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Card Making for Beginners #7 Social Media

Welcome to the final episode in this seven part step by step series of card making for beginners – Join me for live chat during YouTube premiere

Thank you for visiting the blog today this is the last in the card making for beginners series.  In this episode we are looking at all the social media options for promoting your hobby or business. All of the content of this blog are my views based on personal experience only.  However, I hope that the information is of some use to you.  I’d love your feedback on the whole series if you have a spare moment to Contact Me and let me know thank you.

Hi everyone thanks for joining me at week seven, the last episode of this mini-series, cardmaking for beginners. Before you read on, please be reminded the previous 6 YouTube videos are linked below just in case you wish to revisit any, or have missed one or two.

We are going to look at working online – websites, social media platforms and YouTube.  This blog contains information on my personal experience and opinions but not everyone will use all of these platforms but I’d like to talk to you about how I use them and give tips and tricks where I can.

Please note that I have linked some further information within this blog to external sites such as Facebook, etc. I am not responsible for these external links so please do, as you should whilst online, be careful.

The main most popular starting point is:

Facebook Business Page (and Groups)

It is really easy to make a business Facebook page.  The benefits of having a business page is that you can invite friends to like your page and also people you don’t know can choose to like your page.

You can share posts, photographs, and links to your website. You can add a shop now button that would take the visitor to your online store. For me, my customers are redirected to my Stampin’ Up! Shop page which is great.

Customers can contact you via direct messaging to ask questions too. You are able to advise people of your business description, contact details, opening hours and can even add products. The option to add “special offers” is there too.

Customers are also able to leave you a review via your business page which is good for any new people visiting your page and great for your reputation – provided you have a good one lol!

You also have the option to feature a post on “your story” that will appear at the top of your profile when visitors view your page.

Facebook Features

Some of the features on Facebook that I enjoy are:  I can schedule my posts up to 8 or 10 weeks ahead, specially good if you want to schedule a post, say on Valentine’s Day, etc.; I can also create events for my craft classes and workshops; I can create a post with a poll on it to gain followers views; I can 

Another good feature is the Community section. Here you can create…..

Facebook Groups

I use Facebook groups for the following reasons:

  • A specific group page for customers and crafty friends where we have weekly challenges, share our projects and generally inspire each other. I also share any offers or events coming up in this group before posting to my main page. My group is called the “crafty stamping club”.
  • I also have a groups especially for my team of demonstrators. This is a private secret group that only my team have access too.

One tip I would suggest, that I learned from my upline, is that your business page is for exactly that…. business posts, don’t be tempted to share crafty makes, speak to friends on it etc., and keep that within your group.

You can learn more directly from Facebook link here (external link to Facebook):
More information on how to make a Facebook Business Page (external link)

Blogging Website

Now, this is a relatively sore point for me at present (as I am currently going through swapping my website over to a cheaper, better option).

WordPress coding is used by around 30% of the overall worldwide market, and it is getting more popular. 

For the past year I have used a site through WordPress dot com not realising that it was a separate entity to WordPress dot org which meant that whilst I could develop a website easy, and do blogging and sharing my business – because I want more now, and want to analyse it more – I can’t, unless I pay up to £200 to upgrade to a business site. Now – one good thing was, if you are new to website blogging, this option is more than suffice. Quick to use, easy to learn. 

Low and behold, I finally found a cheaper annual hosting company who use WordPress coding and they are currently migrating my site over to their servers.  I will need to rebuild the whole theme of my site (that’s the layout for those who don’t know what a theme is) and this could take me a good few weeks.  I’m working with them to ensure I don’t lose my actual content such as my years’ worth of blog posts and media files….. So I’m still pretty nerve wracked at the minute – knowing that I’ve got lots of work to do…. it will be worth it.

Moral of the story…. go with your capabilities, choose what’s easiest and will work best for you. I learn very quickly in terms of programs, etc. so I am always pushing for more…

To learn more about WordPress Websites please see this link (external link)
WordPress.org

With most blogs you can schedule your posts, you can set them to share automatically to your social media channels (mainly Facebook and Twitter on a basic package).  

In a website you create a menu with all of the options to link to other pages which describe other parts of your business such as: about me; shop; blog; contact me; gallery etc. etc. You don’t want too many menus for people to choose from – keep it simple.

