Christmas in July: Love it or loathe it?

Business owners can be split into two groups: those who jump right into Christmas in July, and those who resist it!

Okay, it's probably not as polarised as that, but I know there will be plenty who have immediately skipped this blog based on the subject...!

There isn't really a month of the year when we don't talk about Christmas at least a little bit. And by the end of May, we've usually done one or two Christmas shoots. Thankfully, we have a great selection of very realistic Christmas trees, lights and set-ups that make it easy.

Why bother with Christmas in July?


The concept of Christmas in July really comes from the press. This is the time of year when long-lead magazines (and now digital publishers) plan their gift guides and Christmas content, so of course retailers started putting together events to show off their best stuff.

It's also around the middle of buying season for small to medium retailers, so if you're wholesaling, you'll want to grab their attention, too.

What about you?

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You don't have to put on a big exhibition, but getting a few product images shot in a festive style can help you gather attention from press, influencers and retailers.

Book a festive photoshoot now >>>

How to use your Christmas in July content

Once you've got an idea of your product range for Christmas, and maybe a photo or two, it's time to start using them effectively.

Start by sending them to marketplaces you sell on - notonthehighstreet and Etsy being great examples of creative spaces that thrive on knowing what they can work into their own marketing.

Then the brave bit: research some press contacts and influencers who might be interested in your products. Send them a lovely email with your lovely images - you might even offer to send them a sample in the post.

Be patient and resilient with this bit. You probably won't get responses from every person you email, but know that it's worth doing anyway.

And then there's the smug bit: you can start preparing and scheduling your own marketing because you already have the content available! Plan an early bird special for October, or put together emails, blogs and social media posts in plenty of time. Dreamy!

6 Ways to Get Your Shop Ready for Valentine's Day

With over 10 years working with small businesses, I thought I’d share some of my top tips to help you get your shop ready for Valentine’s Day.

Coming straight out of Christmas, into January, and finding you’re suddenly a couple of weeks from Valentine’s Day, is enough to knock any small business owner off their feet!

So make a cuppa, and check these simple steps off your list.

1. Use relevant wording

Add 'Valentine's Day', 'romantic gift', 'for her', and 'for him' to relevant listings in the titles and/or key terms and tags. This makes it easier for customers looking for inspiration to find you. A simple step, easily missed.

2. Add seasonal imagery

We're visual creatures, and photos are powerful. Having a romantic setting or strongly suggesting the intended recipient through styling can help customers to make the connection between your product and what they're looking for.

No time for new photos? Grab a mock up for cards and prints.

3. Make a statement on your homepage and shopfronts 

Feature your key seasonal pieces on your website's homepage with a lovely banner or collection. Don't forget to update your Etsy shopfront and Facebook banner, too.

4. Set your tone

Not everyone celebrates Valentine's Day in the same way, so have a think about what it means to you - and your customers. Are you soppy, sarcastic or subtle? Build your tone into products, listings and marketing content. 

5. Share stories

Keep an eye out for romantic stories in the news, from your customers, or even on sites like Humans of New York. Pick a few that speak to you (and fit with your tone), and share them on social media or in a blog post or newsletter. 

6. Don't forget mates

In recent years, Galentines and Palentines have become just as much a part of February as romantic partners. Help your customers celebrate friends in their own unique way with tailored product options or gift ideas.

From all of us at Copper Boom Studio, we wish you a positive and prosperous start to the year!

5 tips to get you through the Father's Day rush

It's not long now until Father's Day is over, so we thought we'd share five of our favourite tips to get you through, whether you're extraordinarily busy or would like to get more sales in before Sunday.


1. Delegate. And put the kettle on.
If you're really busy, you need to make sure you're only focusing on the most important things, and that you're taking care of yourself.

What can you delegate at work? Packing orders, answering enquiries, social media, or even getting someone to just help tidy up a bit. Whether it's big or small, if you're under pressure and delegating will help you get through and make more sales, it's worth exploring.

