Folksy Ltd

How much of yourself are you prepared to share online?

With it becoming an ever more popular marketing tool, sharing your work on social media has become the norm and can generate sales.
People are now sharing videos of workspaces, techniques, live action videos of work in progress etc.

I was just wondering how comfortable you are with not only giving glimpses into the person behind the business but also sharing techniques and skills you’ve learnt over the years?

I personally like to see who runs the business that I am buying from - I enjoy the little stories behind the work. I enjoy watching how people produce and package their items.

I do show little glimpses into the background of my work but I’m not a natural teacher and there are some aspects of my work that I wouldn’t want to show every step of. (I share on Instagram and Facebook mostly and occasionally on Twitter)
Are you happy to let people see how you make your work from start to finish or do you think some things should remain a mystery?

Obviously there is no right or wrong answer to this question as some people are happy (and generous enough) to share everything they have learnt along the way and others will be less comfortable doing this. I was just wondering what you thought about it and how much you have embraced the use of social media to promote yourselves?

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Good question. There are some things I’m happy to share and others that I’m not. Glimpses of a process sounds fine to me but I wouldn’t want to reveal all because some people do steal ideas and so on from other people. So I’m all for a bit of mystery, after all I wouldn’t have expected Leonard da Vinci to reveal all to me while he was working. :slight_smile:

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That’s a really good and thought provoking question. Although I’m a retired lecturer and very used to standing and talking to people and recording lectures etc…I really dread the idea of taking video clips of me at work or my studio or my processes. I’m so very self conscious about me in my new role as artist. I’m in awe of some people I’ve seen on social media and always think I wouldn’t be able to do as well. I’m a bit of a joker too and I never take anything seriously…so I’d probably say something or do something that would spoil the aim of it all. I’m also new to Folksy and marketing myself. I feel I’ve a long way to go in terms of getting my social media platforms right. I’m so self-critical and always find fault at my pictures or posts. So, I suppose to sum up, I’m not 100% against making and sharing videos but I want to get the basics right first and feel happy about my posts (especially on Pinterest, I don’t know what I’m doing there!) Then I may dip my toe in the water and experiment with video. One last thing…a few folks on Instagram over do it. They post video clips constantly and in the end up I just scroll on by… So I think there’s a lot to getting it right. Sorry for the ramble…it’s certainly something I’ve pondered on quite a bit recently. I’ll be keen to read what others think :slight_smile:

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I am happy to share my work and bits of the process and I don’t really have anything secret. Anyone who sews or quilts could easily work out from looking at the finished product how it was made … but I don’t really want photos or videos of me on the internet so I am a bit faceless. I am a primary teacher in my other life and so I do want privacy from the pupils and their families.

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I only really share things on Instagram. I mix up my feed. So there is things about myself on there. But the only thing I show working is my embroidery machine.

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I am very careful what I share online, hate having my photo taken so the less I am seen the better. Am trying to use Instagram more with an insight into my life as been told people relate to this more. Posted a. Idea of the garden the other ask and must admit for more likes. Maybe personal is the way to go without to much.

Not sure about showing the making process as this can be slow depending what I am doing, plus get interrupted by DH and dog. Just need to have more courage.

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I am happy to share thoughts on my work and process. Generally when asked rather than putting it out there.

I am not a good teacher so putting it down in words or on a video would be hard.

On this I am very much of the opinion that process should be shared. There is a misconception that techniques should be coveted however almost every design or craft technique is universally in the open.

Application is key. If a customer can see an application of a process that they perceive has value then further interest is likely to follow.

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I find that people tap into who you are and how passionate you come across, with the product coming last in the process it’s all about the story from the maker to finish. It is scary how much detail can be given freely without even thinking about it regards to privacy and I like to think that everyone is trustworthy and not just collecting data? But would like to remain on the better side of thinking as we are all doing what we love and building support and communities. I am new to a lot of platforms so apologise if I get some things wrong whilst learning :blush:

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I think I might be in the minority here but when I buy something from someone all I’m interested in is the product itself and maybe the seller only in a professional capacity. I’m really not interested in how many kids, dogs, cats they have or what they had for breakfast. I don’t mind a bit of personal information now and again but I do find people do tend to over share especially on instagram. I do like to see how things are made though and I’d be happy to share my processes if I had the confidence and know how to do the videos properly :grinning:

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I agree. Lovely to think that I am not the only one Angela @aamjewellery …I don’t want to know about mundane things. It’s ok to mention a few personal things once in a while, but it’s boing (like in any situation, if one goes on and on about what they have had for supper). I am interested in what they have made…

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It is interesting to hear that because all the advice is all about personalising yourself and adding in non-selling posts so I have been trying to share odd bits and pieces - not particularly personal but things like walks and baking type posts mixed in with sewing posts.

