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Chris Campbell

Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

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I highly recommend IG.  As was said, it can be a time suck, but doesn't have to be.  So far, I have found IG to be very friendly.  You can market your work or not market your work.  It's up to you.  My friend told me even if you are not linking to an Esty site, you are still indirectly marketing.  I like what Potter Putter said about it being a personal diary.  It is fun to go through and look at how others work has changed and  morphed over time. (or your own work!)  Even a short time!

@hawksridgepottery

Roberta

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Can you guys share some numbers of how many actual sales you have derived from IG? I get that its good to use regardless for exposure just curious if your also selling any pots with it.

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8 minutes ago, Stephen said:

Can you guys share some numbers of how many actual sales you have derived from IG? I get that its good to use regardless for exposure just curious if your also selling any pots with it.

$20. Seriously. I’ve met exactly one customer (that I know of) who only knew about me because she discovered my IG feed. She was a college student and wanted to spend about $10, and ended up spending $20. I’m not trying to demean her, I was a broke college student once too. But this is what IG delivered. 

I’ve had a few customers arrange reservations with me, to be picked up at my next show, via Instagram. And I made one nice online sale to an IG follower this past December. In all of these cases, these customers have been following me in person or by email for a long time already. For them IG is just another avenue of communication. 

I do very little online selling in general, so my experience is probably not the most relevant. 

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Using Instagram for sales is a whole other ball of wax than using it to connect with community. 

I don't do a lot of selling on Instagram, but I do pick up the odd order through it. Maybe a few hundred bucks worth last year. I've been using it much more to connect with other businesses and galleries, find out about craft shows in my area and to connect with peers. I do use it to keep customers appraised of my work and upcoming shows, so I think some of the money I see from it is indirect.  It's a great tool to build community, and frankly, I prefer it for that.

I do have friends that are moving more of their mug sales online because they're planning to move to the Vancouver area from Calgary next year, and don't want to loose a huge chunk of their business in that process. They had an audience built before the algorithm changes, and are doing this successfully.  If you're going to sell on Instagram, there are specific methods to use, and selling online is its own marketing skill that you should find a course on, unless you relish the idea of spending weeks going down internet rabbit holes trying to find free information that is also accurate.

A further caveat is that Facebook owns Instagram, and they are in the process of crippling organic reach in order to make it a pay to play system, just like Facebook is now.  You will have to stay on top of changes and know how to work the system effectively to be able to make it a useable sales avenue. 

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I make pottery part time, threw my first pot 2 years ago and started selling 18 months ago.  I’ve sold about 300 pieces on Etsy and my own website in that time. I would guess that at least 80% of my Etsy sales are to my Instagram followers, and for my website that number is close to 100%.  I announce shop updates on IG, which drives traffic to my website and Etsy shop. For now, I only sell online so that’s why IG is so valuable to me - it’s the only marketing I do. I’m @huskmilkpottery if you want to take a peek at my account.

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hey congrads on your part time business. Nice work and great prices!

Quick math on what I think are your average pricing indicates about a thousand a month or more  in pottery sales and all online. That's pretty impressive!

I certainly wasn't making salable pots 6 months in, or even close. 

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Thanks, Stephen! I’ve tried a lot of different art forms, but took to pottery pretty quickly. I only have one day a week to work on it - your figures are just about right. My pieces usually sell for $30-95 and I have a pretty loyal customer base. About 80% of my sales are typically to previous buyers and the other 20% to new buyers. I need to figure out how to convert more IG followers into customers. I’m working on building this business so I can do it full time in about a year. I’ll probably have to do wholesale at that point, as well as art festivals, to make my target income.  I’m not sure my online sales will be enough. I’m so grateful for every single sale! We’re all so lucky to be able to do this, whether as a hobby or full time profession - or somewhere in between. :) 

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I've run 2 items on IG this week.     And  one of them instantly shared on my FB.     I find IG faster than uploading photos to FB or my website.  You click and post.  Here's the facebook share.   I got 2 orders from this so far.     One for 6 pieces @$7  $42  and one for 12 pieces @ $7 $84.  (this customer is picking them up next Friday .... additional sales will most likely occur)   In addition to those 2 specific orders I've gotten 6 messages.

https://www.facebook.com/dirtroadsjewelry/inbox/?selected_item_id=1745479838865463

650 exposures on FB so far.   This number will continue to climb for a few days.  I don't ship pottery.  One person wanted to order some but said they would try to get down here next week (about 2 hour drive).

