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Jun
30

Saying Goodbye To Handmade Success

goodbye

After thinking long and hard I have decided to move on from Handmade Success. I started working here as a virtual assistant and then quickly became the blog editor back in 2010. I have loved every moment! I took the whole site on myself in 2014 and updated the Etsy Kit earlier this year. I have known for a while that I have wanted to combine my experience on the blog with my 10+ years as a yoga teacher. I did that for the first time creating “Rejuvenate + Create: Self-Care For Creatives” ebook and absolutely loved sharing from that at the Movers & Makers Summit in February of this year.

That trip to Charleston started a flood of ideas and I have just been so excited to take them on! I joined Marie Forleo’s B-School and have been working on www.KerryBurki.com and sharing here for the last couple of months. I revamped this site and was so excited about the new look.

I realized that I need to bring all of my efforts and ideas under one umbrella. They don’t all fit under Handmade Success and I think it is time for me to close this chapter so I can start writing my next one. I have started taking steps to create my dream life based on my experience as a yoga teacher and working with creatives. I want to help others move forward and create their amazing lives also.

This is what I have been up to:

  • Monthly challenges on my site and in my Facebook group – these will help you release stress, bond with others and feel good about yourself.
  • Working one-on-one with people offering a custom yoga sequence, breathing techniques and affirmations to help them get unstuck and become more creative, productive, confident and happy. Stay tuned for a special offer!
  • Self-image magazine project combining photography and handmade this summer!
  • Self-Care For Everyday – 4 week course that will teach you how to take care of yourself in small but meaningful ways throughout your day. Coming September 2015 online.
  • Speaking events both in person and online.

I am sharing these so you can see that this change is a positive one! I am sharing so can get these out into the world and out of my head. Some of these are things we might be able to work on together.

  • If you want to see more of what I have been up to then go to www.KerryBurki.com – I just got professional photos done to that will be up there soon. SO exciting!
  • If you need a little boost in your life then sign up for my newsletter so you can get my Optimizing Your Day For Awesomeness guide: http://eepurl.com/oBDFb
  • If you want to stay in touch on social media the follow me here: Instagram  – FacebookTwitter

I will keeping the Etsy shop because I stand behind everything in there. You can also expect a 4th of July sale too!

I don’t really feel like I am saying goodbye because with social media I know we will be keeping in touch. Everyone I have met here has been so amazing and supportive! Thank you so much for being here!

p.s. If you know anyone who might be interested in buying and taking over the site just send them my way! kerry@handmadesuccess.com.

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Jun
17

6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

Okay, pop quiz: Which social media platform has the most potential to boost your handmade business? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Something else?

Well, answers may vary, but my vote goes to . . . Pinterest! If you haven’t already set up a Pinterest business account for your handmade biz, you SHOULD!

Here are 6 reasons why:

6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

#1 Pinterest allows you to show your products to more potential customers.

If you haven’t read this article from the Pinterest blog, you should. According to a recent survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital, 93% of the survey participants stated that they use Pinterest to scope out products to buy. And 87% said that they purchased a product, thanks to Pinterest. That’s some powerful statistics right there, folks!

Pin your products to Pinterest directly from your Etsy shop by using the “Pin it” button, or pin product photos that appear on your business blog. Choose photos that show your product “in use”: display your product with minimal props to show the size of the product and possible ways to use it.

#2 Pinterest helps you show other products that complement your product(s).

Here’s a fun idea. Create a Pinterest board for each of your products (or product categories). Pin images to that board that coordinate with your product(s). Think of colors, patterns, themes, etc. that complement it. Name your boards “What to Wear with _____ (your product).” Mood boards and/or color scheme boards are fun ways to showcase your product(s) as well. This technique can help customers imagine themselves using your products and could potentially increase sales.

This type of board would be great for including upselling images, too. See this post for additional information about the upselling technique.

Polyvore is another fun tool that allows you to create product collages.

#3 Pinterest enables you to answer your customers’ questions or solve a problem that they have.

An easy way to do this is to add some text on top of a product photo. For example, if you sell handmade scarves, you could create a Pinterest-friendly image that includes your product photo with the words “5 Amazingly-Easy Ways to Tie a Scarf” on top of the image. When the Pinterest user clicks on your image to read how to tie a scarf, they will see your scarves and perhaps make a purchase (now or in the future).

The key to this technique is to link the person to your blog, where you have step-by-step images of the scarf-tying process and then a link to purchase your scarves online. If your Pinterest image just links to your online shop and not the 5-step tutorial, people who clicked the image will not receive what you promised. And believe me, unhappy people don’t make good customers.

