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Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Framar, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I keep receiving invitations to join Linkedin. Finally a fellow Grumbler sent me an invitation and I figured, what the heck? But even though I seem to have been accepted after entering a password (without any personal info) I stopped the sign-in process when I could not decide what category to place myself in. Arts and Crafts, Design, Retail?

    Why don't they just let folks write in what category they wish to be placed into?

    I have quit numerous applications just for this reason (including popular search engines).

    If they do not have a category for you - what category do you choose?
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  2. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

  3. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    So what makes Linkedin any different from Merchant Circle or any of us who added reciprocal links to our websites?

    What dies Linkedin actually do to benefit us?

    Can anyone describe a plus for being a member of Linkedin?
  4. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Mar, you need my social media class! There can be huge benefits to Linkedin. Linked is a B to B professional site that can bring in money if you use it correctly. At the very least, I would complete a profile for yourself AND your business. Your customers are there so you should be too.

    I use Linkedin for all sorts of reasons, including checking out any corporate clients I am about to see. Don't think they are not checking you out as well. On a retail level, I have had customers from my distant past find me there, and then come in to the shop.

    I also use it for prospecting corporate business.

    Think of it as your online resume and the same for your shop. Create links back to the business. Connect with others. It takes a while, but it can be useful and very professional.
  5. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The invitations I have received so far are from acquaintances and framers. Not potential customers.

    So, Kirstie, since I am never going to be able to take your course in Social Media, what category do you list yourself in, Fine Arts? That doesn't seem any more fitting than the others I mentioned.
  6. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Fine art, arts and craft or retail are all ok, just pick the one that represents your business best. Linkedin is not a custom site, however it does cater for most need.

    Most framers on linkedin have opted for one of the above.

    Fine art is not an exact match for my business, which is virtually 100% focused on sale of archival and conservation products now, however it is close enough most of my customers who use linkedin have opted for the same category.

    Linkedin is free, don't over analysis it.
  7. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This is from the MacInTouch web site, a news and technical reports site for all things Mac. (Ric Ford is the administrator of the site.)


    George Wedding
    Recently, I learned first hand that LinkedIn's Web software is mining the private computer address book contacts of members using a purposely vague and deceitful software interface. I discovered that LinkedIn can reach into contacts stored on computers and use this data to send out link invitations without explicit approval. It does this even if members never have uploaded their address book contacts to the Web site.
    While I was logged into the LinkedIn Web site on the evening of February 26, 2012, LinkedIn's software apparently was able to reach into my Apple Mail Address Book and simultaneously send out 76 unapproved link invites, including one that went to another small business owner who had been a rival in a nasty, website copyright infringement episode. Afterwards, the company owner contacted me and wanted to know why I would want to trade links after he had paid me a sizable infringement fee and penalties for misusing my professional photographs. Obviously, I had never authorized the embarrassing transmission of such an invite.
    Without my knowledge or permission, LinkedIn gathered what appears to have been a random group of contacts from my address book and sent out invites while I was logged in (and right in the middle of writing a job "recommendation" for another member). The software intrusively interrupted my work to present a page reporting it had sent out the group invites. It did not inform me it was about to do this beforehand and did not present a page asking permission. Indeed, I wondered why LinkedIn would do this while I was deeply focused on a completely unrelated activity on the Web site. As I was mulling over what had just happened, I received one quick response, which just happened to be from the aforementioned copyright infringer (who must have been online at that very moment). I realized I had a problem and stopped writing to wade through the LinkedIn interface and find my profile and settings. The Web site indicated that I had not uploaded or stored any addresses.
    After additional searching (and receiving a few more "accepted" invite notifications), I found a list of "pending invitations" on the LinkedIn Web site. The software did allow me to cancel the pending invites that had not yet been accepted, but the poorly designed interface only allowed cancellations one at a time, a tedious and time-consuming process. I finally waded through the long list and managed to cancel about 40 of the most egregiously inappropriate invites, but only after another 20 minutes of frustrating editing.
    It appears to me that LinkedIn has devised an interface conceived to mask background data mining activities from members and a privacy policy that wrongfully justifies its use of data you've never uploaded to its servers. In an e-mail response, LinkedIn Customer Support apologized for my "problem", but refuses to acknowledge that its software reached into my private address book without permission.
    I believe this is evidence of yet another serious and unacceptable privacy intrusion by an online company. In light of a report this week about LinkedIn hacker intrusions and other recent online privacy breeches, I thought you'd be interested in knowing about LinkedIn's own intrusive misuse of member data and an apparent inconsistency in its own privacy policy.

