I like finding great deals for my readers and today is no exception! I also love to share Made In the USA suppliers, and Pro-Made-In-The-USA companies when the opportunity presents itself. I am of course, a huge fan of the handmade movement and would rather support the work-at-home independent artist rather than corporate America (because I am a part of both)~as most of my readers know this about me. I don’t tout the “big box” stores very often, however, when I see a move in a positive direction which reflects my Made In The USA values, I also want to share that with people too! I am a fair blogger and I give credit where credit is due!

If you’re a small business owner, like myself, I often look for deals on shipping supplies~ If there is anything I can ever do to cut my overhead costs, I will do it. While I’ve been recovering from being sick, I was skimming the sale papers, and I happened to see the Menard’s ad from this Sunday and they have some great deals on shipping supplies you might be able to use…PLUS I really LIKE the fact that they seem to be much more “made in America” lately.

~Interesting Info!~68% of consumers surveyed said U.S. made products are preferable regardless of cost, 63% said the quality was better than similar products made overseas and consumers are more likely to purchase “Made in the USA” products because they want to support the local economy- according to a  joint survey by M.I.T. and Supply Chain Digest.

 

While I was viewing menards-logo  ad paper, I was excited to see all of the items they sell that are produced in America (They even include the location (city/state) where the product is made); I really like that as a consumer, I can make shopping decisions that reflect my pro-USA values! :) <~~ Happy Goose!

Menards has online shopping and they *do* ship orders, but I’ve never ordered anything online, but you may want to take a look, it may be worth it for you to stock up on supplies. Goosie’s local Menard’s store is only about 2 minutes down the street so I just buy from the store:

SHIPPING SUPPLIES On Sale This Week At Menards:

Shipping Boxes:

12″ x 12″ x 10.5″ = $.69

14″ x 14″ x 14″  = $.79

16″ x 16″ x 15″ = $.99

18″ x 18″ x 24″ = $1.49

Bubble Wrap:

16″ x 7′ = $.99

12″ x 30′ = $3.99

12″ x 175′ = $14.99

Those are some really good prices. I compared them with my current supplier, and they beat my current cost for similar products, hands down. Also, I thought I’d throw a shameless plug in here for my latest ebook, and if you’re into couponing and want to shop even more deals at Menards, my daughter has a couponing blog with a menard’s category: Killin’ It With Coupons Blog: Menards Deals and Match Ups


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I recently rolled out ANOTHER brand NEW ebook, “The Prissy Pillbox Hat” and have it available on my Website, Etsy Shop and also on You Can Make This.

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Here is a link for it, if you’d like to get a closer look
(Buy it on Etsy and save 50% with coupon code: Jackieo at checkout)

Instant Downloads on Etsy, Craftsy and You Can Make This!

Etsy Shop

You Can Make This

Website

Goosie Girl Craftsy Pattern Store


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Interested in a FUN way of looking at the supply chain , as a small business owner? Want to get a better grip on how the supply chain operates in the world as opposed to your “micro-business” (or perhaps similarly?)

Take a look and  CLICK HERE  for a FUN  Supply Chain Game Called “The Beer Game” originated by Prof. John D. Sterman of the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I read it was created way back in 1960 (however, I think it’s still a fun way to look at economics, management science / the supply chain today). Prof. Sterman’s contact info:  jsterman@mit.edu

I am always learning~ I love to learn new things and the way I look at it is, I can never become TOO educated on the aspects of streamlining and smoothly running my little business that could. Like a friend used to say,

joshquote

 

The Emmy Award winning Steve Harvey TV Show is looking for Mom Inventors!  This is for a “Shark Tank” like episode. Please do not submit if you are not a mom.

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They are looking for moms with companies that are in the early stages of development – you need to qualify with something or all below.

  1. You have only a prototype at this point

  2. You have made a few samples so far

  3. You have sold under 500 units 

  4. You might be in one store

  5. You need help getting to the next steps

You will need to be available to travel to Chicago from 8/21- 8/22.
The show will provide travel and accommodations if chosen.

PLEASE NOTE: Please be sure to address the following and please be brief.

  1. What your hardships are (used all my savings, closed out my IRA, put it all on CC, got divorced, have 6 kids etc..)

  2. How new your company is (just have one prototype, just have an idea, don’t have a company yet, have not named my company or product yet etc..)

  3. Any big disasters you have experienced so far?

Submit here:  I am a mompreneur

*Being helpful to all of my readers & passing this along from the awesome Sarah Shaw of Entreprenette

and Instantly Famous Products

Guest Blogger:

Guest Blogger: The Apprentice, Kayla of Killin' It With Coupons

Guest Blogger: The Apprentice, Kayla of Killin’ It With Coupons

 

My Mom doesn’t like “the man”  and she’s always encouraging people NOT to work for him; whomever he may be.

