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Top 5 Ideas to Market Your Quilt Shop

Summary

These are the top 5 things you can do right now to grow and market your quilt shop.  We discuss ways to get customers and how to keep them coming back.

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Top 5 Ideas to Market Your Quilt Shop

Introduction

Having owned a shop in Texas for years, I wanted to share to the top things you should do as a quilt shop owner to market your quilt shop and become successful.

We discuss growing your quilt shop through getting repeat customers, referrals, and attract new quilting customers from every corner. We address the top five things you can do to grow or market your quilt shop right now.

These are the top five things you can do right now to grow and market your quilt shop. We discuss the best ways to get customers and how to keep them coming back.

 

#1 - Make customers to want to return

Online quilt shop competition with your quilt shop can be frustrating, but you need to understand that you can compete by creating the desire within your customer to come back. They will return if they feel welcome, helped, and are thrilled with their overall experience. You create an environment that makes everyone (male/female, old/young, tattoos, straight/gay) feel welcomed and highly satisfied. When you and your staff create a fun, happy, knowledgeable environment for everyone; you have the recipe to compete against every other online and local quilt shop. Make friends wherever possible. If you disagree on this point, you might as well close your shop now. This is over 50% of your success! To understand the importance, read What Makes A Local Quilt Shop Great? (by Abby Glassenberg).

 

#2 - Customer Focused Hours

Your classes need to be tailored to younger working quilters. If all your classes are during the day on weekdays, you will not provide reasons for younger working quilters to be engaged in your events.

In reason #1, we talked about making friends. If you have occasional social events in the evening hours; you will increase that feeling of being welcomed.

 

#3 - Increase the rate of referrals

The reason #1 works so well, is that happy customers keep coming back; but they also will use word of mouth to tell others. Give them reasons to refer you. "Jane, tell your friends about the (special event, class, or sale) coming up on Saturday!"

Please understand that the average happy customer tells 3 people to visit you, and the unhappy tells 10 not to visit you. Add this into social media (like Facebook and Twitter) and this can be magnified 10 to 100 times because it is so much easier to reach more people in less time. This means a happy person can use social media to tell 30 to 300 people about you or your events in minutes. Use this to your advantage, which leads us to #4.

 

#4 - Have a great website & Facebook page

Quilters are getting younger, and many quilt shop owners have been ignoring them and their needs. Worse yet, they may be invisible to them. Understand younger quilters will not even know you exist if you do not have a web presence -- a good one at that! If you do not have one, take a look at Like Sew Websites or find someone you trust to build them.

Your website at the very least should be one attractive page with your shop name, address, phone, hours, description of your quilt shop, some amazing photos, a contact-us, and a link to your Facebook page.

Your Facebook page must have the same information, great photos. Critically important: You must have lots of likes and a great rating from the start. Do this in two steps: First ask your trusted customers and friends like and rate you, then ask everyone else. On your register and in your newsletters ask to "Like us on Facebook."

 

#5 - Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

Words of mouth and social media will grow your shop for those who already know you or an existing happy customer; but bringing in new people is the other 50%. If you do not invest in advertising your quilt shop, you will fail. If you disagree on this point, you might as well close your shop now. I am serious on this.

I hear so many quilt shop owners say, "I am not going to spend any money on advertising." These are the words of someone who has not been educated on the importance of this in growing your quilt shop. Do not be one of those. Work smarter, not harder.

Where to invest your advertising dollars is the challenging part. Print advertising is dying and in some areas is already dead. So adjust for your area, or try it out. From the school of hard knocks, here are the top seven:

  • Newsletters - Collect your customers emails, and send them a regular newsletter that is fun and engaging to your events. Constant Contact and others are only about $30 to $50 a month.
  • Country Register - This is about the last printed paper still read by quilters. In many areas, it is the bible for older quilters. It will not attract younger quilters. (United States & Canada only)
  • Online Shop & Event Listings - QuiltingHub.com is the best value, most accurate, and heavily used site with over 500,000 page views per month. It was designed for quilt shop owners. Member listings (only $8/month) get considerably more visibility for their shop and events (shop hops, sales, classes). Nothing else compares to this site for flexibility, reach, and overall advertising value. It attracts quilters of all ages, but gets you the younger crowd in the medium they are looking. TO learn more, read Quilt Shop Owner Benefits.
  • Facebook post boosting - Boosting a photo post on Facebook can be very effective. You can select your local area and select only those interested in quilting as your target. Start at $5/day and adjust it up or down until you see the best results. For more tips, read Growing Your Quilt Shop With Facebook.
  • Shop Hops - Having a shop hop, shares the responsibility and cost of advertising and produces great results. Row By Row Experience has become a huge money maker.
  • Newspaper - If you can afford it, post your sales or your quilt shop in local papers.
  • Mailed Coupons - In some areas, there is a value pack mailing of coupons that comes in an envelope.

 

Conclusion

We discussed the first 50% of the equation which is how to foster an environment where quilting customers want to and be able to return to your quilt shop. We ended the first 50% with how to maximize referrals from your existing customers.

The last 50% of the marketing your quilt shop to quilters is advertising. We discussed the important of your website, Facebook page, and other advertising mediums.

From my years of owning a quilt shop, I will tell you these are the key things that make a quilt shop successful. For those of you that implement all of these things correctly, you will not only survive, you will thrive. If you skip a step, or do not put the proper energy into it, you will not get the results. These are the things to help make my quilt shop successful against online and local competitors. You have value -- prove it -- improve it!

 

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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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