Jul
3

Summer Break 2014

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Hi all! I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far! I am popping in to announce a summer blog break here on Handmade Success. My boys are on summer vacation and my husband is taking a sabbatical from work so it only makes sense for me to take a break too. We have some trips planned (Door County, Legoland, Flagstaff), projects around the house to finish (reupholstery, hanging artwork, fireplace mantle) and whole lot of family time to spend together (swimming, playing, reading). I will also be taking this opportunity to start growing my business on www.kerryburki.com. I have been overflowing with ideas and have not had the time and energy to bring them into fruition so I am hoping to take this time to focus my efforts there.

I am working on finishing an ebook with Jena Coray and Bettie Newell that I think you will all love plus another ebook I have been writing on my own about bringing more of what you want into your life using yoga and printable worksheets. In addition, I have also designed some fabric that I am going to use to make eye pillows, pouches and pillows. You can see two of the designs below. So excited!

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I plan on donating a portion of the sales of all of the above to charity. This is project close to my heart and I am looking forward to making it come true. Now that I have shared it with you I am considering all of you my accountability buddies :)

I have scheduled some Facebook posts over the next month that I think will interest you and help your business so be sure to check our page.

I will be sharing my adventures as well as progress on my projects on Instagram and my Facebook page. I would love it if you followed along!

If you are starting anything new this summer please share below so we can follow along with you too!

p.s. If you miss the regular posts be sure to check out yesterday’s The Ultimate Guide (with tips & resources) to Boost Traffic and Get Customers from Made Freshly. It has tons of info and links to articles from Handmade Success and others to keep your business growing!

p.p.s. If you or anyone you know are in the L.A. area be sure to check out Create 2014! They are calling it the best craft and food fair ever. Best part? Tickets sales help benefit 3 different charities!

Sending you creative hugs and kisses,

mepoloraid

Kerry

 

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Jul
2

The Ultimate Guide (with tips & resources) to Boost Traffic and Get Customers

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Picture this. You have an incredible product that you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into for your consumers to enjoy.

You’ve taken your photos, edited your images, written a description and made a great logo. You’ve put in all the effort you need to create your store. You then launch your store and announce it to your hundred (or so) social media followers.

You then have a few sales here and there. You get some traffic – but you find yourself unable to make a real, genuine living off your business.

It can make us feel defeated – and to be perfectly honest, it happens to most of us.

How can you turn this around? How can you make consistent sales off your product? I’m here to show you how.

Research and know your target market

Your target market are the people who will be buying from you – so you will need to  know everything about them. Their age, income, gender and overall demographic. Research and get a solid understanding of your target. This will help build a foundation for proper and effective marketing.

Here’s an infographic that breaks it down the information you need to gather.

Additional resources for understanding your target market:

10 Questions to Ask Before Determining Your Target Market

How to Define a Target Market and Dominate Your Niche

Defining Your Audience

5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research

Once you know your target audience it will help give clarity to who you are seeking to attract.

Make sure your store has all the appropriate content to convert

Before you spend time, money and resources marketing your site, you want to first make sure your site has all the proper information and images needed to convert traffic into customers.

6 Ways to Build a Bridge between your Customers and your Brand

How to Create an Easy Return Policy

Why the Wrong Product Title Can Hurt Your Online Store’s Sales

The Perfect Product Description: Short-and-Sweet or Full of Details?

5-Step Formula for Writing Handmade Product Descriptions that Sell

The Secret To Writing Product Descriptions For Ecommerce Success

The 10-Minute Website Tune-Up

Offline Marketing

Get their email addresses and add them to your email newsletter. If you don’t currently have a newsletter tool,  Tinyletter is free and Mailchimp has a variety of plans.  Simply print out a few sheets of paper with a name and email column. If you want to get fancy, the mailchimp mobile app has a email opt in feature.

10 Guerrilla Marketing Ideas For Promoting Your Business

Five Offline Marketing Ideas to Help Get Your Business Noticed

Email Marketing

You want to funnel your audience into a newsletter to grab repeat business, fill out surveys, run contest and promotions.

