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How to Create Brand Loyalty and Buzz Through Social Media

Hello crafty entrepreneurs!

I’m leading a Webinar tomorrow evening; the second in a series specifically related to Marketing Your Fashion Product. Here are the details on my presentation, as well as dates for the final two Webinars coming up:

How to Create Brand Loyalty and Buzz Through Social Media
Presented by Willo O’Brien
In this webinar, we will review the best social media tools available and tell you how to go about leveraging them to build your customer base and advocates. A summary of social media tools will be provided.

Willo O’Brien has made a career out of creativity. Her illustrations and designs appear everywhere from concert ticket sites to the product line she launched in 2007, WilloToons, which she’s sold from coast to coast alongside hundreds of other indie merchants. Her experience being an artist, and self-proclaimed geek, has made her passionate about empowering other creatives and equipping them with the tools they need to make a living online.

When: January 11th, 2011, 5:00PM-6:00PM (PST)
Location: ONLINE

» Register Now!

Note: Please tune in if you’re interested in Brand Loyalty and Buzz, as the information will apply beyond the realm of the fashion industry! ~Willo

Upcoming Webinars in this series:
Webinar #3: How to Make the Most of a Trade Show (Feb. 8)
Webinar #4: How to Work the Media & Write a Press Release (Mar. 8)

Mark your calendars: SXSW 2011 is coming!

Great news: My SXSW 2011 talk has been approved! They really kept me waiting right until the very end, and I thought I hadn’t made the cut… but I did. Wahoo!

This will be the third year in a row I’ll have the opportunity to speak and converse with a room full of creative, crafty, entrepreneurial new friends, and I’m really excited. This time – staying in line with the core-convos from years past entitled, “Snappy Strategies for selling Art & Craft online” – I’ll be speaking more about looking ahead to the future, and how to start preparing now on how best to market your business when the technology is moving fast. Here’s the full description:

Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Stuff Online

Markets are conversations. As the web continues its neverending voyage toward Social, indie merchants must learn to engage and interact with their existing and future customers in new ways. The era of Social Shopping has begun, so get the info you need to stay ahead of the curve. Learn how to take advantage of the social web to help your indie business make more sales, connect with your community, and build devoted followers around the world. Perfect for small business owners, artists, crafters, musicians, authors and anyone else with something to sell.

  1. What online tools make it easiest for your fans/customers to share your products throughout the web?
  2. What is the Social Graph, and what does it mean for my independent business?
  3. How can sellers use their online presence to reach a global audience?
  4. How to create a network of support – both through your online social media networks, and with friends in your own city.
  5. Beyond Twitter and Facebook, what online communities can add value to your brand?

I’m really excited to share all the knowledge I’ve gained from my experience and research over the last year, but I always learn SO much from the attendees, so I hope to see you all there!

Church of Craft

Hey, do you like to paint, sew, make jewelry or knit? Do you have crafty projects you’ve been meaning to spend time on, but don’t know where to start, or simply wish you had company while you got all gluey?

Join up with other crafters & creators nationwide, and get your craft on! I am the San Francisco Church of Craft Coordinator, and we have monthly meetups here and in Oakland, too. If you’d like to be notified of meetings near you, sign up on the CoC announcement list so you’re sure to be notified!

Willo's watercolors

I’d love to see you at one of our local craft days. Or look on the site to see if there’s one near you – or start one yourself! :)

Are you on Facebook? Here’s the Church of Craft Facebook Fan Page.

Summit of Awesomeness!

Thanks to all who came out to my Using Social Media talk, and today’s Accepting Credit Cards talk at the Summit!

Here’s a few links for those in Caitlin & I’s credit card talk:

Feel free to leave a comment, or contact me directly if you have a question. You can also sign up on my getcrafty mailing list to be notified when that cool CSV > Access > Quickbooks file solution [I mentioned in today's talk] is published & ready for public use.

As for the Using Social Media talk, if you become a Hello Craft member, you’ll have access to my talk & handout! Worth the membership, regardless.

Lastly, I now have all the photos and videos posted up on Flickr. :) Thanks again for coming out to our talks, and SUPER awesome meeting all of you!!

Speaking again at this year’s Summit of Awesome!

I’m delighted to report I’ve been invited to speak again at this year’s Summit of Awesome!

Last year’s Summit (the first one!) was held in Washington D.C., and I led a talk, with Danielle Maveal of Etsy Success/Virtual Labs, called “What’s a Social Network and How to use it for Good.”

This year’s Summit, however, is coming to the West Coast… wooo! Just over a month away, it will be held in Portland, OR., from June 16-18th, 2010, at McMenamins Kennedy School. I am thrilled I’ll be surrounded by so many talented, like-minded crafters & speakers! Plus it’s just a few days before my birthday… fun!

The details & official descriptions on all of the talks/workshops haven’t been posted yet – however, registration is now open! This year, I am confirmed to speak twice, on the following topics:

  • Accepting Credit Cards
    In this talk, I will share what I have learned through both accepting credit cards online, on my shop, as well as being a beta tester for the raved-about & in-high-demand Square, which is an adapter for mobile phones, enabling anyone to not only accept credit cards on the go, but get a swipe/imprint of the card, too! I’m really excited about this talk, as I’ll be able to bring a few of the devices with me, enabling the crafters present to sign up & get started on the spot! Read all of the posts I’ve written about my experience using Square »

Speaking of Square, it deserves to be noted that *just today* they officially launched, and it’s now open to the public! They released clients for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices, and are sending out their first batch of free card readers. So exciting… congrats, guys!!