    [I personally received several LinkedIn invitations from a contact who never intended or authorized those invitations and apologized after finding out that I'd received them. (I'm not in LinkedIn.) This was sometime last year, I believe. -Ric Ford]
  8. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Rats - it appears that there is no way to become LinkedOUT.


    Searched for how to disconnect and found it. Reason for closing account: Unconvinced. :thumbsup:
  9. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    I suspect this happened because the person inadvertently some how gave Linkedin premission to access the address book.

    You have to manualy go through a number of steps to allow Linkedin access an address book.

    The details of what happened sound to me like someone who did something a bit stupid did not realise they did it and when they found out passed the blame on to something else.

  10. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I signed up for LinkedIn and was inundated with emails from them. It plucked my nerves so bad that I LinkedOut.
  11. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Linkedin is not for everyone, its focus is for business professionals who want to link with like minded people around the world. I would fully accept that not everyone will find it to their liking.

    As such Linkedin is a business social platform, it is not a lifestyle social forum.

    I have to say that I have found Linkedin the best and most relevant forum for my business.
  12. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    How long ago is it since you signed up for Linkedin?

    You can manage within you Linkedin account how often they communicate with you, from zero to as often as you want them to, in fact if you are in some of the groups on Linkedin and don't visit them very often, Linkedin will automatically reduce how often they communicate with you based on your activity.
  13. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well, I joined Linkedin because it was recommended to me by a customer.

    I joined a while ago and since then have received the odd email containing such priceless information as "Mr x is now connected to Mr Y" (Nice for them but why should I care??) It hasn't irritated me enough to send me searching for the exit process yet but it certainly hasn't been in any way useful either. I guess I am just not sure what the heck I am supposed to be doing with it and should learn to use it properly or dump it.
  14. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Deleted but Framing:
  15. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    I suspect that in your location if you get to understand how Linkedin works it could become a very powerful marketing tool for your business, that is if you business has a focus on B2B activities, Linkedin I feel is less useful to consumer activities.

    The reason I feel Linkedin is usefull to my business is that it is virtually a 100% B2B operation, that said Facebook plays a part also all be it a very minor roll in comparison to Linkedin, I have a Twitter account, however I find that for the main part it is irreverent to what I do.
  16. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Even if you are not active, I would not dump it. You can set preferences to eliminate all e-mail notifications, but I would not do that either. If I did that I would not see the occasional notice from a customer. The last one of those brought in around $900. Also, if you keep both personal and business Linkedin accounts you keep the links to your web site, and that's always a good think for your rankings.

    You won't get any significant benefit from Linkedin unless you use it to contact others, join business groups and get active. I still have a long way to go in this area.
  17. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm not trying to discourage use of LinkedIn, but I have found experiences posted on MacInTouch to be of concern. There are more today, including this:

    J Land
    Just thought I'd add this LinkedIn experience. I joined years ago, and in about a month hated it, quit. I kept getting invites as a still active member. I let it go on and just ignored the invites, but after about a year I said "enough" and logged on sure enough was still active even though I had pushed all the right buttons to be deactivated. So I did it again, being very careful to do whatever the buttons were asking so that I could quit and deactivate. Didn't give it much thought until about a year later when I started once again getting invites to be in their network from legit people I knew who found me on LinkedIn as an active member in mutual friends' networks. Again I never responded. Eventually I got sick of seeing the word LinkedIn enough to go back to quit again. And sure enough again, yet again, I logged on and it greeted me as if I had never quit. I quit again.
    We'll see.

    Here is the link to the site's overall Security discussion area:

    :kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
  18. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Again I suspect this is someone who doesn’t understand what they are doing are wont take the time to find out.

