The best marketing plan for as little money as possible

scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
edited April 2006 in Marketing
I`m so new and do not have much to spend on advertising.  I`ve tried reading about the google adsense, but honestly, it`s still very confusing to me. I`ve developed craft furniture and organizers that I believe many people would like, but trying to get the word out without spending a fortune is very hard to do.  I tried goinng to PRweb and writing a press release but they came back and basically laughed at what I wrote... I tried re-writing it using some tips I read about, but it came back again stating it wasn`t long enough.  It`s been frustrating.  I did email an editor with CK Magazine about  a week ago, but haven`t heard anything.  I`d love to hear some great ideas that aren`t too expensive. 
Thanks
«1

Comments

  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Scrappy,Have you heard of e-mail marketing? I hope now that you ventured into your own business you have an email and contacts database of all your customer`s right? The best advertisement for cheap, and take my word on it is called having a copy of MS Publisher on your computer, and a KINKO`s card. (if you don`t feel like using up the ink on your printer).Secondly create nice flyers with your information on them, At Kinko`s you can print copy`s for less than 5 cents a copy or go to a near printing place and ask them how much is it to print flyers or to use thier printer. Finally, Goto Malls, Super Market Parking Lots, Business Parking Lots, and just distribute your flyers.This works good when you are on a budget, also if you`d like I have a search engine optimization tool that can work for you and I can let you test drive it free for 90 days.If you like it then we would go from there.email me at: [email protected]</A>
    if you`d like more info
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
    Edgar,
    Thanks for the input!! For me, it`s a matter of `making` a flyer that looks good...  (not cheap) I`ve tried to put some flyers together, but they just did not look very good. I`m still working on this one...
    I have not spent any money (except for the advertisement on my car) on advertising.  I just feel overwhelmed and don`t want to `waste` what little I have on something that doesn`t work for me.
    Here`s what I`ve done so far. 
    There are 3 Forums that are very popular in Scrapbooking.  You are not supposed to advertise on the boards, but, if someone was asking for a specific way to organize something, I`d send them a private message and told them who I was (not giving my site address) and asked if they wanted more info or my site, to email me back) well, just doing this, I`ve about 280 people on my newsletter database from all over the US.  I`m averaging (since Jan 06) about $500 a month in gross sales - and this past wknd rec`d a $2500 order.
    One of these sites offers a $250 spot on their newsletter.  They have about 19000 members... this sounded pretty reasonable to me.  They also offered to put my banner on their site for that same amount.  So, which is better? 
    I`d love more input...
    Thanks
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Marcy (scarppy)
    I believe you are relatively new here and may not have seen forum entries from a member called "ScrapBizKim". She is a scrapbook industry consultant and someone I believe you should contact if she doesn`t (or hasn`t contacted you already from this post) see this post. Do a member search for "ScrapBizKim".
    She appears to have a lot of contacts and followers in your industry. Might be a great network resource.
    Her website is www.scrapbiz.com</A> andher blog address is scrapbiz.blogspot.kim - check her out and contact her - I`ll bet that as a SuN member, she will help where she can.
    [email protected]
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Marcy,
    A couple of more comments I thought about after posting my last entry to this thread.
    You have to communicate to market. Your marketing plan must communicate your idea, product, service, offering. How and what you communicate is key. Talking is not communicating. Making a presentation is not communicating. Relaying important information is not communicating.
    You are only communicating when you are connecting. You are only connecting when you are communicating. Learning how to do this will take more of your time and more work from you ... it is worth the effort.
    Learn to paint a picture with your words. Use stories of past successes - even if they are few from being a new business. Use them over and over again. Describe in VIVID detail what you do for your customers. Think from the point of view of why an existing customer writes you a check.
    Imagine yourself on an airplane and someone asks you what you do. You`re not trying to make a sell. You`re just describing why people write you checks for your products and services. Describe this in vivid detail. Tell the story. Plain and simple.
    Marketing is not brain surgery. It all starts with you and your story and how you communicate it. You may think at this moment you can`t do this but with practice, you can.
    [email protected]
  • VickiJVickiJ subscriber Posts: 6
    Richard, I`m not sure I understand this part of your post. How do I learn to "connect"?
    ... Talking is not communicating. Making a presentation is not communicating. Relaying important information is not communicating.
    You are only communicating when you are connecting. You are only connecting when you are communicating. Learning how to do this will take more of your time and more work from you ... it is worth the effort.
     
