How to photograph art prints

This post is brought to you from Melanie of Violet's Buds. Melanie has Bachelors of Science in Photography and provides product photography advice and services to entrepreneurs.

You've created a gorgeous work of art, and the next step is to adequately capture its beauty for your product listing. The question is, where do you start? Here are a few quick tips for photographing your art prints. 

Take the glass out of the frame

When the glass is gone, there is no tricky reflection to worry about! 

Jesiiii
Hold the print

Build a personal feel by holding the print. You can do this by setting up a tripod and putting your camera on a timer, or have someone photograph you. 

Honey and the Hive

Or be ultra-cute, like Jesiiii, and have a couple holding the print for you.

Jesiiii

Hang the print

Get creative and hang the print using clips and twine, clothespins and string, or washi tape against a neutral background. This gives customers an idea of how to display the print as well as giving sense of scale.  

aptrickphoto
Honey and the Hive


Stand the print against a background

If your print is on stiff paper, lean it against something small a few inches away from your backdrop. 

ScrawnyGirl

Add props with the print

Use props that fit the theme of the print as an addition to the background. Make sure when shooting that the subject stays in focus, not the props.  

ScrawnyGirl

Do you have a tried & true way to shoot your artwork or some tips? Share in the comments! 

How to Approach Your Dream Clients

This is the final installment in our dream client series. If you are new here, use the previous posts to help you identify your target audience (aka Dream Clients), define their interests, find out where & when they are online.

As we go into this final installment I want to again say that a dream client is not necessarily your current clients and this does not devalue your current clients in any way. Identifying & marketing to your dream clients mean that you are marketing smarter, creating content that speaks directly to the type of people who you want to buy & share your content - these people are usually influential & have a large social media following, and when you market to them your reach is exponentially increased which means more traffic, exposure to more influential people & more sales. 

For instance, when I started altering my marketing three months ago, I picked BabiekinsMag as one of my dream clients - and four weeks ago they contacted me regarding creating some items for a spread in their fall editorial. I was shocked. I didn't think I would actually be able to capture their attention, they are a huge publication with over 43,000 Instagram followers! Ultimately, the project didn't work out due to time constraints but it is hard & concrete evidence that altering your marketing to your dream clients is incredibly beneficial & results in better exposure & increased sales. It also means you spend less time marketing & more time making because the time you did spend marketing reaps better results than marketing frequently to all the people who like all the things so they may like your things, too - you only spend time marketing to the people you KNOW will love your stuff, during the prime times for you to post.  



So let's go into this last chapter with gusto! We know who our dream clients are, what they like, when and where they are. Let's strike up a conversation with them! 

I don't know about you, but when I have a conversation with someone on social media I head over to their profile, and usually end up following them. Before you approach your dream clients, your profile should reflect their interests that we defined throughout this series, because approaching your dream clients is like saying hello & inviting them in for coffee - your profiles on all social media accounts should have a variety of content & products should be shared organically.

If you are approaching people who like fashion, you should have fashion content on your profile. If you can pair your products naturally in these photos without telling people only about your product, that is the best way to approach them & let them know you aren't in this just for the sales - for instance, a picture of a new top paired with skinny jeans & your latest necklace would most likely interest fashionistas more than a picture of your necklace. Show your dream clients you truly care about topics that interest them & help them relate to you. If you approach them, and make yourself approachable, your dream clients are much more likely to follow you on social media & buy from you. 

Yup, it's that simple - approaching your dream clients has nothing to do with marketing your products. 

Crazy concept, right? 

Let's say you are on Instagram & want to connect with your dream clients there. You could post a picture with 37.5 million hashtags (half of which won't even put you contact with your dream clients, but more on that later) - or, you could review your dream clients interests (let's say they are into natural parenting) and search relevant hashtags (like the #babywearing hashtag). Ding! Hello, dream clients! You are now staring at tens of thousands of photos by your dream clients - natural parents!