This all works a little differently for me because I have a free standing retail space that is open 6 days a week 10am to 6pm.  I expect to see 10 customers or more to come to the store after seeing the posts.  It put me "top of mind" again.   Some of the customer likes were from customers I haven't seen recently.

The other IG produced 2 in store visits, about 300 likes and 3 mail orders.  It's a very low ticket item - $2.   Thankfully $1.85 is profit and people buy on average about 6 of them .... but still .... it's low.   I'll share it on my FB sometimes next week.   The target market for this product is a lot younger.    On the 2 store visits, the customers purchased other items.  One sale was $40 and the other sale was $120.

One thing I've found is not to over use IG or FB.   I'm sure I "under use" it.  But I've heard customers complain about businesses that slam out lots of posts.

Just consider that it's FREE promotion.   I really need to get more effective in my use.   I would share the other IG post but I'm not sure how to link it here.

Another thing I've noted:  You need to put a price on the items you post, as well as a short description.   A lot of the boutiques I compete with NEVER put any prices on anything.  You will see customers asking price but even then they don't post ... guess they send a pm to them. 

As for my customer base, about 1/3 FB friends overlap with my IG base.  IG is definitely younger but I did not recogonize over 50 customers on IG this week.  IG seems to have a shorter life span but can reach more people.   I won't  get much more feed back from the IG I sent on Thursday.   I recognize 80% of the FB likes and about 50% of IG likes.   (went back and compiled these numbers)

 

 

Edited by DirtRoads

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Looks like I am really late to post in on this, but will anyway. I do not do Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. This is not because they would be daunting to use, as I am pretty tech savvy on most things, maybe a little less with my phone, but then I do use the bluetooth to connect to the garmin, and to the cars for hands free phone. I search the web when in wifi areas, and do send pictures and text when I need to. However, as I have never been interested in the drama on some of the sites I have seen on Facebook, and not interested in high speed moment to moment of Twitter, I leave those go. Now Instagram might be fun, but I can pass on that. I do use Pinterest and have several categories, post a blog, and you all know much of the rest. I really don't know how much more at this point I would get into. I am having enough trouble keeping up with pots, and rebuilding computers, or designing in a 3D program, or reorganizing pictures withing their folders and adjusting the lighting in editors.  Just not enough time.

 

best,

Pres

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Hmmm ... do you have a face book account?  Pretty sure my settings are open to all.   But here's the content:

 

"Jar Toppers only $ ! Turn a mason jar into an easy arrangement using anything you find in your yard. A variety of colors available."

With  captions under each picture. 

$   each. Many colors available. "True Turquoise", "Persimmon" "Red October", "Blue Swirt" and "Lime Bright"

Jar topper over a 1 pint Mason jar, using redbud stems. Cost $ . (does not include jar) Color is "Blue Swirl"

Jar Topper $ . In "Lime Bright". Over a 1 quart Mason Jar. Flowers are Camellias.

 
 

toppers.jpg

toppers2.jpg

toppers3.jpg

Edited by DirtRoads

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No idea why some people can see my Face Book and others can't. (Just go to FB and look up "Dirt Roads Pottery" the one in Edinburg, MS.

Summary: 

This post was exceptionally successful.   Part of that due to the product itself.

3K views, 16 shares and 500 engagements (comments, likes, shares, loves).  I only have 621 friends and 1900 likes.    20 people used the "Shop Now" button and I don't ship pottery.  Had 5 jewelry sales that used "Shop Now" button from FB.    Twelve different people asked for toppers to be shipped.

About 200 toppers sold ($ 7)  $1400.  We have less than 10 left now and have glazed all we have.  Making a lot more.