Engage your customers with email marketing

Email Lists Made Easy

SEO Basics

SEO is time intensive and may not be the quickest solution to getting customers right way, but its still very beneficial to learn and have the basics down. Below are some resources to get familiar with SEO:

Google’s SEO Starter Guide

SEO Simply Put

Beginners Guide to SEO

How to Use the Google Keyword Planner to Find Keywords for SEO

Social Media

You want to stay active on all social media platforms and be sure to never go stale. Take the information you learned from researching your target market then create content and grow your following.

How To Use Pinterest To Drive Traffic To Your Etsy Shop

Organize Your Online Content with Pinterest

6 Secrets to Twitter Success for a Handmade Business

Facebook Marketing: 3 Business Pages that Get it Right

Using Social Media to Connect with Your Biggest Fans

5 Awesome Examples of Instagram Marketing From Real Brands

Instagram Instantaneously For Etsy Sellers

Drive Quality Traffic from Facebook to Your Etsy Shop

Twitter for ecommerce

Tips:

  • Find out who the influencers are in your industry and ask them to help you run a giveaway. The influencer benefits, because they get product to give to and engage their audience. You benefit by being able to gain some of their following. Be sure to ask them to tag/like your business page in order to enter the contest.

  • Run small affordable ad buys on Facebook and niche blogs. This will only work once you understand your target audience.

Joining the Conversation with your Ideal Customer using Facebook Ads

This is a lot of information; and sure, this may seem like a lot of work – but that time can be cut down drastically with applications like buffer and HootSuite.

Social media scheduling tools

Little known ways to track your tweets and posts

5 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Simplify Your Marketing

Run flash Sales and Promotions

Every now and then you will need to run sales and promotions to help boost your online  sales.  It is also a great way to get rid of inventory that has been sitting around for a while.

Boost Online Sales with Short-Term Promotions

Top 5 Tips For Running A Successful eCommerce Promotion Campaign

How To Do A Sale The Right Way

You may have now come to the conclusion that marketing is a little bit of everything. Although it might seem overwhelming right now, over time you will discover your strengths and what works best for your audience. For example, after a few months you may find out that Instagram and your newsletter generates the most sales – these will then be the platforms you will want to place your focus and energy on; however, be sure to not let the others go stale because people check out everything. A potential customer might think you went out of business if they check out your Facebook page and see that your last post was from 2 months ago.

What type of marketing have you tried to gain customers? Share by commenting below.

trin

Trin Salaloy – Made Freshly

Trin Salaloy is the co founder and creator of MadeFreshly – a simple to use online store creator.  He is a designer, entrepreneur and online marketing guru. He’s commented to making it easy for entrepreneurs to make beautiful websites.

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Jun
26

5+ DIY PACKAGING IDEAS

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Having your own handmade business is hard work.

You’re busy creating your fabulous product or service.

You’re working tirelessly behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly so that you have a life beyond your business.

You’re being diligent about your social media/marketing and getting yourself out there.

You take care in presenting your fabulous product or service for those repeat sales.

You have a solid logo or colour scheme, but may not have the cash to get a professional to design your entire branding package.

Let’s be honest, you’ve spent a good chunk of change getting to this stage.

Here are 5 ways to keep your branding consistent without breaking the bank:

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1) RUBBER STAMPS

A fairly easy way to keep your brand consistent is to invest in some custom rubber stamps of your logo and/or secondary marks in a few different sizes. Keep it simple with black ink or use similar colours in your brand palette. This way, you can create simple hang-tags, calling cards, Thank You notes and packaging items, while experimenting with different stocks or styles while maintaining the basics of your brand.

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2) BUSINESS CARDS

You should always include a business card with any package you send to your customer/client and if you don’t have the cash to have one professionally designed, you should at least spend some time making one uniquely you. You can check out some great ideas over on my  “Calling Cards”Pinterest Board,

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3) THANK YOU CARDS

One of the easiest and impactful way to show your customer/client that you care and that they MATTER to you, is to send along a handwritten Thank You note/card.