    They are what I call “pass the blame mob”

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but these post by users appear to be from people who have taken a fleeting look at Linkedin, have not bothered to try and learn how Linkedin works and when something goes wrong or something is happening that they have not bothered to try and learn about, they start to blame others.

    I will stand correct, however they do appear to be pass the blame sort of posts.
  19. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    MacInTouch is a well-regarded site for information about the Mac world. The site's administrator, Ric Ford, has reported personal experience with email spamming from contacts there. Although not an active user, I do have a LI account, and receive communications now and then. So far, I don't know of any from "unauthorized" contacts. I only posted these references in the context of the overall LinkedIn discussion, to let people know of some issues and concerns that are "out there". Also, there have been discussions in the news media lately regarding smartphone and other apps which harvest a user's contacts file without user knowledge, so this seemed relevant.
    :kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
  20. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Deleted by Framing:

    Interesting that is twice today that i posted from my Galaxy pad that i ended up with duplicated posts.
  21. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    So what are you saying about Linkedin ! Posting stuff about a few people who appeared to have a bad experience and who clearly don't really know why is saying a lot is in my book !

    Perhaps the issue is with Apple and how there software interfaces with other applications, has that been taken into consideration by the folks who made the accusations about Linkedin !

    I was one of the first few thousand that signed up for Linkedin, this is the first I have heard about issues like what Apple users are saying.

    It interesting to hear this sort of stuff now that apple are challenged with mass user security rather than the security they faced in there niche markets for years, could the possibility be that apple security is not as robust as we are lead to believe, now that they have to play a big boys game.
  22. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have no troubles with using any Mac on Linkedin. I'm a member of some groups in Linkedin and I noticed that many service-providers hang around in Linkedin. A huge medium full of coaches and trainers to learn entrepreneurs to become better entrepreneurs...... Or trainers to offer relaxing and other side-activities. But I found not so many real producing entrepreneurs till now. It's a medium that shows you the inside of the virtual economy. And it shows the struggling of many who try to make some money with it.
  23. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Interesting - I linkedOUT to LinkedIn two days ago and this morning I received a "How to make the most of my new iInkedIn account!" email from them. Oy - they are like Hotel California. :cry:
  24. Rebecca

    Rebecca SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    LinkedIn has some very interesting subgroups, and one can create one's own subgroup too. I found it very useful to meet with other paper conservators, mainly in Europe. It is a wonderful way to share knowledge and make new professional friends. :)
  25. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Regarding privacy concerns with Linkedin, I am not too concerned because Linkedin profiles and company profiles are available for public view. That is the point. YOu want people to find you and your business. I have links back to our business and I know that the exposure can only be helpful. If my customers see me there, all the better.

    You do have the ability to either share your contacts or not share them with your first level contacts, and there are arguments for both. Sharing them is in the general spirit of Linkedin, not sharing them may protect you from your competitors if you are connected with your important client contacts. I have not connected with key corporate contacts for this very reason. If you are an art consultant, you may not want to share your contact list with others if it includes key artist contacts that you consider propiietary.

    I have not tried to sign off form Linkedin, so I can't speak to those concerns, but on the whole, I have found it beneficial and it has actually led to a few sales.

    I also use it to research contacts whom I might want to talk to about corporate work. It always helps to know more about the person you may be meeting. Others may check you out too, so I would take care with your profile.

    Finally, don't forget to set up a company profile for your business.
  26. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The opportunity to find customers at or with Linkedin is less than 1%.
  27. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Sorry I cannot agree, Linkedin is currently my biggest source of new customers, I'm getting 3 or 4 new good contacts a week via Linkedin, most who turn into very good customers. In fact I have only had one contact via Linkedin that I would describe as a waste of time.

    Most serious potential professional customers I'm targeting are using Linkedin.

    For a professional business person these days not having a Linkedin profile is like not having a business card.
  28. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If your typical customer is a stay-at-home parent, or their job does not require networking in their own field - you will not benefit very much.

    However if your market has a large number of high profile types, get started and use it slow and steady. You will get a network and then people will find you. Better than average people will find you.