I just graduated high school but I’ve been blogging and running my own couponing website called Killin’ It With Coupons for the last 2 1/2-3 years. I’ve learned the couponing techniques that legends are made upon. I have even been invited to apply by the producers of the TLC reality television show, Extreme Couponing to appear on the show. My mom has always encouraged me and my younger brother’s entrepreneurial spirit ever since we were very young. She made the lemonade we sold at our lemonade stands and bought the cups. She had garage sales and we sold our old toys, clothes and pop for our yard sale visitors. (That was an ingenious way of making money for us kids, the mark up was outrageous! Winning!).

I’ve been exploring the opportunities available to me out there in the real world since I graduated high school and I’ll be honest, not that much appeals to me. I like web design and coding websites but the idea of a full time job makes me feel confined and restricted. I will be taking a little time off from school but I have plans to attend a local community college in the spring. ( College of DuPage. Until then, I’m looking into options of working for myself, or as my mom calls it “not working for the man”.
I’ve done some exploring on the interwebs and the fear of ending up as a 9-5 drone / slave / lemming / cog in the machine kills the desire in me to hold a job down at all. My mom has always told me that doing something you enjoy – job satisfaction – and a feeling of real investment in what you’re doing should come before the money side of things. She always says, “Do what you love and the money will follow”.

What's It Going To Be? Yours or Theirs?

What’s It Going To Be?
Yours or Theirs?

I think I’m going to go with building my own! My mom said she would support me. I’m not sure what direction I’m headed but I’ve heard from many people I have skills at couponing. I think I might be able to turn it into a business.

What is your skill? Are you creative and crafty like my mom?Do you want to work from home and for yourself? Do you have young children and need to make some extra money? Have you, like me, been told you have a skill at something and you know you can make money doing it? 

 

My mom always tells me I can do whatever I want and practice makes perfect. I think this can hold water and it rings true for a lot of people. My mom is always telling people to follow their dreams and make the magic happen. Ha! Ha! Whatever “IT” is for you, why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose? If you are a maker of things try and sell them at craft fairs, yard sales, tag sales, or maybe on ebay or etsy. Don’t doubt your abilities. You only fail if you don’t try.

Etsy even let’s you try it for free! I opened a shop to sell some of my hair clips and key fobs and maybe my mom will help me write up some e-books on couponing tips and techniques. Right now Etsy is giving new sellers a trial run for free
Click Here To Try it for free like I am

Good luck!!
Kayla

 

Goosie Girl is pleased to announce we have launched 2 brand new ebooks!

They are both available on our website and in our Etsy Shop

neck1

 

Rolled Rosettes and Rosette Bib Necklace PDF Pattern: 

neck2

Website: http://bit.ly/1oBE7TN

or Etsy (instantly downloadable): http://etsy.me/1lXADeq

Many people have asked us to publish a DIY ebook, in PDF file format to explain the easiest way to make our gorgeous halos. We’ve written a fabulous, easy-to-understand ebook with pictures (one or MORE) of every single step on how to make this stunning venetian lace and silk rose halo. It’s perfect for a photo prop, or pageant. Or for a flower girl, bridesmaid or a trend-setting bride herself! We include directives on how to size from newborn up to adults. Included is a complete supply list, and an additional illustrated set of instructions for visual learners. We’ve thought of everything in this long – awaited pattern. You are free to sell the halos you create at craft shows, in your Etsy shop, online, or on your website~ we’re very generous when it comes to our patterns and love to empower creativity and help other small crafty businesses or photographers create them for themselves, gifts or to sell.

 halocover800

Venetian Lace and Rose Halo PDF Pattern

Website: http://bit.ly/1qc5rYf 

or Etsy (instantly downloadable) : http://etsy.me/1xGZlTW 

 halo34

Thanks for supporting a woman owned, local, small business!

Kayla

JENNY ELIZA fabrics are now AVAILABLE!
Buy at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores or shop from HOME!

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That’s right, friends!
The long awaited for Jenny Eliza fabric line is now currently available at Jo-Ann!
While most Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores have their Jenny Eliza out and ready for shopping, we suggest giving your local store a ring to confirm that they’ve got it.

Feel like shopping from your craft table? No problemo..
Buy the fabrics online and have them sent directly to your home. Viola!

 

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Sis Boom Pattern News~~

The Newest + Sweetest Gal in town…

Introducing Jeanine Jumper for girls.

This sweet little number is simply perfect for the warmer Summer months ahead.

From 3 months to 14 years, your little one will be stylin’ in this effortless and adorable little jumper.

Happy Shopping + Happy Sewing! Share your designs with Sis Boom on facebook

sis4


changeprofile5

In this blog post series we’ve been talking about the 5 key parts to your Facebooking strategy in light of new changes Facebook has put into effect for pages.

(For reference, this is the 5th blog post in this series, to view blogs 1-4, go to these links: Blog 1 , Blog 2 and Blog 3, Blog 4 )

With the coming of Facebook Changes, the powers that be at FB headquarters unveiled a new feature that I’m kinda excited about (Yes for once I am not b*tching about how awful Facebook is, lol and I’m seeing a positive in all of this! ha ha) Just be aware~ implementing this will require a little bit of work on our parts to actually benefit from it.

