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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Slay the Social Media Dragon

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Do you ever get overwhelmed with social media? So many different platforms to choose from. And, regardless of the platform, they each seems to change all the time. And, when you are on social media, it seems like other people are posting all the time. And, you get frustrated trying to keep up with all this. It’s enough to feel like social media is a fire-breathing dragon.

If you want your business to grow and reach more people, you need to be on social media. That’s a given. However, it’s easy to slay that dragon if you follow some simple steps.

Step One – Consider your audience

The number of social media platforms seems to grow, only you do not need to be active on all of them. Your first step is to figure out where your peeps are hanging out. In all likelihood, they are on the platform you enjoy. So pick a platform, take time to learn how it works, and follow the remaining steps. Once you’ve got the first platform down, you may want to add a second. Remember you don’t need to be on all forms of social media to be successful. You do need to be on at least one.

Step Two – Create categories

If you look at what you post already, you’ll probably find that you could break that content into categories. Consider what you’ve been posting as well as what you want to post in the future.

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Kick-up Your Summer Revenue

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

summer-cash

This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.

If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.

Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues this summer.

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5 Strategies to Grow Your Email List

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

build creative arts email list

 

Are you growing your email list? “What email list?” you ask. “I’ve got loads of followers on Facebook and Instagram. Who needs a list?”

You do! Without a list, your business will not produce profits on a consistent enough basis to sustain and grow your business. You might really just have a hobby and enjoy social media connecting. You need to look at building your list as building equity in your business. And, aim for quality over quantity.

And, yes, you may have a list of thousands of followers on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media site. Have you thought about who owns that list? It is not you. While none of us expect Facebook to disappear, if it does, your list goes with it.

How do you get started building a list? You likely already have the start of a list. You have probably built the list from online sales, from a class you taught last week in the shop, or from speaking or vending.

It is a way for people to get to know, like and trust you enough to spend money with you.

You may have a list of 10, 100, 1000 or more that you are trying to grow. It does not matter since we all started in the same place with zero subscribers to our list. Here are some strategies to consider.

1. Start with an email marketing platform. Think of this as your customer relationship management tool. Options include Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft, AWeber, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, and countless others. (You do not want to use your Outlook email program.) Each of the options mentioned will have free trials or demos so you can become familiar with them. The difference is in the sophistication of the tool and what your needs are. The reason you want an email platform is that it allows people to opt themselves in and to opt themselves out. You may be able to segment your list and build a level of autoresponders.

2. Create a lead magnet. This would be a freebie that you give someone who visits your website in exchange for their email address. It is like the free taste that you get at the ice cream shop. It allows someone to try before they buy. This can take the form of an e-book, a pattern or a training video, for example. Do not get stuck on what you need to create, just create something of value for your potential customer. The freebie will drive people to learn more about you and your products.

3. Create an email marketing strategy. In its simplest form, you create content on your website, share it with the people on your list, continue to build a relationship with your list on a consistent basis, periodically send an offer to your list, always continuing to provide more value. People did not join your list to buy from you. They got on your list to get the value you have to offer. You need to be consistent in communicating with them, for example sending your newsletter once or twice a week on the same day. Remember that people join your list at various stages and you need to continually work to nurture the relationship with the value you offer.

4. Develop a content strategy that aligns with your business objectives. You need to identify a variety of themes that relate to your message and then come up with content topics for each. If your message has five key themes and you have five topics in each theme, you have a half year’s worth of content. Your strategy can include written, video and audio formats. Start to share your content in your newsletter, your blog and on social media, and engage with your peeps through your content.

5. Place an opt-in box on your website. You can do this in a variety of places. You definitely should have one on the home page. Do not send your visitors to another page with a link that says “Sign up for my newsletter here.” You can add one on the right column of pages on your website. You can add one at the end of your blog posts. And, you can add a pop-up box. I just added one. Sure people find them annoying, but they are effective, so do not discount adding one.

