Do you ever wonder if any of your tweets, fb and blog posts even get read…and if they do, does anyone really care about what you have to say? I do. I wonder about it every time I post something about my business and about whatever may be in my head at the moment.
perhaps because everyone I know now have the attention span of a two-year-old. That’s what texting, posting, tweeting has done to us, or at least that’s what I think. And hey, I’m the first to admit that I’m one of those people. My head tends to get overloaded with all the fb post that are on my timeline that I feel obligated to read and “like” just to let the poster know that I read their post.
this whole social media revolution has turned us all to electronic slaves, and it didn’t take that long to get there either. When twitter was new, I always thought “why do I care if you’re taking a dump?” then all of sudden, it’s what everyone does. tweet. tweet. tweet.
So I have decided that I’m going to start my own revolution. Will you join me? “Send a Greet” instead of tweet. Send one person a note, an actual physical note via snail mail with your own handwriting at least 2 times a week. Let’s see if we can get back the excitement of getting something in the mail that you can actually open, touch and feel.
and here comes the self-serving promo….
What better way to start our revolution by sending someone one of our beautifully designed and letterpress-printed notecards. Find them at the Etsy store near you… www.etsy.com/teeneemi
so, I was referred to another social networking site, referralkey.com. I’m hoping that this one would actually be helpful in growing the business. I will have to say that after having accounts for linked in, facebook, twitter, branching out, stumble upon, a few other wedding sites and now referral key, I’m totally exhausted. Again, I spend more of my time marketing online than making products or making money!
how to find your niche? I wish I can tell you how, but unfortunately I haven’t found mine. But moreover, I’m too scared to find a niche. what if it doesn’t take off? what if no one wants any of the products? how long do you wait before you call it quits?
if only I knew, I wouldn’t be making this post, now would I? You read about so many artists and crafters who make really cool stuff and eventually it catches on like fire and now are making a good living out of it. Then you think, well, I can do that.
Social Media Marketing—just the thought of it already overwhelms me. from blogging to tweeting to facebook posts. What I want to know is, who has the time to keep up with everyone you’re following, coming up with something to say and then actually doing the work your business provides? I do believe that it’s beneficial to have all the information you could ever want and need at your fingertips. You can spend days and days doing research on online and know what’s trending, what’s working, what’s not working… but is it really a good thing? My brain works way too fast as it is, would all this media access make it better?
A met a person a several weeks back and she said that even though I don’t think I have much to tweet, I should follow all the people I like just to know what’s going on in that industry and learn from their posts. So I went home and did just that. So, now what?
I can tell you that I’ve learned nothing new. I was already getting all my info from whom I was following on facebook. And interestingly enough, the most useful advice for helping my business grow is from talking to my friends on the phone or in person. So being a fly in the wall may not always be the solution. I think one-on-one discourse is much more effective for me. Perhaps it’s the exchange. Perhaps it’s the immediate exchange. I think we spend far less time talking WITH each other than talking TO each other.
Okay, I am completely confused now. How sad is it that I’m a designer and I can’t figure out this whole feeding thing? But in my defense, I’m a print designer and know almost nothing about how this social media stuff works. I feel sooooo old! anyway. I’m not sure what’s feeding what so I’m hoping that this post will post on the blog which then will feed my facebook page, then the fb page will feed twitter which I think shows up on the blog under “my tweets” section. I need a diet coke.
okay, so now the website is done and the blog page wasn’t super great. actually, it wasn’t really a blog so, I decided to direct the blog to my tumblr blog instead. but then I felt that the blog should probably match the site, right? but I’m not a web designer and so I figured I’ll just find a theme close enough to what my website feels like. And it looks like I may have found it. So here’s the first post on the newly designed (actually newly purchased theme) blog. Enjoy!
So why is it that when you think you should blog about something, you can’t think of anything to talk about, but when you do think about something to talk about, you end up thinking of more stuff to blog about and so you end up with a novel.
How much and how often are you suppose to blog? is it against “blogging etiquette” to blog a bunch of times in one day and then nothing for like a really long time?
All these rules and regulations about your web presence as a business owner! I mean, really? I’m too busy figuring out how to make a living from my business. I don’t really have time to figure out “what” and “what not” to do on blogs.
and do you have to stay on topic on a post or can you jump around? My mind tend to wander and jump around. Like having a conversation with someone in person, you dont’ just stay with one topic, otherwise you’d be bored. Right?
