[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 😉




[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 (This site/resource is no longer available) – 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’.)

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