Monday, November 4, 2013

JKC Creations Has Been Featured at SchulmanArt!

Miriam Schulman at SchulmanArt has featured JKC Creations on her blog today! Imagine my surprise when I went into Facebook this morning and found a blog post featuring me!

Miriam is an incredible artist, and we have been studying along side each other for a while now in the Build A Better Creative Business Course administered by Tim Adam and Lisa Jacobs. I have to say, there is no greater feeling than organizing a tribe of your peers and collaborating together to push through road blocks, walls, design ideas, and anything else that may stand in the way of creating the businesses that our customers and clients long to find and resonate with. It has been an incredible journey, and so rewarding!

I want to show you some of Miriam's work, as I think it is amazing! I love to watch this incredibly fun candy video featured HERE. Miriam has other great videos featuring how she goes from start to finish with some of her work featured HERE, on her Facebook Page. Miriam puts so much life into her work. She has a style all her own and isn't it a great style?

Just look at this skier skiing down the mountain. Can't you just feel the snow and the crisp, cool air?

Be sure to check out Miriam's page fully before you leave. If you have ever been interested in learning how to water color, she teaches classes and you can find her classes HERE. So go, have a look around and see if there is something that Miriam can teach you. If you are interested in owning a piece of Miriam's art, you can find it HERE. Isn't it just wonderful?

I hope that you are inspired today! There is no greater feeling than being inspired to create our art and put it out into the world!

Have a wonderful day, my lovelies!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tanzanite and Sterling Necklace

Well, I have not created a piece of jewelry in quite some time. I have been working on a new project and it has taken me away from jewelry creation. On top of that, me and my husband just did a high mountain backpacking trip over Sundance Pass in the Beartooth Mountain Range. It was a trip that I will never forget! To see what I have been working on and to read about our trip, you can visit Journey To The Peaks. This is my new project. I created my website, with the help of someone great, and I have been putting a lot of focus into what exactly it is that I want to do with this website. I am hoping that as the days go by, the answers will present themselves to me with clarity and resonate. So far so good!

The other night, I did stop for a moment to create jewelry. I was asked by a special person if I could make a necklace for her. She had acquired a beautiful set of Tanzanite earrings from someone very sweet and she wanted a necklace to match them. I of course said yes, as it is always an honor to make something for someone as special as she is! I ordered a Tanzanite CZ that matches the earrings perfectly. Once I received the stone, I was overcome with the passion to create once more. 

The passion to create jewelry has not been so strong for me these last few months, as I have been working on my hiking blog and website. I have filled my time with a different creative endeavor that has filled my heart just as much as creating jewelry. It was so nice to feel the passion to make jewelry rise up again. I sat down at my space to work, not sure if I still had the touch. I was unsure of how the piece would turn out, as I had not made anything for so long. I took a chance and began. It was like riding a bicycle. I found my mojo and it was as if I had been creating jewelry this whole entire time. It was such an awesome feeling to know that I still had it and I could still produce beautiful jewelry with the turn of a wrist and a vision in my mind.

I created the necklace in just a short amount of time. I had never done a pear shaped stone before, so I was so excited to see it come to fruition. I didn't have to re-do it. I didn't have to take it apart and start over. The stone and the wire worked in perfect unison with my hand to guide them. I still crave that feeling...the tools, the wire, the magic of it all turning out the way that you see it in your minds eye. It was such a good feeling to work on a piece of jewelry once more. 

This is the piece that I created. I would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Facebook Fanpage Likes Really Don't Matter

We have all seen the comments and heard the complaints about not being able to get people to like our business pages on Facebook. There is always someone wishing they could figure out how to garner more likes and rise to the top of the sea of pages.

What if I told you that likes really don't matter? What if I told you that having thousands of likes on your Facebook page really is not what you should be concerned about? Would you think that I was full of it? Would you stop reading right now and turn to another post or another course that walks you through the steps on how to get more likes on your Facebook page?

