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Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

A week or so ago, I got a tweet from Mr. Artfire about something called Rapid Cart. Basically if you have a shop on Mr. Artfire, you can set up a window on your blog or website, and customers can buy right from there without having to go to your Mr. Artfire store. That’s a convenient tool for the customer in a rush!

And then today, I read about Toldya!, a new service that lets you build a portable store on social networking sites or your blog or just about anywhere you’d like it online. There is no fee to set up your store. You pay a $.99 fee if you sell something. However, you don’t get paid until you ship and you have to ship through UPS. That would be inconvenient for me.

But hey, if you use Facebook, MySpace or any other networking sites to promote your products, it might be worth a look.

http://mrartifire.com

http://toldya.com

You can read more about toldya! here: http://tinyurl.com/dl9sz6

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You have a craft business, you have an eBay store, you have a website and you’re on Etsy. All great ways to promote your business. But are you on Twitter? Twitter is the latest social media craze, allowing you to microblog (only 140 characters at a time) from your computer, your blackberry, or even your phone! Posts are short enough that they never feel like work!

You can let others know what you’re doing, blog posts, new items you’re listing, or great sales you’re having. You can link to anywhere from twitter (just remember to put the http:// in front of your web address.) And unlike Facebook, where you are a “person” first, promoting your business on Twitter seems to be the norm.

And if you are worried that you’re URL will be too long, just go to http://tinyurl.com to shorten the web address and give an air of mystery to your link!

The idea behind Twitter is to follow those people who interest you and to have those and others follow you back. You’ll be able to see posts of people following you, you can comment or email them directly and they can be in touch with you.

Want to find your target market? Go to Twitter Search, type in keywords or phrases that you think your potential customers might be using and see who’s tweeting about what. Find someone you think might be interested in your products? Follow them. I bet they’ll follow you back and you may even get a customer out of the deal!!

Already have a Twitter account or getting ready to sign up for one? Follow me twitter.com/irisandlily
I’ll be happy to follow you back.

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I’m so excited! I’ve gotten my very first blog review, on The Bathrobe Bride.

You can see it here: http://bathrobebride.com/blog/91.html

And while you’re looking, check out all the other great bridal advice Crystal is giving out too!

Getting your brand name and pictures out on the Internet through review blogs, forums and social networking now will make the upcoming holiday season a raging success. That’s what I’m working toward anyway. I want to have enough business this holiday that I can barely keep up!!

I’ll be letting everyone know about my first review! 🙂

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While having found indiepublic.com, poshmama.com and others have been wonderful from a community standpoint, I’m having trouble getting my work done!

I’m addicted! I have found so much information already and I’ve checked out so many very cool etsy shops, but I have to figure out a way to condense my social networking activities into a shorter time period. If I’m not careful, the social networking scene, which is oh so much fun, becomes a complete time bandit. I’ve had trouble enough with email and listing new items on eBay and Etsy….the products I make are customized from top to bottom so I communicate A LOT with my customers and often those emails take time. Add to that the blogging (I’m writing this on the train as I head into a social networking class….so I can find out even more ways to spend time on Facebook, tee hee.).

I love being part of a community and I love blogging and sharing what I’m learning and the creative stuff along the way, but man, I need more hours in a day. I work full time, and I need a 36-hour day!

I’m sure this is happening to many of you too. I had started a program a while back called Simpleology, but you know when you get so overloaded that you just don’t have time to learn one more thing? So I stopped. I realize now though that Simpleology may just be the answer to my dilemma. It’s a program that teaches you how to prioritize and get the bigger things done first. The smaller things….and of course the more fun things….have to be put on a schedule. Isn’t that always the way? It’s like chocolate. It’s good for you in small doses, but too much, well we know where that gets you.

I have a long list of things I want to get accomplished this year. I want to write a book, develop new crafty stuff, really develop my marketing plan for my online ventures, and I want to make friends, build a community and feel the support and encouragement of sites like indiepublic and weloveetsy along the way. Oh, and I want to make money, so that means making albums….and that means time away from the computer. And my day job requires me to have gotten some sleep.

