Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Secret Santa Reveal!

by Heart Felt Passion
 Several members of the Blogging Business Artisans signed up for Secret Santa 2011. Sharla, of BeadedTail (with the assistance of her husband), assigned each of us with a recipient. In order for everyone to be surprised, we each wrote our likes and dislikes in a private thread and Sharla took care of giving out the addresses.

Well, I thought our first Secret Santa was a success! To be fair I won't give away what I received though some may have guessed who my Secret Santa was--I kept gushing over one of her new products! Oops.

If you participated in our Secret Santa please link up to your blog post below and thanks again for helping make the BBA a great team. And, Sharla, THANK YOU for keeping us all organized during this time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Worktable Wednesday -- Artful Rising and a Winner!

I have been painting, sanding, cutting, gluing, working with clay, sewing, and collaborating with a wonderful artisan for a new product.
Stay tuned for what is new in 2012.
QUESTION: Do you have anything new planned for 2012?

Find Erika here:
Little Andalucia Shop
Artful Rising Shop
Artful Rising Site

And December's giveaway for the cat necklace, earrings, and beads goes to....
 hofken/cynthia! Deb will be in touch with you to get your address and congratulations!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Features -- Expressions of Love

Give a gift of love this holiday season! And if you are all set with Christmas then stock up for Valentine's Day -- it will be here before you know it.

This heart brooch is brand NEW. I proudly own a wine colored heart and receive compliments on it.
Say it simply with a custom Love Heart.
Artful Rising

The love between parent and child in different forms...beautiful
Carry your love close to your heart with this precious love letter locket.
Janie Cox
Remember your special day with a custom sign
QUESTION: What are ways you express your love?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Worktable Wednesday with Memories for Life

I'm not sure the question right is "What's on my worktable?" but "What's NOT on my worktable?" LOL!

I've been using every spare minute to prepare Christmas orders. I've really had a good mix of both scrapbooks and lasered items selling this holiday season.

My Custom Name Albums are always my most popular scrapbook. They make such great gifts! Here is one of my most recent orders.

One of my best selling lasered items this holiday season has definitely been my Engraved Photo Ornaments. I've engraved babies, couples, pets, logos and loved ones that have passed. The babies are by far my favorites and I'm sure you can see why from the photo above :)

My Wood Guestbook Photo Albums have been a hot item since the day I listed them! For Christmas, I've been selling more of the photo album versions. I have more designs I want to offer in the new year!

I'll also be adding more of these albums with other options...like color! And instead of photo corners, I'll be using photo sleeves.

Question: What's on your worktable?

Find Memories for Life (Scrapbooks and Laser Engravings) on
Etsy: http://memoriesforlifesb.etsy.com/

Monday, December 12, 2011

Using Hootsuite to Grow Your Audience

Today we are going to be talking about a very helpful social media tool, Hootsuite.  Hootsuite allows you to group your social media accounts and to organize and schedule your posts.  It's pretty awesome.  Let's get started.

The first thing you need to do is create an account.  It's free and easy.  Just go to the site and create a new account.

Next you will need to set up your social media accounts.  On the side of your screen, find settings and select social networks.

Once there, you can click add social network.  From there, you can enter in your different accounts (I have twitter and facebook set up).

The next thing I recommend is linking it with your blog feed.  To do this, click on RSS feed on the side of the settings window.  You can then click on add new feed.  Enter in your feed and whatever settings you want.  I have mine set to post every day and to start with the text "New Blog Post."  I chose to post to both my twitter and facebook.

Okay.  Now that you have everything set up, let's post something.  On the top of your screen you will see a little window that says "Compose message."  That's where you enter in your text or links.  Next to that, you will see a little icon to select which accounts you are posting to (only twitter, only facebook, or both).  You can also click on the calendar to schedule.

Scheduling posts is awesome because you can plan out your whole week and then not get bogged down by constant social media.  I like to share fun links throughout the week and will try to spend an hour setting them up for the rest of the week.  You can see the list of your scheduled posts on the side.

You can also schedule posts with the publisher tool on the side.  There you can see an entire list of your scheduled posts.

Those are the basics.  I hope that helps.  I've found the program to be pretty user-friendly but feel free to ask any questions you have.

