Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quick Rundown of FB new policies

Hey guys I thought since I myself have had issues with this that I would do a quick basic policy rules for everyone as the way facebook wrote it is in legalize.

Giveaway Rules & Page Rules
1. You must put a disclaimer in your rules stating that a. the giveaway/promotion is not in any way supported by/promoted by/ or affiliated in any way with facebook. (you also need this disclaimer in your personal policies as well.
2.  You must put a disclaimer in your rules & policies stating that all information gathered is for your businesses and sponsors use only and is not disclosed to facebook nor any other entity.
3. You can no longer announce winners on your walls. This is actually a violation of the new policy which states all winners/contestants ect have to be notified by email!! You can post a winners list in a photo slot but only after notifying people by email. While many businesses are still doing the wall announces it is a violation of facebook policy and a unhappy fan can get your page removed for it.
4. No you do not have to charge people to do a contest, Ive seen several companies say they have to charge to follow the rules and are calling them product testing but this is not the case as long as you follow the giveaway rules you will be fine.

Things I have learned in my 3 years with a page. You can take it or leave it but this is what I personally have learned either from books/courses or experience.

1. Always offer the best customer service possible. If your late sending a shipment notify the person. Most people are very understanding. ( I also throw in a 15% discount as well as a gift or a 50% off one item when I ship late.) Do not ever fail to ship a promised item that has been paid/won. If someone has a issue with their order try to resolve it. If you have a no return policy but offer exchanges/repairs then do so. I personally offer returns on inet orders due to the possibility the item isnt a fit or the color is off. Different monitors  make the colors appear slightly different. However if an item is defective always replace or refund it and be apologetic.

2. Leave religion off your page!! I can not say how many people I have seen loose their page over this one. Respect the fact that your customers are from a variety of backgrounds and as a business you need to be neutral. (It is fine on your personal page just not the business page) "unless yours is a religious charity and is stated so in your policy"
3. Do not go on your page bashing another business. It is okay if you to state who you have had past bad experiences with but do it like a business and only after you have exhausted other remedies. (Ie waiting a week after emailing instead of 3-4 isnt good) 90% of the businesses on fb are small businesses run by mothers. It is possible for someone to have a family emergency over a week-two week period that may prevent them from immediately answering your email give people the benefit of a doubt. DO NOT go on your page call a business nasty names or use harsh put downs. This makes you look bad to your customers not the other company. (I realize you will get support from those who are closer to you but to a new fan or a not close one it really does come across in poor taste)
   B. For example I new this one company who had tons of orders yet came on their page bashing another popular business, called the owner a b*tch ect. ect. two weeks later she had lost tons of fans and her orders were canceled.(On a side note that same business I had a dealing with I was going to order a custom item from them but was checking more then one business however even though she was cheaper her attitude completely put me off and I went with someone else. It wasnt her 7 week waiting list as I wasnt in a hurry but her I dont give a crap if you order from me attitude.) Her business is still suffering and it is 8 months later btw.

4. Sponsoring other giveways/donsting to causes is a great way to  gain more customers. I have used both paid advertising and sponsoring and I have gained more customers from sponsoring even though Ive gained more fans through advertising. (As we all know paying fans are the best :) in fact that is how I have met some fabulous customers and store owners) Look at it this what is the cost of the item? When doing paid advertising you are looking at close too $30 a month for the minimum. Also a sponsored item breeds good will as well.
5. If you make a mistake on an order ect. apologize and fix it. We are all human but a business who is not apologetic may not earn repeat business.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More in depth on Facebook advertising- Advertising on a budget.

    Lets start with the simple clicks vs. impressions.  An impression is your ad actually being showed, while a click is when someone actually clicks on your ad and is brought to your page.  Clicks cost more and have far steeper competition then impressions.  For instance a click may cost .75 cents while an impression is .10 for that .75 cents you could have 7,500 impressions and 10 clicks. This is because traditionally clicks are thought to bring more sales.  However in my experience this is not always true and since clicks cost more your ad budget can go way to fast. I have used multiple advertising platforms as stated in my previous post and have found that the best way to start is small.
     Step 1:
           Figure out a realistic advertising budget.
     Step 2:
            Write 2-3 ads using different pictures for each. Be honest and make it simple with an action word like "click here" or "buy now"
     Step 3:
             Set a low budget for the first week have each ad run for 7 days only with a budget of $1 a day. Set the ad on impressions not click through. (If you cant afford this then do $1 a day and run 1 ad for a week, then the next, and the next. This is going to save you money in the long run.)  Make sure to have it set to end in a week so you do not have to worry about remember to close it.
    Step 4:
             After the ads have run for a week look at your end stats. Look at your Ctr or click through ratio which ad had the highest click through. 

