Sunday, January 27, 2013

Social Media Marketing

I found this very interesting and I know you will, too!

It made me think and even adjust my thinking, a bit.

Yet again, just to remind you, my philosophy for super small businesses is that "old school" marketing DOES work. You DO have to have a presense online but as far as actual marketing, I believe that too many super small businesses focus too much on online marketing and are fogetting that thousands and thousands of successful businesses were built long before the interet got here and that investing in some "old school" marketing can get them some great results.

Well, this infograph made me realize something. Social network marketing is basically, a more "old school" method of marketing, just the delivery is different. For instance, when you use your Facebook page to promote/market your business, you are marketing to your friends and family, your circle of people that you intereact with all the time, and then (hopefully) they spread the word to THEIR circle of people, which is a form of word-of-mouth advertising and that we all know is, by far, the best marketing you can have!

It made me realize I need to make a little adjustment in my philosophpy. I do think time invested consistently in social network marketing can be time well spent and combined with some local, old school marketing, you could really see some fantastic results!!

Check the inforgraph out. :-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Social Network Local Marketing

As most of you know, I'm a big believer in "old school" marketing, for super small businesses, like Etsy shops.  I don't think it's ever a good idea to have NO online marketing, but I think spending hours stressing about SEO is time not very well spent. You could be out and about, talking to other small business owners in your area and leaving a flyer or business cards with them, among many other ways to market locally.

But one thing I've always maintained...you do need to be present, online. You simply MUST have a blog, Facebook, website...something that gives customers and potential customers the information they need and want, when they want it.

This following article was interesting and what caught my eye is a point they make....in the article it says that if a customer does not find the information they are looking for from a business, they will simply move on until they find one that does provide them with the information they want. And this is VERY true. How many times have you done that, yourself? For instance, looking up local nails salons...you keep trying until you find one that has a Facebook, a website, a anything that provides you with more information than an address and phone number!  It doesn't take much time to set up a business Facebook page and not only is that providing an online avenue to provide the information customers and potential customers are looking for, it also gives your friends and family and satisfied customers a very simple way to help promote you and your business! Win, win!

The article also sites a study done, that showed people prefer to use a local business that provides information on social networks...which is something we all already knew, but it's always good to be reminded!

Here's a link to the article...
Online Local Business Marketing


Enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Promoting me helps YOU....Yay!!!!!

I have a promotion opportunity that I am going to do and hopefully a lot of new small biz owners, Etsy shop owners, blog writers, etc, find  their way to my blog and are helped by my posts! :-) I still haven't found the time to get back to posting to this blog on a regular basis but I wanted to post to welcome any newcomers and I hope you enjoy the read! There is a lot of great and useful info and feel free to email me with any questions! I'm always happy to help!!


Friday, November 9, 2012

As you've no doubt noticed....

I have not been attending to my blog, luckily my shop just got so busy, I literally had no time for the features I had been doing or time to even post something here or there.  But because I still get readers and hits, I don't want to take the blog down, so here it shall stay. :-)

And eventually  I'd like to start getting back to this blog and maybe adding links to interesting articles, apps, etc. that I think would be super helpful for marketing. Also, it'd be fun to start posting some of my artistic work that has been keeping me super busy, also!

We shall see! But in the meantime, I wanted to say thanks to those that do still check in and I hope the information you find here, helps you!!! :-)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Disappearing Act

My life got a bit out of control crazy for a few weeks. My family and I got into a car accident leaving a fundraiser for our kids’ school. (SO not nice, karma…that’s just not nice at all! Lol) We are all okay and feel very thankful we walked away from it. The kids have never been in an accident so there was a lot of talks and cuddles and comforting going on and then of course, dealing with the insurance and all that…blah, blah, blah….and of course in the midst of all this, my shop was never busier! Grrr…so life came down to doing what I absolutely HAD to do and putting all other stuff on hold. Unfortunately my blog became one of the “on hold” things. Thank you for understanding…AGAIN.

Now back to business!

Back to my “You can DO this!” feature….we left off on I was putting together some marketing materials for Tina for my first marketing suggestion for her shop.
One of my first ideas is to market her house shaped air fresheners to real estate agents. Either for gifts for clients or for themselves. It is a unique gift and the house shape makes it “personalized”. I wrote a letter for her to send to real estate agencies (printed on her letterhead I designed for her….every. single. thing. should have your brand!) and designed her a flyer to send also. Here is the picture of the flyer…


Here is a copy of the letter.




Now the first thing with the letter is to point out how your product will benefit them. A busy real estate broker will not get past the first paragraph if he/she does not see the point in the letter. In Tina’s case, I pointed out that as a business owner, they know how important the “little” things are. I introduced the hook, immediately. This should ensure they will keep reading!

I also told Tina that ideally, bringing this letter and flyer into real estate offices and shaking hands personally with the broker is the best way to market. However, not everyone is comfortable doing that, so my next suggestion is to mail the letter and flyer. This is not a bad way to do it..just getting out and talking to people and meeting people is always the best way to go, if that is your personality or if you know someone who is super personable, see if they’d like to help!

This was my first marketing idea for her and I am excited for her to do it and see what kind of results it brings her.

