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Top tags: art  book  business  entrepreneurs  inspire  instagram marketing  jon acuff  marketing  online marketing  selling art 

Instagram Marketing

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 29, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2018

As a business owner using social media to grow your business, you may or may not have considered using Instagram. According to recent reports, Instagram has more than 500 million daily active users which may be an incentive for you to check out this social media platform.

So what exactly is Instagram and how does it differ from other social media platforms? Instagram is primarily a visual platform for sharing photos and videos from your smartphone using the Instagram app. When you post a photo or video on Instagram, it will be displayed on your profile.

Download the Instagram app on your phone and open a business profile (not a personal profile). CLICK HERE for how to set up your business profile on Instagram.  

Instagram uses hashtags to create instant engagement correctly. It will cause more followers to use the hashtag and post images of them with your product so they will be featured on your page. When someone posts using your hashtag they are exposing all their followers to your company. CLICK HERE for more information about hashtags.

Setting goals will help you define your strategy on Instagram.


  • Showcase you products or services
  • Build your community
  • Increase awareness of your brand
  • Showcase your company culture and values
  • Advertise to potential customers
  • Increase brand loyalty
  • Share company news and updates

  • Interact with followers - reply to comments on your post and acknowledge their contribution. This simple act can create a loyal following.
  • Don't overwhelm your audience by posting too frequently. Start out with twice daily and at different times of the day, pay attention to engagement.
  • Be creative with your posts and engage your followers with exciting images and videos.
  • Cross promote with your other social media platforms.
If you already use Instagram, share your thoughts in the comments.



Tags:  business  instagram marketing  marketing 

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Are You a Foodpreneur?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Blog Post by Susan Jerke, Regional Director, Wyoming SBDC Network




Although the term “foodpreneur” may seem new, it has been around for a while and describes an innovative entrepreneur that has chosen food creation as their passion. Rather than simply producing a consumable product, foodpreneurs think of their food as something that makes people feel satisfied, nurtured and loved. It’s more like a way of life, creating goodness to share with other people. The goal is also building and maintaining long-term relationships that make a business grow sustainably as opposed to only closing sales and chasing rapid growth. 

Years ago, foodpreneurs would look to hire a co-packer to make their product, hire a broker and distributor to get their product on the shelf and hopefully get their payout when they sell their brand to a giant company. As consumer appetite for small scale and locally-produced foods has grown, that equation has changed. Getting on the shelf at a big grocery chain doesn’t necessarily lead to higher sales or bigger payouts than focusing on working with small and independent stores. Foodpreneurs and farmers should weigh all of their options and come up with a game plan that best suits the kind of growth that makes sense for them.

We invite you to join the movement of health-conscious food innovators, pioneers, entrepreneurs and share your stories of how you’ve developed your products, rolled them out to the public, and grown your businesses.

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Inspiring Book for Entreprenuers

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Looking for an Inspiring Book to Read? 
Check out “Finish” by Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books including his most recent Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller, “Finish: Give yourself the gift of done.”

Jon writes about his book “Finish”:
Year after year, readers pulled me aside at events and said, “I’ve never had a problem starting. I’ve started a million things, but I never finish them. Why can’t I finish?"

According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals. 

For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly. 

Then, while leading a thirty-day online course to help people work on their goals, I learned something surprising: The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off. 

Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, “the day after perfect”—when our results almost always underper­form our aspirations. 

The strategies in this book are counterintuitive and might feel like cheating. But they’re based on studies conducted by a university researcher with hundreds of participants. You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent more suc­cessful just by following a few simple principles. 

If you’re tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher, you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, since this time that will work. Or you can give yourself the gift of done.

Jon Acuff is the New York Times-bestselling author of Start, Quitter, and Do Over, among other books. He is a popular public speaker, blogger, Tweeter, and the creator of the “30 Days of Hustle” online challenge. Visit Jon’s website acuff.me  


Tags:  book  entrepreneurs  inspire  jon acuff 

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Pricing Your Handcrafted Products

Posted By Program Admin, Friday, June 22, 2018


Pricing your products correctly can be a challenge for many businesses, particularly those that create handcrafted items. If your prices are too low, customers may perceive that your items are cheap or poor-quality. If your prices are too high, you risk alienating customers. 

