Before I started Global Handmade, I was just another office worker who’s annoyed with any form of advertising. It never occurred to me how much they might cost. So it came as a shock to me. A full page magazine ad can be over $7,000, and it’s not even the most popular magazines. Obviously TV ads are out of the question, so are newspapers ads. Even local paper ad can cost a few hundred dollars.
Shocked as I was, I decided to give advertising a miss. Instead, I wrote to journalists of local papers and got lucky. The two newspaper articles really helped to promote Global Handmade to the Canberra community. But then the effect wore off, and I faced a quiet period.
I used the time to improve the website and to promote Global Handmade on various social media channels. They worked…more or less…and sale were slowly coming in. I also tried weekend markets in Canberra and a couple of Fair Trade markets in Sydney. Out of desperation, I also tried letterbox drops (me and my dad were doing it to save some money) even though I’ve read that it didn’t work.
Again, out of desperation, I decided to run an ad. I chose Peppermint because I love this magazine and the price was cheaper than others. I saved on graphic design costs by designing my own ad. The Peppermint team was really helpful, and my full page ad was at the very front of the magazine. I was happy with it, and I thought, even if only 1% responded, I would get my money’s worth. It was exciting to see my ad printed on a magazine I love, but…sadly…it didn’t seem to work. According to marketing experts, it takes a long time for advertising to work, which means that I need to continue pouring money into it if I want to see any return. Inevitably I felt a bit let down…but I’m the kind who takes risks and then moves on.
Anyway, my point is, now I don’t think ads are that annoying any more (apart from Harvey Norman’s…). I always remember that, behind each ad, there is a real person’s hope and desperation.