[149] Improve your Handmade Biz Workflow with these Awesome Digital Tools

 

Today I’ve got a suite of awesome digital tools and apps that will help you more effectively and efficiently run your handmade business.

There are all tools I’ve tried and/or use on a regular basis to manage my own businesses – and I’ve shared a number of them over the last 6 months during my Facebook Live Q&A sessions. Today I’ve brought a number of them together into one big toolkit of things to try.

If you know of or use any particularly awesome digital tools or apps to run your handmade business, I’d love to hear about them!

Share them in your IG Story and tag me @createandthrive so I can check it out. I’ll be re-sharing a number of these to my own Stories!

 

 

 

Quotes & Highlights:

Here are links to all the tools I mentioned in the episode:

What are they? You’ll have to listen to find out! Or, you know, click through the list 😉

 


 

 

Don’t Miss these 2 Live Online Events!

 

 

Hey Thriver,

Heads up! 

I’m running not one, but two Facebook Live events this week, and you’re invited 🙂

 

1. 5 Mistakes You’re Making with your Etsy Shop… and How to Fix Them

 

After working with hundreds of makers over the last few years, I regularly see people making the same mistakes in their Etsy shops over and over again.

In this live video, I’ll be sharing the top 5 mistakes I see people making with their online shops. I’m focusing on Etsy today, but honestly, these issues crop up no matter what online venue you are using – so even if you’re selling somewhere other than Etsy, you will benefit from this.

I’ll share some really vital things which you can quickly and easily change right now to make your online shop more professional and encourage customers to purchase from you.

Other issues I touch on might take some time to get it right, but it’s important to start on these now so you can add to your skills.

I hope you don’t recognise these mistakes in your shop – but if you do, at least you now know what you need to work on to make it better!

Your shop will never be perfect: but you can always improve and be the best you can be.

Are you making any of these 5 mistakes with your Etsy shop?

I hope you can join me live and ask questions! If not, don’t miss the replay.

When:

  • Brisbane, Australia time: Friday, Feb 16 at 12 noon (this is not daylight savings time)
  • New York, US time: Thursday, Feb 15th, 9pm

Where: 

The Create & Thrive FB Page. Here’s the event link.

If you haven’t already, make sure to like and follow the page (make sure to select ‘see first’), and you’ll get a notification when the video starts.

 

2. February Q&A with Jess + Giveaway!

 

Would you like me to critique your online shop… for free?

I’m giving away a mini-critique next week, and it’s super-easy to enter.

All you need to do is join me on Facebook for my Feb Q&A, which I’m running live next week.

This is your chance to hang out with me and ask your crafty biz questions!

When:

  • Brisbane, Australia time: Thursday, Feb 15 at 10:30am (this is not daylight savings time)
  • New York, US time: Wednesday, Feb 14th, 7:30pm

Where: 

The Create & Thrive FB Page. Here’s the event link.

To Enter: 

Attend the live show and leave at least 1 comment. That’s it! I’ll choose the winner using random.org immediately after the show finishes.

Look forward to seeing you there, and helping you with your handmade biz questions!

 

Cheers,
Jess

P.S. If you don’t win, but you’d still love me to critique your shop, I’m giving 10% off shop critiques to all Thriver Circle members this month! 

You can find out more here.

[125] Can I have a successful handmade business without Etsy?

Sometimes, it feels like everyone is on Etsy.

But… can you have a successful handmade business if you aren’t?

I discuss this very question in this week’s episode.

I outline the pros and cons of Etsy, and do the same for having your own, independent, online store.

Reminder! Set Up Shop Registration closes this Sunday 5pm AEST, and class starts Monday! Are you joining us?

 

 

Download or listen to this episode.

