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Good Things To Learn

August is just around the corner and that means that it is almost back to school time! You may have put your school gear away a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning! If you want to be successful, you need  to KEEP learning new things!

Here are some things that you might not know how to do yet… but if you learn them, they will really help your business! I am going to make this a continuation post – I will put the ideas here, and then I will take each one and write a tutorial on it in a future post. If there are things you would like to learn, leave a comment and I’ll work up a tutorial on your idea, too!

And if there is something you can teach CraftBoom readers, leave a comment. I may just ask you to write a guest post!

Okay – here are my first 10 ideas:

1. Learn how to be an Awesome Blogger!

2. Learn how to use social networking sites to promote your biz

3. Learn to write a press release

4. Create a great media list

5. Learn how to diversify your income!

6. Learn how to attract web traffic naturally, so that you aren’t always paying for advertising

7. Learn how to start your own crafty podcast /show

8. Learn to manage your time

9. Learn how to partner up with other businesses to help you market your biz, leverage your time, & create new products

10. Learn how to STRETCH out of your comfort zone!

Jennifer Perkins on Summer Biz Sessions Tonight!

I am SO excited about tonight’s Summer Biz Sessions call! Our guest will be  Jennifer Perkins from Naughty Secretary Club!

I am very excited for this call! Jennifer is the host of Craft Lab and Stylelicious, seen on HGTV and DIY Network, as well as a founding member of the Austin Craft Mafia.

This call will be a GREAT learning experience, as Jennifer shares her tips on what she’s learned from her business (and helps you avoid mistakes!)

I hope you can join us for this AMAZING call! And bring your questions! This is your chance to interact with Jennifer and get feedback!

The call starts at 9pm Eastern. If you can’t make it, don’t worry. I’ll be recording it and will have the Mp3 recording ready to send out tomorrow.

You do need to be registered for Summer Biz Sessions in order to participate, and if you haven’t done so yet, you can register here: http://www.indiebizchicks.com/summer-biz-sessions.html

** P.S. The price says $14.95 but this week you will only be billed $10! So definitely grab this while you can!

Great Specials In Honor Of Being Released From The Hospital!

If you haven’t heard, I was recently in the hospital for 9 days (to read about what happened, click here). In honor of my release, I am running some AWESOME specials this week! If you’ve been thinking about some of these items, this is the time to grab ‘em up!

Remember – these prices will only be in effect this week:

Pre-Written Blog Posts (info page: http://www.indiebizchicks.com/blog-posts.html)
If you need help creating content for your blog, this is for you! You’ll receive 12 pre-written blog posts for only $8. You can start posting to your blog immediately! To purchase the Home & Family pack, click here.
To purchase the Home Business pack, click here.

Power Publicity Ebook - This 48 page ebook describes EVERYTHING I did to get my business in the spotlight! To this day, I have spent less than $150 on advertising, but have managed to be featured in magazines, on Fox Business, and more! Grab this ebook for just $10 by clicking here

The Summer Biz Sessions If you want to learn NEW things and have the chance to talk to some very cool people, join the Summer Biz Sessions now! Normally priced at just under $15, it is on sale for only $10 this week. We will be meeting each Tuesday at 9pm Eastern for an hour long biz talk, and you can ask our guests anything! So far, we’ve hard from people such as Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching and Casie Metcalf of IndiePublic.com.

Coming up are Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club, Ali Edwards of Creating Keepsakes Magazine, Amy Schroeder – the founder of Venus Zine, Sue Daly – the founder of Renegade Craft Fair and more! And if you need to miss a session, don’t worry! You’ll get the Mp3 recording of each week’s session! To purchase, click here

Cut n’ Paste Press Releases (main info page: http://www.indiebizchicks.com/press-releases.html)
If you want to be featured in the media, you need to start sending press releases! These are 5 pre-written press releases to help you jump start your marketing campaign! Normally priced at just under $35, grab them now for only $10, click here

Best Of Indie Biz Chicks Conference Recordings You will receive 3 videos and 3 Mp3 Recordings (each an hour long) from the Indie Biz Chicks Conference, held this past May. You’ll learn about social networking, podcasting, copyright laws, how to give good blog, how to to pitch yourself and more! Only $10 – purchase here

Quick And Easy Newsletters (main info page: http://www.quickandeasynewsletters.com/) As the old saying goes, The Fortune Is In The Follow Up! If you want to make sales and increase your profits, you need to remind your customers that you are still in business. A great way to do that is with a monthly customer newsletter. If you don’t have time to write one, purchase this pack of 6 pre-written newsletters (July – Dec) for only $10. They come with articles, recipes, graphics, and more! You’ll receive them in Word, HTML, and plain text! Click Here To Purchase.

