|teach her locket - what are you learning?|
I started blogging regularly - like very regularly, like pretty much everyday.
Now, I didn't ask myself, like a normal business owner probably might - "How will I replace that lost exposure?, What changes will I make?" - I just replaced something I loved doing that now felt pointless (treasuries) with something new that I loved doing (blogging).
My content was all over the place.
Originally I thought customers would read my blog, but quickly saw that most of my readers were other makers, so I just kind of ran with that.
I never wrote my posts the way SEO people advise - no link backs, no use of popular search words and phrases, no # titles that readers (and search engines) love - like "10 ways to make more blah blah blah" although I could have (sort of) easily done these things. I never promoted my blog. I didn't join blogger groups or comment on other blogs in any regular way, no guest blogging, etc.
(honestly I didn't do these things because I didn't have any time left - I had a business to run, a maker business with me doing all the making plus everything else and I was blogging everyday)
I see how I could have done this blogging thing so much better - especially in light of all the time I was putting into it - again the "connections" thing in terms of business exposure was not something that was on my radar in the way it could have been.
I have a friend who makes really cool, unique jewelry. She got into her first tradeshow in Las Vegas at the very last minute. She drove from several states away with a suitcase full of jewelry and a white table cover. She panicked a bit at set-up when she saw the beautiful displays in cash and carry jewelry which the other makers had obviously put a great deal of time, effort and money into but set her jewelry out on her white table cover and tried to look confident.
She was busy all day, the busiest table in cash and carry - later she told me she thought maybe her blank canvas had worked better than the other displays and I agreed that empty space can be beautiful and certainly her display wasn't fighting with the store owner's sensibilities - I did wonder though if even though she was the busiest table in cash and carry (I think because her work is amazing) - if she couldn't have done even better with a great display. We'll never know.
With my blog I'll never know either. I don't regret many of my blogging choices - because it has been a great learning experience and I have met so many amazing people but as part of an inbound marketing program you can learn from my mistakes.
Inbound marketing is about conversation - otherwise we are just talking to ourselves (which I don't mind so much although it drives Olive a little nuts) so if you are blogging for exposure try some of those things I didn't do. And don't spend so much time on your own blog that you have no time for anyone else's.
Having a clear focus on our audience,
(which for most businesses, when our blog is connected to our website, will be our customers)
establishing a content management system (in line with our brand), engaging with people through social media and trying new things
(but not too often and not too new - "the standing still" part of inbound marketing is important, the people who love us won't be able to attach if we keep changing things - we know how annoying all the Etsy and Facebook changes are)
are the best ways to create the kind of synchronistic strategy we need for the right customers to find us.
Inbound marketing is all about creating an authentic presence (after we have created our authentic, incredible makings) and being in the right place for the right people to find us.
There are lots of great posts out there about how to use Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and dozens of other venues to engage customers, so I won't go there. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything; don't try. We just need to make the right choices
I think our emotions will tell us which choices are right for us - the stuff we love is the very stuff that will line us up with our abundance.
and stick with them - this inbound stuff is a process. It takes patience.
There is not a lot you can do that will make your sales explode - there is a whole lot you can do to help your business expand.
As with everything getting really clear about the stuff we are doing, and focusing our attention and intention on that and not giving our attention to the other stuff - if we don't have time for it, either make the time or get it off our radar entirely - always gets the best results.
(One intention I have is to get more involved in Pinterest and Instagram this summer since pretty pictures are feeling about my speed at the moment plus I finally broke down and got a smartphone) xo