Taking Advantage of Twitter – Pt 2

Following on from the last post (Taking Advantage of Twitter) I have discovered a few more twitter hours but first I strongly suggest you follow @hashtag_hour and head to their website http://www.hashtaghour.biz to keep up with any and all or add yours to it.

So here’s the new ones

Monday – Friday
#GlasgowHour – All day, Every day
#1pmlunch – 1-2pm
#Elevensies – 11-12
#earlybiz – 7-8a

Monday
#LincsHour – 8-9pm
#sparkconnect – 10-11am
#bizmumfollow – 9am – 9pm

Tuesday
#Fermanagh_Hour – 8-9pm
#GalwayHour – 9-10pm
#BromsgroveHour – 8-9pm

Wednesday
#ExmouthHour – 7-8pm
#ScotlandHour – 9-10pm
#CoDurhamHour – 2-3pm

Thursday
#BelfastHourNI – 9-10pm
#BrideHour – 8-9pm
#LeedsHour – 8-9pm (1st Thursday of the month only)

Friday
#PinHitsHour – 7:30 – 8:30pm (Pinterest Networking)

Saturday
#giftideashour – 6-7pm
#weekendhour – 11-12

Sunday

#louthhour – 9-10pm

 

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Taking Advantage of Twitter

As a crafter you know that you can only sell what people see, so how do you spread your name and get people to see your wares?.
Social Media is a great way to do this but which platforms?

There’s plenty more too, use the ones that suit you and your business. For this blog I’ll be focussing on Twitter but check back and there will be more (as I get used to using them myself).

On Twitter, unlike Facebook, you are limited on what you can write, by 140 characters. With that in mind, think of short phrases describing what you’re trying to sell. The 140 characters also includes photographs which equal 24 characters.
Here’s a quick example:

includes this beautiful . Just £5 on

So based on this tweet, I’ve told people that I’m having a special offer (#fiverfriday) on my #bunny and that it is purchased through the link above on Conscious Crafties (@consciouscrafty). You may also note that I’ve put a hashtag of #craftbuzz at the end, more on this further down. I also added a photo so people could see what I was I was trying to sell. USE YOUR PHOTOS!! People are less likely to click on a link if they don’t know where it leads.

Bunny.jpg

Keep things, short and sweet with as many hashtags (the #) as possible for people to reach your item. When someone searches twitter they’re searching the hashtags, so for you to be found when someone searches #handmade you need to have #handmade in your tweet/other tweets.
If someone likes your item they will pop through your link and buy it OR they will retweet your post. When someone retweets your item, it means that it begins to show your tweet in their feed, and all their followers see it too.
It’s like when you hand out flyers, not only are you trying to show that person what you do, but also anyone else they come into contact with.

Another good way to get your items seen is to take part in networking hours on Twitter. This is where, during advertised times you can post your items and the people who run the networking profile which retweet your message to their followers.
Here’s a list of known networking hours, feel free to message me if you know anymore that you’d like added to the list.

Monday to Friday
‪#‎uklatehour‬ = 9 – 10
‪#‎bizhour‬ = 2 – 3
‪#‎b2bhour‬ = 2 – 4
‪#‎womaninbiz‬ = 6 – 7
‪#‎ukbusinesslunch‬ = 12 – 1

Monday
‪#‎enterprisehour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎northwesthour‬ = 3 – 4
‪#‎gifthour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎creativehour‬ ‪#‎ccc‬ = 7:30 – 8:30
‪#‎mondaymarathon‬ = all day
‪#‎lincshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎bayhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎horsehour‬ = 8 – 9

Tuesday
‪#‎chesterhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎treasurytuesday‬ = all day (For Etsy Treasuries only)
‪#‎dartmoorhour‬ = 8 – 9

Wednesday
#northwesthour = 8 – 9
‪#‎wrexhamhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎britcrafthour‬ = 9 – 10
‪#‎devonhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎nwpukhour‬ = 8 – 9

Thursday
‪#‎ukbusinesshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎sunderlandhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎etsyuksellers‬ = 8 – 9 (etsy only)
‪#‎eastangliahour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎southwesthour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎leedshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎kirkleeshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎wirralhour‬ = 8 – 9

