Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Improving Your Social Media Strategy


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to Amberly Dressler’s seminar: Improving Your Social Media Strategy.

Watch Amberly recap her seminar to learn how to improve your ROI on utilizing social media.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Have you started using Evernote yet?
CHAMEGAShow_evernote
This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids, taught by Charlene Anderson. Charlene told her seminar attendees everything there is to know about Evernote, including how to use it to make your work and personal lives more efficient.

Click here to download her seminar recap, or read her recap below.

Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids
By Charlene Anderson

In the age of information overload, there are thousands of software programs, books, tools, and courses that claim to help you organize your work and your life. Standing heads and shoulders above all of these solutions is Evernote, what I like to call “my brain on steroids.”

What is Evernote? It’s a cross-platform tool to help you manage your life. Evernote is a website; it’s an application for your desktop computer and an app for your smartphone and tablet. All of these pieces of Evernote work together seamlessly to keep all your information at your fingertips. Using Evernote means you don’t have to remember those thousands of details that are part of our lives. If it is in Evernote, you can access it from any of your devices.

What can Evernote do?
What can you do with Evernote? And more importantly, why should you do it?

Evernote captures information in a variety of ways. You can drop a PDF or other file (including movies) into Evernote. You can snap a picture of a sketch or project idea right in Evernote. You can take notes right in Evernote, or import documents, like Word files or Excel spreadsheets that others have sent you. Using the Web Clipper, two mouse clicks will bring any web page into Evernote, graphics and formatting intact.

Evernote can be your digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, project management system, craft pattern-keeper, daily journal and more.

What does it cost?
There are four pricing tiers for Evernote.

  • Free
  • Basic: $24.99 per year
  • Premium: $45 per year
  • Business: $120 per user per year

A free Evernote account is how most users start, but to truly unlock the power of Evernote you’ll need one of the paid levels. I recommend the serious Evernote user have a Premium account. At 12 cents a day, it is an incredible bargain.

How do I get started?
If I’ve convinced you to give Evernote a try, you are probably wondering how you get started. It’s easy! Go to www.evernote.com and sign up for your free account. Next, download the application for your computer and the Evernote app for all of your mobile devices. I also recommend that you install the Web Clipper into each of the web browsers on your computer. Remember, you can upgrade to a premium Evernote account at any time, but starting with the free version will allow you give Evernote a good test run.

What kinds of things do people keep in Evernote?
Evernote’s ability to manage a huge variety of information is what makes it a brain on steroids. You don’t have to remember things if they are stored in Evernote.

Since I use Evernote in my business and personal lives, I use it to store a wide variety of information, including:

• Wholesale catalogs and price lists
• Pending orders and receipts
• Product sourcing ideas, including photos
• Color palette ideas
• Instruction manuals and how-to guides
• Copies of business documents (tax licenses, etc.)
• Postage and shipping charts
• Photos of eyeglass and medication prescriptions
• Locker combinations
• Knitting patterns
• Craft project instructions
• Home decorating ideas and gardening plans
• Recipes and take out menus
• Car service history
• Meeting notes and agendas
• Client notes and progress reports
• Travel plans
• Gym class schedules
• Motivational quotes
• Bucket list

How can I share my content?

Evernote makes it easy to share notes with others. There are several ways to share:

You can copy and paste a public link (URL) to a note and share it via email or text. Every note in Evernote comes with a unique URL you can copy and paste to any application.

You can use Evernote’s Work Chat to send messages, notes, or notebooks to anyone, whether the recipients use Evernote or not. When you share in a chat with others you can easily exchange ideas and solicit feedback about what you’ve shared.

You can also email a note to someone, and you can even share an entire presentation right in Evernote. When you’re in a group setting or at a meeting, you can use presentation mode to share a full-screen version of your notes on your desktop or laptop computer, or secondary monitor.

How can I be more productive with Evernote?
As with many things in life, the more you use Evernote the more ways you will find to use it in your daily life. I have a few tips to help you quickly integrate Evernote into your work and personal life.

• Commit to using Evernote; then it will become a habit.
• Use Evernote on all of your devices.
• When in doubt, put it in Evernote.
• Set up notebooks that make sense to you.
• Use tags to aid in search.
• Periodically archive or trash items you don’t need.
• Regularly check the Evernote website for updates, blog posts, add-ons, tutorials and more.

Where can I learn more?
Not surprisingly, the Evernote website is a wealth of information about using Evernote. On the site, you’ll find videos, hints, suggestions and real world case studies. Also, be sure you check Amazon for free (and paid) Kindle books about Evernote. My favorite Evernote book is Master Evernote by S. J. Scott.

Also, there are numerous blogs and podcasts about Evernote. Just do a Google search on “Evernote” and you’ll find pages and pages of results.

