Guest: Robin Kramer
Thank you so much, robin for being here, I know you and I have known each other virtually for a while and we sort of work together in some ways and you have a great blogger or you started out as a jewelry designer and rob tracy did and you were doing marketing for a jewelry company and then you decided to become an expert at teaching other jewelry designers how to market their businesses. So can you tell us a little bit about how you got started and why you decided to have a blogged to establish yourself as an experts to be helping designers with marketing? Absolutely one of things, tracy, my business partner is a jewelry designer, and I met her at a trade show, um, because I was doing scales and focus on was director of sales for a company, and she saw the company I was working for really grow and she's like, what are they doing that I'm not doing so we became fast friends and then a few years ago, gosh, almost two years ago, she approached me about I really want to help jewelry desig...
ners because I learned my business from the ground up and I don't I learned the hard way and I don't want any designer to go through jewelry designer specifically go through what I had to go through, I want to help them and I just fell in love with the idea s o when we started out with venturing into flourish and thrive, we were trying to figure out how is a great way to reach people because we we had a little bit of an audience but really people didn't know who we were, and even though tracy had a very successful wholesale business for quite a ten years and then had gone into doing just custom pieces and people may have seeming, people who were buyers at stores knew me and some owners you know, some jewelry designers knew me, but reaching out on a larger level was a little more challenging, and I was not as network social networks having as tracy it is and was so when we discuss blogging, I mean, I love what court had said about you have to be consistent and one of things I love to talk about helping people I love helping people, but when I'm writing, I get it's almost like I haven't ate edie I'm like, well, what about that and there's? That and I was the lengthy writer and really keeping it short and sweet with something that I have tracy would rein me in on, but what we found is that if we were consistent and we are we, we've created a schedule that every tuesday we have our blawg post of really tips and information we do video we have guest bloggers like yourself we reach out to other experts because we really want to give our audience thie opportunity tio learn from others because we know what we're good at but we don't claim to know everything and so we we started doing that and also blogging for other people which also creates that relationship and gets a broader audience and then when other thing we did is we really wanted tio so we post a block post twice a week and the first tuesday is about information and maybe a guest blogger post or maybe vlogging with the video block post which is so cool on dh then on fridays we post specifically a designer we highlighted designer and we call it our designer spotlight so it gives the opportunity for jewelry designer anywhere in the world they get to submit and will post we asked them questions and the answer and it's all about them and they can and then we tweet about it and we facebook about it but it's really some nice publicity for them that they wouldn't normally have so it gives them an opportunity to so it goes back tio offering that value which I keep hearing about today, which is great yeah, and I'm so glad you brought that up because I've actually seen susan berman who's the instagram gayle and I saw her originally on one of your video interviews and I thought I would love to talk to someone about instagram because all of my readers and customers and clients would love to talk about instagram and they want to know more because it's the hot new thing and everyone's using good so I ended up e mailing her and asking her to come on and we finally met at a conference and we're doing a webinar together so just from sue and you doing this interview, a lot of other things have come from her, so I'm glad you mentioned that and I think even with your jewelry designers who where you don't have to create the content you can get someone else to create it for you whether it's through an interview or a written interview where they're posting something in entering questions so you still have that consistency but you don't have to dio aa lot of extra work to create the content every friday you can have your audience do it so I'm really glad you brought that up and then I'm wondering to what are some other ways that you've been using your blawg tio provide value or to establish your expertise and has anything major come out of you having a blogger? You know what one of the major things and actually thanks to you ah, a company called uncommon goods approached us and said andrea there's um recommended they talked to us which was so exciting because it is a retail it's a catalog it's a well known catalog they're always looking for specifically for designers we focus on jewelry designers but they're looking for all designers and they have an ongoing challenge for jewelry designers and what was really cool is that now we have this relationship with them and we're really looking at ways that we can promote one another and that we can provide that extra service and two our community and so they have an ongoing design challenge that you know way get teo share out there so it's it's created even different avenues of reaching out tio further than what we even um initially thought so it's kind of being really open to possibilities in that arena as well and what was really fun is that I met anna and she said, oh, I get here I get your newsletter I get your email and I read your blogging and, you know, business this business sometimes even though our focus is the jewelry designer um what were the information we're sharing can be really it kind of across the board and you yeah it's so true and again I'm glad he brought oncoming goods up because I'm sure a lot of you're familiar with them but what happened that as a result of me sending them to you I was able to be featured on their site because they interviewed one of the designers that you guys work with and interview it's so interesting how this happens, but in an interview they ask that designer so what are some of the resource is online that you go to for business and marketing advice? And obviously they mentioned you guys because you were the main reason that she was there, but then she also mentioned my sight so a lot of the other jewelry designers and people who read they're blogged now know about my side as well, and a lot of it is because I reached that world they reached out to me, I passed them on to you and it was sort of this thing or if you're giving back and you're looking at how you could help other