When you’re on your personal profile, scrolling through your newsfeed, and you click “Like” on a picture or link from a facebook PAGE , underneath the post, you will see three or four thumbnails of pages that have related or similar content, and facebook will invite/prompt you to choose to LIKE the similar pages.

This is great because

  • You can get NEW fans liking your page, without spending any advertising money
  • You can get NEW fans liking your page who are actually INTERESTED in the content you’re posting , and we all know if you get new fans that like your content, the chance of filtering them to your HUB and actually turning them into buying customers is even greater!
    I liked a post someone shared, Facebook then showed me other page suggestions with similar or related content

    I liked a post someone shared, Facebook then showed me other page suggestions with similar or related content

     

    WHAT TO DO RIGHT NOW:

goosiegirlcrackalackin

changeprofile4

 

Since Facebook is going to be showing people a thumbnail of your business page’s profile picture, it should be designed with the idea of ENTICING people to click the “LIKE” button under it. Take a peek at the example below:

changeprofilecircledb

  1. Do you see the thumbnail shown in the example on the farleft? It says “DIY Craft Projects” and their image looks related to what the page is about and state’s the page name also  (DIY Craft Projects).
  2. Now look to the right, to the girl pictured in the 3rd suggested page… it’s just a girl’s face, but the image  is for the Facebook page of a popular blog /website called “Chef in Training” but if you were just skimming the page, all you’d see is someone’s face (apparently the chef?)
  • Which do you think is more enticing?
  • Which would you be more likely to click “LIKE” on? A picture that is related to the CONTENT on the Page or a random person’s face with no explanation or image depicting what the page is about? I’d say Number 1 without a doubt…

My suggestion to “Chef In Training” Would be to design a  NEW profile picture that is similar to an advertisement… maybe include a photo of a yummy dish she whipped up recently, something that shows she is learning to cook, something that says (with a picture as well as wording) what her page is about.

WHY? Well, because people who are interested in cooking, or finding new recipes would be led to click “LIKE” more than likely over a photo of her pretty face.

The thumbnail picture/your profile picture for your page can actually serve as a quasi-advertisement for your page.

Remember, photos do very well on Facebook, they get the most attention, so  when you’re re-designing your profile picture think about  the following things

what do you sell?

What service do you provide?

What do you do, or what do you blog about?

TIP: Be sure to include a PHOTO , perhaps with some wording to entice people to LIKE your page that was suggested to them by Facebook. (The Better Homes & Garden profile shown above is a good example of a miniature version of a good profile picture/quasi- advertisement)

Example: I used to have an illustrated logo drawing of myself that just said “Goosie Girl” as my profile picture… After learning about his Facebook change , I re-tooled my profile picture, without losing my identity, I just took the quasi-advertisement idea a step further and added some wording so people will know WHAT Goosie Girl’s Facebook page  is about…I made it clear and concise:  I author DIY /PDF Patterns and make Unique Boutique Accessories, I help other small businesses and can aid in brand enhancement by blogging about them, doing product reviews etc. (P.S., If you’d like some information about how I can help you with that, check out this page on the Goosie Girl Blog: and/or drop me an email at GoosieGirlBoutique AT Gmail DOT com.

Example: This is how I altered my profile picture to help gain some new likes

Before: 

oldprofilepic2

After: 

changeprofile3

(and btw, since I changed it, I have gained 6 new likes today alone)

 

>>>TIP: And don’t forget, once people like your page, they will also see any information on the CAPTION of your profile picture, so add your links, tell them what you do, and market yourself in a few short sentences! I really like this idea to help gain more fans/followers ~ who knows if Facebook will continue to do this (they’ll probably figure out some way to charge us to have our pages suggested but for now, it’s free, so take advantage of it, and spruce up that profile picture).

>>>TIP: Don’t forget, your profile picture will be sized down to 180 pixels wide x 180 pixels high, so when you’re designing/re-designing it, be sure the wording can still be read at that size without squinting and making your potential new fans go blind trying to read it! hehe ;)

>>>>More helpful info on the changes for Facebook pages coming Friday~ stay tuned kiddies, I’ll keep unpacking all this information as it gets to me, I dismantle it and put it into terms the rest of us can understand. Friday’s blog will include information about changes Facebook has made regarding pinning and highlighting posts on your page, what you should NOT include in your posts on your page, as well as replying and commenting on your fans/followers comments to a post.