So isn’t blogging just another way of having a conversation with someone, except there isn’t someone you’re bantering with.
it’s been a while. I know… funny how things often come up when you finally think you’ve got it all figured and planned out. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. In my case, it went like this:
The husband got laid off in late June. I had finally finished designing my summer/fall line of notecards. Got the plates made. Got the paper cut. Ready to print. Mid July, the husband got a job offer. Hurray! But it was all the way across the country. We had 2 weeks to sell off a bunch of furniture and stuff, pack, plan the cross country trip with the 2 monsters. The trip was going to take 5 days of driving about 8-10 hours a day. So much for printing my new summer/fall line. I had just finished printing a business card and a baby shower invitation and thought I could crank out at least 3 designs. Who was I kidding! we had two weeks and if I didn’t pack up everything as soon as I learned we were moving, it would have never made it on the truck!
So here I thought I wouldn’t be down for too long…I’m sure there’s some kind of Murphy’s Law that states “no matter how much planning you do, it never goes the way you planned it to.” So to make a long story short. We left Oregon Aug 2. Got to North Carolina Aug. 6. After a week of searching and searching and searching for a house to rent, we had to settle for an apartment. We got the apartment on Aug. 11, unloaded the moving truck on Aug. 12. The husband started his job on Aug. 13 and the boy started 4th grade Aug. 15 (1 1/2 weeks late). Little miss monster and I were then left to unpack.
And now a month later, the garage is finally organized. Our letterpress studio is now set up to print again. We recently acquired another printer, an 1893 Chandler & Price OS 8x12. It will become our main printer once she has been cleaned and tested. Can’t wait to get her running. She has been baptized as “Charlotte” since we got her from Charlotte, NC.
So now if I can just get the universe to cooperate and not throw any more curve balls at me; a new holiday line and the summer/fall line that will now be called our “everyday” line should be printed shortly and be available for purchase!
So this weekend, the kids needed new clothes and so did I. I haven’t shopped for clothes for about 2 years or so now. I still can’t get over that I have a huge mid section and that “because of the two kids” isn’t a good enough excuse anymore.
so Old Navy had lots of stripes. Horizontal stripes… I couldn’t remember the rule of which ones make you look even wider, large ones or small skinny ones. I ended up getting both and asked the husband if they made me look wide. He said they looked better than the solids. He’s usually pretty good at letting me know if something looks dumpy on me.
besides asking for the husband’s advice, I decided to look it up online. apparently, horizontal ones can make you look more slimmer even. of course all the examples were of movie stars who weigh all of nothing. oh well. but then it gave me an design idea. Horizontal stripes. why not. I’ll get going on those designs this week.
So, before I can fall asleep, I usually peruse the fb, the twtr, the lnkdin, the tmblr and the pantry. The last one is for a late night snack…let’s just leave that one for a later discussion.
I usually have better thoughts before bed. Things that would be great to blog about.
(1 minute lapse.) Sorry, had to serve my cupcakes in bakery story before they rot. Yes, I have one game that I’ve been playing for almost a year now I think. It gives me hope. So far my bakery has over 5 million coins, but only 2 gems…I don’t like to spend real money for a game. I did it twice but that was it.
So back from that tangent. I was just saying that lots of topics come to mind when I’m trying to fall asleep. Sometimes I am up until the wee hours just thinking. About what? Well if I actually remembered, I’d have a lot most post on this blog.
Anyway, as you can tell, I tend to get of topic. No wonder my son has ADD. Not officially diagnosed. But we picked up a self help book on how to cope with ADD as a kid. The book is written for kids and parents to read, though it mostly for kids. Before we bought it, I asked the boy to read the back cover teaser first.
Me: read the back and tell me if that sounds like you
The boy: yeah, that’s all the stuff I get in trouble for except this one: have difficulty making friends.
Me: yes, that’s definitely not you.
You have so many friends that you don’t even know there names most of the time.
…well he has since read the first 3 chapters that explains the symptoms and discusses what it is and how it’s not a disease. It’s just that your brain function a little differently than most. The boy seem to be much happier after reading the book. I think he needed to identify with something.
And he was very proud when he said:
it says that some people with ADD & ADHD have special talents which they are really good at and they mentioned drawing, painting and being creative lile me.
