Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Developing Your Target Market (and a Challenge!)

How many of you spend more time than you'd like promoting your shop and your products?  

Most crafters and artists I know, myself included, would rather spend more time creating and less time promoting.  In my ideal world, I would just be able to make new pieces, and buy new tools, and shop for great supplies, and my product would just sell itself.  The reality is that if we don't promote our stuff, people won't see it.  And if people don't see it, they don't know it exists.  And if they don't know it exists...can you see where I'm gong with this?

I am always looking for better, more efficient ways to promote my work.  It's the reason I joined The PromotionalFrenzy Team in the first place, because promoting on my own wasn't getting me very far.  I've also been working lately to define (and refine) who I think my target and niche markets are.

Target and niche markets are really the cornerstone of efficient marketing.  If you don't know who you're selling to, or who's buying your stuff, you'll spend a lot of time promoting with very little return.  For example, if you send out a coupon code to 1,000 random Twitter followers, you might (stress on might) see a sale, maybe 2, and a little bump in traffic.  But if you send that same coupon code out to 100 targeted customers, people you know are looking for what you offer, your chance of sales goes way up.  Less work, more sales?  It sounds like magic, right?  So let's talk about how it works.

First, some definitions:

Target Market: A group of potential customers who have a common trait or characteristic.  For example, a bead supplier's target audience might be jewelry makers.

Niche Market: A more focused group within a target market.  For example, "jewelry makers who buy and sell on Etsy, ages 20-40, and live in the Southeast" is a much more defined sub-group of the target market referenced above.  Your niche market is made up of people similar to your ideal customer, which we'll talk about in a moment.

Off the top of your head, can you say who your niche market is right this moment?  If your anything like me, maybe you have a general idea somewhere in the back of your mind, but it's pretty vague and you probably couldn't put it down on paper, were you asked to.   This probably means that you're promoting everything to anyone who will listen, which is exhausting and time consuming, and not at all engaging.

Developing your target and niche markets changes that.  If you know that your target market is a group of women between the ages of 20 and 35 living in the Midwest and working from home, you can tailor your marketing efforts to target them.   

You can also tailor your products to suit them, addressing their specific needs.  Maybe your niche market is made up of stay at home mommies who need jewelry that is toddler proof.  Or maybe they have a lot of stress in their lives, and loves to burn scented candles in the evening while unwinding with a bottle of wine.  Once you get to know your ideal customer, everything you do can be addressed to them.

When you write your item descriptions, you can tell your niche market why your item is perfect for them and how it fits in their lives.  When you engage your niche market via social media, you can share things  that are relevant to them, and therefore interesting.  You can tailor your shop policies to cater to your niche market, you can use language that your niche market is comfortable with, you can run ad campaigns that catch their eye….the list goes on. 

So, how does one go about finding their target/niche market?  Etsy just recently published a blog post  with lots of helpful tips.  Included in their article was a link to a download-able worksheet that I think is a huge help in defining your ideal customer.  Up above, I mentioned that your niche market is made up of people similar to your ideal customer.  Your ideal customer is a fictional character with all the traits of your niche market, who is also your biggest fan.  Getting to know your ideal customer is a great way to personalize your target market, giving a face to that impersonal list of characteristics. 

I really encourage each of you to sit down with a pen and paper and fill out the worksheet.  Actually force yourself to write out answers, don't just think about it.  By actually writing something down, not only are your forcing yourself to develop a concrete idea of who your ideal customer and niche market might be, but you're also creating something to reference later as you continue to develop your brand.
I actually think filling out this worksheet is so important that I decided to create this blog challenge around it.  Follow the instructions below, and enter by June 11th, 2013 for a chance to win a special team blog feature! 

To enter:
  1. Visit and read the Etsy Blog post titled "How to Find your Target Market" [http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/how-to-find-your-target-market/]
  1. Download the PDF worksheet [http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/files/2013/04/Define-Your-Ideal-Customer-Worksheet.pdf]
  1. Spend some time filling out the worksheet.  Use extra paper if you need it, and really get to know your ideal customer. 
  1. Leave a comment below answering the following four questions about your ideal customer:
    1. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    2. List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    3. What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    1. Briefly describe how your products meet that need. 

Once you've entered, I really encourage you to take your new found insight about your ideal customer and re-examine your marketing and promoting efforts, as well as your shop in general.  Are you reaching your target and niche markets?  If you're not, brainstorm some ideas on how you might better target them.  Don't be afraid to experiment with your marketing and promoting strategies.  Remember, it only takes one view to get a sale. 

Thanks for reading!  I can't wait to "meet" everyone's ideal customers.

Until next time,
Happy Sales!!

**Brought to you by Heather of Little Hill Jewelry**

Sunday, May 19, 2013

READY: Emerald Is the Birthstone for May

By: Linda B

Sources of Emerald
The proper name for the emerald is beryl, but there are different colors of beryl. Emerald green is the color as well as the stone. Most emeralds have inclusions (bubbles) in them. If the stone has too much blue in it, it is then an aquamarine. Pink beryl is morganite, yellow beryl is golden beryl, yellow-green beryl is heliodor. There is also a rare red beryl. The best beryl comes from Colombia and Brazil. Emerald can also be found in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. An emerald of the right shade of green can be more valuable than a diamond.