people, whether it's three year blogger or through maybe connections that you have a lot of times it does come back to you and a lot of ways that you might not expect and I think it's sort of like how you and tracy mutt you met at a trade show you didn't know each other before he had no connection and now you run a successful business together and inspiring a lot of other jewelry designers too so it's, so interesting how all of this happens if you're just open to it and if you look at it as a perspective of let me see what I can give um so so yeah, I'm glad you brought that up and I'm also curious have you had any challenges with your blawg and how have you overcome those? I'm absolutely I mean uh when court with saying that you know, it's trial and error and when we first started we thought how we have toe we've to blogged this many times a week and we have to do this and that and me being have new into that world I was like I'm not sure I didn't do this and and what we were blogging more than then the twice a week and we were it was really stressful because it does you want it to be good content and so what we did is we like ok what's what's realistic and and what is our reader going to wantto read? Because if you keep giving them tons of information and and we're not the only ah newsletter blogged that they get me who really reads it right so it's better to have quantity I mean quality than quantity and really hone in and be sure not so lengthy mean for us I'd rather give you know three tips on how to do a great trade what air three takeaways from doing a trade show are should you do a trade show or um you know, even referring over to your blogged saying our good friend andrea ayers did a great article on um p r and how to reach out to editor so we would then we'll also referred her to her plug so it's really learning kind of where what's going to be most beneficial to our audience um so yes, there was a lot like I said I'm I get so excited and I just can write run right? So honing back and and also using images one of things that we learned about our audience is that it's really important to have some images there even though it's you know just a few so they're not just kind of zoning over on content to so having a least one or two images when we're writing a post it's really helpful because artists designers naturally are drawn tio images and visual and very also tacked off too so we want to make sure we're capturing that as well um and what you were saying yesterday about the post that you did and it was the it was the word you said the image of the top oh gosh oh the thirty ways to promote your block posts yeah that it was an image and infographic the info graphic was like that is brilliant I am so about doing infographic sound and all I want to dio but it's it's easy it's digestible and it's not overwhelming but if you list out I mean I think people started to zoning out and if you make it fun I mean so much better so I'm excited to start doing that awesome great great I'm curious sent off anyone else here has been infographics or out in the audience researching okay grady at they're a great way to get a ton of publicity really fast and in addition to that I'm curious to see keep me posted on how that works out but are there any other things that you've done with your block to sort of take it to the next level or any a big jump in audience or readership or anything that you've done that has worked really well to provide value and to connect with your audience? What are some of those things the the biggest connection to is really referring tio experts in certain areas like I said, if we do a blood posting that we you mentioned somebody that they may be familiar with so that we mentioned your view and then your block post or something that you wrote so it gets attention to you but also to your audience so really kind of sharing information with other experts in the field has been amazing and that's that's probably your biggest takeaway on that and also really making our audience kind of the center of attention to with having doing the designer spotlight that we do once a week that's theirs and it's really really wonderful that they get to be featured on that I think that's also brought a lot of attention and from anywhere in the world they can be featured which is really nice yeah that's that's so great to hear and I'm also curious to know how you incorporate social media and you're blogging as well we we will definitely use twitter and we talk about it we when a jewelry designers featured on our our blawg, we definitely tweet about it we tweet to them we facebook about it instagram were instagram is really kind of the darling of the social media right now, and we learned that from a pr company that came and spoke tio our community and that's another thing we d'oh is we bring in experts to speak to our community and then they in turn will will get more people and then may I mean it's just like kind of builds on itself, but we definitely use facebook. Pinterest um instagram, instagram a lot lately and you've e mean there's so many cool things you can do, you can instagram post a picture to your facebook and then twitter as well. So taking advantage of those shortcuts to is really important great great and then I have so many questions that any but I'm also curious to know you have a business partner a lot of us are doing this on our own so how is it working with a business partner and how do you come to conclusions about what you guys should be doing and how how is that working out and what advice would you have for someone who is does decide to go in this with a business partner communication, communication, communication way you know what I love we skype a lot way we use google docks so we're working on documents at the same time we came up with a list of block posts of what we could dio we also come up with what other information we give on the bog post we have one hundred fifty one ways um for, you know, holiday sales or you know, marketing tips or we're always looking at how we can also give away no certain takeaways that people can print out tio but it's really about communication I'm very fortunate I have somebody that I respect and that I mean don't get me wrong we both driving great it'll drive one another crazy at times but it's just because we're also very passionate about what we're doing but I tell you communicating and bebe being able to work on documents at the same time so we can kind of uh see where we're going with things we definitely work on planning because if you don't have a plan, what is that the wayne gretzky it was it was one of your own you don't have a plan you're certain to end ups nowhere or something like that if you don't plan, you plan to fail or something like that yeah, yeah so it's really important tio even make that list and see if there's some flow to it with what and it doesn't mean you can't change it but at least it's out there because I think some of the hardest