Whether you are making jewelry and selling it on Etsy, or writing posts and putting them in front of the world to see, when it comes right down to it; likes really don't matter. You see, likes on a Facebook fanpage are simply a by-product. Yes, I just said that and I mean every single word of it. Likes are simply a by-product of what you are doing to engage fans.

Corbett Barr of Think Traffic says it best in one of his blog posts found here. WRITE EPIC SHIT! Oh yeah, I just said that! If you are not writing epic shit for your followers to read, then you are drowning in a pool with others that are not writing epic shit. If you are not focusing on reaching targeted fans, then you are never going to receive those likes that you crave so much. Why? because if there is nothing to like about the stuff you are writing, or the things you are making, then why is anyone going to be bothered with clicking the like button?

Do you really think that any of the big time bloggers or big sellers on Etsy go out and beg for likes on their Facebook fanpages? Do you think that saying, "Hey, come and follow my page!" really does anything to get a targeted fan to follow you? I guarantee that these tactics are overused and unproductive.

How many of you have friends that send you invites over and over again to like their Facebook fanpage? How many of those pages are putting out epic shit that you want to read or follow or have show up in your news feed? How many of those pages have you finally given in and hit the like button, only to turn around and hide posts from that page on your timeline? This happens over and over again, just because someone is hungry for a like.

Now, what if I told you that you can get likes over and over again and you don't even have to work that hard to get them? What if I told you that if you work really hard at putting out epic shit in your posts and your status feed, the likes would happen AUTOMATICALLY? It all comes down to what you are willing to write in your posts and the things that you put out into the world.

A friend of mine, Nicole Hanna of Nicole Hanna Jewelry, has learned how to put out epic shit! Her wire wrap tutorials are such a hit that she has figured out how to capitalize on them in a way that is truly epic! She does a thing called Treasure Hunt Tuesday. The first Tuesday of every month she hides one of her tutorials among her blog posts. If you can find it, you can download it for a limited time on that Tuesday for free! How crazy is that? Since doing Treasure Hunt Tuesday, she has come up with another idea called Finish It!, in which she has a tutorial that she has written and she gives it away, but there is a catch; she has left out the last part of the tutorial instructions and prompts her followers to 'finish' the tutorial on their own and share it. You can read about these and some of the other contests and giveaways that she is doing to drive traffic to her site here. Nicole Hanna has figured out how to put epic shit into the world that people hunger for. With all of this, she has done something else that she didn't even have to work very hard at, and that is get targeted likes to her Facebook Fanpage.

I believe that you must be willing to give something away for free to receive something in return. Whether that is a Facebook fanpage like, or someone to help you do something that you are having issues with, or whatever the case may be. When you find your 'community' you must work hard to keep them around. Begging for likes and focusing on 'me' instead of 'them' will get you no where in a hurry.

Here is a challenge for you. Figure out something (preferably virtual) that you can give to your fans for free, no strings attached. Promote your giveaway on your Facebook fanpage. It is OK to ask them to like and share the post for the giveaway, but do it in a way that benefits THEM and not YOU. For example, you could say, "Like and share this post so that your friends may get a copy, share in the benefit, get the coupon, etc. as well!" This turns it around to benefit them, in some form, instead of you.

Now, build a fangate on your Facebook page so that your fans must like your page before they can get the prize. This also increases new fans, because they are going to want what you are offering as well and the only way to get it is by liking your page. Put that fangate at the top of your Facebook page by using one of the custom tabs. Promote this giveaway as much as you can. Now sit back and watch what happens.

Not sure how to build a custom tab for your Facebook fanpage? This is the greatest tool I have ever used to do just that... Fanpageology! No it is not free, but if you own a business this could be one of the best investments you could possibly make. It is so simple to use and it is a very powerful tool. You can read about some of my success with using this tool here. Throughout my blog posts for the last couple of months, I have been talking about Fanpageology, so you may want to read some of my other posts as well.

