GUEST POST FROM EMMA DONOVAN OF PEAS-IN-A-POD
As an indie maker and small start-up, driving sales and finding new ways of keeping up with the momentum is as much of a full time job as designing and making your products. I certainly find that this side of my business takes up ALOT of my time, in some ways, far too much and it is for the most part tiring, frustrating and at times seemingly fruitless. Social Media is both your arch nemesis and best bud, but whether you like it or not, if you want to earn money from your creations and promote your beloved brand (the one you’ve lovingly nurtured and ripped your heart out to create) without selling the heirlooms and busting the local cashpoint, you have to partake. The bad news – it’ll suck a lot of seconds out of your day. The good news: for the most part, it’s free, and you can literally see the ROI grow before your very eyes.
I’ve worked in marketing for the last ten years whilst starting up Peas-in-a-Pod gifts and greetings (since 2012) and continue to combine both alongside motherhood and occasional freelance jobs. Using social media has become a way of life for me, and managing multiple accounts across different platforms has really given me an insight into the do’s and don’ts of running your accounts. As part of a Guest Blog Series for Made By Mrs M I’ll be sharing my tips and advice on successfully using social media to promote your creative business.
So Social Media. Why, why, why? For us creative business owners you don’t really have the choice. Put your personal feelings aside and shake hands because social media has to be your friend if you need to self-promote on a shoestring.
· It’s free. As always an important factor when starting your own business. You can quickly set up profiles on any of the big social media platforms without paying any fee. Invest your time not your money, especially at the beginning.
· It builds networks. It takes WoM to another level – as artists and small businesses we rely a lot on networking, and word of mouth to help spread the word about our products, craft and commissions. With a bit of time, knowhow and effort you can quickly establish multiple networks of advocates who will help promote you and your work.
· It complements and enhances your existing marketing activity and enables you to segment and target your audience allowing bespoke and more meaningful engagement. Look at Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Iconosquare as well as Facebook and Twitter’s own analytics tools.
· It can be tracked, analysed and monitored – you can use it intelligently and devise cross communication strategies and promotions.
· There’s a lot of help, advice and tips out there to help get you started and by seeing what your social media communities and competitors are doing you can quickly learn.
· Everyone is doing it – so you need to be seen. It’s good for your business credibility and gives buyers/customers/retailers the inside scoop on what your brand is about. If you think about it, it’s kind of like the innards of your sketchbooks – a place to showcase your ‘behind the scenes’, what makes you tick, your inspiration and work in progress; ultimately it’s a place to show the heart of your brand.
If you’ve been using social media for a while, you’ll know how rewarding and addictive it can be, but also how that at times it can be really difficult to keep up the momentum and to create regular inspirational content specific to the particular platforms you are using. It can be tempting to do a ‘one size fits all’ and cross-post to your facebook, twitter and instagram but I would be cautious of this. You’re likely to be followed across all of your platforms by many of your followers and it’s therefore good to shake up your content.
COME BACK NEXT MONDAY FOR 20 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING - YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS IT!
Find out more about Emma here...