TwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle PlusMembers login

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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.

Read more…

Know your customer to ignite your business

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Over the weekend I met my friend Jamie at a local coffee shop. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and had a great time catching up. After about half an hour, we were joined by Caitlin, one of Jamie’s friends. Some years back Jamie had been sitting next to me on a train ride while I had a coaching call with a client. She knew Caitlin was struggling with her business and asked if I would spend time talking with her about those struggles.

Caitlin had started her business a year ago. She felt a calling to help young women in our town improve their circumstances. She knew that I worked with creatives to help them build their businesses and wondered if what I did could translate to her. The thing is that how I help artists — whether they are fiber artists, jewelers, or writers — is exactly how I helped Caitlin.  This is an abbreviated version of what I shared during our conversation.

Know what you have to offer that is unique.

Everyone has a unique message to share based on their life circumstances and experiences. I once heard someone say “make your mess your message.” It’s so true. Your unique perspective is what you have to share, whether it’s really that messy or not.

Read more…

How Do Quilters & Creative Entrepreneurs Use LinkedIn?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

During an open call I hosted yesterday on social media, someone asked me about LinkedIn and quilters. I said that quilters have been slower to use LinkedIn than other social media. It’s been primarily thought of as a more corporate platform where people can make connections for job searches.

I did a quick, albeit unscientific, survey – I asked on Facebook and Twitter – to see if quilters were using LinkedIn. The results confirmed my theory. I think it’s because most quilters’ customers are not on LinkedIn. If you think you’d like to learn more about LinkedIn, sign up and give it a try to see for yourself. Here are six ways that I and other professionals can use LinkedIn.

  1. Find a job. Last week I discussed a possible opening we plan on in our business with a potential candidate. I probably would not have found this person outside of LinkedIn, or definitely not as easily.
  2. Get an introduction to someone you think might further your career. For example, if you are a fiber artist and you see a friend of a friend is a gallery owner or art consultant, you could ask for a connection. Where that leads is up to you.
  3. Learn industry news. For example, I learned that FiberArts will no longer be publishing after its June/July issue. Then I learned that Fiber Art Now is a new magazine serving the fiber arts and textile community to start publishing in October.
  4. Connect, share and learn through the groups function. You are connecting with other professional fiber people who share their expertise willingly. You will make connections that you wouldn’t find other places. Discussions tend to be more business focused.
  5. Invite your connections to events. If you become active on LinkedIn, your circle of connections will grow and you can invite them to events you host.
  6. Post your blog for others to see who might not be in your circle otherwise. With a WordPress plug-in, your blog posts will automatically repost onto LinkedIn, letting a wider audience learn about you and your company.

As with any form of social media, you’ll get what you put into it. I think for many quilters, LinkedIn offers valuable discussion and connection. Please share how you use LinkedIn on our blog. If you want more help in the area of social media, please join me for our upcoming five-session Social Media Marketing seminar.

Your First Steps to Social Media Marketing

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I’m often asked where someone should start to market a business with social media. It is really easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices out there: Facebook, blogs, Twitter, YouTube.  Before you decide which platform will work for you or which one to use first, you need to spend some time getting clear about your goals, your market and your message. Since I have a journalism background, I sometimes think of these steps as the who, what, where, when, why and how of a story.

1. Clarify the who

Who exactly is your customer? The clearer you are about your customer down to the minutest detail, the better. One suggestion here is to actually name your customer. For example, perhaps your target customer is Beth, a 35-year-old mom, college-educated, loves to quilt, has little spare time because she has two small children, makes mostly traditional quilts, lives in an urban area, reads Quilters Home, hangs out with other soccer moms. Once you are clear on your target market, it makes it easier to create your marketing message. You can picture your customer.

2. Clarify the what

What is your product, i.e., what are you selling? The key here is to think of what you are selling as a benefit. One example I always use when talking about benefits is the Michelin tire ad with the baby sitting inside the tire. Michelin is not selling tires, it is selling safety. Ask yourself what problem you are solving for your customer.