    Tip - don't use the canned invites thru LI. Make your own and email directly to people that you know. This is about professional relationships. Automated communication rarely implys you put much effort into it.
  29. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "For a professional business person these days not having a Linkedin profile is like not having a business card."

    This is starting to be so common that it will soon be assumed that you have a profile instead of "oh good, you have one too . . "
  30. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Good advice, Eric. BTW, do you network with your customers or do you keep those names close? How about suppliers? Other framers? Do you have your contact list open or closed?

    I would love to hear how you are developing customers via Linkedin. Given time and tenacity, I think Linkedin can be a gold mine.
  31. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    For you (and framers) it can be a goldmine as you not Kirstie. All those businessmen, managers and entrepreneurs are potential customers. For my products it's zero.
  32. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Peter, your customers and potential customers are on LinkedIn.

    For example Martin Harold is on it, as are other framing suppliers, such as Glenwood Mouldings - Ireland, and other framing supplie houses around the world. I even have a link with a conservation/framing supply company in Brazil http://www.conservart.com.br/conservart/conservart.php

    I'm assuming this is your business http://www.odemssystems.com/
  33. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think my list is open - check link at bottom.

    After looking down my list of contacts, its about 90+ percent actual framing customers that I worked with in person, the rest are key framing industry people that I have contact with from here on TG or other social media.

    I am about to start a real exhaustive campaign of going through my customer list and a) hunting them down in all the places they might appear: FB, twitter, LI, . . . . then b) sending them an email inviting them to connect/support me in my online efforts. It will include a nice visual and teasers about what is to come. REMEMBER - my focus is strictly online for now, not develping frame orders BUT the fomula will still work for that. You guys should not sell your framing up front, you should sell your relationship.

    I will spend time on each customer, even hours, really reaching out to them and getting them excited about what I am offering. By keeping the number of outgoing requests small, you can have time to give them attention, replying back and forth several times. Each communication must seem as one of a kind, catered to them. You can't do that with a mass-mail, click here to invite all you friend function. Save that until AFTER they are part of your association. It will work then, not up front - too cold.

    Then - I will put out an appeal for them to recommend me. This is when things will explode. IMHO.

    Since I am not at that point yet, I will hold off on the how's of it.

    PS - although, as I was typing this I thought 'why not start with the exhisting list on LI and start with the appeal to recommend NOW?' so I will start on that this weekend!!
  34. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Haha... yes Martin is in it as well..... But so far only two Dutch companies had found the correct formula to sell my hanging-systems. All others have no clue and than it sinks into all other stuff they sell. Selling only works in combination with empty wooden frames to consumers and not to framers as Martin supposed to do. So they focused for selling as for framers-use and that's only a very small part of the market that should decide for using it.
  35. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Not so fast.

    Do you have distribution in all the areas that you want?

    Does every person in the role of recommend/specify for a project know about your product?

    You said "The opportunity to find customers at or with Linkedin is less than 1%." For your sitiation, you might be right. It might be .01% but that one contact could result in significant amount sales over a projected period of time. That you be a measurable percentage of your sales, maybe more than 1%.
  36. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I wish it was as simple as that..... I did 3 years to try explaining my products to Lion and they never understood. So they started to sell to framers and even incomplete.... If I should sell it together with empty wooden frames for paintings and direct to consumers, I could have a chance as I think.

    A second argument for bigger stores is that they have no interest in my systems because the sales per item brings too little profit. They like to have as much as possible expensive stuff in their shop, because the action to sell something sheep is the same as to sell something expensive.
  37. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Peter I had a quick look at your products, I suspect that you are targeting the wrong market for what you sell, your product I feel would do better been sold through the conservation sector.

    Also, if it is so difficult and time consuming to communicate how your product is sold, I can only conclude that it is to complex a product for its intended market or you have not been conveying in a simple manner how the product can be used, I have seen many products bite the dust over the year suffering from the designers inability to simplify the instructions for its use.

    The picture framing hanging system producers from Sweden and Japan don’t bother trying to sell via the general framing sector they target the conservation sector and the framers in that sector.