Approaching your dream client is easy - as easy as leaving a comment on social media. Some examples of good ways to approach your dream clients:

"Oh my gosh, your baby is so adorable, and I love that wrap. What brand is it?"

"The color of that wrap looks fantastic on you! Did you dye it yourself?"

"Love this image of you & your baby, you're adorable! What is your favorite way to carry your baby?"

Notice what all of these have in common? It has nothing to do with you or your products. Nope. Instead, you are a person who appreciates their interests & their lifestyle, not a seller trying to shove your products down their throat. You are complimenting them about something that is important to them. You are building the foundation for conversation & an organic connection, and are exponentially more likely to capture their interest.  

Of course there are times you can give a little nod to your business. Let's say your dream client is into fashion. Search that #ootd (outfit of the day) tag & find outfits that relate to the style of your products. Here is some ways you can approach them:

"I LOVE this outfit! Where did you get the top from? I have a necklace in my shop I would love to pair with that shirt for photos!"

"That sweater looks incredible on you. I need to start working on my fall line of jewelry, I have some designs in my head to pair with bulky sweaters that I can't wait to work on! What sort of colors do you think will be hot this autumn?"

"Ah, I love sweater dresses!  My favorite way to dress mine up is with this layered necklace I made or some fancy earrings. What accessories do you usually pair with yours?" 

Again, it's all about your dream clients - you start out with a compliment revolving around their content and when appropriate, your products can naturally be brought into the conversation without trying to sell them. This will usually interest the original poster & they will pop over to your profile & take a peek - so again, this means that your profile, no matter what platform you are on, should reflect your dream clients interests which I can pretty much guarantee isn't only your products. 

Another way to approach your dream clients is by following larger brands similar to yours (for instance, if you make toys for preschoolers you could follow people like Melissa & Doug & join conversations in the comments of their posts - again, not talking about you, but talking with peers. Example, you could reply to someone & let them know that your kiddo also plays with X toy - do they have any others they would recommend? Or maybe "My kiddo takes his "insert relative item name here" too! I just designed a new tote bag for him & ended up adding some to my shop too - it makes getting around so much easier with all the toys in tow!"

Two ways you should never approach your dream clients: 

Do not ever post on another businesses social media trying to drive sales. Casually mentioning your products is okay - saying "You can buy that in my shop" or "I make these" or telling people "if you are interested in one message me" is never, ever okay on other people's social media accounts. It is tacky & will most likely result in you getting reported for spam. Just don't do it. If you can't organically bring up your products into the conversation without trying to sell them or mentioning your shop, just don't bring them up. 

Bad example: "I have a toy in my shop that you would love for your nursery."
Good example: "I am loving this nursery! I just made a toy that matches the colors you used - I am loving these colors together right now!"

Bad example: "I have a necklace that matches your dress in my shop, you could check it out!"
Good example: "I love your fashion style! I just finished making a gorgeous necklace & your post just gave me a great idea for how to style my outfit for photos!"

The bad examples do nothing to build a connection and are not likely to do anything but get ignored, while the good examples are more likely to strike a conversation or pique their interest so they visit your social media account. 

Never directly ask people to visit your profile or shop. Again, if you can't organically mention your work, then don't mention it at all. If someone asks you where they can check out your work, then by all means tell them your URL. But if it doesn't come up, don't mention it.

Most importantly, when approaching your dream clients: Be authentic. Never fake your interests or post comments that aren't genuine. And remember - have fun getting to know your dream clients! The more you engage with your target audience the more you learn what sort of content resonates with them. 

Thank you to everyone who joined in on our dream client series! 

In the comments, feel free to share your thoughts on this series! I would love to know how it has helped you identify your dream clients & approach them! 

#happyhandmade week seventy-eight

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms - all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

This collective generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 


Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - in the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

How to determine when your dream clients are online.