If you’re  enjoying this blog series, and find it helpful,

I would like to ask you to please LIKE and SHARE (buttons down below)this is the best form of advertising and heartfelt endorsement Goosie Girl can get!!  I want to be able to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with Small Business Marketing. 

goosiegirlcalltoactioninfographic

>>>Help Us By doing these 3 easy things Regarding our Facebook Reach and Visibility<<<

  • If you are on the Goosie Girl Facebook page , look in the right column, it says (example) 23 friends like Goosie Girl and then you will see little thumbnail size pics of your friend’s profile pics. Then under that you will see in bold “Invite your friends to like this page” to do this, you can either a.)go down the list of their suggestions and click “invite” or b.) click on the little blue “See All” and go down the list and click invite next to each person you’d like to invite.
  • Copy the link to my facebook business page :http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB and share it on your personal facebook, your own business page on FB, or send it off in a quick email to your friends
  • And finally, so you don’t miss ANY posts, status updates, pictures we post, links we share, i.e.EVERYTHING we post: go to our page http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB , go to the button that says “LIKED”. Then scroll down and click “get notifications” and “show in newsfeed”.
As if last week's 40% off wasn't good enough.. pfft... here's HALF off... now go get some! :)

As if last week’s 40% off wasn’t good enough.. pfft… here’s HALF off… now go get some! :)

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

adidas Summer Sale: Now Up to 50% Off
adidas has just brought their A-game to their Summer Sale! Now, you can get thousands of items—FIFA World Cup soccer gear, running shoes, basketball gear, swimwear… even iconic Originals and NEO lifestyle pieces and more—up to 50% off! Styles for men, women and kids; everything an active family needs for a summer of sports. This sale only happens twice a year, so it is time to go all in or nothing.

smallbizmarketing2

 

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, gleaning and gathering of information in light of the recent page changes on Facebook.  There was quite a backlash from small business pages when the “boost post” a.k.a. pay to play promotions rolled out on Facebook, many small pages were getting virtually no visibility, while even the larger (10,000+ fans) pages were being hidden and reaching 18-60 people with a post, even one that was very engaging and had people participating in it. The theory is that FB was hiding posts (strong arming) from business pages so that they would pay to boost a post. That isn’t in the budget for most small businesses, especially when reaching all of my fans would cost around $200 , and that wasn’t even guaranteed. Even after paying to boost a post, the numbers were often lower than promised. It became so frustrating, many page admins deleted their pages and moved off Facebook all together. As of June 12th a new layout for Pages on Facebook rolled out, and with it, pages have more visibility. Still not as high as they should be (in my personal opinion) ~ I happen to think all of the people who have liked my page and clicked to get notifications *SHOULD* be seeing my posts, but the number of my fans & followers vary from day to day, hour to hour when they are online. (BTW, an “Understanding Page Insights” blog is coming from The Goosie Girl Blog soon. I’ll help you decipher what these things actually mean in said future blog post).

Until then, let’s talk about one of the 5 key parts to your Facebooking strategy. (For reference, this is the 4th blog post in this series, to view blogs 1-3, go to these links:

Blog 1 , Blog 2 and Blog 3 )

 

Social Media for Business Backstory: 

When the internet first became available to John Q. Public, and business websites started being created, they were often a one-way conversation. They were a way for a company to convey it’s message, products and information to the masses. . .BUT  the only problem with this is websites held a “static” message. There was no interaction from visitors. Picture this analogy: It was as if you walked into a large business expo and all of the representatives began speaking at the same time… a whole lot of talk coming AT you… and most people, after a while, just tuned out the static, never changing, boring one way static messages, until they eventually heard nothing of the messages, it went in one ear and out the other, until all they heard was “blah, blah, blah”. It seemed there was no way for a dialog to open up between the visitor and the brand, and there was certainly no hope of brand loyalty if everyone is shouting “we are the best” from their websites. With the advent of the  social media age, it provided an opportunity for visitors (fans/followers) to interact with the company representative on a more personal / human level. Fans/Followers can comment, ask questions, and the best part is… if they see something they like, they can then SHARE it with their friends and family or other people they think may be interested in what the company has to offer. This is the single best benefit (in my opinion) of social media’s form of “word of mouth advertising” a company can hope for. A fan or follower,  mayor may not  become a customer, but what they *HAVE* become is an “amabassador” of your business.  Someone sharing your content is like hiring a crack sales rep for your brand, and once content is shared by a fan/follower, it is more trusted by people they know than just a random advertisement posted on a website,  or a spot in a magazine or newspaper. Turning your fans and followers into brand ambassadors is easy when you post ENGAGING content (see blog #2 in this series for info on how to create engaging posts). Your social media “voice” should of course, be professional but it should be *YOU*, it should be human, it should be real, and convey the message of your business. Many times a hard sell isn’t needed once this brand loyalty has been nurtured between your fans/followers and your social media presence. (This is true for ANY social media presence, or even a blog for that matter).

The benefits of using social media in general

The benefits of using social media in general

 

Today I’m going to talk about the different types of posts that are more visible and in turn, are more engaging to your followers~and in essence, which type of posts give you more reach. If you reach more of your fans, you can filter them to your hub (website/blog), and in a perfect world, you will then turn your fans into customers

Let’s talk about REACH… and which posts get the BEST reach possible.

