So, generally I don’t get involved in things. I don’t stand on soap boxes or make speeches about things. And I don’t like to advertise for companies when I have to put out money for something. For instance, buying a shirt with a store’s logo on it — shouldn’t they be paying me to advertise for them?
Despite all this, I am pleased to be chatting up someone’s business: EcoEnclose, a company out of Colorado that manufactures eco-friendly shipping supplies. I first saw their link on another blog, clicked through, requested a sample, and nearly a year later when I needed envelopes, I ordered. With so many sizes to pick from, it was fun and easy to put together a little sampler pack. They have bubble mailers, cardboard mailers, boxes, and poly mailers. The best part is that they use recycled materials and many of the items are reusable. With more orders going out and shipping prices going up, I love how light the mailers are. But I really like that the products are made in the USA and they are very affordable. I would also like to mention that they have great customer service and a very positive vibe.
Since I am genuinely excited about this company, I haven’t had a problem telling friends about it. That is why I decided to go ahead and join the team by becoming an affiliate. Because if I’m going to continueadvertising for them, I might as well get something out of it, right?
This year I decided to start doing paid advertising. I’m making everything else “official”, why not try getting my name out there more? One great thing about the fiber arts community is that it has a vast internet presence. For example, Ravelry is chocked full of advertising opportunities. It’s easy, low cost and low risk. A few years ago I ran an ad in their marketplace, but the only people who saw it were specifically looking for ads; they don’t just pop up and surprise you. Even though notebook ads and group forum ads rotate, they appear on every page without the reader having to do anything extra. I thought it was time to take the next step and try a more prominent ad.
There were a few things standing in my way to reserving a spot.
Getting over the initial apprehension. I felt intimidated by the idea of advertising. I know how important it is, so I didn’t want to go about things in a casual manner. At some point I figured that if nothing came of it, I only lost a few dollars. If it worked, I could gain some new customers. Either way, I decided it was worth the risk and dove in.
Reserving the spot. In the past, I’d often forget to check when the next month’s ads were open, so I’d miss the rather small window to reserve a space. At the end of December I read up on all the advertising info and wrote myself a note so I wouldn’t miss the next deadline. Now I know that ads open at the same time every month, so I’ll be ready in the future.
What to advertise? I started paying attention to what other vendors were putting in their ads and took notes. I could do a general ad for my business; I could advertise a particular fiber; or I could advertise a particular item. That got me thinking about my products in a new way and helped me decide what to put in my ads.
Creating the ads. I used to maintain several fan sites in high school, so I was used to creating banners. And this was a bit more of a challenge. However, thanks to Erin I now have a lovely logo that I am proud to display. But there is more to it than just the logo. I started playing around with a few ideas, some text only, some with images. Each one highlights something a little different. Now I’m having fun!
Here are a few of the ads you might be seeing floating around Ravelry group forums this month. Notebook ads will start running in February.
So, Erin (check out her portfolio!) had such a good time helping me with my logo that she volunteered to assist me with my business cards and postcards. I suppose she must have sensed how desperate I was. And when I suggested we do a swap – my fiber for her graphic assistance – it was a done deal.
I knew I wanted new business cards to showcase my new logo, but every time I tried to put something together, it was such a snooze! She whipped up this snappy thing in no time at all. Again, she was great to work with, listening to my suggestions and making them work in the best way. Vista Print, send me 1000!
As for the postcards, I wanted something that would be a bit more informative than just a small, brief business card. Those are great to hand out en masse, but sometimes you need to give someone something with more ooomph. On one side I wanted a mosaic that showed a sampling of my work and on the back I have text that tells you more about my business. When I pitched the idea to Erin (check out her blog), she thought it was great, and luckily, she was willing to help me out. I sent her a few photos and the text and she put it all together. They couldn’t be better. Let’s do some marketing!