So what’s a business owner to do?


Here is a simple formula that many artisans use to calculate item cost:
Supplies + Your Time = Item Cost

For example. It takes you 15 minutes to make a necklace and your hourly wage is $20. The supplies to make the necklace cost $0.75. 

$0.75 (supplies) + $5 (your time) = $5.75 (item cost) 

To price the item for retail, multiply item cost by 2.5 or 3
$5.75 (item cost) x 2.5 = $14.37 (round to $14.50) 
$5.75 (item cost) x 3 = $17.25

You may want to take into consideration your overhead (equipment, advertising, website, Internet, phone, shipping supplies/costs, etc.) Average out these expenses and calculate a percentage as overhead cost for each item. 

The formula will look like this:
Supplies + Your Time + Overhead = Item Cost
Item Cost x 2.5 = Retail Price

One of the most common formulas for wholesale pricing is to multiply your item cost by 2. 
Using the necklace example:
$5.75 (item cost) x 2 = $11.50

You can also offer a wholesale pricing scale. For example:

Orders of 25 necklaces or more will get the x 2 pricing at $11.50 per necklace
Orders of 50 necklaces or more will get a 1.75 pricing per necklace at $10.06 per necklace
Orders of 100 necklaces or more will get a 1.5 pricing per necklace at $8.60 per necklace

Check out these links for more information about pricing:


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Selling Your Art Online

Posted By Program Admin, Thursday, May 3, 2018

With the numerous venues available for selling online, trying to figure out what to do can be overwhelming. Should you create an Etsy page? Is Facebook enough? How do you cultivate your own following and make sales?

One way to engage buyers and showcase your work is to get your own website.

No matter what social media you are using, having your own website is one of the best ways to sell your art. A website is your portfolio, showcasing your art in its best light. 

Guideline for Artist Websites: 

First things first - Buy a domain name like www.yourname.com or www.yournameartist.com and have it registered by a hosting service. A professional website and email address is key to running a successful business, whether you sell art, or anything else.

Your website should be about your art. Don’t chat about your dog, your trip to Yellowstone or your favorite restaurant. 

Make it personal. Write about yourself and your art. What do you want your art to communicate? Make visitors feel some connection to you as an artist.

Your gallery should showcase current work that is available for sale. Do not show everything you’ve ever made. Keep your gallery organized and easy for visitors to understand and navigate. If showing older works or sold works, kept them in separate galleries.

Keep your website updated regularly so it is fresh and interesting. 

Use quality images of your art. 

Make sure each artwork has a price and provide clear instructions on how people can buy your art.

These guidelines can be adapted to other businesses as well. The main idea is to focus your website on your business and engage visitors. Connect your website to your social media channels and be sure to post regularly.

Do you have a website for your business? What advice do you have? Share your questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.


Tags:  art  online marketing  selling art 

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Increase Traffic & Sales with a Facebook Business Page

Posted By Program Admin, Tuesday, December 5, 2017


According to PCWorld.com, if you have a small business, a Facebook page allows you to reach potential customers among the 750 million+ users worldwide!  How you interact on the social network gives potential and existing customers a glimpse into your life, your business, your interests. As customers get to know you it builds loyalty and make them more likely to recommend your services or products.


There are added features that may be more difficult to implement on your website than on Facebook. You can have a custom page, run contests and promotions, and manage a small e-commerce shop! An added advantage -  Facebook is FREE!  Of course, custom application or development services are not, however, it continues to be a form of advertising with a small price tag.


Did you know that half of Facebook users login every day! 

Facebook users interface with their favorite brands more than any other social network. They will more likely recommend a brand after becoming a fan and are more likely to buy products after becoming a fan. Because search engines index Facebook pages, anyone outside of Facebook can view your Page.


