Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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July 18th, 2009 at 18:04 pm

Business Netiquette – Advertising messages

It is my sincere wish (but without much hope) that the following will NOT be seen as a personal attack in any way shape or form.

This message is posted here, so you will have to guess which group(s) inspired it – there are more than one or even three or five….

However, some “announcements” over the past year have bothered me and so caused me to “think about it” quite a bit.

YES I do know how my delete key works, in fact TheHenry says he does not know of any other actual incidence of needing a new keyboard because the DELETE KEY wore out – something I have managed to do twice. Perhaps I need to develop a gentler touch with more than just my words

It is of concern to me that many a new designer might think what they see in these groups, meant to help find their footing on the journey of becoming a professional in the Needle Arts, as how they can best “go on” in other venues.

What a ‘working professional’ needs/wants is often different than what our consumers prefer.

It is with this in mind that I don my new flame proofs and sincerely hope we can have a conversation about the Who, What, Where, When and WHY (and How) of making such announcements.

As we each prepare a product or other “new release” type of message here are some of the things I think each of us needs to consider

WHO is the audience – and what is acceptable signal to noise ratio of that group.

Not all that long ago, Tink was criticized for advertising her books in a designer group, or products that would be helpful to any working professional. When it became an issue for even one member of that other group, she stopped any mention of her e-books or other similar products that would be very helpful to those just starting out. But, it was clear that the group “did not want to hear it”

Artists ?? I personally think of groups like QuiltArt and FreeFormations as gatherings of those who have advanced their skills to take their projects to the next level – But mostly produce “one-off” (yes, I do know many also write books, teach, and otherwise are “stars” within their particular niche(s)

Designers ?? these groups might also include those who do create original designs but do not actually produce the Chart/Pattern – so what they need is different too.

Pattern/Chart Author? Those who actually produce not only the design but also the instructions, packaging, presentation and may or may not offer their products for sale at wholesale

Independent Shop Owner? Why constantly post ads seemingly geared to shops in a designer or artist groups?

I have no objection to “paying” sponsors offering the occasional sales message – after all they have paid for that privilege, although I do find it annoying when someone who has not paid for that right does it anyway, thinly if at all disguised as “asking for help”

If your product “works for both” then you should be using other designers as examples of your services – not shops.

If your product is useful to more than just one of these groups, you STILL need to create a message geared to their interests and needs, not yours.

Designers and Artists can be the worst – although not so much now, many domains we maintained the “designer” did not want anyone to know they did not do it themselves. Why I will never understand because the skills to design and develop a web site are very different.

We have provided a wide variety of professional services to many different businesses over the years and it has always been my position that if they want someone to know we did the work, then it is up to them to recommend us. Otherwise, long as their bills were paid on time, that was and is fine with me. Well I did draw the line once or twice that is a long story for another day

WHAT is the purpose of the message –

Maybe because many of the members of this group are not just beginning their journey to becoming a working professional Pattern or Chart Author – that some feel it is good to announce all their new releases of such, simply because many in the group are still more consumer than producer.

WHERE am I posting

Rarely would I post in a consumer group about some service I offer, because the purpose of that group is not to sell my services, but to help other “practitioners of the needle arts” to reach a successful conclusion ot their projects.

WHEN (how often) especially when/how often I am posting the “same” message.
Personally I think in a professional group such as EITHER DBiz or NWBiz, no more than once a month – lest you be perceived to be filling the group with your personal promotional messages.

Personally, if you have new product announcements more often than quarterly, then you should have a newsletter built from the names of people who WANT to receive it rather than using a group that is not your personal “news” list.

>>> I do not mind “QRS Stitching is pleased to announce our new products for JULY releases can be viewed at: http://itsalljuststring.com/new-products/
<<< WHY are you posting? The answer to that "should" be different for each and every place you post a message. Rarely would I post in a consumer group about some service I offer, because the purpose of that group is not to sell my services, but to help other "practitioners of the needle arts" to reach a successful conclusion to their projects. Believe me, if you analyze the amount of time spent in these groups as compared with the volume of sales generated, well, we all will see those "help" messages are a lot more a labor of love to promote the craft, than an investment in future sales

So, if I want to write about a new product, then I am going to have to put in the effort to make that product part of a how-to, response public or private. And, I really think it needs to be about a NEW product, not just a derivitive of one we already offer.

So, certain recent somewhat interesting accusations (exactly how does someones inability to find evidence of a business relationship constitute its existence) I have “stopped” posting in retailer groups about products we sell Wholesale to the Trade and limit my product recommendations to those we sell in our Retail business interests. Products and ideas that are directly contributing to our RETAIL business(es) bottom line – if another benefits, well I do rather like the theory of abundance most days.

The necessity remains, NO MATTER WHERE, I may be, it really may be necessary to”tailor” the message for each group (as this one will be before posting “to the groups”) Another reason why this rant is here and not in any particular group – so no poor hapless list owner has to deal with the potentially emotional and irrational responses.

Thanks for listening and I would welcome hearing what each of you has to say about how and when you want to be reading promotional messages.

JSTTA – Just Some Things To Think About

Wheat

4
  • 1

    Interesting and right on! When I saw the post in DBiz about a designers new releases, written in a way that seemed to me to be directed to shops for purchases, I wondered why it appeared in
    DBiz. but I don’t recall seeing the post in NWBiz where there would be shops (customers) who would purchase the product line. And then I moved on…. And today my thinking is validated by your post. Sure wish that Creative Product News was still around.

    accentsinc on July 19th, 2009
  • 2

    Thank you for writing – it is always “graftifying” when a retailer like you thinks I ‘got it right’

    wheat on July 19th, 2009
  • 3

    I most wholeheartedly agree……I got tired of reading many of my e-group lists, because of the tiresome self-promotion, that many times did not fit the group content and worse it would seem that the originator, got several list members to keep it bouncing back on…as if once was not enough.

    and I believe your point is meaningful whether on the net or elsewhere. we are all busy…and it is all too easy to forget that your time is no more valuable than mine and visa versa.

    I have always enjoyed what you write…..it is honest and to the point… keep telling it like it is!!!

    deborah cohen on July 19th, 2009
  • 4

    Very well written Wheat. I think it is spot on. When any of us are in a public place, we should be there as a public service, to add to the community. We are there as experts in our field. When we are there in that capacity, then that builds good will and trust in our product, and we are then in turn recognized and looked for. Our “brand recognition” is the value added benefit to us. Our interaction must be not in pushing our product or we will be tuned out. And who could blame them?

    JoLene Treace on July 20th, 2009

 

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