Thursday, August 18, 2022

Revisiting social media: Reddit

Picking up where I left off, "Learning to market all over again," I am again exploring how social media could be useful to me and possibly to you. Specifically I'm looking into, and posting on, Reddit and my posts have already generated some positive feedback.

After years of mostly ignoring it, I am taking a serious look at social media. Yes, I've recommended it to others but my own reason for letting it slide has been simply lack of time and the attention it would take away from projects that are important to me. Social media involves constant interaction with others. Now, having cleared away the time consuming, attention stealing projects such as book writing and perfume making, I'm free for a while to devote serious time to social media. Reddit is my current focus. On Reddit I'm quickly finding people with whom I can interact and who, I hope, may someday (soon) direct people to my new product, a non-perfume related book on Amazon.

Reddit is not for everyone. There are some very serious limitations one of which being language. English is its only language. If you are not fluent in English, Reddit is not for you. Another problem is advertising. Although Reddit sells advertising I'm told that "nobody" buys from ads on Reddit. Reddit people are very anti-advertising. So how can you use Reddit?

Look into Reddit and you will see signs of intelligent life. Reddit is full of thoughtful posts, begging interaction. Reddit also has a very good search utility so it's quite easy to fined "Redditors" with interests similar to yours, if there are any. If you do several searches and don't come up with anyone within your area of interest, Reddit won't be for you.

Personally I seem to have found the people I'm looking for. What do I do about it? I can't just say "here's a link to my new product." That may break rules against self-promotion or it may just turn off readers. Either way, this is not the way to use Reddit.

What I see as my opportunity is to engage in conversations where I can add something intelligent to the discussion. Gradually, I hope, opportunities will emerge to make comments about my product -- that fit the thread -- and might be for interest to others. All the while I will be honing my Reddit skills and, hopefully, getting noticed by a SMALL number of people who I can influence. Always the touch must be light and never brazenly self-serving. Ideally I would like to direct the discussions so that it is OTHERS who point to my product and link to where it can be purchased.

While I think this strategy may be effective, it will not be easy to execute. Signs of progress along the way may be few. Discouragement may test my willingness to continue putting daily attention into Reddit. But this is the problem with any new promotional program. Coming from zero in name recognition I have to establish some credibility and trust.

Reddit, while lacking in "selling my own perfume" posts does have followers of cosmetics and makeup and, from what I have seen some posts asking what ingredients to add to a homemade perfume. I don't see these are particularly promising but you may have the touch needed to engage with the writers and then turn some of the discussions to your own effort to make and sell perfume. And, what is important, you may get some good feedback on what people are thinking, what trends are developing, and what various demographics are looking for in fragrance beyond the offerings of the global fragrance marketers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Learning to market all over again

I just finished developing a new product -- a book not related to perfume -- and I want to promote it. How should I go about it?

My situation is not all that different than yours if you have just created a new perfume. What do you do to sell it? Let's think this through together.

First, let's eliminate all the thoughts that will not be helpful -- "the economy is bad, no one can sell anything just now" ... "people don't want to take a chance on a new produce"" -- stuff like that, things you can't change. Like it or not, this is the world we live in and, within this world we need to find buyers for our products. Time is passing us by. We need to act now, to present our case to people who do have money and the urge to buy. Forget about everyone else.

My market, at least initially, is very small. But it exists. Your market, initially, might also be quite small but, if you are going to sell your perfume, you have to believe that your market exists and, if you try hard -- very hard -- you can find it. We get the ball rolling by making some sales. Keep at it and more sales are made. No, it's not easy.

I'm a believer in paid advertising, but only when I have data that will support it. Paid advertising is great when you can get a return on your advertising dollars. In this case, for me, it won't be practical. I don't have a hot, pin-point target media and even if I did, I don't believe I could sell enough units to get my money back much less make a profit. You'll find your perfume will likely have the same problem.

While, at the moment when our products are new, paid advertising is not likely to be worth the investment, shooting off a press release to the right people at the right media makes solid good sense. There are a number of companies that can provide distribution lists and even arrange to distribute your press release for you. This could be helpful for you. But before you even begin to research list providers (through a Google search) think about the ACTION you want to trigger. You'll need a distribution point -- a retail store, website or some such where you can take orders. Also, when you send out a press release it will go to media people, not consumers. This means if interest is shown in your perfume, you may be asked to provide samples. Keep this possibility in mind and the potential cost to you -- your production cost per bottle plus packing and postage. I've been calculating how many copies of my (non-perfume) book I'd be willing to send out for reviews -- but reviews are not sales.

What I am going to do, and you might do too, is to personally give some copies (bottles for you) to people, friends, who might be able to promote some sales if they like my book (or your perfume.) These would not be reviewers but people I know who know others with the same interest. Hopefully some word of mouth pressure will be generated but I'm not so naive as to think this word of mouth stuff will go viral. No, I'll have to prime a lot of pumps and that will take effort, energy, time, and a belief in what I'm selling. You should be in love with your new perfume and have confidence in it's appeal. Then you can talk well about it.

There has to be more we can do. There is more we can do. Give me another week or so to explore some practical possibilities. I'll report back to you.

-- Phil