           Now if you only got one click in all three of your ads it is time to rewrite them.  It also helps to have a picture that grabs attention maybe an item you have received lots of compliments on.

    Step 5: Once you find an ad that seems to be working it is time to try targeting. Using the same group of 3 ads running for 1 week on impressions and auto stop. First thing to do is to think about what age group has your item appealed to? Do you only want to sell locally or abroad? These questions will help you target your ad to meet the customer type your looking for.  I typically set my ad to multiple age groups. (Please note that you should only target adults ie 18+ do to laws) See which demographic group had the best response to your ad. This gives you the base information you will need to run a successful ad campaign.

     This system has been successful for me personally. I have found that whether I paid by click or the much cheaper impressions I received similar click through once I got a well written ad. Remember when your ready to go to monthly advertising to set a realistic budget that you can afford. Do the math. If your ad is running daily with a max budget of $2 then that is $60 a month. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Facebook positive or negative..

      Facebook has changed the world in more ways then one, for businesses is the most important.  We all have seen what facebook can do whether positive or negative it has effectively change the global marketing arena for good.  Even driving through town you can see signs up stating, "find us on facebook."  With a facebook fan page you can reach hundreds of people easily and effectively and most importantly for free. As a small business free or cheap advertising is a necessity. 
      So I imagine you have seen things on the news about peoples lives being ruined on facebook and you will notice it is always facebook that is to blame. Well I hate to say the obvious but the truth is; it is the people involved fault not facebook.  Facebook is a tool nothing more nothing less. For example if you hit someone in the head with a shovel you cant blame the shovel. Used correctly facebook offers businesses a far greater reach then they could attain with mere marketing.  For example in 2010 I had a total of 92 facebook fans largely family and personal friends and made a total of 3 sales online.  Granted this was partly do to lack of effort on my part.  Since the beginning of this year I have gone from 92 to 710 fans on my facebook fan page.  How I did this was by promoting my business by sharing new items on craft supplier walls, entering jewelry competitions, doing giveaways and sponsoring giveaways, and having people share it.  So far this year I have made 28 sales (13 for a shop in another city with the possibility of more to come) through facebook just from word of mouth. This is the beauty of social networking. 
      Now you can also pay per click on facebook and I highly recommend it, if you already are planning on doing pay per click advertising. Facebooks advertising has the most effective targeting system I have ever dealt with.  You can choose to market to only people with in your city, by age, relationship, employment status, birthdate, sex, and more. This means if you have done your homework and know your target demographic you can affordable advertise only to that specified group. I have been selling my jewelry for 2 years and during that time period I have tried pay per click advertising with google, yahoo, and facebook.  I can honestly say facebook gave me the most bang for my buck.  I use facebooks wonderful pay per thousand for .20 I can advertise to a thousand people and it can even go cheaper then that. I choose pay per thousand because it is a lower cost method and it had the most clicks.  I spent quite awhile doing market research on this medium. The one huge con with facebook advertising is they randomly charge for the costs.  You could have a monthly budget of $30 (I highly recommend starting with just a week long campaign. They will email it when your advertising ends so you can see what you need to improve on.) during that month facebook may charge multiple times with only part of your costs.  For this reason alone I suggest you either tie it to your paypal debit card or a prepaid visa and not to your personal bank account.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Choosing an Online Marketplace.

     What is an online marketplace?  A online marketplace is a web store that is hosted through a 3rd party provider such as Etsy, Artfire, Made It Myself, and so on.  These providers offer handcrafters the ability to sell their crafts easily through their store software for a fee and canceling the need to create a web page to sell your handmade goods.  This also applies to selling supplies and vintage items as well.  I have a long personal experience with Etsy, Artfire, and Made It Myself and will be listing their pros and cons as well as links and my personal choice. 

Made It Myself  :

Fees:  Free to list.
Can become featured for additional $.49


Can make items up for negotiation which could lead to more sales.
Makes coupons.
Chat for members to exchange ideas.
Custom work listing ability.

Takes a 3% commission on sold items.
Maximum picture size 800pix
Buyers have to register.
Picture upload max: 4 Images
Takes 7 steps to complete 1 listing.


Fees: Basic account FREE
Pro account just $9.95

Does not take commision
Buyers do not have to register to buy!
Google market hub
Easy publish to facebook and twitter.
Facebook App
Works with google analytics
Easy and quick to list items all fields on one page.