Either purchase some lovely cards that echo your brand’s style and/or colour palette or look for ones like these to download and print yourself.

“TOP TIP: Use a thicker or specialty cardstock for that extra-oomph if you’re printing them yourself”

Upgrade the look with some simple white envelopes lined with coordinating scrapbook paper or again, some downloaded templates.

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4) WRAPPING ESSENTIALS

In order to maintain that professionalism that you want your customers/clients to experience, it’s sometimes better to splash out on a few key branding items. A good, solid logo and colour palette FOR SURE. Often a professionally designed business card can really set the tone. Digital design for your main portal of reaching your customers/clients (whether it be an online shop such as Etsy or a Facebook Page or an actual website) is often best left to the professionals.

There are some great and inexpensive ways to accompany these big purchases, though, all the while maintaining consistency.

a) Use a rubber stamp or coordinating label to mark any generic boxes, envelopes or packaging material you may use.

b) Wrap each package in kraft or hand-stamped (see? those rubber stamps come in handy!) wrapping paper and tie with sumptuous ribbon, baker’s twine or linen thread to echo your brand’s aesthetic.

“TOP TIP: Instead of plain tape, use a coordinating or contrasting washi tape to secure the wrapping paper/package”

c) Print out some simple (or silver or gold) labels with your logo and stick them on some inexpensive coordinating coloured cardstock, punch a hole and thread it through the above tied ribbon/twine/thread.

d) Buy some inexpensive shred (from somewhere such as Staples or U-Line) to give that extra-special feel as well as protective padding.

5) MAKE IT YOU

Let your imagination shine through here and don’t simply copy something you’ve seen somewhere else; use those ideas that you like and build on them to make it wholly your own.  After all, your brand is who you are… let that personality shine through!

………………………………………………..

Have a great weekend!

Geribiowashi

Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion

Geri Jewitt is a graphic designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, a design studio focused on branding for small businesses and helping them stand out from the madding crowd.  Recently adding custom letterpress design + printing to the studio, she loves working on custom projects, such as wedding stationery or branding collateral! She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about owning a small creative biz and offers tips, tutorials, templates and design inspiration.

The Languid Lion – CharlieBoy Press - Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest - Instagram

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Jun
24

The 4 Step Formula to Get Raving Fans for your Jewelry Biz

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Are your marketing efforts just not attracting the right kinds of clients for your jewelry business? Do you worry that you’ll lose customers if you don’t market to everyone? There are so many frustrated designers out there struggling to gain the clientele they desire. The truth is, there is only one solution. You must market to not just right type of people, but a single client.

Now I don’t mean pick your favorite from clients’ past and only cater to that person. Instead, consider who is your DREAM client? Trying to appeal to everyone blurs your business vision, derails your direction, and your sales will suffer. Getting really specific on who your “people” are is the key to sustaining a stream of raving fans, referrals and repeat business.

Go through these steps to better your marketing focus, and begin to identify your DREAM client:

Beyond Demographics

Marketing to a simple demographic (sex, age, income, etc.) is how far most businesses go, and its truly the easy way out. If you want to attract clients that will stay, you first must accept defining your DREAM client will take a little more investigation than just a few details. Yet, getting a clearer picture of your perfect client will take you above and beyond your competitors.

Lifestyle Brainstorm

Think of clients who already wear your jewelry, and consider who you want to market to in the future. Do they live a fast-paced urban life, or do they live rurally and shop locally? What are their attitudes toward shopping and jewelry in general? What are their values? Do they value quality over quantity or more for less? Write down what attitudes your current clients hold, and see if you can get an idea of how your ideal, DREAM client thinks.

