New Product Range Launched!

Hemp button bracelets sold by Mr B's Button Jamboree

Yes indeed!  As the title states, I have added another product range to my Etsy shop for Mr B’s Button Jamboree.  There were a few trials on lengths, number of buttons, how to finish them plus a few other bits and bobs.  Finally though I have made, photographed (okay that was done by the talented Colobus Yeti) and listed my brand new hemp button bracelets – check them out on my shop!

To wet your appetite, here is a compilation of a few little shots I did myself…

Hemp bracelets - Mr B's Button Jamboree

 

MarchMeetTheMaker on Instagram

 

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Having initially been very reluctant to join Instagram, I am now completely in love with it as a platform and hopefully as a way of marketing my little shop.  I used to view it as something used by beautiful and young people who particularly liked sharing photos of their food.  Towards the end of last year though I had a look and realised it is so much more.  Being someone who loves photography of many different types, Instagram opens up a whole world to me of inspiration, enjoyment and community.

Partly to improve my Instagram photography and to encourage my creativity, partly in start engaging more with the creative community on Instagram, I have joined in with #marchmeetthemaker set up by Joanne Hawker.  I thought it would be good to do a half term ‘report’ on my involvement so far.  It has obviously done me some good as I have increased from 49 followers at the end of February to 96 today…only 4 away from 100!

 

Day 11: Post run was my first attempt at a time lapse video – I have discovered a new love I think!

How much time?!

I wrote a week ago how I was planning my social media attack.  Well I am continuing merrily along with it…well I say merrily…doggedly may be closer to the truth.  I am determinedly sticking to my schedule, following my courses and focusing on one platform a week.  This week my focus has been on my Instagram account and I feel now that I have a better idea of what I want out of the account, how to improve my photos and have already gained another 13 followers…on my way to my target!  Taking part in #marchmeetthemaker has helped to give me a focus too…for this month anyway…

Instagram feed

Here is how my Instagram feed is starting to look now…I think it is starting to look better and more coherent…do you? (okay maybe the cat game spoils it slightly!)

It has come as somewhat of an unpleasant surprise just how much time I seem to need to devote to social media in order to see my products noticed by potential customers.  When I started up my business, I had this image of spending my days either crafting or doing non-business activities.  The amount of time I have devoted to social media and how much I need to focus on it in the future has come as quite a rude awakening especially for someone who didn’t really spend much time on it before.  Hopefully putting the effort in now will reap rewards later both in terms of reducing the time I have to spend marketing on social media and of course in more sales!

I have found some time for crafting though and hope to have some new products ready to sell very soon – yay!

The Taxman

HMRC registration

Today I finally bit the bullet and registered with HMRC as a sole trader!  It had been on my list of things to do for some time now and it kept getting put off…and off…and off.  Somehow it seemed such a scary thing to do, scarier even than opening the Etsy shop.  Here was me saying ‘hello Mr Taxman or Mrs Taxman, this is my job’.  It was a statement I felt very uncertain and scared about making.  Today though I faced the fear and made that commitment to my business.  It feels good to have done so and a reminder to myself that doing the things that scare me help me to move forward and live my life.

At the moment, my incomings are so small that the personal allowannce threshold just seems a mind boggling amount so far out of reach.  Whilst Mr B’s Button Jamboree is unlikely to ever reach those dizzing heights,  I am hopeful it will prove to be successful enough that, along with a few other ventures, we can live the type of flexible and relaxed life we aim for.

Planning my social media attack…

I have written about my struggles to get to grips with my marketing on social media before.  It confused me when I was starting out in June last year, continued to confuse me in November and honestly still confuses me today.  There seems to be so much involved in using each platform effectively for marketing my business and of course all of them are different.

Plan of Attack

 

So I have drawn up a plan of attack.  Articles have been read, notes tidied and a schedule drawn up.  For the next 4-5 weeks I am going to focus on one platform to get it set up looking its best and most informative, work out what I want from it and the types of posts/tweets/photos etc. I want to use in order to reach my goals.  All at the same time as keeping a minimal presence going on the other platforms…oh and find time for being creative…

To help with my get to grips with social media, I have joined a couple of 30 day plans.  One which looks at the main social media platforms in general and the other one a free taster course on improving your Instagram.  I am looking forward to the challenge!

Instagram Feed

One of the first task on the Instagram course was to take a screenshot of my feed now…check back in a month’s time to see the effects of my course!