Expanding your reach with the right type of posts

Expanding your reach with the right type of posts

It’s a well-known fact that Facebook streamlined it’s layout to be more VISUALLY attractive. Their goal upon the last re-vamp of the site (for personal profiles and pages) was to be more visually enticing. They simplified newsfeeds in order to meet the goal of  attaining that difficult balancing act of being a platform in which your “Everday Joe” loves to use, and finds attractive; but  let’s not forget Facebook is a business, so they still want to provide a simple but alluring venue for advertisers and other business presences (including Facebook pages) .

This data was prepared in April 2014, prior to the new changes for pages, however, it is still applicable in general. Photos rule the school when it comes to answering the question: “Which type of post is the most popular and engaging Facebook post type?” 

created by  www.socialbakers.com

created by
www.socialbakers.com
(This does not take into account the *new* page changes nor the data I’ve gathered since doing our own experiments, the general idea has not changed though, photos and info graphics are by far the most popular. click here to view more from
Social Bakers

1. Analysis:  The Bottom Line… People DIG photos and “infographics” 

in·fo·graph·ic
/inf0grafik/
noun
  1. a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. ”a good infographic is worth a thousand words”

In the glory days of Facebook past, ANY photos posted on the Goosie Girl Facebook Page got an incredible response.  I often posted photos of custom orders, past designs, items I wanted to sell, or even funny or inspirational pictures with quotes about success or Mom humor.  By nature, I am a visual person, and I loved to post graphics, photos and even cartoons to build my connection with my fans. Social media is about developing a personalized relationship with those who follow you. It’s not all about getting sales (although that is nice)~ it’s about brand building, showing what values your business adheres to. I always love to show my personality in my posts. My sense of humor and personal touch allowed  fans/followers to feel as if we were friends, we connected on a HUMAN level. It was about building relationships for me with the occasional sale here and there. I, and most page admins KNEW photos were the best way to get a reaction, and build that relationship stronger and stronger. It was also a good way to communicate in a way where words couldn’t be misconstrued, a picture is worth a  lot , and it really was the best way to connect with fans.

However, when Facebook went to the pay to play format, photos were the posts with the absolute WORST reach. I am sure ( in my humble opinion) it is because the powers that be at FB, knew a picture is worth a thousand words, and they knew, the more businesses who posted photos would generate more revenue for themselves one way or another, and they of course, wanted a cut of that revenue. So, that is one of the first types of posts they buried and locked away in Zuckerberg’s attic like a proverbial red-headed stepchild.

The good news: The tide, with the new changes for pages seems to have turned for the better, for page admins. Photos and infographics that include a call to action, or ask the reader to do something (like, share, comment) are still the highest form of visibility, it’s not awesome like it used to be but it is improving.

>>TIP: I suggest that you *DO NOT* share photos from other sources (instagram, twitter, your blog, another website or even another facebook page TO your facebook page as a status update). Visibility on anything that is shared has the LOWEST visibility. What to do instead (if you have permission or if you own the photo), right click, save the photo and upload it on your own a.k.a.  Make it a “clean” post. (This seems to make photos more visible instead of sharing them from other sources.) Sharing ANYTHING to a business page decreases visibility. Straight uploads and posting links is always better.

>>TIP: When you post a photo, ALWAYS be sure to add a caption to each and every photo. It is not “facebook illegal” to post a link as the caption either. If you’re sharing a photo of a new (example) dress you’ve made and are selling on your website or Etsy shop (etc) POST a direct LINK to the shop, site or listing. If you’re including wording on the caption of the photo post the link FIRST, then type your message.Long captions get abbreviated and viewers only see about the first sentence so you want the LINK to be first and then the details/caption about the item (I will talk more about links in a future blog post in this series).

>>TIP: If you’re posting a photo or infographic, Facebook will automatically resize it for mobile and land based users, but the optimal size (so none of it gets cut off) is 700 pixels wide x 366 pixels high. (This is not new, this has not changed with Facebook Changes for Pages)

>>Something to consider: Text only posts DO have the potential to reach more fans/followers IF you include an engaging “call to action” (See Blog 2 on how to get fans/followers ENGAGED). but they will most likely not be shared quite as often.

WHAT TO DO TODAY:

goosiegirlcrackalackin

 

Go through your recent posts of photos or infographics on your page from at least the last month, and be sure they have a LINK to direct traffic to where you want people to go (i.e., Etsy, Website, Artfire etc) to where they can PURCHASE your item, or get relevant information about it, learn more about your design process, more about your business or to introduce them to a similar item they may like. Afterall , the ultimate goal is to take your social media fans/followers and filter them to your HUB (see Blog 1 , if you missed this concept).

More helpful info on the changes for Facebook pages coming Wednesday~ stay tuned kiddies, I’ll keep unpacking all this information as it gets to me, I dismantle it and put it into terms the rest of us can understand. Wednesday’s blog will include information about why you MUST CHANGE your profile picture on your page as well as changes with pinning and highlighting posts on your page.

