I'm looking for advise on how to effectively market our company. We exclusively sell handcrafted trophy plaques. I have do some internet research into what is available and I believe that there is a market out there, but I haven't been able to "hit it on the head". One form of advertising that I created are links between different popular hunting and taxidermy websites. What else?
Any suggestions, advise is greatly appreciated and welcomed.
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The best way to find the market is to attend the conventions. The professional journals of Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today are your prime advertising sites.
Now, the part that you didn't ask for but I'm going to give it anyway. Many people outside the industry are sure that such panels will be in high demand INSIDE the industry but I just don't believe it. In fact, I discourage my customers from them simply because they usually NEVER match the furniture or the walls where they'll be hung. Wives are too fond of mismatched wood. Additionally, the use of panels has waned as the quality of taxidermy has improved. Few people want a shoulder mount attached to a mismatched piece of wood that makes the animal look "stuffed".
I did woodworking and furniture building for years along with my taxidermy. What I ended up making the most profit on was specialty items of which there is virtually NO manufacturers available. The are professional diorama boxes made with premium hardwoods 6 or 8 inches tall, end tables or cocktail tables with glass panels or cabinents to show mounts. These are areas where good woodworking just doesn't seem intested in. I have one helluva time finding good diorama boxes.
I agree whole-heartedly with George about the dioramas or display cases, I have problems finding display cases that can be wall-hung & have the required dimensions. But I don't agree with him on the "panel thing". We sell panels to around 95% of our customers. We NEVER discourage the customer from buying a panel-we view it as to be "like putting a picture in a frame", saying that it provides a place to put a commemorative label(metal name plate w/the hunters' name or date of harvest)-or even provides an area to mount that all-important(to some of us rednecks) shell caseing, or even their skinning knife. We also provide a selection of panels that could include the feet mounted for a gunrack, small panels for single foot or antler mounts(some ladies like to use these as unique curtain pull-backs or for actually draping the curtains on-or even as hat racks. There are also special panels for multiple horn mounts(on one panel). Pete I suggest you set-up displays at as many Taxidermy functions(conventions or supplier exhibits at taxidermy schools and mini-courses) as possible, maybe even with "freebie" miniature versions(refrigerator magnets maybe) of your panels to give to interested buyers(put an ink stamp of your business & number on the back-a ready business card for reference). Try to work on making some contacts at these functions with the better known supply houses-they may be willing to carry your products. And last- but certainly not least- consider putting ads in "Breakthrough" and "Taxideermy Today" magazines, because from anyone aspiring to becoming a taxidermist to the experienced taxidermist (if they're worth their salt) will turn to these excellent publications for new information on the industry, techniques, and new products. Selling 200-400 panel products around here isn't unheard of- so Good Luck with your endeavors.
May God Bless-Susan
Thanks for replying back, per your suggestions I made contact with both magazines.
If either one of you is interested in our products I can email you our line card.