I really hope you’ll give Evernote a try. It can help relieve you of information overload, and make your work and personal life more organized and efficient.

31 Days of Crafting: The Great Northwest Paper Chase

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

The Northwest Paper Chase is celebrating with its annual three-week event for scrapbookers, paper enthusiasts and general crafters who want to have fun and support their local creative community!

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This year, 28 stores in Washington and Oregon will be participating in the “chase”, which runs from March 4 through March 20. The goal of the chase is to drive customers to local stores.

To participate, “chasers” purchase a passport and travel from store to store. At the end of the chase, chasers win prizes from event sponsors based on 1) how many stores they visit; 2) the amount of money they spent, and 3) the numbers of pictures they posted on social media. Participating stores offer discounts, exclusive page kits, make-n-takes, themed photo ops, giveaways and more!

Learn more about the “chase” and how to participate.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

Final thoughts from the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show


Well, it’s been a whirlwind ride these last 3 days at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show in Atlanta.  I arrived Tuesday and was thrown quickly into the chaotic fun of CHA Workshops.  They were fast paced and informative, with terrific teachers and sponsors that I was thrilled to meet.  The sponsors gave some really great products to the participants to take home, and get more comfortable with so they could use them as teaching tools in their stores. I was really floored by their generosity.  Thank you CHA for allowing me to participate in these super intense and informative workshops.  I learned so much!

wpid-wp-1406659429827.jpegI have to say, after sitting in on the Seminars and group discussions, I have a whole new respect for the challenges that independent stores face.  At the same time, these wonderful store owners continue to seek out new ways to grow and change with the times; looking for ways to incorporate growing trends, sharing obstacles but also rejoicing in the shared triumphs.

20140731_10125320140731_094204There were so many who supported me here at CHA, I couldn’t possibly name them all – but a few standouts: Keli and Tina from CHA, thanks for helping a girl out from time to time; Dave from Spellbinders, thanks for being my camera guy; Stephanie Barnard and Katharina Doyle, I adore you both!  Thanks for the hugs!  I could literally go on and on.  Jason, my guy at CHA headquarters, thanks for the tough love and lastly, thank you Mr. Andrej Suskavcevic, for taking a chance on me!  I miss you all already!

20140730_194217– Terri Burson

An Update From the CHA Social Media Section


social media section final logo
The Steering Committee for the new Social Media Section was formed this fall with the initial task of creating the Sections’ Vision and Mission Statement. Below is the completed Statement, which we’re incredibly proud of and excited to share with you!

Our Vision
We support an interactive community where all CHA members are encouraged to explore and employ social media platforms and strategies in order to more meaningfully engage with each other, with our customers, and with fans and followers. In doing so, we are working together to enhance and expand all of our businesses, as well as the craft industry at large.

Our Mission:
Resource
We will establish a network of Social Media professionals who can consult with CHA members (companies and individuals) and show them how to successfully incorporate social media outreach into their overall marketing plans.

Education
We will work with CHA to provide relevant educational tools and programs for CHA members, as well as opportunities to share best practices, in an effort to keep everyone informed about the ever-changing social media landscape.

Awareness
We will champion the social media marketing campaigns developed by CHA and its chapters and sections, in order to nurture the CHA brand, advocate membership, and continuously promote the benefits of crafting to all of our audiences.

Collaboration
We will work to build partnerships between members and help them develop new ways to jointly use social media to build their brands and engage with their customers.

Heart
We will bring passion, joy and creativity to our work. We will commit to continuously sharpening our skills, broadening our collective range of expertise, and building our integrity within CHA so that our section continues to grow and sustain itself for as long as social media remains a viable business tool for our industry.

Steering Committee Members:
Amy Bowerman Stucki, Carmi Cimicata, Lisa Fulmer, Eileen Hull, Vicki O’Dell, Taylor Usry, Kristi Parker Van Doren, Laura Weed
Our CHA Contact:  Paula Jones

Next Projects:
We are currently working on our Membership Criteria document and sub-committee definitions.  We will post those on the CHA website when they are complete.

Have you signed up for our meeting in January?
Social Media Section Meeting at the 2014 CHA Mega Show
Monday, January 13, 2014
E406 – Event
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Please do not hesitate to email me if you would like more information.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Interim Leader
carmimail@aol.com

5 Tips for Exhibiting Success: Turn Product Demos into Sales


Exhibiting at CHA Conference & Trade Shows allows you to showcase your products in person for your customers. But how do you turn those product demonstrations and make-and-take projects into orders on the Show floor? Veteran exhibitors Advantus and iLoveToCreate share some tips for success.

1. Do a project over a demo. “Projects are typically more impactful than a demonstration, because creative people need to feel the product and make a personal connection with it,” says Alyson Dias of iLoveToCreate. The more impactful the experience, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase. Choosing projects over demos also allows for more face time between the demonstrator and the customer, time that “fosters relationships and builds brand loyalty,” notes Dias.

