Dragonflyquilts

Need help with an advertisment

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Here is my dilema

I have had my machine for a year now. I have done everthing I can to advertise my service.

However, I smoke, but not in my house.

I found out a couple of months ago, there is a queen witch in the larger guild I was a member of that was telling people not to give me their business because it would come back smelling like smoke, totally unfounded. Therefore, my machine sits empty more often than not.

Yesterday the local machine owners had a meeting, we are going to start our own guild in this area.They suggested that I run an ad in the newsletters that come out. They are a minimal charge and it is in my budget.

I would like some help with the ad, if anyone is interested in giving me some good love and tough love, please let me know so I can email it to you for your critique. I am hoping to put it out in the november newsletters.


Tracey Gelbaugh

Dragonfly Quilts

APQS Millennium

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I love marketing and networking. I have an idea for you.

Have a wonderful quote from one of your current customers included in your ad. This could be your mom, auntie or neighbor. It could address the odor issue in a round about way.

For instance,

"What a wonderful experience having my heirloom aniversary quilt quilted by Tracy. She pays special attention to detail, has a fresh and clean work environment and was not only on time but a week early with my beautiful project! I highly recomend Dragonfly Quilts, Tracy's work is excepional!" Suzie B. Quilter

You could also ask your most trusted quilter friends to start a buzz about you at your guild. Also, do not be afraid to plug yourself! if you have been published, won ribbons or quilted an award winner let it be known! If not, start working on it. another idea, when you take a piecing class just happen to bring a sample of your work. Do not openly plug as to not take away from the teacher. But bring it out towards the end of class as to think of how you are going to quilt your project. Take a lot of piecing classes and make friends with the students. Of course make friends with the quilt shops too. Advice about your guild: I have found that at my guild Longarmers will join when they get a machine come to plug themselves and you never see them again. I suggest you volunteer for your guild in some capacity. You will make friends who quilt and people will get to know you. They will be more likely to have you quilt for them if you are familiar or they know you.

Hope this helps.

Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out!

Cheryl


Cheryl Uribe

Livermore, California ~45 miles east of San Francisco

APQS Representative/Educator

Since 2004

Sales, Demonstrations & Education

www.gizmogirlquilts.com

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Tracey -

If you have a smokefree and/or pet-free quilting environment, say so.

But let me caution you, if you are going to guild smelling of smoke or sporting animal hairs don't expect the other guild members to overlook the evidence.

Sorry - this may sound tough, but there it is.


Pam - quilt doodle smith

practicing in PA

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I have also been quilting a year. My best form of advertising is getting a vendor booth at local quilt shows. I hang my most favorite quilts I have quilted. I borrow them from my customers. I make up 3 page brochures and business cards. People can meet me, see my work and ask questions. I usually give out about 80 cards or brochures a day. Most people want to know what my turnaround time is. You can't get business unless people know you have a service to offer. Most quilt stores will take your cards and brochures to give out to customers when they ask for a longarm quilter. Get use to the roomers and negative people. You need to get thick skinned. Just do the best job you can on each quilt. Quilt each quilt as if it were going to be in a show, even if it is just a panto. The quality of your work will get you repeat business and be the best form of advertising. All guilds have their problem people, don't quit because of one person.


APQS Freedom owner
pahasapa@enetis.net

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It amazes me how some people are so quick to slip a knife between your ribs...I had a similar experience at a local guild. I introduced myself to several (4 or 5) longarmers in the group, and asked about their areas of specialty. I was pleasant, asked about there machines and always said "aren't we so lucky to be able to do what we love?". The guild president's first statement when I was introduced was "we already have 5 longarmers in the group". I smiled and said "yes, I've met them...aren't they wonderful? Smiling the whole time.

It was then that I realized that I would have to find my own niche. Teach classes...almost for free (the payback in quilt work is better than what you make teaching). Invite students to stitch ins. Let them see your machine. Take your cards to the local fabric stores (not quilt shops). Talk to book stores about setting up a display and doing a quilt demo to promote their section...think outside the box!

cynthia


Can you quilt it out?

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In my area I find that most of my customers tend to be "older" and retired, so I make a big effort to get out to places they go to. I go to all the concerts and events that draw my older friends and make sure to take along one of my special quilts to sit on or cover with since a lot are outside and this will most always start a conversation. I also go to the older citizens clubs and the Red Hat Socity to chat and hug on all the sweet little ladies that make life so interesting. After all, where would we be if they hadn't started this for us?

Teresa

Silver Threads Quilting

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I recently put car signs on my MINI. They aren't expensive, around $80-$100 depending on design and color. I have had great feed back. in the last 2 weeks alone I have had 4 emails alone saying.....Hey I saw your cute car at the Park/Acme/Dentists office, Can I drop off a quilt? Also I have had people come up in different parking lots and ask for card. I park my car in strategic locations....near Joann's, quilt shops and any place else I think a quilter might be lurking. So far so good.


Sue Lambrecht

Lambrecht Quilts

Wyndmoor, PA

APQS Millennium

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Thank you all for your responses, please keep posting if you want. I just wanted to let you all know that I am not offended at all by any of the comments. I said I wanted them good or bad and I am okay with all of them.

I have been told about the febreeze, and I do have some.

And the witch from the guild is not even another machine owner, she is just a very demanding person and one who is not very nice when she is demanding...the entire guild will tell you that.

Oh, and I will add my name to the advertisment, my husband pointed that out to me.