UPDATE: I’ll now be speaking with my awesome friend & fabulous crafter, Caitlin of Rebound Designs! Our official course description, we just submitted today:

Mobile credit card options
Learn the ins and outs of accepting credit cards at craft shows, or anywhere! We will discuss the pros and cons of integrating credit card processing into your bookkeeping process, handling chargebacks, and more. Various mobile credit card processors will be reviewed, including PayPal, ProPay, and the new in-high-demand Square. We will even have few Square devices there, enabling Summit of Awesome crafters to sign up & get started on the spot!

The second talk I’ll be a part of is one that I’ve done a few times before, and I really enjoy:

  • Using Social Media To Grow, Market and Sell Your Product or Service
    Sounds like I’ll be co-leading this with Richard Fox of DIY Lounge, too… awesome! Here’s the summary:
    “With all the social media websites and services out there, it can be daunting to pinpoint which ones are the most effective for marketing your products or services. In this call, you’ll learn what it means to develop and engage with your community both online and off, as well as the best practices for each.”

I’m really looking forward to it! I learn so much every time I’m around fellow business owners and crafters/creatives. If you are called to learn more about how you can make a living from your passion or craft, register and join us!

Ooh, and it is worth mentioning, for those of you into this type of conference, there are two other really cool ones coming up soon, too:

I’m hoping to go to at least one of those, if not both! :D

Are you going to any of these? Or do you have any questions, as a small business owner or crafter, that you would love to learn more about at a conference like these? Let me know in the comments. :)

Quick audio post about our upcoming convo…

Rebecca & I got together over the weekend to record a little pre-SXSW audio clip about our upcoming convo! It was fun to think back on all the fantastic attendees we had last year, and all the valuable information that was shared. We’re really looking forward to this year, and hope to see you there!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Becca and WilloBecca & me, selling WilloToons at Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire in 2008

p.s. If you live in San Francisco, I’m speaking tomorrow night, Tues. March 2nd, at the Art Institute for Fashion Business, Inc: Using Social Media to Grow Your Fashion Business. You can also RSVP on Facebook.

Add our convo to your SXSW schedule!

I’m delighted to announce our Snappy Strategy core-convo was selected… yes! They have yet to add our presenter bios & exact location info, but if you’re attending SXSWi this March, you can click the link below and add it to your schedule:

  • Snappy Strategies for Selling Art & Craft Online: Part Deux  + Add it!
    Tuesday, March 16 @ 11am
    Core-conversation led by Rebecca Marshall & myself (Willo O’Brien)
    More people than ever are starting their own art/craft businesses or supplementing their income with passion projects and, as always, technology rises to meet the challenge. Even as the economy worsens, our passions strengthen! Come discuss all the online tools and creative strategies that can help you sell your work online.

Me & Jay’s SXSW SARS core-convo was also accepted. Thank you all for voting!

As per usual, I’ll be there for both Interactive & Music. Looking forward to reuniting all my awesome friends from around the globe, and meeting new fabulous faces, too!

Vote for our SXSW panels!

All of us in geeky internet/music land are already preparing for our trip to Austin in 2010 for our yearly SXSW adventure (aka BEST WEEK EVER). This year (March 2009) I was fortunate enough to have led a core-convo w/ my friend Becca (view details), and while that not only was a fabulous experience, it also got me a free pass to the Interactive portion of the conference! YES! Which is why I’d love your help getting there again.

See panels & core-convos are all about the people’s vote – which is awesome – so I’d love it if you’d take a minute to check ‘em out & cast yours! The best news is, it’s simple: all it takes is signing into your account (or quickly creating one if you don’t have one already), and giving my panels a “thumbs up”. Oh & one last thing… I’m a little late on getting this post up, so this is a time sensitive request!

Please hurry, PanelPicker voting will close on Fri, Sept. 4th,
{EXTENDED till} 11:59 CST on Monday evening, September 7th
click the links below & go vote! :)

Right now I’m one of the main speakers on two core-convos:

And, in addition to those two, Crissy Herron from Indie Biz Chicks listed me as a “dream panelist” for hers – aww, so nice! – so thumb this one up too:

It’s really important to me that women are represented on panels at SXSWi (especially given our sizable presence in the field), so I hope you’ll help the cause by voting for the panels above, and for my friends, who are some of the brightest women in tech! See this list of worthy panels led by brilliant women. Here’s a few more that should be on the list, too. Get those votin’ thumbs ready! :)

Thanks all & see you in Austin in March 2010!

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Related Posts (other speaking events I’ve done recently):

Speaking at the Summit of Awesome in DC

Hey all! Writing you from D.C., as I’m here to speak at the first ever Summit of Awesome in the heart of the Nation’s Capital! I just realized I posted all about it on the Church of Craft site (wherein I’m the SF CoC Coordinator), but spaced posting it here – eep! Anyway, check it:

I’m speaking on a panel: “What’s a Social Network and How to use it for Good” on Friday May 1st, 11:30am-12:30pm (with Danielle Maveal of Etsy Success/Virtual Labs and myself, Willo O’Brien of WilloToons).

Some of you may remember that last year, around this time, I attended Craft Con (view photos), and the Summit of Awesome is sort of like the Craft Con of 2009. Not officially related, but it’s all about the business side of craft… which as you all know, is what I’m all about!

Here’s the full deets on the conference:

Geared specifically for independent artists and crafters, the Summit of Awesome is 3 full days of seminars and hands-on workshops, which will provide business and technical education for those in the handmade arts community. The Summit also includes the D.C. premiere showing of the Indie Craft Documentary film, Handmade Nation – A highly anticipated film that captures the superstars of the indie craft world, and documents how the handmade community began and took its current shape.

I’m so excited to see Handmade Nation! Have any of you seen it? I missed the premiere in SF that happened about a month back.

I’m also super excited for Saturday night’s Show of Awesome mini craft fair/party. If you’re close by, please come join us!