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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

A couple of months ago, I learned about Google Base from an Etsy forum. I found a great tutorial on how to use LetsEts and post on Google Base. It was a little tricky, so I wrote my own blog post about posting to Google Base based on my experience. LetsEts picked it up and apparently it’s been helpful to others. I’m so glad!

One of the recent comments on that post was from a woman who called herself a Geek-in-Training (thanks Carla!). I loved that!!! As crafters, we are in tune with non-technical processes. As a bookbinder, I use board, fabric, a scissor, an iron and a cold glue process.  I love working with my hands. But to be able to even afford my craft, I need to make some money from it, and with the Internet, I now have easy avenues for that purpose. So I’ve also become a Geek in Training.

There are so many ways to sell on the Internet, and many of them are relatively inexpensive  or even free. You really don’t even need a website. However, if you are considering selling your crafts online, and you should, you need to know about a couple of tools that can help you and are relatively easy, even for us non-technical folk.

The next time you are on your computer, consider learning about the following tools for selling your crafts and building a following:

Etsy (of course)

eBay (yes, eBay is still a great place for selling handmade items)

Blogging (wordpress, blogger, typepad, take your pick. They are free and relatively easy to learn). Personally, I like wordpress, can you tell?

Twitter (micro-blogging site that is just the hottest networking tool right now. It’s quick, easy to use and a great way to send new potential customers to your website, etsy store, ebay store, blog, etc. You do want to have somewhere to send your potential customers though.)

Facebook, which is a great social network for connecting with family and friends, as well as setting up a page for your business, connecting in groups where you may find the folks who are looking for what you are selling and a way to find new followers.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, you can get so caught up in doing all of these techno things, you might find you have less time for your actual craft, but if you aren’t selling it, you won’t be doing much crafting anyway.

So don’t be afraid. Look up information on the above on google and get fearless. It’s really not as hard as you think. I am still a geek-in-training (the web moves so fast I don’t think we ever stop training), but I’ve learned a lot and I love the technical stuff almost as much as the crafting!

In the following weeks, I will be blogging about getting started on etsy, ebay, etc. These will be very elementary for the true beginner. I hope they help!

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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 angry at my son right now. He took my car last night to go to work (his is not running) on the terms that he’d be home by 7:00 am, so I can get my daughter to work and myself to work on time. It’s 8:05 and he won’t be home for at least another half hour, making us both very late. 😦

I’m not angry with him for being late. I get that stuff happens and we can’t always keep our promises. But he could have called. I had to call him 5 times before he picked up his phone….probably because he knew there would be yelling on the other end. But he could have avoided that by calling me first.

When you are in a family and something you are doing will affect another family member, the right thing to do is communicate. We all know this. By not communicating, it causes all kinds of friction. You’re all shaking your heads in agreement, I can feel it.

Well, it’s the same with your customers. If someone buys something from you, they expect at least to know what they need to do to complete the sale and when their package will arrive. And in this day and age, it’s really easy to get in touch, via email, phone, text message or even twitter! (Sidebar: What’s a twitter you ask? A really fun way to stay in touch! More about that in a future post.)

So guide your customers along the way. Talk to them. Email them when you receive payment, when you expect the product to ship, and when it has shipped so they know to watch for it. If you have a problem or are waiting on a back order of beads, email your customer and explain the hold up. Most people are very understanding, if you just give them the opportunity to be. If you don’t communicate though, and a package takes longer than expected to arrive or the product is not exactly what was pictured (and with handmade that is often the case), you might find you have an unhappy customer at the other end. And we all know we don’t want that.

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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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