You can also delegate at home. Get someone else to sort out the groceries and dinner, if you can, or make sure you have a food delivery booked or take-away option on speed dial. Make sure you have enough tea, coffee and good, healthy snacks. If you need to send someone out for supplies, do it now.


2. Make sure you're 100% clear on your last order dates and times.
If you haven't already figured this out, do so now! And make some lovely graphics for your website, social media, newsletter and marketplace platforms (such as your Etsy shop image or update).


3. Keep posting your products with links, and share behind the scenes photos.
If you're looking to get more sales in before Sunday, make sure you keep posting your products on social media, with links to the page or a reference name or number where appropriate. Busy people need it to be really easy to scroll, discover and then buy!

Behind the scenes posts can also help to engage shoppers by demonstrating that you really are able to keep taking orders, and that your products are popular.


4. Create a free printable or other immediate download
Offering your customers a free and quick printable colouring page for little kids, or a DIY card for bigger children can be a great way to add some extra value.

Plus, you can totally save the day by having a Grandad design for Sunday morning, in case anyone forgot him!


5. Make an 'After Father's Day' list
While you're prioritising all the important things, there are going to be some things that need to go on a list for after Father's Day. Get that list going now!

You might have to put off any Christmas prep, photoshoots, or adding things to a summer sale. Make a list so you know you won't forget about them.

 

Need a hand?

We're here if you'd like to send us stuff to do, or just need some moral support!

How to stand out from the crowd: 5 ways to boost your engagement online

The good news is, the creative industries are booming. Designer-makers, creative entrepreneurs, artists, poets and visionaries are more able than ever before to set up shop, share their story and sell their work.

And we're all better off for it. The handmade mug, the unique jewellery, the beautiful artwork: our desire for expressing ourselves through the work of others is higher than ever. We can't get enough!

But with this rise in marketplaces, small businesses, and creatives putting their work out there, it becomes even more important to stand out in your own unique way, and tell your story.

Here are our five tips to stand out from the crowd and boost your engagement with customers online.

1. Get yourself out there in the first place!

Step one: publish products, post on social media, and do it all regularly. One of the biggest misnomers we see from small businesses is this idea that they're spamming their followers to being "too noisy". You're more likely to be under-posting, in comparison to the amount of stuff out there. So your first step is to pick up the pace.

2. Look consistently amazing.

Okay, there are days when we're not on our A game. We're human, after all. But having consistently awesome visual content is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. We're visual creatures, which is partly why social media is so powerful. Create a look for both products and lifestyle photos, and work to make sure you're looking particularly sparkly.

3. Do something unique.

Whether it's adding a signature colour pop, hilarious caption, or the use of a particular eye-catching prop, having your own unique style makes your brand more memorable. It's like a fingerprint - something that has YOU written all over it. Most likely this will evolve as you start posting more, but pay attention to what might work consistently as your unique way of sharing what you do.

4. Shine your weird light brightly.

Okay, maybe it's not that weird. But show your personality, or that of your products, to attract the customers who resonate with those qualities. For example, if you're into hilarious swearing, make sure you're showing people your hilarious swearing. If your products are quietly sophisticated, shine that soft, subtle light for the people who are attracted to it. It may not be neon, but it does need to be consistent.

5. Share your story - in big ways and small.

Having a clear and engaging about page is really helpful. It can boost your SEO, as well as giving potential customers a clear backstory to who's behind their new favourite products! Part of the benefit of re-visiting your about page is that you can also hone smaller parts of your story: the key anecdotes or qualities that you can share every now and then on social media, or in a printed note in your parcels. Rather than visual, this is about words and stories that get people interested in what you do.

Need a hand to stand out?

As part of all our creative services, we'll work with you to identify the key unique selling points you have as a brand, whether that's for a new set of photographs, an about page, or your social media content. Our photography skills and writing experience is incredibly high, but it's this commitment to uncovering what will help you stand out that we think is the most valuable service we offer.

You can get in touch to talk about what you need, or book our services. We'd love to work with you!