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Glad I’m not the only one! After I’d posted that I thought god I sound like a right miserable cow! :rofl::laughing:

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@KirstyMacdonaldQuilts I think different things work for different people. I’m an introvert so sharing personal things just feels a bit uncomfortable for me which is probably why I’m not keen on reading about other people’s personal lives.

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Best just to be honest! I am just trying to follow all the advice and hoping it pays off. The ‘personal’ stuff I share is really not that personal and I never post photos or videos of myself. I do find myself surprised by how much people are prepared to share about themselves but I suppose everyone sets their own limits for that.

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I love to see a little bit about the person behind a product and try to share a little bit myself. I rarely show my workspace because it is soooo untidy I think it would be off putting!

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Personally, I enjoy the creative side of social media - photography, styling etc. and my main account is an eclectic mix of my business products, my home and me - and this is what my followers (many of whom are also customers) say they most enjoy about my feed.
I’m always careful to guard my family’s privacy and my home location.
Selfies and videos? Yes, I do them (though I’m not very comfortable in front of camera) - all I can say is they’re popular - lots of feedback and they’ve led to sales too.

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I’ve found this an interesting thread. I’m not comfortable sharing too much about myself on social media and there aren’t many photos of me on my business pages. I’m glad to see that most are interested in the process of creating something, rather than the person because it’s how I feel too. I don’t mind people sharing a lot, but so long as too much isn’t expected from me, I’m happy.

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I think with most aspects of running a small business it is all about getting the balance right - the same with the mix of posts on social media.
I personally enjoy seeing a little bit about the person behind the business - it;s good to put a face to the name and see what inspires them
I do get a little bit turned off though if it’s just constant selfies, constant animal pics, constant food pics etc - even when people post more than twice a day, I sometimes just start viewing it as clutter, so it becomes less effective as a marketing tool as I will start skipping past too many posts from one person in one day even if I really like their work.

With regards to putting processes out there for other people to enjoy and learn from - I think it’s great if you are comfortable doing that. I like watching short videos from other makers.
I don’t think that every process/ method is available to find out there in the ether and some artists have little quirks and unique techniques that they have perfected over years of trial and error. If they want to impart that wisdom to the world for free that’s lovely of them but I wouldn’t blame them for not doing that when there are so many people out there ready and willing to completely copy designs (not for hobby use or fun) for profit. This is something they may not have been able to do if the process hadn’t been laid bare for them (I find most people that blatantly copy designs to sell as their own, are a bit lazy and wouldn’t bother to spend the time working out all the processes that go into a product themselves)

As far as personal information goes - it is slightly worrying as we do need to have our business address freely available, so if something quite personal gets posted (pictures of children etc) it wouldn’t be hard for someone to locate us. Most people are highly conscious about not posting when they are on holiday etc nowadays though.

So for me personally, I do a little mix of personal life and work life - probably 80% work, 20% life. I don’t post that many selfies nowadays as lockdown has not been favourable to me…lol!

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I agree. That’s a reason I don’t like Social Media, I think it encourages narcissism and self obsession! I do like to see people’s processes as that is often interesting and educational. And if they are lucky enough to have a lovely shed at the end of a beautiful garden as a work space, then why not share it? But no, not the constant ‘look at me’ culture, that’s something I try and avoid. I also am a very private person and not remotely photogenic so it wouldn’t work for me anyway! I think for some people, seeing how a thing is made, how much time, effort and skill goes into it, may increase its value to them, and generate more sales, which can only be a good thing!:blush:

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I think you are right about showing the time and effort (and skill!) because to some people handmade is expensive because they are so used to the prices of mass produced items.

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