I would love to hear about what kinds of epic shit you come up with to share with your fans! Tell me about it in the comments section below!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sharing My Thoughts On The Etsy Theme App

I wanted to share some wisdom today that I think all that are using the free Etsy app, called Etsy Theme App, may find compelling. I have used this app in the past, and I too liked the ease of use. I liked that it got your Etsy shop in front of your fans on Facebook. I also liked that this app was FREE! But I have to be honest, FREE is sometimes terribly overrated and this just happened to be one of those times for me. There are some things that I really didn't like about using this app and I wanted to share some of those cons with you here today.

Here are some of the things that I found discouraging about this app. With this app, as well as many of the other free apps out there, I was advertising SOMEONE ELSE'S shop on MY Facebook fanpage. If you notice, at the bottom of your shop listings on YOUR fanpage, there is a featured set of listings that have nothing to do with your shop. It looks something like this:
All of these items are listed right on the bottom of YOUR very own Facebook tab and they have nothing to do with YOUR shop. I found this to be very discouraging. Also, you may not be aware of this, but there is another thing happening with this that you may find interesting.

Have any of you seen this at the bottom of your page?
If you click on this little button, that is on the bottom of YOUR fanpage by the way, it brings up this pop up window shown here:
Now I found this to be very deceiving, as it looks like YOU are the one giving away something from YOUR shop every week worth $50.00. But, thankfully, that is not the case. Thankfully for you, but not necessarily to your fans.

Now this is the kicker. When YOUR FANS click on one of the pictures on the ticker, shown above, they are instantly presented with this pop up window announcing that something worth $50.00 is going to be given away every week. They may, or may not, know that this item is not from YOUR shop. SOMEONE ELSE'S item has the potential to be sold directly from YOUR Facebook fanpage and that SOMEONE ELSE didn't even have to do anything to get the sale. YOU were the vehicle that they used. After that, perhaps thinking that they are going to win something from YOUR shop, YOUR FAN clicks on the button that says PLAY TO WIN. They are instantly presented with yet another pop up window asking them to share SOMEONE ELSE'S item to their timeline.

When YOUR FAN clicks the SHARE TO WIN BUTTON, another pop up window is presented to them. It looks like this:

You guessed it, they hit the green button and~ ta da~ SOMEONE ELSE'S item just got posted to YOUR FANS' timeline!

Is there anything in this post that refers people to MY Etsy shop or MY Facebook fanpage? Absolutely nothing! It all refers to the ETSY THEME APP and SOMEONE ELSE'S ETSY ITEM! How discouraging is this to you?

Now I know I am using a lot of itlaics and BOLD letters here, but I wanted to be sure to emphasize what all of this means. All of this means that YOU are promoting SOMEONE ELSE on YOUR Facebook fanpage, and YOU are not the one getting the benefits of this free app. The bottom line is that YOU are presenting YOUR FANS with an opportunity to be taken off of your page in the tiny beat of a heart, and the glitz of a golden embellished PLAY TO WIN button. The only people that are benefiting from this app are the people that made it and the other Etsy shop owners that are paying to get their items listed with them so they can use YOUR SPACE as a free marketplace.

One other thing I found to be discouraging about this app is that you have to use one of the templates that they provide. As many of you have found out, there is not a lot of selection in this area. I had to use a wedding background because it was the closest thing I could find to match my jewelry line.

OK, OK, enough with the bold letters and italics. I just wanted to be sure that you understand that by using this free app, you may be hurting instead of helping your business and driving targeted traffic away from your Facebook page and, ultimately, your Etsy shop. Why do I care? Because I feel passionate about all people that are brave enough to step out of the regular, everyday world that we live in and challenge ourselves to use our creative talents to become something more. I am part of the Maker's Movement, along with all of you, and I know exactly how hard it is to get in front of a targeted customer and present your talents to them. I know how hard we all work to get those hard earned sales in our Etsy shops. This is why I felt compelled to share this with all of you.

Now I don't want you all to feel as if there is really no way that this can be helped, or that there is nothing to be done about this. There is something else that I want to share with all of you. It is an answer to all of this, and it may just be more than you ever hoped for. It may even produce some sales for you in your Etsy shop.

