Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Gifts

I'm kind of a day late and a dollar short with this post... but such is life! I wanted to share the matching Christmas Tree necklaces I made for my mother and sister. I forgot to photograph mine...which is lavender and white so... I'll be even later with that post! ;-)

Mom's was traditional:

 My sister's favorite color is chartreuse or, as I call it, Grinch Green! Still her's is my favorite!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creative Vision?

I'm taking a few days off to recoup from my trip to Louisiana and the nasty cold I brought home with me. So the bestie and I went to downtown LA to purchase a few more crystals she needed for one of our niece's many wedding projects. Along the way, we noticed that a wedding supply shop we had favored because of the kind old man that owned it had become a leather and findings store.  The old shop closing was expected. But the fantastic and unusual selection of the new shop was most unexpected!

I found inspiration everywhere I turned. The most amazing magnetic clasps ever! I bought some leather cording to try with kumihimo and my head was just spinning.

In the center aisle, I found sections of ebeaded bits ready to be sewn into place. And then, I spied these loved velvet collars! I was envisioning a whole line of jewelry possibilities, mixing my glass beads with these lovely velvet bits when my best friend joined me. I quickly explained: I guess you slide a bead on, add a clasp and look they have these adjustable slides so it can fit anyone!

Without missing a beat, the bestie quipped, "Yeah, or you could just wear it as a bra strap!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Like Me!!

The number one question I've gotten since I started this series on Fan Pages is... How do you get them to like your page. It's rather elementary... You make it worth their while!

I openly tell people that my fans see my work first, they get first dibs on a sale and often get their own sales coupon codes  for extra percent off and / or free shipping. There are perks to being my fan!

Think about the fan pages YOU like... WHY do you like them??? Is there something they do to entice you? Maybe that would work for your fans... can you adapt their techniques??

But other than making it enticing, my best advice is point out you have a like button EVERYWHERE you are. Mention it on your sale receipts, business cards, show fliers, your blogs, your website, your shops and your personal Facebook page. Tweet about it once in a while... "Secret fan sale starts tomorrow (with a link to your fan page)."

The second most popular question I've gotten is - "What's your fan page?" REALLY??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Do you not see the annoyingly large box to your right???>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That's called a Page Badge and getting one for your own fan page is pretty nifty and simple. Let's walk through that:

  1. Click here to create Facebook Badges
  2. Choose Page Badge.
  3. Choose your your blog host 
  4. The next page will give you widget options... which blog (if you host more than one), which page you want the widget to advertise (If you have more than one fan page), The title of the widget, the content (This is where I edit mine to say there are benefits to liking me... I also tweak the width here to fit into my three column format.)
  5. Click "Add Widget" and Viola! You have a like box page badge on your blog!
If you want to add that box to your personal site... just click OTHER on the Facebook Badge page, copy the html that appears in the box below and paste it where you need it.

So that takes care of your blog. But I'm often amazed at how many sellers I see on Artfire and Etsy that don't take advantage of the Fan Page Like buttons there.

Artfire, as always, makes it so simple. From the Tools tab in My Artfire, click on Market Hub. There you are allowed to fill in all the places people can find you: Blogs, personal sites, Etsy, Twitter, My Space and pages.

On Etsy, go to your account / settings. There you can fill in your Facebook fan page (or personal page) and your twitter.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fire Divas Black Tie Challenge

The Fire Divas are getting ready for all those fancy Holiday and New Year parties? Well take a look at these pretty baubles! Our theme this month was Black Tie - something you would wear to dress up a bit.

Please cast your vote on the right side of the Fire Divas Blog and make sure to leave a comment below, and you could be the lucky winner of a 20% off coupon from the ArtFire shop of Amy Sims Designs!

The Poll closes at midnight EST this Saturday, December 17th, and we will post the results on Sunday.
Entry 1
Entry 2
Entry 3
Entry 4
Entry 5

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fan Page Apps

The number one question I received after last week's post was how to get people to like your page.  I will cover that but first we have to finish decking out your fan page. Before they come, you have to build it!

