I’ve been self-employed now for almost five years, but the world of advertising is ALWAYS changing, and I’m always on my toes trying to find new ways to promote myself. Now that I’m also trying to promote my own self-published novel in the hopes of getting it out there to as many people as possible, I’m finding out that there is SO MUCH more to learn than I thought there was!
The knowledge…IT FILLS ME. So far, these are the steps I’ve taken to trying to market myself a little more effectively.
1.) I Registered a Domain Name
YES. I’ve been making and maintaining my own websites for years, but always for free. I figured, “If I just learn how to do something, then there will be no need to pay a dime!” While this does work for many things–learning HTML code, basic graphic design skills, basic social media skills–no amount of knowledge can make your website appear easier to find and easier to associate with yourself than your own .com name!
It was really hard for me to decide how to do this. I’ve been using Atomik Cupcake Designs as a freelance business name for a couple years now, but “Designs” implies just what it’s supposed to: graphic design. Art. Not books and stuff.
I’m expanding my horizons, and now I don’t just do tattoos and freelance graphic design. I also sell art prints, I’ve written a fiction novel and a how-to eBook, AND I write freelance articles through the website eLance. Oh yeah, and I blog too, I guess. So, I need a freelance website that can integrate all of these together. After a bit of deliberation, I decided to use my real name and create a domain name using MY name. It’s easy to find (especially for writing books!), easy to spell, and easy to associate the product to the person. So, my new registered domain name is www.bytracycampbell.com. I feel so clever! =D
2.) Consistency is key.
This is part of the learning curve here. As you can probably see from my previous blog posts, I’m not super consistent on when I post. My Atomik Cupcake Designs Facebook page is the same way. Sometimes, I get busy at work and forget to post things. And sometimes, I just don’t have anything interesting to say that I think my fans would want to hear.
But, when I DO post consistently, like I did during the Plight of the Humanatee project, I noticed that I got more steady page views, more likes, and more comments. When I disappear for a week, the number of people who saw my page steadily dwindled so much that by the time I’d made another post, I had to almost start all over with getting my posts to actually appear in people’s feeds.
So, I’m learning that if I really want to do this, I’m going to have to put in at least some time to really consistently marketing myself.
3.) I tried the “Boost Post” Option
Facebook has that elusive “Boost Post” option on the bottom of your business posts. I’ve always wondered how effective it was, so I’m giving it a try! I won’t have any results to post about my own experience with this until Tuesday, but I do have an anecdote based on my boss’s use of this on the tattoo shop’s Facebook page.
Our page currently has around 1,200 likes and sees a general traffic of about 500-800 views per week, with an average of between 10 and 30 likes per post. We update the page between two and four times a week, depending on what kind of awesome pictures we have to share. My boss tested the “Boost” feature on a new tattoo picture and set the budget to $20 over the course of 3 days.
On the boosted post, the total views received were over 8,500 views! Remember, for a page that usually only gets around 150 views per post, this was a big deal! In fact, the organic views on this picture were about 240, so the remaining 8,200 or so were paid. The picture received over 212 likes collectively. Most importantly, the page itself received over 40 more likes! That’s a 3.5% increase in the total number of people liking and viewing our page. Now, I can’t say for sure how this has affected the number of people who actually come in and spend their money here on tattoos, but more exposure means a higher likelihood of customers.
My budget is only $5 over the course of 2 days, because I’m testing a one-day free promotion for my book! So, we’ll see how well it works on a smaller scale and how many people download the free version of my novel tomorrow.
So, that’s what I’ve learned so far…I’m still learning about how to write an effective blog, effective social media advertising, and how to make a useful website, but I feel like I’m doing it! =D If you have any self-marketing strategies of your own that have worked, feel free to share!