The Word “Stuff”

I love the word ‘stuff’.

A while back I was informed that it was not good for business to call your work ‘stuff’.  I work very hard not to do that because, you know, my work is important to me and I wouldn’t want to undervalue it (which I probably do anyway) and wouldn’t want to give off the impression that I don’t care about it, right?

I have even cyber-preached about valuing your work and the power of your words.

So I wonder…am I just lazy?  Because I love me some slang.  It just feels good.  Or, because I still want to call my work ‘stuff’, am I undervaluing it in my own head?  Hm.

How about you? Do you look at your work and think, ‘eh.  It’s ok.’  Or do you look at it and marvel and can’t understand why everyone doesn’t want three of each piece.

I love the confidence I see in people who love their finished work.  I don’t get it because I don’t have that quality myself.  I am very hard on myself, always knowing it can be better.  In some ways that’s good, in some ways it can be a real drag.

Getting Your Name Out There.

That is the topic at flaminghot this week.   How do you get your name out there?  The answer?  Any way you can.

Every year I set goals and they seem to have a theme as to what I want to achieve.  A couple years ago my goals seemed to point towards name recognition.  It was a good time to focus on that since I was at home with two small children and couldn’t get out and about to travel to shows.  I focused on online methods.

Some of the things I did to work towards the goal of name recognition were:

  1. Blogging
  2. Posting on forums
  3. Putting web site info on everything possible
  4. Writing articles for magazines
  5. Writing online tutorials
  6. Selling on eBay
  7. Print Ads
  8. Interviews on other sites

Those things are nothing really exciting, and to me seem pretty obvious.  The true trick though, is being creative in all of those things.  Here is the same list with a little added emphasis:

  1. Blogging.  Don’t just blog.  Have personality.  Add something of value that people will want to come back for time and time again.
  2. Posting on forums.  Show pictures and again, have personality and add something of value.
  3. Putting web site info on everything possible.  Choose your web site name wisely and create a logo that will become recognizable.  Keep it simple.
  4. Writing articles for magazines.  Show/tell something new and exciting.
  5. Writing online tutorials.  Give away information freely.
  6. Selling on eBay.  Sell your best work and it will drive people to your site.  Mediocre work may bring a little extra cash but eBay is as much about getting you out there as it is making money.
  7. Print Ads.  If you can afford it, put a killer bead photo out there with a catchy logo.  Print ads in magazines give you credibility and people will start to remember your name.
  8. Interviews on other sites.  Seek sites/blogs that do interviews and see if they want to interview you.  Give them a reason why you would be interesting.

See?  Go that extra step.  These days with imports and competition, the thing that is going to work is you being unique…not just in your work but in your marketing too.

Back to the Future

Ah.  Flaming Hot.  I’ve travelled forward five years in time…what does my glass world look like?

If I had a dream, this is what it would be:

No stress!! 

I would waft through the studio and the business of making beads as if floating on a cloud.  Bluebirds would follow me wherever I go, carrying the train of my apron while I sing happy tunes.

I would sit down at the torch, the creativity of new designs would flow effortlessly, and then I would swivel my chair to the metals station and produce gorgeous components to accompany the glass pieces.

My seven dwarves would be busy cleaning up the studio and making sure my countertops were ALWAYS clean.  One of them would be in charge of deadlines and packaging up contest and jury entries.  Another would be in charge of carrying out my marketing ideas.  Another would be in charge of photography for my magazine and book projects and online sales.  Another would make sure there were always groceries in the refrigerator and would bring me fulfilling snacks so I wouldn’t wait until 2:00 to realize I haven’t eaten.   Yet another would just be at my disposal to do projects around the studio.

Oh, and I’d have that show piece of jewelry that I’ve wanted for so long but haven’t been able to get around to because I’m busy making things for other people.

Should I go on?