Deeper Satisfaction

Once you have the basics down, now it’s time to buckle down into some deep thought. Your products and services should always solve a problem for your clients, but think of what their deepest desires are. Do they want to be perceived as a certain social class or status? Do they want to feel confident and beautiful in their everyday life? What are the life goals, biggest fears, and start to think about how your product could help feed into a deeper level of satisfaction.

Detailed Defining

Once you’ve gone above and beyond to truly consider these steps, it’s time to identify and define a single, specific, and detailed DREAM client profile. This is the time to get super specific, and essentially define a single person. This DREAM client profile will become the foundation for your brand and your marketing, and its truly worth defining in great detail.

What to do next? Use the information you’ve uncovered to figure out where these people are hanging out online. Identify the blogs they read, the stores they shop, etc. Use this to find more of them!

We’d love to hear from you! In the Comments below, tell us the following;

1. How clear are you on your DREAM client? Have your created a specific avatar before?

2. What action steps are you going to take to find more DREAM clients?

We’ve recently created a completely FREE training called How to Identify Your DREAM Client. In this 3 part video training series, we’ll teach you how to get SUPER specific with identifying your DREAM client, and we’ll change the entire goal of your marketing and branding strategies.

GO HERE TO ACCESS THE FREE TRAINING SERIES

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Tracy Matthew – Flourish and Thrive

Tracy Matthews is an eco-luxury jewelry designer specializing in bespoke engagement rings, wedding bands and heirloom redesign. She loves to connect on a personal level with her clients, making the process of design intuitive and fun! Her passion for making the business of jewelry fun, led her to found Flourish & Thrive Academy  an online community of jewelry designers who are changing the face of the jewelry industry. Along with her partner, Robin Kramer, she is dedicated to helping jewelry designers get their work on more of their DREAM clients and raving fans.

 

Join Tracy Matthews and Flourish & Thrive Academy on Instagram.

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Jun
19

What Are You Really Selling?

crystalBlue Chalcedony Crystal Point Gold Necklace from The Energy Shop

Selling, as defined by Wikipedia, “is offering to exchange something of value for something else.” In most cases, that something of value is our creation and that something else is the customer’s money. The Old English definition of the word selling is “to deliver” and it originated in Sweden from a word that means “to serve.”

Therefore, the question becomes …

What type of experience are you delivering? And how are you serving your customer?

You need to know how your customer will benefit from doing business with you because business is an exchange of energy. People are eager to trade money for something they feel is worth equal or greater value. It’s important that your listings and your brand reflect that you know your customers value their money, but that this transaction with you is worth the exchange.

Identify what you’re really offering the customer and how they will benefit from doing business with you. In other words, why should anyone buy your product? What’s in it for them?

How does your product make people feel? What problem is your product solving? Address the customer’s needs first. What are they really looking for from the product that you offer?

For example, I love designer handbags, but I’m never just buying a purse. If I wanted a purse, I could find one that fits my needs for $10. When I shop designer handbags, I imagine how glamorous I’ll feel when I carry my new bag. I’m really shopping for the feeling of glamour.

That said, I’m not just selling bracelets at the Energy Shop, and this is something I have deeply understood from the start of business. At the Energy Shop, I’m really selling positive affirmations, best life reminders, and good vibrations. I’m selling the customer a promise to themselves to feel better and make the most of every moment.

Build your sales and promotional strategy around your customer’s feelings, benefits and desires. Explain the problem you solve, and make a pledge to serve their needs repeatedly in the future. Use the worksheet on page 56 to help you clarify what you’re really selling in business.

This will help you gain the insight to understand the customer’s needs. You’ll be able to define the experience they hope to gain by shopping with you. This message can be communicated in several different ways throughout your shop: your photographs, your copywriting, your branding and your prices.

All successful businesses show you that they understand your needs by branding for what they really sell. For example, everything about Neiman Marcus says it sells luxury. Everything about Target says it sells affordable chic, and everything about Walmart says it sells bargains.

What are your photographs, copywriting, branding and pricing currently saying that you sell?

(This exercise is an excerpt from my e-program, Advertising & Exposure)

lisawashi

 Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.

 

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