I don't know if I have really talked about how when I started Bubbly Creations, running a small business was, well, different.
I put out a paper catalog and had a website, but it wasn't very well structured because my web building skills are, well, developing (still) and I have always felt like my place was in the kitchen making soap rather than behind a computer screen. This didn't seem to matter, folks were okay with the paper catalog. At that point, you needed a street address to be legitamate. If all you had was a website, people thought you were a crook.
Twitter was a newborn. You purchased mailing lists (you did, I didn't) and sent things through the mail. Most sales were done via craft shows or, I hosted an at-home open house to introduce people to my soap and followed up with the catalog. Facebook hadn't been invented. I don't think Etsy had either, or, if it had, it was a tiny infant too.
With the evolution of all these things, a whole new world of marketing was opened up. Suddenly, online craft sales skyrocketed and not only did you need to have a great website or use a service like etsy, you had to stand out. Suddenly, it wasn't enough for me to wrap my soap with a piece of waxed paper and some ribbon, it needed to be picture perfect. And I needed (need) to be a photographer. A professional one with light boxes and vinettes.
Suddenly, I needed to be blogging and tweeting and facebooking EVERY DAY in order to keep my audience. But the old fashioned me still wants to send things in the mail.
Which is why I do. Sure, I twitter, sometimes, but mostly, I want to interract with you, my customers on a personal level so I try not to tweet constantly about what is new in the Soaping world. I would rather let you know that your favorite scent is soon to be replenished or tell you something happy than clog your feed with random facts about stuff you've never heard of. I like to use facebook not just as a vehical for coupons and giveaways, I want you to get to know me and give me the chance to get to know you on a personal level.
My pictures aren't perfect, but I have a good product. My website isn't fancy (although yesterday I added a new banner and I am REALLY proud of it!) but I hope that I am spending the time to get to know you and to develop a product that makes you smile when you use it. I want you to get as excited about new scents and products as I do. After all, soap is a personal care product and I want my customers to know that I care for them personally.