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Shop Marketing Checklist

Here is an easy-to-use checklist with ideas for marketing your shop:

Get social. Market your items on social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and InstaGram. Remember Personal Account Pages for Facebook and G+ are meant to be used for personal posts and not for advertising your products. The logo for your personal page should be a picture something you find interesting or of a personal nature. Set up your Facebook and G+ pages via your Personal Page.

Use your social media sites to showcase the items you sell in your shop, notify your followers of business related events and special sales and be sure to include pins or posts interesting and informative posts to your products. Remember, you do not want to overwhelm your followers with a stream of only the items you sell.

Engage your audience by asking questions and sharing experiences that followers can relate to and will comment on. Keep the conversation going by responding in a timely manner. Create colorful and exciting Pinterest boards using the same criteria and include appropriate keywords in your boards, pin titles and descriptions for search engines. Actively seek out followers for your social sites, don't wait for them to find you. Collaborate on Pinterest boards to widen your audience and be sure to 'like' and comment on other users boards.

Social marketing is number one when it comes to getting the word out about your shop and the items you sell, and it is free.

Build a Community. Start a group on Facebook or other social sites where like-minded individuals can congregate, share and provide feedback. The conversations will not only help you get the word out about your shop and items but will provide valuable feedback. This information will guide you when determining what items are popular and potentially good candidates for future offerings in your shop.

Blogging. Use your business blog to share your expertise and present your items. Present yourself as an expert on the types of items you sell. Use photos, videos, audio podcasts, how-to guides, instructional presentations and surveys. Search engines give preference to blogs (and websites - your shop) that regularly update their content. Be sure to use original content and invite others to submit a blog article. Contact bloggers and ask them if they would be interested in publishing one of your blog articles. The articles you propose for their use must be original content and not published elsewhere. Bloggers want 'new' content, not recycled content. Most bloggers are delighted to publish fellow bloggers' articles if the content is worthy.

Newsletter Campaigns. Promote your items through email newsletter campaigns. Send out a brief monthly newsletter to your customer list, friends, and family. Include several photos of recent additions to your inventory along with a short description. Promote an upcoming sale, such as the Ruby Red Tag Sale. Make your newsletter interesting. Share creative historical information, how to articles and holiday gift suggestions, but make them brief. Your newsletter should be comprised of more photos than text. Recycle your blog articles into content for your newsletters. Give readers a reason to open and read your newsletter each month. How often you send a newsletter is up to you but we suggest sending only two per month. Provide a means for a user to sign up or remove themselves with your email list and to share the newsletters with others.

There are several sites that offer free templates for creating newsletters where you can add your customer names and email addresses with the ability to send the newsletter directly from the site. Most provide an Opt Out feature where recipients can select to not receive your newsletters in the future. ConstantContact.com and MailChimp.com are two sites you might consider. Newsletter sites generally offer a free or low cost basic service.

Customer Service.One way to set yourself apart from the competition and attract new customers via word-of-mouth is to provide excellent customer service. Offer a customer friendly return policy. Don't make it difficult for a person to return an item, this will create ill will and will gain you nothing positive in return. Be prompt when answering emails and shipping out packages. If you create a positive customer experience the customer will do the marketing for you.

In addition, be accessible. Make it easy for your customer or potential buyer to contact you by providing your phone number and/or Skype information. Personal communication provides the shopper with confidence and gives you the opportunity to have the customer's undivided attention for 5 - 10 minutes. if it is a positive experience they will share this with others, who may in turn visit your website and make a purchase.

Banner and Print Advertising. Choose your advertising vehicle carefully. Be sure the publication or website targets the demographic and collecting group you want to attract to your shop. Remember blogs, social media and newsletter campaigns can most often be as effective and less costly than banner and print publications. Use Google Analytics to determine which advertising campaigns are getting the job done and eliminate or revamp those that do not. Google advertising is always a good choice but it can be costly.

Produce a Video or Webinar. Create a video or webinar to showcase your items or provide interesting or how-to content related to your selling niche. Be informative and entertaining. Use quality photos and graphics to illustrate your message.

Windows generally provides you with WinDVD. Apple uses I-movie or Quick-time. And all of these programs have instructions on how to use them.

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Article Last Update: December 16, 2013