On Becoming a Social [Media] Butterfly

Paisley Lizard logo with social media butterflies

Art credit: Lauren Williams/OMG designs.

I was always that kid reading a book while others played together. I prefer solitary pursuits like reading, baking, and making jewelry over going to parties, playing team sports, or otherwise hanging out in crowds. The only times I ever kept a journal were when it was a required assignment for class.

So, how is it that I now have profiles on all these social media sites, publish a blog, and am a member of an ever growing number of groups and teams? I blame Paisley (my creative alter ego and lovely model for my logo). She’s the emerging social butterfly who has lured me into all these interactive fora.

It started innocuously enough. I opened a shop on Etsy to sell my handmade jewelry. But having an Etsy shop alone does not streams of customers and sales equal. So, I started a Facebook page for my jewelry business, hoping to lure customers with special sales announcements, jewelry give-aways, and sneak peaks at new designs. And that’s where I sat, in my comfort zone, for years. My business didn’t thrive and the only people who seemed to know I had an Etsy shop were the friends and co-workers I told about it.

I’ve had a website for years, but was taking the whole “if you build it, they will come” approach to that as well. Last fall, I did a little research on search visibility. Which taught me I have so very much to learn and do. I spiffed up my webpage and I started blogging. Supposedly, adding new content to your website on a regular basis gives it an edge over pages with stale content. I could just rotate photos of my product periodically, but I somehow don’t think that’s what “they” meant. So, here I am, basically keeping a journal, and actually sort of enjoying it.

Handmade by Me Team logo

Art Credit: Stacey Sobelman

Then I joined a team on Etsy, the All Handmade by ME team, and suddenly my handmade jewelry, buttons, and ornaments were showing up in Treasuries left and right. My shop and page view stats were edging up and up, thanks to team members adding my items to their lists of favorite handmade things. I even had a couple of sales to people I don’t know. It’s a wonderfully supportive team that has been very healthy for my shop.

It went to my head. I started a Twitter account.  So I could tweet all about …well, I don’t know what, and that’s the challenge. I have a general understanding of how Facebook works, or how to work it. The Twitterverse is a whole new, um, universe. So, I’ve got some learning and growing to do there if I want to make it work for me.

Next, I set up a Pinterest account for Paisley. I already had one for myself, where I pin cupcake recipes and have a board for all the things I want in my dream home. Paisley’s pin boards are about showcasing my jewelry on Etsy, collecting polymer clay techniques and jewelry-making tutorials, and following other pinners for design inspiration.

And then, I opened a Flickr account, as another place to showcase my original designs. Again, still working on how to use that. But in the meanwhile, wow! are there some amazingly talented polymer clay artists out there. Who knew? It’s quite the visual treat to take a stroll through other people’s photostreams. The colors, the shapes, the things I would never have thought of and only wish I had the skill to do. Humbling, and yet, inspiring.

Oh, did I mention? I joined a group on Flickr? Yep. I can share photos of polymer clay creations I make using tutorials by Lynda Moseley/Diva Designs, Inc. with others who have done the same. So we can all see each other’s unique take on the instructions, and be inspired by the diversity of interpretations of the same thing.

8th Bead Soup Blog Party button

Blog button for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Somewhere between all the tweeting and pinning came the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party. I have never been a party animal. But Paisley really really wanted to attend this bead-swapping blog hop. So, I signed up. You can read all about the beads I sent to my partner and other details about the event under the Blog Hops category on my blog. You’ll have to stay tuned to this blog, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to find out what beads I received and what I will make with them. The big reveal day is May 3, 2014.  I can hardly wait.

As part of the BSBP event, I joined the Bead Soup Cafe group on Facebook and have been enjoying the conversations, sneak peaks and reveals of all the bead soups traveling across the country and around the world. So, that’s group/team number 3, if you’re keeping score.

In the meanwhile, since I was apparently on a roll, I set up a Google+ page for Paisley. I already had a personal account, which I used for email. Paisley wanted her own site, so she can join circles, visit hangouts, and do whatever else happens in the “plus” world. If you happen to be one of the other handful of people on Google+, look us up and join our circle. The more the merrier.

Self Representing Artists in Jewelry Design member number

My SRAJD membership number.

Just this week I became a member of the international Self-Representing Artis in Jewelry Design organization. I’d seen their logo/badge associated with items in other Etsy shops for years. Since I was in a joining mood, I looked them up and read a little about them. And then I signed up.

They have a Facebook group for members, of which I am now part. I am just getting started there, but am already finding helpful information and friendly fellow artisans among the lively and talented participants.  Oh, and there’s a SRAJD Pinterest board where members can share their Etsy listings, etc. So, you’ll see Paisley there occasionally.

That’s 7 social sites, counting this blog and my Etsy shop, 5 groups/teams, and one giant international blog party, if you’re still keeping track. Paisley has definitely earned her social media butterfly wings.

Paisley Lizard logo with social media butterflies

Paisley Lizard becoming a social media butterfly. Art credit: Lauren Williams/OMG designs

And me …I used to spend my nights and weekends reading, watching sci-fi, making jewelry, and basically enjoying quality “me” time. Lately, I’ve been up past my bedtime writing for this blog, posting in the Facebook groups, and making Etsy team treasuries. On weekends, I’ve been neglecting my housekeeping chores (c’est la vie) and my jewelry making (not good).  I am enjoying being virtually social, from the comfort of my home. But I really need to find a balance, and figure out how to use these tools to my advantage.

I hope you’ll stay tuned here, and everywhere else you can find me. There’s lots more to come from Paisley Lizard, including more original jewelry designs, sales, contests and give-aways, and eclectic musings. If I can manage to walk away from this computer.