The main thing is start simple, learn the programme, get a feel for it and don’t do too much and risk breaking your website lol.

Top Tip keep your content fresh and up to date, people (and Google) likes new content and this can help improve where you sit on that search list on google.

Instagram

Instagram is an affiliate programme of Facebook and the two can link together for ease of use via settings “linked accounts”

In both programmes you can create a post and automatically share it with the other one and vice versa. It’s good.

The only difference really between the two is that Instagram is more of a visual platform – people use it to view actual photographs and pictures.

With Instagram, people can follow you and you can follow them. There is also a messaging section to make direct contact with people.

Instagram uses hashtags for search purposes so it is important to add four or five hash-tagged key words when posting. My key words are #stampinup #cardmaking #handmade #stamping #stampinupdemo amongst a few other ones specific to the photo I am sharing i.e. the product for instance #designerseriespaper or #giftcard

Have a look at other Instagram accounts and see how they are posting. There is no right or wrong way but there is always a better way 🙂 thus increasing your followers.

Instagram Features

Set up to auto share to Facebook and Twitter accounts (see twitter below). You also have the option to feature a post on “your story” that will appear at the top of your profile when visitors view your page.

You can not only post photos (up to 10 in one post I’m sure) but you can also post short videos under 1minute long i.e. 59mins 59 secs max. There is an option to share bigger videos via Instagram TV feature but I don’t use this at present.

Restrictions

You aren’t able to type in direct clickable links to your other pages i.e. your website. Followers, if they want to will simply copy and paste the link that you type in – they can’t click on it in the actual post and be redirected to another page – a bit frustrating but we can’t all be perfect right?  You can however, add a clickable link to your website in your Instagram description which shows at the top of your profile. Always make reference to where you want the viewer to go next within your post, and let them know how to get there “copy and paste link detailed below” or “link in description”.

You can reference Instagram’s official page for more information on creating a business page account via this link (external):   A guide to Instagram business account

Pinterest

Pinterest works by you creating a post and “pinning” it to a particular board.

What is a board?

You can create boards on your page that you can upload specific projects to for instance:

  • handmade cards
  • DIY and crafts
  • kindness quotes
  • hair styles

You would create a post and pin it to your board, most of us have many many boards, it won’t take your page long to be the same too lol.

When you create a post, you post a picture, a title, a description and a link back to your website or online shop.  People will see your post whilst searching for a particular topic that is why when titling your post, make it specific to your product. What I do for instance is Handmade card using To a Wild Rose Stampset by Stampin’ Up!

So people looking for a) handmade card b) wild rose stampset or c) Stampin’ up! are more likely to see your pin. The more people who see it and interact on it by clicking or zooming in, the more other people will see it and so on and so forth. People can also save your pin to their own boards, thus increasing the reach of your post, yet again.

The only downside I feel is that you manually have to share your initial post to other boards that you want it duplicated on, that’s okay if it’s okay two for instance, but I share among 9 or 12 other boards, some of which are other people’s (to have this functionality they need to add you as a collaborator to their board, likewise you can add people to your boards).

Twitter

Twitter is similar to Instagram in terms of hashtags used for search terms but it is a faster paced platform. What I mean is I feel it is more focused on the news right now, at that right point, and before you know it, there’s another piece of news that’s taken over so that first news is now old….. It’s fast paced let’s say. You can follow and have people follow your page just like Instagram, but more news related than photo related.  I’m not keen on it to be honest.

If you are going to do twitter, you need to commit yourself to making sure everything is as up to date in your post as possible to get best possible reach.

LinkedIn

This is more of a personal employment history profile app where you can share job opportunism and share your employment profile and history. I do have one but I use it to manage my day-job company profile.  That’s a new to do item on there for me – add “Smith’s Crafty Creations” to LinkedIn as a business!

Online Selling Platforms and Shops

This I am not familiar with but do know of some platforms such as eBay, etsy, etc. If you are going down this route remember it may cost you a monthly fee. Research carefully before you sign up.  AND please make sure you aren’t paying more in fees that you get back for your goods sold, you would be on to a no-winner 🙁  Been there, done that!

I use Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Business Web Site which I have a paid subscription to – great investment in my business for sure.  On that note, any new people joining as a demonstrator with Stampin’ Up! wishing to subscribe to the DWBS will get two months absolutely free – and if you change your mind, no harm done, but I would recommend it in a business sense.