Friday
#northwesthour = 9 – 10
#fridayfaveathon = all day

Saturday
#merseyhour = 1 – 2

Sunday
#crafthour = 7 – 8
#handmadehour = 8 – 9
#englandhour = 9 – 10
#spooniecrafts = all day (conscious crafties only)
#waleshour = 8 – 9
#equinehour = 8 – 9
#brumhour = 8 – 9
#sundayhour = 8 – 9
#holmfirthhour = 8 – 9
#eastdevonhour = 8 – 9

I know, I know it’s a huge list, how are you meant to keep up with all these networking hours? You might not be in as life happens. I use http://www.hootsuite.com and schedule the tweets (and Facebook Posts) for when I’m busy. You write what you want to post and then schedule what time you would like them to go live.

So what happens if you want to share things but it’s outside of the special hours? Well here’s a list of handy hashtags to use whenever;

  • #Tweeturbiz
  • #etsyuksellers
  • #mylocaltweets
  • #britishcrafters
  • #chestertweets
  • #northwalestweets
  • #shareourshop
  • #craftpromote
  • #womeninbiz
  • #epiconetsy
  • #etsymntt
  • #giftideas
  • #THLx
  • #tweeturbiz
  • #tweeturpromo
  • #tweeturbizuk
  • #ukbiz

So there’s your tips and tricks. If you have some you’d like added to the blog, let me know in the comments below.

HAPPY TWEETING

It’s okay to cry

Every now and then, people cry. They cry due to fear, happiness, sadness or may be for no reason at all.
As children we’re often told to stop crying, to grow up and as we grow and move to school our friends laugh at us for crying so we hold it in, anything we can to stop us seeming weak.

Many times, I’m told that I must be so strong for dealing with the many conditions I have and that I never seem sad.
Truth is, I am sad. I’m grieving my old life, the life that allowed me to have dreams instead of nightmares. The dreams of things I wanted to do with my children are being torn away piece by piece as my body betrays me.

So in that case, it’s okay to cry….. right? Well, is it?
When you’re responsible for two children’s happiness and a husband and house, there’s no time to do this, to grieve. You suck it up and you carry on, until eventually you break.

Many a time, when no one is watching, I break.

This is not the way to live your life so yes, it is okay. In fact it’s far healthier to cry and allow what is hurting to come out rather than fester.

So cry, let it all out and then accept and attempt to rebuild. Don’t let it beat you.

Pacing while Crafting

So a lot of my life is ruled by illness, sure I can push it but there’s a guarantee that I’ll have to repay that energy loan another day, for I am a Spoonie.
A spoonies life revolves around pain and pacing but can that be translated into a crafters life? A business crafter’s life revolves around sales. Getting more while still creating more new items.
However, a business crafter, unlike a spoonie, is doing it because they love what they do – this aspect of their life.

Lately for me, my body is ruining my business and my personal life and pacing has become a real work in progress.
For example: today I took my girls horseriding which took an awful lot of my spoons (remember the spoon theory?) for the day but look how happy they were.

image

image

I got home to another order of lots of items, to go with 3 orders I’d been putting off to build up spoons, but of course I  switched into buyer mode (now don’t get me wrong I absolutely love that I can earn my own money and have accomplishments to show off but it is hard).
Unfortunately as I couldn’t have guessed this much would be ordered, pacing was out the window – leaving me in pain and unable to sleep (hence the late-night post) which will take away some of my normal spoons for tomorrow.

This would lead you to believe crafting and pacing isn’t possible and may be you’re right, may be I’ll crash eventually but…. last weekend I had extra spoons and a low mood, so while this weekend I shall be extra tired it evens out in the end.

So if you’re a spoonie who want to have their own business but keep putting it off due to lack of spoons, you may find that you actually end up with more spoons than you expected. The smile that comes from achieving something you love can fend off that nasty black dog of depression and the spoons it steals.

Dream, Achieve!

