It has been an amazing month for us with regards to publicity. We seem to have been featured in lots of different places.
In the first week of Sept we were asked to participate in the Creative Crafting Magazine - Christmas Edition. This involved a quick question and answer interview and a number of photos. Fantastic. CraftFEST also helped us in winning a Cow Award (see earlier post) and opened our eyes to the power of interweaving all our social connections to increase SEO - Search Engine Optimisation. It sounds like something from Star Trek to me if I am honest. Thankfully, I am a fast learner.
Next up was a request from WOW THANK YOU http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk - probably my favorite Internet shop with regards to customer care, attention to detail and genuine passion to get crafters seen in the greater public arena. We only really signed up to WTY on the back of CraftFEST as we met some great people on the site who raved about Tracey and her dedication to all things hand-made. Cautious about the expense and fearful about more hours of uploading photos I kept trying to put things off. Finally, frustrations with another internet shop site convinced me to sign up, pay the money and take a breath.
Needing to give ourselves a presence I decided to upload a few photos and perhaps add more as the weeks went on. Within 24 hours Tracey had contacted us about an open call for photographs for a magazine advert for WTY with "Homes & Antiques". As we had only about 5 items listed - I decided to stay clear. Within the next day Tracey asked us to get photos in ASAP as she wanted to feature some of our soaps.
WOW.... THANK... YOU!!!! I was so uber surprised and enthused about the wonderful reception to this site that I even offered myself as a human sacrifice to the mighty Tracey Kifford (turning 40 btw - as I write this).
Next up was the Wonderful Online site "One Fab Day" where we were mentioned for our Cow Award winning sheep that we made for friends of ours getting married. Cameron & Katies wedding was a special affair and more can be found at: http://onefabday.com/larchfield-estate-wedding-by-blackbox-photography/
Onwards and upwards... - we moved into the bazaar realm of ETSY - where it is nigh-on impossible to be discovered never mind found despite hours in relevant forums. It is our best selling shop but in regards to numbers of visits it is probably still quite low. Unexpectedly, out of the blue, we got contacted by a PR company asking for photos for "My Scottish Weddings" @ http://www.myscottishwedding.com. Apparently they were interested in our mini-cupcake wedding favours. YIPPEE.
And finally, at least for now, came FOLKSY with a fabulous offer. This site I have really struggled to love. I confess I even thought about closing the account but for the fact that I'd paid money to list some items and thought I should hold out until they at least expired. The search was clunky, the categories didn't suit, we couldn't list oils or cosmetics - only soap, you couldn't tag, uploading was a nightmare and generally it felt as though they didn't care.
I humbly appologise FOLKSY.
The very day I was publicly dishing them I got a request, albeit a last minute one, to see if we would be interested in making an exclusive for FOLKSY. They loved our soaps and this was a great way to publicise it. Whilst we couldn't sell the 'exclusive' product anywhere else - they would in return use us as one of 15 shops in all their Christmas promotions. Having been given a few options we decided to go for a Christmas Pudding Soap. The expected turnaround was quite literally overnight for us - but we came up with something we are pretty dang proud of.
These little soaps will now sit in the Christmas link for the 12 weeks of Christmas. They will be offered to magazines and in press-releases with the media able to choose which of the 15 shops they want to profile. Included will be a brief about us and our story.
I mean I genuinely couldn't buy that kind of publicity.
So, what I have learnt in this last month is one very valid lesson. We make Soap Art that even people who are professionally working in the Craft World are impressed by. We have really seen favour. Its been great.
Now all we have to do is begin to see sales to compliment this not so minor feat. Christmas will be the real tester for us as a business in working out if we can make this work for us or not. We have only limited stock and no idea about demand - but we walk into the next three months with a sense of anticipation and optimism about what might be possible if it works!
A big thank you to all the internet shops in general. Thank you for taking note of us and for supporting us in our bid to make this little business work.