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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Sewanddairy
Date: 02-17-2006, 02:48 PM (1 of 10)
Hi;
I have tried to have a sewing business for over seven years. I'm very good at what I do, the down fall is that the town I live it there is no demand for what I do, and moving is out of the question. I do alterations and other stuff, just that there are over 30 alterationist within a 30 mile radius.

Now, I have designed several things. I had a cousin that was one of my main customers and I designed stuff for her all the time. We had a falling out when my grandmother got sick and passed away and I have not talked to her in over four years. She would send me buisness from other people as well as tons for herself.

I also live two hours from a major city. I have an associates degree in tailoring and self-taught with design. I would love to get an associates or bachlors degree, but can't afford right now. At one time I was going to go for a bachlors and they told me that they had the pull to get me where I want to go and would advise me. I didn't get to go because couldn't afford it.

Now, my question is does anyone out there know how I can get my name out there in another city. I have advertised on Craigslist, Postaroo, and several other places, have my own web site, and even make some gifts and gave to people in the area. Just I'm stumped as to what to do next. I would like to design for people. Not have a line or anything, just be a personal designer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
User: Sewanddairy
Member since: 02-17-2006
Total posts: 5
From: Chrysantha
Date: 02-17-2006, 11:21 PM (2 of 10)
Flyers ??? Cars, business's etc...radio, t.v. (local cable has great rates).
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: MaryW
Date: 02-18-2006, 08:17 AM (3 of 10)
21 Ways to Promote Your Site Online and Off
These 21 tips will help you get the word out about your e-business.
April 14, 2005

URL: http://www.Entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,307745,00.html

Offline Promotions
1. Always put your URL on letterhead, business cards and in e-mail signatures-wherever potential visitors are likely to see it. 2. If your employees wear uniforms, put your URL on them so every one of your customers sees a walking advertisement of your Web site.
3. Include your URL on all promotional items you give away-coffee mugs, T-shirts, keychains and so on. A daily reminder is a good way to get people to visit your site.
4. Be sure to include your Web address in all press releases you send out to members of the media. By having it at their fingertips, they may be more likely to include it in articles they write about your company.
5. Don't forget to put your Web address in your Yellow Pages ad. That's one place people see it every day.
6. Do you own any company vehicles? Be sure to put your URL on the side of any car or truck that's out there delivering your products.
7. In addition to listing your toll-free number, put your Web address on the bottom of every page of your catalog so customers have easy access to your online store.
Online Promotions
8. Hone your search engine submission process so you can get the best exposure possible.
9. If you're still itching for more exposure, you can explore search engine marketing, wherein you pay to have a text ad appear when visitors search for certain keywords.
10. Launch a sweepstakes that offers anyone who registers on your site or subscribes to e-newsletters within a certain time frame the chance to win a free gift.
11. Send out a weekly e-mail newsletter to registered site members that offers tips and news related to your company or industry with links back to your site.
12. Offer free content to other sites. It's a win-win situation: The other site gets free articles to beef up their offerings and you get a link back to your site and the cachet of being an expert.
13. Send a well-planned, customer-focused e-mail promotion to a targeted list of potential visitors and offer a credit toward the purchase of anything from your site. Spend time on your e-mail's look and content: You want to offer value to customers and not have it appear to be spam.
14. Create your own link exchange by asking sites complementary to yours (but that don't compete) to put your link on their pages and you'll do likewise.
15. Hook up with Web affiliates-hundreds of sites that all link their traffic to yours-and get visitors from sites with related content.
16. Get active in online discussion groups and chats and always include your URL in your signature. (Don't do any hard selling, though. Most groups frown on such behavior and will think you're spamming the group.)
17. Any time someone orders a product from your site, include a catalog with their order to get them coming back for more.
18. Inspire your visitors to spread the word for you with viral marketing techniques, from the aforementioned newsgroup participation to including an "e-mail this link" on every page of your site.
19. Not sure what your customers want? Try creating an online survey to get their crucial opinions on how well your site is selling to them.
20. When creating your own ads, make sure you understand who you're targeting, the goal of your campaign, and how to creatively use the ad confines to get viewers to click on your ad, not away from it.
21. Use other selling venues like online classified advertising or online auction sites to increase exposure to your site and products.

