There is no replacement for good old fashioned face to face networking. I can post links to my sales page on Etsy or advertise a product via Twitter or Facebook until I’m blue in the face, but it’s not until I have an actual conversation with someone about it that they will take a look at my page. And I don’t necessarily think it’s me that’s at fault.
We are bombarded by advertising every day and when it’s on your social media you learn to bypass it. I am desensitised to advertising so I know how this works. It’s easy to skip and move on. If anything I switch off from social media accounts that constantly try to sell me things. Because unless I am specifically looking for a product I won’t be swayed into buying on impulse. If I want something I’ll ask for it.
Add to that, algorithums that selectively filter your posts and selling via social media becomes a very hit and miss affair, no good if you are trying to nurture a brand. The only commissions I get through social media are photoshoots and very few of those involve real money. Everything else – the stuff that pays my bills – comes from word of mouth, personal recommendation, talking to actual human beings, chance encounters and work directly through, and by referral from, the bridal boutique I freelance for.
Whilst I don’t regret setting up my website I am dubious as to its sales potential. I like that it’s a one stop shop for everything that is me and my business but I don’t know how effective it is likely to be in the future as a sales platform. Social media is great for letting people know you exist, showing off your latest work and name dropping with your latest collaborations but as a sales medium, I have yet to be convinced.
As for online sales – well I’m going to leave that to the experts.