The wife and I finally took all the beads we've been storing and opened a small area inside a local craft shop.
This little shop is like an indoor flea market. Right now the hours have just changed to being open on Friday thru Sunday because the owner has had a family concern. Anyway, back to my main topic.
I'm trying to figure out ways to get the message out that we have put in this "bead shop" area in there. We have had some business cards made and have started a facebook page. I would like to get some ideas how to get some more advertising ideas.
Sort of depends on where you are.........but if you are in a touristy area, look for local magazines that highlight attractions. People pick them up and take them home with them, so maybe a visit while they are there and maybe a followup order. Local newspapers. Chamber of Commerce. This is just off the top of my head. Does the shop you are in do any advertising? You might be able to add your spiel to theirs for a nominal amount of $$$. DMZ
We live in Robinson,Tx right next to Waco. Of course the only thing that made us touristy at all was the Branch Dividian news 10 years ago or so.
As far as their advertising, I didn't even realize they were there until we passed by one day and I happened to see the shop. They also have a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Treasure-Palace/309520919171189 but nothing else. They have talked about getting a group together to put out an ad in a weekly circular, but nothing has come about with that.
I am going to have some car magnet signs made up and put those on (might then have to spend some time around the local craft stores). I'm thinking about making up a website that will feature what we carry there, might "accidentally" get a few google searches find us if they search for beads in the Robinson,TX or Waco,TX area.
The wife wanted to shoot me a few days ago. I told her that I had ordered about 6,000 strands of beads to really fill up the little area we have there (the space we have is only 100 sq ft so you can imagine what that is going to look like). She told me I should have waited until we started getting people in there to buy. My thought is that if they come and see a lot of empty spaces, they may not return, but if it is really full, it might get them talking. Now I just have to find a way to get them in to see what we have.
This is a pic of what they show on their timeline of one of our racks with a lot more to come https://www.facebook.com/pages/Treasure-Palace/309520919171189#!/photo.php?fbid=387336918056255&set=a.320903828032898.1073741828.309520919171189&type=1&theater
I'm with Donna on the local newspapers, a small ad in it. Also, if you want to make up flyers, some local supermarkets have community bulletin boards. Another idea, if there are smaller diners in the areas, go see what type of placemats they have. We put a small ad on a placemat with many other, cost was about 200 for the YEAR (or until they run out). But it did bring a lot in. People read placemats in small diners. They also read the notices on community bulletin boards. Perhaps put together a beginners beading class. Free for the first few months, say a bracelet and earrings set for the upcoming holidays? No charge for that class, but they would have to purchase any supplies they don't bring on their own. After a time, perhaps set up a UFO night, or afternoon, or what ever time you have available. You'll basically be starting a beading ring. By the time you get in the supplies you'll need, and get ads made and flyers out, the season will be a lot sooner then you think. It won't matter at that point if only one or two people show up. If it takes off then by spring, you can start offering more advanced classes and charge for them. Perhaps the shop owner has a little space you could use for free, on the chance this could really take off? Just be careful you aren't using some one else patterns, unless you contact them and work it out with them first.
For cheaper advertising, look at school newsletters, and local craft groups who have newsletters. Community or surburban newspapers might also be an option?
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Thanks for the great ideas.
I second the idea of placemats. We had a customer come in with one of our placemat ads that a neighbor had brought home for her. Check if the local hardware store, etc. do flyers. We had a company that did placemats and bag stuffers and take out menus with ads of local businesses. None of them were very expensive and they always paid for themselves. Do a press release about your business for the local papers, especially if you can tie it in with some kind of activity, classes, charity, or something.
6,000 strands? Sheesh - you're going to need a bigger space! LOL
Apache Junction, AZ
Great to hear from you Deb.
So how does it go in retirement?
That's kind of what my Deb said. 6,000 strands, where are we going to put all those?
I figured we'd just lay them around on the floor in boxes. :)
If there are any local craft shows / craft fairs coming up in your area this fall at churches, high schools etc. you should attend and walk around passing out business cards / flyers to people selling their jewelry at these shows...maybe offer a discount to first time shoppers. That is how I found about a new LBS in my area a couple of years ago. I know our local newspaper has a column once a week about new shops, restaurants etc. opening in the area. If your local paper has something like that, you can contact the person who writes the column and let them know about your shop and maybe send a picture - especially after you get all those new beads in!!! Make sure your friends all have a bunch of your business cards and ask them to pass them out if they are at any events where folks are selling their jewelry. Beaders really like to support their LBS so keep putting the word out and they will find you.
I think Ricki's idea about targeting local craft shows and fairs to network with area jewelry designers is smart. It seems to me like the best use of your time and resources is to find ways to advertise to your target market - people who like to work with beads. While you may get some new people interested in dabbling with beads through the other means of advertising, your ideal customers are probably people who are already committed beaders.
I would definitely encourage you to get a website - I think this is a must for businesses to look legitimate in the current consumer climate. Besides, if you build the site with SEO in mind and have Google crawl it, it can definitely help people find you.
I work on Sundays at my favorite local bead store. We got a big influx of business from a Groupon Coupon. We offered a basic earring class at a very low price. And had more than 700 replies! I can't think of a more efficient way to actually get 700 interested people inside a store. Your space may not have room for classes, but you might think of some other offer. People love a bargain!
You could always try the local craigslist page. If there are other bead or craft stores maybe you could advertise there on an exchange basis. We only have one real bead store here in Pittsburgh, Pa and I only learned about them by googling bead stores. Good luck, I hope you have great success!
First, congrats on your undertaking; forgive me if I sound like I'm rambling...that's how I think :)
One, you'll need signage to let the people know that you are there, especially if it's not something they can tell from the street or without coming in.
Make up a few pieces, take pictures and put them on display in the storefront window; you could use them as flyers to post at local markets, libraries, schools or give to moms, for a blurb in your free paper or free online classifieds.
If you have enough of a working area (or maybe even on the sidewalk), consider a small scale event you could have on Saturdays that wouldn't interfere with the larger store's business, like a make and take for kids, or a Mom and me kinda thing...or a mini class: buy the supplies and learn to make something small and simple on the spot, maybe?
If the business district / block has special events, plug into them; nearby festivals, promotions.
Hope those suggestions are helpful :)
Thanks all. I was just notified yesterday that I needed to get there and restock because people are going crazy over them.
I had done the Craig's list. I went onto yellowpages and posted a free ad there. Posted on FB of course (it's in my signature below). I've made up business cards and been handing those out. Left business cards in our booth area for others to take and hand out to friends and family. Going to have car magnet signs mades. We are going to make up flyers and post in local restaurants, markets, and such. So many great suggestions, that we've used from here that things seem to be picking up already.