Having an online following is an amazing way to get your products out there and have people talk about you and your great products and although there are many advantages to being known online, you might also want to give the local buyers a shot and promote yourself locally.
One of the best ways to achieve that is to get featured in local media of any kind (online or offline), be it radio, newspapers or even the local news. People listen to the radio and are usually watching the news, so it couldn’t hurt to try it. And people are also much more open to supporting someone familiar and supporting the community. Getting featured increases your credibility, places you on the map and creates new audience and new opportunities for your business.
Here are 5 ways you can get noticed by the press (and slowly grow your empire):
- Get featured in the local talk show. Every smaller community has a talk show type of show where they have guests featured and interviewed and they talk about their accomplishments or ideas, so why not you? Fortunately, these shows are in a constant search for the next story and the next person to be interviewed, so turn this to your advantage and pitch your business’ idea to the producer of the show. This might sound frightening but focus on what makes you special and what differentiates you from all the other similar businesses and build your pitch around this, also mention how you can be contacted, your Shoptsie web store address (so people can take a look at your products beforehand, if they want) and why your products are special/useful/one of a kind. People like that.
- Do some research and find local arts and crafts magazines that your products might be perfect for. Don’t wait for them to look for you, be active and find them yourself! Send them a short email saying who you are and what is that you do, a few product images and a short product description, mentioning your contact details and your Shoptsie online store address and keep your fingers crossed. They might accept it, they might not, but whatever you do, keep sending these and never give up hope.
- Find a local cause that addresses the majority of people and team up with them. If there is a charity basketball match, bring your products and say that all sales will be donated to the organisation/foundation hosting the event. Such organisations are open to these ideas and so this isn’t only helpful but it will get you known as well. If people buy your products once and they are happy, they are likely to do it again.
- Have the local newspaper write about an event that you organize or that you are a part of. Make sure it helps the community and the newspaper might not charge you for the article, which is good news, especially for a business that just started out.
- Most importantly, if these ideas don’t work out after your first try, do yourself a favor and keep trying! Remember, timing is everything, so if it didn’t work today, it might work perfectly tomorrow. Never take a no personally and keep “pushing”.