This week will be double header to make up for the site being down most of last week. Both are focust on the internet and how you can use it as a tool to improve or at least stabilize your sales
Know what you want
This is starting to sound like a broken record but it can’t be over emphasized…start spending some time designing you road map for 2009 by getting to know yourself and what you want your businesses to do. I am bringing this up because today’s Marketing Monday is about the “internets” those tubes that Alaska Senator Ted Stevens described to the Senate last year. Before you take a leap into the “tubes” go back and read Friday’s article and know that the Internet is only a tool and as such it is only going to work if you know how you are going to use it and its’ many facets to help you.
Get familiar with the internet
Having a working knowledge of the internet and how it can be used to your benefit is one of the most important things you can do to help you succeed. Regardless of your political preferences one of the key elements of Barrack Obama’s successful campaign was well focused use of the internet to spread the word.
- Set up a blog
Blogs are ideal for artists and other creative professionals for several reasons not the least of which is that they are extremely easy to set up and to update regularly. They also are the best way for to get found by search engines. Static web sites have fallen by the wayside in favor of the dynamic nature of blogs and the opportunity they present to let your buyers connect with you on a more intimate level…and no you don’t have to be an expert, nor do you have to write everyday pouring your heart out. Start with the free program Become a Blogger it is an excellent program and at a good price (free!!!).
- Learn to use Social media
As I have written often Facebook is not just for kids, in fact recent demographics show that 35-55 age group grew 179% over the past 10 months of 2008. Facebook has become THE networking for small business owners to find and communicate with their followers. There are many other tools emerging every day that can help you stay in touch with your buyers learning to effectively use these tools can go a long way to increasing your sales. Besides Facebook, Twitter is probably the easiest to set up, both will help you if used consistantly as part of an overall strategy.
- Start collecting e-mail addresses
Why asking a blind date to marry you on the first date is like asking for e-mail address.
Imagine this scenario…
You have been set up with a friend of a friend on a blind date. Arrangements were made to meet over dinner at a local eatery. You arrive early get a table for two and watch the door. You’re curious and wondering what this new person might be like…soon you notice someone walking around the tables as if looking for something. You pop out of your seat and wave the person over and ask…”are you_____?” and the answer is yes.
And so the evening begins…
after the initial awkwardness you both discover some shared interests, and start to feel the beginnings of a connection. As the empty plates are removed and you find even more common grounds, you think to yourself I might like to know this person better.
After you have gotten your coats you stand together outside the restaurant to say goodnight when you start to feel a tension in the air. You look into each others eyes as you feel the magnetic energy of the excitement of your shared interests and values pull the two of you together in a strong embrace. Suddenly the warmth of excitement is interrupted as this new person whispers..”we have so much in common I feel like I have known you forever… did you feel the something?”, you reply ” ya I felt it too”, Then before you could finish your sentence the other person says” since we have so much in common…. how about moving in together? I have room you can move in with me this weekend.”
Shocked you step back saying,” I, I, I, don’t know, we don’t even know each other that is an awfully big step! Let me think about it” and you turn and get into your car and speed off glad the person doesn’t have your number.
Imagine it differently….
Imagine this scenerio if your date had not asked you to move in after knowing you for little more than an hour! It might have turned out differently and may or may not have ended up with the two of you living together or eventually marrying.
Engage and build trust
The first scenario is exactly what happens when you ask a buyer to give you their e-mail address before you have helped them understand the value you will bring into their life.
Once you have engaged your buyer, talked to them about what brings them into your booth and why they are drawn to your work you have increased their comfort and trust level. Only then do you have a better than 50% chance to get their contact information. It may take a courtship over a season or a couple of purchases and that period can be shortened by increasing your transparency and letting your buyers get to know you, the number one way to do that is a blog. The number two way is to have your contact information on everything that touches your potential and actual buyers, doing so shows your willingness to invite them in and in turn allowing them to get to know you better.
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