As you probably already know, Made Urban is a free online
market for advertising and selling your handmade goods and creative services.
We truly appreciate each and every one of our members, are so proud to have you
on our site and rely on you and your work to make Made Urban great.
You’re a part of the team and we’re all working together to
let as many people as possible know about Made Urban so we can grow our
community. Because we rely on your involvement to grow, there are perks for
those who participate and different ways you can gain more exposure for your
business and products/services.
We get this question quite often so we thought we’d put
together a little guide for our Urbees on all the areas you can be featured in and
how we decide what or who is featured.
WHERE WE FEATURE:
The content on the home page reflects the province/state the visitor is in; so there’s more opportunity to feature a
variety of listings than if we just had one home page for all locations (if a
location doesn’t have members yet, the homepage will pull from listings around
the country). We go through and handpick each item that appears on the home
page for each province/state. We want to be sure we’re putting our best foot
forward and grabbing people’s attention when they first visit our site.
We look for Sellers selling or doing something unique. We
want to get a deeper look into their products/services and business, so
intrigue us! What are you doing that sets you apart from other small businesses
We have slideshows that appear on our Products and Services
home pages. There are 9 spots for each page and for each province/state (that’s
a lot of spots to fill!). Our graphic designer is always keeping these fresh,
creates a custom image combining your work and your logo and the slide links directly
to your Made Urban Storefront.
We have a Buyer and Seller Newsletter we send out to the
masses that you could be featured in. Our Buyer Newsletter is full of fresh
product and service listings each month. And our Seller Newsletter is full of
small business advice, not only from us, but also from our members and
community. Contributors are always credited and a link to their Made Urban
Storefront or listing is included.
We work with some really amazing events and often get
requests to help find great vendors. These opportunities are often above and
beyond your typical show with workshops, speaking opportunities and free spots
being awarded to some of our amazing members.
We post to social media several times a week and love
creating collages to show off new and exciting listings or unique businesses
that come our way. We also do our best to follow and tag our members, which
often results in more fans for you!
If you’re not a fan yet, be sure to follow us on:
Not only do you get to keep an eye on what we feature, it
also gives us an opportunity to follow back!
In the press
We don’t love talking about ourselves all the time, so we’ll pitch story ideas to the press that feature
one or more of our Sellers. As well, we’ll often receive requests from journalists looking for businesses related to a specific topic. We love nothing more than bragging about our members.
We come across some really cool businesses through Made
Urban and we’ve had some great opportunities come out of that. One example is Tamarra of Canu Productions. She came across Made Urban through an
event in Edmonton called Culture Collective (who also gave Made Urban members
an opportunity to sell for free at their event). Tamarra offered to create
promotional videos to a few Made Urban members for free! Together we chose 10
Made Urban members and ran a contest to decide which 3 would get a video. Check
out the winners and the videos that came out of it:
WHAT WE LOOK FOR:
So, now you know some of the general areas you can get a
little perk out of. Although each situation is different and exceptions prove
the rule, these are 10 general areas that are important to us when we’re looking for
members to feature:
1) Quality Photos
First and foremost, your items must be well presented. In
business, you always want to put your best foot forward and make a good first
impression. When you’re selling online, your photos ARE your first impression
so you need to be sure they’re good quality. Made Urban also wants to put their best foot forward so we
always look for and choose listings that are well photographed.
Quickly snapping some photos without thinking about lighting or set up is just not good enough in this competitive
online world. Take the time to learn a bit about photography and how to create
a simple set up. It makes all the difference. When choosing photos for features
we look for:
- Well lit – make it nice and bright with no harsh
shadows (flashes are almost never a good idea)
- Simple backdrop – no messy craft rooms in the
- In focus – no fuzzy or blurry photos
There's tons of knowledge on the web about cameras, techniques, lighting, editing, etc. Here are a couple simple articles from Made Urban on How to Create a Backdrop for your Handmade Goods & How to Photograph them.
If you’re creating something that’s different from what
other people are making, you’re going to stand out without even trying. However,
you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; if you use a specific technique or have a
special story, that may pique our interest and get you a feature.
3) Completed Storefronts
Be sure to upload your logo and have a completed bio section.
We look for any unique angles to your business here. Do you give back to your
community in some way? Do you have a revolutionary way of making your products?
Does your business have a really cool story behind how it all got started? Let
us and site visitors know by mentioning any fun facts in your bio.
Be descriptive. This not only gives Buyers the info they’re
looking for when shopping, it also gives us some extra info to work with. If
you’ve made each item out of recycled wood you’ve salvaged from fallen barns
around Alberta, mention that in your descriptions. These are the facts that
make your products more interesting and unique than the ones that can be found
in big box stores and it’s part of what people are willing to pay the extra money for.
We want to be able to point interesting facts like this out but we won’t know
them if you don’t share them ;)
5) Meta Tags
This seems like an area to quickly fill in but they’re
really important to search engines like Google and to us. We’ll enter keywords
to find listings related to it so get creative and extensive with your meta
tags. It may be a specific color (like coral) or it may be a theme (like
Mother’s Day). If these words don’t necessarily fit into the title or
description of your listing but are still applicable, be sure to enter them
into your meta tags section so your listing will still show up in search results.
Test it out for yourself; enter a random word into the meta
tags section of one of your listings then enter that word into our search bar.
Your listing will now appear whenever someone searches that keyword on Made
When you’re constantly posting you’re not only at the top of
our feed, you’re at the top of our minds. If you posted 1 product a month ago,
we may have missed it and we don’t really get a good feel for what your company
is about and what types of products you offer.
Keeping your listings up to date and relevant to the season
or holiday is always helpful. That's not to say you should remove your toque & scarf listings in the summer, but if you're interested in attracting interest throughout the warmer months, be sure to add some products people will be interested in purchasing for current circumstances.
Your listings are what attract shoppers to the site so we
like to give them variety and have a good selection to browse. We’re more
likely to send people to a Storefront that has multiple listings for people to
shop from than one that only has a couple.
When you sign up, set up your Storefront with your logo, bio
and a variety of listings, find us on Facebook and say hi; we get to know you better. Not only that; we have a variety of
listings to choose from for features and Buyers have a variety of listings to
shop from. The more you participate, the more you’ll get out of the site and the
more Buyers will get out of you.
10) Giving Back
If everyone on Made Urban tells ten people to check out the
site, everyone will benefit! We’re providing a service and have a responsibility
to you and your business whether you follow the steps above or not. That being
said, we recognize and truly appreciate when people take the time to share Made
Urban and tell their friends, family, customers and fans about us. We’re all
working to make Made Urban amazing and can reach a lot more people together than
we can on our own.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Made Urban team!