Facebook or Pinterest, or whatever other social media platform you prefer, is a great way to connect with people who might have an interest in your niche. If you don’t depend on income from your creative pursuits, that presence might be all you need.
But if you sell what you make, social media is not a complete strategy for an online presence.
- You can’t depend on people remembering to follow you, even if they really like you.
- You can’t assume your followers will see all your posts in a crowded stream.
- A few changes to an algorithm, and you stop showing up in media streams. That means followers don’t even get the chance to see your posts.
Social sites are certainly part of the plan, and are a good way to start, but if you really want to improve your income, then the best solution is a website of your own.
Having a website on its own domain legitimizes your business. If you want to be seen as a creative professional, and not just a hobbyist, that’s important. People expect real businesses to have websites.
Your website’s real function
It’s not just perception, though. Your site serves a practical purpose, too. All your traffic from social sites, search, and direct links, including those from hard copy marketing materials you might hand out at shows, is directed to one central place; a home base where there’s an opportunity for further engagement.
- Offer tutorials, how-to guides, or courses, so your customer gets something beyond the initial purchase.
- Ask visitors to subscribe to your email list, and perhaps make it more likely that they will do so by providing something extra for list subscribers.
- Direct attention to all the things that make you different from everyone else in your niche.
- Provide a showcase of your creative work.
- Maintain a blog that lets you share your ideas about your niche, keep readers up to date about appearances at shows, and talk about current projects.
Think of each social site as a stepping stone to where you really want your customer to land: your own site.
Whether you sell your products in physical stores or online, a central platform will allow you to build a nurturing presence that focuses on information your audience loves. This, in turn, will help raise your profile, build a customer base, and create repeat customers who feel good about buying from you.
Need help with your online presence? Just contact me.