Tag Archive for promotion

Announcing Video Chats + Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be participating in Margot Potter’s Shameless Self Promotion Blog Hop!

Not only is this a fun event to celebrate an e-book for crafty entrepreneurs, but everyone participating in the hop is taking some time out to practice that fine art of shameless self promotion. Easier said than done, because it can be a little difficult to toot your own horn. But, I’m going to give it my best shot with the tips I’ve learned from Margot’s e-Book.

Margot Potter

One of my favorite parts about the creative business is how generous other crafters are. Whether it’s the willingness to teach a new technique or let you in on their business savvy, I’m consistently impressed with the helpful attitude of creative individuals.

When I visit crafting events, conferences or trade shows, it’s such a bonus to connect with other crafters in person, and to have an actual conversation. I’m sure you agree that face-to-face is often much more rich than “speaking” with your blogging friends via comments or even instagram (although that can be great, too!). I’ve decided that I absolutely have to connect with more crafters on a regular basis, and decided that if face-to-face isn’t an option, I’d focus on the next best thing.

Introducing . . .

Video Chats at Craft Buds

I’m excited to bring you a new Video Chats at Craft Buds, a fun new video series where we’ll join some of your favorite craft designers, bloggers and business pros on Google Hangouts! It is going to be so much fun, and I can’t wait to share more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting video chats with some fabulous, inspirational people!

– Meet a Fabric Designer (Who would YOU like to chat with?)

– Better Blogging: Tips from Your Fave Craft Bloggers

– Getting Published in Craft Magazines and Books

– How to Start a Quilt Guild or Sewing Circle

– How to Design Sewing Patterns

– Advanced Social Media: Growing An Online Presence

– Photography Tips for Bloggers: DIY on a Budget

– How to Sell Your Crafts Online and in Stores

Everything that you love about Craft Buds is still going to be here, at the same place. We’re just adding video chats to our normal format, which will range from free tutorials to handmade business advice! With our new weekly video features, I hope you’ll join us and get to know some truly great people.

About The Book

Now that I’ve let that cat out of the bag and got you thinking, let’s chat about this great new book!

The Fine Art of Shameless Self Promotion is workbook geared toward creative entrepreneurs of all types, from craft bloggers to TV personalities. Author Margot Potter shares how she very smartly developed her brand, The Impatient Crafter (TM), and learned to promote herself, including her many books and the products she’s aligned herself with. Along the way, she shares sage advice about time management, dressing for success, online marketing and being your own cheerleader.

The book is filled with exercises so you can get out a pen and paper and journal your own thoughts, fears and plans on the spot. It’s an excellent way to capture your own creative journey and help reign it in. Some of my favorite quotes from the book are just chock full of wisdom:

It’s so easy to start giving away little pieces of your freedom, and before you know it, you feel like you owe everyone so much, there’s nothing left for you. It’s okay to say, ‘No.’

Who can’t relate to this advice? And then there’s the inevitable comparison game. I know from talking to many craft bloggers that they struggle, as do I, with feeling guilty when they compare themselves to other creatives who make more, blog more, and do more than they are able. Margot has an answer for that, too:

“Competition is a myth. Let it go. It’s a big one to which most people fall victim…. What if we all woke up and realized that the only person we are in competition with is us?”

Book Excerpt

The book gets very hands-on, such as this workshop in logo design. Margot asks some great, pointed questions to get you thinking about your logo, how it represents your brand, and more! Check out this free book excerpt, about your logo and branding.

Giveaway!

One lucky Craft Buds reader will get a chance to win this new e-book. To enter to win a copy (open worldwide):

Just leave a comment on this post telling me which of these video chats you’d be most interested in! I’d love to hear who YOU would like to me interview as a special guest in our video series. Think big! If I select your idea, I just might contact you to see if you’d like to video chat with us and ask your own questions!

We’ll choose a random winner on Friday, 12/7!

Congrats to commenter #24 Domenica, who said: “All of them sound great. I would especially like to see the video on creating your own patterns as I am in the process of starting up my own website. I would love for you to interview Pauline from Funky Friends Factory. She creates some fantastic patterns!”

Margot also has a mega giveaway of $150 worth of craft supplies, so head over for details on how to win!

Hosting a Successful Giveaway on your Blog

Believe it or not, there’s an art to hosting a giveaway. No, you don’t have to have a lot of built-in traffic to have a successful giveaway. And yes, hosting a great giveaway can actually help you gain new followers.

Blog giveaways are increasingly popular these days, with some bloggers hosting a giveaway to celebrate blogiversarys, birthdays, hitting x-number of followers, or just because! Here are some blog giveaway tips we love:

Stack of Giveaway Fabric
Flickr/CraftyDame

Choosing giveaway items

The basic rule of thumb with a giveaway item is, give away something that you would like to win. Whether it’s a stack of beautiful fabric, a hand-knit scarf or a gift certificate to a favorite store, make sure it’s something that will attract the type of blog reader that you’d like to gain. This is not the time to destash your most dreaded fabrics, and if you wouldn’t enter, nobody else will either.