If you’re  enjoying this blog series, and find it helpful,

I would like to ask you to please LIKE and SHARE (buttons down below)this is the best form of advertising and heartfelt endorsement Goosie Girl can get!!  I want to be able to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with Small Business Marketing. 

goosiegirlcalltoactioninfographic

>>>Help Us By doing these 3 easy things Regarding our Facebook Reach and Visibility<<<

  • If you are on the Goosie Girl Facebook page , look in the right column, it says (example) 23 friends like Goosie Girl and then you will see little thumbnail size pics of your friend’s profile pics. Then under that you will see in bold “Invite your friends to like this page” to do this, you can either a.)go down the list of their suggestions and click “invite” or b.) click on the little blue “See All” and go down the list and click invite next to each person you’d like to invite.
  • Copy the link to my facebook business page :http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB and share it on your personal facebook, your own business page on FB, or send it off in a quick email to your friends
  • And finally, so you don’t miss ANY posts, status updates, pictures we post, links we share, i.e.EVERYTHING we post: go to our page http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB , go to the button that says “LIKED”. Then scroll down and click “get notifications” and “show in newsfeed”.

 

 

I’ve been trying to do my best to fill you all in on the changes for Facebook pages and what this means for marketing your small business via this social media platform, as well as give you “outside of the box” tips and advice on marketing through social media in general. I’ve been reading blogs and websites, attending webinars in an effort to compile as much helpful guidance as possible.

Beginning June 12th Facebook rolled out a new layout for pages and I’ve been recapping some of the changes and what it means for us page owners. This is the 3rd part in the blog series. For other posts in the series, see these links #2:Click HERE, #1 Click HERE )

smallbizmarketing2

Ok… for starters… (buckle up kiddies, this is going to be a fun ride!)

There are 5 main components to using your Facebook Page for marketing:

  • Your Page Design:

    Consider whether or not your cover photo, profie picture, and tab pictures all go together. Do they give you a uniform appearance (this has to do with “branding”) A very good idea is to have a cover photo (because it is the LARGEST area of space on your Facebook page) to convey your message or tell what you DO / CREATE/ DESIGN / MAKE /SELL etc., Then you want your other graphics to match those. There is an old advertising maxim that says:

“A confused mind says no”

If you’re turning followers off with a confusing, mis-matched, hodge-podged look, those followers will not become customers. (Which is the ultimate sales goal of having a follower/fan in the end) . In my ebook: Starting a Boutique or Handmade Business I go over several ideas to create your business identity and with branding on a budget ideas; as well as pivotal points of interest when trying to get your new hobby turned business off to a great start and into a viable income generator.

Many people in the handmade and boutique or independent artisan community are new to marketing, advertising and promotion. They’ve learned around the internet that “Branding” means having a matching graphics package for your Etsy shop, Blog, Website, Facebook, Pinterest, Etc., but there is a lot more involved to correctly branding than just that, even though that is one of the key components they key to properly branding your business is a goal of distinguishing a product  or service from the competition (i.e. similar businesses) ; as well as create a lasting impression in a prospect’s mind and to take that even a step further, I say, When you are a micro-business you literally ARE your brand.

 What is a microbusiness?

  1.  Official Definition - Advocate groups typically define microbusinesses as an organization with less than five employees, small enough to require little capital ($35,000 or less) to get started.
  2. Unofficial Definition - Microbusiness owners are the ‘…people who refer to themselves as soloists, independents, consultants, craftsmen, artists, musicians, freelancers, free agents, and self-employed people. The majority of these companies are one-person enterprises …operate out of their homes; and many …have part-time help from a family member or friends.’ (Courtesy of Lloyd Lemons in his Microbusiness Defined article).

What To Do Right Now: 

goosiegirlcrackalackin

 

  1. Decide what your company’s message really is, (i.e. a TAG LINE) that briefly describes what you do. My blog’s tag line summarizes my blog’s content and mission fairly well: “The Tales of An A-Typical Suburban Mom With An Evil And Crafty Monkey On Her Back” … Your tag line or company message may be simple such as “Handmade Bows with Flair” (etc).
  2. Do your graphics on all your social media platforms convey this message either literally, in words~ or visually? And do the graphics match in which you use to convey this message?
  3. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, be sure to check your cover photo and profile picture on your Facebook page, to be sure that with the new changes to Facebook Pages, your profile picture is not blocking important content and information on your cover. The positioning of the profile picture was moved up slightly in the new layout design by Facebook. ( See yesterday’s blog post here)

Next Blog Post in This Series:

What types of Facebook posts get the most reach? 

and

Why you need to change your Facebook  profile picture, based on a new feature Facebook has rolled out with changes to pages

More helpful info on the changes for Facebook pages coming Monday stay tuned kiddies, I’ll keep unpacking all this information as it gets to me, I dismantle it and put it into terms the rest of us can understand.

