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you can do your own SEO for free, but it's my understanding that by doing such you're likely only to reach a more local area. for nat'l/internat'l SEO to be most effective, you would probably want to pay the pros. or so i've heard....

go to the library and pick up a book on marketing. this is probably the biggest free thing you can do for your business, imo.

it's kinda hard to give too much help without knowing if you print-for-hire or have your own brand. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, yes I forgot to mention I have my own brand of tee's i just recently launched my website, so far all i've done for marketing is hand out fliers & direct mail which hasn't been to effective yet but i will continue to do that and the other ideas you all mentioned...
 

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your return rate on direct mail is around 3%, if what i did 15 years ago or so still holds true. when you send that stuff out, you're not marketing, you're advertising. the idea of marketing is to find out who your customers are, *then* advertise to them as directly as possible.

when i did direct mail, i want to say a name cost like one and half cent or something like that. the more detailed that name's profile, increasing the likelihood of a sale, and the cost went up a couple of cents the more that person matched the product. now, seven cents doesn't sound like a lot, but multiply that by 10,000 and your costs are starting to get high. not sure if things still run like that, it's been a long time since i attempted it (and it didn't work, lol).

anyway, like i said, pick up a book on marketing and that's going to help out a lot, imo. chances are you don't know your market as well as you think, and if you don't begin to answer some real questions about your customers and designs, then you can wind up spinning your wheels wondering why you haven't made many sales. if you're handing out fliers and sending direct mail to random people, it will fail. you have to send them and hand them out to potential customers. i mean, you're wasting time and money handing out a flier to grandma if you're hawking affliction style gear, right? :) but, set up at an MMA show and you'll sell shirts and actually get a few ppl to visit your site.

what's your website?
 

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It all depends on what your long term goal is! Are you trying to build a relationship with your customers and turn it into more of a brand, or is your goal to pick up some traffic via google, etc. that will get you a quick sale?

If you're looking to create that relationship with your customer, definitely invest your time/money into social networking. If you're looking to generate a quick sale, hire someone to do some SEO on your online store for some solid keywords.
 

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andy, it sounds as if you're implying that social media is your key towards building a long-term brand while SEO is nothing more than grabbing a single sale and they'll never return. while facebook is certainly valuable, that in itself doesn't actually sell anything for you. i don't want people to come to my fb and hit 'like,' i need them to come to the actual site to buy something. a person can have 500 'likes' and not a single sale is generated. if i had 500 people that hit my site based on seo, which do you think i'm going to have better success with?

dunno. not having a site myself, if i had to choose between facebook/twitter/printerest/etc. and solid SEO, i think i'm going with the latter. of course, i'm not suggesting you ignore the social media, i merely question building a 'relationship' with someone through your social media that amounts to a business blog that is no guarantee of repeat business, which you're suggesting SEO fails to do (which, imo, is kind of a silly thing to suggest), versus driving people directly to your site that's more motivated to buy a specific product based on the keywords. i'd be interested in knowing the drop off rate between people who visit a facebook page and how many actually make it to the main site to buy something.
 

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social media sites (i wont name them) offer the best solution for total integration and don't forget most of the sites are now mobile ,postal or tv are not and every body has a mobile these days,
So it gives you a web presence for no cost at all seeing as the big guys are free just make sure you have a very appealing page with tons of content which sounds a bit daunting but it isn't maybe a few days hard at it then just update when you have new goods or offers or get a website fanpage management team in who will do all the work for you .

Then if you want to get more custom use the sites paid advert programs which are good value in my eyes...

for instance a friend of mine who has had a tattoo parlour for the last 5 years & doing reasonably well ,then decided to open a website And also fanpage he created them a few months ago and once he had loaded all his photos of work up & done all the content adding created a paid advert which was then targeted at the customers he wanted to target and has added %30 extra sales from that avenue after just 3 months hes stopped his ads now and will probably put it back on when hes slow for work ....a nice tool to have in the box.
 

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if you've got some money to throw at google adwords, that could be beneficial in driving traffic to your site
they have offers on sometimes as well so shop around and if you use paid web ads always search for vouchers or coupons it will bring the costs down by %50 in some cases .....advertising has never been cheaper or more targeted .....i use every means of getting me out there to the public and pay very little
 
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