Is Ethical Social Media Marketing Possible?

Does “ethical social media marketing” sound like an oxymoron? With all of the recent revelations about all the exciting places our Facebook data goes without us knowing about it, I’ll bet many people who use Facebook Ads as a part of their marketing strategy are wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into right now. Is it ethical to advertise on a platform like Facebook? And knowing that there’s little that any one of us can do to change Facebook’s ingrained behavior, what can we do to make sure that our own businesses are doing the right thing?

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5 Keys to Building a Really Successful Maker Business: An Interview with Ashley Schenkein Jewelry Design

Ready to take your maker business to the next level?

Learn a few lessons from Ashley Schenkein. She runs the highly successful Ashley Schenkein Jewelry Design. This maker sells her work at her studio in Denver, in shops across Colorado and California, and on her online store at Schenkein amasses thousands of likes on her beautiful and simple jewelry, which sells at competitive price points.

I sat down with Ashley for an interview, and gleaned five tips from her rise from conventional day job to designer extraordinaire.

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Taking Action: Using Your Business’s Voice to Work for Change

Last November, right after the election that turned the world upside down, I wrote about five reasons for hope to be found in the Handmade community and the economy around it. Almost a year later the world looks even more chaotic and overwhelming than ever. Some days I wonder if there is anything that will keep us from sliding over the brink. But on other days (like today) I remember that I, and many of you, have a way to speak louder. We run businesses that speak to people every day, on social media and in the products and services we put out into the world. And we can use our voices to take action. Continue reading “Taking Action: Using Your Business’s Voice to Work for Change”

Emotional Roadblocks to Growth: Breaking Through the Top 5

Sooner or later every solopreneur runs up against some emotional roadblocks to growth that threaten to hold their business back. Two common roadblocks are not feeling like you’re ready to make a big change or give up control over part of their business’s operations, and feeling like you don’t have the money (or aren’t comfortable taking out a loan) to invest in products or services that their business’s future will rely on. Even if you know that both steps are necessary to keep your business growing and thriving they are HUGE mental and emotional humps to get over. So what’s a solopreneur to do? Continue reading “Emotional Roadblocks to Growth: Breaking Through the Top 5”

Your Favorite eCommerce Platform Sucks.

It seems that every week, in any given online community focused on a particular software platform, there’s at least one sorrowful and/or angry post declaring that the author is leaving for good because they just can’t take the negativity. This is followed by a series of responses saying something like “Your New Favorite eCommerce Platform Sucks!” and sometimes a brief period of soul-searching. Then next week the cycle repeats itself. What is it about software of all things that can bring out the worst in people? And what can be done to break the cycle? Continue reading “Your Favorite eCommerce Platform Sucks.”

Getting Your Online Store Ready for the Holidays

Yes, the leaves are still on the trees but it’s time start thinking about getting your online store ready for the holidays. For many artists and makers selling their goods online, the winter holiday season is the busiest and most stressful time of year. Busy is great, but stressful isn’t. Here are some ways to make this year’s holiday season your most successful and your least stressful one yet.

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Help your Small Business Grow by Slowing Down: 5 Tips to Stay Sane

As a small business owner, I know that there’s tremendous pressure—both from yourself and from others—to always be looking for new ways to help your small business grow.

We read blog posts, participate in forums, sign up for email newsletters, and attend webinars all offering advice on the 51 things we need to be doing yesterday to increase everything 1000x. But I’ll bet that half the time you finish each day even more uncertain about what to do to help your small business grow.

Well, allow me to throw one more piece of advice on the pile: you shouldn’t be afraid to slow down.

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How to Become Your Own Favorite Boss: A Guide for the Self-Employed

The toughest boss you’ll ever work for is yourself.

When you work for someone else it’s easy to say that the reason you’re always stressed about work is your big bad boss and his (or her) mixed messages, unrealistic deadlines, and lack of boundaries.

It’s easy to blame your boss when you find yourself awake all night replaying the previous day’s failed proposal and wondering how they could have done things better, or when you get up at 1:30am to tweak slide #259 of tomorrow’s big presentation.

Many of us who work for ourselves made the decision to go off on our own at least partly because of bad boss experiences we’ve had.

Unfortunately, sometimes your new boss turns out to be a real hard-ass too.

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