Then people often move on to creating a YouTube channel to provide tutorials and vlogs, particularly if they are demonstrating or selling for a company – I always wanted to…. so I did.

YouTube Channel

You can create a FREE channel on YouTube – awesome. Use your business name if you wish.  Post videos and direct links to products used and other social media platforms and a link to your shop. You can then share direct link to other platforms and share your videos even further.

People can subscribe to your channel, they can thumbs up, thumbs down and comment (you can comment too).

You can set videos to be published at a later date, you can post private videos that aren’t visible to public (but you may need to view them), and you can do unlisted which is only those who you share link with, will be able to view the video.  Great.

A great bonus of scheduled posts is that you can set the post as “premiere” at the same time. What premiere does is it lets you have live chat during the broadcast of your pre-recorded video. A great way to increase views and interact with clients.

Channel Features

For those will 1000+ subscribers you can do live videos with your audience. You can also post general notification messages on your page – say a quick update stating “live in one hour” for instance.  You can also start monetizing your views – Something I don’t do as yet.

Restrictions for those under 1000 subscribers

You cannot have the aforementioned features 🙁  I’m almost at 700 and growing so soon my friends, soon……..

Recording Equipment

I use my phone to record tutorials, and it is held in a desk clamp that has a flexible arm. I attach mine to a shelf on my desk so this works well for me. I also have two led lights, one at each side of my video area, to ensure the best light possible.  All of this equipment (minus the phone) can be picked up really cheap to get you started.

You can upload to YouTube directly from your mobile phone, simply open up your YouTube app and upload video simples! Make sure you record in landscape mode as this is best viewing laying.

Editing Software

If you want to fancy up your videos using software, free versions of video editing software are available online if they aren’t already available on your MacBook, laptop or pc.  With any free programme you will be limited in its use and will most likely be prompted to upgrade to pro version.

Creating Your Channel

Easy, go to create new channel and follow the instructions.

Social Media Scheduling

Due to the vast volume of posts and projects that I post online I have invested in an online social media planner. This allows me to post to all my channels in one app – I don’t have to go in and out of every social platform that I use – this does cost me money. There are free versions, but again are limited to use i.e. 5 free posts per month before they ask you to upgrade.

Don’t forget…

Not everyone uses the internet… if you are aiming to sell your products you need to make sure you do not forget about the potential customers out there who are not on social media, etc.

That’s why I have weekly face to face contact with customers and friends via my weekly craft class.

Distributing flyers via your local school, church group, etc. is a great and free way to market your business to those not on the internet. Business cards are great too – give one out when you can – you never know, they may give your business at a later date.

Summary

In summary, keep your pages up to date and with fresh content. It is best to use your own photographs where possible and your own written pieces (blogs) as these are your own copyrighted content.  

Regular consistent posting will get you more followers / likers / subscribers. Most people like routine for instance, my simple stamping series on a Saturday, etc. etc.  They will get used to seeing the regularity of a particular thing / or tutorial and will actively look out for it…. if it’s not there – people will get bored and look elsewhere.

Make sure you regularly share your posts, pages, videos and keep that audience ever growing

I hope that this is of some use to you, like I said this is based on my own personal experience and is my own personal opinion.

So what are you going to do now in relation to your new craft business?

Thinking about joining Stampin’ Up!?

If you are thinking about joining Stampin’ Up! and going down the same small business venture I have what I recommend is.

  • that you research the demonstrator teams out there and join the team of someone you connect with, whether this is due to you following their journey online, knowing them personally, living close to them or just because you feel it’s right.
  • that you are able to set time aside each day or each week to grow and develop your business, you can work as little or as often as you are able – we all have our own pace and that’s absolutely fine.  How cool is it that whilst working on your business, you can continue to do what you love and that is to craft!

If you would like more information about joining Stampin’ Up! please visit Find a Demonstrator  on the Stampin’ Up! Website direct or see my “join my team” page by clicking the image below.

YouTube Link – Card Making for Beginners #7 Getting to Grips with Social Media

Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Thank you so much for visiting me today.

Don’t forget to check out my Shop Now page, Customer Reward Page, Monthly Creative Crafting Kit Page and my Special Offers pages.

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