Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Increase Your Following

How to get your name about. How to spread the word about your product.  We struggle with these concepts every day.  Oh yeah, and at the same time, we need to produce an incredible product and make money while doing it.

I can't help you with your product. But I love marketing, and one of my goals in writing this blog is to provide you with a nudge or two to help you overcome a business concept that may be challenging.

A few months ago, I wrote about Blogger Blues.  I was having difficulty developing concepts and topics for a bi-weekly blog post.  Writing a blog is a commitment, because you can't do it once or twice and hope all goes well.  You need to stay at it.  My goal for today is not to take up space to remind you why blogging is good for business (there's a great blog here written by Leah of the incredible Promotional Frenzy Team).  My goal for today is to give you another nugget or two to help you with the challenging task of marketing your business through your blog!

Today I read a very interesting email posting by Step-By-Step Marketing on how writing an e-book or a white paper can be good for your business.  ("Oh great, here she goes again," is what you're thinking. "Textbook marketing I don't have time for." Please keep reading....) I hope you take the time to read the full article, available here.  For the time constrained multi-tasker, here's the Cliff Notes version:
  • We can build our business list (newsletter, vendors, customers) by providing information relevant to their world.  We can do this by writing a quick e-book and by giving the information away for free.
  • We build that business list by asking for their information before giving them the free material.
  • We use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to publicize the availability of the e-book or white paper. 
So think about this.  How many of you out there write "how to" posts on your blogs? While I know many artists don't like to write how to articles because there is a fear of giving away your secrets (yours truly included), I encourage you to find content that is, possibly, readily available, but that can you write in a way to call your own.   For example, I know a few Promo Frenzy team members who write about how to work with polymer clay without delving into what makes their artwork unique.

I invite you to think about what you can share without giving away the tools of the trade.  If you work in jewelry, can you write an e-book about meanings of birthstones? If you work in watercolors, can you write about framing your artwork? If you work in photography, can you provide a tips on how to use your digital camera?

My suspicion is that many of you out there have content readily available because you've already shared it on your blog.  Why not turn that content into an e-book, a takeaway for your reader, or fruitful nuggets for the novice?  Think about it.  How many times have you downloaded information about your craft before you decided to take the plunge? How many times have you purchased artisan crafts, artwork, or how-to information from an artist or artisan you've admired in hopes of becoming just like them? The world is full of people wanting to be the success you already are!

Now is your opportunity to give back.  You can do this on your own blog.  For an easy tutorial on how to write an e-book using PowerPoint, check out this great article by Hubspot.  Make sure you're using content that isn't copyright protected, or that you've received permission to use the information.  Then blast the h*ck out of it!!!! Write status updates on Facebook; tweet about the free information on your website; highlight the information on your website, newsletter, and business cards.  And always, always, get contact information before providing the e-book or white paper.  Ta da! No more begging and pleading people to follow you or to like your pages, because you've become the authority they want to turn to!

Then do it again. And again. And again. You are the expert in your field, aren't you? Now's the time to let everyone else know!


P.S. What will be the content for your first e-book? What do you think should be the content for my first white paper? Share your wisdom for all to learn!
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