Day 10 – Some thoughts on Marketing…

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Just recently I wanted to order something, from a company that in the past I have ordered a lot from. I had not used them from this particular computer however, so there were no cookies embedded or other ways for them to recognise me. So when I visited it the other day I was presented with a 50% offer – but also invited to sign in if I was already a customer. Once I signed in the discount disappeared. An email to the customer service informed me that no such discount was currently available. A double check from another device showed that the offer was indeed there, but only for a new customer.

This led to me pondering the whole question of offering discounts or special offers. And how frequently this is for new customers only. Perhaps this does bring in new people – but how many old customers do you lose at the same time ? I feel very disinclined to order from this company again, if I can get what I need elsewhere.

It also reinforces my opinion, that when I do a special offer myself, I want to make it available to anyone and not just a new customer. What is your opinion on this ? New customers only – or everyone ?

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Top up Your Twitter Toolkit

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I was quite an early bird with Twitter and at that time it was small and manageable without needing many extra tools. Now it has grown into a completely different animal and can easily be overwhelming.

In fact, I found I was using it less and less and not really enjoying the experience. Time to review which tools are available to improve the Twitter experience .

So these are my current favourites.

Firstly there is http://www.bufferapp.com This enables you to queue up 10 twitter posts in advance. You can specify the time of day that they go out and also which days. ( For example you can choose not to send any over the weekend.). There is a paid account for larger numbers of tweets, but so far I’ve found 10 is plenty for my needs. I’ve used other similar methods before, but what makes Bufferapp a bit more useful is that you can see which links are clicked on, favourited or retweeted. So it should be easier to make your choice of tweets relevant and interesting. Once these tweets are ready it is much easier to just pop into Twitter once or twice a day and respond in person.

If you’ve had an account for a while the other thing that needs checking is which of your Twitter followers are still active. There’s no point following or being followed by 5000 people if none of them have said anything for a year ! So have a spring clean and flush out those accounts that are sitting dormant. There are plenty tools for doing this too, but the one I prefer at the moment is http://www.tweepi.com In addition to removing the inactive accounts you can use it to follow people who are following you, but that you aren’t following back. Or the other way round.

What is your favourite Twitter tool ?

(If you’d like a copy of my next Studio Newsletter you can subscribe here – for a mix of behind the scenes work in progress and
tips on keeping your creative life moving. )

Etsy – Getting Started – Some Tips

A couple of my friends are currently just opening, or about to open their Etsy shop which has prompted me to round up a few tips and ideas. I thought I’d do it as a blog post so that I can add to it and also keep it all nice and contained in one place rather than scattered through emails.

Often it is tempting to keep waiting until the moment is perfect, until you have all the inventory you want, all other ducks in a row. So my first tip is Just Start.  You can register your name and do all kinds of tweaking and learning before you open up to the public.

Of that behind the scenes part there are a few essentials – making a header for example. These are easy to do with even simple photo editing software. But if you are daunted by that there are people who will make one for you. ( or just ask a friend to help you ).

If you do some back ground reading on Etsy or in blogs the one bit of advice that comes back over and over again is to have good product  photographs.  Your customer can’t pick up and look at your product so the photograph is the only way you have , to communicate how wonderful your creation is.

My photography suggestions are – use daylight ( flash is a no-no ) – I prefer a spot indoors next to a window because outside stuff can blow about. But for clothing or similar that is less of an issue. Use the macro setting on your camera to get good close up details. Show the item from various angles – or show the reverse side.  Use all the five shots you have available per listing. Have one of those on a white background as those are often preferred by treasury makers.

At the same time as tweaking your shop have a look round the other parts of Etsy. If you’ve never bought something there then buy something as research ( Nice excuse ! ) to experience the site as a buyer. That will also let you start to get some feedback.

Also investigate the community side. For many sellers this is as much a bonus as having a venue to set up shop and a lot of real friendships have been formed through teams and forums.

It is good to join a couple of teams at the outset as this will give you some support and will help with such things as Treasuries. Look for teams that are quite active and have a reasonable number of members. They can be geographic or by medium or with a particular theme  – plenty to choose from to find a good fit. Some have loads of rules about what you must do. I tend to avoid those as I don’t want to commit to making a certain number of treasuries etc.

And treasuries – what are they ? They are little individually curated collections of 16 items.    You can create them yourself or your items can be featured in them. One of the benefits of being in a team is that they will often make treasuries using mostly items from their team members. Create them by colour, inspired by a song or a film – whatever you like – but strive to make them look good as a collection. Will doing treasuries help sales ? The jury is out on this , but in terms of getting some visibility as you get started and also to get to know the community I think they have their place.  Some of these treasuries are then selected by the Etsy admin to feature on the front page – but this is quite an elusive goal !

The first port of call should be the Etsy Seller’s Handbook  which covers pretty well everything you could need to know at the outset. I still regularly pick a topic in it to review and see where I can make an improvement. But just take it at your own pace and choose one thing at a time to master !

 Also, last chance to enter my own pendant /ring giveaway – I’ll be picking a winner tonight ! You can enter here

Monday Moodboard

A very frosty morning here today so time for a silvery mood.  Somehow it has also turned out full of circles .

Nuit Necklace  by Aliette

Sea Urchin Daisy Earrings  by StarOfTheEast

Wings of Time Watch  by Aranwen

Demeter Ring  by Nafsika

Subscriber Giveaway Winner

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I did a giveaway yesterday, from all the subscribers to my Studio Newsletter. I thought it was a nice way to show my appreciation for your support and encouragement. I’d like to make it a regular feature, so if you want to be included next time you can subscribe here .

The winner this time was Laura from Blue Terracotta – do go and have a look at her very varied work on her site and in her Etsy shop. Her work includes  mosaics, soft sculptures and intricate brooches.

Monday Moodboard

Monday moodboard is a sea frothy blue again today – time for another walk along the beach.

Peacock Teal Rose Flower Brooch  by Ayawedding

Aqua Blue Green Ring by Jealousy Design

Peter Dickie Bird Square Cards   by AHueOfDuckEggBlue

Five Wool Wrapped Stacking Bangles  by MysticFibers

Just had a delivery of the next batch of  canvases for my exhibition. It’s like Christmas unwrapping them to see how they’ve turned out.  Am really happy with them so far. If you are in the Edinburgh area and would like an invitation to the private view just let me know. If you are further afield and would like to keep up to date with new work and other snippets on living the creative life you can subscribe to my monthly ezine here  . And you’ll get a  couple of freebie postcard downloads into the bargain.

Monday Moodboard

A slightly orange mood still spilling over from last week.

 Turquoise and Orange Spring  Ring by Nanouke

Museum Fish Polaroid  by Starrybluesky

Burnt Orange and Turquoise Wool Felted Beads by StemellinaSupplies

My Little Turquoise Bowl by Azulado

Yes, I did include one of my own this time because it was the image  that triggered my mood today. Also, latest issue of my Studio Newsletter went out last Thursday, with the topic of flourishing as a creative person. I got some really lovely feedback, so if you’d still like a copy you can subscribe here  and I’ll send out a second batch.