February holds one of the first major gift-giving holidays of the New Year: Valentine’s Day, which is a great holiday to boost your handmade sales.
To impact sales in February, you must start planning and marketing in January…at the latest. The further ahead you can plan, the better off you’ll be, ensuring you’re prepared for wholesale orders and craft shows.
Let’s take a look at how you can prepare for Valentine’s Day to boost your February sales.
Determine how you’ll add a Valentine’s Day flair to a sales channel and which ones you’ll use to promote your products.
Updating backdrops to red or pink, adding heart shaped props or red roses can instantly give a Valentine’s Day feel to a product listing, home page of a website or craft show display.
Look at each sales channel you’ll use next month and define specifics on how you’ll update them for the holiday.
Selling online allows you to work with the shortest leeway. You can add Valentine’s Day product listings to your website or Etsy shop weeks in advance as opposed to months, which is what other sales channels typically require.
If you’re already signed up for a Valentine’s Day craft show, you still have time to create themed products and work on your marketing to ensure your most loyal fans show up and buy.
If you don’t have any events planned but are interested in selling through one for Valentine’s Day, you can check to see if there are any events in your area and if they still have any vendor spots open.
Do be sure you have enough time to prepare, can create enough product and that all your products will be a good fit for the event, not just your Valentine’s Day themed ones.
Lastly, mark the upcoming October/November in your calendar, with a reminder to research and apply to next year’s Valentine’s Day events. That should give you plenty of time to apply, be accepted and prepare.
Retailers typically work 3 – 6 months in advance but smaller boutiques and consignment stores may still have room in their budget in January to purchase Valentine’s Day products.
Research local boutiques that draw in the same type of customers who are interested in your products and contact any you’re interested in approaching.
Check out these articles for more advice on selling through retailers
You must have your Valentine’s Day themed products ready to go; product line developed, priced, photographed, etc. and be able to fulfill any orders you get. Don’t rush to get a product together and approach stores last minute and unprepared. That might leave a bad impression and make it hard for you to get orders in the future.
If there isn’t enough time for you to fit all that in, skip retailers this year and mark next September/October with a note to start planning a Valentine’s Day-themed product line.
That should leave enough time for you to put together a lookbook/line sheet, market to retailers and fulfill orders.
Do get to know any retailers you’re interested in supplying and determine their buying schedule. Then you know how many months in advance to approach them.
Determine what you’ll sell to follow a Valentine’s Day theme.
Don’t go outside your niche to create products for Valentine’s Day or follow trends when they’re not a fit for your business or brand. People are always looking for fun and unique product ideas so there’s no need to venture into jewelry or card making just for the holiday.
Instead, take your existing products and find a way to tweak them to become more Valentine’s Day gift appropriate.
You may tweak your products by offering them in red or pink, such as a knitted red scarf, hat and glove set. Heart shapes can also add a Valentine’s Day feel when used for fabrics in sewing. Jewelers can make heart-shaped pendants, rings and earrings. And soap or bath bombs can be molded into the shape of hearts or offered in chocolate, cinnamon hearts or rose scents.
Use your imagination and brainstorm ways you can add a Valentine’s Day theme to your existing products.
Consider the price points your customer may be most comfortable with when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts. If you’re selling jewelry, most gift givers are prepared to spend $50 and up.
People giving less traditional gifts, such as art, accessories, bath & body products, etc. may be more comfortable spending around the $50 mark and under.
You may not need to create a Valentine’s Day product line if your products are already fitting for the holiday. You could simply add the right packaging; red and pink labels, tissue paper and ribbons or heart-shaped boxes.
Updating your product photos and added one or two Valentine’s Day themed props in the background could also give non-Valentine’s Day related products a spin.
Sprinkle paper or cinnamon hearts on the white backdrop your products are photographed on, add a bundle of roses in the background or maybe your products would look good photographed on a red or pink background, instead of white.
Gift giving is also a great opportunity to increase your units and dollar per transaction.
For more ideas on offering add-ons without increasing your workload, check out “Tactic #2” in this article: https://www.madeurban.com/blog/make-less-sell-next-craft-show/
You must market, market, market to sell those amazing Valentine’s Day products you’ve just created.
Put together a blog article to be posted on your website and shared on social media channels and in your newsletter. If posted far enough in advance, it can also help boost your S.E.O (search engine optimization).
When people are searching “unique Valentine’s Gift ideas under $50” on Google, your article with the same title may show up, attracting the perfect customer.
You may also post an article about:
You can advertise online using platforms such as Google Adwords or Facebook ads and drive traffic to a Valentine’s Day listing on your website. If a particular blog attracts your ideal audience, see if they have any advertising opportunities such as a banner ad or featured post.
Start sharing Valentine’s Day related posts on social media 2 – 3 weeks in advance so people have enough time to place orders and have products shipped. Share sneak peeks of your Valentine’s Day products, related blog posts, memes and product listings.
Also plan to send a Valentine’s Day-themed newsletter 2 – 3 weeks in advance. You may want to offer a special promotion to your newsletter subscribers or simply share a link to your blog post or product listings.
If you plan far enough in advance, send out press releases to magazines. February issues typically hit stands in mid-January so you must stay way ahead of schedule for this tactic.
If it’s too late to approach magazines for this Valentine’s Day, mark next September/October in your calendar with a note to prepare a Valentine’s Day-themed press release. You should send it out by October or November for a chance to make it into next year’s February issue.
Local media outlets don’t work as far in advance as major magazines so you may try sending a press release to local newspapers and TV stations. You could get a TV spot or an interview with a local newspaper.
You should be sending your local press release at least two weeks before the date you’d like to be featured, which gives you time to follow up if they don’t bite after the first message. Find the right person to send your press release to, create a newsworthy angle, get a press release drafted and send it out.
If you use a platform such as Etsy, being featured on the homepage would likely result in a big boost of traffic to your shop, and sales. To increase your chances of being noticed and chosen for a Valentine’s Day feature on the home page, be sure your basics are covered:
Etsy editors are also going to look for:
If you follow the steps above and don’t get featured, you’re still setting yourself up for success. Having Valentine’s Day products posted well before February 14th, photographed beautifully and with the proper titles and tags will help shoppers find your products and be more likely to purchase.
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