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Disappear your Fear with Facebook Live

Just like Shakira sang about how her “hips don’t lie”, I’m not fibbing when I blast you with these video stats.

  • After watching a video 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
  • 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process
  • Enjoyment of videos increase purchase intent 97% and brand association by 139%
  • ⅓ of all online activity is spent watching video
  • Dr James McQuivey (whoever he is but he sounds smart) says that 1 min of video is the equivalent to 1.8m words

So, ask yourself honestly….are you fully utilising video to grow your craft & art business…specifically Facebook Live?

When I performed a quick survey in my Facebook group of makers about Facebook Live I was overwhelmed at how intimidated, under confident and downright scary people believed it was!

“What if no one shows up live?”

“What do I say about my crafts? I have no idea how to make a video about them!”

“I’m too petrified to be face on with the camera – it feels waaay too exposed”

“I’m too boring to make a video that people will want to watch”

Resonating at all?

I know it feels scary and uncomfortable but with stats like the above, can you afford to ignore this HUGE opportunity for getting in front of new potential customers? Especially if your competitors are staying in the wings building up their confidence.

We’ve all heard about the ever elusive Facebook algorithm and what it likes and doesn’t like, but I can guarantee that Facebook Live videos are definitely in the “like” camp.

Already businesses are seeing a huge surge in their likes, sales and awareness purely from adding Facebook Live videos to their marketing plethora. Take Guy Kawasaki, a financial and business guru who shares tips and help via FB Live – his Facebook page has lit up purely from this one easy and FREE tool.

Why are Live streaming videos more powerful than pre-recorded videos?

Live streaming videos are all about connecting with your audience in real time. It’s as close as any of us can get to meeting our customers and fans face to face. It’s more authentic than pre-recorded videos (people know you can’t go back and edit them!) and in the shiney, 24k coated world of the online business, it is SO needed and wanted by consumers.

Jackie, I’m still petrified, can you help me?

Well I’m so glad you asked!

I’m running a free 3 day mini course on how to disappear your fear with Facebook Live starting 17th April.

Join me for a daily Facebook Live (of course) where I break down:

  • Why this tool is a MUST for your craft business in 2017
  • Ideas for video content specific for makers and product based businesses
  • FAQs – let’s break down the tech and tips for getting confident to step out of the wings onto the stage!

Click here to see the event on my Facebook page and hope to see you there!

 

Jackie Muscat

Jackie Muscat helps the confused maker & artist create a successful brand and business on Facebook. In 2015, she transformed her kid’s mural business with zero likes, zero online presence and zero authority into a flourishing side hustle, with a 12 week waiting list in just 6 months. All achieved by using proven Facebook tactics. She now packages up her Facebook & online marketing knowledge into videos, blogs and courses for creatives serious about turning their hobby into a business online. You can read more about her here and join her free Facebook group where she’s hanging out like a bad smell that reeks of super helpful advice bombs here

http://www.craftmysuccess.com


Start Before You’re Ready // Social Media

Now you know some good reasons why you should start before you’re ready and Kerry gave you a breathing technique and an exercise to help you get in the zone to start before you’re ready! If you missed either of them, click here to check out my post and here to check out Kerry’s.

There are some key areas that I see makers avoid starting all the time. No judgement, I’ve been one of them! Starting something new, especially in your carefully created handmade biz, can be scary and super intimidating.

Avoiding trying new things in your business might feel nice for a while, but in the long run it could be the death of your business.

Over the next couple of months I’ll be diving deep into the 6 key areas that I see makers avoid the most.  I’m going to give you the support you need to start before you’re ready on the following topics:

–  Social Media

–  Building your own website

–  Starting a newsletter

–  Wholesale

–  Blogging

–  Hiring

Each of these areas will most likely force you out of your comfort zone in some way and into being more authentic and open in front of your audience. So, it’s no surprise that these 6 areas are some of the most commonly avoided by makers, this stuff can be scary!

Take a deep breath, I’m going to walk you through each one of these areas and tell you exactly how to start before you’re ready in each category.

Let’s jump in! Embrace the uncomfortableness of the unknown as we get started with the first topic I see makers avoid totally or avoid taking seriously: social media.  

On your long maker to-do list social media might be the farthest thing from your mind. Maybe you’re avoiding it completely or have a personal page that you randomly share your products on.

If you’re avoiding social media you could be missing a treasure trove of your ideal customers that are ready to buy.

Social media doesn’t have to be a chore, and you absolutely do not need to take on more than you can commit to.

