Thursday, 3 March 2016

Five (mostly) free ways to promote your business

We all know that it’s not enough to have our products for sale online, we have to actively promote them. But how do we do this without spending a fortune? Here are five ways to promote your business without spending money on advertising


  1. Using social media effectively
Social media is a great tool to promote your business but to drive your business forward you need to use it efficiently and effectively. Here are a couple of ways you can do this





Check what’s working
You can do this on your facebook business page by accessing your page and clicking on ‘insights’. This shows you, amongst other things, how many people saw your post and engaged with it. See if you can spot a pattern. Do you get more engagement when you share videos? When you ask questions? Is there a time of day that is better to post? You need to check and use this information to make your posts more effective


Scheduling
Use a scheduling tool to set up posts to publish in advance. My favourite tool for this is buffer which allows you to schedule posts for facebook, twitter, linkedin and google+ for free. Remember, if you are selling online you have the opportunity of a global marketplace so schedule some posts in the middle of the night to see if you get responses from other countries.


2. Offer a freebie on a popular blog
There are a number of really popular blogs out there on fashion, make-up, lifestyle etc. Do some research about which your customers are most likely to be reading and approach the blog editor. See if you can provide a competition prize of a piece of jewellery or a set in return for a feature on the blog. OK, so technically not free, it is an affordable way to increase traffic to your website, facebook page etc.





3. Pinning your work on pinterest
Pinterest is a great tool for collecting ideas and inspiration but you can also use it for promoting your products. People visit pinterest to buy and research in 2015 showed that pinners average spend is higher than other social media channels. Pinners often use pinterest to plan their buying and to save the items they want to buy so they can find them again.
You can capitalise on this by
  • making it easy for people to pin your products by having the pin it button on your website
  • pinning your own items on pinterest, ensuring that you are linking to a place the customer can buy from e.g. your website or a third party site like etsy or folksy. Make sure you include all the product information in the pin description



4. Running a jewellery party
I spoke to a regular jewellery school student who ran one jewellery party before christmas and ended up with a large number of orders, including 90 pairs of stud earrings! Either organise it yourself or ask a friend with a lot of connections if they would be willing to host a party. Usually you provide some refreshments and have samples of your work for people to order from. Make sure you get organised and take all the details you need from your customers and be clear about when items can be ready by.



Image from Bling Rocks



5. Approaching a local paper for a feature
I teach the PR for your jewellery business course and we discuss ways to be featured in the press. One of the first things I suggest is trying local papers and publications as they are always on the lookout for local interest stories. Find out who the editor is and prepare a short description of your business and your development, highlighting that you are local. Contact them directly by email if you can (phone the newspaper office to get the email address if it isn’t listed in the paper) and send through a couple of good quality shots of your work. If they are featuring your they will probably also want a photo of you!


What innovative ways have you found to promote your business? Please share what has worked for you by making a comment on this post




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