I'm an artist and have always wished that I could just create and not have to market my work. That's no way to sell your work though, so I've had to learn the hard way. Now I find myself in the strange position of doing nothing but marketing!
Just recently we volunteered to start up the Peace & Love market at 1000 Markets . I have a fellow manager to help, Deb of Baubles Buttons Beads and we also had the design and marketing help of Mem at Mem's Pocket Palette . Once we got approval to start the market process it was just the three of us working on it.
We spent hours on the phone. Deb had a full time outside job and Mem was setting up a second shop of her own and squeezed in working on the markets banners and collection photos.
I did a lot of the grunt work at the puter as we set up the home page, policy and about page, forum and collections. We brought in Lee of Abelee's Handcrafted to take care of the blog. We started strategizing on marketing as we brought the founding members in.
We then added JJ of Painted Bull to act as another sales manager. Some of our strategy was to keep our merchants informed of all the steps we were taking. It really helps to know what the plan is and how it will promote your business. Besides that we've networked, twittered, stumbled, joined groups, joined webrings, blogged, set up a sister website as a portal (thanks SiteKreator for sponsering our site!) , contacted people to link into us, responded to hundreds of messages and emails, set up meetings with web consultants, studied up on search engine optimization and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
We've done all this in 3 weeks...from approval to begin, to where we are now. We are at the top of google searches for peace love market and peace love fan club. We've had 172 hits in 72 hours on our fan club site. It's not massive, but really good for a brand new website.
Granted, it's a full time job for me and the rest of the Golden Team. But we have enthusiastic support from all our merchants and, thankfully, understanding families. I cannot believe all that we have learned in the last three weeks! And the best thing of all is that I just love being a market manager...it's a time thief, that's for sure, and sometimes we're all running on empty, but it's ever so rewarding and will only get more so as our merchants become successful.
Next on my list? Time management!Sue