Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 2: Getting All Sneaky and Stuff

Brought to us thanks to Bill at Artists Center

Day 2 Getting All Sneaky and Stuff

Objective: Check out your competition

Today you should at least know what you're trying to get the world to buy and where your stuff fits in the bazillion things calling out to us.

But guess what? Even though you know all that stuff right now you're just another grain of sand in the desert. All those other things that fill stores or are made by people like you, are screaming for attention...that is your competition.

This next step...

we're going to go under cover and spy on those who dare to tempt the folks who might want your stuff.

So let's get our Ninja suites on and head out for a little recon.
But wait... just who or what are we going to check out?

Other artists?....that'd be a maybe because "other artists" takes us back to the universe we talked about yesterday.
There's a lot of them out there it might be better to aim for those evil ones who are doing really well so well they recycled their card board box in exchange for a cozy place in a nice neighborhood. Oh...and they also no longer have to work out of their mom's garage, 'cause they have a spacious cool studio.

What are we looking for?

Well, we know that you don't have much direct competition because of that narrow little specialty you do, but there are lots of others like the guy I just profiled above who has been doing something right...the point of this mission is to scope him out so you can find out just what his tricks are. are going to steal them.

Well...not really.  You are going to adapt them to your business!

If he makes pots really nice pots and they are flying off his shelves with hardly a blink from buyers, take a look at what he's doing, nab on of the buyers and ask them why they were so quick to buy.

It might be that:

Every buyer got a coupon for another pot to add a set

  • So you create a collector's club that offers a percentage off or a free pot once a buyer owns X amount of your pots.

He talked to his buyers and they all felt like taking him out for a beer;

  • You have music in your booth or offer wine at your gallery showing along with great snacks.

It might be because he arranged his stuff in a way that let people see options like building a set.

  • You arrange your pots in sets and price them to sell for less as a set than sold separately.
  • To really spice it up have a few photos sitting around that show how others used your pots.
  1. Take out your favorite writing tools and make a list of your competitors.
  2. Describe what you think they are doing that you can adapt to your business.
  3. Read what you have written and try to consolidate it into descriptions and action statements that describe what, how and when you will use the information you have just gathered.
Do the same for any large evil chain store that competes with you, remember that lady who whined that she could" do better at Walmart".
So, everyone, this is what I have come up with.  Please feel free to share anything you have as well!!  :D

Competitors:  ok, I have some ideas.  I won't name any names. ;)

What I think they are doing:  
  • getting their name out there and recognized
  • creating a following through networking, distribution lists (emailing upcoming shows, sales etc), offering sales, participating in giveaways as well maybe.
  • in terms of Etsy:  professional looking photos a must, seem to have developed trust, return business, members of teams, having a blog
  • craft shows and selling locally:  pleasant but not too pushy, professional looking display, range of price points, mailing list sign up or drawing to get names/emails.
How I will implement:
  • I will look into getting someone to take pictures of my items for my for a more professional look.  Also look into making a light box to get my own better photos.
  • I have already started working on the social networking thing: well, this blog for instance ;), facebook page, twittering.  I plan to continue researching new ways that others use these avenues to increase their fan base etc.
  • I have started with participating in etsy street teams, chatting in the forums, and participating in giveaways.  
  • I am considering upgrading my display for my craft shows.  Looking into what other crafters use.
  • I have already started trying to create different levels of work so that I can have a larger range of price points and sizes.  I realized early on that not everyone thinks bigger is better.
  • I am working on the right balance of friendly but not pushy, letting people look at their leisure but not looking unapproachable or disinterested.
  • I plan to implement drawings at my shows to entice potential buyers to sign up for the mailing list.
Ok, that's all I got for now.  :)  Any suggestions are welcomed!!!

Tune in tomorrow (or maybe later today) for:

Day 3: Back to your stuff

No comments: