- My blog is the conversation I have with customers
- Flickr is the eye-candy and window-dressing
- Artfire is the functional shop
- My website is the historical store of conversations and information
- What is the IRL equivalent of this online activity?
- How would I behave IRL (in real life)?
The other part of doing business that can have a potentially discouraging or downer effect on your business and online presence: negative feedback or complaints. My goal is to be a good business citizen and do whatever is within my power to create a positive satisfied customer through honesty, integrity, quality, and genuine concern for my customer's happiness. However, at a certain point, you do have to realize you can't be everything to everyone. It helps to plan to be accommodating yet firm. Small businesses who exemplify this are the small businesses I mentioned in the opening. I've watched their blogs, their public interactions and they consistently convey a kind, respectful, yet firm, attitude toward the public.
Another consideration: I have made a conscious decision to NOT participate in areas that can breed negativity. Etsy forums are touted as a good way to bring in new customers. Unfortunately, I find the minimal moderation a breeding ground for negative situations and train wrecks. Just as I don't put myself in a situation where a barfight might break out, I don't participate in unmoderated or poorly moderated forums.