Setting the rules

Before posting your giveaway, you’ll need to decide a few things.

When does it end? We suggest 3 to 5 days from the start date, or longer if you are giving away a big-ticket item and want to attract the most attention. State the end date in your giveaway post.

Open to international readers? If so, specify which countries you’ll ship to, whether it’s the U.S. and Canada, or the U.K. only. You don’t want your readers to waste time entering only to find out later that they’re not eligible.

Maximum entries: How will readers enter and how many times can they enter? One entry only? One per day? Let’s say blogger x promotes a giveaway for a $20 gift card to Hobby Lobby. In order to enter, the reader must leave a comment. For another chance to win, she can become a follower of the blog. The prize value matches the effort you are asking people to put in, which is a good thing!

Contact info: If your winner has no e-mail address in his or her profile, will you draw a new winner? This may seem obvious, but best to think about these things before starting your giveaway.

How will you choose a winner? We suggest numbering the comments and using a random number tool like Random.org. But some people prefer to choose a winner based on the best answer to a question, or even writing down names on slips of paper and drawing them out of a hat.

Giveaway Winner Numbers
Flickr/hellojenuine

Working with giveaway sponsors

Oftentimes, a business or individual will choose to sponsor a giveaway on a blog that’s not their own in order to promote traffic to their shop or general interest in their product.

If you are working with a giveaway sponsor, it’s best to set up the giveaway in a way as to direct traffic to the sponsor’s blog, store or newsletter. Ask the participants to go to the site and comment on something they saw there. You’ll be much more likely to get future giveaway sponsors if you treat your sponsors right.

Getting new followers through giveaways

One of the huge benefits to hosting a giveaway is the ability to attract new visitors, and hopefully turn them into followers. While you don’t want to coerce people into following a blog they are not interested in, you do want to make it profitable for people who do decide to become a follower of your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Once you get people to your page through a giveaway link, ask them to follow through Google Friend Connect, an RSS Reader or e-mail subscription. State whether or not following your blog is required to enter. You can always ask the entrant to leave a comment, then leave a second comment if they are a follower (for an extra entry). This is a good way to attract followers who are truly interested in your craft blog.

One way to do this is to choose a product that attracts the type of reader you hope to gain. A $100 gift card to Walmart is going to attract a lot of people who may not care too much about your photo blog. On the other hand, a handmade camera strap will attract the types of people who’d love to read a creative photo blog!

Handmade Camera Strap
Flickr/tjstabb

Promoting your giveaway

“If you host it, they will come.” Well, you hope so, but this is not always the the case. Unless they have a built-in following, most bloggers will need to implement some kind of promotion for their giveaway. This can be as simple as submitting to a few giveaways blogs, or as detailed as contacting individual bloggers and asking if they’ll share about the giveaway on their sites.

Here are some tried and true places to promote your giveaway.

On Twitter, share your giveaway with a link to the short URL, and include the tags #giveaway or #win. Example: If you haven’t liked our great #earrings, get on it quick because you could #win them! http://ow.ly/4P8XN #giveaway

On Facebook, share a link to the giveaway URL, preferably with a photo of the item. Before posting, use the @ symbol to type the name of specific people or pages you’d like to alert. For example, if I’m hosting a scrapbook supplies giveaway, I’m going to post something like: @Paper Crafts Magazine readers: Enter our giveaway! (When you type the @ symbol, a dropdown list of pages you “like” will pop up.)

Getting  entrants to promote your giveaway is one of the best ways to increase your giveaway promotion organically. For people to enter, ask them to link up the giveaway on their blog, Facebook or Twitter to spread the word. If you give them an extra entry for doing so, you’ll generally get a lot of new traffic.

Giveaway blogs like Quilty Giveaways and Blog Giveaways will allow you to submit your crafty giveaway link. When I host a giveaway, I also like to alert One Pretty Thing, Craft Gossip, and Someday Crafts (stop by on Thursday or Friday to link up).

Craft Buds has a continual giveaway linky party where you are always welcome to link up craft supplies and handmade giveaways!

Giveaways Roundup @ Craft Buds

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

If you get nothing else from this post, I hope you pop over to Sew Mama Sew and consider participating in this year’s May Giveaway Day! You must sign up by this Friday, May 20.

Once you sign up, decided if you want to give away a handmade item or craft supplies. You’ll post a giveaway on your blog next week from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May 25. Sew Mama Sew will create a master list of all participants, and you will get to experience the joy of getting lots of new visitors to your blog!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day
It’s recommended that you keep your giveaway requirements short, because people will be entering tons of giveaways in addition to yours. One strategy is to ask readers to leave a comment of some sort, and follow your blog for an extra entry. Or you can ask them to follow you on Twitter, Like you on Facebook, or subscribe to your newsletter. (Just make sure that the prize value matches what you are asking participants to do.)

Have you hosted a great giveaway? Ever been part of a not-so-good- one? Please share your own giveaways tips in the comments! And if you know of any giveaways right now, link them up on our weekly giveaways roundup! We’ll be giving away some great stuff, too.