5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business This Summer

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Summer is here and people are out and about – travelling, going to farmers’ markets, the beach, outdoor concerts – you name it. So it presents a lot of great opportunities for you to get your business seen by your local market with only a little bit of investment.

ways to promote business this summer

5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business This Summer

  1. Baseball Games – If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has a major league baseball team (minor league is fine too), wear a t-shirt to the game with your shop url on the back (and front) and try to stand up every chance you get. Stadium seats are fairly low in the back so make sure your shop url is large and positioned between the shoulder blades. This also works great at music festivals, outdoor movies, anywhere a lot of people are going to be staring at your back for a while.
  2. Food Trucks – Food trucks are big business in the summer so approach a few about the possibility of putting a temporary sign advertising your business on their truck. Either offer to pay (extra revenue for them) or barter to see if they will go for the idea.
  3. Car Windshield Sun Shade Covers – This is an idea from my ebooks, but if you park your car in a busy lot all day, or outside a major summer event, use it to advertise your business by creating a sun shade visor for the front (and back) windshield of your car that clearly shows your shop url.
  4. Beach Umbrellas – You can have your shop url and/or logo screened onto anything these days, including a large umbrella that would get seen all day long the next time you decide to go to the beach (if I owned a bikini shop, I would totally be doing this!).
  5. Campers and Trailers – If you are planning on taking your camper on a long road trip this summer, have a banner made for the side advertising your business. It will get seen by hundreds of cars on the highway, especially since everyone will be passing you.

Are you inspired? If you can’t use one of these ideas, hopefully you are motivated to come up with one of your own!

IMPORTANT! If you want to get your products into holiday gift guide editorial for print magazines, they are working on these issues right now! Download my July Planner as it includes a Holiday Gift Guide Media Contact List for 40 major magazines and don’t miss out! If you need a reminder of how to pitch, be sure to read my post, Why You Should Be Pitching Your Products for Holiday Gift Guides NOW.

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© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Price Your Products to Appeal to the Gift Market

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I often see people offering $20 necklaces for Mother’s Day and I sort of cringe. Now, I would expect a $20 necklace from my 13 year-old son for Mother’s Day, but I’m not going to buy a $20 necklace for my mother, it just feels too cheap. I realize some people are on tight budgets, but gifts take on a life of their own as everyone has a price point they feel is appropriate. If you are positioning an item as a potential gift, you may want to know some stats about the average prices people spend, so you are pricing your products for the correct gift giver.

 

How to price your products for the gift market

Grad Gift Pricing

The National Retail Federation said that college graduation gifts hit a new high last year to an average price of $102.50. Now, this price is a range covering parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., and you can safely assume that parents will spend the most.

Valentine’s Day Gift Pricing

The National Retail Federation also indicated that the average price spent on a Valentine’s gift in 2015 was $146.84, and that men tend to spend more on the gift than women do.

Wedding Gift Pricing

Again, I often see $25 products being positioned as a wedding gift and I think no way. According to American Express people will spend $179 on a close family member’s wedding gift, $119 on a close friend’s, $114 on a relative’s, $79 on a friend’s, and $66 on a coworker’s for an average of $108.

Anniversary Gift Pricing

Now, what about anniversary gifts? According to research done by the Daily Mail, couples spend on average $170 on the first anniversary, $173 on the 10th anniversary, $242 on the 25th anniversary and $208 on the 40th anniversary. Again, this is couples buying for each other, not children buying for parents. 

Baby Shower Gift Pricing

The consensus at the blog, Baby Center suggests that the average amount spent on a baby shower gift is $20 to $25 for a co-worker or acquaintance, $50 for a close friend, or $100 for a best friend or family member (or a group gift).

Kids Birthday Party Gift Pricing

According to Learnvest, most people spend $10 to $20 on gifts for regular classmates but $20 to $25 for your child’s closest friends (at the elementary school level).

Teacher Gift Pricing

The price spent on a teacher’s gift does vary according to a person’s budgets, but Parenting magazine says the range for teacher’s gifts is $20 to $75.

This why many people avoid trying to target an individual or occasion altogether and will simply have shop categories entitled: Gifts $10 to $25, Gifts $25 to $50, Gifts $50+ and so forth.

A Real World Pricing Example

I wanted to buy a birthstone necklace for my 16 year-old daughter’s birthday and price was one factor I searched on. I wasn’t even considering any necklace under $50 because it didn’t feel special enough for a 16th birthday. I also didn’t want to go too much over $125 because she is only 16. Therefore, this became my search: “birthstone necklaces $50 to $125″. These are things you need to think about this when targeting a specific gift giver.

Trending This Week

  • May 13 – #NationalApplePieDay, #Fridaythe13th
  • May 14 – #SaturdayWellSpent
  • May 15 – #NBAPlayoffs
  • May 16 – #NationalLoveATreeDay, #MondayBlogs
  • May 17 – #TuesdayTip
  • May 18 – #WednesdayAfternoons
  • May 19 – #NationalDevilsFoodCakeDay, #ThursdayThoughts

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Feel free to share this post, and if your business is struggling, check out my very affordable Marketing Services.