So that gave me an idea, I’d like to take some tools they teach kids what to do to help cope, and print flat cards that can be used to remind kids what to do in certain situations.
Okay, eye lids are getting heavy. More tomorrow.
Good night all. Stay tuned.
Same bat time. Same bat channel.
Have you ever had an evening that seemed to go extremely slow? Last night, I went to bed at 10pm and woke up at midnight thinking it was 6am. The night pretty much went on the same way, sometimes it had only been 1/2 hour and I swear I slept for 3 hours. Then in typical fashion, little miss monster got at up at 6:15am and said, “Mama, it’s wake up time and I want breakfast.” And then marched on downstairs.
So I am up. Doesn’t mean I’m awake.
Thought I’d attend to the blog. I finally got photos posted on the facebook page for the letterpress work. check out www.facebook.com/teeneemi. I also updated the etsy store with a couple of new listings. So I think I had a pretty good productive week last week.
So what’s on my plate? I’ve got a logo, job estimate, door hanger, and 2 business cards and more notecards to run on Effie. If only the weather would cooperate. It’s raining and supposedly it will rain again tomorrow. So Wednesday’s work is running the two business cards and notecards.
Well, that’s it for me. Brain doesn’t work as well in the morning.
so this past Wednesday…okay hold that thought. my mind wandered off topic again. I wonder if there’s an app that will make typewriter sounds as you type on a computer? because I think hearing the tap tap tapping gives you a rhythm that helps you type better and faster… 2 minute pause to research that online.
(5 minutes elapsed)
Wow. I actually found one. pretty cool. 30 day trial of course. not sure how much it costs after that. And I’m on an iMac G4 so it took a while to download.
so now back to the really topic of this blog post. I finally got a page up for the website so that people will encounter an actual site versus a blog. It took me overnight to get it up. Mostly because I couldn’t decide how to design it. I mean, if you’re advertising a graphic design and letterpress studio, shouldn’t your site be well designed. If you don’t have a really cool website design, who’s gonna hire you for design? Right?
so initially I wanted to have a wordpress blog site so that I can blog on there as well. I followed all the directions on how to install it and such and the stupid theme would not load. After mucking around for 3 hours personalizing the free theme I found and trying to get it up, I gave up. so I just went ahead and designed a page instead. And that will have to do for now. So now the blog will be a stand alone until I can figure out how to add the blog part on the site.
aside: I am really liking this typewriter sound plug-in. If anyone is interested, it’s called Typewriter Keyboard, for macs only though.
MOTIVATION… yes that IS the word that has been haunting me for over a year. And as the husband says “You have little motivation”.
So how do you get yourself motivated when all you do is load the dishwasher at least twice a day (that in itself is another story I will share in the future), make sure the goober boy gets up and makes it down to bus stop for school, take little miss monster to preschool, feed and play with the mini wanna-be guard dog and printer assistant, clean up the house as much as possible, do the household accounting and budget and worry about getting some kind of income (I can hear the husband now, “excuses, excuses”.)
A good friend, Amanda, stopped by Friday afternoon to hang out and catch up a bit. She is also building a business from the ground up. She’s definitely ahead of me. So I seeked her advice on how to be more business-minded. She said exactly what the husband said to me this past March: decided what you really want to do and give it 110% of your attention.
Well, I know I want to have a letterpress printing and design business. I am devoting my full attention to it (or at least, I think I am). My problem is what to do next or how to get organized. And yes, the husband has already tried to coach me on this and that’s what he does at work—coach people. I think perhaps I’m just too hardheaded like my mother. I do have a plan, it’s just all in my head. It was nice to know that Amanda was in the same spot as me not very long ago. She finally got organized with the iPad and she swears by it. I do have an iPad, I only use it for sketching. then there’s my HTC one S phone that is super cool and have lots of apps I can use to get organized. so what’s the problem, right? well, I hate typing on them. The iPad’s built-in keyboard is too small that I just can’t type correctly on it. I hate pecking on keyboards. The phone, well, let’s not go there. I can barely text on it even with the swype deal—I’ve discovered that my phone likes to speak in old English as every time I try to swype “you” it puts in “thou.”
I feel like I have touched on this subject before… actually I have. (see previous post titled “organization”) so this is the update to that post…obviously, I got a big fat nothin’.