Emerald Gemstone meaning

The emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus.  The emerald has long been the symbol of hope. It is considered by many to be the stone of prophecy. For some people, the emerald acts as a tranquilizer for a troubled mind. It is said that the emerald brings the wearer reason and wisdom. The strongest time for the powers of the emerald is said to be spring.

In several cultures, the emerald was the symbol for fertilizing rain. In the Christian faith it is the symbol of faith and hope.

Healing properties of Emerald
Emerald is used by healers to help heal the heart. The power of the Emerald is highest at the full moon.

Some cultures thought the emerald would heal any disease of the eye. The emerald would be placed in a container of water overnight and the water would be poured on the eyes the next day.

Knitted Football Fan Cozy

Emerald is a stone of great harmony, wisdom and love. Giving your lover an Emerald will bring the lover closer if the giver's motives are pure love. The Emerald can be a bridge between 2 people. The Emerald vibrates with love.

The sun sign Taurus is from April 21 - May 20 - Taurus takes its name from the Greek Tauros, meaning "the Bull."

No one is more persistence and steadfast than Taurus. Taurus usually excels at his work, because he understands the importance of method and order. Taurus has a wonderful sense of humor and often uses his humor to be the center of attention. Taurus is not aggressive, but can be stubborn and self-indulgence.

Taurus is loyal and faithful friend. As a lover, Taurus is sensual and amorous. Taurus is very fond of music.
Taurus says, "I have"

Celebrities born under the sign Taurus 
Catherine the Great
Ann Margret
Burt Bacharach
Candice Bergen
Carol Burnett
Albert Finney
Sigmund Freud
Queen Elizabeth II
Audrey Hepburn
Shirley MacLaine
Jack Nicholson
Al Pacino
Michelle Pfeiffer
Barbra Streisand
Orson Welles

Posted by Linda B, Jewelry Designer

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Finding Motivation & Creativity

Art Wood Block Print Created by Lucius Art

Lately I have been finding myself losing motivation, or creativity.  Good ol' "writer's block".  I just can't seem to get inspired to work on my jewelry or shop, the energy just doesn't seem to be there.  I have heard several others express similar troubles lately so I thought maybe there are some tips to help us all get into Spring Fever!

I think as the weather turns warmer we all have a long list of things we want to do.  All of the sudden the warmer weather means, Spring cleaning, working on the yard, getting outside to enjoy the weather and more.  This means that our energy is being depleted with all of these other tasks and we run out of energy for things indoors such as creating jewelry.

TIP #1 - Set one goal and work on ONLY that one goal.  Get focused.  When trying to multi-task on cleaning windows, to washing all the drapes, prepping the yard/garden for Spring etc.  There is a tendency to never get a single thing completed.  It is best to work on ONE goal and once that is completed move onto another goal.

TIP #2 - Find Inspiration.  So now you set a goal of working on your craft for 1 hour, but you have no inspiration and don't know where to start!  I start surfing the internet to find current trends to see if a trend is inspiring to me.  If possible creating something that is trending would be most beneficial.  I also surf through sites like Pinterest.

TIP #3 - Share your Goals and Inspiration.  By sharing your goals you are holding yourself accountable, and also by talking about things it will help get you excited.  Excitement will help energize you!  So get talkin to PFT friends about your goals!

TIP #4 - Build Anticipation.  This may sound a little odd, but set those goals, find your inspiration, start creating some excitement by talking about it but do NOT start working on it right away.  Set a time a week or two down the line, so that you have time to really build yourself up.

TIP #5 - Keep your Goal Visible.  Write it down and post on your refrigerator, think about it each day, talk about it each day, keep the goals in the front of your mind so that you won't lose site of it.

TIP #6 - Enlist the Help of Others.  Sometimes going at something alone is too overwhelming.  Invite friends over for a creating party, or go to a friends house and try to get some support on your goals.

TIP #7 -  Start Small.  Just set small goals, so you don't get overwhelmed.  For jewelry it could just be to pick out a design, not actually creating the design.  Picking out color combinations, or materials would be a nice start.

TIP #8 - STAY POSITIVE.  This one is huge.  It is so easy to get into a funk about no views, or no sales, or that you haven't created in so many days.  But that is NOT helpful.  It only brings your mood down more and will kill what little motivation, energy and creativity you have.  Stay positive.  Focus on what you can do, what the possibilities are, and dream big!  Focus on the fact that there will ALWAYS be ups and downs, and so focus on the UPS.  The downs will never last.

I hope some of this can help everyone find their creativity.  We try to do some blog challenges to get people into a creative mood, and post about current trends to help everyone find inspiration... hopefully everyone will be feeling motivated soon.

Can't wait to hear of your goals and ideas, so that we can all get excited and motivated!!

Button Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Pearl Jewelry