If you enjoyed this blog series, and found it helpful,

I would like to ask you to please LIKE and SHARE (buttons down below) this is the best form of advertising and heartfelt endorsement Goosie Girl can get!!  I want to be able to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with Small Business Marketing. 

 

 

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>>>Help Us By doing these 3 easy things Regarding our Facebook Reach and Visibility<<<

  • If you are on the Goosie Girl Facebook page , look in the right column, it says (example) 23 friends like Goosie Girl and then you will see little thumbnail size pics of your friend’s profile pics. Then under that you will see in bold “Invite your friends to like this page” to do this, you can either a.)go down the list of their suggestions and click “invite” or b.) click on the little blue “See All” and go down the list and click invite next to each person you’d like to invite.
  • Copy the link to my facebook business page :http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB and share it on your personal facebook, your own business page on FB, or send it off in a quick email to your friends
  • And finally, so you don’t miss ANY posts, status updates, pictures we post, links we share, i.e.EVERYTHING we post: go to our page http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB , go to the button that says “LIKED”. Then scroll down and click “get notifications” and “show in newsfeed”.

 

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I’ve been collecting theories, tips, tricks and advice from sources across the web to help all of my faithful followers who have been negatively affected by the last year or more of limited visibility on Facebook. On June 12th, Facebook began  rolling out a  a new look for pages, and with it, comes some changes. We have to roll with the changes, we are at the mercy of the powers that be at Facebook, and we have to play by their rules, since it’s their site. They can randomly change up stuff as often as they like, but for right now (and we don’t know if it’s permanent) many pages are greatly benefiting from increased visibility to some posts. >>TIP: Don’t count on this lasting, but for now, embrace the tips and advice to help you unleash your brand on news feeds of more followers than you’ve been reaching of late.

I’ve been reading multiple social media blogs as well as receiving insider information for beta testers for Facebook (which, I am one)~ and I’ve promised my faithful readers that I would gather up all the information I’ve gleaned as well as “market research experiments” I’ve conducted myself on my Facebook business page (located here: Goosie Girl Facebook Page. I’ve been a very busy little Goose~ and I do it all for you guys!

 

I don’t like what Facebook did to small businesses when they implemented their pay to play program and boosting posts. They damaged our businesses we had been building on Facebook, and I’ve promised to HELP all of you, with no intention of selling the information I’ve learned in the form of an ebook/pdf file. I am doing this as a service to other small businesses. I want to help. That’s how I’m wired. That’s just me.
Soooo… Here’s some information I’ve learned lately from some different sources. Last week I attended a webinar hosted by Timothy Adam at Handmadeology

Handmadeology-Logo-darker

with guest Jennifer Rapp Perterson of IndieMade, (A website providing ecommerce and blogging solutions for handmade artisans) If you don’t have a website, I highly suggest Indiemade (comes with a blog, comes with social media plug ins etc., it can serve as your hub which I suggested in blog #1 of this series (published 6/17/2014)

IndieMade.com Websites for Makers

 

What I’ve learned recently… Facebook admits to hiding posts from businesses , it’s no covert operation, no top secret deal, it’s because they want us to pay to boost our posts. I can understant boosting a post occasionally if you have some really big news, a big sale, a great offer or an exceptional promotion running, but on a per post basis, it’s out of the budget for most of us. Sooo… the question is: ” HOW do I become more visible amongst other posts in the newsfeeds of my followers?”

A few boutique friends and I have tested out a theory that if your page  is categorized as a business or website… visibility is automatically restricted/lower than other types of posts from different types of pages. They (FB) knows we’ll be making money through our business posts in one way or another, so they limit visibility. The trick we’ve experimented with is: Change the category from a business (or whatever sort of category you’ve labeled your page under) and change it to a COMMUNITY. Several of us have done that and almost instantly, views increased.

>>> How to do this: Go to the TOP of your page where it says “settings” (when you are logged in as the admin of the page) , then go to “PAGE INFO” on the left side, then look in the right column and change your “CATEGORY” to “Other” with a sub-category of “COMMUNITY” (I chose “Just for Fun” as my sub-category)  We don’t know if this is a temporary or will stick, but for right now, it seems to increase visibility. The only drawback to this approach, is since Facebook has rolled out the new page changes (which started June 12 and will continue every day until all pages are converted to the new layout) is that NOW your subcategory is shown under your name in your cover photo area (under your page name).

Pros: If visibility is the bottom line for you, I’d suggest trying this trick and comparing your views, see if they go up, like ours did.

Cons: If you’re a stickler about your page telling what you actually do, this wouldn’t be a good trick for you.