I have found an incredible app that has eliminated all of this heartache and frustration for myself. It is not a free app, but I truly believe that you get what you pay for. I believe that, with this particular app, you may even get more than what you paid for. This app is called Fanpageology and it was designed by Tim Adam. For those of you that are not familiar with Tim, he is the mastermind behind Handmadeology and it is a wealth of free information for those with a creative business. I will share the links to both Handmadeology and Fanpageology at the end of this post and I really encourage all of you to go and check out both sites. I believe that you will be extremely pleased that you did. Tim has a lot of videos on the Fanpageology site that can help with some of the questions you may have about how it works.

The dark words in this post are links too, but I will post the links to both of the sites at the end, just the same.

Now, what I really want to do is share my experience that I have had using Fanpageology versus the Etsy Theme App. I have gotten over 150 targeted fans on my JKC Creations Fanpage. I have also gotten over 60 targeted fans on my Eternally Nature Fanpage. I just started my Eternally Nature Jewelry Line and I cannot believe that  I have over 130 fans and my first sale already! I launched my Facebook fanpage for Eternally Nature on May 2, 2013. I credit all of the success I am having with this to Fanpageology.

In all of the time that I was using the Etsy Theme App, I did not culminate one targeted fan. I believe the reason was because I really had no leverage over people that visited my page. Now, what I mean by leverage is this~ I did not have any incentive for those fans to like my page. I didn't have a way to use a fangate with this particular app. I just had a tab that they could click only to be taken off of my page and promote someone else's Etsy item. Sure, my items were shown to them, but they didn't even have to click the 'like' button to see what I had to offer.

With Fanpageology, I was able to create fangates. I believe that fangates are an essential part to a successful Facebook fanpage. My fans actually have to click the 'like' button before they get access to the discounts and other things that I offer under my tabs. I can create tabs that are cohesive with my page, another plus to this great app! The best part is that it can all be done with the simple click and drag method that we are all so familiar with.

I encourage all of you to take a look at Fanpageology and watch the videos. I can tell you, from experience, that subscribing to Fanpageology has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my creative business. It has provided a way for me to create excitement for my pages, as well as what I have to offer in my jewelry lines. It has created a way for me to know when I get a targeted fan on my Facebook fanpage. It is extremely powerful and I know it can help you as well.

Now, I told you that I would share the links to both Fanpageology and Handmadeology, so here they are:

Please go and check these sites out, but if you only have time for one right now, make it be Fanpageology. I know that being part of the Maker's Movement, you too, can benefit from the power that it offers. Oh, and one more cool thing...If you have more than one Etsy shop and more than one Facebook fanpage, you only have to have one subscription to Fanpageology and it will work for all of your shops and Facebook pages. Now that is something to rave about!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eternally Nature And Other Things...

Wow! Can you all say B-U-S-Y? I have been so busy lately. There is so much going on in my life right now that I am not sure if I am keeping up or about to die trying!
As many of you know, I have been working very hard to get my other jewelry shop up and running on Etsy. Well guess what? I finally got it done! Eternally Nature is finally up and running as my second Etsy shop. I have not stopped with JKC Creations, I have just started something new with Eternally Nature.
Eternally Nature has smaller pieces that are less expensive. By creating these pieces, I feel that I am giving more to you-the customer. You can now purchase a piece of my jewelry at a much lower cost than my one of a kind pieces. I have put forth the same thought to detail in these smaller pieces and they are just as much an heirloom, but these pieces can be worn everyday. Who doesn't love that?
Not only is Eternally Nature keeping me busy, but I am on a new path personally as well. As many of you may or may not know, I love to hike! I love to go to the mountains with my family and I love to be OUTSIDE in the summer months! My husband and I go on a week long hike every summer together and this summer will be the third year for us. I am so excited for this week to be spent up in the high country, backpacking in, cooking on a camp stove, sleeping in a tent... Oh man, this is totally my very favorite time in the summer. Fun times!
There is only one thing that I would do differently before packing up to go on this long hike and that is LOSE WEIGHT! I used to get up and go to the gym every single day at 4:20 in the morning. I did this for 3 straight years. Needless to say, I burned out and I quit. Well guess what? I am no longer a quitter! This is another *thing* that I am working on now.
I don't want to give this all away, so this is all I am going to say for now. If you are interested, I will be creating a new blog that is going to go into detail on what I am doing right now to change my life. I will be posting updates regularly and I will be sharing some things that are pretty hard to share. I also have another endeavor on the horizon and I can't wait to let you all know about it. For now, I just want to say 'Thank you!' Thank you for liking my jewelry and JKC Creations. I am not sure what the future holds for me, but I am sure it is written in the stars!
Flourish & Thrive Academy  is in full swing and I am learning a lot. Lots of good stuff to keep my mind reeling for quite some time, I am sure. I am hopeful that all of this learning will prove to be exactly what I need!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Learning Just Keeps Coming!

