Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Promote thyself

Over the years, I have received some negative feedback at times from people who do not understand what self marketing is. They are offended by it. Those people are always people who don’t self market. Also, I have an opinion too about the self marketing haters…


… like my daughter says: “Love your haters, they are your biggest fans”

In the beginning while I was still growing my nice thick, double-plated-independent-filmmakers skin, I actually was so botherd and hurt by some of the public being downright mean to me about this topic. lol. I laugh about it now, because it really is silly.

See it went like this: I was this woman looking to lose 50 lbs after my fifth child was born. So I did this amazing resistant training program, the Kennedy System.

I lost the 50 lbs and got toned, and I was excited! So excited that's all I would talk about. Now it was easy because most everyone else wanted to talk about it too because they did not understand how I could lose all this weight. So my husband and I took on the actual DVD series and helped package and...promote it. Why? That's how we make our living. I found it to be very easy to promote and talk about. The internet was booming with social sites, health blogs, etc. I

opened blogs and talked to women about this great product. Fantastic, yes? No. I was kicked off of most of the sites, called spammer, and all sorts of other names. Didn't women want to know a great way to lose weight? I was such a success story. I wanted to share my story and help women. I wanted to sell the DVD set to them. It backfired. I did get some sales later, but it was after I self published my articles I wrote on how I did it.

I copied how other health & fitness DVD's set up their sites, and advertising.

And that is how I really started to understand how the internet works. People want to know upfront if you are trying to sell them something. They do not want to be 'snookered'. That was happening all over the web too. And at a ridiculously alarming rate. So, everyone (including me) became a defensive web surfer. Until I started getting great virus scanners like Norton, and the such, I was being harassed like everyone else by spammers.

Well, as the law and many great sites are controlling these pests, I could be considered one because I am a 'marketing vendor'. I have something to sell. I have films, and products. My hard work at designing t shirts and gifts for fun (because I am an artist), I thought it would be such a joy to share all these great things with the public. This also became something I was 'selling'. Now, I was a spammer?

The rules are still foggy in this area. I have found a happy medium, and it goes something like this.

Set up your own blog. A real blog about your interests, or who you are. Be very clear to the target audience is (mom bloggers, working moms, film buffs, Cuba activism, etc). Then start talk about what is going on with you or in the industry. You can show case your wares, like I do here, or create a quiet link that links to another page with products after you have generated the readers interests.

Now, we could not support ourselves on this process alone. The hours does not make sense, but making three films a year does and then doing this in between-now that makes sense. And that is how I tie the whole 'self promotion-self marketing' machine together.

And don't forget TAGS. Tags or labels are a self marketers best friend. The spiders will pick up on these key words and you will watch your site go up the Google ladder.

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