Listing on Conscious Crafties

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know about Conscious Crafties if not, have a quick read here: https://wordpress.com/post/craftymillerjm.wordpress.com/139

So you’ve been accepted into the Conscious Crafties Family and want to list an item for sale but wait….. what information should you include in your description? Well some details are obvious, others you may not have thought about. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
So what people like about buying handmade is that they’re buying from a friendly person who has a passion for these things, rather than a corporation who is paying pittance for someone on a line to bang out 100 of them a day. So tell them, give a little insight into what made you make what you did and maybe a little part of how, they also want to know design information such as measurements, what can be varied on their order as well as a few more little nuggets of info. Getting a little lost? okay, well let’s use an example then.

Let’s look at my dinosaurs, just because – https://www.consciouscrafties.com/handmade-gifts/complete-collection-of-4-dinosaurs-any-colours/

I always open with a quick couple of sentences giving a general overview:

ROAR!! Four dinosaurs are better than one so hurry and grab this offer before it becomes extinct! Choosing all of the range of dinosaurs at once saves you ££s. Available in a mixture of colours and CE Safe too. The dinos are a brilliant gift for your children as kids young and old will enjoy tearing down cities and giving rides to their favourite superhero or toy.

This immediately tells people they’re getting a bargain. It also tells them that the dinosaurs can be customised and are safe for children. I also tend to include who the item would be for here. This is also what comes up in Google if your item appears in a google search, so you need it to be as eye-catching as possible.
Once you’ve done this lets move onto the next section; DESIGN

They are all crocheted using Stylecraft Special DK wool and then stuffed using CE safe toy stuffing (not too tight, just enough to make them squeezable) before being given 2 beautiful CE tested Safety eyes.

This is where you explain your processes, but remember people will not understand technical terms so ensure you use laymens terms if possible but don’t give the game away, you don’t want people to devalue your work by believing they could make it themselves easily.
Right, next; MEASUREMENTS

MEASUREMENTS
Brontosaurus – – Measuring 26cms from his nose to the end of his long tail and 10cms from floor to top of his body.
Stegasaurus – – Measures 17cms from nose to the end of his tail and 10cms from floor to top of his spikes.
Triceratops – – Measures 16cms from his horn to the end of his tail and 8cms from floor to the top of his horn.
Tyrannosaurus Rex – – Measures 20cm tall and 15cm wide.
Please note these measurements are approximate as different lots of the wool can differ in thickness causing slight difference in sizes

This is arguably the most important aspect of your listing. You need to be as accurate as you can, if you cannot be completely exact then you must say so, perhaps add approx at the end, or as I have, write a disclaimer.

VARIATIONS AVAILABLE
– Colour – PLEASE STATE WHAT COLOUR YOUR WOULD LIKE EACH OF YOUR DINOSAURS TO BE (e.g. Brontosaurus – Red and Blue… etc)

Is there any part of your item that the customer can change? Here’s a few examples of things they might be able to change depending on your item/type of items etc, they’re all available from the CC Site.
Border
Charm
Clasp
Fastening
Finish
Length
Pattern
Texture
Colour
Fabric
Letter/Initial
Name
Personalise
Ring size
Size
Shoe Size
Theme
There is also a choice of “Special Request” for any others that they can change.

SAFETY – Is there safety issues you need to ensure is followed? Or do your items require you to put them through tests/hold certificates to prove you have done everything you needed to legally sell it. (ie: Toys need CE Testing more info here)

SAFETY
The dinosaurs have been CE tested and passed, giving extra reassurance to parents that their little ones won’t get hurt by their beautiful new friends.
CE TESTED SAFE

Does your item include lots of things? Make sure you include everything that comes with it.

INCLUDES
*Birth Certificate with a beautiful poem. (Please see single listings for details of each poem)
*4 Dinosaurs, in your colours.

Okay, so remember when I said people want to know about you? Here’s the best place to do it. I call it INSPIRATION. What made you want to make this item? Did you think of it, or someone else?

INSPIRATION
I was asked to make three dinosaurs and once they were finished I realised I had enjoyed them so much and wanted to make more. So I added them to my regular makes along with my own design of T-rex.

Customers want to know how long before they can expect your lovely item to arrive at their door, there is also a separate area for you to include the days but I felt it was nice to include a little more too. I named it CRAFTING TIME.