Your specialty (sub category) now shows under your business name on your cover photo with new facebook changes

Your specialty (sub category) now shows under your business name on your cover photo with new facebook changes

Have you noticed your cover photo and profile has changed slightly in size? For some reason, with the new layout for pages, Facebook tweaked the cover and profile picture position. You might want to double check your cover photo and make sure that your profile photo is not blocking any important info contained in your cover photo (wording, part of a photo of products etc). The sizes for the cover photo and the profile photo has stayed the SAME. So you do not need to RESIZE your cover photos, it’s just a matter of positioning and being sure that your profile pic isn’t blocking anything important on your cover.

I have blogged~in the past what the sizes should be for facebook, a cheat sheet of all photo sizes, you can find that HERE to refresh your memory or if you’re making new covers etc: Optimal Photo and Graphic Sizes for Facebook 

The next thing I have learned, by trial and error~ we , as page admins need to create ENGAGING content for our social media platforming. This does not mean interesting information… Your posts, to reach maximum people should include a “call to action” this means something that CAUSES the follower to DO something (I.E. like, Share, Comment) on our posts. The more ENGAGED users you have, the more visibile your posts become. I never really understood what post “engagement” meant, but now I do.

>>>Beware: There is a theory that facebook purposefully buries ANY post that has a “Please like this” or even the word “LIKE”  ”Please share this”  or even the word “SHARE” in the update.  I’m not sure about this. I’ve tried it both ways. I have found less visibility and interaction with asking people to LIKE something since the new changes came about. The reason they suspect this is happening is because Facebook is trying to discourage spammy posts, contests etc. However, Just to be sure I’ve been finding alternative ways to get around this (either embed the text in a photo or graphic) and don’t include the words “Like” “Comment” or “Share” and you may see higher reach. The jury is still out on this one, I’ll keep you posted on what I continue to see in the future.
goosiegirlcrackalackin

 

What to do RIGHT NOW:

Post a photo with two different product photos and ask readers which one they like best. I did it as an experiment. They say, photos are a GREAT way to get people to be interested in what you have to say, or to share it, BUT if you don’t have a “call to action” about the photo then it won’t be seen by as many of your followers.

matroyschka

 

If you’re lucky enough to get a post to show up in your followers newsfeeds, it’s because they’ve been engaging with you in the past as well as a simple behind the scenes process. Think of your post as a russian nesting doll. The message you want to convey to your followers is the smallest doll inside the other dolls, but you have to open the other dolls to get to the smallest one (the meat). The more people that see it, and DO something…one doll opens, and it goes into more feeds… if they LIKE it, the next doll opens, if they COMMENT, the next doll opens and if they SHARE it, the smallest doll is exposed (i.e. you’re showing up in WAY MORE newsfeeds) . Was that a good hyperbole? Did that explain the Engagement game? the more interaction, the more people it reaches. This has been true all along with social media and Facebook, but now that the new page layout rolled out, and they’re not purposely hiding feeds as often, it releases you into more and more feeds.

The more people that comment, share or like a photo, then the more it will be seen by other people in their newsfeed and THAT is what you want esentially, to be seen in the news feeds. My test post. I posted a little photo collage of two different costumes Goosie Girl has created in the past, and we simply asked which costume our followers liked best.. the response was overwhelming! A day and a half later, the reach is STILL climbing! It’s the MOST viewers I have reached with a single post in over 2 years. No lie! With this “call to action” style post, I reached 7,350 people (out of almost 18,000) . I’m pleased with that number. Before facebook implemented the new facebook pages change, and my page rolled over, I was lucky if 40 people saw a post or a photo. With these changes they’ve made, AND implementing some basic tried & true social media tips & tricks, things are exploding on my page and my visibility is up by an incredible amount.

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 More helpful info on the changes for Facebook pages coming tomorrow, stay tuned kiddies, I’ll keep unpacking all this information as it gets to me, I dismantle it and put it into terms the rest of us can understand. If you like this series, please share it, that is the best form of advertising and heartfelt endorsement Goosie Girl can get!! 

If you enjoyed this blog post, and found it helpful,

I would like ask you to please help so these blog posts can continue to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with Small Business Marketing. This is just the beginning.

Next Blog Post in This Series:

I will unpack more Facebook changes made June 2014 and explain how to utilize them to your advantage. 

goosiegirlcalltoactioninfographic

>>>Help Us By doing these 3 easy things Regarding our Facebook Reach and Visibility<<<

  • If you are on the Goosie Girl Facebook page , look in the right column, it says (example) 23 friends like Goosie Girl and then you will see little thumbnail size pics of your friend’s profile pics. Then under that you will see in bold “Invite your friends to like this page” to do this, you can either a.)go down the list of their suggestions and click “invite” or b.) click on the little blue “See All” and go down the list and click invite next to each person you’d like to invite.
  • Copy the link to my facebook business page :http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB and share it on your personal facebook, your own business page on FB, or send it off in a quick email to your friends
  • And finally, so you don’t miss ANY posts, status updates, pictures we post, links we share, i.e.EVERYTHING we post: go to our page http://www.Facebook.com/GoosieGirlFB , go to the button that says “LIKED”. Then scroll down and click “get notifications” and “show in newsfeed”.

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