Building your email list does not happen overnight. These are some simple strategies to get you started. What is your most effective strategy to build your list? What questions do you have about building your list? Would you share it in the comments below or on our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?

See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/

 

 

 

Handling Facebook Friend Requests

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

 

Handling Facebook Friend Requests

 

 

Facebook is a fact of marketing life for just about everyone. It ranks right up there with Google and YouTube for searching. I found that to be true myself yesterday. With an impending storm, rather than searching for weather on Google I searched on Facebook for the Capital Weather Gang, the group from the Washington Post that tracks weather.

 

Recently I got a few questions on handling friend requests. I have been on Facebook a long time and over the years developed some guidelines for how I use Facebook. Do you have guidelines? It is a good idea to put some in place. You can always change them. However, it helps to be clearer on how you will use Facebook. Here are some to consider:

    1. Decide if you want to keep your Facebook personal profile page just for your family and close friends. When I started Facebook back in 2008, you only had a personal page. It was not long before the friend tally grew. I had decided early on that I was using this as a “business” portal to let my friends, both business and personal, know what I was doing, again both business and personal. When Facebook introduced Facebook Pages, which are intended for businesses, I had so many “friends” that I decided to continue using the personal page for connecting with business friends. In my case, I also believe it acts as a referral source for business.

 

    1. Set parameters on who you decide is your “friend.” This came up relatively early in my Facebook journey. A personal trainer from Pittsburgh asked to be my friend. I wondered what I could possibly have in common with him. We had no friends in common, and I could not see any art connection. He was not wearing a shirt in his picture. That created my “you must be wearing a shirt” rule. What other rules might you create? Perhaps you choose not to friend people who are not really personal friends.

 

    1. What if you decide that you do not want to friend someone? Most of you have a Facebook Page. The easiest thing to do is to message the requestor and let them know that your personal page is only for family and close friends. Suggest that they “like” your Business Page and tell them that is where you share all kinds of info on what you are up to. In all likelihood, they are interested in your business side, not what you and your family did last weekend. And, it is possible for you to go back and do this now.

 

    1. Someone asked me if it was possible to go back and make adjustments to move everyone to their business page. The answer is yes, just start doing so. You can message people that you are only posting business info on your business page and will be deleting them. Also post this on your personal profile page and encourage people to head over to your business page.

 

    1. How about those requests from real strangers? Lately a lot of people are getting requests from people who have no friends in common and no real basis for connection. I think a lot of these come from men trolling Facebook. One of the recent ones I got was from two men with the same first and last name, only reversed. What are the odds? Look at who are friends with these strangers. I was surprised to see a good friend of mine “friend” someone without any other connections. I dropped her a note about it. She had not really even looked, just clicked friend. She removed him.

 

  1. One of the other problems is friend requests from people you are already friends with. First you might wonder if you did not friend them after all. Or perhaps they accidentally unfriended you. Perhaps you click “confirm” without even thinking about it. What is likely happening is someone is impersonating your friend. Reasons can vary from hackers trying to collect personal information about you and others, to stalkers who are trying to gather information on your real friend. Whatever the reason, do not add the imposter as a friend, let your real friend know and report this to Facebook.

 

Facebook can be lots of fun and valuable as a business tool. Take the time to figure out how it will work best for you.

 

Please share your experiences on our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages? By sharing your approach, you may help someone else.

 

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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?

See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/

 

 

Do You Ever Have Facebook Envy?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

 

FacebookEnvy 2

 

Do you ever look at the Facebook posts of what your “friends” are doing with a tiny bit of envy? They are all successful, fulfilled and live the most exciting lives. They take glamorous trips, enjoy extremely loving relationships, their art garners all kinds of awards, and their dinners look so fabulous. The list just goes on, or so it might seem to you.

 

Of course, it is likely a bit of embellishment if you really ask, but it still can throw you off. It can make your life look boring and leave you with feelings of lack and loneliness, feelings of not enoughness, and feelings of sadness.

