Sunday, September 30, 2012

90 Days of Xmas - Day 5

25th September to 25th December
90 Days of Xmas.....that is my take for this festive season.

So to begin I have decided to post photos of all items that I make during this period in a weekly post preferably on Fridays. As I have been 5 days late in coming up with this new post series I have pics of cards I made last year before I decided to start this journey of turning my hobby into a handmade small business.

And while I was searching through the myriad of pictures from way back when I came across some of my earliest creations, and it was so funny in a weird sort of way to see how I have progressed from those cards to the ones I create now.

They were made for Christmas 2010 and I mainly used items I had such as gift tags, ribbons and bits of scrap paper I had lying around. Here are the pictures....

The following pics were I think from an even earlier time.....

Now back to our previous discussion, that of posting weekly photos of Seasonal Christmas Cards till December 25th. I was also thinking of giving away free printable of gift tags and other xmas related items.

The first posting of pics can be found on my Facebook Page but the rest will be featured as a posting here on the blog and the pics added to an album on the FB page. 

Here are the pics that has been posted for the first week, what a difference just in the style of photography. I suppose reading all these articles on how taking good pictures are vital is finally starting to sink in. I do believe there is much to improve on but I reckon I am getting the hang of it now...anyway back to the pics...

This collection was inspired by a white Christmas and the gold and silver colour scheme which is more popular for New Year's Eve.

I hope you enjoy them as much as it was a pleasure for me to make them.

Cheers, till next week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crafter's Essential Links....Listings No. 2

Well last time I was foccussed more on selling on Esty links and articles. This post is more about branding, social media marketing and other marketing related links.

First I will start by giving some very interesting link from Inspiration Feed. I discovered this website via another website I use My Guest Blog. After sitting here for half a day and going through awhole of awesome articles I thought that maybe I need to share them with others who may not know about this wonderful website.

I've decided to split the listing into sets of five based on the type of content.

  1. New Facebook Timeline for Brands: Rookie to Pro Guide
  2. 10 Free Tools to Create a Facebook Timeline Cover
  3. 25+ Examples of New Creative Facebook Profile Pages
  4. Five Brand Pages That Got the Facebook Timeline Layout Right
  5. Fans Share and How Brands Can Capitalize On It
  1. Build Your Following: Twitter Marketing Tips
  2. How to Make a Topic Trend on Twitter
  3. Five Great Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers
  4. How To Communicate Effectively Within a 140-Character Limit
  5. Twitter and the Politeness Game: Etiquette on the New Social Giant
  1. How to Build Your Brand through Guest Blogging
  2. 3 Examples of Branding Done Right
  1. 4 Good Habits for Successful Blogging
  2. How to Get 1000 Blog Subscribers
  3. 5 Reasons why Blogging is better for Your Business than Social Networking
  4. How to Make Your Blog Stand Out From the Crowd
  5. Five Tools That Can Help Make Your Blogging Easier
WOW what a listing, after going through all this the day is almost over. I hope you find as much useful information from these pages as I did and that it will inspire you start implementing some of the ideas and inspiration. Now I know why they call it "INSPIRATIONFEED".

As for me I think I need to start by redefining my brand and create some awesome marketing material, then try and make my Facebook page more appealing and also to go over my blog and make some changes.

Well folks better start reading until the next listing post.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Crafter's Essential Links....

Hello all

Wanted to share some links that I have been going through during the day as I was at home nursing a headache and recuperating from a few days of celebrating of celebration, it was my birthday after all...anyway enough about me and let's talk about those links...

It all started with an email I got from Handmadeology and after several clicks and many page changes I came to these pages:
  1. 1,000 Sales in My First Year of Business on Etsy
  2. 450 Sales in the First Three Months of Business
  3. Competitively Speaking, Think Abundance
  4. Crafting a true Marketing Plan for your Etsy Business
  5. Newsletters: So Easy, An Artist Could Do It
  6. Public Relations Marketing & Scoring Free Publicity
  7. 8 Articles to read before you start an Etsy Store
Reading through some of my other emails and checking some of my facebook posts these articles proved to be good reads.
  1. When you’re trying really hard but it feels like you’re getting nowhere 
  2. What the hell is a linesheet?
As I troll through the huge list of stuff I have I will continually add to this list. I also came across this huge list of social media icons in which I hope you can find some to your interests and also use them on your blog.

Social Media Icons

Good luck going through these, it took me the better part of the afternoon, had to stop to go get some groceries or else there won't be any food for luch for the week



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creative Business Tool Inventory.....

As I have mentioned before I am putting together of tools that I have discovered and/or use. I thought to make it more interesting I should do one tool per post.

So today I will be talking about CraftyBase

This is the perfect tool for us the creative. Their mantra is Keep track of what you make! I so agree, who has time to be calculating material costs and labour cost.

The tool can help in making decisions such as:

How much should I sell my handmade products for?

  • Automatically calculate your exact material costs per product
  • Keep track of your labor and time
  • Incorporate postage and other expenses
  • See your profit margins on each sale made

  How much did I spend to make my products this month?

  • Log all costs involved in producing your products
  • Associate purchases with projects and inventory items
  • Import your Etsy listing, renewal and commission fees instantly
  • Filter by date and view graphically to see trends

  How much profit in total did I make this year?

  • Track your sales from all channels - online and offline
  • Instant profitability calculations
  • Easy to understand graphs and charts
  • Find out your busy months so you can prepare in advance

It also helps to keep on top of other part of your business such as:
  • Stock and inventory tracking - Keep tabs on what you have in stock and what you need to reorder
  • Time tracking - Track how long it takes you to make each item you sell.
  • Importing your Etsy Data - Import your sales, Etsy fees and listings at the touch of a button.
  • Calculating cost of goods sold - makes things a snap at tax time.

You can try it for 30 days for free and see how much you like, but then it is US$ 7.99/month.

I have been using it extensively this month only but I've had it for more than 6 months and so far I like the clean interface and the ease of use. The only issue I have with it so far is that once you've imported your data from Etsy you still have to edit them again as they are created as new projects.

So let's say you've created your account or you've logged in then the first thing to do is to go to the Settings and change your currency and country to Australia. This is where you will also have to set your hourly rate in dollars. Then you can either import your Etsy shop or start adding materials for your inventory, which will then be used for making items that are added into projects.

I find that it is easier to create the projects first for all the kind of items you make, e.g. I have this new Small Bright Card collection that is a small 4in card with a matching handmade envelope. The only difference is that the colour of the envelope changes so I made one project for each of the colour change. Then I added the materials that will be used for creating those cards. I do not add things such as glue and ink for printing or even the envelope template that I used as these items are the core tools for my whole process so there is no need to add it to the price of each product. But it is all up to you how detailed you want to go to.

I reckon the best way to use this tool is try it out, test different ways of doing things until you find the method that works for your business and your way of doing things.

Wow this was meant to be a small post, but I've been so engrossed in giving a good review that I've gone on and on. I hope I have given you guys enough details to get you interested and get you to actually give the tool a try....what can you loose it is for free for 30 days.....go on I know you wanna

Until next time