Creative blogger reveals her social media success story
Today, I am excited to feature small business owner, blogger and artist, Emily Jeffords! In the following interview, she shares her marketing secrets. These are very practical tactics you can imitate to build your blog and realize social media success.
Tell us about you, your business and your art. Hello! My name is Emily Jeffords, I’m an artist, designer, and creative blogger at BeautifulHelloBlog.com (as well as mother of two little girls and an Air Force wife). In 2008 I graduated with a degree in fine art, which includes a good bit of graphic design training, and have been pursuing that passion ever since.
When did you start your blog and what is it about? I began Beautiful Hello in October of 2011. Since then, it has grown into an exciting community centered on current art and design with nearly 60,000 readers per month.
What is your blog’s purpose? At first, I started Beautiful Hello as a way to organize my own creative thoughts and express what inspired me; and, while that is still a huge part of BH, I realized that someone needed to help artists brag. Beautiful Hello became a platform for me to showcase the best in current art and design and to give these amazing artists and designers extra exposure and a new audience. My readers aren’t all artists or art critics, so my posts are written conversationally and informatively.
How often do you post? Daily, Monday-Friday.
How do you promote your blog and artwork? I promote my blog and site frequently on Facebook and Twitter, and rarely via email. I reserve email for big events. And, of course, I love word of mouth promotion! My blog followers are excited about the concept and content of my blog and share frequently, and my husband is probably the best PR rep a girl could ask for.
Which social media platforms are the best for your marketing? Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are my go-to buddies. I use them daily and have gotten a lot of love back from them.
If you only had one platform to tell the world about your art, which would you choose? Besides my blog, I think I would choose Twitter. It’s crazy and messy, but incredibly valuable because I can connect with anyone on this earth (pretty much) vs. Facebook and email where I am a little more limited.
Because you are an artist and can present your work with images, have you found Pinterest to be a good social media tool? Pinterest is fantastic, but it is also a bit chaotic. It is hard to do quality target advertising on Pinterest. However, that being said, there are several great tips to help use it to your advantage: such as not posting all your images at once, gaining followers, and labeling your images well with many keywords. But at the end of the day, people don’t read. They look. I have learned (the hard way!) that my image is 99% of my advertising quality.
I remember your Painting 365 days project. What was the result of that challenge and what did you learn about marketing? Painting365 was a personal challenge, more than anything. I wanted to push myself as an artist to paint a completed painting each day. I used my Painting365 blog to help market that, as well as Facebook, but word of mouth really played a huge role in that project. People were excited about getting nice paintings at such insanely low prices (they were sold for the dollar amount of the # day). Through that project, I had the honor of meeting many amazing people (many of whom are now are collectors of my work!), sell a lot of paintings, and get my name and artwork out there in a big way.
I love your oil painting giveaways! Do they help drive sales, not just promotion? They help increase awareness more than anything, which in turn leads to sales… so yes. Art is not something most people buy on a whim, so relationships and marketing are incredibly important.
And finally, what’s one tip you can give small businesses about websites, blogging or marketing? I’ll share a tip for each.
Websites: Make your webpage attractive, no matter what you do or sell. People, (even non creative people,) learn, search, and discover with their eyes. A well-designed, well-organized website will make or break a business.
Blogging: Be transparent, but not revealing. People want a little behind-the-scenes action, but not your dirty laundry. Blogs are the perfect platform for sounding like a real person to your clients. Don’t waste that! This is a great place to share what you love, what inspires you, and who you are without having to keep such a professional persona. Many companies with a strong corporate face (Adobe, Fossil, GAP, GM…) use their blogs as conversation tools, perfect for engaging with and marketing to real people who live real lives.
Marketing: Be persistent and present a clear message. Remember that images are more important than words, and when you must speak, make your words count. You hold the readers attention for about 4 seconds. Reach a core audience and inspire them and they, in turn, will inspire others around them. Soon, you’ll have the whole world wrapped around your finger!