LESSON 14: My mother always told me, “You will find out that the hardest lessons in life are the better learned.” How many times has her bit of sage knowledge proven correct?
One of the tag lines for HIDE A HEART is: ‘Give HIDE A HEART instead of a card to inspire perpetual expression.’ Implementing the suggestion, I will occasionally send a HIDE A HEART product to someone whom I discover is celebrating a special anniversary or may be struggling with a health issue or recently suffered a loss. It’s my way of practicing ‘random acts of kindness.’ Unfortunately the way I went about trying to create a good outcome, turned into something that went woefully wrong.
I have grown used to tweeting, posting on FB or other blogs and mindlessly adding my Etsy shop address http://hideaheart.etsy.com . In fact I have set up email to show all addresses to which HIDE A HEART product or information can be found as a way to ‘market on a budget’. It never crossed my mind that a benevolent offer would be interpreted as one for marketing HIDE A HEART….and that was the problem.
I use the http://www.twitter.com/hideaheart account mostly to post new product suggestions or for posting links of other blog posts or tweets that I consider worthwhile sharing. In a recent tweet, my thought was to provide a link to the product I was offering the recipient, HOWEVER I did NOT craft the post well and I did not follow what I have come to realize are some very rudimentary ‘rules of engagement’. Perhaps sharing my bitter lesson may prove helpful to you.
Let’s start with these questions: Do you tweet? Make respectful and ‘relative to post’ comments on other blogs? Ever offer to make a ‘gift’ of your product…but have the offer misunderstood because the tweet and comment looked more like a product advertisement?
- If you are offering a service or a product, either ‘add to favorites’ the blog upon which you wish to make a comment, offer a service or product or write the address down or copy/paste the address to a word.doc
- Look for a ‘contact us’ tab and send an email to the blog author to discuss your idea or
- Send a message to the blog author through the ‘Send a message’ tab on his/her FB page to discuss your idea BEFORE making the offer or posting a comment, in particular if the blog you are thinking of commenting upon is one of sensitive content.
Once you have the author’s permission to go ahead and make a comment or a tweet, you may want to:
- Craft a tweet without your shop address so it doesn’t look like an advertisement
- Craft your blog comment without a shop address or email address
Where things got dicey for me is:
- I did not see the ‘contact us’ tab on the blog
- Then the tweet I made of the sensitive content of the blog was cross-purposed when I added the Etsy shop address. (I was trying to let people know about the blog because the content was one of importance but if you look at the Twitter page, you will see the wallpaper is repeated photos of HIDE A HEART thus leading the author of the blog to believe I was inappropriately trying to capitalize upon grief)
While things have been settled through the grace of the blog author, my regret lingers but thankfully the lesson shan’t be forgotten.