This is a guest post by Diane Gilleland, aka Sister Diane, of CraftyPod.com. Diane makes ebooks, podcasts, and videos about what it means to make things, and what happens when you turn making things into your vocation.
In this three-part series of posts, we’re looking at three important questions to help you do more effective online marketing. You can read the first post in the series here.
Consider this: in the online landscape, we are all inundated with information. Most of us have more blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates to read than we’ll ever realistically have time for. Not only that, as we mentioned last week, the internet is teeming with people trying to sell things.
In a crowded online environment, it’s not effective to simply mention your product or service over and over – it’s too easy for people to tune you out. Instead, with each post you’re painting a portrait of sorts – a portrait of what you’re great at and why you’re a valuable person to do business with.
In order to get at this portrait, we’ll want to examine this question:
What exactly do you need people to know about you?
Get a notebook and a pen (or, sit down at your computer) and make a list of every product or service you currently offer. For each one of these, you’ve had to develop particular skills and expertise so you could offer them to the world professionally, right?
If you make pearl earrings, for example, then you’ve had to get good at working with metal and precious stones. You’ve had to learn to tell the difference between high-quality and low-quality components. You’ve had to develop an eye for jewelry design, and you’ve had to practice making pieces until you could make them consistently beautiful.
These skills and abilities are the things you need people to know about you – the more your potential customers can understand how skilled and knowledgeable you are, the more likely they are to become interested in your product.
How does this translate to online marketing?
Once you’ve identified the skills and abilities behind what you sell, it’s time to develop a little online editorial calendar for yourself. What blog posts, tweets, or Facebook posts can you develop that share these skills and abilities?
If we stick with our pearl earring example, here are a few ideas:
- You could write a blog post about what qualities you look for when you choose the pearls for your pieces.
- You could share pictures of jewelry in progress on Twitter and Facebook, and talk about how you solved a challenging design problem.
- You might blog the story of how you first learned to make wire loops, and how long you had to practice before you could do them perfectly.
- You could share sketches from your notebook on Facebook and Twitter, and ask your online customers for input as you design new pieces.
Do you see how much more interesting and engaging these stories are than simply mentioning your product over and over? Make yourself a schedule of these stories, so you remember to inject them regularly into your online postings.
In the last post in this series, we’ll talk about how to gently guide your online readers to make those purchases or hire you.
Image Credits: Martin Marcinski, via Flickr Creative Commons
Tara Swiger is our Community Wrangler, a crafter of independence, and a Starship Captain. She’s right in the middle of a writing a book on Marketing for IndieBiz’s for Cooperative Press and she’d love to distract herself by hanging out with you on Twitter