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butterflysmile butterflysmile is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 136
Marketing & Sales ideas?

Morning,

Since Christmas my sales have gone down and was wondering if anyone had any weird and wonderful marketing and sales ideas? I'm not looking at stealing your ideas, just sometimes it needs someone else to say something obvious that I haven't thought of!

I've been writing to greetings cards publishers and have had a good reponse and am waiting to hear back again from a couple of companies who are interested in buying some of my designs. I've also written to interior / lifestyle magazines about my prints and canvases. This seems to be a bit hit and miss, my letters are probably ending up in the bin, who knows?! I'm in House and Home Ideas magazine again this month, but it doesn't bring in that many sales, I'm not sure how many people actually buy it. I'm off to a wedding fair in March, so will hopefully get some good feedback and sales from that.

Thanks
Emma
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www.butterflysmile.co.uk

A beautiful collection of contemporary flower photography.
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kayemdesign kayemdesign is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hemel Hempstead
Posts: 692
One thing that struck me is that the print you produce would make ideal Valentine gifts, I may even approach you for one for my partner. But I see nothing on your site promoting the prints as a valentine present? Mind you, you will need to look at your delivery lead times as they state up to 5 weeks, this would obviously put people off in this fast consumer age.

Once you are geared up for valentines, maybe distribute some flyers around and look at other advertising opportunities around you i.e. forums, directories and google.

Best of luck

Steve
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emmalr's Avatar emmalr emmalr is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Posts: 291
When I had Studentcribs.com running (being re-launched as Totalcribs.com in the spring) I created BeTheBand.co.uk as a marketing project.
The idea was to get students to come together to create the world's first online band and release a single for charity.

It worked quite well. We've been featured in press throughout the world, have partnerships with HMV & Napster and have a monthly radio spot on Pulse Radio (28 million listeners around the world).

We had terrific sales on Studentcribs.com, but ideally it wasn't what I really wanted for the site. It's now being re-developed.
Out of the success of the project I have also created a company specialising in quirky marketing campaigns like Be The Band.

Emma.
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Emma Reilly: Creative Graphic Design & Illustration

Brave & The Bold Apparel: An independent urban clothing line from Newcastle.
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Aled Aled is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
have you embraced the online marketing industry?

Pay Per click campaigns on the G, Y or M could be a nice little start
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seiretto seiretto is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 181
Hi Emma,

We have done magazine advertising over the years and the returns are always lower than anticipated, they quite often do not pay their way.

As aled said google (IMHO there is little point in trying any other) advertising CAN bring in the business and you can easily monitor the ROI. But this MUST be done with care else costs can spiral very quickly. Best to find a NICHE (what keywords potential customers will use to find you) where there is less competition. You know your business arena so you should know where to look for your niche [still searching myself! And we were established 1996!]...

Get that niche right and apply it right to google ads and you have a winner ;-)
I have seen it happen with many web sites we host, where they start with a small-business account and end up with there own dedicated server within the first year.

However, before you do that I would improve the photos you have on your website, they are too optimised (the quality is too reduced), and get a new logo, the current one with the rough edges does you no credit [for others that know - our new design is coming along: http://www.sitepoint.com/marketplace/contest/496/ ].

Also, there are other things you can do at no cost which will improve your website ranking (traffic to your website) such as:

* Get more in bound links from other RELEVANT quality websites
* add your link properly to your profile in forums, such as this forum:
http://www.shell-livewire.org/forums...on=editprofile
Add this:

<a href="http://www.butterflysmile.co.uk/">professional flower photography</a>

Ensure you change the "professional flower photography" to your required keywords (as per NICHE described above) and googlebot will find your links in posts and index your site under relevant keywords (for your organic listings in google).

Hope that helps, and good luck with gaining new business for your excellent photography
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Monty1 Monty1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
Emma,

You could try targeting retailers directly. I imagine that there are lots of listing websites for card shops and small galleries. You could start by phoning each one and poiting them to your website and asking if you could send a sample.
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butterflysmile butterflysmile is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 136
Thanks everyone, that's given me lots to get my teeth into this weekend!
Emma
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A beautiful collection of contemporary flower photography.
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freeform freeform is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 227
Hi Emma

Before you start looking at new ideas, I'd have a good look at the marketing you're doing at present to find ways to improve it or get rid of it (if it's not working).

If you do that, the improved marketing should create more money to reinvest AND save you a few pounds on what's not working.

When you then move onto new ideas, here's 2 more to get your teeth into:

1. Widen your market - as Monty1 said, there are probably lots of retailers who would love to stock your stuff, but don't just stop with retailers. I'd start by making a list of everyone who could possibly buy your work (either printed or just the design) - hotels, banks, universities, cafes, art and framing shops ...... against the same list I'd note down ways I could get in touch with big groups of them. ex.

hotels - direct mail, telephone, trade mags ......

Doing that will give you hundreds of marketing ideas to follow-up on.

2. Make the most of your existing business - You can do this in 2 ways, by encouraging referrals and by upselling over time. I'm sure you already do some of this but, create referral tools to make it easier for people to talk about you (refer a friend buttons, brochures and flyers in orders you send out, gift certs for people to pass on to friends or use on next order).

Similarly, you'll also want to be able to kep in touch with past customers to tell them about new stuff, news and special offers - a simple newsletter would do


Of course, there are loads more plus all the online stuff mentioned by others. Before you jump into any of it though:

1. review existing marketing
2. create a marketing plan based on what you want to achieve

Feel free to drop me a line if you think I could be of some help.

Best of luck.
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Free Marketing Ideas and Practical Marketing Advice for Small Businesses & StartUps
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