Mommy Needs a Business is all about the joys of running your own business. You never drafted a complete business plan, you couldn't be further from your law school degree and you are now referring to your 12 years of law enforcement as your "former life." But you get to screen print tee shirts in your pajamas while pulling your toddler and preschooler out of vats of ink. What more could a mom want?
Check out Kristen's blog, Mommy Needs a Cocktail.
As I prepare to attend this trade show in September, the phone calls have begun. I have been inundated with calls about advertising in trade magazines, on websites, in commercials and as a featured advertiser. Everyone wants to sell me ad space. Who knew there was so much ad space out there?
I think it’s clear to anyone reading this blog that I am fairly new to this game. I started my business in 2006 on the internet. While my tees are now available in coffee shops and boutiques beyond Baby Brewing.com, mine has been a journey solely on the Internet Super Highway. I’ve advertised on blogs written by writers that shared my sense of humor and had a faithful readership. I’ve held contests on my blog to encourage reader participation. I’ve encouraged my readers to spread the word by offering incentives if they wrote a post about my contests on their blogs. In addition to the motivation of getting rewards (gift cards, free tees), readers became a part of Baby Brewing by contributing their fabulous ideas. This raised the chances of them coming back to Baby Brewing when they were in a market for a tee. New product? Threw that baby up on Twitter to let everyone know. Instant sales.
So when I started to get approached to do “traditional advertising” before this huge show, I’ll admit I was curious to hear the pitch. I know several people attending the show as well so I gave them a call to cross-reference stories. You can tell me I’m on the short list but am I supposed to believe I’m on the short list? It appears that on one occasion, I WAS on a short list. The pitch sounded good. An interview, exclusivity and an opportunity for me to get what appeared to be a lot of exposure. The cost was relatively steep for me (”American Express, have I reached my limit yet?”) but I listened with interest until the red flags appeared.
The really nice gentleman used the phrase “well, everyone knows that television is where it is at.” Don’t worry. I’m not going to say that I disagree with the old-timer. I am going to say that as an owner who has grown her business through viral marketing and social media, I’m slightly surprised that the industry is holding on so tightly to the past. I don’t know. In this generation of Tivo, is someone going to watch this video through the end to see me? I was still on the line 45 minutes later when he sealed the deal. “I don’t know what you sell but it must be good to have made it on our list.”
You don’t know what I sell? How can you consider me “cutting edge” and “prominent” in my field if you don’t even know what I sell?
I understand sales and marketing people have a tough job. I realize there are only so many hours in the day. But taking the 10 seconds to enter in my website address on your computer to look at my business would have been a huge step towards building a relationship with me (and possibly getting my money). There is most certainly a place for traditional advertising in my business. I’m probably just not going to part with my money this month.
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