 

One of my clients made this observation recently and compared her results to those of someone she followed on Facebook. My client felt she had not done enough with the online art class she was offering. She did not have as many signups as someone else. She felt that she had somehow missed the boat and “failed.” In reality, she got more than 50 students in her first online course and the participants loved the program.

 

Interestingly, the University of Michigan conducted a study a couple years ago and found that the more college-age students used Facebook, the worse they felt.  The study has since been repeated with somewhat similar results, noting feelings of envy. What can you do about it? Here are some thoughts for handling times when you feel overwhelmed by what others are sharing on Facebook.

 

1. Think realistically about what is posted. Most people post the positive happenings in their lives — the good, not the good, the bad and the ugly. They curate what they share — the happy picture without the back story. Remember not to compare your whole life with what we could really call their highlight reel. I have always said that none of us knows what is going on behind the closed doors of the other houses on our street. That could not be more true with Facebook.

 

2. When you are touched by something someone had posted, like it or comment about it. Leave it at that and move on. Do not dwell on it or look to compare yourself, your business, your stuff to theirs.

 

3. Limit your time on Facebook or other social media. Instead make some real-time connections, either on the phone or in person. It has a more positive effect on how you feel.

 

4. Talk about gratitude on Facebook. Lately I have seen posts where people ask others what they are grateful for today. It is great. It sets you up with a positive feeling. It is hard, perhaps impossible, to feel negative when you are being grateful. I think it stops the “comparisons.” Wouldn’t it be weird to be “one-upping” someone’s gratitude?

 

Do you ever feel Facebook envy and what do you do to combat it? I would love to hear your thoughts on social media below. Maybe you have had some good experiences. You are also welcome to go to leave a comment on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?

See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/

 

Are you a Pinterestista?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 1.22.45 PMI love Pinterest. What’s not to love? You can be inspired and you get to dream. I have got so many ideas about decorating, cooking, dressing and art. If only I would live long enough to fulfill all those dreams!

I know many of you are already using Pinterest. Are you using it to your advantage, business wise? Here are three ways to do that.

  1. Become the expert. How do you have time to develop all the content, pictures, etc., that you will need? The quick answer is you don’t have to. It is already on Pinterest. What you are doing is becoming a curator of information and sharing what you find. You might create a board called Art Tips and share relevant information that has already been pinned. By gathering and sharing useful information, you become the expert.

  2. Drive your Pinterest traffic to your website. Did you know that Pinterest is the largest referrer to your website of all social media? And, even more important, people who come to your site from Pinterest spend more than those who come from other social media sites. Pinning great content is one way to get people to your site where they can sign up for your newsletter.

  3. Engage your customers. One way you can do this by creating user-generated boards or by creating a board to promote your happy customers using your product. Look for ways to turn your pinners into your unpaid sales force.

What is your favorite business way to use Pinterest?



Simple Tips to Increase Facebook Fan Engagement

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

facebookHow effective are your efforts to engage and connect with your fans on Facebook? Perhaps you don’t realize that many of your fans never even see your posts. On average most Fan Pages reach only 12% of its fans. Not much for the effort you are putting in to try to engage your fans and develop leads. What can you do to increase that percentage? Here are a few ideas:

1. Post more often. Yes, you are already trying to post once a day. Consider that not everyone will see you post if you post once a day at the same time. I’ve heard that posts “live” for three hours, that’s the amount of time you have to engage someone. You can post more often and see if you get results. And, this is easy if you schedule your posts.

2. Post something people can respond to. That means ask questions, take polls or surveys. Think of ways that you engage the reader to respond or have a conversation.

3. Use graphics or photos. According to Hubspot, photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post. Think about your own experience on Facebook. Don’t you tend to respond more to posts with pictures? I know I do.

4. Pay attention to the analytics on your fan page and make adjustments accordingly.

The bottom line is that the more engagement (commenting, liking, sharing), the more likely your are to increase your fan base and the more exposure you will get for your business,

What are you doing to engage with your Facebook fans?

 

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