There are many ways to market your soaps and homemade bath products. I have found that giving free samples is one of the best methods for getting new customers for my soaps.
You can cut 16 samples from one basic 4 oz. bar of soap by cutting the bar into 8 pieces, then cutting those pieces in half. Next, place a piece of the soap in a small craft bag (you can get these at Stores in the Crafts section) and label it with your business information using regular Avery mailing labels.
To distribute your samples, place them in attractive baskets and visit a few non-competing stores to see if they will let you leave your baskets on their counters.
You can also staple these to your business cards, and hand them out as you normally would a business card.
Yet another method that works better than the above two would be to make what are called “fish bowls” and leave these at area businesses. To make a fish bowl, first print out some cards for customer’s information such as name, address and phone number. Next, purchase a few containers that are clear, and that has a secure lid on them, that are about the size of a regular fish bowl. Some people actually use fish bowls, but I have found this causes problems because the fish bowls break easily, and cannot be closed to prevent theft of your customer’s information.
Now take the lid of your container, and cut a slot that is big enough for your slips of paper that you printed off earlier to slip into when they are folded in half. Secure your lid onto your container with tape and then cover the tape with attractive ribbon.
Next, make a sign stating that anyone that enters your drawing for a free “whatever” will receive a free soap sample in the mail. The “whatever” can be a gift certificate from the store that lets you place your fish bowls on their counters (this helps promote the store, thus making the store owner more agreeable to letting you use their counter space), or it can be a few bars of soap from your inventory or both
Next, locate stores that do not mind sharing some of their counter space with you. This is where you'll place your fish bowls.
Although this method costs a bit more because you are offering a prize, and because you will need to mail your samples, it also produces better results than by just handing out samples.
You will get potential customers addresses and phone numbers, when you mail your sample you can also include information about your products, and you can also send them a follow up mailing asking for their input on how well they liked your sample. This information can be very valuable towards the growth of your business.
You can also package samples of your bath salts and scrubs in the small zip lock bags as well, and use these instead if you do not make soap.
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Paul is Head of Training for a major UK Charitable Organisation with a wealth of experience in personal development, management development, e-learning and operational management. In addition he owns PK eBooks (www.pk-ebooks.co.uk) and has just published a Guide to Making Soaps and Candles which can be found at www.pk-ebooks.co.uk/making_soaps_and_candles.htm
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