How to Manage Your Personal Facebook Profile if You Use Facebook Groups

How to Manage your Personal Facebook Profile if you Use Facebook Groups | Merriweather Council Blog

Facebook groups are everywhere and you are probably already in at least one. If you aren’t, consider joining a few! They are fun, informative and can be great for networking and learning. There are groups for all sorts of niches, careers, focuses and hobbies ­ ­ I am sure you can find a few that you’ll enjoy!

Since you can only join a Facebook group as a personal account, and since you are likely using it as a way to network for your business, it’s important to make sure you have a few key things set up in order to maximize the time you spend in Facebook groups.

It is important to note that it’s against Facebook’s terms to create a “personal page” and use it as a business. So if I created a new profile and called it Merriweather Council and you could friend request it, that would be a no-no. People do this though and they shouldn’t.

The idea behind these tips is that, in the event you say something smart and relevant (which you will) in a Facebook group, and someone clicks on your profile to see who you are and what you do, you want them to actually be able to figure that out and connect with you elsewhere.

Work history

Make sure that your work history is up to date and that you list your own business by connecting it to your Facebook fan page. Then make sure your settings are such that everyone can see your work history. You can do all of this by going to your profile and clicking “update info” on your cover photo. Make your work history visible to “public”!

Caption on cover and profile photo

Because everyone can see your cover and profile photos no matter what your settings are, it’s important to make good use of the space. I use the captions on both profile and cover photos to link to my blog and website, I even go so far as to say “hi Facebook group friends…” because all my real life friends already know/ don’t care.

Profile image

In addition to informing people who you are and what you do on the greater internet, you might consider making your profile photo the same as you have it on social media. This helps people place names with faces and builds up visibility where you are trying to network.

Keep it classy + lock it up

Since Facebook is a place for friends and colleagues now, it’s important to keep it classy + lock it up. Facebook group members will see anything that is set to “public” visibility on your profile if they click over to you, it’s important to get your settings straight and make sure you know who can see what!

 

These small tweaks to your Facebook profile will make it easier for people to connect with you elsewhere + be better informed about what you do and who you are!

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Recent Guest Post Round Up

guest post round up | the merriweather council blog

I’ve written some really useful and insightful posts for Little Farm Media, aftcra and Academy of Handmade blogs recently and I wanted to share this round up in case you missed any of them!

How to Get Featured on Etsy – LFM

If you sell on Etsy then you know a feature on site or in an Etsy email can bring a huge surge of traffic, sales and opportunities. Here are 4 simple ways to increase your chances of being featured.

Why You Need an Email Mailing List Even if You Are a Social Media Powerhouse -AHAS

Social media platforms are always changing and each platform has it’s pros and cons and vary in effectiveness. Email is a bit more stable – among other things. Find out why you should still invest in having a mailing list even if you have great reach on social media.

4 Passive Ways to Advertise Your Online Shop – aftcra

It’s always the simplest things that get overlooked! You’ve heard tons of suggestions for clever and creative ways to get the word out about your shop but what about the super simple ways? My post includes four of them.

How to Turn Down a Customer without Being a Jerk – LFM

Ahhh, customers. Gotta have them. But what about the ones who want things you aren’t able to create or have ‘demands’ you can’t meet? Here are some simple ways to turn down a customer politely.

How to Handle a Bad Etsy Review – LFM

What to do when you get a bad review on Etsy? Don’t flip out. Deep breath. Read the post.

4 Affordable, Portable and Easily Replaceable Backdrops for Branded Photos – aftcra

Branding your photos is one of the best ways to build recognition and cohesion in your online shop – it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult either.

 

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Why You Should Stop Discounting First Orders in Your Handmade Business

Why You Should Stop Discounting First Orders in Your Handmade Business | The Merriweather Council Blog

You guys know I am big on taking cues form big brands and learning from their years of experience and research. It’s a great idea to be observant of big business if you run a small business and you can learn a ton by doing so. There are some things big businesses do though that do not suit small business at all.

The one I want to discuss today is discounting first order. This is a tactic we see big businesses doing all the time ­ but it is not sustainable for small handmade businesses.

First, most handmade shop owners are already underpricing, so to discount on top of that results in even fewer dollars earned per hour. I see a lot of handmade shop owners offering discount on first order as an opt in incentive or worse, in association with a paid features (on a blog or instagram account).

Why?!!!! Whyyyyy would you do this? It doesn’t make sense to me…. you’re making moves to introduce your brand to a new audience that (hopefully) is engaged and aligned with the blogger or IG account you are collaborating with, and you’re leading by devaluing your brand! It’s bad. Don’t do it. From then on, those people will associate the price they paid (discounted) with your work, and will always see the full price of the item as, well, too much. Now that’s not to say this tactic can’t work at all ­ I’m sure some people will buy at a discount then return at full price as well, but why would you give a discount on the very FIRST order a person places with you? I don’t like percentage off coupons as an opt­in either really, but at least then you’ve got their email.

