Frog Prince, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
fine silver frog prince charm
fine silver frog prince charm
A couple of weeks ago, I caught one of Disney's promos for The Princess and the Frog opening in movie theaters December 11th. If someone had snapped a photo of me it would have looked a lot like a woman panicking as she watched her plane take off without her. How could I have missed this cool opportunity to launch my Frog Prince charm alongside a Disney film?
Business takes planning and in this Behind the Scenes blog feature I'm going to offer some insight into how I have developed a seasonal marketing calendar to keep me more on track. This calendar is a work in progress, so if you have experience that can help me as well as others understand how to keep your business in step with the seasons I'd love to hear more.
It all started this summer, when I began reading my Etsy emails and noticed that they had started an aggressive campaign of merchandising using seasonal themes. Remember I'm not business savvy, so duh a light bulb went off, there must be a calendar out there that stores use to plan their marketing strategy for the whole year. I never found a calendar online that completely made sense to me, but Jerry Smith, Beads & JSBeads.com compiled some great ideas on how to get started on a marketing calendar.
I drew up a document that sketched out month by month what I should doing. There are three main categories of work that I need to focused on:
1. Launching and fabricating seasonal charms.
2. Designing and marketing seasonal jewelry.
3. Designing stamp molds for future charms.
By understanding how long it takes to make charms, design jewelry, and photograph work, I began to see a pattern. I should always be working at least two months ahead on fabricating and designing jewelry and for marketing seasonal themes, I should be working at least one month ahead. Here's an example of a project plan for January 2010:
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Lunar New Year
Fabrication & Design: March
Fabricate spring charm & jewelry collection
Plan bridal collection
Marketing Campaign: February
January 1 - February 13: Valentines charm & jewelry collection
Chinese New Year's charms and Pisces charm
For each month, I went through my desk calendar and noted all the holidays in my merchandising plan, so if I see a connection to one of my charms or jewelry designs I can use it for tagging and marketing.
As you can see this calendar could become more complex as my business grows, including key dates for submitting ads, magazine designs, and applications for jewelry shows. This year I'm starting simple and noting where I may need to make adjustments.
All this work on my jewelry marketing calendar, and I didn't account for popular culture. This is where my Frog Prince charm fell through the cracks. Ironically, Frog Prince is one of the first stamp molds I created, but the silver charm has never seen the light of day because he needs to be redesigned. All the little details like his crown and froggy feet need to be enlarged so they are more successfully rendered using a rubber stamp mold.
This year I have been stepping away from popular culture: hiding out in my studio, watching less TV, and reading fewer magazines. Nevertheless, it seems sensible that when you fully define your audience, you need to stay in touch by following at least one form of media. The focus of my business is still a bit scattered, and I haven't fully defined my audience. So understanding my market is one area growth for 2010.
To learn more check out my Behind the Scenes series, where I explore making jewelry, designing metal clay charms, and running an online business.