This is part four in a five part series about identifying your target audience. Read the first post on identifying their career & lifestyle here, second post about defining their interests here & third post about how to find out where they are hanging out online here.

If you have read & completed the "homework" in the first three posts, then you know who you want to be buying your products. You know exactly who your dream client is, what they like, what type of big business marketing can influence their purchasing habits, and you've figured out what sort of websites they hang out on. 

Knowing when your dream clients are online gives you a powerful upperhand on the market - you can cater your social media postings & paid ads to exactly the right time for maximum exposure, meaning that you get better results with less effort - You can spend less time at a computer & more time making awesome things! 

Using the worksheet below, fill in the times for each part of the day to the best of your knowledge about your dream client. Do not pull numbers from your current statistics - you are trying to determine when your dream clients will be online to maximize future exposure of your shop. While your current clients are incredibly valuable, maximizing your marketing to your dream client means increased exposure to people who are the most likely to buy & share your products with others, meaning more sales. 

Download here

Note: Even if your dream clients don't have a day job or go to school, try to use this work sheet to pen in what they would be doing through the day & evening - if they are stay at home moms, they are probably getting kids up, fed, dressed, ready for school, cleaning house, doing laundry, running errands and so forth. Use this worksheet however you need to outline the day of your dream client! 

First things first, when does your dream client wake up? What is the first thing they do after they wake up? Check Instagram? Read their emails? Brew coffee & take a shower? Get the kids up and ready for school? Going for a job? Heading to the gym?

Know when they wake up & their morning routine gives you insight on when to post content that will resonate with their routine - for instance, if your dream client is a mom who wakes up around 7am & rushes around getting the kids ready for school and on the bus, posting a product photo on Instagram at as your first post doesn't make much sense. However, if you post a picture of your coffee & ask if any other moms out there can relate around 8am, you're bound to get a much better response to your content. If the first thing they do is roll over and check their emails, maybe a newsletter that goes out first thing in the morning to give them some happy content to wake up to would be a good way to reach them. Make sense? 

Another example - say your dream client is a young professional who works in an office in the city and has to be at work by 8am. Odds are they aren't checking social media right out of bed - they brewing coffee, making breakfast, showering, getting dressed, finishing up last minute projects and getting out the door. If your dream clients are hustling to get work done in the morning, don't waste that time marketing to empty air.

Knowing when they leave for work, school or are getting the kiddos off to school is equally important - if your dream clients have a day job or go to school are in transit & getting started on their day between 8-10am, that means you can better utilize that time to set up a creative morning routine for yourself than plastered to your computer trying to reach people who aren't there. 

*Bonus tip: If your dream client spends a lot of time jogging, at the gym or in transit in the mornings, you could consider setting up playlists on Spotify & sharing them with your audience, or maybe consider a podcast talking about topics that you & your dream clients have in common. (Abby Glassenberg has a wonderful podcast that speaks directly to her dream clients & allows her to connect with them even when they are on the go.)

Lunch time, baby! That sweet spot when most people finally sit down, whip out their phone & start to catch up on all the goodness they missed this morning. It's your chance to get noticed, so make it good. Lunch time is prime time, and you want to curate content for this period that is valuable - most people have limited time to sit down for lunch, so strategize where they will be spending that time online & how to make your content relevant & interesting to them.

Lunch time doesn't just mean 12pm - really think about when your dream clients are online, what their day looks like. If they get up at 6am, odds are they eat lunch earlier than noon. If they are a stay at home mom, "lunch" would most likely be naptime, that sweet - & brief - moment of respite when moms can curl up with a snack & check social media. Again, you are operating on limited time at the middle of the day, so make your content king. Make it something that is quick & easy to take in & respond to, even if it's a like or one word response to a question like "What's your favorite color?" that you can then use to better your products. 

Knowing when they get off work/school or start picking kids up from school is as important as knowing when they're busy in the mornings - it's dead time. Your dream clients are not online right now, so you shouldn't be either - go make stuff! Your dream clients are busy hustling and shuffling around! 