Can add a widget to your web page called rapid cart that will pull items from your store with a buy now option.
Etsy Importer for people who are switching.
Custom coupons
Global Editor (having a sale edit all listed items at once or pick all items in one category to edit, this is awesome saves so much time!)
Guilds where you can connect with fellow artists and earn badges.
Can upload up to 10 pictures
Pic max pixels is 2000
Sales Data Exporter
Complete Shop Customization

Hard to find info on the basic account option
Does not advertise in bridal, home, and housekeeping magazines.
The best features are only available to pro members.


Fees:$.20 per listing. Plus a 3.5% Commision
$7 for Showcase/Featured listing

Easy Click Tags
Facebook App 
Works with google analytics
Advertises in magazines frequently. (good housekeeping, better homes and gardens, brides, ect)
Pay your bill as you go instead of monthly fees.
Can bid on custom work.
Can do coupon codes.
Has small store app you can add to your webpage or blog.

5 Pic limit
Takes 5 steps to list.
Buyers must register to buy.

Fees lets do the math. I have 60 items listed right now ranging from $5-$25 average price $10.

Made It Myself: 60 Items Costs: $0 cash to list and costs  $.03 cents for every $10 item sold.
Is cheapest money wise but lacks features and it takes 15 minutes to list one item. (if you have slower internet it will take you longer)
Artfire: 60 Items Cost nothing for basic account, or $.16 per item for a pro account at $9.95 a month
Etsy: 60 Items Cost: $12 to list at $.20 each  plus another $.03 cents per $10 Item in commission and takes roughly 10 minutes to list with a fast internet connection.

Now you see why Artfire is my personal favorite.
   So there are some of the basic features and I am sure I missed a few but this gives you an idea of what these are like.  There are many other marketplaces available as well but these are the 3 major ones that most people at least in the USA use. 
    Why does it matter if people have to register to buy? You probably noticed that registering to buy is my major con to both Made It Myself and Etsy.  This is because customers loose interest fast and going through a long registration process will cause most to decide what they were going to buy is not worth the time.  It is a basic marketing principal and has been proved time and time again that people are more like to purchase things they can get at the moment.

My favorite market place is Artfire. I was with Etsy for 2 yrs no sales, Made It Myself for a cpl months couldn't take how long it took to list items, and finally Artfire which I have been with for almost a year and have made numerous sales.

I love just about everything on artfire from its amazing customization to the low monthly payments.  If you would like to try a artfire pro account and receive a month free please click here.



Wow Its Been A While......Working from home.

    I am afraid this is a perfect example of what you should not do when doing a blog to aid your business and SEO rankings.  There are many different opportunities to promote your business online but referred search traffic is one of the best.   However it is not always easy to post an article a day, week, or in my case month.
   I love making jewelry and I love jewelry in general, but this does not mean I can easily sit down and pound out a article a day on making or selling it.  I do have plenty of ideas for these posts but time is short most days.  The lack of time is the biggest challenge for people who work at home.  It is far to easy to let your personal life and your business life merge and this is doubly true if you have children.  Most of the time your family, friends, and children do not recognize that your time is valuable.  For example my husband works from home too but he still sees my jewelry activities as less then important.  I can be in the middle of a complex design and he will ask for something and expect me to drop everything to do it.   I think the hardest part is that children and sometimes even your spouse will see your creative endeavors as a hobby.

   So how do you juggle the demands of personal and business life? One way would be to schedule set work hours and during that time period insist that people leave you alone so you can work.  In my case I just kinda fit work in where I can.  This is why my blog is usually the neglected activity, it is hard to write when my son is home since he interrupts every 5 minutes and sees my computer as competition.  In Barbara Brabec books on selling hand made the lack of business time for those who work from home is at the beginning of the first book.  She also includes several strategies for making business time separate from personal time.  I have 3 of her books and highly recommend them for anyone who is selling their own handmade artisan crafts.

Barbara Brabec Books: (I highly recommend these books if your going to sell crafts online or off the information you will get from these is priceless, she includes everything from doing shows and consignment shops to throwing home parties. She also has plenty of information on selling online, business cards, and more. These books are worth the investment)

Homemade Money: Starting Smart
Handmade for Profit!: Hundreds of Secrets to Success in Selling Arts & Crafts
Homemade Money: Bringing in the Bucks: A Business Management and Marketing Bible for Home-Business Owners, Self-Employed Individuals, and Web Entrepreneurs Working from Home Base
The Crafts Business Answer Book: Starting, Managing, and Marketing a Homebased Arts, Crafts, or Design Business
Make It Profitable!: How to Make Your Art, Craft, Design, Writing or Publishing Business More Efficient, More Satisfying, and MORE PROFITABLE

Thursday, March 10, 2011

500 Fan Celebration We ARE UP TO 629!

YAY! The Wild Tangent is happy to announce that we have surpassed our 500 mark today! This is in large part do to all my wonderful fans sharing my page and to the tour bus put on by Karen Snyder's O. Sebastian a very talented chain maile artist.  1st only The Wild Tangent's Fans are allowed to enter.

