New Quilts Added!

These quilts will be added to my site on 12/1/2007.


My second passion.....

I created a business based on my passion for patchwork quilts. Little did I know it would spawn a new passion....

I always knew I would develop a business around my favorite past-time, which is home decorating. When I started out with my internet business, I was told to select a niche with one product, and become an expert in a field with little competition. What I didn't know was how much my e-commerce education would fascinate me. Not only did I have to teach myself html, link trading, webrings, affliate marketing, PPC advertising, SEO techniques, Page Rank,SERPs and the intriguing study of website analytics.

These are the entry level topics every webmaster has to, well, master. But it is the intangible gleanings from random bits of information stumbled upon while researching that tease the neural networks in my brain. Every once in a while, seemingly disconnected factoids tucked away will suddenly find connections that reveal a concept that springs into bright wholeness, surprising and amazing me with delightful clarity.

I recently experienced such an enlightenment while working on a rather mundane subject - keyword research. I have brainstormed with friends, tried every keyword research tool on the web, performed A/B testing and still never quite "got it". I could never get into the mindset of potential customers looking for quality patchwork quilts. I created campaigns for patchwork quilts, bedding, bedroom decor, wedding gifts, heirloom gifts, college student apartments, and many more. While my efforts were fairly successful, they lacked depth and true insight into my customer's core motivations for buying a quilt.

Then a few days ago, I was studying a totally different subject, good copy writing techniques. Good copy appealing to emotions is very powerful. Then the light bulb came on. I knew how to find the exact motivators that influence buying behaviours. It is a surprisingly simple idea- just ask them!

After working on several variations of questions, I decided on a direct approach. On my subscription form, I added this leading statement:
"The first word that comes to mind about our shop is.... "

The results were amazing.

First, the question purposely precludes thoughtful reflection, or conscious consideration, which usually stunts creativity with an innate fear of criticism. I wanted core beliefs and values that shape decisions and evaluations.

Second, by subtly limiting the response to only one word and asking for the first (immediate) impression, I prompted instinctive and fundamental responses with ingenuous honesty. Best of all, I collected the exact motivators I was looking for! I can influence positive decisions using words that carry personal meanings.

I know the precepts of NLP recommend mimicking a person's mannerisms and speech pattern to create a sense of familiarity and comfort to build trust. That notion must be attached to rogue neuron in my brain; it just didn't connect with how to understand my visitors. Maybe it is the anonymity of the web that shunted personal interaction.

For the curious, some of the words submitted were grandmother, charm, warmth, beautiful, enticing, want, unique, comforting, cozy, indulgence, quality, beauty, home-y, friendly, my room, beauty and country. I believe these responses are very revealing.

Now I need another eureka moment to understand what they are revealing.....