Monday Marketing – Restarting the Engines

It’s Monday, week four into retirement, and I’ve been getting lots of loose ends accomplished on the home front. But the biggest is starting to attack what I want to do in marketing the business. It’s probably a good thing I have been thinking on this, as I need to answer a very big question first – just what do I want to accomplish for Marble-T Design, as well as my personal art goals? I can’t really start marketing successfully and fruitfully until I make some of these decisions.

I have started a list of some potential galleries and shows I would like to enter, but I find myself asking “is that really the route I want to go?” I probably should have looked seriously at this a long time ago, but, hey, school got in the way. And since Marble-T Design is 17 years old and in a new phase, I should probably also consider what we’ve done in the past and what was successful.

We’ve actually been on line with our website since 1997. We were some of the earliest in e-commerce, without even realizing it. I went through a bunch of computer programs to get the original site up, starting with Pagemill. Eventually I realized I needed to turn the design over to a professional, and Saltwater Systems has handled that beautifully over the last seven years. And we had a much wider line of products available – close to 12 sampler packages. we did a lot more marbling in our large tray, as well as a lot more custom work.

So that’s part of the “thinking” I need to do. More large trays? More shows? More product? Classes and workshops again? Just where are we taking this business? I need to be honest in my thinking about the future. Marbling in the large tray is very tiring as we have gotten older, and with the price of cotton and carrageenan going up, prices will have to go up.

Whew…..that’s a lot of questions to answer. Once again, starting to write is helping me focus on the bigger picture. So I need to start….

What do I really want to do with my art and my business? I want to make art, no question about it. I would like to sell my art, whether it be on line or actually in some galleries. I think  I am realizing I don’t want to do a lot of shows. I do have enough on my resume to show the work has been accepted, but I will probably only look at two or three a year. As for the actual business, I want to be able to bring in a certain amount of money each month to help with traveling during retirement. I’m starting with the idea of $500 additional a month, and moving from there.

That means looking seriously at outlets. Ebay has been steady, but I would like it to do more. So we need to marble more pieces and packages. I have sold a few pieces of fabric on Etsy, but this needs to be seriously marketed. We’ve been selling on Ebay for probably 7 years and we have a good steady family of customers, but I want it to generate more sales.

I haven’t really looked seriously at marketing my work on Etsy, and I think with the TAFA List, I can make a good start. So I think at this point a goal for this week is to list potential products for Etsy and read everything I can about Etsy and The Textile and Fiber Arts List.

The other big thing is we are a sponsor for The Sketchbook Challenge for July, and probably for a few months after that. This will drive more traffic to our website, The Art of Fabric. This means getting the site updated and ready for additional traffic in July. So also this week is spending time learning Dreamweaver to take care of a lot of small changes that will update the site.

THIS WEEK:

Finish Dreamweaver class for making changes to my website

Make the changes to the website

Etsy products, increased Ebay ideas

Reading about Etsy selling and developing strategies

Reading through everything on The Textile and Fiber Arts List and developing concrete plans

I’m interested in the thoughts of those of you selling on line – favorite sites? Suggestions? Pitfalls?

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One Response to “Monday Marketing – Restarting the Engines”

  • Whew! You do have a full plate! These times of re-organizing demand a lot of work, but they can also be very exciting. New doors open, tired ones close.

    As you work on this, feel free to reach out for help when you need it. We have our Etsy forum, which I would like to see be much more active than it is, and then there are all of our fans of facebook. They can both be used to throw out ideas and see what reactions you get.

    Here are a couple that just came to mind:

    Think of having some commercial things made from your best work: cards, mouse pads, etc. Take a look at Zazzle and see if that would be fit for you. I am thinking of doing that for myself as well.

    I have found that I best on Etsy when I have a full shop. Aim for having at least three pages of products. Give people a selection. That is true on eBay as well. I had a store there for many years and closed it about a year ago.

    Make lists of these things that you mention in your post, a different page for each theme and write the positives on one side and the negatives on the other (two columns). Just let them sit there for awhile and mull them over. It doesn’t matter which side is longer, one will just have more weight. Either it will be exciting or it will feel heavy.

    That’s it! Keep up the good energy and I hope that all falls into place for you!

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