Know their Product
So this is my first post on the Second Life Bloggers Support blog. The topic of today’s post comes from sitting on the many sides of the Hexagon, that is Second Life.
As a blogger you want to broaden your range, you discover a store, and you believe you have a tried and true method of communication. The problem is, that tried and true method can let you down, and you may not know it.
Take the time to know how a Designer wishes to be communicated with. If a creator had time to take random IMs all day, they would not hire staff, and while not all stores have staff, they still have preferred methods of communication. Now not to land in the hypocritical box on that one, if you have in the past spoken to or interacted with a designer, you may feel you have built a rapport with them enough to IM them, but understand that if you jump the fence, there may not be a response.
If sending a notecard, a basic template version you typed up a few years back, those things are hazardous. Second Life is not that reliable. You may think that deleting the last Designers name you sent it to, to input the new one makes it somewhat more personal…but not when it does not take, and the next designer you send it to, gets the name of the last designer you sent it to. Getting incorrectly addressed notecards is a horrible experience, even though we know accidents happen, it just ruins the interaction from the start.
Second Life errors aside, it does give one the impression that you are just raining those things down like dollar bills in a bad music video, with no real consideration to where or how they land. If you plan to send to a bunch of stores, make fresh notecards, you can copy paste the information, but give the Designer some respect and make it theirs and theirs alone. Take that time, because it does matter. Also do not share your notecards with other bloggers/friends to use as their own, there is nothing that will kill any chance you have of receiving attention than a Designer or Manager seeing the same notecard from three different people, and if you are unfortunately the second and third, you lose, as it reeks of insincerity.
Designers also keep track of transactions, so if you are contacting a Designer know what you are talking about, or be truthful about the approach. If you have never shopped in their store before, don’t tell them you have. There is nothing wrong with saying, I just found your store and I really like what I am seeing ____________ the rest of that conversation would be up to you.
Designers are not silly, they also know that you cannot be expected to buy everything that you want to feature, but be honest about that, if they like your blog, your photography, what you say or don’t say in your posts and want to send you items, that is awesome, but if they don’t that is fine too. If you do honestly love their work you can go shopping next time you have funds, you can also look around for a gift or freebie they may have, and feature that, as it will get your readers in the door and show your appreciation of their work. Don’t praise the pants off them literally and not mean it, just getting stuff for your blog should not drive you. It should be about helping the readers you have gained from your dedication to blogging, find creations and options they may not know of, nor would have considered without your insight. It should always be genuine.
While you may have alts, and it is possible your whole inventory is that brand on another account so you feel somewhat entitled to be familiar with the Designer, it is the avatar you are talking to them through that is making the impression, make it the right one. Know who you are speaking to, and what you are speaking to them about. Don’t contact a store praising their products, and then ask them for items they don’t make, based off of some miscredited item you saw someone else blogging or some incorrect information you obtained in a group. If you are actually interested in a brand, look at the store, look at their products, try the demos of their items to make sure they even carry your size. Know enough about the brand and their items before you even consider approaching the Designer, because if your readers ask questions, you want to provide them with as much information as you can.
Show respect to them as you would in any business interaction…there are no Dears or Hons on the other side of a desk, and essentially any interaction of this nature is a business one. The people you contact are running businesses, you are a marketing tool for that business, and there are now literally thousands of other bloggers that can shine a very similar light on their brand. You have to present yourself the best way that you can, you are wanting to show that you are the perfect fit for their items, and that you will do the most to achieve the attention you wish them to have from your readership. This is a professional relationship you are trying to build upon.
My opinion on this differs from some, but I also know it is the same thoughts as those that I respect, and admire who have been a valued part of the Second Life Blogosphere as long as I have been, they know who they are. You are ALWAYS ON! How you represent yourself and your blog is 24/7 because you have put yourself in the public’s eye. People are always watching you, and you are representing every single brand you promote. If you do not carry yourself with this sincerity and consideration at all times it will affect your recognition as a blogger of note.
Put your best Bloggers foot forward, and never be afraid to ask advice about these things; that is what the SL Bloggers Support group is for.
We want all Bloggers to be all that they can be, which is the greatest asset to content creators, and an invaluable resource to Second Life Residents from all over the Grid.