Hello All!
Well, I start the Flourish And Thrive Academy: Multiply Your Profits Vol. 2 course today. It is a six week course that I hope to learn a lot from. I am so excited, but I am nervous as well. I am nervous because I know I need to change some things in my jewelry business and change is always a hard thing. I am nervous because stepping out of a comfort zone is always scary. I am nervous because I find self-doubt popping up on occasion.
I have been on an incredible journey for the last couple months. I have learned so much about myself and my jewelry line. The most important lesson I have learned is that I may not be on the right course just yet with my jewelry designs.
I have been testing the waters with a couple things and I am in the process of some modifications. I have a new line in the works right now, and I will be sharing it with you in the next few weeks. I hope that you will stay tuned for my upcoming news. I also hope that you may find the changes I am beginning to implement a breath of fresh air! You may get a small glimpse of what I am up to at my new Facebook page Eternally Nature. You can actually be one of the first to *like* my new page and my new jewelry line! My new Etsy shop is not active yet for this line, but I hope to have it up before too much longer. I just want to make sure I do it right from the beginning so that I am not going back to correct things later.
Have a look at my photos and let me know what you think of Eternally Nature. I would so love to hear from you!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Community Will Make All The Difference

It has been amazing to see what Fanpageology has done for my Facebook page and my Etsy shop over the last month. It has inspired me so much. I have signed up for some more training with the Flourish and Thrive Academy to start on May 7th, and I have decided to put forth some effort into another passion of mine and create something new. I don't want to share the details at this time, but I can't wait to launch it. I still have some work to do before I am ready, but I am pretty excited about it.
All of this learning over the past few months has taught me so many things about myself and my focus. I finally feel like I am moving through this life with a purpose and I can't tell you how gratifying that is for me.
I have a little piece of advice to share with every single person that has a passion in life to become what they want to be. It doesn't matter what your dreams are, I think that every single person that wants to succeed needs to have a network of people that they can turn to for advice and to share their passion with. A community is the life blood of being successful. No matter what you do in life, you should have people that can relate to you. You should have mentors and role models that you can learn from and seek out. You should have people in your life that are non-judgmental and are willing to share ideas and help you. You should also be willing to share with others that may need help from you. As you become wiser and more focused you will have the potential to inspire others, and you should willingly share with them. Out of all of the training I have received these last few months, this has been the most vital lesson of it all for me.
Many of you may be asking the question, "How do I find that community?" My answer is this~ you must seek it out. You are not going to find that network by sitting by and wishing and hoping that it will magically appear. You must be willing to put in some time and effort and find the community that is right for you. You must also be willing to possibly pay a little to find it. Take a class that interests you. Find someone that inspires you and attend one of their seminars. Sitting idle and hoping that things change is not the answer. You are in control of your own destiny and you should put every effort into creating the destiny that you desire. There are people out there that want to help. You only need to put forth the effort and find them.
I was so fortunate to find a class that I took a chance on. I took that class not knowing what would actually come of it. I have found friendship and passionate people that share my dreams and aspirations. I found like-minded people that I can share my ideas and dreams with. I found a safe environment that makes me feel stronger and more on task. I found a community that I thrive in and there is nothing better than that!