1. Develop your niche
The first thing you should do is fully understand your market niche. Define the subject of your calendars and who your target audience is. The key is to differentiate yourself from the competition with a calendar that appeals to underserved customers and knowing how to reach those customers. When you have a well-defined niche, you reduce the size of your market but make your calendar more special and your customers far easier and efficient to reach.
2. Give them what they want
What will your customers respond to? Clever illustrations? Humor? Satire and sarcasm? Historical photography? Whatever it is, make sure your calendars are packed with designs or images your customers clamor for.
3. Be unique
As noted, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the competition. Not only should you develop a niche, you should be unique within that niche. A lot of people buy calendars that feature puppies -- perhaps yours could feature puppies wearing hats or dressed as super heroes?
4. Market intelligently
I can’t know your marketing budget, but if you’re a sole designer or photographer chances are you don’t have a lot to spend on a massive marketing campaign. Focus your marketing efforts on your target market. You could send postcards, for example, to a mailing list comprised of the most likely buyers. Also take advantage of social media channels to get the word out – sharing a photo that’s included in your calendar is a great way to generate interest. Additionally, seek out calendar retailers for opportunities to sell wholesale or on consignment. In this manner, you’re letting someone else handle the marketing.
5. Sell on the last page
Encourage repeat sales by including an order form for next year’s calendar on the last page (or even between November and December) on your calendars. A URL to your website or an option to request a catalog of all your calendars can also be included.