I received a very exciting email yesterday from Hootsuite. For a long time now, I've been hearing from creative entrepreneurs that they wished they could both schedule Instagram posts and post to two Instagram accounts simultaneously. It's something we can do on Facebook, so why not Instagram? Hootsuite has added Instagram to the suite of social media networks they work with so both these things are now possible. [Read more...]
Are you a fanatic?
This morning after church I got chatting to one of my favourite people (let’s call her Jen).
One of the reasons Jen is one of my favourite people is because she is passionate and fanatical about everything she puts her mind to. She is passionate and fanatical about Jesus, she is passionate and fanatical about her family, she is passionate and fanatical about teaching and she is passionate and fanatical about tennis. [Read more...]
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have noticed that I recently deactivated all my social media accounts. The reasons are many and unimportant, but I've learned a few things from my time away.
1. I was becoming addicted to social media
I would look at Facebook and Instagram first thing in the morning and last thing at night - I was interacting with my friends and fans more than I interacted with my family. That’s no good for me and no good for them. I have become more present and available to my children and my husband, and become a lot calmer. I was becoming a ‘cranky old woman’ because of discussions that I observed in Facebook groups.
I have also been spending far too much time posting about current projects and things I want to do, and not enough time actually doing them and making them happen. In particular, my poor old blog was getting much neglected because I was constantly posting to Instagram.
2. Social Media is a very selective beast
What we see of others on social media is exactly what they want us to see, no more. It’s very easy to think that someone’s polished life that they display via their Facebook or Instagram page is how their life always is when nine times out of ten that’s of course not the case.
3. I wanted more - I was becoming discontent with my current life
I found that I was seeing so many beautiful fabrics, as well as seeing the lives others were leading and wanting to have their life rather than mine. This led me to not being content with what I currently have. Now, in terms of personal and business development it’s always good to strive to be and do better but that’s not what I'm talking about. I was chatting to a lovely friend the other day who was saying a similar thing - it's so easy to look at what other people have and decide that what you have isn't good enough. I'm very blessed to have some lovely fabrics, a loving family and a business which is building into exactly what I want it to be and so I want to be content with what I have.
4. The trap of social media is that you think you’re interacting with people when actually you’re not
When you see people post on social media multiple times a week, it’s easy to think you’re interacting with them and that in turn can lead to forgetting to actually write to them or call them. As well as introducing you to people you would otherwise have never met, social media can actually alienate you from friends and family and it has the potential to damage existing relationships.
5. Over-sharing is easy
No one really wants to know that you had Vegemite on your toast for breakfast this morning. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of sharing EVERYTHING on social media - this also led me to be a grumpy old woman as I would post to Facebook about things that had got my goat as well as the fun stuff. If you have something negative to say about someone, say it to them, not the whole world via social media.
6. I have made some real and beautiful friendships through social media - genuine friendships with people I haven’t yet met in real life
There are some special people who I really miss not ‘chatting’ to each day. I’ve contacted one or two of them but there are a couple who I haven’t yet. One of the joys of social media is that it gives you the opportunity to meet people you would never otherwise have met.
So, where to from here?
I'm not gone for good - Vine Lines 2.0 will be launching very soon. While I’m away I’m working on some ideas for my quilting and virtual assistant practices - ideas that will combine both too I hope! I have a renewed enthusiasm for what I can achieve with hard work and courage and I’m thankful to the people who have believed in me and helped me get to this point - it’s onward and upward from here.
Until then, Happy Quilting 🙂
Hello all! How was your weekend?
As I alluded to in Friday's post, I've been working for a while on merging my virtual assistant and quilting businesses. I've been re-branding as The Creative VA and for quite some time I've been wanting to work with designers to assist them with their administration tasks so that they can free themselves up to spend more time designing and making fabulous quilts. After discussions with a very lovely designer I did some pattern testing and editing for, I am very excited to now put in place the first step of that process.
