Friday, December 7, 2012

Marketing 101

When I go through my moments of angst about self-promotion, I try to remember the definition of 'marketing' i.e. sharing information (as opposed to advertising which is stuff you pay for - newspaper ads, tv, radio, etc.)

One rule I have for myself is that on any of my social media accounts - including this blog - I don't just only ever post information about stuff I'm trying to sell.  I sooth my conscience by telling myself that people aren't always barraged by my self-promotion but that I share my life, experiences and hints and tips re: weaving for free.

When I took a marketing class lo, these many years ago, it was really difficult for me to be up front about what I did.  I was caught in that self-deprecating cycle that so many introverted creative people go through - after all I know where all the mistakes are, I know how much better my stuff could be!

But over the weeks of the course I came to understand a few things.  Not everyone can do what I do, however well or badly I do it.  Not everyone wants to do what I do, but they appreciate the fact that I do it. Some of them enough to pay me for my efforts.

Those people want to know what I'm doing and if I don't tell them, how else will they find out?

And so, like badfarie says, I share my stuff just in case anyone else out there is interested because if I don't self-promote, how else will they know?

The answer to that question is personal endorsements.

I had a lovely phone call this morning from someone who just received her copy of A Good Yarn.  She told me how great it was and to be sure to let her know when the next one came out; even asked if there would be one on silk.  (I told her it was in the planning.)

While my ego was very gratified to hear her kind words, what would benefit me a lot more is if people who are satisfied with my publications/teaching would also share the information with their friends (or chat groups, etc.)  Its called 'word of mouth' and there's nothing more powerful.

The sad fact is that people who are not happy with a product/vendor will tell, on average, 27 people.  Those customers who are happy?  Will tell around 11.  (Stats from the marketing class taken in 1996 - they may have changed, but probably not much.)

The weaving community is a very tiny one.  When you look at the numbers of knitters or quilters as opposed to weavers, we are miniscule.  Suppliers who provide weaving tools, equipment and publications can't afford big advertising budgets.

If you are happy with the service a vendor in the weaving community has provided to you, the biggest favour you can do for the weaving community at large is to let everyone know how happy you are.


Anonymous said...

This is more of a comment on my (limited) powers of memory than anything else. But I'd like to see on your blog - at the top - that you are the "Author of ..." with your most recent publication at the top of the list, your upcoming one next, and so on. When I read the comment re A Good Yarn, I had to stop a moment and think, what? oh yes, I have that!
--Sue in MA

Laura Fry said...

Good thought. I'll have to look at my banner again and think about that. :) Thanks!