Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Target Marketing that Works For Me

I don’t seek out marketing tips because I’m generally selling very well. So I tuned into Etsy’s Success Symposium yesterday at random and just happened to catch April Bowles- Olin’s workshop Attract Your Target Market — You're Not Walmart. I enjoy writing (have you guessed?) so I got caught up in her writing exercise. First you list the characteristics of your buyers. A few of mine are: nature loving, eco lifestyle, animal lovers, non commercial, cooks at home, appreciates the simple pleasures. So then you write a profile of this person- a character who is a composite of your buyers. Mine is a woman who passionately cares about her kids, about the world’s complex big issues, who is creative herself, is proud of her homemaking and entertaining abilities. It goes on and on but that’s the condensed version.

So then April threw in a strange question: “What problem do you solve for this customer?” I scribbled aimlessly and then figured out a few things. It feels silly to even reveal that, so I won’t.

But what I can say is that I listed 4 new pieces last night. Two sold immediately. Those were the ones in which I added a short sentence to what I usually write in my listing copy, based on April’s exercise. Not only that, one sold to the exact same woman who I pictured as my typical buyer.

There are lots of obvious answers to that question- “What problem do you solve for this customer?” Sometimes it’s wanting to give an original gift. Sometimes it’s wanting something that is not disposable, that will live with you and pass memories down through new generations. But the power isn’t in knowing the answer, like knowing my answer.The power is in the question.

Thanks, April Bowles-Olin! I like your style. Marketing doesn’t have to be hyping yourself into a celebrity and stepping over others to get there. It really can be just discreetly, authentically, and effectively, connecting to the people who want to buy your stuff.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Works

Love Birds Luminary

When snow falls deep and fat in January, i give myself time to experiment. I’m trying out some new glazes, and this one above, Rust, has some great possibilities. It has that organic woodland feel that I have been pursuing the last few years.

Birds Nest casserole

I also reformulated my cobalt blue glaze, made it more opaque, and lighter. Here it is on a casserole.

Bird Yunomi

And here it is on a tea bowl (yunomi),

under Flow (a glaze that creates fluid flowing).


Here’s another glaze I plan to use this year: Root Beer Brown

Bee Yunomi

I’m working on a few new designs, too. Today I made a few soap holders, which will have doves, ravens and owls. It’s important for me to take this time to work without a rigid schedule. Some days I've just read and not worked in the studio at all. It feels so luxurious! November and December were 80 hour work weeks so this is a nice balance.