Elevating Your Online Business, A Series of Articles for Artists & Makers
The recent unpleasantness in the fiber arts community, will hopefully, in time, be seen as a time that led to innovation and expansion; rather than division. Unfortunately, the reality of today is that it’s left a lot of great fiber arts designers scrambling and desperately trying to save their businesses.
How Can I Help?
Clearly, I hope designers would consider participating on this site and allowing me to help promote their wonderful patterns and instructional materials. But, I suspect, many of you find yourself having to quickly find a new online home and simply aren’t ready to begin promoting your business yet.
Some of you have been forced to learn more than you ever planned to about building websites, running blogs and moving files from one place to another.
And while I certainly don’t have all the answers; I might be able to provide some help during your rebuilding phase.
No doubt, you’re thinking, who is this person and why should I waste precious time listening to her. Let me start by introducing myself.
My Background – the long version
I’m Michele. I love creating things with all sorts of fibers, beads and faux fur. Professionally, I’m a bit of an enigma with a BA in Computer Science and Communication Arts – not a common pair of majors back in the 1980s or even now.
Why the double major? Let’s face it, many scientists and mathematicians have difficulty in communicating with other people. I was determined not to perpetuate that stereotype. So, while I learned how to talk to computers, I also studied how to communicate with people.
My first job? Managing systems that were bigger than a small car. My phone rang, a lot. Much of the time, the problem was resolved with an impromptu training session. Turning those conversations into written guides made my phone ring a whole lot less.
The early-90s were an exciting time. I was earning an MS in Computer Informations Systems. People I worked with were deciding how a “public Internet” would work and how it would be used by our military. There was no Google. And, anyone could claim their personal piece of the web with a site on GeoCitites or AOL.
Mainframes were put to pasture and I moved into technical writing (not a new field but certainly a changing one) and corporate training. I started “working on the web” in 2000, publishing training materials on a toy company’s intranet. Sadly, when the founder retired, the company fell apart and eventually closed.
My first client was a Realtor and family friend. Mary gained both new listings and buyers. A few years later, I launched my own business. Since then, I’ve worked with companies you’ve probably never heard of and a few you have. I have built 16 of my own websites; including this one and it’s predecessor. And, although I prefer only offering writing and consulting services, I have built a handful of websites for clients; including Mary’s.
My favorite clients? The smallest ones. The sole proprietors; the artisans who sell their finished creations or teach the rest of us how they do what they do. As a group, members of this industry have generally supported each other and been truly interested in seeing each other succeed. I’ve been offering them my support since 2006; often for free in the form of articles like these, site reviews, rewritten About Us pages and beefed up product descriptions. I love being a small part of their journey and growth as an artist.
My Background – in a sentence, or 2
So, to put all that into 2 sentences – I’ve been in the IT field since 1990 and an online content writer and business consultant since 2000. I design and make crochet items, felt appliqués and art bears; and love helping fellow artists grow their own businesses.
Articles & Tutorials on Elevating Your Craft Business
Hopefully, in the coming days, I’ll be adding more tutorials on building and promoting an online craft business. Today, there’s only the 1st one. But, it’s something anyone trying to build an online presence can hopefully make use of.