Let me know what you do to manage your time. I can guarantee I’m not the only one with this particular problem. Most creative people I have met have what I like to call creative ADD…so many ideas, so little time. It’s hard to stay focused.

And if you want, check out Simpleology at Simpleology.com. It’s free for the organizational stuff. I’m going to give it a second look.

Hey and last night, I learned quite a bit about Facebook and Twitter! I’ll be sharing some of that very soon.

Happy creating.

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So since I joined indiepublic.com and a couple of other social networking sites, I’ve realized i’m addicted to this social networking thing and the forums. So I was on a forum thread yesterday and then today and Etsy sellers were saying how they have had so much traffic but not as many sales. Now, since I’m new, I’m not making any huge sales on etsy either just yet (although I had three yesterday…yay!), but having sold on eBay for the past six years, quite successfully when I’ve had the time to work it, and I’ve learned a few things about customer confidence.

So my fellow Etsians, here’s my advice. Fill out your Shop Policies! Info about you and why you do what you do is great too, but definitely, give your customers some guidelines. What kind of payment do you expect and when? How long does it take to create and ship your product? And do you offer a return guarantee?

On this last one, I recommend you say a resounding yes!!! As artisans, we want our customers to be happy with our creations, we know that. And I know you’re also thinking, but it’s a little scary to spend days on a custom creation and then know the customer can return it if it isn’t exactly what they want. Still, offer that 100% satisfaction guarantee. Whether it’s within 7 days or 30 days or forever, offer it. It gives your potential customer confidence that you are a conscientious seller. In your policy, give your guidelines. For me, I let customers know I will take any album back if they do not love it, and I’ll refund their money or replace their book. I must get the album back within 15 days in its original condition–if they’ve dropped it in a mud puddle, well, that’s where I draw the line :)–and they pay return shipping. Most people don’t even like to take the time to go back to the post office, much less pay for shipping. Hey, who am I kidding? I don’t even return clothes that don’t fit at my local Wal-Mart–I hate waiting on line that much. Besides, I can never find the receipt I need.

On the shipping part? My albums take a couple of weeks to make and ship. I want my customers to know this up front so they aren’t expecting them in like 3 days. That way no one is disappointed.

I go one step further with this and also put my shipping times and my guarantee right in my listings. I hate to make people work too hard to click that buy now button!

The first step to a great store is a great product. I haven’t seen anything I haven’t fallen in love with on Etsy. And then you need to stand above the competition. Filling out your shop policies and adding this info to your listings lets your potential customers know you are a serious business person as well as an artist, and that they can trust doing business with you.

If you’d like to see my shop policies, you can click here and click on Shop Policies on the right navigation bar!

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So in my search to find out all that I can about Etsy.com, I began searching forums this week. And while finding out cool etsy stuff, I also found some great crafty social networking sites.

I joined Facebook a while back, and I’ve been building my friend’s list there and playing Scrabble with one of my friends….so cool! Check out Scrabulous if you are on Facebook. So I’ll digress for a moment…when I was dating my husband and then newly married, we lived near my parents and our Saturday routine was to go to my Mom’s house on Saturday afternoons, drink wine and play Scrabble. Great memories of drunken spelling! My mother passed away before the Internet age, but she would have loved it. Email, social networking and Scrabble online! Who would have thought?

Anyway, back to social networking for crafty people. I found two sites: craftbuddy.com and Indiepublic.com while browsing the forums yesterday and immediately joined both. I was so impressed. Now I can network with other people who are as crazy as I am! I haven’t had a chance to do much on craftbuddy.com but I did spend some time on Indiepublic.com yesterday and I think just about every Etsy seller is on there too. Everyone is so friendly! I can’t wait to spend more time browsing and getting to know the other crafters on these great sites. And it’s great for driving traffic and promoting your craft too. You can customize your home page and put the etsy mini widget on there too (even in comments to other crafters!) Check them out. You can check me out on indiepublic.com too: I’m Diane Falvey on there. Add me as a friend!

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