CRAFTING TIME
Each item is made lovingly to order. For a set of dinos this can take around a week to complete although please remember items are made in the order they are received. If time is of the essence please let me know when placing the order by adding “QUICK TURNAROUND” to the notes. If there may be a delay I shall ensure to keep you updated.

Finally I give some information about posting and packaging.

ALL ITEMS ARE POSTED ON THE FRIDAY FOLLOWING COMPLETION (unless otherwise requested).
Packaging – When posted, your dinosaurs are wrapped in tissue paper to keep them warm before being tied with a lovely bow.
**NEW** The Dinosaurs now also come with their very own birth certificate and back story. If you are gifting this there will be a blank space to write the name your child gives their dinosaur, alternatively they can be typed on to the certificate over here at Crafty Miller.
They come with washing and safety instructions as standard.
*Gift Wrap also available* https://www.consciouscrafties.com/handmade-gifts/gift-wrap-available-add/

So hopefully this has been helpful, look out for more posts in the future.

Conscious Crafties

As those of you who follow my blog know, I have many conditions which hinder my ability for a normal life. For those who have got here as a one off, here’s my story. https://craftymillerjm.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/meet-crafty-miller/

Those with a chronic illness often fall into deep depression as you feel your body giving up on you. Having something to accomplish can help fight this black dog and for me it was crafting, every new item I finished gave my heart a surge. Eventually I realised I was not going to be able to work as I couldn’t predict how I would feel, or how my mobility would be day-to-day, I had to rely on benefits from the Government. However, this Government seems intent on attacking the benefits from those who need it, so I needed a way to make money while still protecting my health.

While trying to get advice from other crafters I found people who weren’t supportive of a newbie, demanding I change my prices as I was too cheap and ruining it for them, the “real” businesses. It was heart-breaking.

Then I found Conscious Crafties! Here’s some info on it –

About Conscious Crafties

Conscious Crafties is a handmade craft buying and selling community for creative people living with chronic illness, disability or caring for those affected. It’s built by a Spoonie for Spoonies.

How was the idea born?

Sam De La Querra, Gastroparesis and POTS warrior
My Beautiful Friend Sam

Hi there, I’m Karen and after becoming sick in 2011 almost overnight, I found my way to various support networks. I noticed that many of us turn to crafts to help distract from our illnesses and to feel useful again. Seeing so much untapped talent, the idea was born to create a community for everyone to showcase their work, in one place and give people a way of creating their own business. It was also a way for me to feel useful again, by using my skills to help others. Conscious Crafties is about empowering us all to be successful through our crafts, tell our stories and meet new like minded friends who understand our struggles. I’m also hoping it plays a key part in changing the way disabled/sick people are viewed by the world. We can still contribute and are incredibly talented!! Conscious Crafties has been built in honour of Sam, my beautiful friend I met through sickness and our love of crafts. Her strong fight with Gastroparethis and POTS sadly ended in Oct 14. Heartbroken, I knew then, after years of thinking about it, the idea for us all to sell our crafts within a supportive community needed to be launched, so it could help people now and give them hope for the future.

Stories are told:

As most of us feel unheard, each ‘Craftie’ gets to tell their story on the site to help spread awareness of our (sometimes invisible) illnesses. Stories appear in the ‘Meet the Crafties‘ page and also posted on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve gained a massive following on Facebook in such a short space of time (thank you everyone!) so our stories are seen by thousands. Our crafts are regularly shared through social networks and many of our Crafties have appeared in various online newsletters, all helping to increase sales whilst raising awareness. Every new Craftie also gets invited to our ‘Crafties Community’, a fun place to share crafts, selling tips and form close bonds with friends who understand our struggles.​

How to get involved

There is no joining fee or subscription, it’s free to list and when your item sells a small percentage is taken to keep the site running.
https://www.consciouscrafties.com/

I applied to join, there’s a waiting list as they’re so popular! 😀 Just after Christmas, I was allowed to join and I swear, it’s been the best I ever did. The support from the community is immense and Karen, who runs Conscious Crafties, is BEYOND helpful, going out of her way to help you list, to the best of your abilities.
Just look how good my shop looks thanks to her – https://www.consciouscrafties.com/Crafties/crafty-miller/

So if you’re a Spoonie, or support a Spoonie that needs to feel accomplishments, PLEASE, take the support that’s out there and come join the community.

