It has been an interesting activity, pulling together your social media efforts. Between Facebook and Twitter, a lot of time is involved in getting your brand and business out to the public. and I haven’t even started with LinkedIn and any other social outlets.
Then factor in an Etsy store, Cafe Press, and Zazzle…and then there’s Artwire and several other outlets. In fact, the Sunday NY Times had an article about artists using social media and online outlets to get their work before the public. Lots more places out there to explore.
Also you have your newsletter development and subscription list. You need to develop a customer base. Readers of this blog know we had some difficulties for two years with our marbling. During that time we let go of all the things we had been doing on line to market our fabric. It took us a while to realize that everything the marketing experts are saying you should be doing – well, we were doing that, and now we’ve gone back to it.
All of this takes time, and it takes a concentrated strategy. If you are planning to go in this direction, you will have a lot of work to do initially…and then you have to plan for all your follow-up.
Case in point: I have my personal Facebook page, as well as a Fan page for Marble-T Design. I carefully read and respond on my Facebook page each day as I see interesting things. That’s not a problem. To keep a concentrated message on the Fan page takes more time. I’m listing what I want to have for each day, so I’ve already thought through the week.
Twitter takes a lot of time. I’m still trying to read a portion of messages every day, but with being in school, that’s going to be very difficult. Thanks to TweetDeck I can schedule business messages for the week, but that takes away from the “conversation” that is Twitter. However, that’s what I will need to do while I’m still teaching. And it is driving traffic: last week I scheduled tweets about various items for sale in Ebay and Etsy. I certainly had more traffic to both of those sites, and I can see the difference in visitors to the items I tweeted…but nothing is converting to sales yet, so i need to process that.
Then there are blog posts…you want to stay timely. While I can schedule my blog posts ahead of time, I enjoy writing, and since I have a schedule of topics, I want to be able to write each day when I geet home from school. And I love reading and responding to comments. My problem with the blogs is going to be staying up with Google Reader and the blogs I follow. I always find great articles and amazing eye candy…but you have to find the time. Staying up with your blog reading I think is critical; I enjoy the people I follow, they are helpful, and I learn a lot – well worth the time for your business.
I had started a business class last January, and there was some gret information there. But to do everything that was suggested made me realize within a couple of weeks that I couldn’t do it all and still maintain my teaching responsibilities. That is what has been so wonderful about the concentrated time this summer: time to do all the set up and learning. Some of these things are not easy to do…like my first newsletter with Constant Contact. There was a steeper learning curve than I would have liked, but I mastered it, and now my newsletters won’t take nearly as long to do.
And don’t forget – we still need to create our art.
Speaking of newsletters, you should subscribe to ours (upper right corner). We do a drawing for a free sampler pack of marbled fabrics, but you can’t win if you don’t subscribe!