How to Add Pins from Instagram

March 30, 2015

addpins

 

I’ve seen a lot of folks asking about how to add pins from instagram out and about in the internet land so I figured why not go on an answer it for them. So here it is: how to add pins to Pinterest from your Instagram feed.

How to Pin your Instagram Images from Danielle Spurge on Vimeo.

You might be wondering ‘why would you want to do this’? Here are some reasons:

1. Because, why not?

You already created content, why not use it up and get more pull from it? You know I am all about leveraging what you create, so that’s my theory. And direct people to your Instagram profile while you’re at it.

2. Because it’s your image, you can change the link

NEVER EVER NO MATTER WHAT DO NOT EVER use someone else’s image (from IG or elsewhere) and link it to your own content. Okay, good, that’s out of the way. However, if you have a great image on Instagram, you can pin it as such from my tutorial but then go in and change the link to link to a page on your website or blog if it’s applicable. Hey why not, right? It’s all yours, do what you want with it. Again, only do this if it’s YOUR image.

3. Squares look nice on Pinterest

Long rectangles are best on Pinterest, but squares are probably next best (better than horizontal rectangles) so they could perform well on Pinterest. (Squares are a very pleasing shape. My high school art teacher was always advising against ever using squares … but I did use them a lot mainly to piss hime off. He was wrong about a lot of stuff though.)

4. Because it’s super easy.

Seriously. So simple.

Watch the video here natively on Vimeo.

Hopefully this is helpful!

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Why I’m Retiring my Most Popular Product + My 27th Birthday

March 26, 2015

why i'm retiring my most popular product | the merriweather council blog

When I was in fifth grade, my class sang this song at our graduation ceremony … “it’s time to go, it’s time to say goodbye… *yaddayaddayadda a bunch of bogus crap* maybe someday if we’re lucky, our  paths will cross again...” Right, yeah, some BS like that.

Anyway, we would ALL always change the lyric to “if we’re lucky, our paths won’t cross again.” Because we were in fifth grade and that’s the sort of stuff you do to piss off your old lady chorus teacher.

But also because we had spent the past five years together and knew literally no one else. It was like, time…. time to move on. Time to discover new things and swim with bigger fish. That’s me right now.

That’s the song I’ve had in my head for months… every time I think about my most popular product: the embroidered initial necklace.

I’ve sold thousands of them. We spent many sleepless nights together. They are a fun gift, and they have brought me a LOT of attention. But I’m not going to sell them anymore.

Here’s why:

1. Cannot ever get ahead

With custom work – no matter what size or scale project – you are always behind. And I don’t want to be behind, I want to be ahead. I want to be making fresh stuff when I feel inspired. Not ONLY filling orders.

2. Losing ground

Because I was so busy making these things for years, I didn’t have time or interest, honestly, in developing anything new. I was so dumb, you guys. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. I want to innovate and move forward.

In one sense I do fully feel like an idiot about that, in another sense, what was I to do? I wanted to sell them, they sold like crazy… I was thrilled! Live + learn.

3. I’ve been thinking about doing this for more than a year

So yeah, it’s time. It’s time to release this and make space for newness. It’s just time.

4. I forgot to empower myself

I have dedicated the past three months to empowering creative people – minus myself. I forgot about what I need to do to empower my own work. This is what I need to do. I need to shed the old and build the new and all that good stuff.

This is much the way I feel about my other popular product as well: the pieces I’ve made in hoops. As I told you, I am planning on being hoopless by summer time. I have a lot of new and fun things planned. Things in the product department will be sparse for a little while I work on these new things, but things in the empowerment department will keep on trucking.

I’m turning 27 in April 11, 2015 and my birthday gift to myself to the retirement of the necklaces and the making of space for new work.

This is just a step toward the goals I have for this year. Until April 11th, the initial necklaces are $27 and then they are gone – off to sun their bums in Barbados.

retiring

I will not sell the initial necklaces after my birthday, until then, any pendant with any chain length is $27. If you need to chat about an order, feel free to contact me through my website!

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Progress Report: Kits, Patterns, Power Hours, Oh My!

March 24, 2015

empowering creatives to share their work | the merriweather council blog

I’m doing a little progress report on myself for the year so far… this is it…. welcome!

Many of you know that after Christmas, I made some pretty big shifts in business and life and social media. It was a long time coming.

The work I am doing now, is work I wanted to start doing well over a year ago, but I couldn’t. Our life was HECTIC last year, and I simply did not have the time to make big shifts. Not to mention that I WANTED to keep one thing constant while the rest of the world spun madly about.

New Year 2015 was the perfect time to really start down my new path of Empowering Creative people to put their work into the world – whether for profit or not – with confidence.

I know that for some people, profit is the ultimate goal with their creative work.

I love and respect that. To support this hustle, I introduced my Etsy Shop Critique as well as a few consultation session options – all aimed at helping creatives get more pull, connections and profit from their creative work and their shops – in a personalized and individual way!

