Saturday, July 28, 2012

It is my job, after all.

Promotion. Yeah, I stink at it. I think it comes from the fact that I have had acquaintances before, people I have perhaps only met once, or who found my email from a homeschool list or something, and suddenly the only contact they have with me is to try to sell me anything from make-up to the latest health craze product. No, "Hi, how are you doing?" or "How's the family/band/toothache/whatever?" I'm just a potential customer because I happen to breathe.

I fully understand the need for promoting. I really do. Additionally, there is only so much time in the day to "socialize" with people in a real way, you don't want to socialize with them in a fake way just for the business, and you can't socialize with everyone you may want to sell a bottle of vitamins to or you'd spend your day, well, socializing and not working. It's a real dilemma.

When I started a Kindermusik business about 15+ years ago I walked around all day seeing all parents of little kids as dollar signs. I didn't mean to do it, but I invested a lot in the licensing, instruments, curriculum, and promotion and I really needed to sell some classes if I was going to get a return on my investment, and hopefully make a slight profit. Most of the friends I made during that time didn't end up sticking around as friends later, partly because the friendship was made only through the classes I was selling them. Friendships made in homeschooling groups and churches had staying power. I don't like to surround myself with those I'm looking at simply as dollar signs. I don't like to look at anyone as a dollar sign at all.

What about the band? For the most part, I have tried to keep my friend life and my "please help me book a gig" life separate, but the fact remains that you sometimes can only get gigs, especially at churches, because of who you know, not simply because you are good at what you do. So I ask my friends at times and feel guilty, like I've crossed a "friend" line somewhere.

Then there is a thing called social media. I love social media. Facebook funnies about cats doing silly things, political articles that preach to my personal choir, recipes, and even some honest keeping up with friends who live on the other side of the country. I don't look at it as a marketing opportunity because I don't want to. It's my playground, and who wants a commercial on your playground? I know some use it to grind their axes and market their product, and a few use it for what they do believe are noble purposes from spreading important information to spreading the gospel, but then I start to feel like I'm a project, even when I agree with them. So, I keep to my friends on the playground, because many of them still point me to great articles or doctrinal insights, but then it is information coming from friends, and that makes all the difference.

How on earth does one promote without crossing the invisible friend line then? If there is a perfect balance, I don't yet know what it is, but the facts of life (the fact where you must eat, and that's the facts), require that I learn quickly how to navigate this territory. Real friends don't mind helping a friend out with their business promotion, because I've done it for other friends and "like" pretty much every family band out there, good or bad, to encourage them in their pursuit.

With that in mind, I came up with one of those "social marketing" things this morning.
Here comes the promotion. You have been warned.
To find more fans on facebook, we'll do a drawing for free CDs if the link to our page is shared with a suggestion to friends to "like" our page. Go see it!

I'm also going to use this blog for something it wasn't exactly designed to do, but it is simply part of my job as a mom (to brag about my children, of course), and throw in a few recent videos that were posted and nabbed from youtube.

So here comes the bragging. You have been warned...


Ok, admit it. My kids are awesome. I'd take credit, but God made them that way, so that means God is also the author of all that is awesome, and I'm very thankful to get to share in a bit of that.

Now off to make promotional packets and talk people into liking us.

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