social networking


…OR, validating yourself in this upside down world. 

Once upon a time you needed a brick and mortar to validate your online presence. Now brick and mortars need an online presence to be validated. Go figure.

It was 1999, just after our move to the states, after an 8 year stint in Asia, when my husband and I determined to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAestablish our online business, selling, of all things, Chinese Antiques. Business model was to NOT have a brick and mortar, but to set up shop on the world wide web and take it from there.

What did we know going into this? Won’t go into what we didn’t know, which was plenty 

We  knew that…

zaarlogo small we had a source for a product that we had an affinity to…. building on relationships made during our 8 years living/working in Asia

zaarlogo smallwe were breaking new ground….being the first online only sellers of Chinese Antiques.

we felt we could offer competitive pricing/create a niche….because of our business model and running it very lean/doing ALL the work in house…yes, learning ALOT along the way.

zaarlogo smallcombined we had the skills required to make this come to fruition….not to mention the determination.

The website went live August 2000 and it wouldn’t be until Thanksgiving weekend, yes, of that year,but it felt like FOREVER,  that I would make my first online sale.  Will never forget the euphoric feeling of being “found” online AND then to have someone take the plunge and make that online purchase from ME!? With that I was officially in business, and away we went.

As husband continued to work the Search Engine Optimization side of the biz more people found us and had an interest in shopping with us and would call. As such the question would inevitably come up as to how we ever got into this business, and so I would ramble on with “my story“….

zaar_family_sm….and  this had me rethink the advise given to us by our web designer that the “about us” section on our website was insignificant and that although it needed to be there, that people didn’t tend to read it, therefore just give it lip service.  Didn’t take long for me to determine that it would indeed be  a relevant part of my site and that people would read it, per the conversations I’d been having…and so I edited what I had thrown up there to give the whole enchilada.  You can read that full version here/ shorter version here, as is on the website.  In fact it was where they first started to get to know WHO Antiques by Zaar was….WHO was the driving force, the heart and soul of this particular business….where they first started to gain confidence in us as sellers.

Yes, people want to do business with people, and telling them who we were straight out did us well as a foundation to move on.  We furthered this by starting an online newsletter in 2004. And, as was my way, I would tend to include constant contact logopersonal  tidbits in the preamble, click here to visit past newsletters,….  I had plenty of fodder with having lived in several countries,  the start of this of my 2nd biz,  3 kids underfoot/raising golden retrievers, on a farm in Maine…you get the drift/ways to connect with people/letting them into my world...leading to the “meat” of the missive which would be announcing a new container, show dates and the such.

My newsletter remains to be a vital connecting point to my past customers as well as prospective s,  that have given me permission to put their name on my newsletter list…. a list which has grown to be  a  qualified list of over 5,000 strong…. proudly sharing that my “open” and “click through” rates consistently remain above the industry standard.

twitter fb and linkWith the onset of Social Media the venues to connect in the virtual world, in addition to my audience of 5,000,  have grown at such a rate that it is sometimes hard to keep up with. The good news is that there is this plethora of opportunities for businesses of any size to put their word out there and let their customers get to know them prior to making any kind of purchase.  That is “the way” now isn’t it????  What is expected of businesses…to become transparent. The bad news is that you are competing with such a massive body of businesses doing the same.  The good news is, there is only one YOU and it is up to you to make your Unique Voice heard.

Considering my tendency to be upfront and personal in a simple newsletter, it should be no surprise that I felt I’d been granted a true Gift with the introduction of the blog. THE perfect platform to do more of the same, reaching more people.blog image with peeps However, I have found the blogging road a bumpy one, as is evidenced by the frequency of my posts. Love hate relationship really.  But as I continue to figure out a blogging rhythm that works for me, I can’t afford not be seen/heard, and over the course of time I  have come to a place where I feel I can stay present in the virtual world in a relevant way, that is indeed manageable.

