Alternative Shop Promotion

I have been creating and selling my hand made jewelry and altered art now for about 2 years through many different venues. My main venue is the internet and my on line store at Of course there are many other store front venues to vend on line but eventually you have to choose one or maybe two and then promote, promote, promote your store/s in order to get even minimal attention on line.
I work craft shows, which presents some immediate results but never seem to go a whole lot further in sending but a few people to my internet store. I get a few internet sales here and there from all the massive attention that I pay to promoting myself on sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and of course on HAF, but that takes a whole lot of time away from what I really wish to do, which is create. Most experts advise that an internet store front have at least 100 items listed and available in your online store to make your store seem reputable enough to satisfy most consumers’ paradigm of the marketplace.
I sometimes even sell door to door, meaning that I visit places like salons and spas at their busiest times, if they will allow me, and sell to their patrons. Again, this venue presents some immediate results but does little to entice impulse buyers to seek out my products or my online stores later.
I have found another venue that actually does help me to get more exposure to people that seem to have disposable income for luxuries like jewelry and goodies that are not considered necessities, especially in these hard economic times. This is a venue that, so far, I have yet to see mentioned by any of the many marketing experts that I have read, and I do try to read them all because I am always trying to improve my business, as to stay in business.
The venue in which I am referring is charities and charity events that utilize auctions; live, silent, and internet, to obtain the funds that they raise for their charities. I have found that for a small donation of a piece of my work, to charities that hold auctions to raise their funds, not only enables a lot of people to see your work, but the auctions get a lot of those people to fight over, if you will, or seek out your products. In most cases the auctions are designed to get people to bid against each other to obtain whatever item they are trying to buy while benefiting the charity. There are many win win situations due to these auctions, especially since your donations will be sold to the highest bidder.
A few examples: First, the charity benefits receive the highest amount of money possible for your donation. Depending upon what you choose to donate, that donation probably did not cost a lot for you to create, except for maybe some of your time; time in which you would already have spent creating anyway.
Second, you will have just been exposed to all those bidders or benefactors who will continue to desire your work, especially if they do not win the auction. In most cases even the winner of the auction for your product will desire more of your work. Most of the bidders will also want to know who it was that was as charitable as they were, so they will start to ask about you or search for information about you and your business. You will then be on people minds and in their conversations, which is always the best form of advertisement out there; word of mouth.
Third, most charities will not only give you a receipt in order for you to write off the amount they received for your donation, but they will also advertise you and your work, both before and after the charity event, for participating in their charity. Most charities will gladly give you lots of exposure simply because they are so grateful that you cared enough to donate to their cause.
There are other examples but with one little contribution to a charity that derives their assistance from auctions, you will receive many dollars worth of advertisement and exposure and the majority of that exposure will be free. This will also save you a lot of time which you would otherwise be using to promote yourself. This in turn means more revenue for you along with more time for you to create while someone else advocates you and your business.
Just remember, if you do choose to acquire more exposure by means of donating a product to charity auctions, make sure that you send along plenty of your press (cards, fliers, brochures, etc.), as these will be the key to receiving more hits or visits to your store or business.

After all, the only way anyone at all will buy your work is that they know about you in the first place. You can have 10 stores on the internet or even many land based stores, but if no one knows you exist and what you have available, you will never sell anything.

I am now in the process of donating to the Charity of Dreamcatchers for Abused Children that is now taking donations for both a silent and internet auction happening this year. It is a good cause that aims to” break the cycle of abuse once and for all so that, one day, no child will become a victim of abuse”. You can see their site with all their information here. Their request for donations is posted under their calendar page here. Won’t you join me in this great cause?
Thanks for reading my ideas. I hope they help you to increase your business and exposure.
As always I remain Humbly yours,
Laura “Da Goddess” “TUT” TuTreasures at Etsy

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