Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Pinterest Love

Pinterest, Social Media

A few years ago, I was introduced to Pinterest and signed up for my shopladylike account.  Following their help site, I started out by adding basic board names like Sewing, Knitting, and Recipes, the topics I enjoyed reading.  I added a few pins here and there but wasn’t too excited about it.  Then I read articles about The Power of Pinterest which encouraged businesses to use this tool to advertise their products. I took this advice and added my Etsy Shop.   As my fascination with pinning increased, I found a whole new world of creativity.  There is literally a board for every conceivable topic you can imagine.

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As I expanded my search into new areas, I discovered that Pinterest contained a wealth of links to books, music, cooking, and endless tutorials.  When you pin from one board, you’re immediately directed to another pinner’s board.  It’s a continuous chess game of jumping from board to board and very addicting.

Since my initiation, I’ve added more specific topics and have increased my number of followers. The more you pin, the more interaction.  My blogging tips, social media and tutorial boards is a virtual filing cabinet of information at my fingertips.  Although I keep a tab on my computer for blog posts I need to read, I also Pin them.  I love that my Facebook Groups have their own space and I can add their pins directly to it.

Pinterest is less personal where you don’t actually link up with your followers.  Sometimes I’d like to say “Hey, thanks for pinning from my website”.  By re-pinning from their board it’s a special thank you back to them.  But seriously, with Facebook and Twitter, there’s enough socializing to last a lifetime.  I love spending time pinning to my Expressions and Quotes and my other favorite Book Lovin’.  Stop by and see me on Pinterest sometime.

Branding your Business

Business, Social Media

You’ve made the decision to open an on line business.  You have product and decided on pricing, so you’re ready to go live.  Sounds simple, right?  Not even close!  There’s this little concept for success called “branding” that’s critical to any business.   Major businesses are known by their branding, colors, logos all inclusive of “Who They Are”.   You want people to recognize your new venture by your branding too.  So where do you begin?  You’ve got a lot of important decisions to make.  Here’s a little history of ShopLadyLike’s branding.

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My daughter Kristy and I took the plunge in 2009 and opened an Etsy Shop.   Next we chose Ladyknitster as our business name.  It told customers that we sold handmade knitted items by a sweet “lady” but hey, I also crocheted too.  Bad choice for a name which we changed later on.  We had a glitch when Etsy gave a one time option to change our shop name.  We wanted Lady Like but someone already had that name but didn’t sell or buy anything.  We asked if she would consider releasing the name for a nominal fee and she said no.  So we chose ShopLadyLike since our items have a vintage-inspired design and we wanted our customers to feel like a lady when they wore our products.

We already decided on most of our products, colors and pricing but had to choose our branding.  First step was the design and color for our shop logo.   I felt pretty fortunate that Kristy had a photography and blog design business and had developed her branding for both.  We chose simple, clean lines in black and white.  Since most customers refer to us as “Lady Like” we changed the Etsy Shop banner to Lady Like with a subtitle of Handmades and carried the branding to business cards, labels for our products, pricing tags, and banner.

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I suffer from crazy moments when I want to add something to the branding to “spiff” it up and then I come to my senses.  I actually love the clean look and would never change it.  One of the nice things about keeping with your branding is most printing companies already have your template and there’s no extra set up fees.  Sometimes you may have bumps in the road on your way to branding but you have to love it.  Be comfortable in your choices and feel excited when you get that referral because your customer remembered your shop.   Oh yes, you can find that item at Lady Like.

 

 

Yes, You Are Worth It!

Business, Social Media

During this Holiday Season, it seemed to me that online shops were all but giving their product away. There were sales deals of buy 1 get one 1/2 off, Black Friday sales of up to 50% off, buy 2 get one free, and the list goes on. As Christmas week approached, some discounts were even greater. If 50% off didn’t work, maybe 70% off would entice buyers. The end of year sales frenzy is definitely a way to reduce inventory and recoup capital and add new product to their shops. So why do we feel the pressure to sell our products below cost during the holidays? It’s the same product sold in our shops throughout the year so why cheapen it’s value for a few weeks?

After the rush was over, I decided to revisit a few of my favorite shops. These are shops, among other reasons, that I respect for their sales approach. This includes advertising methods, pricing structure, and special discount events. One shop primarily sells pre-made items, that are ready to ship while the other shop sells a combination of pre-made and made-to-order items. These well established online shops offered some holiday discounts but they didn’t give away the farm, so to speak. They consistently offer quality products, great service, and customers are willing to pay the price. My business motto has always been “quality over quantity” and ideally should be reflected in product pricing.

Each handmade artisan knows what it takes to design, create, and produce a quality item. Production of a handmade item requires design time (which can be hours or days), the expense of shopping for fabric/yarn/art supplies, and perhaps making a proto-type. These happens before one takes into account marketing the finished product, time creating the product, and shipping costs. So what is your product truly worth to you? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate product value and re-price accordingly.

I recently saw a statement on Facebook or Pinterest and felt I needed to re-post it. I have to say, it hit me square in the forehead. It was a reaffirmation of our Lady Like business statement.

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I expected the usual 25-30 people on Facebook who saw the post. Surprise! As of writing this blog, 920 people have seen it and are re-posting it. I’ve never had that many see any of my posts. What great encouragement! And I hope this means that many of you are inspired and finding their worth and not making concessions. This statement can be your business motto but also can apply to your personal life:  Yes, You Are Worth It!

Do You Tweet?

Business, Social Media

Do you have a brick and mortar business or are you online shop?  In today’s fast moving electronic world,  it’s almost impossible to be connected without being immersed in the Social Media arena.  It can be overwhelming learning all the ins and outs of each one.  I’ve always felt like a duck out of water when it came to blog posting, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and the Big Daddy of them all,  Facebook!   How do I learn each one?   Which one is more important?   I dabbled a little with a few but blog posting was probably the scariest one of all and still is today.

I soon realized that I had to start connecting with people through these social media platforms.  Step one for this lady was to get a Twitter account.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it.   Being a newbie, I had no followers.   The first thing I did was to search for interesting blogs in the crafting and business fields and I followed them.  I got brave and actually re-tweeted one of their tweets even though I wasn’t sure what that meant.  As I followed, I gained a few followers.  Even though today my Twitter presence is small, I enjoy reading their tweets and have gained so much knowledge through their tweets.  That’s where I came across a tweet by Theresa Cifali encouraging her peeps to join her new facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/sociallysensiblecreatives.

I hoped it was an active, inspiring group of creatives, ready to share their insights of social media and their talents with the members.   Since clicking JOIN, I’m amazed at the wealth of information and their willingness to help each other with even simple questions.  In the few months I’ve been a member, we’ve grown steadily and new members are added almost daily.  These Creatives truly make you feel welcome,  share insights and have fun learning and getting to know each other.   I would encourage you to consider joining this talented and selfless creatives.

Recently Theresa posted an article on 6 Free Twitter Tools.  I jumped at the opportunity to learn more and add some new tools to grow my Twitter audience and wanted to share it with you.  Here’s her link and I hope you enjoy it and use these tools to grow your Twitter presence:   http://theresacifali.com/free-twitter-tools and I hope it helps you!