QUESTION: What do you use to help you keep in touch with your audience?
Today's post is written by:
Jenny studied biology in school but is now following her dream of being an artist.  She is the owner/artist of A Bird in the Hand Art where she focuses on colorful jewelry and home decor pieces.
Blog  Facebook

Be sure to read the rest of our Audience series:
1.) Determine Your Target Audience
2). Be FANatical in Your Search for a Solution
3). Using Hootsuite to Grow Your Audience

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Features -- Get Organized!

The holidays tend to highlight my need to get things organized. I enjoy the process of finding containers for my what-nots and I need to use paper to keep my mind from exploding. All of the following are great things to use and would be great gifts, too!
Felted Bowl by JNOriginals
A coin purse, gift tag holder, lip gloss pouch...
Organizer with pretty papers and needed pockets
I have to use planners. Or I end up with sticky notes everywhere.
An organizer for your favorite needles.
Every cook needs one of these:

QUESTION: What helps you stay organized?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Worktable Wednesday -- Artist, Athena Workman

Fellow BBA member Athena Workman has been working on new work for a gallery. Here are a couple of examples of her work. If you are familiar with Workman's art and her Miss Millificent etsy shop then you will recognize a different look. We look forward to seeing where Athena's work takes her.

"No Other Choice" ("They did not mourn his passing... for they were the ones to help him pass...")
SHOP: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissMillificent
BLOG: http://athenaworkman.blogspot.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/athenaworkman
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Millificents-World/209881245725030

*If you would like to share a photo of what you are working on for Worktable Wednesday please contact us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Determine Your Target Audience

by Heavy Metal Picks on etsy
 Do you have a clear idea of your target audience? You may think this information does not matter but it is important to the growth of your business. If you don't have a clue about who is buying from you then how can you serve them better? Or grow?

I did a bit of research and discovered that the folks reading my blog, Artful Rising, are considerably younger than I imagined. They are also more likely to have a college degree, have at least one child, and are female.This is important to know if I thought I would start blogging about fixing up car motors or where to retire right at this moment--the reception would not be that great. It also might explain the positive response to the opening of my second shop -- with a focus on inspirational products which ties in with my blog.

 At the beginning of the year I completed worksheets created by April of Blacksburg Belle. (I tried to find her old posts but cannot find them on her site). The questions helped to narrow down my interests and what I wanted to accomplish with either my blog or a shop. In addition, etsy has recommended that you create fictional profiles of what your customer looks like (hair color, education, interests, job, hobbies) and this ties into your business.

Things to ask yourself:
*what is your intention with your blog/shop?
*what does your ideal customer look like? (grandparent, parent, teen, geek, etc)
*what is the best way to grab the attention of your ideal customer?
*what is the best way to keep their attention?

Please note that it is not recommended by marketers or by busy/successful etsy sellers to market to everyone. You cannot create a product for everyone and you will be much better served aiming for a niche audience. Example--a steampunk jeweler would not try to sell to my mom.

Read the follow-up post on the Artful Rising blog on how you can grow your business by giving your customers what they want.

QUESTION: Do you know your target audience?

Be sure to read the rest of our Audience series:
1.) Determine Your Target Audience
2). Be FANatical in Your Search for a Solution
3). Using Hootsuite to Grow Your Audience 


Today's guest blogger is Erika. She is the creator of Artful Rising where she encourages you to get-your-rear-in-gear to Create. Inspire. Change the World. Join the conversation today via the weekly Artful Rising Newsletter and receive your own ebook on following your dreams.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Giveaway for Cat Lovers - Storybeader Treasure Necklace and Earrings Set

"The kitties looked on 
Anxiously for the winner
Of the Giveaway."
- storybeader

Here is the second giveaway from members of the Blogging Business Artisans Team. This month we have a handmade cat lover's treasure necklace and earrings set, brought to you by the storybeader.  There are two-strands, 23" and 20", including the lobster claw closure with a 3" chain for individual tastes.  The haiku was written specifically for the event.  

In addition are a pair of black and white earrings to match the necklace.

And a dozen extra cat beads, just in case any jeweler out there wants to make a bracelet or any other jewelry pieces of their own.

1. Visit The Storybeader's Bookshelf and share what additional product you like from her shop or what you would like to see added. 2. Leave a comment on this post and include contact information.

3. Like the BBA Facebook page and leave a separate comment on this post.

4. Spread the word on twitter with the tweet:

Treasury Necklace & Earrings Set Giveaway #BBArtisans #giveaway  http://bloggingbusinessartisans.blogspot.com/

and leave a separate comment with your twitter name on this post.

December 20, 2011 at 11am central

Contest open worldwide 
This giveaway is now closed.