But remember…maybe not every idea will result in five hundred sales. Marketing is all about slow and steady and building. You are getting your name out there and introducing you and your product to people! So while you may not see immediate, huge results, trust that you ARE making progress! Having said that…. it IS important to keep an eye on your shop traffic and views. You want to make sure people are getting your marketing and at least looking! If they aren’t even looking, then you know you are on the wrong track with whatever marketing it is you put out. Remember marketing is not a science and sometimes ideas just don’t work…but it is all a learning experience and you will find the right formula for YOUR shop!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You can DO this! First things first.....

One of the first things I suggested Tina to do for her shop, Heartful Expression, was create a logo and then once she had that, a banner. I helped design her logo and she did her banner from there. It looks good! Go take a look and compare it to the picture from the previous post.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/heartfulexpression

Doesn't it look much more put together now? I love it!

The best part of this, is now she has her “look”….her “brand”. This is huge, huge, huge, HUGE! Even if you are a one man shop, or solopreneur, you absolutely MUST have a logo and “look” that is distinctly your business before you begin putting yourself out there.

Why, you ask?

This the mantra I repeat over and over and OVER to the shops I help or give critiques to…

If you look like a business, you will feel like a business and once you start feeling like a business, you will start acting like one and once you start acting like one…well then, people will start treating you like one!!!

I mean really? Who’s going to take you seriously if YOU don’t? And not having a “look” or “brand”, gives the appearance of you not caring or at the very least, not being invested in your business.

Now your first argument will be….”But I can’t afford it…”. You can’t afford not to! This is one of the most important things that so many one man shops blow off. Because of the internet, you now CAN start a business with relative ease. But it doesn’t mean you SHOULD take the “easy” way out and just do it half-assed. (Forgive me…I’m blunt.) If you do, half-assed results is what you’re going to get! Take your business seriously…you should invest as much into it as you would a brick and mortar business because regardless of where your storefront is, the fact remains, it’s still a storefront and one that you want people to want to shop at!

I’m going to post links to a couple of articles that talk about the importance of having a logo and branding yourself in a straight to the point voice and not a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo that is next to impossible for someone who doesn't have a marketing degree to understand. (Which, for the record, I don't have. 15 years involved in the real estate industry is my "degree.")

http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/branding-logos/3580-1.html

http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/branding-logos/3579-1.html

Next up for Tina is going to be some marketing ideas, ways for her to get her name out there and get some traffic to her now fantastically branded shop!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big Plans!

HI guys!

So obviously…well, I hope it’s obvious!..you noticed I didn’t post my Write to Sell feature last week or this week. I’ve decided to scale back on that feature. At this point, there are enough before and afters to give you a really good variety of examples to help you out. I think I will continue to do it, because it’s always good to have new ones but I’m just going to do it on a monthly basis. Now if any of you need help, don’t forget to always feel free to ask! I don’t mind taking a minute or two to look over one of your descriptions and help you “fine tune” it.

Now on to the big plans, part of this post....even though this feature will be gone, I do have something else planned. In its place, I am doing something called "You Can DO This!". My ultimate, end goal is to help shops on Etsy or even off Etsy become more successful. I want to help “one man shops” or “solopreneurs” , as they are sometimes called, organize their business, get their shop looking good and then give them some good marketing ideas to help them get going. So many of my clients talk about my personality…that my excitement motivates THEM. It’s such a compliment and for a long time now, it’s made me realize that if I can bring that kind of excitement to people and their shops, it’s absolutely contagious and it will make them want to GET UP RIGHT THIS SECOND AND WORK ON THEIR SHOP!!!! LOL And that’s how I want to make people feel!!! And sometimes that is EXACTLY what people need…that strong cheerleader with really great but simple ideas!! And THAT is exactly what I want to be!!!

So keeping this end goal in mind, ever since I started this blog, I have wanted to do something like this. I wanted to find a shop that had a good idea but was just starting out…not many sales, not much inventory, etc.,and help the seller build it. I offer so much marketing stuff and I have been looking for an opportunity to “prove” that if you apply yourself, it really will work!

Now another thing I needed was someone that was truly on board….someone that would take my direction and be completely open minded and willing to try what I suggest and follow through....I have found that shop!!!

Heartful Expressions.
Here is a peak of her shop, right after I asked her if she’d be willing to be my “guinea pig, so to speak.



She wholeheartedly agreed and is VERY enthusiastic about this.

Now this first couple of weeks will be spent getting her shop ready. Right now we are working on her logo and her branding, which is HUGELY important and no shop should start marketing before they have their branding in check. She is working on building her inventory. I also gave her a marketing idea and I am working on the details of that, for her. But the idea is something we won’t roll out until her shop looks good.

Here’s what she’s doing…
•Building good inventory (At least 20-25 items)
•Policies and profile well written. Same for descriptions and shop announcement
•Banner, featuring her logo and her brand or “look”.
And last but not least, working on her product photos.
:-)

These are her first steps.….and these steps will make sure her shop is ready for people to “walk in” and buy from!

I hope you are guys are excited about this feature! I really want to show you that with some concentrated and focused effort and some help, YOU can make your shop a success, too!