I am validating my, now 2 businesses,  daily where it counts….  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, and via my blogs.

Welcome to the long winding road of learning and growing, giving and sharing.

Ready, set, go!

Ruth

 

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With the onset of Social Media we have been given many challenges as well as many opportunities. The challenge, if you will, is to carve out the time, to take advantage of the given opportunities of growing the visibility of ones business over the air waves.

IMG_0583It can be seen as a quagmire of sorts and thus intimidating and daunting. It was in a presentation I gave at ZAAR Design Center, on April 21st, that I tried to sort this out for those that joined me for our Lunch N Learn, which focused on Growing One’s Online Presence, based on 12 years of having an online based business.

I don’t pretend to know it all, but I do know that I’ve learned a few things along the way, and that I am continually learning, and thus tweaking and adjusting as I continue on.  AND I believe very much in the premise of what Social Media is based on…building relationships with people online as being viable. Letting people know who you are and connecting with people. Giving you and your business a place to show and grow in the cyber world is a great asset to your business. Yes, a Gift!

However, over the years I, like most, have adjusted, and continue to adjust, what I can expect from myself to maintain this presence, and still have time for wearing the many other hats I don as an entrepreneur.

For instance, my blogging. I LOVE to write. I have plenty to write about.  I LOVE to connect with people with this blogmedium, and for a time I attempted to put out at least 2 blogs/week, using that as my main source of drawing people in.  I found that I couldn’t keep up with this and was letting the guilt of not blogging as regularly as you “should” , at least to be “relevant” in the blogging world, get in the way of my joy of sharing/being what it was meant to be. Yes, have curbed this to once/month for each biz.

And then there are the relevant portals where my customer base is hanging out. No, it is not enough anymore just to twitter fb and linkhave your website well ranked. We are to go where our customers are.  I don’t need to quote you the statistics that qualify that it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Houzz.

So the question is how do you maximize the output across the airwaves, with the least amount of time? And, as I shared in my presentation, I feel that I’ve come to a place where I’m able to do this, taking a relatively small amount of time to put it out there. And yes, blogging still remains relevant, as does putting out  a newsletter, like my blogging, once/month newsletter for each biz, to your already defined audience….but want to focus here on those daily nudges to show your’e present.

For maximum punch it matters where you house the photos you post, just keep an eye on the stats on your website as sources of traffic and you’ll see what I mean, where you draw them from to further  share.

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pinterest-iconPinterest and Houzz are  THE places from which you want to house, no pun houzz iconintended/ok, maybe just a little bit intended, your photos. The subtle photos are those that show, in my case Chinese Antiques or Product from ZAAR Design Center, your product/service in settings. And then there are the less subtle photos of your product, with descriptions and prices…and links to your website that  is in perfect form to put out there as well. These places, and I’m told Instagram should be included here, although just jumping on that bandwagon now, are where you want your photos to come from.

RAB30

twitter fb and linkWhere do you want them to go? Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. All of them.

And when do you want them to go?  Early morning, noon, and early evening…all prime times.

How do you want to get them there when you want them to go, without planning to be at your computer/on your phone, managing this constantly?

Tweet deck and Hoot suite are 2 of the most commonly used dashboards for such. I use Hoot suite and can only comment on that portal, but I think both operate pretty similarly.

On a perfect day I will end it with the following practice in place. Log into Hoot suite   Pull up either  my Pinterest or Houzz account…feel free to follow me on either one and/or the other. Grab a photo, one either shared by a customer or found in the cyber world, and add a comment that pertains to the image.  Use the scheduling function on Hoot suite for it to go out around 7:00 the next morning….on Twitter, Linked in and Facebook.  Then, go back and find a product photo of a piece similar and more directly suggest that I have such available in my collection, and post this around noon time, or early evening.  I do this both for Antiques by Zaar and ZAAR Design Center.

