Social media stats have sucked us into thinking that thousands of followers and hundreds of likes equals success.
So small businesses spend their days bouncing from one social media account to another, following, liking, commenting and sharing in hopes that the favor is returned.
They follow people they have no interest in, only to unfollow them when they don’t follow back or when they want to increase their followers to following ratio.
But who are these people who end up following and liking? Are they just throwing you a like or are they proving their like for your business by actually buying?
It’s amazing to post something and get a bunch of “thumbs up” or “hearts” but if you’re running a business, you’re after sales, not “likes”.
Social media has created an imaginary world of popularity and success and it’s caused many people to lose sight of what’s important.
Someone may have hundreds of friends on Facebook and post fabulous photos of the places they go and the fun they have but are they actually enjoying the moment or are they busy thinking about how they’re going to caption it on Facebook?
Businesses spend their days trying to beat yesterday’s social media numbers but are they ignoring other important areas of their business?
Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great way to get your product or service out there and reach new people but it’s about quality, not quantity.
So how do you grow your presence on social media and improve the quality?
You improve the quality of what you’re selling.
Sounds simple, I know. But keep reading.
I’m not just talking about the quality in terms of craftsmanship but also in terms of what you’re offering and the way you’re presenting it.
How can you improve the quality of your product names, descriptions, packaging or photography?
Are you communicating all the ways your products are different from your competitors and the benefits of them? Maybe you’re not just making and selling hats, you’re making hats and donating one for every one sold. That’s different and what gets people caring, talking, sharing and buying.
I talk about all the ways you can improve your products in the sample chapter of my e-book. You can download: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT (48 pages) for free to learn how to shift your focus from offering something for everyone (quantity) to offering the right products for the right people (quality).
Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors who talks about this topic and makes many great points in Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside (2 books that I’ve read and re-read, highlighted and dog-eared).
Check out the YouTube video at the end of this article if you’re interested, it’s an oldie but a goodie. He speaks of marketing and mediocrity and this quote has always stood out to me:
“The only way to win is to be talked about. Because you can’t advertise your way, you can’t spam your way, you can’t call your way into a presence. You get there by people talking about you. But no one talks about – oh I know this really
average carpeting salesman. Never!”
What’s extraordinary about your business may not be the product itself. It may be the way it’s made that interests people, the way its packaging or your exceptional customer service.
An easy way to find what takes your product from mediocre to extraordinary is to discover what you love about what you do.
The sourcing, making, packaging, photographing, describing, selling, meeting your customers, helping people, changing people’s lives…..what is it that really drives you to do what you do?
Most people are average at a lot of things and really good at a few so discover what it is you excel at and play that up!
Let’s say you have a handmade handbag business offering 10 different styles of bags. But when you’re deciding on a purse for your outfit, you always grab a clutch. You love making them, buying them, pairing them with outfits, coming up with new trends, etc. Specializing in clutches could be a good fit for you.
There are so many advantages to running a business this way:
- It makes branding easier – you’ll quickly make a name for yourself as the vendor who makes amazing clutches
- It’s easier to focus when you have one task – becoming the best at making clutches
- You become an expert – you’ll quickly learn how to craft the best clutch as opposed to making a wide range of handbags that are average
These are just a few benefits, you’ll find many more in the sample chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT.
Maybe it’s not so much the craft as it is your personality and ability to connect with people. If you love meeting new people and the customer service aspect of running a business, think of ways you can go above and beyond.
The other area to keep this in mind is the social media platforms you use.
There is always a new site or app coming out and someone telling you: you gotta get on this!
Find what works for you and focus your efforts there. Instagram is all the rage but if you just don’t get it or enjoy using, or you don’t get results from it, don’t worry about it! Use Pinterest or Facebook or where you see a return on your time investment.
Whatever or wherever your strengths are, build your business around them. It will ensure a long-lasting interest in what you do from both you and your consumers (you don’t want to become bored with your business because you don’t love what you’re doing).
You’ll also find yourself on the fast track to excellence, which will encourage a buzz among customers and lead to growth and sales.
There are several other great points in the video. You can check it out below:
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!