I’ve been evaluating my Etsy shop (and all things related) for a while now, and have a list of improvements to make, pretty much all the time. Some I find time to work on, others I don’t. Some I decide I don’t want to implement after all and some I would like to put into action but just can’t figure out how or don’t have the money yet.
I wrote a short series of blog posts a couple months about overhauling my shop, and much of that I haven’t yet had the chance to do. Like every other aspect of life, sometimes things get in the way. Today I’m going to tell you about some of the things I’ve been able to work on.
I’ve begun posting a lot more on my Facebook fan page. I post something almost every day, Monday-Friday. I’ve also begun to comment on other fan pages with my fan page account rather than my personal account. When I first began posting more on Facebook, I felt discouraged because still, I got very little response from anyone on the things I’d post. I stuck with it, though, and people have been commenting more! I credit this to my thinking more about the sort of things my “fans” would like to read, and because I’ve been interacting more with other fan page owners on their pages.
I still would like to see more activity on my Facebook page, so I will continue to monitor what people respond to most often. I would like to do some more behind-the-scenes posts, including photos, as I’ve both seen a good response when I do things like this, and have also heard from social media afficionados that fans really enjoy this. My downfall? Poor preparation. To do behind-the-scenes, I need to do at least a *little bit* of planning, and honestly, most of my Facebook posting has been spur-of-the-moment stuff.
I’ve expanded who I interact with online, mainly via blogs and Twitter. The truth is that crafting and handmade is NOT my life and has never been my main interest, it is only ONE interest of mine. I’m also very interested in music, social justice issues (especially race and class stuff), history, faith/religion, and back-to-basics/natural lifestyles (especially the domestic arts and pregnancy/childbirth). The thing is, this little corner of my online world didn’t reflect those interests very much. If you knew the “rest” of my online world – my locked LiveJournal and Facebook, you’d have seen all this stuff in abundance. But this blog and my Twitter account had been underutilized until recent months, and then I decided to get more involved online for Etsy stuff, so I suppose it’s natural that I started off by surrounding myself with nothing but craft/handmade blogs and Twitter accounts. Anyway, the purpose of this blog and my Twitter account is not just to highlight what I’m doing in the handmade world, but to also invite customers, handmade peers and friends into the rest of my interests. I want people to know the whole me, or at least a little bit of every part of me.
Having said that, I didn’t write up a list and say, “Ok, Ashley, today you’re going to go find a blog or Twitter account that writes a lot about interracial marriage". Rather, when I’d come across something like that, I’d follow the trail it took me on, and maybe that trail would lead me to a collective blog, and from that collective blog, I’d end up following 3 blogs that write a lot about interracial families. The next week, my friend who’s studying to become a doula might point me toward a natural childbirth article, which caused me to follow the author in Twitter.
It’s said a lot in the handmade community (and most others, I’m sure) that you should really enjoy what you’re doing, or there isn’t a point. Well, I both want to share the stuff I’m doing in the handmade world with my friends and peers in my other interest areas, and I want to bring new topics of thought and discussion to my handmade peers and friends. Already I’ve been able to get involved in handmade philanthropy and have been exposed to so many great causes, and have been able to spread the word to others.
Ok, I think that’s enough for today! I’ve got more to write about – both what I’ve worked on so far and what I still want to do soon (hopefully). Stay tuned!
Have you thought about why and how you want to use an online presence for your shop? Do you mix personal with business online? Have you found it easy or a struggle to maintain or find the right balance?