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originally posted by: igloo
Sorry I bailed for a bit... my son broke up with his girlfriend and I've been trying to console her... ah the joys of youth, not.
Anyhow with all the great suggestions I am starting to feel less hopeless and more that I was missing some important avenues to take.
It sure is hard having to diversify to the point of being good at manufacturing, photography, web building, social media networking over many platforms, and promoting but I am resigned to the fact it is necessary.
originally posted by: nonspecific
It sounds as if what you lack is an understanding of modern marketing techniques/sales and an overall lack of confidence in your own ability to sell your product strongly.
Are you happier making the product than selling it if so I may have an interesting suggestion.
Without knowing what margins you are working with I do not know if it's viable.
Another member mentioned utilising a younger person when it comes to sales, I have done something similar recently. I was struggling to do everything from manufacturing through marketing and sales so I have done a deal with a young friend of the family, she is in her early 20's and currently unemployed.
I basically told her to go out in whatever way she chose and get me some sales, all commission and entirely up to her how, when and how often she does it with 20% gross commision.
The younger generation still have that drive and ambition that can get knocked out of you as you grow older and will go at it like a steam train.
This could also work well if you are looking at approaching shops/tattoo parlours ect as it looks like you are sending in a rep as opposed to bieng a small time one man band.
If approching shops make sure you not only have a good selection of products but also a printed portfolio you can leave with them to look over and scope with customers, also tell them that you only want to have one retail outlet in every area and will promote them as your retailer in that area online which can in turn lead to additional business and advertising for there existing business.
Do not be afraid to be proud of the individuality and quality of your product and remember that just because it may be a shop you should hold the upper hand, you should aim to make them want your product as opposed to you wanting them to be nice enough to buy it from you.
I hope this helps, Mrsnonspecific has a degree in marketing so I will ask her to have a look at the thread when she has time for some more input.
originally posted by: olaru12
a reply to: igloo
This is something you probably don't want to hear but it's a reality that many small craft producers face.
There are design predators everywhere!!! Expect your designs to get knocked off as soon as you enter into the marketplace in a professional manner.
When I came out with a fresh line for the wholesale markets; I knew that I only had a limited time before my best designs would be stolen and manufactured in the orient. So when you are able; blitz the market hard and heavy. I calculated that you only get 1 year before the predators overtake the smaller biz as soon as you become visible.
I hope that your item and niche market doesn't fall in to this category, but in the metal and stone area, it's a fact of life.