Today I'm launching the Vine Lines Quilting Pattern Testing and Design Agency. The model is simple; quilt designers need to have their patterns tested before publishing but this takes time and concentration that could be better used to make more things! There are a lot of talented pattern testers who would love to test for designers. So, this Agency will fill that gap and streamline the pattern testing process. Put simply, I will have a group of testers who designers can call upon but instead of you as a designer having to contact the testers directly, you will contact me and I will handle the entire process from then on.
The benefit for designers is that the hassle of the pattern testing process will be managed for you and the benefit for testers is that once you are registered with me, you'll have access to some fabulous designers who would love to work with you.
Would you like to join me? If you're a designer who would love to work with me and have your testing process streamlined, please email me at (linden at vinelinesquilting dot com) and I will send you an information pack. You might also like to join my new Facebook group, Vine Lines Quilting Designers' Group.
if you are a pattern tester, of any ability, and you would like to register, please fill out the form below. You'll need to be registered with me to receive pattern testing opportunities. I've created a Facebook group for you, here: Vine Lines Quilting Pattern Testers' Group. This will be where opportunities are advertised as well as any discussions relating to pattern testing.
Please have a read of the form below, and if this is something you're interested in, fill the form out with your details.
In time there are other services I'll be offering to designers; I'm really excited about the plans I have and I hope you are too.
I look forward to hearing from you. Until then, happy quilting. 🙂
How has your week been? The weather has turned cold here in Canberra so the winter woollies have all come out.
I'm in the process of merging my VA and quilting businesses into one; it's been a dream of mine for quite some time to provide VA services specifically to the quilting and creative community and it's well on the way to happening. On Monday, I'll have a big announcement regarding my new direction; I'm very excited and I hope you will be too.
I've had an Instagram account for just over a year now. In that time I've built up a following of almost 850. I really love Instagram, in my opinion it's the friendliest of the social media platforms and of course it's a perfect platform for quilters because it's so visual. I've written this post of things I've learned about business from having a successful, interactive Instagram following and I hope you are able to take something away from it.
1. FIND YOUR TRIBE – KNOW WHO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT
A tribe is a wonderful thing. It’s taken me a while to know who my ideal client is, but funnily enough, they’re not a million miles away from who I am. When you find your tribe you will find a group of loyal customers, friends and colleagues who will appreciate you and who in turn you will be able to help and interact with.
2. ENGAGE WITH YOUR TRIBE
You’ve heard it many times before – it’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. People want you to interact with them; they won’t continue to follow someone who doesn't reply to their comments or appreciate their interactions.
It’s the same in business. Do you have a strategy in place to ensure that all initial enquires are responded to within 48 hours? If your potential clients don’t receive a reply within that time frame, they’re very likely to look elsewhere.
3. BE CONSISTENT
I post to Instagram every single day, with very few exceptions. The successful Instagrammers post at least that often, most would post two or three times a day.
Do you have a system to ensure that your newsletters go out when you say they’re going to; that your parcels will be sent every Monday, Wednesday and Friday if that’s what you’ve said you’ll do? This is such an important part of brand management – your clients want to know that they’ll receive what they’ve asked for.
4. GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
My Instagram followers know they’re going to get lots of photos of quilts along with hints on quilting, quilt storage and some business and administration advice. Once you’ve found your tribe and have started engaging with them, make sure you are giving them what they want. If you don’t know what that is, ask them. Then make sure you deliver it.
5. HAVE QUALITY CONTENT
Quality is king. On Instagram, that means great photos. This was the main reason I created my "Quilt Photography 101" workshop; so that quilters and Instragrammers could learn how to take fabulous photos of their creations. For me, it means ensuring I always have matching seams and pointy points
What does it mean for you and your business? Do you have systems and strategies in place to ensure you have consistently deliver quality content to your clients?
If you need any assistance putting some systems in place, I’d love to talk to you further. Make sure you come to the blog on Monday because I’ll be launching a very exciting program which I cant wait to share with you.
Until then, happy quilting!