Thursday, June 16, 2011

SEO, Marketing and Sales

I've been reading the forums lately and have seen a lot of posts about the lack of hearts, views, etc. I don't have many sales but I do have a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and I've been working in either retail, sales or marketing my entire adult life. SEO and getting found on Google is nice but it's not everything, even if you perfect your SEO the exact right customer finding you on Google is like finding a needle in a haystack. You need to do more than put your item up, perfect your SEO and sit back expecting sales.

1. You have to know what your target market is. This helps you with pricing and marketing. If your target market is wall street professionals you can probably charge more than if your target market is college kids.

2. Once you figure out your target market, figure out where they are hanging out on the internet. If they aren't on Facebook and they aren't following you, you are wasting your time posting on Facebook, same goes with Twitter or anything else, if your target market is not on there your are wasting your time.

3. Once you know your target market and know where they are take your product to them, let them know you have what they want. Big companies like Coca-Cola don't put their soda on the shelves then sit back and wait for sales, they do a lot of research about their target markets and advertise to them, that is why they are successful. If your target market is stay at home moms find some blogs they would read and guest post, comment on posts, get to know the blogger, maybe they will feature you. 

4. Outside of the internet there are plenty of opportunities. Non-profits are always trying to get donations. Maybe your target market is really into animals. Find out if the Humane Society is having a dinner or raffle and donate one of your items. Make sure they mention you and make sure you include your card. Non-profits are always doing that kind of stuff to raise money. Ask them if they can mention you in their newsletter, Facebook page, etc. and you will do the same for them.

5. Go to your local Chamber of Commerce's monthly mixer and meet other local business people, hand out your cards and samples of your work. See if you can partner with them by exchanging blurbs on your blog or website or Facebook and Twitter.

6. I just saw a story in my local paper about a local jewelry maker. She donates her work to be raffled to local non-profits. Local papers are always looking for stories. Send yours to them, don't make it about hardcore sales, tell your story, make it interesting, it doesn't hurt to try.

There are a lot of things you can do to drive your business that are free or very inexpensive. It will take some time and effort on your part but it is your business, your livelihood and it is worth the time. If you think you don't have the time to do these things then make the time or rethink having your own business.

You have to go out and make the sale to be successful. You can't sit back and wait for the sales to come to you.