I am a firm believer in selling through education. And, there is no better way to inform and educate your customers than through blogging.  That is why I have invited a few entrepreneurs over the course of the next few weeks to share with Hware’s readers how they are using their blog to expand their online reach to attract more customers. You will find that you don’t need to be a Chris Brogan or Seth Godin in the blogosphere to be a success. You just need to take the first step. We would love to hear what steps you are taking to start your blog if you have not started one already. What are some of your fears or concerns about blogging? If you are an experienced blogger, feel free to jump in and share your advice. We are all here to learn from one another. Please share your thoughts with us. ~ Brenda Horton, President of Hware

This is a guest blog post from Mary Anne Davis, a jewelry designer of  Madison Design Jewelry

The beauty of internet-driven marketing tools is they are very inexpensive (often free) to utilize in helping build our businesses. I am launching my jewelry business on a very tight budget. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a business — it still surprises me when people want to buy my handmade earrings or necklaces. So how do I use the internet and social media to market my jewelry? I have a Facebook “fan” page for Madison Designs Jewelry, where I post my blogs and an occasional message to my fans about a new design, or a “special sale for fans only”.  Because I’m trying to be careful not to over-sell,  I keep my blog postings to once or twice a week. I think a good rule of thumb (for me) is to market 25% of the time I post, blog, or tweet.

I spent some time thinking about what to write in my blog that wasn’t just a huge “buy my jewelry” message. I came up with what I think is the perfect balance — blogging about a different gem stone each time. I tell the folklore about a particular stone, and keep it strictly informational. Of course the photo I use depicting that particular stone is something I’ve made and is available on my website. But other than that, it’s not a big “buy me” message, and I have had people respond well to that.

I recently started using Twitter (www.twitter.com/maryannedavisnc) where I post my blogs with the gem stone stories, but I also comment on other tweets and other things I do. I purposely did not put the name of my jewelry company into the Twitter account title because I didn’t want it to limit what I could talk about. I am also a photographer and occasionally like to post about that as well. (To view some of my photos, www.maryanne.imagekind.com).  Having my name as the title keeps my options open.

You don’t have to have 25 years of marketing experience to use the social media to your advantage. There are some great experts out there who can help guide you through the sometimes confusing technology. None of us have to do everything ourselves — the best entrepreneurs are the ones who capitalize on their strengths and outsource everything else.

Mary Anne Davis
Nevada City, CA, United States

See Mary Anne’s blog at www.maryannedavisjewelry.blogspot.com

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