Tip: Use a tool like Canva or even PicMonkey to add text to a photo.

#4 Pinterest provides links to tutorials and tips for great product photography.

We all know how important great product photography is for a handmade business, right? Create a secret board and pin articles to read now or later. Search for pins about:

#5 Pinterest helps you find creative, new packaging ideas.

Handmade sellers are (or should be) always looking for creative, memorable ways to package their products. Pinterest is filled with great ideas for beautiful packaging. Create a secret board and pin to your heart’s content! Visit the board again later when you need some packaging inspiration. Possible ideas to search for are as follows:

  • items to include with your product in your shipping box (tissue paper, filler material, etc.)
  • creative labels for the outside of the box
  • pretty thank-you notes to include

#6 Pinterest inspires you to create new product designs.

Handmade sellers are always looking for ways to keep up with current trends, patterns, colors, etc. for future product lines. Pinterest is a great research tool that can help you with that! Keep your inspiration board secret if you’d like, and fill it up with images that might be potential design ideas for later.

———————————-

How else have you used Pinterest for your business? We’d love to hear any strategies you’d like to share! I hope you’ll try some of the techniques mentioned in this post, and see how Pinterest can boost your handmade business!

Juliebio

Julie Corbett – On The Dot Creations

On the Dot Creations features handmade creations and shares biz tips with those who sell them. Check out Julie’s free video series3 Reasons Your Product Photography Might Be Turning Customers Away, or her brand new online workshopDIY Product Photography.

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Jun
10

Now You Can Own The Maker Mentors Conference!

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.12.31 AMThe Maker Mentors conference I did last month was a huge success and so much fun! I want to let you know that all of the Maker Mentors conference content is now available for purchase as an on-demand program! Everyone that registers for the on-demand program will get instant access to all of the recorded content, as well as the maker mentor community.

The full price is $100 but you can get access for $75 by using the discount code ‘IAMAMAKER’ before June 15th.

People loved this event and all of the speakers and mentors are talking directly to you. It is really something special. I hope you get a chance to be a part of the event and the community. Feel free to ask me any questions!

Click here to learn more and join!

*Full disclosure: As a speaker at the Maker Mentor conference I am also an affiliate and will receive a commission if you use the link above. I stand behind this fully!

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May
27

Giveaway From 4 Melodic Suns

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Summer is here in Arizona and I thought a giveaway would be a great way to end the month of May! I discovered Kate Koten of 4 Melodic Suns last year and just love her adorable and colorful accessories and jewelry. I especially love what she has to say about creating:

“There are so many things that I love in this world, but not many things compare to the wonderful expressions of creativity. I find the act of creating and sharing to be a beautiful form of communication.”

Check out the giveaway details below and be sure to check out 4 Melodic Suns on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Dragonfly+Button+Earrings

Kate is giving away a pair of the dragonfly earring (shown above) to one lucky reader!

Giveaway rules:

To enter, just visit 4 Melodic Suns and mention here in the comments your favorite item.

One entry per person

Giveaway ends Saturday, May 30th 2015 at midnight MST

Winner will be announced on this post on Sunday, May 31st 2015

***GIVEAWAY WINNER! Charissa Struble!***

I’ll be in touch with the details shortly!

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May
14

Add More Hours to Your Day with Effective Social Media Management

So remember in my earlier post on Social Media Scheduling Tools when I said we spend nearly 4 hours on social media every day? As in, nearly 25% of our waking hours??

Holy crap, that’s 4 hours you could be spending working on crafting your latest design and growing your business.

But the truth is, you need social media marketing to grow your business.

And to do it right, you have to be aware of these 12 parts identified by BufferSocial:

The Twelve Tasks of Social Media Management

  1. Curating
  2. Crafting
  3. Posting
  4. Scheduling
  5. Measuring
  6. Analyzing
  7. Responding
  8. Listening
  9. Engaging
  10. Helping
  11. Planning
  12. Experimenting

We can’t even count everything we need to do on our own two hands. Even with the right time saving tools, you need to find a focal point to get the job done.

So to help you focus, here are three 30-minute routines for accomplishing every phase of social media marketing, thanks to BufferSocial.

Click Here to Download Your 3 Free Social Media Routines

Focus #1: Content

This takes care of your curating, crafting, posting and scheduling. Find the content you want to share and create interesting posts in 30 minutes.

The 30-minute Content Routine:

  •   5 minutes collecting potential content (blog posts, articles, images, etc)
  •   15 minutes reading that content
  •   10 minutes composing and scheduling

Ready? GO!

