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Effectively Use Social Media Marketing March 7, 2011

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For creative people to effectively learn to use social media to market their work as a business is one the most important aspects to living the dream of a successful artist. 

Every artist, at one time or another, has the romantic and imagined vision of Van Gogh slaving away passionately in his room and in the fields creating works of art one after another, after another. Truth is, even Vincent Van Gogh, as well as his brother who was a gallery owner, tried to sell his work everyday.  It just wasn’t the right time for people to understand what they were looking at.

Today, arts and crafts enthusiasts are more informed, tasteful, and eager for new and different kinds of work from artists all over the world.  With the help of Facebook and other social media forums an artist can easily present their work and themselves to the world, but it takes the “know how” and willingness to market your work. It’s part of the job if you want to live the way you could, making a living as an artist who sells their work as a living.

For those of you unable to perform the tasks that a social media campaign requireds; whether it be time to execute the tasks or time to learn the social marketing tactics and media sites functionality, Social Market Now and Etsy Allies are you business allies who can put your brand on the map for all eyes to see it.

Ready for more visits to your site and more sales? We’re you solution to an effective social marketing campaign and/or a maximized Etsy store showcasing your brand to new and existing customers.

Visit this link for helpful advice and tips to getting your art selling today – http://www.etsy.com/storque/seller-handbook/how-to-effectively-use-social-media-to-market-your-business–8391/

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Chicago Caravan Beads Website Redesign February 27, 2011

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We’ve just finished the redesign for the Caravan Chicago Beads Store.

Check it out!  http://www.caravanchicago.com

Social Media Marketing for Bead Stores and Lampwork Artists February 25, 2011

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Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I’d like to introduce Social Market Now to our beading and beadmaking community.

Recently, a bead store owner and I were discussing the importance of using social media sites for bead stores in this competitive market and economy.  She had noticed a difference in the social media marketing for a few bead stores in the US, and as it turned out they were all clients of ours, located in Ohio and Illinois.  She and I talked a little about the difference our campaigns have made for their businesses in this age of “Web 2.0.”  Again and again I hear the same things: “I would like a quick redesign for my website, but just don’t have the time” or “I know I need to use the social marketing sites, but don’t know how and can’t set aside the hours in the day to even finish what I’ve already got!”

I am very involved in the national and worldwide beading community – I have taught beadweaving and lampworking for many years as well as selling on my own website, on Artfire, Etsy and Ebay.  I also taught website design on college level and generally a good and functional redesign costs no more than $150.  We have recently completed overhauls for sites in Missouri, New Mexico and in Oregon.  Both my contacts and experience have helped me greatly in providing successful social media marketing campaigns for my clients, conveying the points of interest from the client to the client’s customer community.

Look around our website.  At the bottom of the packages page is our Flexi-package.  Our bead store clients find this particular set-up to be beneficial and convenient to their individual budgets.  It’s basically a pick your own price bundle; together we decide what would benefit your business the most on a consistent basis so your store or website stays in view of a growing online customer community.  I’d love to talk to you about a few ideas regarding a social marketing campaign for your Bead Company that will save you time to run other aspects of your business.

We know your time is valuable and a bead store owner already has too much on their plate to keep up with social media trends.  We’d love to help and I look forward to talking with you.

Sincerely,

 

Hannah Rosner  & David Louis

socialmarketnow@hotmail.com

 

Increasing Traffic & Sales on Etsy February 24, 2011

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Online Selling – Etsy and Beyond                            – Lori Peterson

Lori Peterson of http://www.loribeads.com/ wrote this set of tips on how to sell on Etsy.

Picking a name

Try to pick something that will either identify YOU or what you are selling.  “Your Name Designs” is one that I recommend (i.e. Lori Peterson Designs).  It covers a broad range of products and services, should your focus change.  I chose Loribeads before I really thought about that.  Also, think about what website names are available.  Chances are if you want something like Lampwork.com or FusedGlass.com it is already taken.  Do your research before making a final decision on picking an etsy store name.

Policies & returns

I could load this section up with examples of what not to do.  Put enough info in the policies to inform and protect your interests but not so much that it puts buyers off of doing business with you.  Keep it simple, straightforward and above all else, shopper-friendly.  Don’t gouge customers with shipping charges.  If you want to make more money on the product, price it accordingly.  Returns policies should reassure customers that you want them to be happy with their purchase.  Try to keep that in mind.  Occasionally you will get a difficult customer, that’s just the way it is.  Try not to let those experiences form your policies.  This is my opinion only.

Logos and branding

Pick a look and create a logo, online banners, etc.  Etsy is a good place to look if you want someone to create all that for you.  Some website hosts will have templates you can use and customize.  Branding is so important that unless you are just dabbling in selling, spending time getting this right is really important.  Make sure your logo/banner says something about your aesthetic.