I’ve been doing some variation of  this rather consistently since mid January and have grown my audience for Antiques by Zaar on Facebook from 735 to over 1,000 and have a decent percentage of people “talking” about it. Also do this for ZAAR Design Center, a newer business, and as such a smaller base audience. Mid January I had 35 “likes” on that page, and that has now grown to 282, although with the help of a 10.00/day Facebook targeted ad helping that get a boost.

I am well aware that Social Media is all about engaging and that this approach is simply about growing your presence with a daily practice…and this blog is already long enough without delving further….not to mention I have other thoughts on how to invite people into your circle…yet another missive for that. This is a way to let people know you exist, to entice them into your circle. After that the meat of it happens by taking it a step further and engaging/deepening a relationship.

IMG_0593In closing I would like to also point out that my personal Facebook page is (and fully intend on adding twitter to this/just not as comfortable there ….yet!) where a lot of engagement happens….whereas I see the biz pages more as a place to post regularly…less engagement happening there.  I am my business and the people I hope to do business with I anticipate many to become my friends (just my way!) and thus I have no qualms, tastefully, sharing my personal world with my business world, not unlike how I’ve been doing in my online newsletters since 2004…just ask anyone who’s on my list :),  on my personal Facebook page, where I share my world and my Self.

I welcome you to My World and I welcome any comments/questions or tips you may have to add to this. We all have something to learn from each other and I welcome any tips that may be useful to me and my audience.

Ruth

P.S. For you High Point Market goers, check out my Pinterest Board on ZAAR Friends/Highlights @ Market.

ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

866 868 9227

http://www.antiquesbyzaar.com

Working my way back to sharing my voice by way of my blog, and have been wrestling with which of the many topics swirling around in my head I should put out there first. This posting appears to be necessary back drop for me to move forward,  for there is no lack of material to write about…

Recent High Point Market has provided enough food for thought, on the products, on the people and on the businesses of the people with the product, that I could simply, well, go on  forever.

Similarly October being  Breast Cancer Awareness Month offers me yet more. My affinity to support  Breast Cancer Research, but also cancer in general, personally, and through my business, and the stories behind those people that have been affected by  cancer, that are dear to me, gives me more to talk about.

On Moving….why you move to where you do and how you manage it. Yes, fresh on the brain as just moved from Maine to Maryland after 13 years….but with past experiences moving around the world…Canada, Haiti, Thailand, Taiwan, and finally the States….I do have some experiences to share. Overseas I was considered abit of an “expert” on living as an expat…mostly about attitude eh?

On Entrepreneurship….the role model of my parents, the role model I’d like to be for others, with experience of 2 businesses, growing into a 3rd  business.   The desire to support those that have taken on the not so secure, but oh so satisfying life of working for oneself….taking the risks and accepting the challenges that although unique to each business, are shared challenges faced by all entrepreneurs, embracing the attitude  “failure is not an option”.

On Building Relationships online…remembering the pioneer I was in being the first online only seller of Chinese Antiques, of doing “warm fuzzy” e blasts long before social media and online relationship building was a “trend”. Of the values of building trust and confidence in you as a person is the only way to promote your product and how Social Media has opened doors for all levels of businesses and is ours for the taking as we move on with Patience, Persistence and Presence!!!!

On the Power of Womankind …and what we mean to each other, lifting each other up, and the value in being open to the women in your world and how doing such can change your world…

On the Value of Collaboration….so  many many fine examples I have before me of companies and people that believe, as I do, that there is enough for everybody to go around. Share the resources! Everybody wins…which brings me to my new entity ZAAR Design Center, which is moving from being an infant stages to greater maturity/value….and the Gift this continues to be.

On the lessons of life learned by being a parent….what our kids can teach us. How parenting changes as our children grow and as we grow to know ourselves better, and as we learn to respond to, rather than react to what life throws us…sharing this with our children as they each evolve into their own persons.

On the challenges of the economy….and what that has meant to the lot of us. Again, how we respond to it. How it can open doors for us…doors that otherwise may not have opened.

