I have noticed in the crafting industry that people in general are so generous with their knowledge and very helpful.
Let me start with the glass industry. I have rarely met anyone who fused, whether it be at a show, in a class or on the net, that was not willing to share how they made something so that you can learn from their experiences. And I know other glass people share my opinion as I hear people say this a lot! This has made my experiences so much more positive as I struggled through all the getting started typical failures. Thanks to all!
Jumping to my recent foray into selling my glass, Etsy is a website dedicated to selling handmade and vintage items. To help you sell, Etsy provides regular correspondence on ways to improve your pages, offers free critiques of your site to help you appeal better to buyers, generates tutorials on understanding SEO (search engine optimization) so you can more easily be found, and offers forums and teams where sellers on Etsy can help each other out. People in these forums and teams are awesome doing their own critiques of each other, giving copious positive strokes to encourage people even if sales are slim, and also answering questions.
One such team on Etsy which I find great to be a part of is called O.C.E.A.N. which is an acronym for Oregon Coast Etsy Artist Network. The team also has a Facebook page where the members do all of the above for each other as well as promoting each other on Etsy. They also meet weekly at a local place, which I unfortunately can’t join since I am not local to them, but love to read their posts about what they did and discussed.
In Etsy, teams can create their own tags to make it easier for people to find items sold by team members. Last Christmas some of the O.C.E.A.N. members did a craft fair in an Oregon mall and handed out O.C.E.A.N. business cards with the Etsy tag, oceanteam. This was very helpful as it brought new people to my storefront just by my including the tag “oceanteam” to my store items. It is wonderful to be a part of this team.
Lastly, related to crafting in general, there are so many resources available to help people either further their craft or learn how to better market their craft.
A few examples that I use include:
- Glass-fusing-made-easy.com blog which is updated regularly with fusing hot-tos.
- A daily email from interweave.com (I get the jewelry and beading ones) which provide helpful hints, small descriptions of a process, and every few weeks free tutorials for projects.
- Business websites selling crafting products but include very helpful forums and how-to videos (I use so many here that there are just too many to list).
- Ana-white.com, which I just recently discovered, blogs about her do-it-yourself carpentry projects and now has about 3 million views per month (fascinating just to see a blog be so popular and learn from her experiences).
- Social Media Examiner (socialmediaexaminer.com) which provides essential knowledge regarding social media for those of us trying to start a business and learn the right tools.
- Craftsy.com which describes themselves as “a community of people who love to make things – learning from, inspiring and helping one another. Over Christmas they held an open project where people could make and donate hats for charity and they received over 2250 hats! In January, they promoted and helped coordinate local community meet-ups so that crafters could get to know their local crafters.
Of course, there are so many more which are wonderful and all of these are to help you better yourself and your craft and share with others, and are free!
So once again, thanks to all in the crafting business. What a wonderful group of people.
Do you have specific positive experiences or sites to share with others? Please do!