Last time I talked a little about using the Internet as a marketing tool for your business. It can be a scary adventure, especially if you are not really sure of yourself on the computer. Questions pop into your head like "How am I going to learn to do this?" and "where am I going to find the time when all I want to do is my art?"
Then there is the use of Social Media...a whole different and complex animal. Most of us use Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, and a host of others to stay in touch with our friends. Why not move over a little and start pages or incorporate attached pages that reflect what you love to do?
I think that when we consider adding Social Media to our already growing list of things to do for our hobbies or business, we just freeze. Not only are we creating more responsibility for ourselves, but when we put our "art" out there, we are showing others our soft underbelly, the innermost part of ourselves that is the most vulnerable to criticism and rejection. And we tend to be driven not to engage in this marketing expansion by fear alone.
We use the excuse of time, even though we are already on those sites. We worry that our presentation won't be good enough. We worry our product will be rejected, or worse yet, not even looked at. We worry because our art comes from deep within us. Am I right? or am I right...So...stretch those
I was right there with ya! I knew from experience that having a website and keeping that up was going to be stressful enough, but extending my outreach to more than one social media site was going to be excruciating! I searched other blogs until I found on that told me I didn't need to use Social websites to market my products, that they didn't work. For about two weeks I felt completely vindicated! Whew, was what I thought to myself.
As those two weeks passed, there was this little voice inside my head that kept nagging at me. "You dumb dummy! You had your own marketing business! You have to do what YOU think is best!" ugh...It is marketing 101. It is called networking. It is called FREE ADVERTISING!
So, I jumped in, and with both feet. My motto has always been either both feet in or none at all. I had, about six months earlier quit using Facebook all together. All I did there was play games for hours on end any way. It was tough swallowing that thought and getting back into it. I was sure I had lost most of my gaming friends by then from no more than lack of conversation and game play. To me, it was like admitting I was wrong or something! The head games we play with ourselves...
When I did go back to Facebook, I searched out groups that had support for peeps like myself and found three that I joined in my field. Basically I searched for Wire Wrapping. It was just that easy. Facebook, then Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn (a site for professionals of all kinds), Google +, and I know there are more, but my brain is a little mushy this morning.
I will be honest, at first it did take a little more of my time than I liked, like almost all day for the first few days. I had to set up the accounts, play around on them, get lost in all the information, and wade through all the needless stuff that I didn't think pertained to me. I did, however, get it done. Now it only takes a couple of hours each day to update and throw a few pics out there. Pinterest I do at night usually because I find sorting though mounds of photos relaxing. Okay, I'm a little weird...
Some guidelines to doing this? When you are setting up your account(s), try to keep the account names the same or really similar if at all possible. I will use mine as an example. My website is ggchambers.com. My Facebook fan page is GGChambers designs LLC, my Pinterest is ggChambers designs, my LinkedIn goes by my name but it listed under ggChambers designs, my Etsy and Artfire sites are ggChambers designs, and lastly I will tell you about Twitter. Twitter only allows you so many letters in your title. ggChambers designs was too long...by one letter...ugh. So I used ggCDesigner. I figured it was close enough and since ggC is on my logo tags, in enough time, maybe others would catch on.
The cool thing is that Google caught on quite fast and if you search ggChambers designs, I fill up the first result page. If you Google just ggchambers, I still fill the first page. And guess what...Artfire and Facebook are the two top hits, along with my website.
So, be consistent. Start out with one or two Social Media sites and go from there. It does give you added exposure, and the best part is it is all free advertising. And we like free!!! Plus, you incorporate the all important networking with your peers.
Secondly, find your comfort zone. Figure out how much you can handle and how quickly. If you only feel comfortable starting with one Social Media site and working that for a week or two, do it. Then gradually work that second site into your daily schedule. Pace yourself. It's okay! No body is going to stand over you with a bat and demand you get on 10 sites in one week, honest! Some people CAN do that, but most cannot. Don't stress yourself out about it, cause then you will really hate it and not do it at all. I don't want that for you.
Remember, in the beginning this all takes time, but if you get an additional sale or two from it, what does the loss of an hour or two a day matter. If your rely on your worldwide exposure from one location, you have just narrowed your ability to reach that ultimate customer that will buy time and
time again. Plus, you can check it anywhere you go! Love it!
So...What can it hurt? Be consistent, be patient, be persistent! All it will cost you is a little time, but the rewards can be wonderfully fulfilling!
Until next time...Stay Wired Up! Gail