Links to the first two posts.
In this post, I’m going to discuss real-world marketing, with suggestions below from the comments section.
A brief history, my old company, dealt with pharmaceuticals and retro hair brands. An odd mix, but there’s a lot of crossover in supply chains, importers & exporters and drug stores. We owned a few brands that had been about since the 1920s. I used to be everywhere in the industry. I’d be at every trade show. I’d visit medicinal conferences. I’d go to retro and retro-themed events. I’d lightly mingle with TV and film stars. In each instance, I’d be getting our products out there.
I’d make my yearly pilgrimage to the Brighton Burnup with the mods and rockers and get the organisers to put up a five-metre banner for out vintage hair wax. I’d visit trade shows with a bag full of samples and business cards and make sure every stand that might supply our products got a sample. I’d be at a TV studio handing pots of pomade to anyone that went in front of a camera. It’d turn up three days later on their Instagram. There was an epidemic of me. I’d get everywhere. So did our products.
When I left the company, their PR slumped and nosedived. They tried putting it out to PR companies, but they all have their heads up their social media obsessed arses and never got results.
I need to apply the above mentality to the Little Fears to make a living from it. I need to be everywhere. I need to have my books at shows, in coffee shops and adequately available offline. I need to have my art in galleries, art shops and displayed in local businesses. I need to proudly display the Little Fears related logos I have designed for people. I need the word out there, in the real world, that I am here. I am an artist, writer and creative nutball who’s available for hire and reward. I need the Little Fears to infest real life to make a real-life income.
So with that, some more suggestions from comments on where you can ply your trade.
My good friend Forrest suggested I get my tee’s onto a friends sons band. Imagine that! Fuen and the Little Fears on stage… Well, on people on stage. A brilliant idea and something I would have jumped on for my old company. I’d like to do it for the Fears but as ya’ll know, the last 18 months has been punishing for me, and I can’t afford to put money into things that aren’t guaranteed a return.
Annecdote though. We gave t-shirts way with my old company. Ruddy stacks of the fecking things. It was always fun to see videos of gigs uploaded to YouTube with a band playing adorned in our shirts. Not only do you get a bit of real-world exposure from groups wearing your shirts, it often spreads to online now.
Jan S. Gephardt suggested science fiction and fantasy conventions. I don’t know much about them, to be honest. I did a lot of trade shows with my old company, but I haven’t been to sci-fi or fantasy show in a million years. Another friend, Zantar put it in my head some time back, that I should visit comic conventions. I could see my books doing OK there. I need to pencil some into my calendar I think.
Emily and Lloyd are both market stall sellers. I do have a few arts and craft markets near me that happen regularly. I need to load up the motorbike with a table and stand. Maybe a simple standing rack to hang the framed images on. Yeah, I could get that onto the back of a motorcycle with a box file filled with stock.
(Image credit Wisbech Standard)
Osprey mentioned he’d seen Brits selling out of car trunks. Well, yes, we do that. Car boot sales. They start around April when the sun is meant to come out and run until November. You’d never make big money at a car boot, but you can set up a stall for £5-£10. Seriously, if you couldn’t make that money back with a bit of profit, you need to rethink what you’re doing.
With all this talk of stalls and car boots, Sheri suggested splitting a table. At conventions and markets, this makes sense. I’d need to find someone to do it with t conventions, but the missus is an artist as well. We will probably end up sharing a stall at our local market when we’re reunited in Scotland. There’s a big local market near where we want to live that we have an eye. Not only do you save a bit of money and maybe share customers, but you can share each other on social media when you InstaTwitFace pictures of your stand.
Children’s Clothes Store
Yeah, now there’s a thing. YouMakeYourOwn is putting her book to children’s clothing stores. I love this idea. It drifts away from the obvious, but shes still reaching a target audience. At the top of the post where I discuss my own PR experiences, I didn’t restrict myself entirely to hair and beauty events to shift our waxes. I got them to the mods and rockers of the Brighton Burnup as well. Still a target audience, but like MakeYourOwn, stepping outside of the obvious.
Readings at coffee shops
Ann-William is doing a visually arresting reading of her book at a coffee shop. It’s fantastic getting our product in front of people who may purchase our wares. It’s another thing all-together to engage people with our writings. Doing a reading is brilliant on its own. Bringing in visual elements will make it more memorable to everyone present, and, again, make your event InstaTwittableFacefungussed.
Cor, blimey. All this writing’s made me want a coffee. I hope this blog post helps someone and thank you, everyone, for commenting.