After the afternoon chaos, what are your dream clients up to? Try to think of 3-4 things that probably happens in their life in the afternoons: Gym, grocery store, coffee with friends, homework, soccer, ballet, karate, choir & gymnastics for the kids? Odds are, their afternoon is pretty full right up until dinner time. However, knowing what your dream clients are getting into is vital - you can use this information to curate content that your dream clients will respond well to - do they have a little ballerina? I bet they would love to see pictures of your darling little ballerina, too, if you have one! 

And then there's dinner, then there is that sweet, sweet spot where you have a chance to catch them online - that is, if they aren't lining up kids for showers, doing laundry from the day, packing lunches for the next day, and so on. If your dream client is a mom, odds are they stay busy right up until those kiddos are in bed - and your best chance to reach them is then. Probably between 7-9 pm, when they are unwinding with a glass of wine, their favorite TV show & social media. If your dream client is a college student, are they in evening classes? What time are they most likely to be wrapping up for the day and hanging out online? If your dream client is a young single professional, they are probably online more in the evening, giving you a larger window to get your content to them. 

Goodnight, dream clients. When you see your dream clients heading to bed for the night - you should too. Or at least stop posting on social media, because they aren't there. Market smarter, not harder - use your answers & best judgement from identifying your dream client to know when they are online, and when they aren't - and when they aren't online, get off the computer. Use your time better to make awesome things & take care of yourself! As makers, we feel the need to be eternally connected, to see our stats update in real time & overshare on social media, shouting to everyone & hoping someone hears us. No more. Use the information from this series to better utilize your time, to reach people more likely to purchase, and to spend more time doing what you love - making & creating. 

*Beyond the daily routine, think long term & seasonal schedules for your dream clients. In summer, many people are on vacation, traveling, visiting with family, at the pool, park or zoo - so you can relax your marketing efforts a bit if you find that your dream clients are busy jetsetting to Disneyland and spending their summer by the pool during the day with the kids. During the beginning & finals/end of school term time, college students (and parents) are spending a significant amount less time online, so use this time wisely to build up inventory. 

Next week, we will have the final installment in this series - how to approach your dream clients & build organic connections with them. 

Using the information from above, what do you think is the best times for you to post & reach your dream clients? Experiment around these time frames for a few months & see if you get better results on social media than your previous schedule.  

Tell us about your dream client's day in the comments. 

#happyhandmade week seventy-seven

Hello & welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

Why link up? Every week there is six chances to be featured &  #happyhandmade generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month thanks to everyone spreading the word about the link up - not only do you get exposure from the link up, but participants are sharing items from the collection to social media, which leads to even more traffic to everyone's shops! 

Keep up the great work sharing #happyhandmade! Share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! 


Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - in the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

3 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do

Today's guest post is brought to you by Jacy Lee Pulford of Hello Awesome Shop


It seems everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and work for themselves. Whether you're running an online shop or opening a local restaurant, there are a couple of things that I've noticed successful entrepreneurs doing. These top three things stand out because they are what I've struggled with. You will notice as you try and build your brand that you will have to change some bad habits in order to have great results. A change in mindset is essential for success. The key is putting our pride aside and mapping out a better plan for our business goals. From Steve Jobs to Martha Stewart, here are 3 things that they probably did to help gain success:



1. More work than play. Sorry, Candy Crush, there is a brand to build and goals to reach! We can't expect to be successful as an entrepreneur if we are checking Facebook and Instagram every 30 seconds. And actually, if we were busy enough, we wouldn't have time to do that! So if you find yourself spending more than 15-30 minutes a day surfing your feeds during work time, stop and ask yourself what else you could be doing. You probably need more work.

