Entries in social media (7)

Tuesday
Jan112011

Why You Need A Blog

Photo by Genevieve RobertsonAs our next Social Media for Artists seminar draws closer and I’m spending time refining my notes I realized while I often talk about having a business blog, I’ve never really told you why I think it’s important. And I do think it’s important.

Writing a blog is a worthwhile investment for any small business, but especially art-based businesses. Why? Because your business is so much about who you are, what makes you different and what you can offer to the customer. Buying a piece of art is about experience and connection. A blog is a way for you to create a voice, share your personality and connect quickly and more personally. A blog is a way for you to stand out in the crowd by sharing the story that makes you unique. You are starting a conversation that both your peers and customers can join in on. All this allows you to build trust and become their friend. Wouldn’t you rather buy from or recommend a friend?

You may be saying that’s all great, but I still don’t know what I would have to say that would keep people interested. This is a tough question, but there is an answer it just requires a little thought and research.

Think of your target market, your ideal customer. What do they want (I mean besides that gorgeous necklace you just listed)? Do they want to know how you make your jewelry? Do they want a story behind their purchase? Are they striving to lead a sustainable life and looking for products that fit in?

If you can nail down a “want” of your target market and provide a resource for them, they will turn to you again and again. I’m assuming since you read this blog you read others. What makes you come back? You get something every time right? Maybe it’s a piece of knowledge, a break from your busy day, or a laugh that you can share. It might also be a voice that you can relate to or that feels friendly and familiar. Think of your blog as an added benefit for the customer, kind of like free shipping.

Now to take it one step further, besides the familiarity and trust that a blog provides it also gives you a presence on the web and puts you into the conversation. There’s a lot of strategy behind maximizing this potential, but basically if you’re a part of the conversation your target market will more readily flock to you than your competitors. The more visibility you have the easier it is for them to find you.

If it’s ever occurred to you to start a blog I highly recommend you do so. If you’re at loss for where to begin, start looking toward the blogs you already love as models. And of course a Lightbox SF Social Media for Artists workshop wouldn’t hurt either.

What some of your favorite blogs? What keeps you coming back to them?

Tuesday
Dec072010

We Are Live!

After many long weeks of writing, researching and editing the Social Media Strategy Workbook is here!

And with it comes our new services page. Now you can quickly book a consulting session or email support. You'll get a questionnaire to fill out that will give us a sense of where you are and what you're struggling with. Before you know it, within 24 hours to be exact, we'll contact you to set up an appointment to talk via phone or in-person if you're in San Francisco. It couldn't be easier.

However if you don't see exactly what you're looking for we're still happy to build custom packages. Just send us an email and we'll put together a plan that will help you reach your goals.

Monday
Oct042010

Using Twitter and Facebook To Support Your Blog

In my last post I talked about finding a voice or theme for your blog. Those tips also work in developing a consistency to your Twitter and Facebook posts. However another strategy is to support your blog articles by getting your followers involved.

The typical use for Twitter and Facebook in conjunction with blogging is to tweet or post whenever you publish a new article. While this is a worthwhile strategy there is so much more you can do. Use Twitter and Facebook to get your readers involved and they’ll be much more invested in reading the full articles.

Try asking for suggestions for topics, area of focus, or have readers send in their burning questions or experiences that support your subject. Not only does this help your writing process, it also makes your articles more personal allowing your readers to relate.

Try sharing your research. As you work on each piece share links to a new website you found, a great image you stumbled across, or even just a great fact that you want to share. Use these kinds of posts to build up to or create a little suspense for the finished article. Think of it as a behind the scenes to your writing process.

You can also use contests and events to get your followers involved. Maybe you’re participating in a show and you have tickets to give away. Ask a trivia questions whose answer can be found in one of your recent blog posts. The first correct answer wins the tickets. Or maybe you’ve been working on a long series of linked articles, hold a question and answer session after last post via Twitter or Facebook.

I encourage you to be creative and use Twitter and Facebook in the social manner for which they were intended. Get your followers, readers and fans to interact with you. Give them a reason to check in with you over all the platforms you use by giving them different streams of content.

What are your favorite ways to use Twitter and Facebook?



Monday
Sep272010

Contributing to the Conversation – Finding Your Voice

Now that I’ve got you thinking about the conversation I want to you think about what you’re brining to it. This breaks down into two primary areas, your voice or style and your message or content. They overlap in many ways and definitely work together, but I feel thinking about them separately will help you define yours.

Let’s start with message or content. Successful blogging has an end game, a purpose or a goal. This also goes for posting on twitter or facebook. What sort of message do you want to share? Are you sharing tips about running an art-based business? Are you offering tutorials on DIY projects or styling? Or maybe it’s inspiration that you share, other artists that you love, images you stumble across, music that you listen to while you create. Pick something that resonates, that you feel inspired to talk about over and over again.

By creating an overarching theme for your writing and posting you not only create consistency for your readers and followers, but you also establish yourself as an authority in the area you’ve chosen. Just like in your art you want to be known for something.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to share with people, what your message is, then you need to focus on how you’re going to say it. Will you be funny, conversational, authoritative or informational? This voice or style should mirror or compliment the image of your business. If you make delicate metal jewelry with soft flowing shapes, most likely your tone won’t be short and quip or use a lot of slang. Your tone comes across in the words you choose, the phrasing of your sentences, and even the references you choose to link to.

Georgina Laidlaw wrote a great article with some tips on keeping a consistent voice over at problogger.net. And one of the best analogies about developing a voice is in Steve Kamb’s article “How to Blog Like Bond. James Bond.” on copyblogger.com.

Wednesday
Sep222010

Social Media Seminar

Here's the seminar details (don't worry I'll get back to the hightlights):

HOW TO BUILD A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
FOR YOUR ART BASED BUSINESS

 

Social Media is more than just a buzz phrase; it’s way of connecting with both your peers and potential customers. Social media is a tool that when used with a little planning puts your business into the conversation and your name on the tips of people’s tongues.

This engaging workshop will cover:

What is Social Media and Why Should You Use It?

How to Develop Your “Rolodex”

Crafting Your Message

Setting a Schedule You Can Stick To

Measuring Results

And Much More...

This 3-hour workshop is targeted to those with creative, art-based businesses and will help you answer the key questions in developing a strategy that fits your goals. Key resources and a few in-class exercises will prepare you to hit the ground running. 


When:
 Saturday, Oct. 16th 11am – 2pm
Where:
1890 Bryant, 3rd Fl. Suite 311
Cost:
$75

Register: by emailing [email protected]