If you are a craft seller, you are always looking for a way to spread your name to new customers. Submitting samples to the media is an effective way to get more press for your Etsy shop and get in front of new buyers.
This is the time of year when publications are planning their editorial for the winter months, so if you have a craft business, now is the perfect time to find out how to get your business featured in a print magazine or in print. a blog, especially on vacation. gift guides and recommendation sections.
Submitting samples is a sure way to increase your chances of getting the most media coverage. It puts your product physically in the hands of decision makers. What could be better? But it’s also time-consuming and capital-intensive, so it’s worth planning your PR blitz for maximum effect.
A good place to get covered by press releases is this service, or you can get in touch with us and we will see how we can help.
Sending samples to social media
Before moving on to the more traditional media, let’s talk about social media. Influencer marketing (getting people with large social media accounts or blogs to promote you) is something we talk about all the time in our magazine because it can be so much more effective than using paid ads. That is why large companies like Addidas and Loreal work with so many influencers. But everyone can use the power of influencer marketing, including you.
The goal is to find a person within your target market (someone who would normally buy from you), send them free products, and get them to post about it on their social media. Ideally, you would get more followers and some purchases from your post.
When looking for influencers, here are some things to consider:
CONSIDER YOUR COMMITMENT: A large following isn’t everything. If your posts don’t get a lot of likes and comments, chances are your page post won’t either.
DON’T OVERLOOK THE SMALLER ACCOUNTS: Larger brands tend to seek out influencers with 10,000+ followers, but people with smaller accounts often have better engagement because they engage more with their followers. Also, people with smaller accounts are more likely to work with you in exchange for free products, while owners of large accounts will likely want to charge you for the promotion.
MAKE IT A WINNING OFFER – Everyone wants to grow their accounts, so be sure to let the influencer know that you’ll be posting their photo and tagging them too. Hopefully each of you will get new followers from the exchange.
LOOKING AT YOUR OWN CUSTOMERS: Did you know that your own customers are influencers too? Offer them a coupon for their next purchase if they share a picture of the product they bought from you. You can do this by simply adding a card with the packages you send or setting up an automatic email if you are using your own website and email system. Another thing that you can prove to be less traditional is to offer a 10% refund of your purchase once they post about your product on your account. That’s an immediate payoff for them and doesn’t require an additional purchase so you can motivate them to post right away.
MIND YOUR BUDGET – If you send free items, you want to offer products that make a good impression but don’t cost you too much. Review your previous orders and social media posts to see which articles and images have received the most attention.
Sending samples to traditional press media
The downside to submitting your samples to traditional media is that, with more people working from home, the offices may not be as crowded as they used to be. Your package could get lost in the confusion or stay in a mailroom forever. To avoid that situation, contact the publication first and find out who would be the best person to send you something. You may not hear from them, but don’t be discouraged! It is a fairly common occurrence and it is not reason enough to avoid that particular publication or media source.
As a craft marketer, you are your own publicist, so you need to be proactive in getting the exposure you seek. If you make a few calls and / or send an email, you can find the right person in a local television station, newspaper or magazine. Editors, for example, are very busy, so you may need to email them 2-4 times to get a response (or until they tell you to stop sending emails). Suppose that even though you send many mails, only one is read, so include all relevant information in each message. You will find that a little persistence will go a long way.
Tip: To speed up the process of getting more press for your Etsy shop, start by reaching out to the newspapers, magazines, bloggers, and television stations in your city. Then expand to outlets in your state. Then expand to outlets in your country, etc. Local media have more incentive to cover your story than national media, so starting with them first will build your confidence and give you even more credibility with the larger media.
Presenting your product
Once you find the decision maker in a news outlet, it’s time to send him an email.
Start with an email introduction that explains your products and your backstory, but don’t overdo it. Be short and direct (like an elevator pitch).
Please include a low resolution image in the email.
Include a sneak peek telling editors to watch out for samples that arrive in the mail.
Prepare your samples to get the most out of your investment
When shipping your samples, first impressions are everything! People opening your packages may be opening many other similar packages, so yours should stand out. Make sure to use good mail and add branded touches like tissue paper or confetti to add distinction to your package. Include the following:
Your business card
Your information sheet should be the same sheet you email (more on that below). Explain that you have a lot of higher resolution images if they would like to see them.
Offer to be available for interviews by phone, Zoom, or email and in-person appearances / visits to your workshop when appropriate.
On your information sheet, provide suggestions for timely ways to cover your product; Would your product make a great addition to your gift guide?
Did you just do something amazing in the community like a charitable donation or volunteering? Do you have a new product that has a positive story behind it, like going green or do you have a personal story that will touch the heartstrings and inspire readers / viewers? ? Include all of this because it’s time to show off a bit.
Follow after them
Keep an up-to-date list of recipients for follow-up. Stay organized with the people you send the samples to so that you can communicate with them multiple times (a spreadsheet works great for this).
Include a low resolution image in the body of the email and in all subsequent emails. Include the information sheet and press release in electronic format and send them as hard copy with your samples.
Make sure this email is sent a few days after the recipients receive the samples. Follow up with emails asking if they received the product. It is also important not to have hard feelings if your piece is ignored or if you take it as a personal offense about your creations. It’s a numbers game and you won’t get a response from many people. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying! With a little organization and work, you will get the exposure you need to grow your craft business, if you need any help in press releases or would like a done for you service, I can recommend this one.