How the hell am I supposed to do that when my “forte” is making stuff out of glass? It probably doesn’t matter what my strength, if I don’t know marketing, I don’t know it. Same for bookkeeping or insurance or so many other possible aspects of our business.
Thank goodness for so many wonderful resources on how to learn these skills (or at least make a novice attempt at understanding them). Social media… I know, I keep grumping about it, but for me it’s truly overwhelming, but it’s a low-cost strategy for adding to a marketing plan if the time is available to invest. Of course, I will include other more traditional marketing activities, but as for social media I’m focusing on 3 venues, which is still probably too much for me.
- Facebook – I had a serious gaming addiction a while ago, I’m comfortable here, but still not at ease with asking friends or fan page “likers” to take action
- Twitter – Spare me the lecture. I know it’s cool, but I still don’t “get it”. It doesn’t lessen my desire to understand and try to get involved.
- Blogging – if you’re here, I guess it’s working. I tried this once before, but failed to tell anyone I was doing it. Needless to say, I received only ONE follower. As with all things “social” without telling anyone, it’s like not doing it at all.
- Find free or low-cost ways to promote myself – social networking is core to this, this website is a close second
- Promote to people who want to buy my products. – seems obvious, but sometimes it is difficult to find the right venue to really appeal to the people who appreciate my art (handmade glass jewelry and beads, in my case). I haven’t much for an advertising budget, but since I sell on Etsy, who better to target with my few advertising dollars?!??! I currently spend nearly all of my advertising budget on Etsy renewals and listings. If I ever make a profit, I will consider other outlets like Adwords, paid blog advertising, etc. Until then, in my marketing-less mind, it seems to make sense to keep myself in front of those who already appreciate what I do.
- Get help by helping others – it sure is easier to ask for “re-tweet” or “like” if I’ve already extended that courtesy to someone else. I’m not suggesting doing it to a point where the day is spent promoting others, but if a Twitter Follower or Facebook Friend has something I truly appreciate, I’m going to comment, reply, re-post/re-tweet. Not to the extent that I plan to take names of who I’ve helped, but just because it’s great to succeed, and even better if that success is shared with others. It’s core to who I am and it works for me. I’m a “karma” and “what goes around, comes around” girl, so this suits my personality.
That’s as far as I’ve made it in “the plan”. There are so many details to add, I may never finish, but I suppose that’s point. Addition to the plan: keep adding to the plan.
Do you have a marketing strategy? What is working for your business? Had any “pricey” flops that will spare others the agony?
Twitter – where to start???
To many, it’s the perfect compliment to the deluge of massive information that is spewed at us on the internet, TV, and radio. To others, it’s a vomitous pile of data crap that overwhelms and confuses in a disorganized stream of mostly unconscious thought from the rest of the world. You probably guessed, I’m of the latter belief. However, I do see the benefit of the reach of Twitter.
I only have a few followers, but if 2 of those people “re-tweet” to their 50+ followers, who knows where that goes! Maybe one of them has 500 or 5000 followers instead. My final realization is that even if I don’t really dig the stream, I have to make an effort to understand and participate.
I’m addressing this, not because I think it’s helpful to people that who use Twitter effectively, but more in hopes that I help someone who has trouble feeling connected to the medium (like me). Twitter certainly offers a great potential for “viral” information. I don’t anticipate ever having anything “viral”, but maybe I could have something like a Twitter cold. A few people with whom I connect regularly pass it along to others. For me, that’s better than where I am at the moment. Mostly followers I don’t know, and following others I don’t know.
My Twitter Tactic:
- Pay attention the best I’m able - I can’t read every post. I follow some people that post every 3 minutes, but I make an effort to read enough to decide if I should read the rest or click the link.
- Re-Tweet – If I like the post or link provided, share it again being sure to give the “@mention” to the original poster. Hasn’t earned me any sales yet, but I see potential when I develop the nerve to “Tweet” a Twitter Only coupon.
- Interact – reply, retweet, post on Facebook. If something strikes me, I’m going to do something about it, even if it only applies to the person who posted it. Reaching one person is better that reaching none and who knows how many people that person might know.
- Offer thanks – addressed offhandedly previously, but I’ll elaborate (as if I ever had shortage of words). I am now sending an @mention thanks to those that follow me and making it a point to visit their site/store or whatever they have listed on the profile and include reference in my thanks. It gives me a better understanding of who might be reading/re-posting my Tweets, but more importantly it gives me a connection that person. I feel the internet is so impersonal, but creating is so VERY personal. It’s a way to help make the two worlds mesh in my head.
- NO SPAM – this is my BIG fear. I often refrain from Tweeting at all because I fear every post will look like “buy my stuff” and I know that there are few people I follow that have so many “check this out” and “buy this crap” posts that I don’t even see them anymore (even though they dominate my feed stream). The solution… follow the above rules, be genuine, and it’s okay to share a newly added item or offer a sale coupon… OCCASIONALLY!
Please don’t take my words as advice. As I said, I’m terrified of Twitter, so I don’t speak from a place of knowledge, only fear and a realization that I must learn to embrace. If you try any of my tactics, I’d love to hear how they work for you. If you are an experienced “Tweeter” that has made it work for your business, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share the inside skinny with us Twitter-phobes . :)
Do you use Twitter? Have you been able to see results from using it?
It is easy for me to get so focused on needing to accomplish a specific task that I let other productive endeavors go by the wayside. I am working to change this idealistic way of working… because I think we all know that not everything goes exactly as we plan.
Recently I got stuck on production of some jewelry pieces because I was waiting on a supply order that took longer than expected to arrive. I felt trapped and useless… until I found something else business-worthy to do. It made me realize that if I had a better business plan, a comprehensive “to-do”, I’d never be overly-focused on a single activity. I have a great daily “to-do” list for creating, but it doesn’t cover many of the business-building/marketing things I need to accomplish. When I realized that I could be learning more about my weaknesses (social networking, blogging, search engine optimization, photo sharing) I discovered that I had more than enough to occupy every moment of the next several years… and I didn’t even consider all of the bookkeeping activities that I regularly ignore.
The new plan: make a serious list of ALL activities that will help to grow my business and make it function efficiently. It’s difficult to address my weaknesses, but I know they are there and without an effort to improve, surely they won’t.
I’m sure you’ll see more about my social networking phobias in future posts. It’s easy for me to create and terrifying to share those creations.
What gives you “the willies” when you think about growing your business? Marketing? Bookkeeping? Legal mumbo jumbo? Or is it just putting something out there for the world to see?