Save Time Finding Content: The RSS Hack

RSS feeds like Nuzzel and Swayy collate stories that your social media connections are sharing. There are also apps like Feedly combine all your favorite blogs into a highlight reel for quick browsing of new updates.

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Now all the relevant content that you would be sharing is all organized in one nice neat package for exploring.

How to Choose the Right Content (in 15 mins)

Now, you’ve got 15 minutes to read like the wind. The idea here isn’t to read every piece word for word – but enough that you know the content is of good quality and is something your audience will get value out of.

Open separate tabs for the content you want to read, and go one piece at a time.

When reading ask yourself:

  • Is this something my audience would stop to read?
  • Would my audience like this image?
  • Is this relevant to my biz and/or audience?

If your answer is ever “no” to any of these questions, MOVE ON. The key to making the most out of your 15 minutes (and making them long enough to get your reading done), is not wasting your time on content that’s irrelevant.

When in doubt – let it gooooooo!

Tip: If you find yourself stopping to read a blog post ‘cause you think it’s super interesting, but doesn’t necessarily relate to your audience, just make a folder and collect the things you want to read later!

The Best Way to Share Content

When you find a piece of content that you want to share, add it to your Buffer (or whichever scheduling tool you use).

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If the post or article has a good title or copy, don’t mess with it. If it’s just “mehh” then change it up so it grabs the attention of your audience.

Include any links, copy, or photos with your post (depending on the platform you are using, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). and you’re good to go. Now leave it up to your social media scheduling tools to automatically send out your content, and relax – ‘cause your 30 mins are over!

Focus #2: Growth

This includes the measuring, analyzing, planning and experimenting zones of your social media managing. The idea: find out what’s working for your accounts, and repeat it.

The 30-minute Growth Routine:

  •      15 minutes analyzing stats
  •      5 minutes planning experiments
  •      10 minutes experimenting

Some social media scheduling tools include analytics, but just about every platform has built in analytics (for FREE – woohoo!) that make it super easy to track the data you’ll need for growth.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.46.41 AM

Twitter: Twitter Analytics

Pinterest: Pinterest Analytics

Facebook: Facebook Insights

Instagram: Iconosquare

Take a look at your top performing content. Make note of:

  •      Types of posts that did well (photos, links, status updates?)
  •      What time they were posted
  •      Common words/content
  •      How did the popular post look?

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.47.25 AM

(AHEM, hint: Focus on your engagement rates (clicks divided by views) rather than totals – they’re more accurate.)

Now it’s time to plan an experiment. Find common points in all your popular posts. Things like:

Did that status update right before lunch break do well? Great, maybe play around with more status updates, or focus on that timeslot right around lunch hour.

Make changes to your future posting schedules, and Bingo!

Focus #3: Community

Your community focus includes responding, listening, helping and engaging. And really, that’s what social media is all about! Here’s your 30-minute plan:

The 30-minute Community Routine:

  •      10 minutes checking your mentions and notifications
  •      15 minutes responding to questions
  •      5 minutes free browsing time

Now, if you’re crafty and already set up IFTTT to put all your notifications in one place, these first 15 minutes are a breeze. Take the time to sift through all your interactions and make notes of VIPs (important peeps in your industry or audience).

Find out who is talking about you so you can interact with them. Mention is a great app for finding where your brand name appeared across the internet and putting it all in one place. Plus, it integrates with Buffer so you can schedule responses to go out at the best times.

Now you get 10 minutes to answer questions, respond to those @-mentions and reply to comments. You know best how to speak with your customers and discuss your industry, so I’ll leave that part up to you.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.48.24 AM

But wait, an extra five minutes to spare? Take this time to breath, relax, and indulge in one of those bookmarked posts you saved from earlier. Browse through your feeds, followers’ pages, favorite blogs, and industry communities to leave some comments and feedback of your own.

Which Part Should You Focus on Now?

The answer to that question depends on what stage of your entrepreneur’s journey you’re in – but honestly, you really need to focus on all three.

No matter where you are in your business right now, there are a few “for sures”.

  1. You need social media marketing
  2. Social media marketing can suck a lot of time out of your day
  3. But it doesn’t have to!

If you use these three 30 minute routines for your social media you will save hours and actually get more done through the power of focus.

Try them out and let me know how they work for you in the comments!

rachelwashi

Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the online store platform that actually helps you succeed.

Click here to get her creative marketing tips for entrepreneurs free, every week!

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