*Thank you to Michelle G Art on Etsy: Visit and shop this amazing body of work here: http://www.etsy.com/market/Michelle_G_Art

Using various social platforms instead of building a digital hub/website to market and share you work is analogous to the girl who “gives it up” without any expectation of anything in return. Be clear, we are not saying “don’t give it up” but let’s be smart. Get what you need too —

1. You Are Working Hard Sending People To Social Media Platforms Each Day!

Are you working hard on social media sites, giving up your clients without getting any $$ in return? What’s the name before that backslash Facebook.com/_____ Tumblr.com/_______ YouTube.com/?

Okay, so maybe you are masking your Tumblr page with your domain name. It appears as if it’s your website. They “give you that little perk” as a concession for bringing people to their platform and as they should.

You see, it is analogous to the girl who “gives it up” without any expectation of anything in return. Be clear, we are not saying “don’t give it up” but let’s be smart. Let’s be strategic and make sure your needs are met first. Perhaps you are okay with only receiving affection: RT, Like, Share. Love is better; an investment in your brand, a sale. Create an experience that moves them to buy and allows for it to happen easily and without distraction.

Claim your real estate on the internet. Build a house/website. Use the 3rd party platforms; feed them content. Do not expect them to feed you. When they do, it’s awesome! But “the share/post” must start at your house/website. Then, use the social platform to bring people back to your website where you can collect data (email addresses and other good stuff). Deepen the engagement with people who appreciate your work, sell the content before they get distracted by someone’s silly post or another person’s product and keep them in your house/website without sending them all over the internet to view this, download that and buy this way over there. Once they leave, they are gone. No sale —

2. They Own Your Relationships On Their Platform.

When we use a social platform to connect and engage with our audiences and friends, the relationship exists on that platform. The platform owns your relationship. The platform controls the rules of engagement because the primary goal of the social platforms is just that, social engagement; but, not just with you but with everyone. When you post a new project, it is too easy for people to get distracted before they get to the link to buy. Additionally, social platforms are constantly changing their rules and policies. At one time, Facebook and Twitter allowed you to pull your friends/followers email addresses. Facebook changed their rules, now you can only connect on your brand page. Another change, now we all have a special inbox (trash can) where pages/brand messages are sent. What rules will they change next? What will you lose next?

Move the relationship with your fans to your website. A 3rd party platforms WINS when your primary connection exists on their site. Social platforms are designed for distraction. It’s too easy for your fans to get distracted by someone else’s content when they aren’t in “your house”.. your website. Meet your audience where they are (ie. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) but bring them home (we can build a new home for you).

3. “Aint Nobody Got Time for That”

Who has time to post on multiple social websites, consistently and do it well? Unless you have a powerhouse team to do it for you; you can’t and if you choose to, something else suffers. Instead, build a digital hub with “one-button push” capability. You create a post, add pic, video, mp3 (whatever you want… well, if we build it you get whatever you want) then push one button and your content automatically feeds to: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr! Done.

An intelligently designed website can become your digital hub that feeds the web’s search engines content. A website is not more work. A website allows you to work less and get more done, make a bigger impact and you get all the perks: data, sales, insight, numbers that you can leverage to expand your brand and make deals with folks who require you have a following before they take you or your body of work serious.

4. They Are Monetizing Your Followers/Friends/Fans And Prevent You From Doing The Same.** [WARNING: If you are creating simply for the common good, please skip this one.]

In advance, I apologize if you experience this as crude; yet, I don’t take it back. Perhaps you should stop reading now, so that we may remain friends. However, if you want to earn a monetary reward for your sacrifice, loss, time, and investment dollars you put into your work and brand I hope you continue reading.

Okay, so you have 50,000 fans on your Facebook Fan Page. That’s cool. But do you have their email addresses? At one time you could get their email addresses; Facebook changed their rules, not anymore. You have 100,000 followers on Twitter? Do you have their email addresses? When you try to connect with your Twitter followers one-on-one via DM’s — you get put in “Twitter Jail” — DM’s locked!

Maintain the social platforms. Heck, our favorite is Twitter. But, move your primary connection to your website (i.e. your house). You make the rules. You control the user experience. You collect their email addresses (email addresses from people who appreciate your work = gold). Then, when you have new content to share that is not FREE you have a base of people you can “sell to” instead of “posting to.” No middle man, no revenue splits (one caveat, the head of a music pr agency and I went rounds on this topic *the bar tender asked us to quiet down lol, but it was all in luv. He argues: bandcamp is a trusted music platform to sell music world-wide; however, he did concede a website powerfully brings together a brand’s story in one place vs expecting people to actually click links to your work all over the internet. I conceeded, if you don’t want to sell music directly from your website (because you can) then bandcamp can simply be embedded into your website so people don’t get distracted by another artist’s work, because that is the point.. to get people to browse other artists’ work and yours too. You truly can have the best of both worlds!

5. You Don’t Have To Keep Guessing About Which Marketing Tactics Are Working

How are you making decisions about where to invest your marketing dollars? Who is buying (gender, age, interests)? Where are your buyers (city, state, country, continent)? Did that email blast work? Who is visiting your website right after you paid for that email blast? The PR Agency doing a campaign for you in the South, is it working? How do you know?

You don’t have to guess. See for yourself by looking at your website analytics. Google Analytics can answer every single question I posed. Yes, down to their interests and real-time visitors. Start using data to inform your marketing investment decisions then continue to invest in what get results. We automatically integrate Google Analytics and show you how to obtain information about your website visitors.

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