Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Experience with a Loop Giveaway on Instagram

To be honest, my first experience entering a loop giveaway, was not pleasant. I mean, really? I have to follow stores I'm really not interested in, and then wait a few days to a week to find out if I won? The directions were even a little screwy. Do you tag other stores on all the IG feeds you're supposed to be following? I didn't have a clue. Then I decided to join a loop giveaway to see what the fuss was about.

The Hive Handmade was the organizer. There were 8 other stores involved. At first I was a little overwhelmed with the details and preparations needed to be done for the contest. I've never really dealt with reposting yet, and have never tagged an image with an IG handle. So I learned as I went along. The organizer was very helpful, and the stores involved, were welcoming. It really felt like a camp almost, where we were all in this together.

When the contest launched, it was fun to experience so many follows and likes. At the end of the day, I'd say it was a positive experiment. I started off with 225 followers and ended up with 305 followers or so when the contest ended. Since then, I've lost a few, and gained some others reacting to my newer posts. Seems like I've been getting quite a few bots probably, following me. IGers, who don't exactly look like shops that would be following me. No doubt, looking for a reciprocal follow. Sometimes I follow, and sometimes I don't. I'm still trying to follow only those that interest me.

So, I think I'll do another one, for sure, but I'm not sure I gained followers that will necessarily be buyers from my shop.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Experience with Publish Craft & Etsy Hunter on Instagram

Just yesterday, Publish Craft, posted an image of my "Gold Collection" jewelry bowls, on their Instagram feed. They have 134k followers, and the average likes per image they post, is about 1k, give or take. After a couple of hours, my gold bowls image garnered 1k in likes. Not a huge change in followers. Seems the majority liked the image and that's about it. But it was still a great feeling to see the positive likes. I think it went live around 7pm EST, on a saturday night. So, overall, i'm very pleased with the back and forth with Chris, at Publish Craft, and the willingness to work with me in choosing an image to feature. I'd most likely work with them again.

Etsy Hunter, on the other hand, only gathered around 448 likes. Could it be the time of day, the image, the txt used describing my wares, or the usage of the same exact tags I used for the same image? I don't know. But there you have it. For $23, I probably won't be running back to use this form of marketing dollars. Publish Craft was having a special price break, so I got the spot for $13. Now that's a bargain.

Baby steps. And boy does it ever feel like BABY STEPS!!!

What's your experience with using these marketing companies on Instagram?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I'm Featured on Etsy Hunter!

Ok so, it doesn't sound as thrilling when you hear I paid $23 for the honor. But they say they "choose" who gets to be featured on their IG feed. So that means we're all really good, right? Sales galore, I'm ready for ya! Post time was at 4:24pm, to be exact. Normally, each post is getting roughly 1k likes. As far as followers, who knows. It really depends on the product, the image chosen, and the tags used. Now, get this, I noticed the tags I wrote up myself, for the image Etsy Hunter ended up choosing, were used again by Etsy Hunter! Now that was weird I thought. Shouldn't they have used their own magic mojo combination of tags that grab the most eyes? Hmmm, I'll have to enquire about that.

So, last time I checked, the post has garnered about 293 likes at 8:25pm. A few followers, but who knows who are following because of them. Maybe it's from my own feed.

Tomorrow will be like xmas morning to see how many eyeballs have liked my bowls.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Feature coming on Instagram 5/3/2017

As I continue to market myself, I decided to do one of those paid feature options I'm seeing so often on Instagram. Etsy Hunter will be feature my store for 5 days. Starting at exactly 4:24pm this Wednesday, they will pick one of my images from my IG account. Let's see how much of an impact it makes. Anyone out there go this route? What was your experience?

Still adding followers on IG, without following people just because they follow me. Of course the meanies that are just looking for me to follow are still dropping me like a hot potato once they see I'm not going to follow them. Nothing personal people!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Instagram - to Follow or Not to Follow

Since I started using Instagram for marketing purposes, I've become obsessed with follower numbers. Only because I know it "means" something in the biz world. It's not that I care how many eyeballs are watching my every post. Believe me.

Being somewhat of a newbie, I thought when someone decides they want to follow you, they do, without much thought. But no. I've seen my followers grow, and then deflate within 24 hours, seemingly because I didn't follow each and everyone back. Sigh* Really? I don't have the time or the inclination to follow the numbers so closely. And yet I do. I'd say about 50% of the people doing the following, have no interest in following based out of sheer interest in what you're posting.

Recent advice I've received, is to follow every single person who follows me, if I want to move from having a hobby to having a business. Ex-squeeze Me?! But what if I don't want that sexily posed female follower, who only has 8 posts, revealing more skin than a stripper on the beach. Although she has 150k followers. I just couldn't do it. I don't want to file through my feed multiple times daily, only to have to go past the junk, i'm not into seeing. So I plugged along, frustrated in the slow process of gaining followers.

Until 2 days ago...I gave in. I started following each and every person, no matter what they offered visually. Well, that didn't last. I just didn't feel good about it. So I proceeded to unfollow about 20 IGers, who did not connect with what I'm in to. The result is that I started following more people I find exciting in their vision, their voice, or their talent. My numbers are growing, and it feels good. Clean.

So if you're ok with following everyone under the sun, go for it. But if you want to be able to scroll down your feed and feel inspired with each genuine post, then be selective, and don't play in to the follow game.

Enjoy the day! I'm ready to start a new painting i'm donating for an auction, shop for new jewelry chains, and try to work on some new designs. Oh, and if time, exercise.

~ Vanessa

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Not Enough Time in a Day

Do you ever feel like you just don't have enough time in the day, to accomplish all of your creative pursuits? On top of all the "must do things" a household with kids requires. Don't get me started. But, when simply sneezing, eating, or having to go to the bathroom, make you feel frustrated with how it's taking precious time out of your day, when you could be making something, then you are a person with many ideas! Or chores. Either way, I'm feeling like that lately. I have so many crafty artistic pursuits I want to get to, as well as trying to market my Etsy store, that sometimes I have to take a breath, and just let it go. I can't do all 10 things on my list for the day. Once I resign to getting one thing done, or 2, I'm much more relaxed about the day. Not that I like it, but what else can you do? Clone yourself? Oh, that would be so great!!

So when you feel your head is about to explode, take a step back, and breath. Set out to get to 1 or 2 things on your list, and go from there. Take care of yourself. All week I meant to exercise, but that time seemed too valuable, so I skipped it, and now feel nice and sore, from lack of exercise. So do as I say and not as do.

Take care, my creative people! You're worth it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pattern by Etsy, Let's See What You can Do!

Well, following an email I just opened this morning from Etsy about the improvements they've made to Pattern, a website that connects to Etsy stores, I decided to take the plunge with their 30 day free trial offer. It's too easy to pass up the chance. Shopify is another option, but with only a 14 day, so called "free trial" which doesn't let you check out of the cart until you sign up for a payment plan, what?! This seems like a no-brainer. I still have only entered in 3 products for the shopify site.

Here's the link to the Pattern site:
Vanpinni Designs on Pattern by Etsy

And here is the Shopify link:

What do you think? Articles say that you don't have enough freedom with making the store your own with Pattern, but from what I see, it's all I need. Right now, it's enough for me just to focus on new products and getting the word out on my products, which is a full-time job right there.

Now to buy a domain name...

Enjoy the day!