On setting Goals, or setting a back drop for said Goals,  and the Power of that…

On being Grateful. For the Gift of Life. For the Gift of Family. For the Gift of Health.  For the Gift of People that Believe in You/Support You/Lift you….yes, for Friends.  For the Gift of 2nd Chances. For the Gift of Faith, Hope and Love.

Yes, I have LOTS and LOTS to write about and the blogs that will follow will touch any number of these themes….ALL of which are relevant to the essence of what is MY Voice.  Yes, I have “stuff” to share and for those fellow bloggers out there…I think you’d agree that blogging is as much an exercise in how to share your personal voice as it is to introduce people to you/your business.

I look forward to delving deeper into the blogs of my peers as I make my way deeper into the blogging world.

….and on that note I welcome myself back after what was an apparently needed hiatus.
Ruth

 

….quality or quantity?

Who doesn’t like a large fan base and following, on facebook, THE place to be for your business…and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this portal to meet and get to know people.

BUT is it more important to have a large following or to have a qualified following? And should you be promoting yourself/business/growing your following on your personal page or solely on your business page?

Don’t know about you but I have a steady flow of “friend requests” come in on my personal profile… people which I don’t know, less what they put out in there for me to see, before I accept them as “friends” … and which I go through  individually before adding to my following.

For any of you thinking of asking me to “friend” you, please know this…

1. Having a healthy number of mutual friends is not enough reason for me to bring you into the fold.

2. If you want to be part of my flock I would like to know a little more about you than just your name….ie, don’t block your information so that I can only see who you are AFTER I friend you.

3. I would like it that English is the language you are posting on facebook. No offense, just that I don’t speak, nor can read anything but English.

4. A provocative profile photo doesn’t entice me to add you….

I’m not saying that some people have slipped through the cracks on me, but I am trying to keep my audience/friend list one that relates to who I am and what I do, and above helps.

I am so thrilled that so many people have indeed entered my world by way of my personal page on face book, and look forward to growing my community here….one that is satisfying to you and to me…and I think the above guidelines help to keep all in check.

Now for fans/likes….

I often see…”like me and I’ll like you” as people seek to grow their fan base on their business page on facebook.

Although I have on occasion suggested” liking” antiques by zaar to those in my personal following, IF I think relevant to who they are….ie, if you’re in the furniture or design business….BUT I much prefer people “liking” antiques by zaar because they want to support me and keep tabs on what’s up with my biz here, as that is what I use this page for.

And know I will happily “like” your business for same reasons…ie, I like you/what you’re doing, or what your sharing on facebook,which incites me to check out more of what you’re all about, and subsequently want to support you….not just to have you “like’ me in return…although the gesture is appreciated. 🙂

Soooo, IF you are interested in me and/or my business, I welcome your support in what I do by “liking” antiques by zaar, where I post my blogs and updates on my biz….and let me know of your business, which I will happily support by “liking” as well.

And if you think we share further mutual interests, I am happy to receive your friend request as well and will happily accept/welcome you to my world.

Would be curious to know what you think about how and where is the  best place to grow your facebook audience.

Should you leave business to the business fan pages and have your personal profile for just that, personal “stuff”?

If so, how do you move people over from your personal page to your business page? Do they want to go there or do they prefer interacting with you on your personal page?

Does it really matter who you have where as long as you are engaging?

Would love to know what ya’ll think of this, but in the meanwhile I shall enjoy sharing with those that have joined me on my biz page and/or on my personal page….yes, all on Facebook.

Ruth

….did I say repurpose?

It truly is great to know that your blog has a shelf life much more than just the original posting… one of my big “take a ways” after listening to a presentation given by Melissa Galt, of  Melissa Galt Inc, at High Point Furniture Market, and happy to give her credit here.

