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How do we get Megan Auman to Chicago? March 3, 2010

Posted by Deb Kosiba in Business, resources, social networking.
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Megan Auman is a big cheese in the online crafting community.    She has a blog called Crafting an MBA where she shares her extensive crafting business knowledge with the rest of us crafters.  Go read it.  I’d say go now, I’ll wait, but her blog is so full of useful knowledge and excellent links to other resources, that you will be  a while and may forget to come back.

She recently posted that she is going to be offering a course called Business Basics for Artists, Makers & Designers.  It’s a 3 hour class covering all the business details that overwhelm all of us getting started in the crafty biz.

The problem is that it is in Pennsylvania.

So I responded to her post, half  joking “You need to bring this class to Chicago so I can take it.”

To my wonderful surprise, she responded “I’d love to come to chicago – any recs for guilds, schools, or groups i could work with to offer the class?”

Well, suddenly I felt like a guy who asks the girl who is way out of his league for a date, and the girl responds “Sure!”

Er, ah..stammer, um.  Wow!

The problem is that I’m really new to the Chicago crafting scene.  I started in December and I’ve been to one meeting of the Chicago Craft Mafia, and that’s about it.  I’ve also heard about The Chicago Style Crafters but I wasn’t able to attend their January meeting.   I haven’t been around long enough to have learned where all the great crafting resources are in the Chicago area yet.

So I’m asking the internet, because the internet knows all…Do you have any recommendations for guilds, schools, or groups she could work with to offer the class in the Chicago area?

You can leave any ideas you have here in the comments, or go to my contact page, or you can email me directly at deb (at) bigblued (dot) com.  I’d love to know what you know!

Learning about tweet styles – what works and what doesn’t January 11, 2010

Posted by Deb Kosiba in social networking.
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A couple weeks ago, I started using my twitter account more often.  Partially because I have more things I feel I can post about right now and partially because I now have a phone that makes social networking a lot easier than it used to be.  This also started about the time I got our Etsy store up so our listings were another thing I could post about.  Since I was doing a lot of Etsy related research, I friended (followed?) two people who’s art I liked and looked like interesting successful Etsy sellers.  This way I could observe how the successful people were using twitter.

One was a person selling pendants made from broken plates, the other was another stained glass artist.  The first I chose because I liked her web site and she had a lot of information on the crafting communities.  The glass artist I chose because she had good sales numbers, her work was reasonably priced (not under-priced like most of it) and the quality of her work was high.  I’ve been following their tweets for a couple weeks now and here are my observations.

The broken plate chick tweets about everything.  Everything. I’m not sure how she gets anything done, but I’m positive her phone is welded to her hand.  Kid does something cute? Tweet pic.  Found something cool on the internet? Tweeted link.  Lunch with friends?  Tweet!  There is a lot of chaff to wade through, but she does post quite a few gems.  She is connected and active in the crafting community and there are a lot of good links.  And, of course, she tweets when she has new listings on Etsy.

The stained glass chick only tweets when she has new listings.  For her, it’s not a social tool that happens to work for marketing, it’s a marketing only tool.  I have learned nothing about her, her life, her crafting process, nothing.  Why would I want to buy something from you when I know nothing about you?  And she tweets deceptively.  Instead of saying “I have a new item up, go look!” she’ll tweet “I want this!” or “look at what I  found!” But instead of things that she wants, or links to something new that she found, the links all go to her own pieces.  I’ve stopped reading her tweets, they only made me angry.

The lessons learned so far are that I know I need to tweet more, but I don’t think I’ll ever get up to the broken plate chick’s level.  I know I will tweet when we have a new piece on Etsy, but I’ll be clear that I’m linking to our pieces.   Right now, the hard part is that I  don’t think in “tweets” yet, so a lot of tweetable moments go untweeted.

Next time I have a chunk of time to mess with social networking some more, I will probably un-friend the glass chick and go looking for some other people to follow for a while.  If you want to follow my infrequent tweets, I’m bigblued.  Let me know who you are on twitter so I can follow you too.