Thursday, 18 December 2014

This much I know about Tsu and the changing face of social media...


Today I joined a new social networking site called Tsu.  When I got there, I quickly discovered I was certainly not alone!

Up until yesterday morning, I had not even heard of Tsu.  So I took to google to find out what all the fuss was about and was very encouraged by what I discovered.

Earlier this year I did a post on here called 'social media, this much I know' which you can read here:

I feel compelled to blog about Tsu today as a follow up to that post back in April which highlighted facebook's intentions for pages, with the continued decline of organic reach of posts from facebook pages.  In the last few weeks, it's no surprise that facebook have updated their business news section with this post:  stating January 2015 as the time we can be assured to see less content from pages in our newsfeeds.

Be clear on one thing - it will happen!  
Be clear on another thing - many have flocked to Instagram (I'm there too), 
However, please bear one FACT in mind whilst you build your following over there.

 the words 'matter of time' spring to mind.

So with that in mind, what should we be doing to ensure our social media related marketing efforts work for our little businesses.  

Firstly, if I was back working in advertising and you were my client, I would strongly recommend you start collating your own database.  The best way to do that is to encourage your customers and followers to opt into an email list for your newsletter.  I use mailchimp and I am very happy with it.

Secondly, keep calm and carry on, but also experiment by trying new social media platforms.

Thirdly, think before you opt to pay to boost your post on facebook.  All those pounds will seriously add up.  If you are thinking of paying to promote then please consider your overall marketing spend for the year - weigh it all up to ensure you are getting best value and a good chance of a return on your investment.  For example, it could all collectively add up to the cost of exhibiting at a key craft or trade fair where you get to meet people face to face, make sales and gain valuable feedback. 

It's always best to have a plan when it comes to your marketing budget then you'll happily get the most out of it.  My advice would be, don't knee jerk react when you see your post reach fall on facebook.  The problem I have with the way facebook is currently going about the paid for posts is they are not clearly targeted  (there is no control over who the post reach is boosted to) making it very hard to feel convinced you'll get much return on your investment overtime - so think long and hard about what you want to achieve in the long run. 

And, this is why Tsu grabbed my attention.

Who is Tsu? I hear you cry!!

Well, Tsu is a NEW free network that gives the social revenues back to you, because they believe it is the right thing to do.  

Hear what the founder of the company has to say on Fox Business:

'As content creator, you'll earn fair value for the social things you share'

So all the above is what did it for me.  

The only reason facebook has reached it's current status is from people sharing their content, their data, their lives, their connections.  There is a huge advertising value for all that collective data.  I believe, the people on facebook have already paid handsomely because we have given our data to them freely, data that they can use to sell on to their advertisers.  

At the end of the day all the people that use facebook are basically facebook's products!

Which is OK, if users are happy and gaining a very good experience by getting to see the content they are interested in most - like all those lovely pages they opted to like and follow.  Which unfortunately for them, from January 2015 many of those pages will no longer get shared with them because the pages can't afford to pay to reach them.

So with that in mind, this new Tsu concept seems less of a :

'Eh? did I read that right? make money from social networking? that sounds too good to be true, surely it's a scam?' 

It makes is seem more of a:

'Oh yes, that is absolutely the FAIR way to go about's not really about making money from my social media content - as let's face it, I've already given most of it away for free anyway...,it's simply a breath of fresh air to hear a company recognise the fact that it is MY content that I am willing to share with them for profit as long as they treat me fairly and I'm getting a good experience as a user'

Well that's the conclusion I reached today!

Time will tell whether this will amount to the next 'big thing'.   For now though, I am giving it a whirl and so far I'm liking what I see.  

So much so I am happy to encourage others to come and join me over there.

Here I am on Tsu:

I hope this post has been informative and shed some light on a new approach to social media.

Best wishes

Monday, 1 December 2014

'Failing to Plan is to Planning Fail' - So Let's Make Some Beautiful Plans!


November seemed to whizz by - sorry it's been such a long time since my last blog post.
November has been the month of 'the planner' for me.  It's something I've wanted to launch as product for a while.  The reason being, over the past year I have been making more of an effort to be more efficient in my own business planning in attempt to avoid some of the things that caused problems for me and my little business in the past.

One of the benefits of a few years experience of this design and online selling m'larky is that I can clearly to see patterns in what works and what doesn't work.   I can see the little habits I've formed for tackling tasks (or, being perfectly honest, at times avoiding them!).  Sometimes these habits are good, sometimes they aren't.  Looking at them all objectively has really helped me put together a better plan for 2014.  

And guess what? on the whole, my plan is working for me!...Plans work - who knew?!

On the back of this little personal revelation of mine, I began to design my wallplanner for 2015 - the one I wanted to put by my desk.  Something lovely to make me feel happy and inspired by the tasks that lay ahead.  Something very practical, easy to use with decent space for my messy frenetic handwriting (I can never get ideas on paper fast enough!)....

Here it is - my happy, bright and pretty planner for me to 'Make Beautiful Plans' throughout 2015. 

 Then I turned my attention to my lovely regular customers, the ones I know and chat to often.  Many of whom have their own craft or baking businesses - I figured that they would probably feel the same way as me about wanting to make plans on something lovely for their craft space, studio or kitchen walls.  So, two more wall planner designs came into being....


Having a yearly planner is simply not enough though - there are plans that need to be made each week and each day.  

I set to work on a further six designs - a daily and a weekly planner in each of the same three themes as my wall planners.  These planners are now available as printable downloads or as A5 (148 x 210mm) 40 page, spiral bound notebooks....

The digital printable download versions are available from my Etsy shop here.

The notebooks are available from both my Folksy and Etsy shops...

So far so good on the launch of my new products.  It seems I am not alone in my desire for something colourful and lovely to plan important life and work stuff on.  

The first wave of the orders for these have all been sent out and this morning my message in boxes have welcomed me with lots of lovely feedback from happy customers who now have their planners.   I think my favourite reaction of all of them has to be this very simple and direct one:

"Parcel received. It's bloody stunning!"

Thank you - that comment made me smile from ear to ear.  It makes all the work I put into creating these planners last month worth every minute!!...

On the subject of planning, it's time to say Happy December to you all and it's time for us all to crack on with plans for Christmas.  There's still plenty of time to shop regardless of all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday frenzy! Here is some useful info to help with your shopping plans...

My online shops will be open right up to Christmas, and as most of my items are sent by Royal Mail, here's a handy reminder of those all important Christmas postal deadline dates this year:

International Standard (formerly Air Mail)
Wed 3rd Dec - Asia, Far East (Inc. Japan), New Zealand
Thur 4th Dec - Australia
Fri 5th Dec - Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America, Middle East
Mon 8th Dec - Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece
Tue 9th Dec - Canada, Poland
Fri 12th Dec - USA, International Standard to static HM Forces Mail
Sat 13th Dec - Western Europe (excluding Greece and Poland)

Thur 18th Dec - 2nd class and Royal Mail Signed for 2nd class
Sat 20th Dec - 1st class and Royal Mail Signed For 1st class
Mon 22nd Dec - ParcelForce Worldwide Express 48
Tue 23rd Dec - Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed
ParcelForce Worldwide Express 48

My Newsletter readers are getting a 20% discount code which is valid not only at my website and Etsy shop, but now that Folksy has discount codes - it is now valid at Folksy too.  This discount will run up until Dec 18th .   I will be sending out another copy of that newsletter this evening to send that code to all those who subscribed over the weekend (thank you for those subscribes).  

If you'd like to subscribe and get your code too, here's where you opt in: subscribe to my newsletter

I think that catches up on everything for now.
Have a very happy week!
Best wishes