Marketing Your Scrapbook Store

When you write your business plan, be sure to set aside money for advertising and promotion. If you spend tens of thousands of dollars on stock but don’t find a way to let people know you’re open for business, all your hard work and money will be for naught.

How you promote your scrapbook store depends largely on the size of your community, as well as how word tends to travel in your neck of the woods. Consider consulting other specialty store owners in your area for opinions on what works best. In some areas, direct mail could be the answer, while in others, more targeted advertising (such as in a parenting magazine rather than a general circulation newspaper) may be in order. If your budget is tight, maybe you can get in on a “group buy” of a display ad, billboard space or TV ad with other Mom-and-Pop craft stores in your area.

Don’t overlook “free advertising” in the form of public relations. An hour spent writing and sending a press release to local media could pay off big-time when a reporter is looking to cover your charity crop or themed event. And don’t overlook the college market. Students have the disposable income and the artist interest to make an impact. And getting a story about scrapbooking written in the local college newspaper or general circulation papers could be as easy as making a phone call to an arts, community or lifestyle editor. Holidays are also opportune times to solicit media interest in your store, due to publications’ needs for gift-giving and handcrafting features.

When speaking publicly, or even to customers, it is strongly advised to not “bash the competition,” be it a chain retailer or a “rival” shop across town. More often than not, such talk will backfire and the party who comes out on top is the one who took the high road. Even better, try to have an amicable relationship with competitors, resolving to send shoppers to one another if they’re seeking something you don’t have. It’s a favor that should repay itself both in business and good will. (Similarly, don’t criticize others’ style of scrapbooking—even if it seems primitive or ill-advised. You’ll just sound elitist and hurt their feelings. Of course, feel free to point out when something isn’t acid-free. They’ll thank you later!)