Rather than discounting, you should add value, and enhance the experience customers have with you so that they will be inclined to pay full price first time and over and over again.

That is exactly what I teach you to do in my ebook. Another reason I don’t like discounting first order is because you’l probably run a discount at another time as well… why not offer that discount to your loyal followers and customers instead? You want to reserve those discounts ­ you don’t want people just waiting for your next sale to purchase which is what will happen if you train them to expect discounts from you. Surprise discounts are great and strategic… expected discounts are not.

Your work is worth it. Price it fairly + improve the experience for your customers, and they will buy it! Snag my ebook now if you are interested in learning simple + free or low cost ways to add value and enhance the experience.

How to Turn Browsers Into Buyers + Buyers Into Raving Fans | The Merriweather Council Blog

 

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What to do When People ask you to Share Your Sources, Secrets and Suppliers

what to do when people ask you to share your secrets, suppliers and sources | the merriweather council blog

This is probably one of the MOST controversial topics in the crafting community. To share or not to share? That is indeed the question. And how to deal with these inquiries… because, awkward!

You might not agree with me on this, and that’s totally okay. I just want you to have these points to consider so you can determine if your approach still makes the most sense for you!

There are three distinct camps here: absolutely no, never share. Absolutely yes, share away, there is room for everyone. And the third: there are some things I don’t mind sharing, but those are the things that are easy to find so, why are these people asking me anyway?

Keeping the information you use to create your signature products guarded is smart business.

The same doesn’t apply to all forms of sharing or helping. Sharing helpful articles, information on taking great photos, marketing advice, social media best practices – those types of things are not specific to any one product (your product) and it’s good to share things that will elevate the community in that way. When everyone in the community is acting, looking and feeling sharp, we can all prosper a little bit more.

There are ways to pay it forward, be a good community member and support other makers without giving away your secrets. I REPEAT: giving away your secrets is not the only way to be a supportive community member.

Personally I fall in the “never share” group when it comes to secrets, suppliers and sources (I don’t consider Uline a secret.)

There is no right or wrong answer or approach here – you might be okay with sharing certain tidbits and that is your decision to make – but you might want to keep reading anyway, because there might be things you haven’t considered that could happen after you share this information.

Even now that I am not primarily focusing on my embroidered product line, I wouldn’t share secrets, suppliers or sources for the materials and elements I use to make those products uniquely mine.

So what to do? How to deal? These are the things I think you should consider when someone asks you to share your secrets, suppliers or sources with them!

Time + Effort + Propriety
You spent a lot of time finding just the right thing, at the right price. This is part of your business, your livelihood. You’ve built a competitive edge with your product, pricing, uniqueness… it simply doesn’t make sense to tell other makers how to make, or where to get the supplies to make, the things you do for a living. Be they friends, family or other, it’s awkward as hell but it’s in your best interest to protect the sources you use to create your signature products in a signature way.

The Grapevine
No matter what people tell you as far as reason for wanting to know your sources, if you tell them, now they know. And they can use that information however they’d like. And they have no real reason to keep it a secret the way you do – they have nothing riding on this information. Now that you told one person, all their friends and contacts could know now too. And they could publish a blog post about it, or share it with their entire network. And those people might have different needs or wants attached to knowing this information. All of a sudden now ten more people are making and selling items similar in style or purpose to yours. You just made it 6x easier for people to compete with you. If you value your own work and the effort you put into finding and sourcing and testing your materials, I suggest you do not freely share this information with everyone. It’s not about competition, you don’t eliminate competition, you just don’t assist them in doing so. You just protect your own work. That’s all.

This is Business
Look, Coca Cola doesn’t publish the recipe on their website, and I’m pretty sure there are like, three people in the world who know the exact recipe for KFC Chicken and they are never flying on the same plane… see what I’m saying? Every business has trade secrets – that’s how it is! Just because you are a solo business owner doesn’t mean your trade secrets aren’t valuable.

Again, this is a business
I found all of my sources myself. To be honest, it wasn’t entirely difficult. So, I know it’s very possible for anyone else to find them. I also know that if people don’t take the initiative to find their own sources, they probably aren’t cut out to be in business in the first place. You need to work for this. It’s not magic. You need to be okay with putting in a lot of time and effort to find what you need no matter what it is because this is the basis of your business.

You Don’t Have to Respond
I used to respond nicely back to inquiries and let them know that for proprietary response, I do not disclose my sources. 8/10 times I would get a nasty rude response back. So, yeah. Done and done. I didn’t sign up to get crapped on every time I open my email. Of course you might be more intrepid in this way than I am, and you should determine what sort of response – if any – you’ll want to provide to these types of questions.

No Obligation
You are under no obligation to tell others how to do the things you do. You aren’t here to be everyone’s BFF, you are here to be in business and sometimes that means doing things outside your comfort zone, like standing up for yourself and protecting yourself.

There are some people who say “there is room for everyone” – and those people are right. There is room for everyone who wants to put in the time and energy required to build and grow a business – that includes research and experimentation with supply, technique and developing a signature product.

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