Shyness and Marketing Don’t Mix

Lidancie Arts

Shameless self-promotion 😉

When making a living as a freelance writer and jewelry business owner, one can’t be shy. It’s up to me to market myself across social networks. As someone who tends to be shy, that’s not always an easy thing. Regardless, writing content and creating jewelry and then hoping that people will stumble across it and buy it, wasn’t working.

Overcoming the fear of being a pest

The hardest part about marketing myself online is convincing myself that I’m not being a pest. I’ve read countless articles about how to do online marketing and I’ve even taken a marketing class from SNHU, but the idea of shoving my posts in the faces of my followers every few hours on a daily basis makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don’t want to come off as an annoying salesperson and irritate my followers to the point where they stop following me. However, an important way to show a larger online audience my writing and jewelry is to promote it continually on social media. Although I was afraid I’d lose followers, I’ve actually gained quite a few new followers on Twitter since I started my online marketing efforts. I have also sold several articles posted on Constant Content. I find this motivating, surprising, and reassuring. Another vital way of growing my audience is by creating interesting and engaging blog posts. To that end, I will be posting here far more often.

Brand consistency

One of the many things I’ve learned from reading about online marketing is the importance of brand consistency. I admit that I didn’t really have that until recently. I had an Etsy shop that kept changing names, a blog that was called “Rambling Julie”, a Facebook page that changed names as often as the Etsy shop and a pseudonym that had nothing to do with any of those things. To solve that whole messy situation, I knew I had to come up with a name I could use for my writing, jewelry, and social media platforms. That’s why I came up with Lidancie Arts. For more information on the origin of that name, you can read “A Much Needed Name Change.”

To keep that consistent flow going, I’ve changed the name of this blog from “Rambling Julie” aka “JulieAnn’s Voice” to Lidancie Arts. I was even clever enough to redirect traffic from my old WordPress blog to this site. I think I’m getting better at this marketing stuff…

Using bitly and Hootsuite

I’ve done some casual online marketing of my writing and jewelry in the past, but it was infrequent and ineffective. A few weeks ago, I decided it was past time I change that and fully engage in marketing myself online. To that end, I created bitly links to all of my jewelry listings and my writer profile. I then started using Hootsuite to write and schedule posts throughout the day that includes those bitly links. I use Hootsuite’s bulk message uploader, which requires using Excel to set up a spreadsheet of posts and then upload that file to Hootsuite. I could write the posts in Hootsuite if I wanted to, but I’ve found the Excel spreadsheet approach easier.

Writing every post

I start every day by opening Excel and modifying the previous day’s spreadsheet for a new day of posts. I re-use some posts and tweak a few things here and there, or I write entirely new posts. My point is that I write every single post that appears on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. I’m not paying anyone else to do it because that’s just not who I am. Even if I could pay some marketing firm to handle my social media marketing, I wouldn’t do it. I am the creator of my writing and my jewelry and I know my work better than anyone else does. I feel it’s only right that I take personal responsibility for marketing my own creations.

What exactly I’m “selling”

If you follow me on any of my social media channels, you probably know by now that I’m a freelance writer and jewelry designer/creator. I feel I should elaborate on both of those elements because tweets and status updates can only convey so much.

Freelance Writer

As a freelance writer, I’m currently working primarily for a site called Constant Content. This is an online content marketplace selling articles on a variety of topics. I write about interior design, landscaping, fitness, real estate, and much more. I write and post several new articles weekly and you can find them listed toward the bottom of my author profile. When I promote my freelance writing across social media, the bitly link at the end of the post leads to my Constant Content author profile, Lidancie Arts. I felt I should tell you that so you know exactly what you’re clicking on. I’m personally wary of clicking on unknown links so I understand if you are as well.

Buy Articles at Constant-ContentOriginal Articles. Constant-Content.

Jewelry Designer/Creator

I have been designing and creating handmade beaded jewelry for several years. I started my Etsy shop shortly after I began stringing beads together to make dangle earrings. My Etsy shop has undergone a few name changes but it’s now and will forever be LidancieArts, as it’s a team effort by my two daughters and myself. I hope to eventually include clay creations by my oldest daughter. She’s the “Dan” in Lidancie.

As the “Li” in Lidancie Arts, I am a self-taught jewelry maker. I learned everything I know from books, websites, YouTube videos, and experimentation. I make dangle earrings, post earrings, pendants, necklaces, and brooches.