3. Clarify the where

Where are you going to find your customers? When you got really clear about your target market, the who, you also should have thought about where they hang out. This would be the time to think about who uses Twitter vs. Facebook vs. blogs vs. email newsletters (ezines). Generally Twitter is big in big cities and big with a younger demographic. Think the Gen X we’re trying to get into quilting. Facebook is popular with everyone, though the fastest growing demographic is baby boomer women, typically the average quilter according to the latest Quilting in America™ survey.

4. Clarify the when

When and how often are you going to reach out to your customer? You may want to send a monthly or weekly update. You may want to tie your contact into specific holidays or events. You may have weekly sales and that dictates how often you contact your customers. Start with a marketing calendar and figure out what you are promoting; that will help you figure out when to contact them. How often you contact your customers also depends on the medium you choose. You’ll use Twitter more often than you’ll send an ezine. I suggest setting a schedule that allows for a certain number of contacts per day, week and month. Something to remember, too, with connecting with your customers is to give them a call to action, something you want them to do as a result of your message.

5. Clarify the why

Here you should look at the why from two sides – yours and your customers. Why are you using social media and what are your goals? Look at the why of your customers. Why should they care about what you have to offer? What differentiates you from all the other offerings on the street? This is closely related to the what, in that you need to consider the customers’ viewpoint. When I teach business classes, I remind my students that we are all tuned to the same radio station – WIIFM. That stands for What’s In It For Me. Tell your customers why they should care.

6. Clarify the How

How are you going to reach your customer and how are you going to educate them about you and your company? You already know that your customers are lots of places, so go where they are and invite them to come play with you. For example, if you provide good content, people are more likely to value what you offer and come to know, like and trust you. Let people know how to find you. Use the social media icons on all your online correspondence with clickable links. For printed materials, include your social network information. Make it easy for people to connect with you. Another idea here is to offer something to people who join you on one of your networks. This could be a discount or even a free product.

If you answer these six questions, you’ll be well on your way to understanding how to use social media to build your business. If you want more help, please join me for our upcoming five-session Social Media Marketing seminar.

Tweet This: 6 Tips to Using Twitter

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

socmedia

With more than 6 million members on Twitter, you’re sure to find more than one of your customers tweeting. While Facebook seems to be growing fastest among baby boomers, Twitter has captured Generation X. Since many of us find some customers in this group and we’re looking to add younger quilters to our industry, this micro-blogging tool is a great addition to your marketing tool box. Here are five tips for using Twitter in your business.

1. Share stories about your business, service or product. If you have announced a new book or pattern, share a link to the press release on your site. If you’re a shop owner and you added new classes, tweet that. If you’re a longarm quilter and added new photos of your customer’s quilts to your site, tweet that. Since Twitter limits you to 140 characters, shorten your web links with a service such as bit.ly.

2. Share stories that you find about our industry or the art world in general. It could even be something new and good about one of your customers, such as winning a prize at a quilt show or releasing a new book.

3. Retweet useful information from your followers or those you follow. I’ll often find something that one of the people I follow tweeted that is worth passing along. Be sure to credit the person you are retreating. On Sunday I retweeted an offer for free e-cards with a work of art from the Guggenheim collection.

4. Ask questions to engage your customers. It could be something like, who is your favorite designer? Or, do you wash your fabrics before cutting? The goal is to create a conversation.

5. Share something inspirational. This could be a favorite quote or a link to a YouTube video. Sharing something humorous is a good idea, too. This can sometimes make someone’s day.

6. Handle customer inquiries. This could be pre-emptive, as in tweeting if you find a problem in one of your patterns or books. Or if one of your customers found a great solution or work-around to something, tweet that. You may get direct messages on a problem. It’s fine to answer the specific person, just be sure you address it also through Twitter. Larger companies to check out who are cited as good examples on customer service on Twitter include Comcast and Zappos.

If you are interested in learning how to use Facebook to grow your business, join us in our upcoming Social Media Marketing course.

6 Ways to Use Facebook to Market Your Quilt or Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Have you joined the Facebook revolution? According to socialnomics.net, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. It continues to attract large numbers of baby boomers, and that would be a big part of the readership of this newsletter. Here are some reasons to join if you haven’t already or to expand your reach if you are already a member.

