Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Collaboration Can Do For You, Part 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of Crissy Herron's post on Zibbet's blog. This one is on marketing and sales. In addition to her ideas, I have also made a lot of friends and learned a lot from the "Ning" networks I have joined. You can see them by clicking "Where I Hang Out". Another good sight for learning and sharing is "My Craft Corner". And I am sure there are many more that I have yet to stumble upon. If you have any sites that you frequent please share with the rest of us!

Here's Part 2 of Crissy's post:
When it comes to your business, collaboration can be a very good thing! Last week, I wrote Part 1 of this post, and it was full of tips on how to collaborate with others on blogging. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here.

This week, I will give you some ideas on how to collaborate with others on marketing and selling your product.

Swag Exchange - Partner with some friends (can be local or long-distance) and send them some business cards, flyers, stickers, buttons - whatever you use to promote your items.

When they send out their orders, have them include a piece of your swag, and in return, you will do the same for them. This will help you get your business in front of many new potential customers!

Sharing Space - You can share “space” physically and virtually. If you are taking part in a craft fair, consider sharing the table with a friend. This will cut your costs in half, and there will be someone to cover for you if you need to use the restroom, grab a bite to eat, etc.

When it comes to the internet, partner with a couple of friends and host a “virtual” craft fair. A domain will cost you under $10, hosting will be about $5 per month, and then you can set up a WordPress blog for free. You can put up pictures of your items with links to your Zibbet shop, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a shopping cart. This is just another way to promote your items and meet new customers!

Combination Sales - Partner with a friend who creates complementary items to create a “combination item.” For example, if you make earrings, partner with a friend who makes necklaces or bracelets and package up some of your items to be sold together. This will require a little extra effort in bookkeeping to make sure that each person is getting their shale of the sale, but the additional sales it creates could be worth it!

Create A New Product - Partner with a friend to create a whole new product! For example, you could work together to design a t-shirt or handbag. To create buzz and appeal, make this a limited edition item — where each of you have 10 of them to sell. By making the item and then splitting the quantity in two, with each person keeping the profits of the items they sell, there will be less bookkeeping headache.

What are your ideas on collaborating? I’d love to hear them!

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Crissy Herron is the founder of Indie Biz Chicks, a website that provides business, marketing, and publicity info to “women who’d rather work for themselves, than work for the man.” You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or learn more about her passion for entrepreneurship and the DIY movement.

Link to original article:
What Collaboration Can Do For You, Part 2

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