Tuesdays with Toolulu: Building your Network

We are back again this Tuesday to help you cast your net, and build relationships. Last time we talked about branding and part of our homework was to choose three words that describe you. You should also apply this to your business (and maybe use five words). These can be a little easier to define than personal branding because we all know what we do for a living. But make sure you know where you draw the line. These three to five words are key to the marketing actions you will take for your business.

So now for the good stuff. What do you do with these key words? Advertise and market them! People need to know what you do, and your branding should reflect that. Make sure you spread the word. Here are a couple simple ways to do that:
  1. Start with your friends and family. Make sure they know what you are up to. Don’t feel bad about sending them an email every so often (once/month) letting up know your specials or new offerings. Just make sure you have an opt out so if someone wants to stop receiving your promotional emails, give them the option. I have a dear friend that makes door signs, and I always love seeing her new designs in her monthly newsletter.
  2. Facebook. This can be a little less intrusive than sending an email every month, and still letting your friends, family, and beyond know what you are up to. Make sure you include a lot of pictures so potential clients have a visual representation of what you are selling. Another tip: don’t always make it about your company. Our rule of thumb is 25% QVC (sales postings) and 75% PBS (informative posts).
  3. Craft Shows & Farmers Markets. Build your network locally by having a stable presence at craft shows and farmers markets. Even if people don’t buy right on the spot, make sure they leave with a business card, a coupon, or something so they can remember you after the show.
  4. Attend Conferences. If you are looking to take your business to the next level, attending conferences is the best way to build your corporate network. There is nothing that compares to having a conversation directly with buyers, or the person that heads up the design team. At toolulu, we attend conference quite frequently and we always leave them with several good leads, and some new friends too. They are hands down the biggest bang for your buck! {Check out CraftyCon}

Once you start planting seeds and building your network, you will see action. It may not be immediate, but if you work it steadily, it will grow. I promise. As always, feel free to ask us any questions in the comments below. We love helping you build your community! is a social media marketing company whose tagline is “We Know Our Craft.” The women behind Toolulu are Christy Nelson and Deb Averett–avid crafters and designers who also happen to know a thing or two about business. They will be providing a series of articles for Craft Critique over the next several months focusing on building a craft business with a focus on social media.
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

4 Responses to Tuesdays with Toolulu: Building your Network

  1. Avatar
    colleen May 25, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    I just love this feature. As someone continuing to “build” a business, I find these tips very helpful.

    Keep up the great work Craft Critique!

  2. Avatar
    Marfa (Crafting Marfa) May 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    This is great stuff. I have an Etsy shop that needs some traffic (and some sales). I can’t wait to get more information like this from you guys. Keep up the great work.

  3. Avatar
    It's What You Imagine May 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Ladies – This is absolutely awesome. It is wonderful to know that the world we live in, there are networks of people dedicated not only in helping themselves success, but have a willingness to share with others without charging for every little thing. I am unemployed and am trying to substitute some income. I am so grateful to you for what you are doing in the crafting community. When I get on my feet, I will also “pay it forward”.

    Are there earlier posts on Building Your Network? I would love to read them if so. Thank you again. I will be sharing your network.

  4. Avatar May 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    What a great idea for a series. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.