things is just coming up with the ideas so once you have them it just kind of keeps flowing and you get to add to it that yeah, exactly and I find myself in the same situation where if I was to think of my ideas as I'm writing, they don't come as quickly as if I sit down for half a knauer right out maybe twenty block boasts ideas and then when I'm ready to blogged I could just easily go into that library or list of twenty blog's and start writing so planning your right cuts out so much time and saved you so much time and doesn't leave you wondering ok, what am I going to write about today? Because I think so much of blogging is this block that we have about what am I going to write about? But if you plan it all out it's so much easier to both know what you're doing and start writing right away absolutely and it's also a great way to leverage to approach other people in the industry and say you know when we went tio incoming good what can we do for you and being able to dio block post for them and you know, work out in that interview was amazing and we will continue to do something like that but also approaching other experts in the fields it doesn't mean that you're limited but it gives you an opportunity to say, well let me do this for you again providing that that amazing that that guesswork and providing a service to them were gosh you there thinking I don't have to write this week that is brilliant yeah yeah and I think that's a really good point that you're making because if you approach someone like dan could approach someone with five tips for technology the season or something like that you are saving them so much time and anyone who offers any kind of service whether it's a marketing service like you and I or a fitness trainer or health coach or any sort of other type of service you could definitely be of service to other people that are looking for that content yeah, absolutely yeah and I'm also curious to know what advice do you give your clients who have products and more specifically jewelry to go ahead and go out there and start blogging? I'm do it I mean just I think the thing that holds us back and I know for me this was true to its just the fear of it not being right and I love what corbett said it that it's it doesn't you get to try that I mean that's you know, I think with the internet it's very forgiving you know I'm makes you human and we've certainly had situations where we've written something and and I've spent something wrong and as much as you try toe you know, make sure it's perfect and everything that maybe the spelling's wrong the link was wrong or whatever but it makes it human and um and just to do it and not and not feel so take the perfect out of it and just to do it and just tio be consistent with it and I would say don't don't over commit you know, do it once a month to start you know don't don't make yourself crazy because it will make you crazy take it easy and take it one step at a time great that's really great advice and I'm curious to know if anyone in the audience has questions and then we're going to wrap it up and we're going to move on to talking about how your block could be used to establish yourself as an expert as we've seen from corbett and you robin so anyone questions in the audience really quickly? I'm curious to hear both of your opinions I mean these days when you have facebook and twitter and instagram, all these social networks and now blog's which are really popular I know for me is a reader on ge also is a publisher there's a lot of conversation possibilities, you could have him everywhere, right? And when I visit blog's and when I get towards the bottom, I always look to see what the conversation is like below. If I see that nobody has commented, you know, that sort of gives me the perception that maybe not many people are reading it. And then if I see two hundred comments below, I think, well, how this is some good stuff and I should read it may be a little more thoroughly, but with facebook and twitter and all this, where do you have that conversation? Because you could have it everywhere and where is sort of the priority? Would you like them to come to the blogger and coming down there? What if you post on facebook that you have a new block post, but every start everybody starts posting on facebook about that blawg post, then you're not seen it on your own block. So is there any priority that you give? Do you tryto sort of corral the conversation to the blog's side? Or do you not really care and you're just happy that people are commenting in the first place or is it not that important really when it comes to interacting with your fans and readers I think it's a really good question do you want I mean yeah I think for me it really a lot of it is as long as the conversations going gone I'm really excited for that I do love when there's a ton of people leaving comments on my blogged but what I will often do is I'll write as I'm rapping on my block post I'll ask my readers a question and I'll say hey what was your experience with this I'd love to know please leave a comment below and willkommen there and some people might not be reading my block post but they might be reading the conversation on facebook and they're going to leave a comment there too but it really depends I love to have people on my block and have the conversation there but facebook is also really great and on facebook the more likes and the more comments you have the more they're going to show your content to everyone else likes your page so I think there's advantages to both absolutely great and ask for what you want at the end we always say you know please comment below our here's you know let people know on twitter and we'll give them suggestions for a tweet are um but ask specific questions did you get it was this helpful to you are how are you doing your video or where it prompts them to actually respond, but I kind of looked like all sorts of discussing of it is great, so I'd be doing happy dance no matter what yeah, I definitely agree as well. So any other parting words before we wrap it up here and start talking about using your block and more details, just that it's been really an amazing process for me personally because it wasn't something I was used to or did tracy had had experience for a few years because she had her own website and was doing blogging before, so for me it was just brand spanking new, and if I can do it, anybody can dio but do it, do it and don't be so scared of it. It's it's amazing! And what you had said earlier too, is that your your audience will feed you information. A lot of what tracy and I have actually blogged about is because of the comments that we get back fine. Well, what about x y and z like caution is such a great idea for a block post, so, you know, be open to hearing back from from who your audience is, they'll walk you through it great well, thank you so much, robin it's so nice to have you thank you, thank you, thank you for asking