Copyright 2006 Entrepreneur.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
MaryW
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Sewanddairy
Date: 02-18-2006, 05:02 PM (4 of 10)
Thank you all for your help. Unfortunatly most of the stuff you suggested at this time in a no go. I do have business cards that I hand out freely. But flyers and commercials are way, way out of my budget right now. At this point we are on less than a shoe string budget. Newspaper doesn't work, been there done that.

Thank you folks for your help.
User: Sewanddairy
Member since: 02-17-2006
Total posts: 5
From: TupJane
Date: 02-18-2006, 07:31 PM (5 of 10)
A few suggestions:

Make friends with members of a large church. I have had by word of mouth plenty of business just among the members of a local church.

Talk to local dry cleaners. They need you and their customers do too.

Donate gift certificates for your services to silent auctions with the stipulation that your business card will be displayed.

Send postcards to those previous customers offering a 'reacquaintance special.'

Alterations will lead to dressmaking. Don't hesitate to offer a service specialization...like hemming jeans in "x" amount of time. You never know what 'hook' will 'hook' the customers.
Jane
See Jane Sew
User: TupJane
Member since: 02-04-2005
Total posts: 55
From: purselady
Date: 02-20-2006, 04:02 PM (6 of 10)
I am in a limited market in away. I live in Germany and am not German, I am a military wife, so I just have the local bases to promote to really. I started out with placing a few things in craft shops, sold to a few friends and gave a few of my items to auctions or such. I make sure everyone knows I take orders, I do custom orders. This is where I get the majority of my business. Oh and I have got quit a bit of business by just carrying my own purses and when someone comments I give out my card. I am now trying to branch out to craft shows and bazaars on posts in the area. Of course I probally will have to move soon and start all over....
User: purselady
Member since: 02-03-2006
Total posts: 19
From: paroper
Date: 02-27-2006, 07:50 AM (7 of 10)
If you want to do the type of custom tailor work you are suggesting, you need to make a class jump. See if there is a Junior League in your area (possibly the large city). I have a friend who does only custom wedding gowns for Junior Leaguers at $7,000 a pop. (That's a lot of pop.)

I have another who does custom tailoring. She targets doctors, politicians, businessmen, etc. Her prices are handsome and she has no problems getting clients. I'd sit down and make a list of wealthy business men, attorneys, etc in the area and I'd start by sending well written letters of introduction complete with impressive letterhead and business cards to those men (and women). She dresses impeccably and when she goes to the doctor or dentist, she wears her own creations, always mentions her business, and leaves a card behind. Many of those people have come to her for work. Don't forget the pastors of large churches, and others who need to make big impressions.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have friends who make fantastic money, and use exotic fabrics, sewing for female inpersonators and entertainers. However, most of those clothes are not tailored. He says that they don't bat an eye when he quotes their gowns in the thousands of dollars and they want only the best of fabrics.
pam

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Sew-Enchanting
Date: 02-27-2006, 08:02 PM (8 of 10)
If you go to http://www.vistaprint.com , they have a variety of "free" (for shipping) advertising deals - like postcards, etc. If you can find a target market and mail out some postcards, maybe that could help...?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kris McDaniel
Sew Enchanting
http://www.sew-enchanting.com
Kris
User: Sew-Enchanting
Member since: 12-28-2005
Total posts: 53
From: crazy4quilting
Date: 03-11-2006, 05:50 AM (9 of 10)
Read all of the wonderful information up above. Since Budget is an issue, does your community have like a local little advertising paper. Usually these are dedicated just to advertising and promoting local businesses. It is much cheaper than trying to advertise in a newspaper, and the costs might run you anywhere from $10 - $15 a month for an Ad in their paper.
A Girl Can Never Have Too Much Fabric!
User: crazy4quilting
Member since: 03-14-2002
Total posts: 51
From: sandyj913
Date: 03-29-2006, 05:24 PM (10 of 10)
Try posting an ad or looking for work on www.sewingwishlist.com
User: sandyj913
Member since: 01-19-2005
Total posts: 3
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