There are many many portals out there to do just that, and I would  like to remind you of the basics, as well as reinforce one which isn’t considered part of “social media” , that being the online newsletter…

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been putting out an online newsletter since 2004…one in which the “meat”, or my business updates,  were couched in personal antidotes…. See some past issues here…thus making my newsletter not just a venue to give company updates, but also give people a chance to get to know who is behind this business and at same time staying close to those who have done business with me. 

When I started dipping my toes into the blogging world, and as stated in my very first blog, I intended to reverse that and couch the “personal” side of my business with the meat of my business, that of selling Chinese antiques online.

And what I’d like to propose here is that the merging of these  two mediums, your newsletter and your blog, is a great way to maximize your output/reach.

OR, if you’re having a hard time engaging as a blogger, and aren’t touching your customer base, prospects and past, by way of an online newsletter, I would encourage you to start with that first…if a choice is to be made….for the following reasons:

1. Knowing your audience knows you, or is at least is familiar with your company, is a much easier writing experience, ie less intimidating, than trying to draw a new audience in.

My logo is very recognizable and is front stage on my newsletter and blog header…and, btw, is my name in Chinese.

2. You can use this online newsletter as a way to warm up to the discipline of blogging, as output for a newsletter is good monthly, whereas to make any impact with blogging you need to put out at absolute minimum once a week.

3.  It simply is good form to touch regularly those who know you, simply to remind them that you’re  there, ….for when they need what you have again…and to give those who haven’t decided to shop with you yet, a place to get to know you. These people need to hear from you and the online newsletter is unobtrusive and inexpensive.

…AND also is a place to show that there is a PERSON behind the business. My face is pretty familiar by now as well 🙂

And, with this online newsletter in place you have a wonderful place to imbed your blogs, sharing with a defined audience/your mailing list, what you are writing to a non defined audience….especially since you can now easily SHARE your newsletters of choice  on Facebook, Linked in and Twitter. LOVE it how these are all so connected for us!

Yes, I consider your newsletter as a primo place to re purpose your blogs. And I’ve taken to this and love merging these two forms….

1. As part of the text…giving a lead in to what is fleshed out in the blog, thus reducing, but at the same time increasing, my information put out in the newsletter…example here in my Thanksgiving missive.  I like to have at least 3 blogs worked into my newsletters like this.

2. By listing  of all blogs posted in 2 month span. This gives my mailing list an introduction to my blogging …example here… particularly as there’s a pretty good chance they wouldn’t otherwise find/read my blog…so nice unobtrusive way to invite them in as readers, follow my output.

3. And/or by pulling  together several blogs that represent a particular topic, to bring attention to…such as blogs which have as part of their content, applications of Chinese Antique Furniture…example here. Matter of doing a sort for them.

I have given precedence  to this specific venue to repurpose as I feel it is not commonly considered and not as obvious as what I am simply going to list below…

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn…

1. When you set up your blog you can have it that your blog will automatically post on Twitter and Facebook. IE, you post your blog and off it goes…

2. By adding  a SHARE button on footer of each posting, others can readily post your blog to their audiences. Also, this is the way I share on my LinkedIn groups.

3. AND, lastly, I often embed past blog postings into current ones….as I did at the beginning of this post.

If you’re already doing an online newsletter, good on you for having  in place this platform to further repurpose your blog. If I’ve incited you to think about  doing an online newsletter, as a preface to doing a blog, great…

I use Constant Contact and love it. Some friends swear by Mail Chimp as well, although I’m not familiar with it.

I so KNOW of the value not of only putting out an online newsletter, but the value of being REAL within that form, that I simply want to encourage others to consider the same, and let this venue of staying  in touch with your customers/prospects work for you, and further to have this platform serve your blogging efforts as well.

Do let me know how you’re doing either in producing a newsletter and/or a blog.