Here are 4 steps to start before you’re ready with social media, you might be surprised how easy and fun it can be!  

Step 1: The snowball effect

Start with one social media platform. If you already have some, but aren’t really taking them seriously, pick one to focus on. Once you have one mastered and running like a well oiled machine, move onto the next one, and repeat with as many platforms as you’d like!

I know what you’re thinking…

“How do I know which social media platform is right for me to start with? “

Answer these questions to find out.

  • Where do your ideal customers hang out?
  • What social media platform do you enjoy the most?
  • What social media platform is easiest for you to commit to using on a regular basis?
  • What social media platform works best for your business budget right now?

The platform you answered the most questions with is your starting point. Don’t even worry about the others yet.

Step 2: Commit to a posting schedule

Repeat after me: I do not have to post on social media everyday unless I want to.

I talk to so many makers that say they can’t do social media because they don’t have time to do it everyday.

This is not a good excuse.

So, right here, right now, commit to a posting schedule that works for you. 3 posts per week is a good minimum to start.

  • 3 per week/ 12 monthly
  • 4 per week/ 16 monthly
  • 5 per week/ 20 monthly
  • 6 per week/ 24 monthly
  • Everyday/ 28-31 monthly

Step 3: Batch and schedule

The key to your time quandary: batching and scheduling. Schedule a couple hours a month to take all of your social media pictures for the month and schedule them out.

How much time do you spend a day thinking about all of the social media related things you should be doing. If you’re like me, WAY TOO MUCH. Haha! Batching and scheduling out my social media posts changed my world. It was one huge thing that was completely off my daily to-do list.

Some social media platforms allow you to schedule posts in advance for free, like Facebook and Twitter. Scheduling for Instagram and Pinterest isn’t built into their platforms so you’ll need to purchase a third party app.

Many of these scheduling apps are affordable and easy to use. Here’s a list of awesome scheduling programs to get you started:

Step 4: Prop bag

Your next question, “What do I take pictures of?”.

This is my favorite part about social media! Creating your prop bag is your opportunity to express your brand in another way outside of your products which is a great opportunity to be creative in another way, and it might even involve some tax write off shopping.

Side note: Make sure you’re crystal clear on your branding before committing to a crazy big prop arsenal.

With a prop bag in hand taking a pictures of your products, completed or in process, will be a breeze and on brand. At woo woo central, aka Zenned Out, our prop bag includes a multitude of crystals, smudge sticks, oracle cards, and minimal backgrounds. A good way to brainstorm good props for your brand is to ask yourself “What kind of products would your ideal customer have in their house as decoration?”.

Now you have all of the tools you need to seriously commit to one social media platform of your choice. My hope is that I’ve taken some of the guess work out of getting started with taking social media seriously and that you might even be a little bit excited about it!
Have a question? Let me know in the comments below! Already have a solid social media commitment? Comment below with your favorite tips for getting started.

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.

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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.

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.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.44.13 AM

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!

12 Social Media Management Apps to Save You Hours Every Day

Right now you’ve got a pile of to-do lists that get longer instead of shorter as the day goes on, emails filling up your inbox, and your next creative project still marinating in your brain just itching to be completed, am I right?

Then you’ve got all your different social media sites that you’ve been told are totally crucial to stay on top of if you want to market your business right.

And yes, social media marketing is crucial, and you do need to stay on top of it. But social media management can be a full-time job in and of itself.

As it is, we spend an average of 3.6 hours a day on social media! That’s over 10 hours a week juggling Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+…

That’s 10 hours you could be using to come up with your next awesome handmade masterpiece!

So stop interrupting your day and wasting more time posting on social media. You don’t have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram all day long to get the awesome results of all-day engagement. The answer is social media managing tools!

If you can’t spare a few minutes to read the descriptions of each tool right now, click the button under here to instantly download your Free Social Media Management App Resource Guide.

Click Here to Instantly Download Your Free Social Media Scheduling Guide

The 12 awesome tools explained below make it easy to gather all your content and schedule it up for days, or weeks at a time – and let your social media work for you.

Tools for Managing Facebook AND Twitter Accounts Like a Boss:

fb_twitter
Buffer

Buffer helps you set that sweet spot posting schedule between silence and oversaturating your followers’ feeds. Set up a scheduling pattern you want to follow, and let Buffer do all the work of posting. Whenever you find post-able content, Buffer will automatically set the post for the next available time slot. Updates can be posted on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Buffer is totally free for one Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account and up to ten posts scheduled at a time. The Pro plan for $10 a month lets you include up to six social media accounts and 50 scheduled updates, while Premium offers unlimited accounts and updates for $99 a month.