This has been going so well and it truly makes me so happy to help people in this way and I love sharing experiences with other crafters and makers. Doing this work makes me feel excited.

I’ve heard so many positive responses to these services from the people i’ve worked with and I can’t wait to see what they do next. I truly feel invested in these people – and in the creative / makers movement in general – and I’m happy to lend my insight and experiences with people who are ready to take their work to the next level.

Part of selling work is promotion and marketing. And social media is part of that.

I have had clarity only recently with most of social media. My friend Jen has been such a huge part of that and I’ve learned a lot from her. She works in the social media arena, so she knows the good stuff. Jen was instrumental in my decision to switch my social media handles right after Christmas when I really began working toward my new goals.

handmade biz + social media power hour | the merriweather council blog

Quick story: I had my original @merriweatherc Instagram account since 2011 – 4 years! And I turned that into my now @daniellespurge and reestablished @merriweatherc in a new account. Since December, I’ve gained 2000 followers on my new @merriweatherc account.  That’s not a huge number, but it’s a HUGE improvement. But that’s not the best part. Numbers aren’t everything… engagement matters more. On my first @merriweatherc account, it took me 4+ years to break 2k followers and I had barely any engagement and usually topped out at around 60-70 likes. I liked that I had a lot of followers, but I hated that barely any of them were engaging with my photos – I was slogging through it, trying new things, confusing people… getting discouraged…  My new account has a highly engaged audience or likeminded people. My people. They buy things after I post about them, they read my blog posts that I mention… some of you might even be reading this post right now because of something you saw me share on Instagram!

Because Jen inspired and EMPOWERED me so much in this realm of social media (not just on Instagram) I just knew she could be of service to many other creatives who are feeling – as I was – a bit wayward, frustrated and confused with social media – slogging through it.

To further support creatives in business – I’ve asked Jen to team up with me to offer a Handmade Biz +Social Media Power Hours. This is specifically for hand makers in business who need a little bit of help understanding and leveraging the power of social media to make it work specifically for them and their products. This is one of those things I would’ve sold a lung for when I was starting out… could’ve saved myself a lot of hassle.

Making for personal enjoyment

Not everyone wants to sell their work – some people just want to make it for fun and for their own enjoyment! So I am very excited to announce that there are now THREE embroidery patterns in my shop. These have been waiting to make their debut for some time now, and I am very happy to finally have them available!

There are also two kits in shop for making necklaces (and new kits coming soon!)

merriweather council embroidered necklace kit | the merriweather council blog

Behind the scenes

I’m working on a few more things that I am very excited to share with you – both in Merriweather Products and in Empowerment + Education. I’ll keep you posted, of course.

You input is welcomed!

I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress on my goal so far this year, but I would love to hear from you too – how can I help you? What do you want to see more or less of? I would love it if you’d take my survey and provide me some feedback so I can create more content that will help or interest you! Thanks so  so much!

empowered creatives | the merriweather council blog

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How to Create a Signature for your Etsy Convos

March 19, 2015

how to create a custom signature for your etsy convos | the merriweather council blog

Please take a moment to fill out this wee survey about what you like and dislike seeing here on le blog. All the questions are optional. I thank you dearly.

In keeping with my whole “if you’re going to use it, may as well make the most of it” theory regarding Etsy, I wanted to share this tidbit with you today.

When was the last time you got an email that didn’t have a signature attached to it? Emails from elderly family members don’t count.

People use email signatures for a few reasons:

1. it’s a passive, unintrusive way to give people your pertinent info without having to come up with a lead in to giving it to them. Everything is just tacked on to the end of your existing communication. No awkward “should I?” like there is with giving a business card.

2. It’s automatic. You don’t have to think about it. Now you know: they have the info. Done. Good.

3. It makes your email look pro-tastic. Even when I get causal dad-emails, I’m like, “damn, dad is legit and he means business about sending those spare house keys back.” Or it at least indicates that you know what’s up and take yourself seriously. So side note: if you don’t have an email signature set up, do it.

I wanted to share with you this super easy way to manage a signature on your Etsy convos. There are pros and cons to this – pro- you can decide when it goes on your messages and when it doesn’t, cons: you have to remember to do it since it isn’t automatic but let’s loop on back to pros for a second: it’s super duper easy to do, so when you do want to do it, it’s 2 clicks.

Watch my wee video:

How to create a custom signature for etsy convos from Danielle Spurge on Vimeo.

 This prototype has many applications.

I use it around holiday time to let international folks know (again) their orders might not arrive by Christmas and to please let me know if they would prefer to cancel.

My other most favorite application is using it to quickly message people regarding missing order details! With custom work, I encounter that a lot.

Any other ideas on how to use this prototype? What are your other favorite prototypes?

 

Please take a moment to fill out this wee survey about what you like and dislike seeing here on le blog. All the questions are optional. I thank you dearly.

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