Serious business folks….
For the last year or so I have been looking for a way to do giveaways in my own way… to have fun and to make it meaningful. For that reason I do them when they strike my fancy. Thankfully you haven’t critiqued me or complained that I wasn’t doing them often enough.
I know giveaways are mainly used to attract new clients or entice new readers. When I realized I was attracting the wrong kind of crowd I started over with a new Facebook page and took a look at how I presented myself. I took a look at my giveaways and saw that I love to give a little something as a way to show my appreciation. My way of passing it forward. Mostly I do it because it brings me joy to bring a smile to someone else or to offer a way to share in our celebrations while we are miles apart.
Despite this I have misgivings.
When businesses offer a free item or a heavily discounted item, they unintentionally support the wrong behavior. Instead of encouraging potential customers, they reinforce that customers should expect a low price point on a high quality item. The thing is once you get the item at a certain price point or as a throw away item, you will feel justified that you never have to buy that item or a similar one at a regular price. You see, a product or service given as free is immediately perceived as cheep. You could rationalize that the business offering it can recuperate the loss by claiming a tax deduction at the end of the year for it. I am going to tell you that a business does not look for ways to file more paperwork just to keep you happy. In most cases a good business will offer it for free because they can raise the price of another item.
I am not saying this is right or wrong. I know the really good deal is already being compensated for. The issue I needed to ask myself was, “is the way I conduct my giveaways distracting from the purpose of my writing?” By offering a giveaway do I cheapen the value of my blog?
Smart businesses recognize how offering something for free can hurt their brand and how it hurts the item being offered. Instead they campaign and solicit customers by giving samples. Smart because giving a free item with a large purchase rewards current customers. Offering samples, especially full size samples, entices new customers to their door. Ideally they look for a happy medium, while making money. Unfortunately this is a philosophy with business leaders and managers on both sides of the fence.
Which brings me back to my dilemma…
For the last year I agonized that I didn’t have a product to sell or samples to give. I realized that everyone who decided to stay did like the products I sold in the past, but they weren’t here for a specific item. All of my friends here come from different backgrounds and enjoy many different things. How can I offer something unique and memorable, that will mean as much to me as it will to you? I am working on things that I am excited to share with you. Hopefully things you will enjoy and possibly use.
Weighing and balancing all of the above things, I decided to continue the My Favorite Things Giveaway. With a new twist!
First I want to relate it to the themes I aim for, so I am calling my giveaways from this day forward, My Favorite Winks.
In this last year I discovered that photography opened the doorway out of my depression by allowing me to look at a moment in time. When I am sad or frustrated, I tend to forget there were good times. Times worth living for. Looking at a picture I had taken gave me permission to smile and make it through the day.
It helped me to get in the habit of looking for those moments to capture.
For that reason during the week I invite you to share a picture or snapshot of what inspires you, lifts you up, or whatever puts a twinkle in your eye. I want you to share your Weekly Winks with me. At the end of each week I will take the ones with the most likes and feature them on a post at the end of the month. A post where I will put up the favorite winks for a vote. The person with the wining vote and the person who shared the wink will get a gift relating to that month’s post.
In addition, for every comment made during that month on that month’s post (i.e. comments made in December on a December post) I will donate $1 to a charity or fund of your choice. The first of every month I will announce how much money is available, and you will vote on what charity or organization it goes to. Currently that gives us potentially $100 or 100 comments each month to make a difference.
If you agree with this new way of doing things, then I look forward to seeing your winks in the Wandering Winkie Facebook group!
*Time Sensitive Link to Giveaway.