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Vicki,
    It all goes back to painting a vivid picture in the mind of the person (audience) you are communicating to. We are all taught from an early age to talk. What happened when you said your first words as a baby? Your mom told everyone and the more you talked, the more she and others told you to talk and the more they commended you with each and every additional word. As we grow, we think talking is good. We start to just talk and not communicate.
    You connect by painting those vivid pictures in the mind. The best business leaders are story tellers. They describe in vivid detail everything so employees and clients alike get the picture and relate it to whatever the goal is - maybe better productivity or maybe separating the client from his money.
    Connecting is practicing great ways to answer quesitions such as:
    "Yes, and let me tell you why ...." or "No, and let me tell you why not." And even "I don`t know ...."
    Deliver specifics. Stay away from communication killers. Stop being vague. Stop using qualifiers such as:
    Somewhat - For the most part - As far as I know - Pretty much.
    And never, never, never use the word, "Bascially"
    Focus on good stories and you will learn to connect and commuicate better.
    Hope this helped.
    [email protected]
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
    Richard,
    Wow... I guess I need to hire someone to `talk` for me... I`m a good ole southern girl that (sadly) was afraid to take speech in school.  I don`t mind talking in front of others now, but it`s very difficult for me.  I tend to say too many `ummmm` while I speak. I stress myself out just (thinking) about not trying to say ummmm Do you have some suggestions on books to read, or sites to visit to help with this?
    Thanks Marcy
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Macry,
    A couple of quick suggestions:
    If you haven`t been through the Toastmasters course, excellent - highly recommend it for anyone. Fear of speaking is more feared than death. Find a club in your town at their website: http://www.toastmasters.org/</A>
    There are lots of commuication/speaking gurus out there with great websites - Google them - check `em out. Follow the ones you like.Sign up for their newsletters - let them "push" their knowledge and experience to you.
    Visit www.powerpotentials.com</A> - Meryl Runion. Great books by her - Speak Strong and others - highly recommend. Good newsletter, too. Brief but good content every issue.
    Practice, practice, practice. We southerners are the world`s worst about talking about nothing (I include myself in that group
    Later - [email protected]
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
    Kim,
    Thanks for posting and giving me such great input!  I have been in contact with Andrea at Scrapjazz.com and plan on doing something with her in the next month.  I wasn`t sure if a banner or one of her other advertising options would be better.  If I were to go with the Banner, I`m not sure people would know that `Scrapbook Space Station` sells furniture... so I was thinking that maybe an ad in her newsletter may be more beneficial... what do you think?
    As for Blogs.  You are talking to someone who just learned how to upload pictures.  I tried creating a blog in yahoo, and failed miserably!  I finally created a blog of some sort through msn, but there are things on the site (like other peoples emails that I do not want on there, and am not sure how to get it off)  If you know of a `very` easy blog to create, please let me know.
    >>> what do you mean by : >>> Hold a contest with some of your furniture as the prize -  The buzz will get you a ton of mileage.  Good news like that spreads like a grass fire in August on the scrapbook MBs. <<<
    Mainly, what do you mean? how would I advertise that? do you mean when I advertise with scrapjazz, post a contest with the advertisement? And, what kind of contest? or better, how about a drawing, for all who subscribe to the newsletter? OR... if I put together a blog, have people submit LO??? or would that take up too much space?
    Also, I have a press release done (actually, a very kind person on the boards wrote it for me) where (who) do I send it to?
    Thanks and I look forward to chatting with you more...
    Marcy
     
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Mike ,
    "Richard is a tough act to follow."  I`ll take that as a compliment - thank you! Seriously, all the comments on SuN are great. This forum provides an excellent opportunity to all who participate (and those on the fringes looking in) to learn through communication. It`s not a contest. Maybe I have some experience and knowledge some "newbies" don`t have but hey, I was there one day long ago. Why do I participate? I may have experience and knowledge in my chosen field, but I am not too old or to confident to think I still can not learn - even from a 14 year old who started an online chair business and took it to a $15 million company. Or that I can not learn from you, Mike, or Scrappy, or the hundreds of others on this forum. Plus, it`s fun to payback and pay it forward - you just never know
    Back to painting vivid pictures to your audiences and "ummmmmmms."
    This is why I suggested Toastmasters. I do not know anyone who has completed the CTM program (Competent Toastmaster - total of 10 speeches) and by the end has not figured out how to eliminate the "ummmmmmmms" from their speaking. It works. It is practice. It is peer evaluation. It is positive reinforcement. It`s being around people working on the same issues. It builds confidence. And I believe nothing can help your business and personal career better than learning to communicate better. As you learn to speak better, your writing becomes better. Your marketing presentations become better. Your one-on-one discussions become better. You become better at painting that vivid picture and quicker. You learn to speak on your feet.
    Just one piece of the overall package needed to be a successful business person. And when you boil it all down, it ain`t brain surgery. As Nike says, "Just Do It!"
    [email protected] 
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Marcy,
    I just had a thought. I like the name of your company, Scrapbook Space Station. It works for the ever-growing scrapbooking industry. On your site, you make mention that your workstations are great for: the sewing room, jewerly making, teachers room, arts & crafts, and the fly fisherman ... and I would add the gun collector, the graphic designer, etc.
    I think the name Scrapbook Space Station may be too constrictive. It works for that one industry, but man, your market is wide open. You might need to develop another site and secure another name for the other uses.
    Haven`t done any research on names - but off the top of my head:
    Nook and Cranny or Every Nook and Cranny or something along those lines.
    Ponder for a while and maybe start another thread for input from the forum.
    Later - [email protected]
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8