 

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Why use Etsy? It is the premier online handmade marketplace, has a massive handmade product search engine, provides buyers with a sense of transaction secruity and will drive customers and revenue to you.
  • If you have no experience with web design and management, start on Etsy. It makes setting things up simple.
  • Etsy is a great learning space where to work on your photos, tags, captions and stock.
  • However, “if you are serious about growing a part-time or fulltime business you should set up your own shop.”
  • If you are doing large portions of marketing drive your business back to your own shop rather than Etsy.
  • “The power of using Etsy is they should be driving the traffic for you – that’s the point!”
  • Etsy is just one of many online marketplaces. Don’t forget Zibbet, Made It, DaWanda, and Not on the High Street.
  • If you are in the growth phase of your business- get your work on to as many of these platforms as you can manage to drive business to your store.
  • If you have a huge product range, pick a small sample of work and place that on a wider range of places.
  • Building your own site allows for more control of look and feel and creates a sense of professionalism.
  • Setting up a shop without Etsy is possible but does require more work.
  • Focus upon social media, building a mailing list, selling wholesale and at markets to help build your audience.

 

[109] The Digital Tools I Use to Run my Businesses – 2017 Edition

 

Do you ever wonder what digital tools and software other people use to run their businesses?

I do – and I get asked about various and sundry software solutions a lot, too. So, this week, I decided to do a big round-up of all the digital tools & software I use to run my own handmade business – and Create & Thrive, as well.

I discuss what I use and why in detail in this episode – covering social media tools, website design, shopping carts, time management, photo editing and graphic design, file storage, audio & video recording and editing, outsourcing, book-keeping… and more!

Take a peek behind the scenes of my businesses, and see how I keep everything running (mostly) smoothly!

P.S. While finishing these shownotes, I realised I left one or two things out of the ep. I’m sure more will come to mind, so I’ll update the links below if that happens!

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 


 

Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

 

FYI if I have (R) next to a link, this means it is a referral or affiliate link. This means that if you click that link and sign up to the service, I get some form of reward. If you’d prefer to avoid that, just google it.) I am only listing and recommending tools and software that I use myself and would recommend to others wholeheartedly.

 

Digital Tools/Software I use to run all my online businesses:

  • My main social media are Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I used to love and use Twitter a lot (not so active on there now) and I have a Google Plus account. I’m also starting to use YouTube more.
  • Handmade sales venues: Etsy (R) (I’ve also sold on Hatch.co, Dawanda, madeit).
  • My own websites are created with WordPress self-hosted, and I’m currently transitioning to Divi Theme (R)(and lots of plugins – I’ve used a free theme called Pinboard previously on some sites).
  • My web host is Dreamhost (R). I’ve been with them for over 10 years and have always been happy with their service.
  • My current shopping cart on my e-commerce website is Ecwid, but I’m moving to WooCommerce.
  • I use E-junkie & Paypal to sell my C&T courses, ebooks etc.
  • I use Trello to keep track of my work and life, and I also use the Cal app on my android phone as my appointment-keeper (as well as some paper in my office – a whole-year wall planner and a weekly desk planner).
  • I use focusbooster on my computer when I really need to get stuff done – it’s a pomodoro-style app. I schedule work periods of 45 min and rest periods of 15 min each hour.
  • I use Canva for all my graphic design.
  • I use Picasa (now transitioned to Google Photos) for most of my product image editing.
  • I use GIMP for any image editing I can’t do with Picasa or Canva (it’s sorta like a free version of Photoshop – and it’s open-source).
  • I use Snapseed on my phone to edit photos on the fly – especially for Instagram.
  • Insta Downloader is the app I use to repost another person’s Instagram post. It has awful ads, but it works!
  • I use Grum on my desktop to schedule up my Instagram posts once a week.
  • I use Dropbox to store all my business photos and documents so I can access them from any of my devices.
  • I use Google Docs for some of my business docs, too.
  • I currently use Xero accounting software for my book-keeping.
  • I forgot to mention my mailing list software! I use Mailchimp (R).

 

For Create & Thrive Specifically:

 

Download or Listen to this Episode

 

 

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher

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