Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Biz Tip: Never let them see you sweat.

I get a lot of questions about social media, business, etc.. from crafters and artists who seem to think that they are deficient in some way because they don't already know all the answers. This post is focused on the age-old truth: The more I know, the more I know how much I don't know. Just because I figured out my way around Facebook and Twitter and a little bit of HTML doesn't make me some kind of enlightened being, it just means I took the time to learn. It also means that there are a vast sea of things I am yet to figure out (but that's a secret... if anyone asks, I totally know EVERYTHING).

Give yourself credit for being smart enough to figure it out! So many people say that they aren't savvy enough to figure out the tech end of business, but the fact is, like anything else, it just takes time to learn. I didn't always 'get it' and I rejected all the social media stuff for a very long time. Heck, I was the last person I knew to get a cell phone. But the truth of the matter remains that if we want to sell online, we have to be where our customers are....online. Blogging is like pulling teeth for me some days.... so is correcting my pics one by one and updating my Fbook page all the time. It doesn't come naturally to me either, but I do it because it's MY business, MY job. When I hit something I didn't know how to do, I either ask, or google. It's truly amazing how much free info there is out there now. A good place to start is finding two or three blogs that you like, that are marketing-related and either follow them using Google reader, or sign up to have them emailed to you (usually the best option for the less tech-inclined, but not always available). 

***Blogging tip: Make it Easy for your subscribers, AND for yourself.

1. ALWAYS make sure you add a box so users can subscribe via email/ RSS/etc... easily. You can get the code very easily on Feedburner (go to 'Promote') for the email box. 'Subscribe' boxes are readily available as gadgets in blogger.... for other blog hosting, you'll have to Google it.

2. Map out posts for the week. Monday through Thursday I have a set posting schedule. I often post little things in between, but having the schedule helps me focus on what I need to think about each day. I also schedule my posts at least two weeks out, that way I spend one or two days per week writing, and I don't have to think about it for a few days and can focus on other things, meanwhile, my readers see new, fresh content each day.

3. Look for good content to link to on the web, and on other blogs. ALWAYS give credit to the original writer/producer, and link to their pages whenever possible. The point is, it's good karma to promote others. They might do the same for you someday, and as a bonus, it makes your job as a blogger that much easier.

***Marketing Tip: NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU SWEAT.

1. The BIGGEST lesson of marketing is . That means NEVER beg, NEVER whine about lack of sales, and NEVER admit that you are totally lost (ask questions, of course... but remember, no matter who you're talking to, or how savvy you think they are....someone out there knows more than them, and there are situations that make them feel just as confused as you do at that moment).

2. Remember that your friends are your best customers. Don't ever forget that even when you think you are just venting to friends, you are potentially tainting their perception of you, thereby weakening your brand. Every single person you interact with about your business is a potential customer...and they all small fear. Think about it...if you walk into a room and one table is filled with new business people that all have that look of 'oh my god, how am I going to pay my rent', and across the room is a table of established business people talking strategy, who do you want to sit with? Better yet, who do you want to do business with?

The moral of the story, if you have to.... fake it 'til you make it.


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