Promote a Business without Spam?

itzhakI met Itzhak Schier through Twitter. He has helped me with some of my questions on Drupal. Last week, he asked the following in a tweet: “is looking for ways to use Twitter to promote my sites without resorting to spam as well as ways to use this as a real social network.” So I thought, oh, great post topic! I emailed some questions to Itzhak.

1. What are you selling? is a site where all merchandise or services that are offered on sale, at a discount, or at reduced price can be listed. It is the first in a galaxy of open source sites that will include social networking, goal-setting and business oriented sites with launches occurring at least weekly over the next six weeks.

2. To whom are you selling? What is your market?

Audience: Online and offline business ranging from occasional Ebay, Etsy, Bonanzle, Amazon etc sellers to major retailers.

3. What would you say if you were not afraid of spam?

WOWSN, which stands for What’s On Sale Where Now, is a simply designed, easy to use and economical worldwide listing of sales and discounts, online and offline. It is meant for all merchants who offer reduced price or free/bonus merchandise, from occasional E-bayers and users of sites such as Etsy and Bonanzie, to major bricks and mortar retailers. With sales easily indexed by category of merchandise, type of sale, price, and location, is the premier resource for consumers who look for sales and discounts especially in these recessionary times when discounts mean more and more to shoppers.

Until now, there has been no listing of merchandise which is available at a reduced price. Now, with, a shopper will begin looking for sales at her fingertips, and act immediately to either purchase the merchandise online using the easy link to the offering site, or to head out to the location where the merchandise is offered.

In essence, is the clearance or sale rack of the Internet and the place shoppers will search in order to find the best deals across the Web, across the world, or across the street.

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My response: first, Itzhak, it is an honor to have you on my blog! As I know you are an excellent webmaster from your skill in answering my Drupal questions, it sounds like you also need to learn marketing, sales and public relations. A small business owner who wears many hats! Years ago, my brother told me if he wants to learn a topic, he offers to teach a course. I am not a professor or teacher, but as a blogger, I can write a post on marketing, sales and/or public relations in order to learn along with you.

Idea 1:
I follow Jennifer Fong on Twitter whose specialty is Direct Sales. One of the tweets I see her using over and over again is “What can I do for YOU today?” In other words, try to help the folks with whom you are trying to connect. Instead of telling them what they need, ask them what they need. For lots more of Jennifer’s great ideas, please read her blog on Direct Sales & Social Media.

Idea 2:


Another person I follow on Twitter is Deidre Breakenridge. I am reading the book that she wrote with Brian Solis, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. Much of the book is directed toward larger companies, but we can apply some of it to your case as well. Here are few snippets from her book:

“Figure out who your customers are and where they go for their information. This forces PR to mirror sales strategies to reach people who could benefit from the product or service. Different people go to different places for information. First determine where you want to be, and then work backward from there.” (p. 13)

And on p. 146 there’s a great subtitle:

It’s Not About Selling, It’s about Dialogue

A tip on p. 149: Learn by reading other blogs and from the successes of others.

Regarding the successes of others, who else is doing websites of sales? Are there others that charge similar prices and do well (who are your competitors)? What can you learn from them?

Idea 3:
When I put up a website, especially one that is trying to make sales, I say put up some general information that the people in your market can use. For example, I did a website last year for a hypnotherapist, and we included a page with general information about the health benefits of hypnotherapy. Even better than a static page would be a blog with information that can help your potential clients. Then you can tweet a new post of helpful information. Once on your blog, a reader might want to click to see other pages of your site as well.

Can anyone else give Itzhak some ideas or guidance? Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “Promote a Business without Spam?

  • There’s no way you can keep the spam out. You wouldn’t believe the links that were sent to the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Leora, you’re in for a surprise. There are these “agents” advertising on Blog Carnival. A few months ago, the only thing to check was the kashrut, now you have to see what scam they want us to publicize for free.

    • I think you misunderstood the question. If one has a business to promote, how does one do it without spamming others? Obviously, whatever those businesses on Blog Carnival are doing is having the opposite result of what one would want. They are an example of what Itzhak wants to avoid.

  • Leora,
    Thanks for the recommendation above! You are absolutely right, it’s all about what you can do for others in your targeted niche market.

    Content marketing involves providing content that your target market can use RIGHT NOW without spending a dime. Then you build relationships through social networking tools, drive traffic to that content you’re providing, and build readership and referrals who sign up for your mailing list. And that ultimately results in new business.

    Keep up the great work!

    Jennifer Fong (@liajen)

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