In my short 3 years of operating my handmade jewelry business, I have learned several tips to get myself seen, heard and referred. The key for me has been to not only offer outstanding and thoughtful customer service, but to always request and adhere to my customer feedback as well as engage clients and potential customers frequently and in various ways. “According to Time, Inc., the three pillars of customer engagement are content engagement, media engagement, and engagement marketing activities”(Strauss & Frost, 2012, p. 161).
My primary mode of doing business is offered online through my Etsy shop; however, I also receive the majority of my customer referrals through networking with colleagues, friends, family and social media. I often receive positive feedback. The most common compliments are about my thoughtful attention to detail, unique take on trending designs and thorough follow-up. I make a point to reach out to current, past and potential customers for permission to use them as testimonials as well as utilizing their connections for their contacts which may have a need for my services.
- Contests announced on website, blog, social medias and mailings
- Voting poll applications at social media and websites (Katz, 2013)
- Links to like-minded entertainment such as YouTube videos
- Teaching opportunities with links for more interaction at other knowledge sources
- RSS Feeds
Although many people think of social media first, it is important to keep your options open to alternatives in order to maximize your brand’s potential reach. Many times your best method of advertising can simply be a well-made and visually interesting business card.
- Radio –free announcements on local stations and college radio
- Print – business cards, flyers, thank you cards, free listings in local classifieds, paid ads
- Social Sharing –Rich Site Summary (RSS) Feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
- Professional Networks – LinkedIn
- Video- YouTube, Vimeo, Animoto, One True Media (Similar Sites, 2013)
- Set clear objectives
- Tier and target customers
- Balance the event and communications mix
- Create optimal content
- Implement great program management
- Garner commitment and support from internal stakeholders (Schwartz, 2012)
As I have learned various methods of interacting with my clients, I can sometimes feel overburdened with keeping current everywhere every day. I have to remember to think of all points of contact as ways to engage, whether it is an email or personal handwritten note. By maintaining fresh content and jewelry designs, I successfully entice customers to my brand and have seen many repeat customers and enjoyed multiple referrals. “Every contact with an employee, a Web site, a blog comment about the product, a YouTube video, a magazine ad, a catalog, the physical store facilities, and so forth helps the customer form an image of the company” (Strauss & Frost, 2012, p.270).