Back to the visit with Amanda. She got to see Miss Effie Pearl (the printing press, for those of you who have not been paying attention to previous posts) in all her glory. Unfortunately I was not running anything at the time. Then we discussed what’s going on with her business. It’s nice to know that even she gets derailed sometimes, but she still keeps on going.
Do you have any friends that you admire for being strong, independent, self-sufficient and just making it all work while running a business? I have lots actually. I always say to myself, “I wanna be like them when I grown up.” I look up to a lot of them—literally. When you’re all of almost 5-foot-nothing, there isn’t really anyone shorter who looks up to you, except for the dog and the 4-year-old.
where was I going with this? can’t remember. your memory is the first to go when you get to my age. Anyway, Amanda started to help me come up with a schedule to help me with my organizational and focus dilemma. And after she left. I actually got to printing and had a good run that I thought turned out pretty cool. I’ll upload them soon for your viewing pleasure.
this has become such a novel that I think I should end it here for now.
stay tuned until next time. same bat time. same bat channel.
So I spent most of last night picking out the best theme for the blog that is to be the platform in which my letterpress studio will take off from..yada, yada, yada…
well unfortunately I got caught up in trying to adjust the HTML to my liking and screwed it all up and stayed up until 10:45p (yes, that is late for an old lady like me) trying to fix it. mind you that I don’t really know much about HTML. I just can kinda read code. at least I can decipher it when I need to make a small change…like putting a “Women of Letterpress” badge somewhere where it can be seen and appropriate.
trying to do all this while a little monster is getting restless and the rest of the household has gone to bed and currently snoring (the papa and the boy). little miss monster can’t seem to go to bed on her own without me putting her to bed—no the papa just won’t do.
so back to the whole point to this post. since the letterpress is now up and running, I can work on getting the word out. and every marketing workshop, advice, business know-how I have read in the past 6 months have said “you need to have an online presence especially on the social media sites and a blog.” so okay I have a twitter account which is really just being fed by this blog and an fb page, again being fed by this blog, a linkedin profile (mainly for me, the graphic designer, not so much for the company) and this tumblr blog.
of course, I do more research in the best way to have a blog for commercial purposes. and what I’ve found is that a self-hosted wordpress blog is the best way to go. more flexibility, more themes, plug-ins and such. so I think, okay, I have a web hosting account with fatcow. I’m sure I can do all this on there and get a really cool blog site and maybe even have time to get a website for the business up and running.
then I remembered a blog post i saw yesterday that said…do what you really love and are good at and delegate the rest. well, working on the press and doing designs for the press and running the press is what I really love to do. so this whole website and blog business needs to be delegated. but delegating needs money. so how do I get money in to pay for the web design so that I can promote the business so that I can get income. the wonderful world of catch 22.
I will try to work on getting a site that is much more commercially appropriate, but until then, this blog will have to do.
so, since the press is now up and running, I figured it’s time to attend to other things like the blog and other social media that’s suppose to help spread the word. So I’ve done some remodeling to the blog… hope you like it.
so I have recently decided to organize my “life”… and perhaps that will help with time management to make life smoother with launching a business and attending to kids and husband.
now this has been an ongoing process. I have several notebooks that I have decided to make into date books using date stamps and vintage typewriters. to this day, they have not quite been completed.
then there’s the electronic gadgets that also could serve as datebooks and such…
a smart phone, an ipad and now an old ibook…. and once again, no progress in using any of them.
so I thought I’d write down all the things I need for this organizational tool that I want to have:
to keep track of appointments
to make a weekly schedule
to do list
for creative inspiration (like a board of sorts)
the husband’s response: the ipad is perfect because you can get all sorts of apps for pretty much anything.
me: it’s too big…it won’t fit in my purse… and kinda heavy to lug around in my purse…
the husband: where are you going? you work from home.
me: there’s just too many options that it makes it difficult to decide.
the husband: your problem is you won’t pick one. just pick one and commit to using it.
me: blah! I’ll eventually figure it out.
and here I am, still writing appoints down on scrap paper and hope I don’t recycle it before the appointment.
**light bulb** you know how you get an appointment card from doctors and dentists… what if you had a stack of blank appointment cards that you can fill in yourself when you are making the appointment on the phone.. or if you need to schedule a haircut or if your kid has an ortho appointment or whatever.