Thanks for reading through the special offers. I hope that you find one you like! And please feel free to pass these on to other people who may be interested. (In fact – you can earn 50% commission on any sales you bring in by joining my affiliate program here: http://wahmcart.com/x.php?adminid=91&signup=1

I’m still here!

Hey Readers!

Sorry for not posting in a while! I’m still here – I’ve been feeling under the weather recently. But I woke up today feeling pretty good! I’ve got some great ideas for upcoming posts so keep an eye out! And if you have any specific questions on running your craft business, feel free to post ‘em below. We will definitely get ‘em answered for you!

Artist Feature: We Think Debi Watson Rocks

watsonCraftBoom! is pleased feature talented artist Debi Watson.

Debi, what is your art or craft?

I am a painter and also teach.  Over the years, I’ve gone from selling paintings, prints, and cards at outdoor art and craft shows, to selling at galleries, to booking my first museum show!

How did you get started and what made you realize it could be more than a hobby?

I showed an early talent for art, but was discouraged and ridiculed by my family, who felt art was a waste of time (could be the strong Amish influence).  I became a nurse and a frustrated artist – painting the hospital windows for Christmas or entertaining my friends with cartoons.  After suffering from carpal tunnel and being unable to paint, I realized how much art meant to me.  In 1999, I was able to quit nursing and turn to art full time.  I knew there were artists who made a living, but figuring out how was a real challenge.

watson-bubbles
Bubbles

How do you come up with your ideas for your projects?

Being self-taught, I spent years mastering all types of subjects. (I even traveled to Yellowstone to paint wildlife.)   I love variety, but knew I’d never become known unless I specialized.  After looking back on the paintings I enjoyed most, I realized I realized that small town scenes were my personal favorite to paint.  It’s a timeless subject, near and dear to most American hearts, and I still to get to paint everything from backyard bunnies to urban sunsets.

My first idea was for a school bus picture.  After trying to photograph elusive (and dangerous) wildlife, getting photos of a school bus was like shooting fish in a barrel!  They’re not only easy to find, they stop on every corner, so you can take shots from the comfort of your own car.  While I was on the trail, I drank my coffee and laughed, thinking I was probably the only person in Pennsylvania who wanted to be behind a school bus. Now, I take reference photos all the time – when I run to get milk or go to the post office.  It’s a cushy job.

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Early Morning

How do you decide how to price your work?

I know many artists who put huge prices on their work, but I have always priced mine to sell.  By checking out what comparable work is selling for and talking with the gallery owners, I have a good idea what a realistic price is.  And with art, the bigger your reputation, the bigger prices you can get, so I continue to increase my prices as my reputation grows.  People who invest in more expensive paintings want to know that their paintings will hold their value, so raising my prices a bit each year is a good stategy.

My detailed, photorealist paintings take a lot of time, so they get the biggest prices.  The quick studies that I do as demonstrations in the classes I teach can sell a lot cheaper.  I call them my Fast & Furious series.  That way I can target two markets, and still keep my prices consistant.

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Barred Owl

Are you using any websites like Etsy, Artfire, eBay, Twitter, Facebook, etc to promote your business?

I have sold some work on eBay and am active on Facebook.  I list my work on many of the art sites, but have only sold off of the Fine Art America site.  I do list my classes on a lot of internet places.  Most successful artists have a spouse who does their marketing.  Since I’m doing everything, I have to concentrate on what brings the best results, which, for me, is my blog and monthly newsletter.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your business and how to you conquer it?

Being female, self-taught, and a watercolor painter makes it darned hard to be taken seriously as an artist.  I asked a museum curator who had just given me a top award at a show if his museum would consider an exhibit of watercolors.  He made a shocked face.  When I pointed out all my awards, he whined, “But it’s watercolor…. couldn’t you at least call it something else?”  So, I target people who’s opinions matter in the art world and send them postcards of my best new work, mentioning my latest awards, but call it ‘watermedia’ or ‘mixed media on paper’.

I want them to know who I am and what I do, and I don’t care what it’s called, as long as they think it’s good.   Having an art ‘reputation’ is about who knows you.  And that takes a lot of exposure, and persistance.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Having a finished painting that I love.  Just looking at it gives me the warm fuzzies most people get from alcohol.  And having a student who just ‘gets it.’  Art is tough to teach and I’ve tried countless things over the years.  Now, when I can see a real difference in a student from one series of classes, it’s the best feeling ever.