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April 29, 2015

How to Get Featured on Made Urban


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:

Home Page

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.

Spotlight Articles

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 out there?

Spotlight Slideshow

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.

Newsletter

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.

Craft shows

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.

Social media

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.

Other

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 background
  • 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.

2) Uniqueness

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.

4) Descriptions

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 Urban!

6) Activity

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.

7) Relevance

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.

8) Variety

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.

9) Participation

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!

Comments
Kathy
2015-04-29 10:23
thank you for this great helpful article!!
Made Urban
2015-05-13 10:31
Thanks for reading! :)
madeiracrafts
2015-05-19 08:55
Very helpful! Just learned about this site last week. I'm excited to get some stuff into my storefront! Thanks
BeadsNyarn
2015-05-23 10:26
This is great! thank you
I just joined and excited to get started
bavoice
2015-05-31 06:31
Thanks for the great tips.
HeartWreaths
2015-07-30 07:44
I stumbled across your site on Pinterest while looking for Craft Show display advice. I'm looking forward to getting my Storefront set up & adding listings. Thank you for providing this service to small businesses like mine!
loisj51
2016-02-04 01:11
Love this site - it's great for small businesses - easy to set up your storefront and add listings and photos. Thank you!!
Made Urban
2016-02-04 03:32
That's so great to hear loisj51! Thanks so much for joining :)
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