I discovered my Native American ancestry a few years’ ago and have been exploring the raised beadwork of my Onondaga heritage ever since. There are countless Native American beaders that I admire and who grew up learning beadwork from their family members and they inspire me to continue exploring the craft.

I carefully bead all of my jewelry and they’re all my own original designs. I recently started using the two-needle beading technique and it has reinforced the quality of my beadwork. There have been times when I’ve had to take my completed creations apart and I can assure you that they’re very well made! Taking them apart is no easy feat, which speaks to my dedication to creating quality pieces.

Any link in my social media posts regarding my jewelry leads directly to the shop or the item/section advertised. Most social media outlets also show a picture of the item in question so you know exactly what you’re clicking on. I am always happy and willing to create custom pieces featuring desired designs, bead colors, gems, etc.

Why I do what I do

The fact is, to succeed as a freelance writer and jewelry designer/creator, I have to sell my creations. I’m a single mother, these two jobs are my primary sources of income, and so I must market myself. I quit my job as a secretary/receptionist in July of 2013 and I quickly discovered just how much work it is being self-employed. I’ve had high and low moments and sometimes it feels like a constant struggle, but it’s all worth it because I did it to have more time with my two daughters. Working from home means I can run down to school if they need something (I only live three minutes away) and that I don’t have to find babysitters for them during their school breaks. I get them on the bus every morning and pick them up from school when it’s my days to have them during the week. Children grow up far too fast and I cherish every moment I have with my daughters. Doing what I do has strengthened my relationship with my girls and made me a stronger person.

If this strong, independent woman has to shout from the hilltops on social media every day to make her dreams come true, then that’s exactly what she’ll do!

The worst salesperson…

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother's Day

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother’s Day

I’m not a good salesperson/marketer/ware hawker or whatever you want to call it. I was in the Girl Scouts when I was a little girl and I only tried once to sell cookies door to door. I quickly learned that all my other Girl Scout friends had beat me to the punch and so I stuck to selling to family and family friends. When I was a teenager I worked at Waldenbooks and employees were required to sell a certain number of discount cards every month. I never made my quota because I didn’t like being pushy in that manner. Thankfully I never had to try selling insurance at my last job because that never would have happened!

I wrote an e-book about my first trip to Boston and it’s for sale on Amazon. I promoted it vigorously for about a week before giving up on that leading anywhere beneficial. I tried selling my freelance writing services to businesses so I wouldn’t have to go through a content mill middle man but without the ability to take credit for any of my ghost writing, I have no proof of my skills. So I continue as a ghost writer and know how fortunate I am that I get paid to write, whether I can take credit or not.

I hate being a pest, plain and simple. Marketing to me feels like being a pest and after a while of posting Facebook status updates, tweeting on Twitter, linking on LinkedIn and posting to Google+, people seem to get tired of reading what I’m putting up. I know that personally I stop following people on Twitter when they post the same exact tweet about their product every 15 minutes. It’s annoying to be constantly bombarded by sales pitches.

I started selling earrings in my CorbinGirl store on Etsy a couple of weeks ago and had some great initial success…that has now died off. I’m probably not supposed to admit that, it’s probably breaking a cardinal rule of marketing but meh. I am extremely grateful to everyone who bought my creations and I received lovely positive reviews from customers who like their earrings! I’m certainly not going to stop making earrings, but I’m the worst salesperson for my own stuff. I make earrings because it makes me happy and because the ideas won’t stop. I give earrings away as gifts to whomever wants them and list on Etsy so the rest of the world can find my creations.

Close up of my earrings

Close up of my earrings

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

My main income is as a ghost writer so the jewelry is just a hobby at this point. Trying to sell jewelry in such a saturated market is no easy task and with everything else I have going on in my life, it takes a back burner sometimes. I’ll still tweet, honk, hawk, poke, etc all over social media when I make something new and I’ll continue to explore various ways of marketing my creations, but I do know that there are people out there who will get tired of hearing it and just ignore me.

Creating jewelry is meditative therapy for me, it’s an escape from the real world just like fantasy writing used to be for me before my muse took an extended sabbatical. I have faith that eventually I’ll hit things right and everything will coalesce as it should, but for now I’ll continue trying new techniques and building my jewelry inventory. No one else makes what I make because there’s only one me…heaven knows, that’s all the world can handle!