2. Have business goals and write them down. They have a plan and even if they have no clue how to fulfill it, hey, at least they have one! Writing down your goals puts your mind on the right track to being successful. You really don't have to have an extremely complicated spreadsheet, it could just be a cute little journal that you write down ideas and notes. It may not even be a list or a graph...just your dreams written out for your eyes. This will be a great resource when you are feeling overwhelmed or confused about your business. Revisit that journal and be refreshed!

3. Think positive and optimistic. They surround themselves with uplifting quotes, happy friends and good tunes. They don't waste thoughts on doubt or fear. Yes, they experience those things but it doesn't consume them. Having a positive environment with an optimistic view is essential to being successful, not just in business, but in life! I fully believe there is a negative spirit behind every negative attitude. It is meant to destroy instead of build. So, it should have no business being around you...or your business.

I want to hear from you!

Is there anything that you've noticed successful entrepreneurs doing that has helped you? What's one thing that you feel is holding you back from your goals?

Meet the Makers - Sandi & Belinda from Sparrow & B

Meet the makers if Sparrow & B, two friends, Sandi & Belinda, who connected over a love of craft and handmade. Who then decided to join forces to form a creative business built around their love of dress up & imagination. 
Sandi
We both love dressing up, making our own (and our kids) costumes & we saw a need in the market for good quality, fun and unique dress up accessories that would capture the hearts and imaginations of children everywhere & encourage imaginative play. And so, Sparrow & B was born. The name was born from a combination of Sandi's prior business name (Sparrow) and my nickname (B).

Belinda
Our product line is mostly based around nature and animals with a little bit of magic and whimsy mixed in.  We started with tutus and costume accessories, but our vision evolved & we began to create costumes that resonate with the whimsical, sweet wonder of childhood - foxes & mermaids, pirates & vikings, kings &  - and dragons too, oh my! 

  
We just love creating new costumes! The creative process seems to happen naturally and abundantly in our studio. We are able to honor our inner creative visions, and as they take form before our eyes, we feel a little of that 'childlike wonder' which we feel is really special.


There have been a few hurdles and hoops to move through as our business has grown, mostly around creating a sound business structure. I think all creatives are great at creating their art, but creating a strong business does not always come so easily. Our biggest (& current) issue is working out how we can grow the business to keep up with demand, as each part of the process is very person and everything is done ourselves, and we are keen to keep that 'handmade' feel about our products.


We are committed to creating a successful future for the business, but we are also committed to 'keeping it real' with any success we achieve. We support a couple of organisations through our profits - particularly children's charity OrphFund who build orphanages and schools in some of the poorest communities in the world (we donate 10% of all our market stall profits) and also The Australian Marine Conservation Society (every Shark Costume we sell we donate $5 to their 'save the shark' program) . We also like to participate where we can in local fundraising giveaways.



We are pretty happy to be in the handmade business; getting to create to our hearts desires, nurturing little imaginations and putting smiles on faces is a pretty special thing, we think.... Don't you?

Connect with Sandi & Belinda 

Where are your Dream Clients?

This is part three in a five part series about identifying your target audience. Read the first post here & second post here.

Before we proceed with this series, I wanted to offer some clarification about the terms Target Audience & Dream Client. 

Defining your dream client does not mean that just because you sell to people in their twenties AND their seventies that you would no longer be selling to them - it means that you are identifying the class, personality & interests of the people you want to buy from you, people who are influential about products similar to yours, so that you can maximize your marketing to bring in even more sales beyond the sales you are already generating. If you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one - if you are speaking to just the right people, in just the right way, at just the right time, your business can only thrive! That is what identifying & marketing to your dream client is all about!

For instance, I make toy storage solutions and plush toys. I could ask all my friends to like my Facebook page & follow me on Twitter & Instagram, but let's be real - do I really think that my husband's 24 year old brother or people that are his age/gender has any interest in my products & would buy them regularly & share them with their friends? What about my single friends who have no desire to have children? Or what about all those people in the craft forums I'm a part of? Do you really think that other crafters are my target audience for handmade toys? Do you really think if I get them to like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram it will result in more sales? A few, perhaps. But not as many as if I was marketing to specifically to moms, don't ya think? 

