This issue we are going to be discussing publicity, getting the word
out on yourself and your products. This is probably the most important
aspect of your business. You can have the best product in the world,
something that is going to revolutionize the industry, and if nobody
knows about it… you’re dead in the water.
Now being a new company, unless you are independently wealthy, you
are going to be operating in the red the first couple of years. There’s
no way around it, starting up any kind of business is going to be a
financial drain on your personal finances. You have production costs,
office related expenses, and a myriad of other bills that are all
clamoring for your attention. And until you can start selling your
product and generating some cash, you are going to be dipping into your
personal bank account to pay those bills.
But all is not lost. I have learned a few tricks to generate the much needed publicity at little or no cost to you.
First thing you need to do is create a budget. I like to create a new
budget each year. I look over the one from the previous year and decide
what worked and what didn’t, maybe shift over some funds from this
category to that category etc… Each year is going to be different, and
you’ll learn as you go along what works and what doesn’t.
Once you have your budget, you know exactly how much you are
allocating for publicity. It is very important to stay within the
parameters of your budget, and once you start reaping the benefits of
all your hard work, you can funnel more cash into your publicity
take a look at your website. We touched on a few of my thoughts
concerning web design in the last issue. One of them was that I felt
that a web site should be splashy. I decided early on that I wanted my
web site to have that E.C. Comics vibe. Ed Gein became my version of
the Crypt Keeper, a grave robber turned corporate pitchman.
I had stumbled across Creepy-T’s (creepy-ts.com)
while surfing the web, and immediately fell in love with their artwork.
Though primarily known for their t-shirt design, I hired them to create
all of my website illustrations and to print up some t-shirts for me. I
think Brainstorm Studios needs to start looking over their shoulder,
because Creepy-T’s is gaining on them. They have the best prices in the
industry and I can personally
vouch for the quality of their work. So if you need some web illustrations or t-shirts, check them out.
Now that you have a cool looking web site, how do you bring in the
customers? There are a lot of search engines out there, which one do
you sign up with? Forget Yahoo, they charge for listing your website.
Your best bet is Google (http://www.google.com/addurl.html). Everyone
uses Google including Yahoo. The best part is that it’s free. Another
free search engine is HorrorFind (http://www.horrorfind.com/). You can
sign up with other search engines, but I found that just having those
two covered all my bases.
Next, you need to link up with other related web sites. Almost
all web sites have a links page. People visiting one site may find a
link to your site and then come over and visit you. This is a win/win
proposition for both of the sites. Some web sites will link up with any
or all suitors that approach them, I look at those people as being web
whores, but hey…. Whatever floats your boat. I only put web sites on my
links page that I personally like, or do business with.
Because of the name of my company, I am periodically contacted by
serial killer web sites that want to link up with me. I always reply
back to them and explain that Ed Gein is kind of like the Boogey Man to
me, and that’s what he embodies on my web site. I don’t condone the
real man’s actions, and I only use his visage as a means of creating
I think it’s very important to respond to all e-mails
concerning your business. People deserve a response, no matter what the
question is. I can’t tell you how many web sites I really liked, that
never bothered to respond back to me when I contacted them about doing
a banner link exchange. I think that is just plain rude, and I feel it
is bad for business. If someone takes the time to contact you, you
should take the time to respond back to them.
Ok, off the soapbox!
Next up, business cards. If you have a business, you need business
cards. A lot of people think that you need to have an eye catching
card, because you can only make a first impression once. Sorry, I don’t
subscribe to that way of thinking. It’s
a business card. You and your work are the ones that are going to make
the impression, not the business card. Fancy cards are expensive and
more often than not, they are going to be regulated to a wallet or a
trashcan. All you really need is a no nonsense business card that lists
your name, company, and any other pertinent information that you want
to include. I created my business cards online, at Design Your Own Card
You choose the card design, font, font color etc… and then can view
your finished product. Order online, and then have them delivered to
your door. Good prices as well.
“Got Corpses?” That was what we had printed on some stickers from Sticker Junkie (stickerjunkie.com).
You get 100 stickers for $25, and it’s a cheap way to get the word out
about your business. We were passing them out at Transworld-Vegas and
they proved to be quite popular.
You want some free publicity? Haunted Attraction Magazine (hauntedattraction.com) and HauntWorld Magazine (hauntworld.com/haunted_industry.html)
will print your press release in their respected magazines at no
charge. A couple of paragraphs introducing your business or some new
product, will appear in a glossy magazine specifically for the Haunted
Attraction Industry…. And it’s FREE!
Do you want to sell your product to various Haunted Attractions,
but don’t have access to the owners or operators? Then maybe you should
consider joining the IAHA (iahaweb.com).
The International Association of Haunted Attractions is made up of
owners of haunted attractions, along with haunt vendors, who are
striving for the betterment and advancement of the Haunted Attraction
Industry. You can become a “Preferred Vendor” by offering discounts to
IAHA members. Not a bad way to get your products noticed in the
I hope this information is helpful to those of you that are
just getting your feet wet. The Haunted Attraction Industry is a lot
like a first date, exciting but scary. But hopefully you can see that
it is possible to get your products noticed without spending an
inordinate amount of money.
I welcome all feedback, so if you have any questions or maybe
some topics you would like me to talk about in future issues, feel free
to drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care, and Happy Haunting!
Kevin is the man behind "The Ed Gein Collection" - corpses for all occasions. Be sure to check out his site at http://edgeincollection.com.