So now we are gonna do a giveaway.  

I have had two wonderful businesses offer to sponsor this event. (this means they have donated an item for a prize free of charge) If you would like to sponsor there is still time.

The first is Danielle from Fine N Dandee.  Danielle has offered a pair of her beautiful angel wing earrings. I can not say enough good things about Danielle. I have continually been impressed by her commitment not only to her charity Mastiffs-4-Soldiers but to her fellow creators including starting up the group Crafter N Bead Exchange.

The second was donated by Kim at Karmic Kreations who has offered a single item from her Etsy store there are some lovely creations available.  While I have just started my friendship with Karmic Kreations I feel she is a good business woman and a talented jewelry artist.

So here is how this is going to work, to enter you have to visit my donors pages and check them out, like them, and say TWT sent you. Then after you have done this add a comment on here with your email to be entered into the giveaway. I will be checking to ensure only people who have checked out my donors pages can win because without their generosity this would not be much of a giveaway.  Also I will be leaving this open for one week so everyone has a chance to enter. :)

Also it would be great if you stopped by Mastiffs-4-Soldiers and checked out their auction going on now it is for a great cause!  You will also find one of my bracelets on their with a starting bid of just $5 and free shipping!

Prizes Available

Angel Wing Earrings By Fine N Dandee
Any 1 Item from Karmic Kreations 
Cherry Blossom Gift Basket (includes body wash, body spray, hand lotion, bath fizz, hand soap,  and body lotion)
Beautiful Stone Oil Burner
$25 Gift Certificate to The Wild Tangent
$15 Gift Certificate to The Wild Tangent 
A Bag of 22 yummy Milk Chocolate Godiva  Truffles

Please note if I find out you unliked any of these pages after I close the contest all prizes will be forfeit and you will be banned from future contests.  The whole purpose of giveaways for businesses is to gain more potential customers. We are all small businesses and all of us have been just as hard hit by the poor economy as you, we are wives and mothers trying to support ourselves and our families please respect that. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's In A Name...Naming Your Business

    Okay so you have probably noticed that my store/site name has nothing to do with jewelry. (In fact I'm not sure everyone even knows what a tangent is) When I came up with my name I didn't know about seo, keywords, or anything really. I chose the name because it fit me and because it offered me the flexibility to include some of my other crafts later on if I chose.  If I had done what I should have I would have researched the name, and then I would have found out that there is a well established video gaming site with the name "Wild Tangent". Then I could have changed it.

    Okay so you have thought up a name and you like it, now its time to share it with someone to see what they think.  The key to a great name is to have it be simple and self explanatory.  Then go to go daddy and see if there is a domain either a .com or .net that would be available for said name.  Why? What if after selling successfully through a store platform* you decide you want to branch out and do your own site. Or what if someone has the same name and sells something  completely unrelated to what your selling. This will cause you to show up lower on the search engines. (I am number 7 when you type in "the wild tangent" with the gaming sites above me)

    Once you have your name, use it.  You need to use the same name no matter where you list or what you do.Your website, store platform*, business cards, fan page, and anything else has to have the same name this is extremely important.  Why you ask? Simple if someone knows your shop on facebook as "Scrappers Delights" and they decide to go to your shop to look for something they had seen earlier,  if your store name is "Scrappy Scrapper" they wont find you. Then you just lost the sale.

Store Platform* = Sites that offer a store front for a person to sell their handcrafted items examples etsy, artfire, zibbet, made it myself, ect.

My Introduction

    So who am I? I am a 32 yr old woman with Fibromyalgia, 3 kids, and a wonderful hubby,  who has found the blissful world of making jewelry.  I have spent the last couple of years learning all I could about marketing and selling handcrafted items on the internet. I am always willing to share knowledge. I can find just about anything someone needs online. I like helping people, doing bead/craft item exchanges, giveaways, and showing my support to fellow crafters.

    I am very good at problem solving and have found a way to offer my jewelry at lower prices so everyone can afford it.  After being disabled for years and never being able to afford nice jewelry I wanted to offer mine at a price someone like me could afford. :) I also offer a 1 year warranty on my jewelry because Ive bought jewelry at a craft show and have it break a short time later. 

I have my own website, artfire store, and facebook fan page