Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is Your Website Marketing For You?

This is the last in my series on “Are You Ready To Market Yourself?” and this week I’ll focus on building marketing into your website. Once you get customers to your website you need to keep their attention and turn them into loyal consumers. Does your site do that?

Tell Your Story

I can’t stress how important this is. You are unique and the story of why or how you do what you do is worth sharing. It’s what will set you apart from your competition. So make sure you’re telling it on your website, especially in you about page. In the first piece of this series I linked to a great article on writing your about page. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you go and read it.

But who you are should also come through in the language you use in your product descriptions and how you explain your shop policies. Let it all be personal and let it paint a picture of you. If customers get to feel like they know you just from visiting a few pages on your website then you’re doing it right.

Share Your Successes

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn, after all this is your website. Put links to any press you’ve gotten or Esty treasuries you’ve been in. Make pdfs of the magazine pages or take screenshots of blog coverage. Any little mention is worth sharing.

Testimonials are another great way to get customers to trust you. If they can read the words of “someone like them” it’s that much easier to make the leap to purchase. Most people like to be followers rather than leaders, testimonials let them know they’re not the first, but that they’re also joining a very satisfied group of people.

If They Want To Talk About You Let Them

I also highly recommend setting up a page for the press, not to be confused with a page that shares the press you got. I call ours “Newsroom” and it’s where I post press releases that I send out to the media. You can also set up image galleries for writers to request specific images to use. If a writer stumbles across your blog make it easy for them to find all the information they need, your store, something about you, events that you’re participating in, etc. This can be in various places around your website, but if you pull it all together for a writer you make their job that much easier and they’ll love you for it.

Be Social

We are curious and social creatures by nature, we want to connect and know more. Make it easy for people to find you on various social networks. If you use Facebook to share sales and giveaways let customers know that and make it easy to like your page. Something like “To be first in line for monthly discounts make sure to like me on Facebook” works really well. Same goes for Twitter make it easy to follow you and give visitors an idea of what types of things you tweet about.

If you send out a newsletter make sure the sign up field is above the fold of your webpage and tell customers what they’re in for. If you make it seem exclusive or give the preferential treatment, people are more likely to sign up. Give away an ebook, share newsletter only tutorials, or give subscribers advance notice of sales or trunk shows.

If there are any other social networks you belong to share those too. It might be your Flickr stream that entices an undecided buyer because they saw that you went to the same town in Mexico that they did earlier in the year. Or perhaps your bookmarking of articles on fringe artwork in Delicious allows a writer to see your paintings from a whole new perspective.

In short let your website be your flashing beacon of everything you are and offer and let it shine with your personality.

In case you missed the previous articles in this series, here’s the links:

Are You Ready To Market Yourself?

Branding: It's All About Experience and Benefit

What Does Your Website Say About You?

Customer Service - Do You Know What Your Customers Experience?

I encourage comments directly to this post, but also feel free to email me directly with questions, reactions, struggles, etc.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

another great article in the series! thanks! i especially like the advice to share your successes. and in that vein, to link to treasuries. do you think it would be better to list the treasuries separtely, or if once you have a few would it be enough to link to an Etsy search preset to show all the treasuries you're in? that way it wouldn't have to be updated periodically....

Lightbox SF said...

Great question Jen! I would say if you only have one or two list them seperately, but once you collect a few treasuries linking to a search is fine. But I would still list a few of them, just so people can get a quick picture of what treasuries you've been highlighted in, but they don't need to see them all.

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