I want to promote my brand on social media and sell stuff online

Social media platforms are plentiful.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy, and Linked In are among the leaders.   There are several more to consider however, depending in what you’re marketing.

Many start with having an account and posting regularly.  If you’re using Facebook, you can create a Business Page specific for your business, while other platforms, like Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy are all great ways to sell products.  Its takes persistence and dedication along with a good guerrilla marketing plan to turn posts into $$.

Using great descriptive keywords in your posts are a great way to be included in search results.  Snapping of pic of your newest inventory item that is visually obvious to identity but has a bad or no caption, ie:  “These are brand new to our store” doesn’t offer much for the search feature to work with.

So, be descriptive.  “New Inventory! 40 hr handcrafted wax candles in 6 great scents, Vanilla, mocha, rainy forest, mango, earthy morning, and Breezy Afternoon”  That gives search index process several words to index for searches.

Unless you have a firm understanding of the various social platforms, stick with those you do know.  Start out small, target media platforms that lend itself the types of clients you want to attract.  Explore the less familiar platforms.  Reach out people posting their products and services, see if they can offer you sage advice on the platform.

Sometimes branding can be secondary to selling the product itself.  A modest site with some eCommerce can be bit costly where as an eBay post or store, yahoo storefront even amazon can offer you almost immediate presence and you pay a service fee for items sold.

In the absence of hiring a pro, sit down with some colleagues and friends and have brainstorming session with them.  Ask them questions about their online shopping habits.  Where do the ideas or impulses to buy come from?  Do they see items on FaceBook or Instagram and purchase from those?  Do they shop on eBay or amazon?  Do they have a WATCHED list on eBay, or a “wish list” on Amazon?

Service providers, where do you seek or gain new clients?  Word of mouth is likely the most common, secondly, platforms like Facebook can drop you your ad into a 10 mile radius of your business address.

Its important not to overlook traditional media either, Print, Radio and TV.  Most all of them are offering a combo ad schedule with the primary product and secondary online ad presence on their site, etc..

Social media can be an inexpensive way to begin to test market waters.   For some, it will be the only place they will need to advertise.  For many others, it will be a mix of traditional and digital marketing environments.

You can can read more about online advertising options here.



What in the Online world am I doing?

These are all common requests made by business owners and managers—the devil is always in the details. For me, the most important part of offering these types of services is client education.

Unless I’m specifically told I don’t care, just do it, I prefer to educate clients along the way.  I’m happy if they want a better understanding, whether in just a general sense, or a more detailed understanding.  The conversation that follows is educational for both of us.

Few things in technology are as they were 5 yrs ago.  The online realm changes rapidly.  It’s only part of the process to develop a good marketing strategy.  When a client doesn’t understand the current technology, perceptions can turn bad.

After the service request is made, I like to start by defining what results are expected.   Its important to work backwards from the result because it ensures the proper path forward.  Its through this process we learn whether clients, have a current understanding of marketing, or develop interest and want to learn more.   In the end, a good approach is developed and solution provided.  The client and I are both pleased with the outcome.

Recently, when discussing tech needs with a client—after a few sentences, he would shut down. “Ok, overload, that’s enough, you can go, see you later.”  I’d laugh, I’m not offended.  Its a typical response, I’m verbose.  Very similar to “well, it hasn’t worked all morning, but since you’re here, it seems fine!

Sharing my knowledge and comprehension while producing results also serves to educate the clients a bit, it provides them a basic foundation of knowledge and they can do a bit more research if they like or at least have a bit of background on the technologies around the services they request.

In a few weeks, we are talking about those next steps.  For this particular client, while providing desktop and server maintenance and site updates—we’re also discussing how to verify data between the online store and their internal system.  We recently sent out their first email campaign and will be moving towards social media marketing.  We’re doing some quick holiday promotions and we’re also kicking around the best way to develop a meaningful, targeted mailing list that is a captive, interested  audience.

I’m happy to walk clients through these technologies and processes at their own pace and time.

Recently another  new client, had just previously spent some cash on a nice, new website, complete with SEO optimizations and possibly some local directory listings.   This type of site, I often refer to as online pamphlet sites.  It primarily exists to convey general details about a business;  store hours, location, phone and types of merchandise sold, and some photos of the store.  It’s not an e-commerce site.  Just a clean online presence for people on the internet who may be searching for more information about the store.

The store offers nationally available products. The merchandise is also a very common item in retail. Wal-Bob and the like, and thousands of stores online carry the same products.  So, the focus is to sell these items locally, letting people know about the brick and mortal storefront and that it’s conveniently located and offers great prices.

Post investment in the website, he hasn’t seen any increase in sales related activities.  No increase in phone calls or foot traffic at his local store. Worthless was the term used. Without knowing what services the company actually solicited, I could offer him that I felt they did provide a nice, clean website and that the business name, website and his FB business page all have a solid web presence in search result rankings.

All he knows today is that it’s holiday season and the advertising budget is gone without any increase in sales that he can attribute to the investment.

This is great example as to why some level of client education is important to me.  Perception is everything in life.   Expectation levels can be checked when there is some level of understanding of the the process or technology behind the service being provided.   The service provider missed the mark, not because they didn’t perhaps deliver what they sold my client, but rather because he’s not happy with end result.  Miscommunication likely resulted in a missed future opportunity.

My commitment to my clients is to be thoroughly detailed and verbose (some may say annoyingly so) and in return, you will have a level of understanding of the service and technology that will make you feel both comfortable and confident about proceeding in a certain direction with a reasonable expectations of the results.

I’ve written in a bit more detail—about 5 topics I touched upon above.

  1. I need a website.
  2. I want to do some online advertising.
  3. I need better search engine results.
  4. I want to do some email marketing.
  5. I want to promote my brand and sell stuff online.


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