Friday, May 29, 2009

All Beading Aside: Social Media & Separating Yourself from The Crowd

Since I've been between fashion news events and seasons - and although there is still a lot more that I have to do - I decided to take some time to figure out yet another social media application Facebook.

The article I'm referencing here makes an excellent point which is that learning how these tools actually work, and to learn them well is a full time job - which I can attest to after trying to figure out Facebook for the past few weeks.

But if it's so frustrating why bother? In a phrase 'they work'.'

When I first heard about Twitter I though who cares about what I'm doing every step of my day. But once Twitter  started to gain momentum and popping up everywhere I had to hold true to my motto - go to where the people are, it's easier than chasing them - and so I did.

And that is the beauty, too me, of this whole social network thing. 

This article on MarketWatch (which was written as a networking tool for job seekers, but I find applies equally to anyone marketing their bead art jewelry designs or handcraft) has many excellent points and the whole article is worth a read; but the first two bullet points are oh, so true! So, before getting started with these networking tools:

  • First, pick your niche. Today, it's all about niche specialties. What's your forté? Whether it's shoes (Zappos), humor (DeGeneres), or even topics you'd think not even your mother would care about like customer service or bowling, it's all about knowing something that others will find valuable. And if you're worried your expertise won't attract others, think again. Did you ever think you'd see a cable show "At Home on the Range?"

  • Know what you want. If you're going to spend time using social media tools, then know why you're doing it in advance. Do you want to become an expert to get into the media? Do you want to generate customers for your company? Do you want to help build your product's brand? Are you looking for another job? Remember, companies -- just like you -- want to keep up with these tools. So why not turn yourself into a voice or knowledgeable expert for your company by taking what you know to the social media world? (Before going too far with this, check your company policies and with your management team to find the "win-win" for everyone.)


There's nothing like targeting a niche, and following some of these guidelines will ultimately leave you less frustrated with using these tools.  I'm finding more often than not that I am adjusting certain things based on what's been revealed in one of these social networking platforms - now you can't get any more insight into what people want than that.

My mind is always abuzz with entrepreneurial endeavors, but beads and beading are where I want to keep my focus - and even within these parameters opportunity abound.  I've had a bead business idea on the back burner for a few years now, and due to the physical limitations from my chronic pain condition, I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to realize yet another wonderful opportunity; but after understanding how powerful these social media tools can be I may be able to put my plan into action after all - who knew!

article in MarketWatch  My Facebook Pages The Bead Stylist    A1 Bead Art Jewelry Supply

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