Lots of sales on other products as well  when people came to the store.   Counted up and at least $500 in additional purchases.

Reached people that had not been in the store in a few months or longer.

What I learned:

You can connect your Instagram and Facebook.   You need to create a FB page, separate  from your account (which I've since done ).    Link your Instagram to your FB page (not account ... I had it linked to my account and duplicated my post ....)

Taking a photo, posting to IG and sharing to your FB page literally takes a few minutes.   Less time than it takes to post here.  Using BOTH makes time sense because you can take pictures with your phone, hit the IG icon, post and then share to FB.  I'm going to try to take a picture at Canton this year early one do this  saying "Hey come see us at The Canton Flea Market".    All in less than 2 minutes.

If you show it you need to ship it or have a place they can go to buy it,  a store, vendor mart or upcoming show.  Several customers have asked if these will be at the Canton show and of course they will be.

You can look at the FB profiles and learn a lot about your customers.    Great for customer profiling.

Your success depends on your followers on IG and friends on FB.

Tip for using FB:  NEVER post one word about anything like Trump, gun control, etc.  ..... even on your personal account page.    Do NOT even hit any of the engagement icons like "Like"  "Angry" "Sad" ... etc.   NOTHING EVER on any of these sorts of topics.  You can set controls on your FB business page that will not allow anything controversial to be posted.  I've been on FB a couple of years and have never been caught in any drama what so ever.

Creating a FB page for an event or a show can bring some potential customers around.   We created one for my area at the Canton Flea Market.  It's under "Canton Flea Market at the Catholic Church."   Just type that in FB if you want to see it.  Over 500 likes now.  A few vendors reported sales in the fall that came directly from people seeing them on FB.   It's taken a few years to see any results.  The page admin doesn't add friends so it's strictly from ppl like me sharing the post (92 of my 600 friends have "liked" the page).

I think social media will be more important for future artists.  One of my friends that doesn't do any told me he's asked at every show for his "FB" or people that want to follow him on IG.  The key is getting your followers and friends.   I'm making it a point to have 1000 friends and 1000 IG (only have 388 right now )followers by year end.

 

Edited by DirtRoads

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On 3/25/2018 at 6:22 PM, DirtRoads said:

You can connect your Instagram and Facebook.   You need to create a FB page, separate  from your account (which I've since done ).    Link your Instagram to your FB page (not account ... I had it linked to my account and duplicated my post ....)

Taking a photo, posting to IG and sharing to your FB page literally takes a few minutes.   Less time than it takes to post here.  Using BOTH makes time sense because you can take pictures with your phone, hit the IG icon, post and then share to FB.

Thanks for this tip, Sharon! I just linked my instagram with my FB page, and shared a post in both places. You’re right, once the link is setup, it takes no extra time at all. I don’t always want to post the same things to both places, but when I do, now I will do it this way. 

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For what it's worth....

My take is a website is most worthy as a show space (gallery) for your work, albeit costs more to run and keep updated. Using a nice and easy format like WIX is all you need (plus the cost). I haven't sold  more than a couple pieces on my site but it interprets the level of my clay making and shows the process. That said, there is nothing worse for your representation than a shoddy, old school webite that hasn't been maintained. Best not to do it at all.

Instagram I do use, which is just so easy.  Keeps my peeps informed of my progress and lifestyle. Simply.

Pinterest is a good place to store and view ideas, not much else.

I stay away from Facebook, entirely. It's an explosion waiting to happen unless you are a long time pro at it. But what do I know, I won't go near it...

Etsy, I tried for a short spell, found that to be a tacky approach to  marketing.  I don't care to do the work it takes to be an Etsy crafter selling mugs. Besides, Etsy has now gone to selling imported junk, and  lumped the handmade genre and the junk into one sum from what I gather.

So in the end, if you're not doing the unending workload it takes to stay current with your 'feed' and truly linking/promoting it all daily (Mea!), then it's hardly worth the effort.

The interwebs are clogged with stuff for sale. Realistically IMO, minimal is a better approach.

My2Sense

Edited by Rex Johnson

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