating and sharing this with us, Claudio and Nicoletta!!!

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