    I’m going way off topic here if you want to continue this discussion drop me an email, dermot@ote.ie
  38. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It's not complex at all. It's made far to complex...... I will send you some samples for testing and investigating.
  39. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    (sorry for the frankenthread nature of this post)

    Peter, just an observation: after reading your website, I am not clear on what your product offers or why I should buy it. And I have used your product before (System 4 bought from M&M) and loved it!

    My reasons for getting it seem to be different than what (I assume) you might consider the main benefit of your products. And in all the pages on your site you don't articulate the features, benefits or application of your designs. Even if there is as you say no reason for me as a single custom frame shop to buy it, I ought to be clear about what your product does from looking at your web site. To illustrate, I know that I don't need a high volume programable double mitre saw - but I know what it does.
  40. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

  41. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I had the same reaction, and I am in the business and am always looking for new products, new hardware.
  42. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When you like my S4 in use and delivered complete, just contact Kim Brown. There is a lot of stock in the US. Kim also has S3 in stock. (not single packed)


    It will be much better and much cheaper to pick my stuff from Kim.

    Sorry mods for this off topic. This is the very first time that a discussion about my products happens in the Grumble.
  43. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That is very difficult for me as someone from the Netherlands. We are very "no-nonsense" over here and we think that customers are smart enough to see/discover benefits and profits.

    Beside this I expected to get commercial support from Kim and that didn't happen.
  44. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think any of us would be better off spending the time we spend on Linkedin or some other social media outlets creating a great window display or sample in the shop. That is where we will find tangible results.
  45. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think for most of us it is a different kind of time. At work I only look at such sites, or the Grumble for that matter, on a quick break or lunch. At home, most of my social media time is spent after dinner with my laptop while watching TV. American Idol is too boring to watch without some multi-tasking involved. For me social media is a form of work when I am adding to my business sites, but not one that requires as much concentration or hands-on effort as building a frame or creating a window display.
  46. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Not disagreeing with you at all, but I have to wonder.

    The people that walk by our shops and don't come in - will they change their behavior of us due to a new window display? Or are we stimulating our existing client base?

    When someone discovers us* on the web by reading about us or seeing a picture of our framing that was shared/posted by a friend of theirs - that will have a greater chance of changing their impression of us and hopefully their behavior. It WILL without a doubt educate them. Is this not one of the most sought after facets of marketing that always seems to be hardest to achieve?

    When it is a commercial type of conection, that is even harder to make that connection, yet most potential business to be gained.

    THE BEST THING is to make that great display you mention and then post it on FB, LI, Twitter . . . .

    Just 2 cents from a guy thinking about this 24.5 hours day. :icon21:

    *even framers as a group or trade
  47. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I cant say that I have ever gotten a client because of Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, I have from Yelp and Foursquare, but I can still count them on one hand. I have way more people come who walk by and see things in my widows, new customers and regular, but mostly new ones.
    As much as I like FB, I am not sold on it as a marketing strategy, I do think they may help search engine results....
  48. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Randy, hats off and kudos to you for your FB page - very nice, you are are active on it. Interesting that you have had little measurable business come from it. I have taken note.

    Front window - you are in a sweet situation for pedestrian traffic. Not all shops have anything close to that. I see where any time spent on your window would produce measurable results.
  49. Gesso&Bole

    Gesso&Bole Grumbler

    Social media has to be the future for specialised businesses, such as custom framers.

    I have written a training course on social media specifically designed for picture framers. You can see details here http://www.framingmentor.com/training

    I would be interested in getting feedback from some picture framers - so if there are 2 or 3 people who would be prepared to give me some written feedback, I will give you free access to the course. Just drop me an email.

    If you register on the site, there are a number of other courses available for free, whilst we test the systems, and get to grips with what sort of training people want.
  50. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree, but I would like to add what I think is the most important marketing vehicle. It is your web site. If you are not coming up in the first three results for your city under a search, "(city) custom framing" then you have some work to do. There are lots of ways to help your site come up well in search engine results, and that is another discussion, but if your web site is not bringing in significant business, you are missing out on your best advertising vehicle. This is where I would put my energy to begin with.

    BTW, I am considering doing a little remodeling and I would love to see any window or interior displays that others have come up with.
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