The magnetic car sign is a good idea as well, I will have to pray over that one though. I live in a large metropolitan area and I dont know if I really want my phone number out on my vehicle, I will have consider my personal saftey And understand that with the hours my husband works he is not home a lot during the week, so I am home by myself. We have a dog, but he will lick them to death.

I also want to teach classes, I have asked around by most have their's established or I am not part of the "in crowd" on that circle. While the other machine owners in this area are not competitive, teaching for the shops is, at least to me.

That or I am not good enough of a butt kisser.

Please keep responding.

Blessings and hugs


Tracey Gelbaugh

Dragonfly Quilts

APQS Millennium

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HI Tracey

I have a business number that does not correspond to a home address so that isn't a problem for me. HOWEVER, I have a few friends that are personal chefs with the same concerns as you... so they just put their email address on the signs. Because everybody has a computer or has someone in the family with one...this has not slowed down response. Just a thought , but I just had a woman drop off a king who saw my car sign. Very Effective.


Sue Lambrecht

Lambrecht Quilts

Wyndmoor, PA

APQS Millennium

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Thanks for the idea of the email address, that is something to consider.

Well another chapter in my spat. Last nite I called to speak to the newsletter editor and was verbally attacked on the phone by her. This is a diffrent person who is known for being very opininated and is very rude about it.

I was very polite and stood my ground with her.

My response to her rudeness is to provide a kind gesture. I have a letter that I just typed up with a gift certificate on the bottom of it for a free machine quilting. I addressed her concerns and offered my service to for free in order to resolve her concerns. I was going to mail it to her and the other one that has that concern.

In the meantime all of this is a lot of effort to avoid the bigger picture which is to sucessfuly quit this. I should spend the time de-stressing in my sewing room and not on an expensive, unhealthy habit.

Blessings and hugs


Tracey Gelbaugh

Dragonfly Quilts

APQS Millennium

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I have never done any advertising to speak of and stay booked and busy and while I know my method will not work for everyone, it has worked for me so I'll share it here.

1. As soon as other longarmers in your guild hear of someone else getting a longarm, their defenses automatically go up -- COMPETITION! Instead of trying to advertise in the traditional way, when I was ready to get customers, I did my very best on a few of my own quilts. I always try to leave room for feathers in my quilts. The quilts don't have to be big .. they can even be wall hangings but have room for some real attention getting quilting. Then at show & tell, show your best work. You're not asking for anyone's business . . you're just showing your work. When I would do this, I would have 5 or 6 people ask me and ask if I quilted for others. Sure . . here's my card!

2. Do you know how many longarmers solicit the local quilt shops for business? Most shop owners have relationships with several longarmers and if they are happy with them, they are not real excited about "wasting" their time talking to other longarmers wanting business. So, instead of walking in, handing my card and explaining that I'd like their business, when I had a quilt that I knew I had done a fantastic job of quilting, I'd take the quilt on a field trip to the quilt shop. I'd leave the quilt in the car until I was sure the shop was full of customers. Then I'd say "Oh, I need binding fabric for a quilt. Let me get it out of the car." Of course, you have to spread the quilt out and flap it around in someone's face if they aren't paying attention! ;) But, someone would always say "Who quilted this?" Well, I did .. of course! Then they'd want to know if I have a longarm, if I have a business card, etc. Had I walked into the shop and announced that I was a longarm quilter and wanted their business, almost everyone in there would have said "we have our own longarmer".

3. Offer to quilt a top for your LQS for free. I do 5 or more quilts for free for our LQS. One of the reason I do them for free is because if I want to do an outstanding heirloom job and it would be $750 or more, the shop owner may want to pay only $100 and I don't want to be limited by what she wants to pay when hundreds and hundreds of people are going to see the quilting. Our LQS does quilt shows and she sells lots of kits. If I quilt the sample for the kit, I get many others wanting their quilt done exactly like the sample. It has paid off quite nicely for me to do the shop's samples for free (and I get a great discount in the shop).

4. When a client comes to you with a quilt that has potential, and you think you could do some outstanding, attention grabbing quilting, offer to do the additional quilting at no extra charge if they will enter it in a couple of shows and give you credit. I had a lady who wanted a meander on a quilt that I felt could be a show quilt. I offered to do custom quilting for the meander price if she would enter it in shows and give me credit. She agreed, entered the quilt and it won several ribbons. She is in the Baltimore area (I am in KY). That was 7 years ago and I still get probably 1/3 of my business from that area and it all started with that quilt.

Of course, you can't give away all your work but weigh it all out and see if it might work for you. When thinking of ways to advertise, don't limit yourself to traditional ads and brochures.

Good luck, Tracey. I feel the business is out there. Some may have to work harder for it but once you get your foot in the door, and the clients begin calling, it seems to snowball and you'll soon have more people calling than you can possibly accommodate.


Judy Laquidara

Brownwood, TX

APQS Millennium

Blog: http://www.patchworktimes.com

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Tracey

Don't forget to put your area code on your ad. Website or email is a great idea for a Magnetic sign. I like to check them out when I get home. Be brave and go for it and show off your quilting to everybody. I even go to sewing services in town and put sample and cards. They have Piecers come in asking about a quilting services. Go to community festivals and set up with plenty of samples or sales with quilting on it. (purses, baby bibs, baby blankets, etc. Keep going. Lots of luck Nita


0904BB851369B02D94166B5DF476CC78.png

www.henhousemachinequilting.com

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