Rich Pins November 29 2013
I love Pinterest, especially since the virtual hording doesn't clutter anything tangible in my life. It seems I'm not alone. Most girls plan their entire weddings through Pinterest, even without being engaged, or do all of their shopping through the site. So it would seem like the most logical social media outlet to use. Except, since it's so new, it is still confusing.
Some of the pins are really professional looking with the business name, logo, price, sale, or whatever other special entity they've added. I want one of those! So you set up a business account and try to create a persona of your target market. What do they like, what do they shop for, what are their values, what are they looking for, etc. Now that you have your fake person in place, you pin your products, but they just look like normal pins.
So you stumble upon an article to getting these fancy 'rich pins'. The idea of them is AMAZING! However, the text to get them is the most confusing thing I've ever read. It may as well have been written in Latin. A dead language, because nobody speaks this. Let alone reads it, except for uber intellectuals, like scientists.
While waiting for my rich pins to appear, I just sit back and watch as my products get repinned. I always feel like Jimmy Fallon's interns having a Twitter competition with a celebrity. You will never win. I'm excited that I have 3 repins, where my competitors have 300. I'm excited to have 50 followers, they have 50,000. I'm excited to have 5 likes, theirs are infinite.
This goes beyond being a small fish in a big pond. It's like being a dandelion seed in the world. Only relevant to your local area, and only then, just barely. Time to buckle down and try some new local ways to get the word out. We need some reliable friends or references. They seem to be what the sites want after high site traffic.
Pay per Click: AKA- Money Sucker November 27 2013
After launching a website, you receive all these coupons for pay-per-click advertising sites, like Google Adwords and Facebook ads. Who doesn't like free money? Especially when it's going to help get your name out there.
So you fill out all the fields, select the best tags you think customers will use to find your products, and cross your fingers.
Facebook ads make you choose between driving traffic to your site or paying less to drive traffic to your Facebook page. While ideally you want site traffic, having dedicated followers would be nice to spread news about new products and specials you're running. So you opt for the Facebook page ad and use the search engine pay-per-click to bring traffic to your site.
It's always the most exciting to see all the clicks you have and what words they are using. Except, when you look closer, sometimes those clicks cost $3-$5! Is that even a thing?? How does that equate? I would think a click should be like a quarter (Does this make me sound like the older generation that's always complaining about how everything used to be cheaper 'back in their day'?)
It's great that you're finally getting people to look at your site and view your products, but is it actually worth spending all this money. Especially when you drop $150 in one week and only sell one thing? When there are so many other things to spend money on like materials to make your products. You can't sell without products.
Now you have a bunch of followers but they aren't visiting your site. You have people clicking your link but they aren't returning. There have to be cheaper ways to be searchable without selling the family jewels (or selling your services, because you weren't blessed with family jewels). Welcome to Start-up Search Engine dot com. Spend a monthly fee after a large set-up fee and they will get you on all the major search engines. Just give them 4-6 weeks to get the search engines to realize you're a real business.
I didn't realize that being searchable required so much paperwork. Maybe being found through social media is the right avenue?
The Big Launch November 26 2013
After producing all the products, costing them, and getting all the photography finished, it was finally time to make the website live. Initially, this seems like the easiest part. You just hit publish and BAM! your site is visual to all, meaning you're able to start selling.
This would be a wrong assumption, easily determined by trying to Google yourself. Especially if you have a name that is a commonly searched phrase.
At the time, giving your business a high-searched word seems like a great marketing ploy. It would make sense that since your name is searched you should automatically be the first link that pops up. Evidently major search engines don't share those sentiments. Instead, they prefer to rank your site based off number of links, meta-tags, and amount of traffic.
So now the question is how do you become visible to the major public?
Welcome to social networking. Set-up Facebook page, Pinterest page, Twitter account, Tumblr account, Instagram account, Blog, oh and post on everything daily. It would also be beneficial to have a Youtube account and post videos, because the public likes to waste time watching videos and looking at pictures more than reading.
What do they think we are? We are a small business that usually consists of 1-2 people. How can we possibly post on everything and still produce product? I would also like to eat, drink, and sleep too.
I guess we're just all going to have to turn into zombies, or force our teenagers into posting for us. They eat our food and don't pay rent, may as well make them earn it. Next time we will hopefully be searchable...
For Starters November 22 2013
I recently graduated from college with the intent of being a fashion designer of a large firm. After working in New York City and working for a designer, I realized that large corporations were not for me. Besides the drama and backstabbing that typically goes with any corporate job, it takes 10-15 years to be a head designer for any label (or someone has to die) and I don't have the patience for that.
So I moved back home to Iowa with cleaner air and a slower-paced environment. Originally intending to do a couture line of silks, the market called for more of a country or rustic wedding taste. So in the words of George Strait to Taylor Swift, "Give the people what they want!" Which brings us to our line of weddings done solely in camouflage (or at least with the theme of camo).
Sometimes I wish that it was back in the 80's or early 90's when I was starting this company. No digital age. No trying to find the same thing but cheaper. No having to be on all the social outlets and constantly updating them. Just a simpler time, where you go store to store with your collection, encouraging buyers to take a chance. Oh well- welcome world wide web and all that you entail!
My intent for this blog is to be a place to create a dialogue with other new entrepreneurs that can relate to the daily struggles of running a business and maybe we can all have a laugh together.