Monday, March 4, 2013

Minor Marketing Mishap

It's important to note that no eyebrows were lost in creating
fabulous art!
One of this year's goals is to start to get a handle on marketing my business; to be an actual grown up and not just hide in my studio making stuff because I'm completely at a loss when it comes to all the minutiae of marketing, website building, logo design, etc. A friend made the really savvy suggestion of offering some of my work to a few interior design blogs (as well as some who will likely incorporate some of my Hallowe'en stuff into their fall schedules.) for a giveaway. I jumped in and sent a few pics over to a (that is exactly one) design blog.

I got a polite, if disappointing, response:
"I appreciate the offer but I don't do giveaways or other kinds of free advertising. I try to keep my commercial posts limited to just my sponsors. Thanks for thinking of me though."
Now, I'm enough of an adult to realize that I'm going to get a lot of no's. I appreciate that I was treated with courtesy. I understand and respect this person's point of view. I really do! But my ego latched on to that one part:
"I don't do giveaways or other kinds of free advertising."
Free advertising? Free advertising? Sweetheart, in case you hadn't noticed, it ain't free for me!   Just because you're not getting a check in your bank account does not make it free. 
The carving on this bowl took me longer than I care to

There's my time, the cost of my clay, the electrical bill for running my electric kiln, the glazes, and, in the case of a Raku firing, propane fuel costs. The item that I sell for $55 actually costs money and time, so if I choose to give it away, it's costing me money. And I spend a lot more time making my Raku jacks than this person does, making her little white dishes. (From what I understand, she got onto a couple of the right blogs at the right time and has, understandably, shut down all attempts to copy her item. Smart lady!)

This is work, and it. Is. Not. Free.

Again, it's all a negative ego response on my side. (Stupid ego gets me into more trouble!) I know that, shockingly, not everyone agrees with me or will do what I need them to do. That's life. I know that not everyone is going to want to make any kind of exchange with me, nor is everyone going to just leap up with hands clasped to their breast and swoon at the thought of using my work in a giveaway. Surprising, but true.

I know that this person probably makes a pretty good living with her paid advertisers, and I don't have their budget. My work, in all likelihood, does not equal one of her checks. That's just math, and that's how business goes. Business is business. Period.

But my brain is still stuck on that whole "free" thing. And I really hate that it's still on my mind, as polite as she was about it. I admit, it's stopped me from responding to her, just to say thank you for writing back so quickly, like I know I should. It's stopped me from being courteous, and I hate that. It's just life, Shell! Get over yourself and write to other blogs, already! Right?


Has anyone else run into similar situations? What do you think about it?


  1. I think you are human. Accept your humanity.

    This coming from a woman who was taught THIS EXACT LESSON in a therapy session in 1989 and still has to remind herself of it all the damn time. Yes, Pumpkin. You are still human. You are not yet perfect. You will have an emotional response to stupid nitwits who don't choose their words wisely.

    Also, I think it SUCKS that you feel like you have to reach out to people to give your stuff away as advertising. Why aren't people beating your door down begging for it? I really don't understand the universe. Truly. I'd gladly sacrifice a goat for you, or your art. And I love goats. Live goats, not dead ones. Ew.

    1. I really appreciate that! (Poor goat!)

      It's a matter of getting word out to the right people, i.e. people with disposable income who can both afford and appreciate hand made things. I think I've gone just about as far as I can with the hard-core Halloween folks, and now I have to reach out to the mainstream to expand my customer/collector base.


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