The art and creative directors I know have either been, or will someday become, their very own brand as a solo artist. Someday you may create a product that people need. After that comes a feeling of responsibility to make this product available to as many people as possible. Welcome to the world of online sales.
In my 15 years of being an artist, most of my revenue has come from selling my services as a professional illustrator, but just recently I’ve been blessed (or possibly cursed) with the invention of a physical product. I’m learning that one of the best ways to reach my target audience is, of course, through leveraging social media.
Since I’m already familiar with Facebook, I felt comfortable using this platform to spread the word about my product. As I began researching how to get started using FB as a business, I discovered there are way too many experts out there. Amy Porterfield is the Queen of Facebook. Rick Mulready is considered the King.
There’s a FB Blueprint site where you can learn as fast or slow as you want, for free. There are countless Youtube videos to sort through, infographics, newsletters, articles, podcasts and blogs. I even paid for a one on one Skype consult at 5 AM my time with a sweet Irish woman from Dublin. A friend who owns the breakfast restaurant in my office building was so surprised to see me here at that ungodly hour, she assumed I spent the night in my office.
To further complicate matters, Facebook is constantly changing their advertising rules while adding new tools like the Power Editor, a myriad of custom audience options, retargeting techniques and much more. I enjoy learning about all of this but it can sometimes feel like doing somersaults in a spinning tea cup on a rollercoaster.
After many hours of research, I want to share my epiphany about selling a product online.
Play the long game
I learned this when I found my man, Jon Loomer. This guy speaks my language. He’s the owner of Jon Loomer Digital, an advanced Facebook marketing company. He’s a baseball coach for his son’s little league team so a lot of the advice and knowledge he shares comes across like he genuinely wants you to be a better player so the whole team can win.
He records a “Pubcast” once a month with occasional guest John Robinson, his backup CEO. They chug a cold beer or three and chat about business and their personal struggles around the social media space. Jon admits he rarely gets out of the house other than for coaching baseball. He knows being an entrepreneur has it’s lonely downsides, like depression. In a short 3 year time span he went from being laid off from his job with no clue of what to do with his life, to being a keynote speaker at Social Media Marketing World Expo this year.
Play All 9 Innings
Most new brands using Facebook today are doing it wrong. They get upset and claim Facebook advertising doesn’t work. Business marketers have access to incredibly powerful tools at their fingertips and spend huge budgets to reach hundreds of thousands of people. With a modest budget it’s easy to carpet bomb people with online ads. Businesses utilizing social media marketing (and I’m guilty of doing this) are missing a simple business fundamental:
Build trust with your customer
Brands should focus on creating a solid relationship with their audience first and foremost. When businesses put their efforts into awareness and offer value for nothing in return, they start to build the know, like, and trust factors with people.
In this short visual story below, I simplified Loomer’s concept of ‘playing the long game.’
There are 4 things the story’s fictional brand character uses to make a sale.
1. Her Facebook Passion page. She says nothing about her company on this page. Her goal is to simply create a community around something she’s passionate about, related to her business.
2. Her Facebook business page.
3. Her business website.
4. Her brick and mortar store.