[144] The Power of Pinterest [Member-Exclusive]


This month, to fit in with the Thriver Circle project (#PinterestChallenge), I’ve done an episode on the power of Pinterest.

In it, I outline why Pinterest is an excellent choice of marketing tool – especially for handmade business – and share some stats for how much it is growing, and the reach it has.

My goal was to inspire you to dive into the world of Pinterest, and see what impact it can have on your business.

If you aren’t a big fan of social media – THIS is your best choice for getting traffic to your website, without having to share much of your personal life or self online.


>>Become a member of the Thriver Circle and listen to the full episode right now.<<


You can listen to the episode intro below:


P.S. There is also a detailed video workshop on how to to use Pinterest to market your handmade biz in the Circle – available immediately to members upon joining!





Periscope for Makers + Handmade Business : A Roundup of Top Tips




Periscope for Makers + Handmade Business -

So, while I was prepping for my sabbatical/overseas, this new thing has taken the social media world by storm. What new thing, I hear you ask?

Why, Periscope, of course.

If you don’t know what Periscope is: it’s basically a way to live-stream video to your followers. And, kinda like snap-chat, your videos are only viewable for 24 hours after your ‘scope’ (there’s already a verb!!). You can save them, but not on the app itself. Your followers get a notification when you start a scope, and can then watch and interact with you live.

I know, I know, ANOTHER social media app – argh!

BUT. This one has the potential to be really, really awesome for makers and creatives. Why? Because it allows you to give people an insight into your studio in real-time.

I’m only getting started with it myself (I’m @JessVanDen if you’d like to follow me!) so I’ve been doing some research to see how others are using it.

As I haven’t got enough experience with it to give you my own thoughts and feedback, I decided the best thing to do would be to give you a little round-up of the best resources I’ve found so far.


So, if you’re intrigued by the possibilities, check out these links:

  1. Getting Started with Periscope – c|net
  2. 25 Things Makers can do on Periscope – Academy of Handmade
  3. What is Periscope and Why you Should use it for your Creative Business – Creative Hive
  4. How to Use Periscope Like a Boss – Little Farm Media
  5. 5 Steps to Getting Started on Periscope – Blacksburg Belle
  6. 20 Unmissable Tips for Using Periscope for Business – Get Response


Those are the best resources I’ve found so far – I’ll update this post as I find more!

Are you on Periscope? Does it sound like something you’d like to try?

I love talking about my work and handmade biz in general (cough, podcast, cough) so I think it’s something I’ll be getting into.

Make sure to follow me (@JessVanDen) to get a peek inside my jewellery studio, and for some creative biz advice, too. I’m already dreaming up weekly scopes I can run for you guys!

And if you’re on there, make sure to leave your handle in the comments below, so we can build up a community of #Thrivers on there!


[22] Social Media: How to Spend Less Time and Gain Better Results

The Create & Thrive Podcast - Episode 22

Are you finding that there are increasingly more ways to interact with your customers through Social Media channels – but you just don’t have the time to use them all?

While I firmly believe you should ‘own’ your business name on all the possible types of social media, you will only find time to be truly effective on one or two at a time (especially if you’re a solopreneur).

You can take one piece of content across multi-platforms – but you’ll probably find that you won’t be able to be active and engaged on all of them. And that is OKAY.

You need to give yourself permission to not be everywhere; to not be available across all Social Media at all times.

So, with that undersanding, I ask you: are you focussing of the right social media?

And are you using them strategically?