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for Your Online Shop for the Week of December 8th – Planning for Valentine’s Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

This week is a tough one for a lot of online stores because you are busy trying to get orders out in time for Christmas, but you still need to keep visible to ensure those post-Christmas orders. So here is a quick list of what you should be doing this week to promote your online shop:

Marketing To Do List for December 8 to 15

  1. Comment on and like the current posts on the Facebook pages of Amazon, Etsy and Best Buy.
  2. Create a Valentine’s theme banner for your shop so it is ready to launch January 1st.
  3. Send out pitches to relevant blogs for Valentine’s Gift Guide editorial.
  4. The malls are busy right now so leave cards for your shop on windshields in the parking lot.
  5. Follow @mariayagoda on Twitter as she does product profiles for People.com.
  6. More people are searching on mobile these days, so try running a Google mobile ad, just for one month, to see if traffic increases. It will show up in your stats as m.google.com.
  7. Respond to any relevant Help a Reporter Out (HARO) media requests, and be sure to follow the reporter(s) on all social media.
  8. Trending hash tags to capitalize on this week: #NationalBrownieDay (Dec 8), #ChristmasCardDay (Dec 9), #NationalPastryDay (Dec 9), #HumanRightsDay (Dec 10), #PoinsettiaDay (Dec 12), #IceCreamDay (Dec 13), #InternationalChildrensDay (Dec 13), #NationalLemonCupcakeDay (Dec 15), #MondayMorning, #TuesdayTease, #FridayReads, #SaturdayKitchen

Success Story! One of my customers, an adorable jewelry shop called Decadent Minis, grew her Instagram followers to 10,000 in just 3 marketing ideas for jewelry and fashion shopsmonths using the advice I gave her! What was the advice? Well, you can find it in my e-book, Marketing Ideas for Online Jewelry Shops.

Come back next Tuesday for another week of marketing tasks that will get your shop seen.

Gail 

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

Why Artisans May Want to Rethink Selling to the Low End Market

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

I have had a lot of very successful small businesses, who are technically having great success selling on popular online marketplaces, come to me and ask for advice as to why that despite this success, they are still not making money.

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 3.57.31 PM

Here is the conundrum. When you try to sell to the low-end market (which these businesses are), you have to be able to produce significant volume in order to make any money because your profit margins are so thin. To meet this significant volume means you have to hire additional labor, which again cuts into your profit margins.

Independent artisans will always have a tough time competing in the low-end market if their products are labor-intensive, simply because they cannot afford the economies of scale needed to produce large volumes at decent profit margins the way large manufacturers can.

Case Study: The Low Priced Artisan

Take, for example, the person selling trendy knitted gloves. These gloves are aimed at the low-end fashion market and were originally selling for $25 but became such a huge fashion hit that more competition came in and drove the prices down to $15. The maker is getting tons of orders, let’s say 250 orders a day at her online shop. On the surface, that looks great. But let’s break it down a bit more.

revenues

She is grossing $3,750 a day (250 x $15). But there is no way she can make 250 pairs of gloves a day all by herself. So she needs to hire people to meet this demand. If one person can make 10 pairs gloves a day, then she needs to hire 25 people. And this is not to mention who is going to be packaging up and shipping these 250 pairs of gloves every day. So before she can pay herself, she has to pay her staff of 25. Let’s say she pays them each $125 a day, so that amounts to $3,125 ($125 x 25). Then let’s say that her material costs per pair of gloves is $1, so take off another $250. Then there is her packaging costs, which may be $.50 per pair of gloves, so take off another $125. Then there are her selling fees, which can be around 3%, so take off another $112. Then her transaction fees (credit cards/PayPal) also 3% so take off another $112. That leaves her with an overall profit of just $26 per day (and not all business expenses have not been taken into account). Obviously, this is no longer a successful business model. In fact, the irony is she actually makes more profit ($119) if she sells just 10 pairs of gloves a day.

So are artisans and indie sellers better off in the moderately priced, higher-end or luxury markets?

Case Study: The High Priced Artisan

Take the artisan, for example, who is making high-end leather bags. She charges $800 for a purse. It takes her several hours to make the purse, so most of her day. Her material costs are roughly $100. So if she sells one bag a day, she makes $800 less $100, less selling fees, packaging, etc., all pretty minimal. Therefore, she profits around $637 on the sale of one bag, in other words earning $637 for one day’s work. Not bad. If she sells only sells one bag every other day she profits $9555 a month or $114,600 a year. She has no problem meeting this quantity on her own and will never need to hire extra staff or take on more costs and she will still earn a great living and all she has to do is sell 15 bags a month.

revenu2

Again, I am talking about labor-intensive products where you can only produce a few to several on your own a day.

I’m also not saying you have to go really high-priced, but you may want to consider the possibility of having two brands – a lower priced brand and a mid to higher priced brand, to tap into both markets and then decide which is more profitable for you.