  1. Your start-up costs are very low. Joining and using Facebook is free, so your only costs involve your time. In the beginning, you’ll spend more time – it’s like anything else new, it has a learning curve. Once you are up-to-speed, you’ll be able to use your time more efficiently.
  1. Relationship building is faster. Because you are communicating several times a week or even more often, people get to know you sooner. And, knowing someone leads to liking and trusting them. All marketing is about relationship building, Facebook just lets you get there faster.
  2. Your customers are on Facebook (and Twitter). In today’s interactive Web 2.0 world, you have to go to where your customers are. And, it’s not just your customers. You can also find influential people in the industry that you want to connect with, and you can do this on Facebook.
  3. You should have a fan page in addition to your personal profile page. Why both? Facebook requires you to start with your personal profile. Personal pages have a limit of 5,000 friends, fan pages do not, so you’ll be able to reach larger numbers of potential customers with a Fan Page. Fan pages also are fully indexed by Google, so that helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  4. Secure a vanity URL for your fan page. This will make it easier for your fans to find you and extends your brand. When I did this for the International Association of Professional Quilters, I wanted to use IAPQ, only to find out the minimum number of characters was five. I ended up using www.facebook.com/IAPQFanClub. This makes it easy to refer people to our Fan page.
  5. Be generous and share good content. If you blog – and if you don’t, you should – use the notes application on Facebook to import the blog to your Fan Page automatically. Don’t worry that your Fans already subscribe to your blog or even your e-zine. You never know where they’ll actually read your content. I could share several instances where I wrote something initially in our e-zine, it was posted on the blog and the comments came after an IAPQ member saw the post on Facebook.

Please share your experiences with Facebook below And, if you are interested in learning how to use Facebook to grow your business, join us in our upcoming Social Media Marketing course.

Try my 6 C’s for Better Results From Your e-Zine

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

I’ve been sending out an online newsletter, or e-zine, for more than six years. It’s a terrific way to keep in touch with our IAPQ members as well as other professional quilt, fiber or mixed-media artists, and creative entrepreneurs who use our resources. Here are six tips to make your e-zine work for you.

1. Clarity. Be clear about your goals and your audience for your ezine. Why are you creating this e-zine and who are your writing it for? If you start with that in mind, you’ll find that it’s easier to write your articles and include relevant materials. You can even keep a specific person in mind (someone in your target market) and write directly to that person.

2. Content. People read your e-zine for the content you deliver. The more relevant it is to their lives and/or business, the more likely they are to continue to follow you. Readers resonate with how-to’s, lists, problem solving. It’s OK to promote yourself or your products, just don’t let that be the focus.

3. Consistency. Be sure your e-zine has a consistent look issue to issue. You also want it to go out the same day of each week. Your readers look forward to its arrival and notice if it doesn’t come as expected. This one currently goes out on Wednesdays. The best days for delivery are said to be mid-week. That may not be true of your audience. How do you find out? Survey them. And, how often should you send your e-zine? Weekly gets the best results, then bi-weekly.

4. Call to Action. Every e-zine should include a call to action (CTA). What do you went someone to do after reading your e-zine? It could be to apply a tip you give them or it could be to look at your art or it could be to take you up on your special offer on quilting.

5. Connection. We all like to connect with like-minded people. After all, we buy from people, not an invisible company. Start your e-zine with a brief story about yourself to connect to your readers. Don’t just connect on a personal level, connect also to the issues of your target market. And, speaking of connection, look for ways to make more connections. This could be by using a “forward to a friend” method or including a signup form on the home page of your website.

6. Compelling title. Your e-zine title should make the topic clear and compel the reader to open it. Spend some time looking at the titles of e-zines you get. Which ones were you curious to open and which ones did you ignore? Just as with the content, people like how-to’s, numbers, benefit statements.

Please share your thoughts on e-zine success on our blog. And, if you don’t have an e-zine yet, be sure to check out our upcoming Internet & Social Medial Marketing Teleseminar. We start with getting your e-zine in place. In case you missed it, that was my CTA.

=============

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
Please do! Just be sure to include the blurb below.

Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build 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 F.R.E.E. subscription at http://www.professionalquilter.com.

 

Copyright © Morna McEver Enterprises LLC, All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without written authorization
Designed and hosted by GloDerWorks

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).