So you want to sell your crafts?

When creating a new item to sell there are many things that you need to remember, if like me you have a shocking memory, print this out and keep handy for each item.

Item Name ____________
Created on ____________

Need CE Testing? ____

Done ___

I tend to take photos before testing to save making another item, as the tested one isn’t able to be sold, straight after.

Priced Item ____

Ingredient How much used Cost

Total Cost

+ Fees

+ 5% Profit

Total Price

Photographs Done ____

Make sure you make them square and 1000 x 1000 pixels.

5 pictures

1 picture showing the WHOLE item, on it’s own.

1 picture showing how it’s used (Incl background objects to set the scene)

1 picture with linked items

1 / 2 pictures showing details (if more than 2 needed, try using collages but don’t use this one as the MAIN picture.

Use a plain background (Use your local DIY store for wallpaper samples)

Natural Lighting is a must (NO FLASH) If you struggle to get natural lighting, because let’s face it UK Weather isn’t the best hehe, considering buying a lightbox (with lights)

Listed Item

Etsy Listing Tips

Title

  • What is it?

  • Who’s it for?

  • What’s it for?

  • Special Occasions?

Categories

  • What is it?

  • Who’s it for?

  • What’s it for?

  • Special Occasions?

Description

Google Intro (What comes up when your item turns up on a Search on Google) Include – what it is, gift ideas and any variations available.

Design

  • How is it made? (Don’t give away the secrets)
  • Measurements (Inches works best)
  • Variations Available (Colours, Sizes, Clasps etc)
  • Safety Information (CE for toys)

Special Offers

  • Postage offers?
  • Buy one, Get one Free etc?

Linked Items

Is there anything that would also be good with the item they’re looking at?

Crafting Time

  • How long does it take to make?
  • Do you have an order you make things in?
  • Can people rush their order? How?

Gift Ideas

  • Who would like it?
  • Special Occasions?

Postage & Packing

  • How do you wrap it for transport?
  • Can they upgrade anything?

Gift Wrap

  • Do you offer gift wrap?
  • How do they get it?

Variations
It’s easier to make people choose their variations than expecting them to write it in the notes as a lot of people forget and then you have to message them asking for it.
You can also incorporate differences in prices depending on what they buy.

Postage and Packaging Costs

Remember as well as costs for posting you have to include costs for any packaging materials you use.

Tags
There’s a very good website to help choose Tags. www.marmalead.com

  • What is it?
  • Who’s is it for?
  • Special Occasions
  • What’s it made from?

Share your items

There are many apps/websites that you can use to save time on sharing! I use Hootsuite but make sure you look around and choose the one that suits your needs best.

Shared on Facebook __

Shared to Craft Groups __

Shared to Local Sales Groups __

Shared on Twitter __

Use your Hootsuite to schedule tweets to coincide with the hashtag hours available on Twitter.

#CraftHour – 7pm Sunday
#HandmadeHour – 7:30-9.30pm Weds, 8pm Sun
#UKBusinessHour – 8pm Thurs
#UKLateHour – 9-10pm Mon-Fri
#BizHour 2-3pm Mon-Fri
#EnglandHour – 9pm Sun
#B2BHour – 2-4pm Mon-Fri
#GiftHour – 8-9pm Mon

Shared on Google + __

Shared on LinkedIn __

Shared on Instagram __

Remember to add the other places you advertise your items too.

  • Include Price
  • p&p costs
  • Size and Variations Available.
  • Link to your item and/or an email address to order from

 Helpful Hashtags to include.

  • #Tweeturbiz
  •  #mylocaltweets
  • #britishcrafters
  •  #shareourshop
  • #craftpromote
  • #craftbuzz
  • #etsyuksellers
  • #etsylove

Share your items links into Etsy Teams.
This is helpful when first listing new items as favourites help your placing on Etsy.
Remember to play the games fairly or you will be asked to leave the teams.