Marketing Your Product
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Creating buzz in the back of the room and beyond.
You can have the best product in the world, but what good does it do if nobody knows about it? So how do you tell the world about your product? You have several options. You can find a distributor, someone who already has a network of outlets in place and will become your partner, or you can opt to sell back-of-the-room only. How do you know which way to go? Well it all depends:
You’ve got some thinking to do.
Do you want to develop a relationship with independent retail outlets? Are you willing to do the legwork yourself, or will you hire someone to do it for you? What is the cost and benefit of doing so? Do you want to market yourself through catalogs? Can you sell your product on the Internet? How much inventory do you want to keep on hand? You can market your products through all of these venues if you want, in addition to selling them at your events, or just limit your venture to back-of-the-room only. It’s all up to you.
Back-of-the-room sales are very effective for public speakers, musicians, comedians, and just about anyone else that performs live, because you take advantage of the “buzz” of the event. Just make sure you get permission from the sponsors of the event.
There’s something to be said for striking while the iron is hot.
Once, while I was eating at an Italian restaurant, I had the pleasure of enjoying the stirring performance of a strolling violinist. During the break he went from table to table to sell his CDs. You guessed it: I bought one, as did many of the people in the restaurant that night. Would I have still been so moved by his performance the next day that I would bother going to a store or on the Internet to buy it?
What if you’re too busy after the show to sell your product?
Sometimes it can get busy after a performance, which makes it difficult for you to sell the product yourself. Fans will approach you after the performance; they may want your autograph, or a picture with you, or just want to tell you how much they enjoyed your performance. These activities are great for public relations but bad for product sales. If you do not have an assistant who can help take the money, you could always rely on the honor system. A glass fishbowl works great! Make a sign that looks professional and spells out the product name and price. Place it on the display table right next to your products. Throw a few five-dollar bills into the fishbowl so the customer gets the idea and has change if necessary. Or you can get someone from the audience to help you monitor the sales activity.
Your performance is your best sales pitch.
If you have given a good performance, your products will practically sell themselves. Just ask the introducer to mention where the audience can find your products for sale sometime during the show. Or, even better, tell the introducer or facilitator to inform your audience that they can meet you, in person, after the performance in the back of the room or wherever your products are on display. If the sales activity is slow, it may be because your performance wasn’t your best. In that case, use the information to help you improve your next performance.
Interested in learning more about professional audio/video services? Contact me at 800-647-4281.
This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/096739967X/ref=sc_pgp__m_A37OD7TI15D03E… or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16020.