Do I know who you are?

Need a break from the bookkeeping posts? Yeah, me too.

Okay, picture this… it’s Cyber Monday. Lots of people are out shopping on the Internet for all the things they couldn’t find on Black Friday. Now I’m not a believer in these one-day blowout specials. However, that day I’d been convinced to make a purchase for my art career. But with my finger poised on the Commit to Buy button, I lingered… was this something I really needed?

I decided to think out loud in a short conversation with my children. In their teens now, I hope I’ve raised them to be free thinkers. So, when I asked my youngest if he thought I was making a good buy, he shrugged and told me, “What do you know about them?”

Tree Swing
3.5 x 2.5 acrylic ACEO
© 2010 Dawn Blair
Find me at http://www.zibbet.com/dawnblair

Good question. What did I know about these people? From Twitter and looking at their website, I knew they were trying to promote art. They run artists’ galleries and forums on their website for free and support it buy selling information. Not a new thing in today’s age. A noble cause. But yes, what did I know about them personally?

My finger left the Buy button.

Stop! Isn’t this what we’re trying to avoid? Don’t we want people to carry through with the purchase. Social media is about gaining people’s trust to convert them to customers. This sounds callous and flat, but it’s true — people buy from people they trust. Someone’s got goods and someone wants to buy. We all want to buy, but we don’t want to be sold. Here I was ready to buy, but I suddenly didn’t trust enough to let them sell to me.

I started looking at their profiles on their sales site and Twitter — the profiles all talked about their company (the face they want the world to see), but not about them personally. Part of their sales pitch was that they had been involved with this sort of information since “she” was 19. Pardon me for the “she” but I don’t even know the gender of the people I’m dealing with, though I do remember seeing a pronoun of “he” somewhere when the text mentioned “her” partner. So, now I realize that I don’t know if I’m dealing with he, she, or something else. I don’t know if these people are 20, 40, 60, or 500. Yeah, here I was about to make a purchase from someone who may have only been doing this for a year (or less!) but because the text said “since I was 19” it sounded more impressive than it may have been.

Eventually I ended up back on their artist website to look for an About page. Guess what? If you’re seeing the trend as I was you’ll know no such page existed. A contact page, yes. I could’ve emailed them with my questions, but at that point if they wanted to tell me they were four-legged Chinese men permanently tied together in a three legged race stance who painted while they stood on their heads, oh and paint brushes in their eight toes and furry lips, who was I to know any different. No pictures of these people either anywhere. Their Twitter avatar is a logo.

Finally, I gave up my quest. I had no idea who these people were, what they believed in, what they did in their spare time, how old they were, who they collected, etc. How could I trust someone who stood behind a black screen. It was really like going to an artist’s booth at a show and finding only the art inside and a whole bunch of unresponsive people sitting around behind the booth. If they didn’t care to interact with me, then I didn’t want to make a purchase. So, my “almost vendors” on Cyber Monday went away without making the sale.

It’s too bad. This would’ve been easy to remedy and a purchase would’ve been made. I know, you’re thinking, “Yes, with a simple profile or About page. But I really hate writing about myself. I don’t even like mine!” Yeah, well I hope to soon change your mind about that! Let me know what you hate about your About page and next time I’ll share so ideas with you.

You’re going to love this!

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