Ruth

HINT: When  you gather your names/email addresses of your customers, I advise putting them in excel format, as by doing so it is really easy to add them into constant contact mailing list, share your list with others, or use in other formats…. IE, repurpose said list once compiled 🙂

Although, I’ve been journaling on and off ever since a teenager, it was only 5 years ago that I took to committing to writing daily. Admittedly it took some time for me to fall into the rhythm of scribing a daily page of notes, but now, well into my 5th year, my day isn’t quite complete until I’ve written my one page journal entry. Yes, it has become my “good habit”.

In so many ways blogging is like journaling, and in fact, one of the definitions I found for a blog, was indeed that it was an “online journal”.

So,  if you approach blogging with the attitude that this habit will serve you well, rather than being ridden with guilt for when you don’t/can’t seem to embrace it….then it will start to flow. I’m pretty sure that I speak for many wanna be bloggers when I say that making it this good habit, like any good habit, doesn’t happen overnight. The important thing is to START…and don’t worry if you have false starts, or fall off, or get derailed, just start, and keep starting and continue starting, until you find your voice and your rhythm. It WILL come.  Put your footprint out there, and keep on keeping on, and your audience will find you.

As part of trying to figure out how you can best contribute to the blogging world, and thus how your output can contribute to drawing people to you/your business, read other blogs… take note of what you like/don’t like about them….the frequency of their posts, the timing that those posts show up in your email box, the photos they use to support their verbiage, or vice versa, their general style, where you see their posts, the template/platform they use and how easy it is to share, follow, comment. And what you think about their content and how it relates, or not, to their line of business.

It is easy to think that there are so many blogs out there, who would read yours and why. But in order to even give people a chance to decide to read/not to read, you have to put something out there, so they can make that decision. You don’t give anybody anything to read, it’s easy, you won’t have any readers. Put something out there and let them decide.

Some things that are working for me to continue keeping this as my “good habit” and might serve you as well.

1. Weekly make a list of blogs I know I want to write: On my bulletin board I have a list of 10 topics, more than I can put out in a single week,  I know I want to write about sooner rather than later. I choose from this pool.

2. Stick to a frequency that will work for you. BUT, if you’re going to blog, you really can’t do any less than one posting/week. There are many different attitudes  about frequency of blog postings and I know many that post daily, which, if this is all I did, I would happily blog along. But I, like many of you, am running a lean ship and wear many hats. I feel that if I touch my world 3 times/week by way of a blog that I’m in really great shape.

NOTE: If you only want to touch your audience monthly, a newsletter is the way to go for that. Nothing wrong with that.

3. Find the time of day that works for you to scribe your inspiration. Over time I’ve come to realize that attempting to write a blog in the morning is but a joke for me, as that is the time I need for readiness for my day, engage in the social media world (twitter/facebook) and answer all sales inquires., do general business upkeep.   I’m best to carve out time in the afternoon, or even better, in my evenings. Just a better time for all to flow.

4. Schedule Your Blog: Although I like to write late into the night, I prefer to schedule my post, easy easy to do, to go out around 7:30 in the morning. I have it set up that it automatically posts to my facebook page, and if I go into Hoote Suite, I can, in one fell swoop, post it to twitter, my facebook biz page and linked in. And, as I have a SHARE button at end of each posting I can then also easily post on relevant group walls on LinkedIn. Really, nothing like drinking your morning coffee and knowing that you are already touching people before you’ve laid hands on your keyboard.

5. It doesn’t have to be perfect….BUT, do ensure your spelling is correct AND that all your links work.

I LOVE this blogging platform that is made available for me and my business, and you should love it to. If you have an inkling to blog, then do it…make it your good habit and find your voice, and share it.  You won’t be disappointed.

Look forward to reading your blogs and knowing which blogs you like to follow and why.

It’s 9:30 Friday night…hope you enjoy this Saturday morning with your coffee 🙂

Ruth

I JUST posted my most recent newsletter, to my mailing list of just over 5,000. This “mailing list” is comprised of people that fall into two main catagories, although split into many more in my list, of either a past customer or prospective that I’ve met somewhere in my travels….my point being that the people on said list are already familiar with my company, and thus are more inclined to open up my missive no matter the title…and although the text in the subject line of my email does  matter, it matters even more that they simply know the missive is coming from ruth/antiquesbyzaar.

