Monday Marketing: The Holidays are Coming!!

I just did the following post for Handmadeology, as I am doing a series on niche marketing. And…in the 24 hours since it was completed, I have sold a basket and done a $100 order on Etsy. I can’t emphasize enough the need to plan ahead for this buying season. I was freaking out because I hadn’t done any planning, so I used the blog post as my think tank. It worked really well. Hopefully you will find some use for this post, and you can read the previous posts in niche marketing.

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 7

Can the Holidays Be Far Behind?

Part 1: Niche Markets

Part 2: What is your wackiest marketing idea?

Part 3:  Getting out there

Part 4:  Have you done your newsletter?

Part 5: Your Newsletter Revisited

Part 6: Packaging and Displays – Field Trip Time!

 

I am sitting here on September, nearly panicking because I don’t have my plans done for this coming holiday season. Actually, this is good, because for the last few years I have missed the holiday season completely. Teaching always got in the way, and the next thing I know, it’s a week after Cyber Monday. I am bound and determined not to let that happen this year.

I’m using this post to think through my plan, so you can see exactly where I’m going with ideas, and I sure hope you join in with additional ideas. As you read through these, you’ll probably notice these are basic marketing tasks, not just for a niche market.

* I need to set goals for this holiday shopping season, so I can start the actual planning.

– My newsletter will have specials each month with a holiday theme. The newsletter that went out last week advertised a new pattern for a table runner that would make an easy gift for     a  holiday hostess.

– The Etsy shop will be stocked to the brim with a variety of items: small quilts,   large quilts, patterns, pattern kits, marbled fabrics, ribbons, gift baskets. We are  up to almost 40 items at this point, with another 10 to be added in this weekend.

– I will sell at least 10 gift baskets of marbled fabric goodies (I aimed for 5 last year  and actually made it). I need to get supplies for these and begin the handcrafted bowls – perfect task for watching television at night.

– I will determine a nonprofit to receive a percentage of sales for this holiday  season. This involves looking locally, deciding on a percentage, before/after      shipping, and how to advertise this.

–  I will create a marketing plan that includes website, blog, Facebook business page, newsletter, personal email contacts, and anything else that comes to mind.

* Thoughts on actual marketing:

– I will determine coupon/discount specials for the newsletter, the FB page, and the Etsy store for each month, starting now.

– I will create long-term coupons to go in all mailings and gift baskets.

– I will sketch out what needs to be accomplished during each month, prior to Thanksgiving Black Friday.

– I will continue to create product for the Etsy store so that I do not run out before the beginning of December.

– I will check for all packaging/mailing supplies and stock up during sales.

– I will investigate the new Promotesy as a way of increasing my visibility during the holiday season by connecting all my social media profiles together. Certainly  the price is right, and I want to track how it does for me in bringing more traffic to my store.

* Each month:

– September: clothesline for fabric bowls, create at least 3; marble fabric for gift    baskets; complete Etsy inventory for this month; start listing what still needs to be marbled for other goodies; newsletter special.

– October: three new fabric bowls; check on nonprofit and determine accounting   for discounts; marbling for new products; new pattern up on Etsy; newsletter  special.

– November: plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday; three more fabric bowls; marbling new fabric; new pattern up on Etsy; newsletter specials and reminders about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales; determine last day to ship in December to be sure items arrive.

December: last sale newsletters; last fabric bowls; complete last-minute marbling; last shipments.

So that’s thoughts to get us started. I would love to hear what you would like to add to these ideas. I’ll share everything that comes in, and let’s keep each other on track for a good holiday season!

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