Jan 26, 2011

Promotions, Free Advertising & Building Your Brand

What is your brand? Knowing that is the jumping off point for all future advertising and promotion.

As I've said before, a consistent logo is key to identifying with customers. Something clear to see that somehow ties in with your store or name is ideal. I chose a turquoise teapot because it was one color (easy to view), a color that has strong vintage associations, and photographed cleanly. I don't offer that teapot-but it's similar to what I do offer and customers remember it.

Vintage Mechanical Valentine by Wonderdiva
An unforgettable avatar: she looks like her username!

I consider that teapot my logo. It is THE identity of Nachokitty. In order for it to work as my branding, I need to keep the same across Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, my business cards and the cards I include in every package.

Once you have a clear identity established, be consistent. I don't recommend using one name for your user id and different shop name on your banner. Customers can't search for you under that banner ad name, but it is the largest text on the page in most cases, calling out, Look at Me! Remember Me!

Vintage Enamel Daisy Set by Jenscloset
Her avatar is a small piece of this banner-excellent tie in

Okay, so you know who you are and how you want to be remembered. How will you get your name out there-not just once, but over and over again?  Marketers have studied human behavior for eons and one thing is sure-viral marketing works best. Meaning, word of mouth.

1940's Toy Sewing Machine by tparty
Great logo. Ties into username & matches banner

This is where your single most effective FREE tool comes in. Treasuries. You find things you like, you post them and notify the sellers. What could be easier? Yet it's a free tool most of us aren't paying enough attention to. If people like the treasury, they'll likely check out your store. Now that we have activity feed, I am able to watch activity spike after certain treasuries are created. My New Years business resolution was to make 1-2 a day.

Vintage Tea Length Nightgown by FancyPantsAndMore
Excellent avatar-ties right in with the product line & it's very eye catching

Other forms of free or low cost promotion: Facebook and Twitter. To boost my numbers on Facebook, I paid for an ad. It was cheap. It brought in hundreds of people. Now I have a core audience I can advertise directly to, involve by asking questions, and use as my word of mouth advertisers. You certainly don't need to pay for an ad-I see plenty of Etsy sellers with strong Facebook pages who didn't. It was just a quick way to get where I wanted to be.

There are other ways to promote that we'll discuss another time. Brand your store, use the tools that are free, and promote yourself. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.


mary said...

Nice post! I'm working on a new logo package, but will keep a little something from my current one (color or font).

LuAnn @ Back Home Again said...

Great timing. I've been wanting to change it up a bit with a new banner and look but am worried about the cost and loosing an audience that recognizes me. Any ideas?

ImSoVintage said...

great post, Heidi. one of my plans for the new year was to look into a facebook ad and now I am going to do it.

Laine said...

What a great article. Thanks so much for the feature. It took me a long time and several avatars before I found the one I felt actually fit my line.

As far as FB ads, I have done them in the past with great results and will be doing more in the future. For my ads on FB I actually use one of my products, as they won't allow my avatar. But, that worked. Both times the product I featured sold within the first day or two of the ad. So they do work.

Thanks again! Laine

JenZee09's 201Treasures Etsy Shop said...

Great article indeed! In have always found your simple, yet beautiful teapot striking and know when you post, comment, etc without thinking about it for even a moment.
Oh how I wish I could change my shop name to match my inventory....but Etsy wont allow it. Sigh!

Nachokitty said...

LuAnn @ Back Home Again said...
Great timing. I've been wanting to change it up a bit with a new banner and look but am worried about the cost and loosing an audience that recognizes me. Any ideas?

LuAnn, I like your banner a lot. Your shop looks great! But I would tie your avatar in with the banner. The avatar makes me think of sewing and the banner makes me think of vintage. They need a connection in my humble opinion! :)

CranberryManor said...

Very nice post - very informative - thank you!

Sarah said...

I've been wrestling with my avatar from day one. I am currently using my brick & mortar shop sign as my avatar & the rooster in my banner; however, I'm not sure if it connects as well as something else might. Would it be possible for you to look at mine & offer any advice? I just need a seasoned seller's eye. It would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Nachokitty said...

Sarah, I love your banner. It's clean, sharp and to the point. Very vintage & very charming. I would just play around with cropping a part of the rooster and using him as your avatar. Same coloring and same style would be instantly recognizable.

Susan from The T-Cozy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As always, wonderful post Heidi! I have work to do too!


Sarah said...

Thank you Nachokitty! I was afraid you'd tell me that as that was my original plan. But I couldn't get it to fit into the space properly. However, it is advice well taken. I am now motivated to nurture my "techie" side and figure it out!!!

nora - treasurehuntvintage said...

Great article, as always. I chose the VW bus MANY years ago, more for fun than anything. But it STUCK. LOL. Since I have 3 shops, and each has its own niche, I unify all 3 shops using the color PURPLE. It's still a work in progress.

Bird-in-Hand, Laurie said...

Thank you! I needed help with this. I'm always changing things around because I get bored but realize that consistency is important. Appreciate this post!

Vicki said...

Thank you for some very helpful tips on building my "brand" and marketing it. Terrific post.
Kowgirl Kitsch

nicole said...

Very interesting as I've been thinking for quite some time to change my banner and avataar so my cheerleader can rest her arms... Thanks for this article. And the procrastinating goes on!

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Thank you for mentioning me in this informative post! Brand building comes naturally to me as I was a graphic designer for 24 years. I'd be happy to help out any team member who needs design guidance.