Another point of view - if you make jewelry, then obviously networking in jewelry groups won't result in many sales - the other members make similar items, therefore they aren't as likely to need or want to purchase what you are offering. Marketing to single men wouldn't be beneficial for jewelry designers, either. Fashion bloggers, on the other hand.... Make sense?

It is not a numbers game. You could have 10,000 Facebook fans but it doesn't matter if they aren't your target audience. Your social media presence should be filled only with people who have an organic interest in your products - your dream clients! And the goal of this series is to help you identify them & find out where they are hanging out at online. when they are online & how to approach them!

Last week, we filled out this worksheet to determine what our dream client's home & lifestyle is like and how our products fit into it, how to define our dream clients interests & divulge what sort of marketing tactics & social media content they respond best to based on their hobbies & shopping habits.

Now we are going to explore how to use this information so that we can assess where online & offline our dream clients are hanging out! I will be sharing my responses along with some ideas of how to use this information to find your dream clients. 

My advice: take an afternoon, curl up with a cup of coffee or tea & your favorite notebook & really think about where your dream clients are online. 

Here is the low down on my dream client for luanded.com, using the worksheet from last week: 

My dream clients live in the suburbs in a house. They would use a Mon-stor in their kid's room for fun & convenient storage. Their decorating style is eclectic, colorful & fun, most pieces probably upcycled, so they are probably attracted to my products because they are bright, functional and made with upcycled materials! 

My dream client likes kids fashion, coffee, natural parenting & Instagram-ing all the cute stuff their kiddos do, so they probably also breastfeed and cloth diaper &  like blogging,  sharing brands they like on social media, & baby wearing. If they live in a house in the suburbs they probably like to shop at Target & thrift stores. They are probably total Starbucks-aholics or drink lots of coffee at home. 

They probably follow BabyJives, BabiekinsMag & ThreeLittleNumbers because their photos are so beautifully styled & reminiscent of a beautiful childhood & gentle parenting. They share their content because they are influential in the baby/kid industry & want to be a part of that brand's community, like a brand rep.

Let's explore my dream clients - they are natural parents with eclectic style. So they probably frequent parenting forums, breastfeeding advocacy blogs, cloth diaper supplier websites, local parenting blogs/publications & event guides, natural living and unschooling/homeschooling forums/blog/websites.

Acknowledging my dream client's natural parenting interests helps me know I need focus my social media campaign to focus on the ecofriendly aspect of my products; it also is beneficial for many other reasons, including deciding which blogs & brand reps to partner with, which stores my products would be best represented in & where I should invest my hard earned marketing dollars to the get most bang for my buck. Using the information from last week's worksheet, here is 5 ways I could reach my dream clients where they are:

  • Paid ads on popular sites my dream clients frequent.
  • Guest posting on blogs my dream clients read.
  • Offering products for reviews on natural parenting blogs.
  • Sponsoring giveaways that these sites host on social media. 
  • Become an active member of the forums & network with fellow parents.
Since I know my dream clients are into Instagram-ing every cute thing their kiddo does, I know where I need to focus the majority of my social media efforts in order to get the best impact, too! I also know that they love beautiful, well lit, clutter free images & gentle marketing tactics based on where they shop & who they follow on social media. 

Below, I have one case study for an entirely different dream client. Shawna from Scrawny Girl was sweet enough to send me a photo of her completed worksheet & I thought that this case study may help you decipher where to find your own dream clients.


Just going from what I see here, I have thought up three places Shawna can find her dream clients:

Shawna is adorable. And her hair is always some delightful shade of the rainbow! One great opportunity to reach her dream client who likes kawaii, anime & fashion is to write guest posts for hair style blogs with tips for adventuring into & maintaining wild hair color!