2. Let the product speak for itself. By nature, craft and hobby customers are visual and/or hands-on learners, so seeing products in action will do more to convince them to buy than a hard sales pitch. “Customers don’t need to be told how wonderful a product is—they want to create and determine that themselves,” says Rana Coggins of Advantus. The more they determine how wonderful your products are first-hand, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Keep it simple. “Keep your projects simple and timed under 10 minutes,” Coggins warns. This allows you to make an impact in a short amount of time where a customer can walk away feeling inspired—and more likely to make a purchase.  “We love seeing the ‘a-ha moment’ when someone creates a project that was quick and simple but looks amazing!”

4. Make it fun. If customers enjoy making a project at your booth, they will be more likely to not only make a purchase but become loyal customers. “Have all the necessary tools and supplies kitted so they can be easily distributed,” suggests Coggins. And make sure the person in charge is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products, so he or she can be informative while making the experience fun.

5. Let everyone join the fun. It may be tempting to only make your project open to buyers, but remember to include bloggers, designers, and members of the media as well. “Their positive experience with products will translate into inspiration and education via magazines, websites, blogs and social media—which then inspires consumers to purchase at retail,” reminds Dias.

Using projects and demonstrations will help you have even more success at the CHA Conference & Trade Show. Sign up to exhibit at the 2014 MEGA SHOW today!

Social Media Section Update


This summer I proposed that CHA consider a new Social Media Section.  This idea was warmly received and space for an inaugural meeting was facilitated and advertised by CHA at the Las Vegas conference in July.

Over 80 people signed up to attend the first meeting of the Social Media Section! Clearly there was interest so now we are moving forward with the creation of a new section.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies who work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels. So if your job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager, the Section would be perfect for you! To read more about the Social Media Section, click here.

At the first meeting in Las Vegas we discussed our roles within our companies and went around the room describing various ways we share content through social channels for our companies. After the meeting we distributed a brief survey to the participants, which over 50% filled out. The survey was a simple one designed to just get a sense of who was interested in a proposed section and to gather information about areas of interest.  These are just a few highlights.  The whole survey will be available in the Social Media Section on www.craftandhobby.org by the end of the month.

This little block tells you about some of the social media roles participants were a part of.  92% are Facebook contributors.

Social1

Most survey responders work part-time creating social media.  We do have full time managers however!

Social2

Ongoing education and training was the number one recommendation for future activities.

Social3

We have over 15 volunteers who offered to join the new Steering Committee for this section.  If you would like to join them, please send me an email.  I hope to set up our first conference call by the end of the month.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Coordinator
carmimail@aol.com


Participation in one of CHA’s new Chapters or Sections provides opportunities to interact with peers who share common interests, network at events and foster discussions on topics of professional and personal interest. CHA’s Chapters strive to create a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere for their Members based on geographical location, while the Sections are targeted to individuals who share a common interest in a particular segment of the industry. Chapter and Section Members do more than compare notes on business issues – they help establish lasting relationships community-wide.

 

Celebs Got Crafty at the #CHASwag Gift Suite – Teen Choice 2013 Recap


We’re back from Los Angeles and just wanted to recap what an awesome time we had at the Connected Gift Lounge at the Teen Choice Awards! Together with our Sponsors: Spellbinders, John Bead Corp., and Kalmbach Publishing Co., we were able to promote crafting and creativity to a very welcoming Hollywood audience. Here are some of our favorite memories:

The Spellbinders team setting up their make-n-take table. Guests who stopped by combined creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet!

The VIP’s all wanted to wear Fernando DaSilva’s jewelry from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs, part of the John Bead Corp. make-n-take table.

The teen celebs loved learning how to make their very own pair of trendy earrings using a metal riveting technique from the team at Brea Bead Works at the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table.

The Spellbinders team along with Dave from DCWV striking a pose!

Fernando DaSilva and Stephen Glickman from Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon. Stephen was a huge fan of Fernando’s work!

Everyone that stopped by the Spellbinders table loved embossing leather bracelets.

Jayden Maddux, who played “Young Buster Bluth” on Arrested Development, stopped by the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table to create some fashionable earrings.

Lauren Potter from Glee stopped by to participate in the make-n-takes and share why living a creative lifestyle is so important to her!

Rowan Blanchard from the new Disney Show, Girl Meets World, showing off her #pureMichigan “urban-coursage”, made by Detroit area children. Designer Sarah Hodsdon designed the bracelet and the children created them at Maker Faire at The Henry Ford museum. Many kids, not just the ones from Detroit, are in schools where the art program has been cut. By creating/designing hands on projects that integrate math and science concepts, we are able to “sneak” in the arts, and in doing so, safeguard that the next generation of minds will know the wonders of building with their hands and the incredible creativity that is fostered through the arts and crafts. The kids who built these will most likely never have a music class or an art class in school yet, their heroes, these teen choice presenters and award winners, touch them through the language that is universal…. art and music. When we #CRE8TIME to build, we connect in profound ways.

RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad stopped by to sign our marble-dipped surfboard donated by Peachtree Global. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world.

We had a fantastic time and want to thank all of all of our wonderful sponsors, the celebs for stopping by,  and to all of you for following along and sharing in the fun! You can view more pictures from the event in our CHA Connected Gift Lounge Photo Album on our Facebook Fan Page.

CHA Members Getting Crafty at Teen Choice!


We interrupt your regularly scheduled weekly activities for an important announcement: CHA will sponsor crafty make-n-take tables at an exclusive event to kick off the Teen Choice Awards this Saturday, August 10, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST. Countless people involved in the awards show (which airs Sunday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox) will have the chance to drop by the Connected Gift Lounge, where they’ll get crafty trying out techniques to make trendy jewelry projects sponsored by CHA members.

Here’s a sneak peek of the make-n-take projects Hollywood-ites will get to create.

Main Image

Bezel Bracelet by Spellbinders

Guests will combine creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet stopping by this table. All guests who share their creations using hashtag #Share5 will be eligible to win one of five $1000 donations to a Spellbinders charity.

teen choice photo for John Bead

Medallion Necklace by John Bead Corp.

Guests will customize their own statement necklaces featuring a gorgeous medallion. Jewelry components are from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs.

Filename: BKS-67031-CV_08.psdRiveted earrings by Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Wendy Remmers from Brea Bead Works will show celebs how to create a trendy pair of earrings featuring a metal riveting technique designed by Irina Miech. The materials are from TierraCast.

We’re incredibly excited about this amazing opportunity to promote crafting to Hollywood, and we’d love it if you can help us spread the word. Use the official hashtags #CHASwag and #TeenChoice together when you tweet or post about the event. And follow @CraftandHobby on Twitter as the CHA staff tweets live from the event Saturday, reporting which celebs go into the lounge and what projects they make. We’ll also be updating our CHA Facebook Fan Page as well. So don’t miss out all of the action on our social media accounts.

In addition to getting crafty in the lounge, celebrities who come through the lounge will have the chance to sign a marble-paint dipped surfboard. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world. Special thanks to Peachtree Global for donating the surfboard and to iLoveToCreate, Kiki Magazine and Sarah-n-dipitous Designs for donating items for the gift bags of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) that celebrity presenters take home.

With your help spreading the word, we’ll let lots of people know this craft connection to this trendy event. Don’t forget to follow along on social media Saturday and then tune into the Teen Choice Awards this Sunday!

Crafting Communities: CHA’s NEW Social Media Section To Meet At Create-n-Connect


In order to manage the numerous social media streams available (and necessary) a new job has been created at many CHA companies, often titled: Social Media Manager.  These jobs and indeed careers did not exist a few years ago. 

social-media.cha

Based on the need to teach and explain how products work, the craft industry became a social media early adopter.  Designers and crafty entrepreneurs began to channel their artistic skills in new ways to effectively represent a company or product to the world-at-large. Utilizing online presentations, tutorials, tweets, YouTube videos and Facebook postings they made their presence felt.

I found that most of the work I now do is ultimately used online in some way. The majority of my studio work is to ensure that I create interesting and informative content for an online viewing/reading audience on behalf of the crafty CHA companies for whom I am engaged.

I have been looking for a way to connect and work with other people with similar social media responsibilities.  I approached Andrej Suskavcevic, CHA’s President & CEO, and Sue Turchick, Vice President, Membership to see if CHA might offer a networking opportunity within the CHA family of recognized “Sections.”  Happily, they responded immediately and have supported this idea by organizing space and a block of time for an inaugural meeting of the proposed Social Media Section.  This meeting will occur on Tuesday July 23, 2013 – 5:30-7:00pm as part of the summer Create-n-Connect Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
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This meeting is geared to those whose job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies and work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels.

I believe that we could learn a great deal from each other.  I also believe that we might work together on some bigger joint initiatives in the future.  Please consider attending this event.  If you have a social media manager please consider sending them to this meeting!  If your social media person is not or has not attended CHA in the past, consider sending them to the January 2014 meeting.  I am certain we will have even more to discuss, learn and develop as social media continues to change the way companies sell, market and build brand loyalty.

To attend this meeting you must sign up to attend as part of the for the Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show registration.

E202: Social Media Section Meeting
(Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)

~ Carmi Cimicata, Social Media Designer

If needed:
I am the social media designer for
Resin Crafts Blog
John Bead Blog
John Bead Outlet Blog
Dazzle-it Blog
Metal Complex Blog