You have to think of your fan page as another interactive website for your business. You want to give them a lot too look at and things to do (buy) while they are there.
 Keep photos of your latest work, new shops listing and even blog listings feeding to your page!

The easiest and best thing to do is work with the photo albums that come with your page. For my page, I know that I make lots of beads and occasionally jewelry and those items fall into specific categories: Glass Bead Sets, Under the Sea theme, Focals, Big Hole Beads, Sweet Treats and jewelry. So I create annual albums for those items. I don't want the albums to seem too long to discourage browsing.  But if you only make a few items you won't need so many. Maybe you make so much, you need monthly albums. However you organize them, these are my tips:
  • Try to keep 30 - 50 current photos per album.
  • Never list more than three photos at a time to avoid spamming your own page.
  • Always hit "Publish" when you are done for the last three photos to be visible in your wall feed. 
If you are looking to cut down on work, there are apps out there that feed your flickr uploads to your fan page. I have not tried them but some are highly reviewed

There are also apps that allow you to create custom tabs for your fan page. You can create a landing page, telling people about your business / products / you and encourage them to like you. If you know basic html or can deal with a WYSIWYG editor such as blogger, you can do this. TabFusion is one such free tab maker that is fairly straight forward and used by many high-end clients!

Additionally, you want to feed all your listings to your fan page. Having a steady flow of interesting content is KEY!  You should feed anything to do with your business that has an rss feed to your wall! There are MANY apps and third party sites that allow this.

For the Fire Divas fan page, we set up a twitterfeed account. We feed every team member's newest listings to our team twitter account, one per shop per hour. (You ARE feeding all your listings to your twitter automatically, right???)  As a team, we decided that many new listings was too spammy for our fan page however and we do not feed team listings there, choosing instead to manually post treasuries and collections that focus on the whole team.

But as an individual, I RARELY list more than three items per day on any of my sites combined... and my fan page is about ME... supposedly, my fans want to know what's new. So I do feed all new items to my personal fan page.

While twitterfeed is great to feed to twitter and to your personal page, it doesn't have the capability to feed to your fan page. But there are several apps on Facebook that you can use for this. The two I have the most experience with both have quirks.
  • Networked blogs  - will feed anything with an RSS feed to your personal or fan page wall. The downside is... I find it to be a popularity contest. You have to either post some code on your page (impossible on Etsy / Artfire) or get 10 friends to confirm you as the author of your feed. They can also delay the feed based on how many followers you have... which sucks! 
  • RSS Graffiti - will also feed any RSS feed to your wall or fan page. This one can be trickier to set up and it does have posting errors from time to time's not a popularity contest. 
For the record, I use twitterfeed to feed my listings and blog to twitter, RSS grafiti feeds all my blogs and new listings to my fan page and I still have Networked blogs set up to feed my listings and blogs to my personal page. 

So now, you have some content for your wall but you should also make shopping easier so that your fans can shop from your fan page. There are shopping cart and payment apps right on Facebook but, you can also link to the shops you already have!

Artfire has step by step instructions for this on their site. NOTE: if you had the Artfire app installed on your page before 12/1/2011, you will find it has stopped worked due to an upgrade. Simply go to your fan page / Artfire tab and enter your shop name and the upgrade will work!

Etsy, as always, makes things just a bit more difficult.  But there is a My Etsy app for your fan page as well. Click on "Add to My Page" and it will walk you through the steps. It may be helpful to have three tabs open: My Etsy app, your actual Etsy shop, and your Fan Page.

*** Summary***

  1. Utilize photo albums on your fan page.
  2. Create a custom landing page.
  3. Feed all your shop listings to your fan page wall.
  4. Add tabs for your Etsy / Artfire shops.
Get busy!!! Next week... getting those LIKES!