I’m sure someone out there has done it, but that may be my million dollar idea… you think?
this saturday marks another year of my existence. MY NEW YEAR. not sure what that really means. I suppose i should have some kind of big agenda or something like that. but at this moment I cannot think of one…
why is it that when you think you have a lot to say on a blog, when you really sit down and decide to blog, nothing comes to mind. I suppose it has to do with worrying about sounding stupid or boring or just plain ignorant.
and of course, in the middle of the night when i can’t sleep is when i’m sure i’ll think of something to say. so until then, goodnight.
Sorry, it’s been awhile since I posted anything. Sometimes when you think you finally figured out your path… LIFE happens. You know what I’m talking about. It’s those times when things just come all at once and you’re not sure where the time has gone. That’s been my life this past few weeks and needless to say, I hadn’t even thought about blogging. The etsy store has had no movement, neither sales nor new inventory. And you would think that would freak me out… I mean, as an artisan, the holiday season is your best time of the year for sales. But here I am too busy with life, that the crafts once again had to take the back burner.
I’m not complaining. The few graphic design clients I have has kept me busy these past few weeks. And that’s what pays the bills.
I think I’m finally getting use to working from home. I like being able to work on crafts without feeling like I have to make something to sell to have income.
So what have I been working on? Unfortunately winter and snow has come and I am unable to work on the letterpress in my garage. It’s just too cold. Miss Effie Pearl, as she has been endearingly named, will have to sleep for another 5 months before I can consider getting her tested and up and printing. In her place, I have been working more and more with mod podge and have been decoupaging everything i can think of with lots of pretty papers, vintage magazines and any paper I can find. So far I’ve sold one wooden box and several vintage magazine ads canvas magnets. I have just finished a few picture frames and small wooden suitcases and have them on consignment at one of the local gift shops in town. I’m making more with hopes of getting them posted on the etsy store, but as you all know…LIFE happens.
oooh, I may have figured out how to get my tumblr post on Facebook.
Happy turkey day to everyone.
Tune in next time. Same bat-time, Same bat-channel.
yesterday I was trying to figure out how to blog and what to blog about. while I was working on my decoupage wooden tray, random thoughts came to my head and I thought, “hey if I can have a discussion in my head, why not blog about that discussion.” Too bad I couldn’t just dictate my thoughts and have it go directly to the blog so that I won’t have to try to remember what I was thinking about yesterday.
in any case, I was recollecting my first introduction to Barbie. I was in grade school. we hadn’t been in the US for very long. We had just migrated from the Philippines. I remember that it was such a big deal if you owned anything “made in the USA” when we lived there. So needless to say, I was excited to get a doll “MADE IN THE USA”. We were browsing through K-mart’s toy section. I looked at all the different options. But then as we read one of the back of the boxes, we saw it. There it was: “MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES”.
Barbie, at least the early ’80s ones were made in the Philippines. Of course, being that young I didn’t know much about export. I thought to myself “I could have just bought one in the Philippines”. There I was, wanting a doll that was very “American” but made in my native country. How ironic was that. My mom bought her for me anyway, but soon after that, I noticed a lot more items were made outside of the US.
Perhaps I still think that “Made in the USA” still holds its merit and this is why I make my products. Because I know those are made in the USA.
Think Local. Shop Local. Buy Local. Support your local artisans.
how much personal thoughts should one share on their business blog? or does it really matter, if the blog is really there for journaling purposes. or should one have a separate personal blog to post things that are not relevant to their craft?
oops, i guess that previous post should have been a quote not text. oh well. i’m new at this.
Today i decided to find other ways to bring income into the household… so i looked into work at home data entry places that are legit. i did find a few. one actually had a test for typing (3 different ones) one for characters only, one for numbers only and the other was for digits only. I’m not sure which one was really for a 10-key test. which i’m pretty good at I must say (from being a bank teller many moons ago.) at any rate, our wireless apple keyboard does not have a 10-key and Kihra was home with me all day and in the middle of the characters/words test, i had to pause for about 3 minutes to help her with her pre-K workbook. so needless to say, with the lack of a 10-key keyboard and a 3-minute delay, my rating was 2nd percentile. how sad is that.
on the bright side, i can retake the test after 24 hours. i may have to hunt to an apple keyboard with a 10-key