    Marcy,
    I just had a thought. I like the name of your company, Scrapbook Space Station. It works for the ever-growing scrapbooking industry. On your site, you make mention that your workstations are great for: the sewing room, jewerly making, teachers room, arts & crafts, and the fly fisherman ... and I would add the gun collector, the graphic designer, etc.
    I think the name Scrapbook Space Station may be too constrictive. It works for that one industry, but man, your market is wide open. You might need to develop another site and secure another name for the other uses.
    Haven`t done any research on names - but off the top of my head:
    Nook and Cranny or Every Nook and Cranny or something along those lines.
    Ponder for a while and maybe start another thread for input from the forum.
    Later - [email protected]

    It`s so weird that you mentioned this because it`s something I do plan to do but it takes money which I don`t have right now to develop another website... When I was at the Southern Women`s Show, I had a man approach me who was VP of a mktg firm and said that I could also sell to the dental industry... with all the compartments under the cabinet etc... or the paper organizers would be great for a doctors office... the problem is trying to find the person to talk to about this.  Most Dental offices have a no solicitation policy so where do you go? who do you try to contact?  It`s questions like this I feel if they were answered it could open up a whole new world for me... so if anyone here has some suggestions... I`d love to hear them.
    I do agree with `knowing` your product will give you confidence in speaking about it... I have no problem speaking about my products, where I have problems is when people start talking `business talk` I believe, I will have to at some point take some courses on business.  I do not have a degree.  I went to college full time for 1year (basically, they were all basic courses) then we dicided to put hubby through school and then just as he was finishing up I got pregnant... I know that`s no excuse, but it just didn`t seem possible at the time.  But now, I could attempt it I think taking some classes would help me alot! 
    Of course, this forum is a huge help!  Thanks again for all your input!
    Marcy
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
    Marcy, some great advice you`ve been getting in this post.  (Some days I feel as if I know nothing about anything after reading so many of my fellow SuN contributors` thoughts and advice).The organizational idea would be a great pitch to submit to Martha Stewart`s magazine editors.Also, classes may help to develope some business knowledge, but your passion for your business is probably so engaging to those listening to you that people will just naturally want to share their experiences with you...and honestly, it`s like you are attending SuN University right now.
    Yes, I`ve learned so much from just 2 posts on this forum!  it`s wonderful! 
    Now to implement them into my business...
  • scrappyscrappy subscriber Posts: 8
    Kim,
    I`ll be submitting an article with scrapjazz.com.  It will go out May 22nd.  I`m so excited! I have someone helping me with the article... my writing skills are not the best  The person tweaking the article for me said I should have the contest on the article as a `link` that will send them to my site where the rules are laid out.  I don`t have a place on the site for this so I told her that she would have to somehow make it work... Is it bad to put the contest details on the article?   I thought about the Layout contest, but I don`t have the computer space nor time to really take the time in looking at individual Layouts, so I came up with this... tell me what you think: (I`d love to hear others opinions too)
    I fill up one of my paper organizers like this one... and count how many papers there are... The contest would be the 1st to get the correct amount or the 1st to get closest without going over, wins the paper organizer... what do you all think?  This way I`m dealing with numbers only... And, in order to be eligible they have to sign up for the free monthly newsletter...
  • GunaGuna subscriber Posts: 2
    Marcy,
    Check this post and think about purchasing some keywords. Something like this will pay off a handful down the road. Get on something like this when it is just small. This will help people like yourself with low budget to get started. Search engines like links and this will help for that too.
    ?TID=339&TPN=1
    or
    http://www.oozm.com</A>
    Good luck.
    -Guna
Sign In or Register to comment.