When blogging, you do not have that defined audience, but you are trying to reach that which you would consider your “target audience”, and thus the title of your blog should be such that they are drawn to read what you’ve writing about.

So, what is it you want to write about and who do you want to read it?

For myself, THIS is what I want to write about….

1. My business was nurtured on the direct to the consumer business and I never want to lose sight of what this has, and continues to mean to my business. To boot, these precious customers have provided me with testimonials of photos and words, which they intended for me to share.  How do I impart these “testimonials‘ in a way that will honor the person that chose to share them with me in the first place?

2. Over the years my To The Trade business has grown as the Interior Design Trade has moved to online stores to source for their clients…How can I honor these Designers that have put their confidence in my business and my product, that they readily present their clients photos of pieces they won’t see until install?

3. I have had the gift of publicity over the years that continues to validate who I am to all that may consider doing business with me. It would be silly of me not to find a way to put this out to those that don’t know who ruth/antiquesbyzaar is yet, and why they should feel comfortable doing business with me.

4. Chinese Antique Furniture/Antiques by Zaar:  I LOVE selling Chinese Antiques. I LOVE that I have had this opportunity to capitalize on the 8 years I lived in Asia as an expat wife/mother of 3. I LOVE that I am able sell such a unique item online. I LOVE that my pieces bring joy into the lives and homes of my customers. I LOVE that I’ve been able to contribute to my family by way of the business of selling Chinese Antiques. I LOVE the people I meet as I go about the selling of Chinese Antiques.  How can I share this LOVE for a genre of furniture that gives so much and the business that encompasses that?

5. ” Social Media”. It was made for the likes of me, and in fact I bought into this concept back in 2004  by way of my newsletter….no, not your traditional bullet point newsletter, but one that had the facts couched in personal antidotes. Just when I thought I was too personal, someone would drop a line/call and tell me what it meant to them that I took the time to share my world with them by way of my newsletter…they felt they “knew me”…. I want to share with my world that relationship building isn’t just the current trend, it is THE WAY, and can most definitely be done online, to do business, as that is exactly what took me from  my very first sale back in November 2000, to the next, and the next and the next, with what was the first online only store for Chinese antiques. ie. if I can start and grow a business selling Chinese Antiques online, you can sell what you want to sell as well. How do I share this with others to encourage them forth?

6. And lastly…I like to share resources/promote other peoples product, businesses/organizations. How can I help spread the good word of the good works being done by others???

So, apparantly I have ALOT to say, and you guessed it, the BLOG is the vehicle used to put it all out there.

How do I get people to read it?

Chinese Antiques is what I sell.

Thus, it is imperative, that I use terms that relate to Chinese Antiques, as a way to draw people in…not to say you won’t see posts with otherwise, BUT, as the common thread, that which I hope to lure people in to be interested in me/my product, is by way of words that relate to this genre. AND, WITHIN the body of the blog I can include testimonials/photos from my customers, to support what is put forth in the title as the topic. OR I can promote my Designer Customers by putting their company name in the title and aligning them with the usage of Chinese Antiques.  I can mix in the publicity garnered where it fits as well. You get the gist, and check out past blogs to see if I am succeeding 🙂

And Building Online Relationships ….

…is something I know a thing or two about and am eager to encourage others to just go out and “do it”. To boot I am, like many others, on a huge learning curve with technology and all that comes with just trying to keep up. I can relate and again, if I can do it so can you and I want to help.

BUT, now this missive is beyond too long…you get the point. Know what you want to say. Know who you want to say it to. Think about how you can do that by using a title that will draw them in to read what you want to share….and then post it on all your social media portals….

Enjoy and look forward to your posts.

Ruth

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