Announcements and artist intro

Here’s the place to announce your grand opening!  You can also announce sales, coupons, new products and even general chit-chat here.  Artist profile is the place for your artist statement, how you came to be an artist, stuff like that.  I don’t like to shop at a store when I don’t know their location so be sure to put where you are, too.

Photos, photos, photos

-lighting and cameras

Honestly, it’s more about the photographer than the camera.  Get a decent camera – no need to spend a bundle – most point and shoot cameras are fine for web photos.  I sell beads so I made sure the camera I picked had a macro setting.

-photo tents and lighting

Light diffusion is pretty important, especially when photographing glass.  I recommend getting some good, bright lights and a photo cube, sized for the product you intend to sell.  Ott lites are a good choice for lighting but other daylight bulbs will work just as well.  Most bad photos are bad because there wasn’t enough light.

-post production

Photoshop, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, there are many different photo editing programs out there.  Some are free, some are really pricey.  I have tried them all and trust me when I say that none of them can turn a bad photo into a good one.  Pick one that works with your level of photo-editing interest.  Photoshop can be a resource hog on a slower computer and is very expensive and has a pretty big learning curve but it is the industry standard for photo editing so if you get stuck and need help, you’re likely to find someone online who will have an answer to your question.  The bare minimum you will need from a photo editing software is to be able to resize photos.  Out of the camera, they will likely be too big.  Etsy has a 1000×1000 pixel recommendation for your shop photos.

Descriptions / Categories / Tags

-take a look at similar items for keyword/tag/category help

I know this seems like cheating.  But, really, it is the easiest way to make sure you get tags that make sense for your product.  Take a look at a few different products before you pick tags, though.  Some people use tags inappropriately.  Make sure the tags you pick actually make sense for the product you’re selling.  If they don’t, someone might report you and your item may be removed.

-dimensions, materials used, facts

Make sure you give all the pertinent information for the product.  It may seem obvious to you that the item you are selling is teeny-tiny because it’s in front of you.  When you look at macro photos of the item, it may seem MUCH larger.  Let the customer know what to expect so they aren’t surprised when they receive the item.  Same goes for materials used.  If you used sterling silver, let them know.  If you used base metal containing nickel, let them know.  Nothing worse than wearing something that gives you an unexpected rash!

-inspiration and artist stuff

Some artists like to include a story, like how the item was conceived, inspired or stumbled upon during the creative process.  Customers like to catch a glimpse of the artist’s soul.  Remember, you’re selling yourself as much as you’re selling the item!

Listing Strategies

-list a few items a day rather than all at once

The default search result for Etsy is newest first so you probably want to be on the first or second page when someone searches for an item like yours.  If you list frequently, the chances are better you will be easy to find and be seen by more people.  Also, keep in mind that the more items you list, the more items you will sell, generally speaking.  If you only have a couple things in your store and never update it, you won’t be as successful a seller as someone who keeps their store fresh and fully stocked with exciting new items.

-list and promote, list and promote, list and promote

Etsy makes it really easy to promote your items now.  One button push and you can publish your item to your Facebook page!  Same goes for Twitter, too.  You can also send out newsletters to your customer list to let them know when you have new items and sales.

After the sale…

-feedback

If you want feedback (and you do) you need to leave feedback for your buyers.  Thank them for their quick payment or for supporting your art.

-tracking sales/ customer base/ follow up

Keep a list of customers and get a mailing list going.  Make sure you check with them before adding them to the list.  No one wants spam.  There are a lot of free and paid opt-in mailing list generators you can use that will add a form to your website.  Some of those are Bravenet, Constant Comment, Vertical Response.

-packing and shipping

Pack your items securely so that they will arrive at their destination in once piece.  Make sure you include a hand-written thank you on the receipt or even on the back of a business card.  You can personalize your packages by adding special touches like gift boxes, pretty tissue paper or whatever makes you happy and furthers your brand image.  Get creative!  Oh and don’t forget to ship promptly!

Advertising and Promotion

Paid and Targeted

There are tons of advertising opportunities for artists out there but you have to look for them.  If you want to pay for advertising you can sign up for Google Adwords or buy an ad in a magazine that targets your audience.  I like advertising on forums I actively participate in.  It is pretty reasonably priced and super targeted.    It pays to do some online research to see where your customers are gathering.

Blogs / Facebook / Twitter

A blog or posting to Facebook or Twitter is a great way to talk about your creative process, promote your items and let customers know about your latest creations.  If you’re not a good writer, just post photos and links!



Our “Pick Your Own Price” Flexi-Package February 22, 2011

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It’s that easy! 