Links to how to set up your Facebook Business Page:


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page


Hootsuite’s “10 Steps to Create a Facebook Business Page (The Right Way). 


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Twitter Analytics

Posted By Program Admin, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2017





Twitter, like other social media platforms, is a great way to post product images and show videos of your products, your store, your company!  And, there are analytics that can help you understand how those Tweets are doing for your company.






Are people clicking on the video?  How many likes do I have?  How many reTweets are there?


Here is a link that can help you understand Twitter Analytics:  How to Use Twitter Analytics: 17 Simple-to-Find Stats to Help you Tweet Better

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Google Analytics

Posted By Program Admin, Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2017



Google Analytics is a great way to track your website's performance.  It is a FREE tool that tracks and reports website traffic.  Where are site visitors from?  What pages did they visit?  How long were they there?  Did they buy anything?  Just a few of the questions Google Analytics can answer.


Below are two links that may help you to understand Google Analytics and get your account setup.




What Does Google Analytics Do?  And What Can I Do With Google Analytics


How To Use Google Analytics Beginners Guide




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Facebook Analytics

Posted By Program Admin, Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2017


 According to Facebook, analytics allow you to measure, understand and optimize interaction people have with your business across       devices and channels, which helps drive meaningful growth.  On Facebook you can find your analytics under Insights.






Top 5 Insights

  1. Page Likes:  The number of Likes of your Facebook business page. People liking your page will get updates from your Page in their News Feed. They can be important if you decided to advertise because you can run ads targeted to your Page’s followers.
  2. Reach:  The breakdown between paid and organic (not paid) reach of your audience.  This will show how many people have liked, commented or shared any of your content (Engagement).  You can also see who is hiding or reporting your content, which gives you an understanding if any of your content is negatively impacting your results.
  3. Page Views: The number of times your Page was viewed.  If your views aren’t showing movement, you may need to post more often or generate more conversation with your followers.  You can also check external referrers, which let you know the number times people came to your Page from a website off of Facebook.
  4. Posts:  This section of the Insights lets you see the types of posts you have created, and which ones generate the most Reach.  You will also see engagement metrics to help you understand the types of posts that generate the most likes, shares, etc.  Example:  You may find that posts with video have more reach that those with images. You can also see the time where there is more activity with your followers and target your posts to the more active time slots.  This section also displays the success of each post, broken down by average reach and engagement.
  5. People:  This section give information about your fans, followers and those who interact with your content.  Information includes age, gender, location and the language used. 


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Draw Your Customers In

Posted By Program Admin, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics has stated that

- 92% of children in the US have a digital footprint?

- Over 50% of the world's population is under 30 years old;

   meaning the percentage of socially engaged people will only


-  93% of marketers use social media for business.




Content marketing is the creation and distribution of information content online.  Think about your customers, there a change that not all of them have visited your website.  On the other hand, many could have gone online to search for products, recipes, etc. 


What is unique about your products?  All natural, no preservatives, repurposed materials?  Your company?  Family owned?  Do you have tips on how to use your products?  Perhaps a fashion look for your jewelry, how to place your artwork in a room, recipes? 


Look at ideas that might be associate with your products but you don’t make the product. 

  • You have a sauce product.  I, as a consumer, am not confident in grilling or smoking meats or vegetable.  Perhaps have a short video of you using your product and instructing how to grill or smoke.

  • You have a scarf ring (you know the item that keeps your scarf tied together but looks great).  Perhaps a series of short instructional videos on how to use the scarf ring.

  • You make furniture; perhaps you can show how to care for the wood.

Think outside the box of your products!


Consistency is key!  If you are publishing on your website, be sure to link to your other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogs). 


Encourage testimonials on your sites.  70% of consumers trust online review and 70% report that positive online review influence where they buy!


Finally, don’t forget to TELL YOUR STORY!  Consumers want to know about your company.  Check with other Tell Your Story blog for more information.




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