Why Social Media for Business?

Ideas on what to post for small business marketing

Social Media

I met a woman this evening at the 1 Million Cups anniversary event who is starting a new business.  She commented that she “hates social media.”  I would certainly prefer to spend my time teaching craft classes and creating clothing and jewelry instead of sitting at my computer.

However, I have been learning that strategic use of social media outlets is crucial for small businesses.  Facebook, Instagram, email, blogging, etc. are useful marketing resources for people who have little money, but who are willing to invest time in marketing their products or ideas.  Putting up a website and/or opening an online store to sell your products or services is useless if no one knows you are there.

In some ways, Google has simplified the process for making a business searchable online.  A business can increase its visibility by posting worthwhile content on a consistent basis.  I am building an email list so that I can send updates on my craft classes and upcycling projects.   Taking photos and posting them online does not come naturally to me, but I have recently started posting photos to my Facebook page and on Pinterest.

One thing I do enjoy is sharing things I learn.  Although I do shop at craft stores, I also find tools and crafting materials in unusual places.  For example, I bought silicone trivets to make designs on fabric for the upcycled clothing I create.  I also discovered that sponging paint on an old-fashioned potato masher and pressing it onto fabric produces a cool design.

Keeping a notebook handy can be helpful in generating ideas for postings.  Sometimes I just draw a picture of something so that I can refer to it later.  This posting was inspired by a conversation.  Who knows where your next idea will come from?

Fabric Painting Fun (and Cleanup)

Paintstik rubbing on silk fabrice
Paintstik rubbing on silk fabric

I started teaching some classes at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in September.  One of the best things about going to classes, as a teacher or a student, is meeting new people who share common interests.

My first class was on creating beautiful jewelry from fabric.  Although many types of fabric may be used, some of my favorites are silk and Ultrasuede®.  I like to paint the fabric before I incorporate it into a jewelry design.  One of the methods I use for silk is making rubbings using Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks®.  Commercial texture plates are fine, but I also like to find everyday items and use them to create unique patterns.  The above photo is a sample of a rubbing made from a silicon trivet that I found at a dollar store.

One of the students from my fabric jewelry class invited me to speak in front of her quilting group regarding embellishment techniques.  I demonstrated rubbings made from polymer clay, paper crafting, and UTEE texture plates, along with textures created by plastic sink liners, silicone trivets, and other items.

One of the drawbacks to using Paintstiks is that the paint can be difficult to remove from your hands.  One of the women in the quilting group had a wonderful solution.  She recommended using a mixture of dish soap and sugar to remove the paint.  Commercial cleaners are available, but how great it is to use materials you already have around the house!

I look forward to teaching my next class.  Who knows what I might learn?