Her dream client loves fashion, blogging & all things cute & would probably shop at Modcloth and Antropologie - odds are she would be able to connect with them & build a great foundation for future business & new exposure to people like her dream client by leaving meaningful comments on  fashion blogs & sharing their content via social media. She could also join forums & groups for eclectic fashion bloggers to network & share her outfits of the day paired with her art brooches, like above, as a method of gentle marketing.


Her dream client enjoys DIY projects & thrifting - given the eclectic & colorful nature of Shawna's shop, I think that she could definitely captivate her dream clients & drive them to her shop by guest posting a kitschy & colorful upcycling tutorial with her art prints hanging in the background or maybe a smash book tutorial using her stickers & perhaps offering a free printable on a popular lifestyle blog, raising brand awareness while at the same time demonstrating how her kawaii stickers fits into the lives of her dream clients.

By knowing who your dream client is & what their interests and hobbies are, you are able to organically connect with your target audience in what I like to call their "natural environment". This means that the exposure to your products is not forced, IE you are not actively sharing a link to purchase with your dream clients but rather speaking to them about their interests. The difference is "This pencil case is perfect for back to school! *link*" versus "How I stay organized for college" with a photo of your backpack, pencil case, folders & other accessories.

We will cover this in further detail in our fifth & final installment of this series, but next week we are going to be discussing using information from the past three weeks to determine when our dream clients are online!

Using information from the previous two posts, share in the comments where you think you can find your dream clients online! 

#happyhandmade week seventy-six

Get your cute self over here & get ready to experience to #happyhandmade, the top social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

Each & every week there will be SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and in Facebook groups you're a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! 

This collective generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month thanks to everyone spreading the word about the link up and sharing items from the collection to social media, which leads to even more traffic to everyone's shops! Keep up the great work sharing #happyhandmade!

This week's Most Viewed:




Rules:
Link up to three (3) handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three (3) items (but more if you want!) from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: we do not allow links from blogs, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, or items that are factory produced. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

How to join in: Click "add your link" - in the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

Skip the post office & ship packages from home!

Today's guest post is brought to you by Shawna from Scrawny Girl

As a small business owner I believe that shipping can make or break your business. I know as a customer I expect my packages as quickly as possible (unless it's noted otherwise on the site of course). Being able to ship your products from home maximizes your time and can save you money. Depending on the volume of your business, you may require more supplies than what I currently use (like a fancy label printer), but here are the key things to get you started:
  • Postal Scale
  • Printer
  • Business PayPal Account
I use my everyday printer, and my postal scale was an inexpensive one from Amazon. Sometimes I use label paper, but I recently switched to using plain paper and just taping my label on to save on expenses. When you get an order, on PayPal beside your transaction there will be a box that says Print Shipping Label.

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 If you want to print a label without a transaction (like for a giveaway winner, etc.) you can use this link to get to the print a label page, which looks like this:

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Here you can fill in the customers information, or if you clicked the nifty box next to their transaction it auto fills.

 For Service Type I use First Class Parcel 2-5 days for most of my products. When I have a package over 13 ounces, I use Priority Mail 1-3 days. This is where you can use the flat rate envelops and boxes that you can get for free from the post office (or even order them from their web site!).

For Package Size, I use Package/Large Envelope.

 For Weight, I round my package up to the nearest ounce. Keep in mind that to use First Class your package can NOT weigh over 13 ounces. Normally if it's the weekend I will change the date to Monday. :)

When you click Continue at the bottom, the next page is just making sure that everything is correct. At the bottom you hit Pay and Continue, and a pop up window comes up with your label.

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Next, hit Print Label. Half of the page has the label and the other half is like a receipt for you with the customers information and the tracking number (which comes free using PayPal). There are several other ways to print shipping labels from home, but right now this is the method that works best for me. 

The best part is you can schedule the USPS to pick up the packages at your home or just drop them off at the Post Office or a drop box! Nifty!

Do you currently ship from home or drop of packages at your local postal branch? Which do you prefer?