December 12, 2010

The moral of the story is...


I've used these cushions to illustrate other blog posts in the past, and this time, it's to talk about promotion.  When I began blogging in 2007, I was very keen to forge some kind of online and printed press presence for 'Lucykate Crafts...' and have to confess to having undertaken a few projects which, on reflection, I should have avoided.  One, that seemed like a good idea at the time, was off the back of an article in a UK based sewing & crafts magazine (I won't name it as the magazine has since folded). 

I was approached to write a short piece about craft blogging, and thought that it would be good to maximise this press exposure and also offer 2 giveaways.  The alarm bells should have began to ring as to whether this particular magazine and I were on the same wavelength, when I spotted some of the craft blogging article had been re-written to a point where it just didn't sound like me, the strapline of the whole piece, being something I would just never say.

The giveaways were 2 cushion covers, like the ones illustrated above.  The 2 winners, selected by the magazine, were then contacted by me to find out what wording they would like embroidered onto the cover.  However, one of the winners did not reply until a few weeks later, by which point the response I got was a very abrupt 'Where is my cushion?'.  I explained that I had been waiting for their response on the embroidery, and lets just say our working 'relationship' went downhill from there.  They, possibly assuming I was trying to get out of making the cushion cover (I wasn't, although I did try and make the point that it would have to be fitted around paid work), and me finding their attitude to be just plain rude.

It might be considered to be unprofessional of me to be talking about this here, but I have an official website which is where things remain on a more serious level, I do think the beauty of blogging is that it serves as a platform through which to be able to talk a little more candidly.  So, what's the moral of this story?  Well, I guess it's a way of saying to any other craft bloggers out there who are feeling a little lost as to how, where and when are the most effective ways to promote what you do ::

1. Think about what you are hoping to get out of any offers of promotion that come your way before committing eg, exposure, blog traffic, sales etc.
2. Research the target audience that any promotions via whatever source are going to hit, does this audience match up with your own?
3. Don't undersell yourself.  All too often, craftspeople are expected to give work and ideas away for free in return for a little exposure.  It's not a bad thing to ask 'ok, I'm expected to give you all this, but what's in it for me?' 

As for the 2 cushion covers...,

well, one of the recipients sent me a lovely note afterwards saying how much she loved it and thank you.  I (fortunately) never heard a thing from the other person again!

7 comments:

Amanda said...

Don't you hate that?? haha. Some people are so RUDE! Urgh. I am so glad your other winner was appreciative of your talents, the other person obviously had no idea how lucky they were to win a hand-embroidered cushion from you. Bad luck for them!!

Debs said...

I agree about weighing up the usefulness of providing free givaways for a bit of exposure. I have recently been asked if I would like to provide 20 items - all similar but made from different vintage materials, so each item is effectively one of a kind. I sell them for 10.00 each. I was offered one eighth of a page in one issue of the mag in return for providing the items (for free). I just thought it was unlikely that I would see a return on that - I may be wrong, but at this time in my crafting career 200.00 is a lot to giveaway!

willywagtail said...

I recently had a double giveaway and got sort of the same responses. One loved it all and let me know, the other only grudgingly let on that she had even received her goodies when I emailed her weeks later. I guess we are dealing with real people out their and many do not know how to have or express appreciation. It is just all about them and they forget that the thanks can mean a great deal to us too. It's the aprreciative ones who make it worthwhile though. Cherrie

Jo said...

Thank you for your frank and honest advice. It is useful for the starters out like me.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

I enjoyed reading this blog post, nice to hear peoples experiences on things. Marketing is a steep learning curve which I have had to climb for marketing a website (not to do with craft), even bad experiences are good in a way as you learn that way :-)

Wendy said...

I would have been overjoyed to win one of your beautiful cushion covers! Did you send one out to the rude woman then? She gave you a name to embroider? I'm now trying to guess which magazine...

Creative zone said...

loved your work soo soo nice and creative