Hootsuite

This popular social media tool manages your updates across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, and Foursquare accounts with easy-to-use scheduling tools. Plus, Hootsuite incorporates an RSS feed, so you can update your accounts with your own articles and posts from other blogs.

Use Hootsuite for free with up to five social media accounts. Upgrade to the Pro plan for $5.99 a month to incorporate unlimited social media profiles, RSS feeds and more.

IFTTT

“IF This, THEN That.” Set up recipes linked to all your social media profiles that give you alerts when specific things happen. This helps you organize what social media interactions you see and de-clutters your inboxes.

For example, you can choose “IF: A comment is left on my FB post, THEN: Send me a text“ or “IF: I’m tagged in a photo on Instagram, THEN: Add the URL to my Dropbox folder.”

IFTTT complements Hootsuite or Buffer to give you complete control of your social media.

Keep It Simple and Organized on Facebook

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Facebook offers a handy built-in feature for planning posts called the Facebook Scheduler.

The above tools are excellent for juggling multiple profiles at once, but there are benefits to logging directly into your Facebook account every once in a while.

Facebook incorporates EdgeRank software, meaning direct content is often prioritized in feeds over posts sent from third party apps (like Buffer or Hootsuite). Plus, Facebook users have the option to hide all content posted by third parties. Check out Econsultancy’s guide to EdgeRank if you want to learn more.

Facebook Scheduler avoids the snags of EdgeRank. This built-in feature is available for any post you prepare on Facebook – look for the little clock icon in the bottom left corner of the text box. Pick the date and time you want to post (you can even select past dates to pad an empty timeline!) View or edit your scheduled posts in your Activity Log.

Tools to Tidy Up Your Twitter Reach

twitter_birds

Tweepi

Tweepi is like a Twitter detox. Flush away unfollowers, cleanup inactives, reciprocate those who are following you, and even find new followers! It’s a great way to reorganize and drop off dead weight.

The Pro version lets you do bulk follow/unfollow actions up to 200 users at a time – this is the weapon of choice for a total Twitter account overhaul.

TweetDeck

This management tool was recently purchased by Twitter and allows filters on what matters (so you don’t let any crucial Tweets pass you by!). You can schedule upcoming tweets and remain up-to-date on notifications from fellow Tweeters. Use this program on your chrome browser or download the tool to your Windows or Mac desktop.

Become an Insta-Managing Guru – Three Helpful Instagram Tools

instagram double tap

Latergram.me

This is an easy-to-use tool that lets you schedule your upcoming posts for the ideal time. Upload photos from the web or your phone. Plus, you can edit and view your scheduled posts from the mobile app, or online, and get push notifications (alerts on your locked phone screen) once your scheduled posts go out. Nothin’ gets by you!

Takeoff

This app helps you schedule just like Latergram.me, but also claims to increase your comments and likes. TakeOff crunches numbers to suggest the best time to post and offers hashtag suggestions to reach new followers.

Schedule up to ten posts per day on one Instagram account with the free version.

Schedugram

Another scheduling tool for controlling upcoming posts on Instagram, you can edit images with filters and other Instagram features. You can also request an email confirmation once your scheduled posts go out.

Pin On Schedule with Pinterest Tools

MFblog_RichPins

Tailwind

Tailwind analyzes your Pinterest account and gives you a graph of your statistics right when you log in. Analyze the growth of your fans, followers and pins, audience engagement and find the best time to post your pins. Follow Pinterest clicks through to sales using Google Analytics and benchmark your performance against competitors. All your research is instantly done for you!

Viral Tag

A total time-saver for finding and posting visual content over Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Viral Tag lets you add a Bookmarklet to your browser – drag photos you may want to post into your Bookmarklet and come back to them to add captions, links and schedule a posting time. You can also enhance and edit images before posting.

Piqora

Piqora is a useful enterprise tool for both Pinterest and Instagram that lets you schedule upcoming posts as well as access analytics. Plus there’s the option to create promotions and sweepstakes schemes to grow your Pinterest following.

Doing More with Social Media in Less Time

With the help of these organizational tools, some useful analytics and a direct focus, you’ll start wondering when they added more hours in the day, and your social media profiles will never go empty.

So start experiment with these tools and the ones that work best with your social media profiles and level of engagement.

Are you using any social media scheduling tools right now? Which ones do you like the best?

rachelwashi

Rachel Daley – MadeFreshly

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!