Today I am linking up to the Society of Socilaprenuers where they are talking about networking both online and offline. Networking is so important for small business owners. It’s how you get yourself and your brand noticed. I do A LOT of networking. It’s something that I am working to get better at everyday. I want my business to grow and if I’m not doing my part to get noticed…it never will!
- My Blog…My blog is my main vehicle for growing my business. It’s where I talk about the new things I’m making and where I share about the happenings of my little family. I think it’s important for my blog readers to get to know the person behind the business. I am so thankful to my bloggy friends who host link parties. I am able to share my business with hundreds of people each week by linking up to other blogs. I have had lots of sales in the shop from people who saw a link to my blog on another blog…it’s magic I tell you! I also post links to new blog posts on my Facebook Fanpage and Twitter, but I will address that more below. I am going to be doing a blog redesign soon to make it more user friendly and give it a more professional feel…really excited for that!
- My Etsy Shop…as soon as I list an item on Etsy, I “share” it on my Facebook page so that all my friends can see it. I have been lucky enough to get listed in two Etsy treasuries thus far. That’s pretty fun! There is a lot of room for me to grow in the networking of my shop. It is my weakest area for sure. I know I can promote with them in a “Showcase” but I don’t want to spend the money just yet!
- My Twitter…I love Twitter. At first I thought it would be really lame, but it’s actually really fun! I have the same philosophy with Twitter as I do with my blog…a good balance of business and personal. I post links to new blog posts and shop listings, but I also post random things throughout the day like a verse from my Bible reading, what I am making for dinner, funny things my son said, etc…again it’s letting people see the person instead of only seeing the business.
- My Facebook…My Facebook Fanpage is growing. I have nearly 200 fans at this point. With the fanpage, I can keep my customers up to date with new products and shop listings, blog posts, pics…I can update my status to alert them of sales or if I just burnt myself with the glue gun…again! I also have my fanpage linked to my Twitter so if I post something to the page it sends a “Tweet” too. Two birds one stone…less work for me!
- My Flickr…Flickr is also a networking area that I am continuing to learn about. I have the basics down. I post pics of my products, give a short but detailed description, tag them, and post them to groups. The more people that see my things, the more my business will grow. I love that!
- Me…When I leave the house I make sure that I am a reflection of my brand. I know that may sound weird, but other than my blog, I am my best marketing tool! I make stuff people can wear so I need to wear it! You will often see me out and about wearing a Shabby Blossom, a top that I made, or carrying my super cute bag filled with must have accessories that are also handmade by me! My master plan works. Ladies stop me all the time and compliment what I am wearing so you better believe I carry a giant stack of business cards with me ready to give to my new customer.
- Networking Groups/Chamber of Commerce…Looking into these currently so not too much to report yet, but I know they will be invaluable to my little business!
- Craft Boutiques…Boutiques are essential. While online shops like Etsy are GREAT, craft boutiques get your products in front of your customers in a way that is more tangible. And let’s face it, people like when they don’t have to pay shipping! Get online and find out about all the craft boutiques going on in your area and sign up to do a few a year. Meetup.com is a great resource for finding local craft boutiques.
- Stores…When you are ready…which I nearly am…get your items in a store (or several). I am gearing up to sell at a salon where my friend works. They have a little boutiquey shop in the front of the salon where they sell all sorts of cute things and I just know the ladies would love my products. I will be meeting with the shop owner soon to hash out all the details, but I am pretty excited about it!
Well, there you have it! All my networking tips on and offline. I have to say, aside from the actual creating of my items, networking is really fun for me! I love to meet new people and introduce them to Sew Chatty. Link up your networking tips by clicking the link at the top the the Socialpreneurs. Have a great day!