Monday, August 22, 2011

Are your creative? Are you unfocused? Read on...

Do you appear to be unfocused?
Do you start projects and not finish them?
Do you have many varied interests?
Are you easily bored?
Do you have a hard time settling on one focus for your energies?
Do you freeze when given a choice of many options?

If you answered "yes" to several of the questions above, chances are, you're a "scanner."  The term was coined by Barbara Sher, author of  I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was...

Scanners are, by nature, wired differently than the rest of the world.  We are a collection of bright, talented people who happen to be quick learners, who prefer the challenge of learning a new skill to staying in the same boring job and who have many interests.

We are interested in everything - or at least it seems that way.  We have many projects going at the same time.  We can't seem to find one career that is satisfying. We lose interest quickly and are easily bored.  We are jack of all trades, master of none.

My daughter calls me a Renaissance Woman. In the past, I would have been considered well-rounded, a good catch, successful because of my many talents.  Not so by today's standards.  Society scoffs at scanners because we seem so unfocused, so flighty.

Society tells us to choose a path.  Become an expert at it.   Choose a specialty. But scanners cannot, by nature, do that and remain happy and healthy. This behavior is not to be confused with ADD.  That's a different bear altogether!

So how do I deal with being a scanner?  
  1.  I move from activity to activity as the need arises. 
  2.   I don't force myself to stay tied down, but leave my projects handy and spend 10 minutes here, an hour there.
  3.  I find a new career every 5 years or so. And recognize that I will not climb the corporate ladder because I'm usually starting on the bottom rung.
  4.  I continue to learn.  I love knowledge and the challenge of learning a new skill.
  5.  I surround myself with people who love me and accept me the way I am without judging.
  6.  I accept myself.  I'm different.  I can't compare myself to others and expect to feel good about me.

Another of Sher's books, Refuse to Choose! gives us a wealth of ideas to satisfy even the staunchest scanner.  She also suggests several career choices that a scanner might be satisfied with such as nursing.  Mostly, though, Sher gives scanners respect.  We're not flighty, lazy or unfocused.  We just love life!

Angela Di Cicco              

Friday, August 5, 2011

Listing your product for greatest exposure

Want to get your products noticed?  Online selling has many challenges, including creating a description that brings you to the top of the search.  It's a fluid topic because search engines continue to evolve and each site uses a slightly different approach.  Here are a few tips I've gleaned:

1.  Let's begin with the SEO - Search Engine Optimizers.  An SEO is the process used to improve visibility of your listing or website.  The higher up on the search your listing is, the more traffic you'll get.  It's important to know how to list you item to your best advantage.

2.  The first 3 title words count. How would you look up your item?  Describe it in 3 words.  Brown Buttons Shank. It's clear, it's concise.  Anyone looking for brown buttons, shank buttons or brown shank buttons will pull up this item.  Instead of "Fly me to the moon" which tells us nothing, say, "Moon and Stars Bracelet Sterling.  It's fun to be clever but, unfortunately, that's not how search engines work.

3.  The first 3 words and sentences of description are important.   
  • Just as in the title listing, use words that are searched and have the most impact. I often use the same words that I've used in the title.
  • The first 3 sentences are the ones that show up in the brief descriptions in searches.  Eliminate "Welcome", "I love this piece" or "I found this while out in the woods." Go straight for it - Garnet cabochon pendant with sterling silver accents. 
  • Your second paragraph can contain your insights, stories, etc.  While we may enjoy reading it and some sites suggest it, it won't get you traffic from the virtual world.
4.  List suggestions in your description.  
  • Because I create an unusual item, I need to sell the idea to people that they can use it.  So I tell them, "Flower girl,Gift for a new mom, Prom."
  • Give as much information as possible without writing a book.  Size, color, shape, number of buttons, etc.  Tell me what I want to know without having to ask.
  • One other item on descriptions; search engines look for words that are repeated so if you're listing "pink scarf," be sure to repeat these words throughout your listing.
5.  Add as many links as possible to your listing, within reason.  I usually add 2 links for similar items and 2 links for other sites that shoppers can visit (like FB or my blog.)  Cross listing is a powerful tool. 

Here's a nice article from etsy with some further helpful hints:

Here you can search keywords on Google.  Plug in keywords for your item and see what comes up.

Angela Di Cicco                       

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thank you!

Today I'd like to briefly share on other bloggers who willingly give others a platform on which to promote our art!  Kudos to you!  It is so much appreciated and in this virtual world, so much needed!  Thanks to The Handmade Blog for giving me the opportunity to post my bracelets.  Thanks to Handmadeology for reposting my article on "5 Things I've learned from selling online."

Handmadeology is a beautiful blog to behold!  I truly enjoy the aesthetics of bloggers who've accomplished more than the simple blog I've been able to manage!

The Handmade Place is just a feast for the eyes!  Enjoy perusing the lovely dangle and charm bracelets and earrings being highlighted.

I love and appreciate that artists are supporting each other.  We are all trying not only for a piece of the pie, but for recognition! 

Feel free to check out these blogs and let them know they're loved!


Etsy mini

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