Craftcation was all that I wanted it to be and more, incredibly inspiring, educational, and worth every penny. I had planned on writing a blog in the evening to go along with the day’s events, but I was so busy processing that half way through the weekend I just gave up. Therefore, I am going to be summarizing the last two days and my trip home in this final Craftcation post. Before I begin discussing I just want to emphasize how amazing the Craftcation experience was, I met so many amazing people, and truly believe that the weekend will improve and expand my life and business exponentially. I can’t wait to return next year. Many thanks to Nicole, Delilah and all the Craftcation staff!
Itty Bitty Bigness: Branding You! with Alison Marik Zeno of Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles: I started out the day in a lecture focusing on something I am in great need of, branding. This class was thorough and really focused on the idea that the brand is your story and your story is you. You are your passion and if you look at your passion you will find the story that is your brand. What exactly is a brand? A brand is a thoughtful and cohesive message that relays to the world what you do and why you do it. It should be evident in all facets of your business from your product to your logo to your web presence. To figure out a direction for your brand brainstorm five words that represent you or your business philosophy. Apply these words to your brand.
Social Media Marketing Strategy with Matt Winn an ecommerce specialist: This class discussed the many different social media outlets and how to set up an appropriate strategy for your business. Matt focused on the social media sites Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest (currently the fastest growing social media cite with an %80 female population).
A blog is required and is the basis of your web presence.
Social media cites are for socializing not advertising. You can advertise, but socializing is the priority and should be the majority of your posts. Make a connection with your readers, share your personality and provide an insiders view. This should reflect the story of your brand.
Spread your content (your blog or new products) through social media outlets, this is not the same as advertising.
If you are new to a social media site listen to the conversations and then respond. Pick up the lingo before diving in.
If you are new to technology don’t spread yourself too thin. Make sure you understand your social media outlets.
Get a video on YouTube! It is a huge social media site, don’t miss out. This can be as simple as turning your blog into video by using a whiteboard and writing down keynotes as you explain and read your blog, or a tour of your work space or current project.
Don’t be afraid to ask your social media circles for advice and help concerning your store.
Don’t Be a Rip Off Artist with Jenny Hart, Steph Calvert, and Nicole Stevenson: This class discussed the morality, ethics, and horrors behind copyrights and copyright infringement. Focusing more on how to protect your own work this discussion also summed up how to make sure you are not infringing on anyone else’s copyrights, if you can tell where it cam from you are probably ripping it off. Or as Nicole put it “You know when you are ripping something off.” This only leaves the concern that someone may rip you off and after this discussion I realized that if you have any notoriety this can easily happen. It happened to Nicole and Jenny, it could happen to you too. Sadly, unless you have purchased copyrights on your products ($45 each) the person with the most money (usually the company doing the stealing) wins. This lecture didn’t have a very happy ending, but it did have a great moral, protect your a** and don’t be an a** and rip someone off. Simple.
10 Years of DIY with Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching: I wa extremely excited to meet Jenny Hart at Craftcation and was interested in hearing her story, assuming that it would be inspiring seeing how she had been well known in the industry for ten years. Although it was inspiring it was heartbreaking as well to here Jenny’s story of ups and downs, starting with her youth and going all the way to the modern day. Jenny Hart is the well known craftebrity, owner and creative designer behind the embroidery company Sublime Stitching. Her objective being to modernize the medium and make it young, fresh and hip again.Embroidery shouldn’t just be for crafters. Jenny Hart is a true artist using the medium of embroidery to create gorgeous portraits and has recently earned a place in the Smithsonian with her art piece La Llorona. Jenny is also one of the cofounders of the Austin Craft Mafia, the mother of all Craft Mafia’s. Here is another interesting interview with Jenny Hart.
The morning started the closing ceremony and a series of 15 minute roundtables were you got small group time with many of the weekend’s lecturers. This was a great idea and really allowed for in depth analysis and conversation.
SEO Optimization Part 2 With Se Reed: This was the shortened second part to Se’s SEO Optimization and Analytics class given on Friday’s blog. This lectured turned in to a small question and answer session due to a technological melt down, but in the end I think that it is really what we all needed anyways.
Links are the way that spiders navigate the web.
Text as links instead of pictures is best.
A site map is a map for consumers and spiders.
Links in your comments (say in your blog) are counted as links on your page and are no different than ones you have put there yourself. this means that it is a good idea to leave links in relative blog’s comment boxes and it means that it is good to check your comment boxes for spam which can bring your SEO optimization down.
Natural links, like the ones created in guest blog spots are ranked highest.
A share on Facebook is a good outside link.
Your bounce rate is important and can work against you. Look at Google Analytics for bounce rate information on your site. A %20 – %40 bounce rate is normal.
Embroidery 101 with Jenny Hart: This was my last class of the weekend and honestly one of the ones I had most been looking forward to. Jenny Hart taught a clear embroidery class that went over the basics. We learned the split stitch, back stitch and a french knot. Jenny had kits with tea towels for everyone and was happy to sign patterns and books after the class. I even had my picture taken! Along with being my celebrity moment I also learned a lot about embroidery, the key thing I took away was to JUST RELAX.
With Craftcation over and a good night’s rest we headed out of Ventura though Ojai along the lovely route 33 until finally meeting up with I5. Now that I am home my shop, Sarah Kate Creations is back from vacation so CHECK IT OUT!