red bootsThe hardest part about selling online, especially for creative people, is simple:  It is that dastardly word


(It feels like a sobering Halloween squeal should come in here.

Creative people are good people.  I like creative people.  I also know a lot of them don’t do a terrific job of SE**ING.   (Yeah, it is a dirty word in many ports.)

If you think SE**ING is tough, you NEED to be online.

It is a whole new world of sales online.

Selling online is a whole lot different than selling at an art show.  At an art show, you stand and wait for potential customers to come up, and you likely meekly answer their questions, even if the price of each item is clearly marked.  Rarely do you get to engage your visitor in real conversation, talk about your work process, or help her find something that is truly just right.

All of that changes online.

Online selling is an invitation, something that sort of says, “I’d be pleased if you stopped by and we talked about what you really want/need.”

I know, not everyone does it that way.  There are lots of carnival hawkers out there who literally shout their message

Come and Get It NOOOOOW, before it is allllll gooooone!!!

Good grief, I hate those hawkers too.

Sadly, some of them do make money.

But I suspect that the customers you and I are looking for are the intelligent ones, the ones who look at value, the ones less susceptible to the whims of the moment.  No matter how we promote our product or service, the message is so much softer, like

Take a look at this item.  It will make your life so much easier/ smarter/ sexier/ better.

That doesn’t mean we have to be Pollyannas.  On the contrary.  Look at the red boots above.  I love that ad.  Minimum verbiage, but it really gets the message across.  Anyone looking for boots, especially red boots, is clicking through on this one.

So where do you place all these wonderful ads?  Lots of places actually, like

  •  Gently, in posts that you make on FaceBook
  • A little stronger in ads you place on FaceBook
  • In your signature in every email, perhaps as a “Special for You” offer
  • On your blog or website
  • In Tweets
  • In your newsletters, perhaps even more than once
  • In ads your place on others’ sites

I do wish those shouters would get a muzzle.  Fortunately, FaceBook is bringing some of the shouting under control.  Under new FaceBook ad guidelines, ad placement preference goes to those ads that use ONLY images in the image block area.  The more text you use in the image block, the harder and more expensive it will be to promote your product.  In the ad above, for example, for really top placement take the “Hot Hot Hot” words off the image and put them in the text area.

FaceBook is really smart.  Their whole goal is to give a good experience for their users.  Without their users, they have nothing.  We need to take a page out of that playbook and give our own users/customers as great a buying experience as we possibly can.