Give yourself permission

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Claim your business name on all social media so nobody else can do it and you own it.
  • Chances are you’re not going to be able to be interactive and active on all those social media.
  • The rest can either be linked or just sit there until you find time or want to switch platforms.
  • You can never keep up with absolutely everything.
  • You might not be active but try to have the same branding.
  • Update your links and bio plus your avatar so that everything looks the same and professional across the platforms.
  • “Make it easy for people to find where you are and where you’re active.”
  • Focus on one or two of your core Social Media and see what you enjoy and what you find easy to do.
  • What do your customer resonate with?
  • Where are your customers hanging out?
  • When you find them, that’s where you should be putting your effort.
  • “Give your account a couple of months – it will take time.”
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, grow followers on one platform and focus your attention to find traction.
  • Set yourself goals with your time on Social Media.
  • “There should be a purpose to what you’re trying to do over and above just making more sales.”
  • Make goals that are ‘smart’ (specific, measurable, relevant, achievable and time bound).
  • Make stretch goals that are just a little bit beyond what you think is reasonably achievable.
  • Set yourself a schedule with specific goals for each day.
  • Do Social Media in ‘dead time’ like when you’re waiting in line or sitting on the bus.
  • Make sure you’re posting when you think your customers will be looking.
  • Stick to your schedule by putting an alarm on your phone through your calendar.
  • APP: Cal (syncs with Google Calendar).
  • If you thrive on spontaneity, make a selection or niches of topics which you choose from when you post.
  • Sit down once a week and plan out your Social Strategy out for the following week.
  • “If you have Facebook, you can upload and schedule this for the entire week and you don’t need to remember to do it each day.”
  • Now all you have to do is stick to it and commit to it.
  • Marketing is a constant experiment.
  • You will never have it all figured out and there will always be new challenges and things to try.
  • By setting goals, you will stop yourself falling into a huge trap of just wasting time on Social Media.


Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

Making Brand Reps Work for Your Business


Making Brand Reps Work for Your Business (1)


Browse Instagram and you will see handmade brands posting gorgeous photographs of their products in action. Small children going about their daily activities dressed in adorable hand sewn outfits, dreamy nurseries full of one of a kind décor and toys.

Where do these brands get such a variety of styled and perfect images?

They may have a brand rep.

Put simply, a brand representative or ambassador is someone with brilliant styling and photography skills that can help you promote your products via social media.

Here are 5 ways that members of our group, Handmade Cooperative, are successfully making brand reps work for them.


  1. Select a brand rep with a love and passion for your label.

There are different methods for hunting out a brand rep.

Some businesses will directly approach a repeat customer, whilst others will run a search for entrants via social media.

Whichever method you choose, it’s important to select someone who genuinely likes and supports your label. This will make the relationship much more natural.

Rachel of Puddle Ducklings (image below) says “You definitely do not want someone who’s Instagram feed is full of competition entries and no personality”.



Visit the social media feed of prospective reps to get a feel for whether they truly love handmade and genuinely interact with your business, or are just looking for free products.

Rachel conducted her search by watching the way they conducted themselves with other people and brands and chose her reps based on their online personality, generosity and loyalty to handmade.


  1. Select a brand rep that takes awesome quality images.

In the online world, clear, crisp photographs are essential.

You are looking for a brand rep who takes stunning natural pictures, not in a studio, and whose styling fits with your brand aesthetic.

Karyn of KBS Designs recently ran a brand rep search via Instagram.

She visited the social media feed of prospectives over a period of time and “made sure that they were similar to the styling KBS Designs was already using” as well as looking at “who the reps followers were and what sort of interaction was evident on her posts”.


  1. Don’t stress too much about the numbers.

Although having a popular feed is a good thing, thousands of followers doesn’t necessarily equate to a better brand rep.

Jodie from Twinkle Star (image below) says that, “It may be tempting to choose someone who has lots of followers, but I have learned that choosing an existing customer is much more effective as their support and promotion will come naturally.”



As well as being a social media beacon, your brand rep should represent your business in public, demonstrating your products to their friends and family in “real life”.

Jodie says to, “look for someone who genuinely loves what you do. If they already love your product, they will be excited to post about it and post regularly.”


  1. Be clear about what you want.

Providing photographs is great, but a brand rep can be so much more to you in the course of your journey.

A brand rep can help to build your brand via a number of different methods, so make it clear what you expect them to do for you.

  • Do you want them to test products?
  • Are you expecting a certain number of photos per week?
  • Would you like them to search hashtags and make comments about your label on social media?
  • Are you hoping for someone who will promote your sales and new releases?

Write up a contract for each brand rep and make sure that you include your expectations and a clear time frame for the role.


  1. Be upfront about the reward.

Your brand rep is going to be doing a lot of work for you, so make sure that you reward them.

At the very least, your rep will need to receive free products to style and photograph.

You may also wish to offer them discounts when shopping at your business, or family and friends discounts. Don’t forget to give them a whole lot of love too.

Engaging a brand rep can be a solid way to bring your business to the next level. Over to you – have you engaged a brand rep?

What tips and tricks would you recommend?


Brand Your Craft Banner Wide Final

Want more help to craft a compelling brand that connects with your Ideal Customer, and helps them fall in love with your business?

Enrol in our self-study eCourse, Brand Your Craft – available now!

Click here to find out more.

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