I’ve been thinking of this for a while now, with so many options to market yourself and communicate on-line, how do you know which to choose? From having your own website, Facebook page, e-marketing, blogging, digging, tweeting, stumbling etc, how do you know which will work best for you and also how do you ever find the time to do them as well as craft?
It is a complete minefield and let’s face it, from a business point of view, we only attempt to do all these things so we can tell everyone about the products we make and hopefully encourage people to buy them!
Take myself for instance, I have 2 Facebook Business pages as well as my personal page, I have 3 Twitter Accounts, 2 Blogs, a Pinterest and Stumbleupon account, 2 Google email accounts, I have Google analytics, I’m registered on Google+ and I am also registered to sell on both Folksy and Etsy and I like visiting their forums.
Wow, I’ve even shocked myself with all those, no wonder many get neglected!
My biggest problem is I don’t fully understand what some of them can do to help me promote my businesses, encourage sales and quite frankly make my presence felt on-line. For The Crafty Network it’s not so bad as it’s all about promoting others, but when it comes to promoting my own products, I probably don’t use them as well or as often as I should! I tend to concentrate mostly on Facebook and the Blogs and I rely entirely on Facebook posts being tweeted on Twitter, my Blog posts being publicised on Facebook and my Tweets appearing on the Blog (thank god for linking/connecting). I only log on to Twitter, Pinterest and Stumbleupon, Folksy and Etsy when I have a spare minute, which isn’t often enough! Also one of my goals for this year is to start a website for my own products but I’m not sure I will ever find the time to start it and more importantly keep it up to date. So often I see websites which look very nice but you can tell they haven’t been updated in a long time, ie. some are still displaying happy new year messages! Also, how do you keep it up there at the top of searches with Google etc, does that need more time? There’s no point having a website if nobody sees it?
So am I missing something just by concentrating on Facebook and Blogging? Should I be spending more time on Twitter, I hear many people rave about how it has created lots of sales, how? Should I start my website and forget my Blog, or should I Blog more often and try to gain more subscribers and encourage more comments? I read recently that successful Bloggers must post frequently and regularly and encourage dialogue with their readers to be successful. Should I be joining in more on crafting and business forums, should I be constantly networking and promoting on Facebook, is this harder to do now with the new timeline or easier? Do I stick to just one e-marketplace to sell my items or do I try many to see which works best for my products? Running and marketing your own business is not easy, especially when you are also the designer and manufacturer of your own products! There are only 24 hours in a day and you do need to sleep at some point.
I don’t think there are any easy solutions or set rules, I think it is trial and error, you do what you enjoy, feel comfortable with and have time to do, what might be successful for one, might not work for another. However, I would be really interested to know what you think and I would love it if you could share with us what works best for you? How do you market and promote your business on-line? Have you discovered a magic formula? Which gives you most Sales?
Or let me know if you are as equally confused as I am? it would be great, if we could help each other.
For those who are not familiar with all the on-line sites, here is a list of the ones I know about, let me know if I have missed anything?
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/
- Stumbleupon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/about
- Google+: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/
- Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/
- Digg: http://digg.com/
- Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/
- Blogs: WordPress, Blogger, ????
- Own Website
- E-marketplaces: ie. Folksy, Etsy, NOTHS, Ebay (you only have to look at our Selling Options Page to see how many sites there are to choose from)
- Crafting/Business/Networking Forums ??
I’m looking forward to hearing your view and seeing your comments.