Remember, you are in business to make money. If your business model isn’t working, you need to rethink it so that it does.  Otherwise you may find yourself working very hard to make little money.

Need More Advice for Running Your Small Business?

I offer a variety of affordable services especially for small businesses. Feel free to contact me about how I can help your small business, no obligation, at attentiongetting@gmail.com.

© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

How to Get Those Post Holiday Sales

by G.B. Oliver

Think your sales have to dry up just because holiday shopping is over? There are a lot of people who will be buying certain items this time of year, you just have to position yourself for those sales.

Start Promoting Valentine’s Day 

Just around the corner, people will be buying gifts not just for husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, but also kids, friends, grandparents and teachers.

ideas to get more sales post holiday

Wedding Market is Hot

26% of all wedding engagements take place in November and December, followed by Valentine’s Day. So if you have any products or services aimed at brides, now is the time to be promoting them. This is also a popular time for wedding editorial, such as your local newspaper and local magazines, so start pitching those story ideas that would incorporate what you sell.

Big Parties Coming Up

Two of the biggest parties of the year – the Superbowl and Mardi Gras – take place in the next two months. Party supplies, food, and drinkware should all be moved to the forefront.

Ideas for post holiday sales

It’s Vacation Time

Beach vacations and ski vacations are being booked now. Make sure you target these vacationers if you have products they’ll need.

How to Get Post Holiday Sales

Have a Clearance Sale

Everyone wants a deal after Christmas and 10% will not cut it. The key to offering a sale in January is to make it a time-limited, 1-day only blowout type sale in order to get people to act quickly. Buyers love getting a deal so even if they are broke, they will justify the purchase if it is a special offer.

Go After the Teen Market

Teens tend to get money and gift cards for Christmas from frustrated relatives who have no idea what to buy them. If you target this market, they have money to spend right now.

How to get sales after Christmas

Take Advantage of New Year’s Resolutions 

Now is the time for people to get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, keep spiritually healthy, make a career change, and so forth. Take advantage of the most popular New Year’s resolutions if they apply to your business.

The Winter Olympics Will Be Trending

The winter Olympics start in February and everyone will be wanting to wear and display their patriotic pride. What can you put your country’s flag on?

Follow up with Holiday Customers 

30 to 40% of your business should be repeat business. So follow up with customers who bought from you during the holidays and make sure your products arrived on time, that they were satisfied, and give them a coupon for 20% off their next purchase as a thank you (time limited, of course).

As you can see, there are lots of ways small businesses can keep their sales momentum going well into the spring.

Get Your Business Going in 2014!

I offer a variety of very affordable marketing services that will take your online business to the next level. Just email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com to discuss.

© 2014 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Is the Online Marketplace Moving Offline?

by G.B. Oliver

Last week e-commerce provider Shopify announced it had secured $100 million in financing to help fund, surprisingly, its offline commerce endeavors.

Shopify-ecommerce

You may be wondering why an e-commerce provider now wants to focus on offline selling. The truth is, while the online market has grown, research firm ShopperTrak indicates that over 90 percent of actual commerce still takes place in physical stores. Continue reading “Is the Online Marketplace Moving Offline?”

3 Popular Blogs That Have Marketplaces For Online Sellers

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

More and more blogs are realizing the power they have over their large and dedicated readership and are using this for other revenue opportunities, such as selling your products. Here are three well-known blogs offering marketplaces:

Houzz

online-marketing-and-selling

Houzz is the most popular blog for decorating and home improvement ideas. With 14 million readers, Houzz offers their own marketplace, where visitors can buy home decor products right from the Houzz site. In fact, many of these products are even worked into editorial, such as Houzz’s current series on Holiday Gift Ideas, shown above. If you are a vendor you can apply to have your products sold in the marketplace. There are no listing fees, Houzz simply handles the monetary transaction and sends you the order to fulfill. The transaction fee they charge is a steep 15% but that does include the credit card transaction fee.

Poppytalk

how-to-market-your-shop

This popular lifestyle blog supports handmade shops in a big way. In Poppytalk’s marketplace, buyers are sent right to the vendor’s online shop, so there is no cut taken from the sale, just a very reasonable $60 per month fee. Why is Poppytalk such as big deal? Because they also happen to be one of the most popular pinners on Pinterest with over 8 million followers, and they do pin products from their marketplace to their boards. $60 a month to reach 8 million people, that’s a pretty good return.

Refinery29

How-to-sell-promote-your-shop

Refinery29 is a well-known fashion and beauty blog that has recently expanded into home, food and travel. They have a marketplace that showcases items that typically have been featured in their editorial, with products from large retailers to Etsy shops. The interested buyer is still taken directly to the vendor to purchase, but Refinery29 does take a percentage of the sale. And they do promote these products on their Facebook page to their 700,000+ fans.

Need to get your small business seen? I cover all of that and more in my Marketing Action Plan. Click below for details. ⤵ Regards, Gail.
 
small business marketing consul

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.