18 October 2013

Making your mind up..

© Flickr/tiffany terry
What makes us pick up a product? Why do we choose a particular brand?

I needed some more bathroom cleaner and as I walked down the cleaning isle, I found myself making my choice based on a few things. I don't pick up the cheapest and think: "what if it doesn't clean well?” I look at the colour of the bottle and consider different aspects; my budget at the time, it's reputation, whether a friend had recommended it and whether I recognised the product from an advert on TV.

With this thought in mind it leads to my foray this week into the world of Google adverts, they are cheap, well within my budget, large audiences, on trend, easy to manipulate (even for me a beginner) and I hope it gives me an insight into the market I want to sell to. Although it's difficult to say that just because you have a positive reaction you will sell to that person, I believe maybe simplistically that if you increase your audience then you potentially have someone to sell to.

Whilst chatting in the pub the other evening I found myself defending this new "social existence" to someone who works in the medium but thinks we may have lost some ability to communicate on a one to one basis and whether we were richer before all of this emerged.

I strongly disagree. In some ways it is romantic to remember times when you had to speak to communicate, when there was only one phone in the house, when people wrote cards and messages and postcards "wish you were here?" - but anybody now; you, me, the person sat at home unable to go out has access to the whole world. I for one would not have been able to come this far with my product.

I have used it for the initial steps, for research and to find ideas. This tool has allowed me to access designers, solicitors and manufacturers that otherwise I would not have found and it even brings me customers now. You still need to be able to communicate personally and I have done so and will continue to do so, but it would not have been possible to be where I am now without the World Wide Web.

My advice to any small business or to anyone who is looking to have an online presence is to seek this personal interaction. Set up Twitter and Facebook accounts. Start small and add to your sites, say who you are, what you do or sell and take the opportunity of speaking to people that otherwise you would not come into contact with.

Anyway my next task is to make a video for YouTube that can be linked to the website and will hopefully drive more traffic to the site. I am very apprehensive about how to go about making it and giving it the professional gloss it requires, but it is definitely a priority on my to-do list and I hope to be able to report back enthusiastically about my next hurdle.

 I feel I must digress a little again as I remember a programme aired on Channel 4 on Tuesday 17th September 2013, called "Fabulous Fashionistas”. If you didn't get chance to watch this I recommend a look, all of the women bar none were inspirational, brave and utterly inspiring in the way they have approached old age - the youngest being Sue at 73! With what these women have and still achieve I'm sure I can manage a video as ever their programme reminds me that I'm only 51 years young, cheers girls!

So I leave you on this rainy week, washed out but not up (and unable to wear my impulse boot buy from the previous blog) - think I'll go and have a look for some new wellies. 

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