First of all I want to tell you all that we are doin ok here. The fire is still going, but we are hangin in. No one has been hurt and no structures have been lost as of yet. I have been posting updates to my Facebook page if anyone is interested in that.
Now on to the post...actually today I am going to repost a post I made 4 years ago because it still holds true. There has been some discussion about using Facebook and Twitter for selling. While there is nothing wrong with that, I do it too...I want you to keep in mind it's called social networking for a reason, so if you want to mix the two, I don't see a problem. Also keep in mind as you're reading we weren't using Facebook yet. So here is the post I made 4 years ago:
"I have a no soliciting sign on my door. Lots and lots of sales people
tend to ignore it and ring the bell anyway. It never occurs to them
that maybe there is a larger reason behind that sign than just not
wanting to buy something. I am a day sleeper. So nothing annoys me more
than having a pushy sales person at my door who not only ignored my sign
but also woke me up. Do you think that results in them getting a sale?
I view my computer screen the same as my
door. If I wouldn't let a person into my house through my front door for
any variety of reasons why would I let them into my house through my
As I have mentioned before I have my things for
sale on my website and Etsy. (I edited this because two of the sites are no longer around.) People talk a great
deal about promoting their shops on these sites. They want to know how
other people do it. I read these a lot. I have even tried a few of them
with little or no results. I also see them saying they promote their
shops to their friends and families. Really? No REALLY? I have mentioned
these sites as a whole to my friends and family and told them what to
expect from other sellers by looking at them, but I don't promote my own
shop to them. They already know what I do for a living. I don't know
about you, but if my Mother wants something I made I give it to her. She
is my Mother for crying out loud! The same with my friends, if they
insist on paying anyway...I certainly don't send them to an online shop
so they can go through the entire check out process, pay for shipping
and I can give Paypal a cut. If they did that to me I would find that
really strange and think long and hard about their friendship.
people don't think the site is responsible for promoting us, I don't
see why not...I am giving them a cut of my sales or a listing fee. They
have just as much obligation to promote me as I do them. They are
making money every time I promote in the simple fact that a new customer
will most likely be a return customer because they aren't going to just
stop at looking at my shop in most cases. They are going to look at
lots of shops and items for sale and probably in the end they are going
to buy something else on top of that initial purchase.
what about the rest of the world at large? What is the right way to
promote to them? We have Twitter and our blogs and all sorts of places
to network. But imagine if you will for a moment...an insurance salesman
in your neighborhood. If he rang your doorbell every day or even
several times a day to try to sell you some insurance would you
appreciate that? Would you just finally cave in and buy something? And
if you actually did, what if he kept coming back day after day to try to
sell you more?
Where did we get the idea that non stop
hammering was the way to make a sale? I suppose in some instances it
works. But I don't think I would sleep very well knowing that is how I
run my business. Coincidentally since I have stopped almost all self
promotion the past few days I made a sale last night...go figure!
suppose my perspective might be a little different since I did shows
and sold to shops and advertised for 25 years before moving my business
to the net. I was used to the regular sort of selling where I make the
effort to show up and the customer makes the effort to come and see me.
It was mutual agreement.
I saw a video the other day of
a man talking about social networking. He said he expects to make 0
dollars from Twitter. (This would also apply to Facebook now.) He views Twitter as a party where he meets people.
Once he gets to know them he invites them to his blog which he equates
to his house. In his house he has personal things and also things that
reflect what he does for a living. By getting to know people and make
friends they find out what he does and they are more likely to mention
it to someone else even if they are never going to make a purchase. I
thought this was brilliant. It's the way I like to do it. I post pics of
what I have just completed because I like to look at pics of other
people's stuff and I think many of them do too. I also think it's a good
way to keep a back up record of what I have made and when. I post a
link to where they can find it and I have links on the sidebar to where I
sell my works. If you want to go look you can. If you don't...no
pressure. I clearly want to support these selling venues because if I
didn't I wouldn't have shops in them. But ultimately I am in business
for myself because I want to make sales for myself. I do occasionally
post a link on Twitter, but I would rather just chat with people a bit
on there than post link after link after link. That gets old real fast.
find in the long run I have made more friends and more sales in the end
by doing it that way. Maybe that's why they call it SOCIAL networking
and not SALES networking?"
So back to the present, in conclusion here, I just want to remind you that Twitter, which I no longer use because it became nothing but endless links to people's Etsy shops and other venues, and Facebook were originally created as ways for people to socialize. It's great that we can use them to show off what we do for a living. But I don't think people should be using these for nothing but selling. I know when I have a Facebook friend that does nothing but post links to things to buy...they are gone. I unfriend them. I did the same thing for the brief period I used Twitter. To see nothing but endless links to work is boring. You don't have to spill your entire personal life onto the screen either, but mix it up a little on these sites.
I think it's really important to have a free standing professional presence elsewhere online where you do nothing else but sell your work. From the other side of the fence, as a collector I have never purchased anything from Twitter or Facebook. I like seeing what people make, but I don't want to send a message and hope I can buy that item if it's still available. I want to go to a website that has a buy now button so I can just buy it and be done with it.