It's Valentine's week! A sweet holiday for handmade items! This week, I am continuing our series of interviews with creative business supporters. If you missed the first two: Popupsters & The Academy of Handmade, grab your coffee, take some time and read them, these are good people to know :)
As small business owners, we can't thrive (or survive) without some support. Often times, we are working alone, trying to figure out each step of business by doing research or asking another small business owner questions or joining a business group (like SFEtsy!) but sometimes, we need just a little bit more.
Personally, when I hear the words "social media" I get a little overwhelmed and sometimes annoyed (I don't want to be that person posting all the time). After spending my days making things, filling orders, packing, shipping, photographing and writing descriptions, I can tell you the last thing on my list is getting online and chatting with people over "social media." However, I know it's an important part of marketing my business.
Enter: Social Media Guru, Caitlin Bacher. Together, Caitlin and I lead the SF Chapter of The Academy of Handmade. We sat down to chat about her business, Little Farm Media and how she is helping creative entrepreneurs move past that "overwhelming" feeling attached to social media and help them use online social tools to drive traffic to their online stores.
Enjoy this interview and feel free to reach out to Caitlin for help with your own social media questions.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Caitlin Bacher and I run the show at Little Farm Media. I offer social media consultations for creative entrepreneurs and blog a ton. Plus, I co-lead the San Francisco chapter of Academy of Handmade. When I’m not working it at work, I can be found wearing sweat pants, playing Scrabble with my husband, or chasing after my (ahem) spirited three year old.
2. How did you first get involved in with makers and the handmade community?
I noticed that there wasn’t any social media advice specifically created for the handmade + maker biz community. There are plenty of vague articles telling you to "Be Authentic" and "Share Your Story". What does that even mean? People need concrete examples, not regurgitated quotes.
3. What do you find most exciting about working with makers, entrepreneurs, and artisans?
I have an instant connection with anyone who is out there trying to do what they love and make money doing it. I understand how hard it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. Communities like SF Etsy and Academy of Handmade are absolutely critical for your success.
4. What do you find most challenging about working with makers, entrepreneurs, and artisans?
Many artsy people feel very awkward about promoting themselves. Coming off too sales-y is their number one concern. I really respect that. The best part of my job is helping them find a way they can promote their work with confidence and ease.
5. How did you learn about SFEtsy?
I don’t remember exactly how, but I think the first place I connected with SF Etsy was on Twitter. SF Etsy does an amazeballs job of creating community on ALL their social media platforms (editor's note: thanks to Lisa Spinella!) . They are so inclusive and generous, which makes everyone feel welcome.
6. What is one of your primary goals for your business in 2015?
I want to be able to provide more services at affordable rates. Figuring out a way to do this in a way that provides real value to my clients has been no easy task. I think I’ve nailed it with my One-On-One Brainstorming Session. It’s a super affordable way to get social media advice that is personalized for your biz. You won’t find anything else like it.
7. What’s the one online tool you’ve discovered that can help makers propel their business?
Here’s the thing. I know people that run a successful biz using Instagram, Facebook, or whatever. That doesn’t mean that if you join Instagram or create a Business Facebook page you will become a millionaire. People find success on whatever platform they are using because they do their research. Each platform requires a different strategy. It’s not what you use, it’s how you use it.
8. Do you have any words of wisdom to help makers sell more in person at popup events?
Do not rely exclusively on the organizers to promote your event. You are the boss of your biz and it’s your job to bring in people who will buy your stuff. Period. Tease your social media audience with what you’re doing to get ready for the show and build some excitement. Give them a reason to come.
P.S. Join Little Farm Media for a Pinterest Marketing Workshop on February 21 in Emeryville that will give you actionable advice you can use immediately. The cost of your ticket will pay for donuts, the space rental, and a latte for myself. RSVP right here because space is super limited. Bring your laptop.
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, visit Our Team Page about joining SFEtsy!