Pick the price you want to pay and we will work with you to develop the marketing campaign that fits your needs.

Let’s face it, some weeks are busier than others.  Pick the price that fits you budget and let’s talk about what kind of social marketing campaign sounds right for your business.

We will review your options and plan your campaign with you around a customized template that will provide consistent and timely marketing for your business and brand so that existing customers stay informed of your business’ new and exciting product and service updates, as well as concentrating on growing a larger customer community for your brand.

Ready for more traffic to your site, a larger community of loyal customers, and increased sales?

We are your business allies and social media experts working personally (B2B) with you to get your business where eyes will see it, taking your business to the customers. 

Your customers are waiting to discover you.  Are you ready for more business for your business?

Every minute counts.  Social Market Now!

 

 

What is keeping your business down? February 17, 2011

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Here’s a really great article we found on Etsy.

It’s time to get rid of the junk that is keeping your business down, and time to start growing your business! Crissy Herron, of IndieBizChicks.com, has put together a mini-workbook to help you start getting rid of the riff raff: How to De-Clutter Your Biz. If you dig this, sign up for her free six week workshop that will help you learn how to prioritize, focus and create new goals for long-term success.

http://www.etsy.com/storque/media/bunker/2011/02/5-Steps-To-De-Clutter-Your-Biz-Etsy.pdf

She has some really great advice here.

Now what?

You’ve followed some of her advice, but that whole thing about website and blog makeovers, social media marketing and dealing with mailing lists?  Who has time for that?

Well, we do!  Call us today.

The Bare Essentials of Social Marketing February 15, 2011

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If you are not using these forums together to market your business, do yourself a favor and put them to work for you as soon as possible.  The popularity of Facebook along with the more user efficient business page, attracting viewers to your FB page with Twitter, linking with other like-minded industry contemporaries and interested buyers through LinkedIn, and either Stubleupon for customer search ease and/or Youtube for video content so the customer can “test drive” your brand(directing viewers to your Youtube commercial through Twitter and FB), and tantalizing photo content with Flickr is the best most basic social media marketing campaign any business owner can start with right away.  It may be a little time consuming, but it literally pays off with more traffic to your site, larger customer community for your business, and continuing SALES.  Throw in a professional and fun Blog with exciting content updated over the workweek and you are in business to win it.  Get started with these marketing tools as soon as you can and watch your business grow.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your marketing campaign, remember, Social Market Now wants to be your business allies.  Your success is our success!

Etsy Listings & Sales Comparison February 12, 2011

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A comparison study shows the primetime sales transactions as well as the heavy listing times for Etsy buyers and sellers.

The chart gives a clear indication of when is the best time to list products on Etsy for the best responses and buyer traffic on the market site.

Social Market Now has conducted an independent study of when product listing times better result in buyer responses and sales of any type of market on Etsy and many other similar craft market websites.

We will schedule your renewals for the most optimal viewing time as well as perform your product listing as such to target the primetime sales window so you can spend the time you need to produce your handmade craft and art pieces at a higher rate of completion and without the interruption of sales and management of your Etsy store. 

Call Hannah at 740-739-7054 for more information.

Helpful Approaches to Successful Marketing February 11, 2011

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Just because your competitor is doing something on the social web doesn’t mean that you need to do the same.

By blindly following your competitor’s path, you’re marketing scared and without purpose. Plus, it’s probable that your competitor’s initiatives won’t help you meet your goals at all.

While it’s essential that you monitor your competitor’s social media marketing activities, you should analyze them against your own goals before implementing any of them yourself.

The Who and Why of Social Marketing February 9, 2011

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Who Uses Social Networking Sites?

• Social networks provide an opportunity to create more interactive experiences with customers and prospects. Social networks can help humanize a brand.
• Sites like MakeOutClub.com are built around the social activities of users, and so for brand advocates in particular, it is not only easy to embrace and promote a brand, but it’s encouraged.
• Although users are concerned about online social networks becoming over-commercialized, according to Forrester, a significant percentage of users show interest in engaging with their FAVORITE brands. Again, this points to the importance of brand advocates within social networks.

Why Social Networking Sites Work?

• Customers: There is a growing need, and the customer demographic is expanding. People are finding use in communicating and keeping up to date with friends and family through the tools that social networking sites provide

• Brands: Social Networks help humanize a brand, which consumer actively seek

• Industry: Companies are increasingly investing more of their marketing dollars into creating a presence on social networking sites.

• As companies recognize the value of social networks and advertising opportunities within them continue to grow, marketing spending in this channel increases significantly.

• In this Jupiter survey of companies with revenue of +$500 MM, more than half expect social marketing budgets to grow by greater than 10% next year.