Badass Boss Babe Inspo

Badass Boss Babe Inspo

Who needs some badass boss babe inspo today?  Who loves Nirvana?  I know I do!  I love this quote, too, from Kurt Cobain.  This quote’s definitely applicable to the business world, and real world, too.  There’s quite a fine line to be drawn between inspiration and totally trying to be someone else.  It’s pretty easy to get lost or get in your own head when it relates to what other people are or are not doing.

YOU are enough, you don’t need to be anyone else but yourself, Boss Babe!

Feel free to grab the image to your left, and post it on your social media if this quote resonates with you.  You could also download it by clicking here!

 

Want font info?

This font is called Spectra!  There are all sorts of goodies in this font, too!  Check it out!

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So, You Want to Blog? Part 3: Branding + Website

So, you want to blog?  Now that you have ideas for a badass blog and a badass plan of execution for your content, you need badass blog branding and a badass website.  That’s the third part of this series.

Why, though, do you need a badass brand with a badass website when there are so many free platforms out there?  In one word, credibility.  In more words, the look & feel of your blog will go a long way in establishing trust, which will solidify a fan base and frequently returning readers.  I could talk for days about why it’s important!  The point is that your logo and brand will be the first interaction you have with your readers.  First impressions count!

What is a brand?

For starters, your brand is more than just a pretty logo.  Your brand is your logo, yes…but it’s more than that.  It’s how you present yourself & your blog, the tone you carry throughout your posts, and the other elements that go along with your logo, like matching social buttons, coordinating colors, and so on.  I could get into far more on what a brand is, but for the purpose of this series, your brand should consist of your blog’s aesthetic, and how you are presenting yourself.  Make sense?  Great, let’s continue!

What should I do about that?

You should research some of this stuff, for starters.  Pinterest is a great repository for brand ideas and inspiration.  You’ll begin to form ideas of what you like and what your preferences are.  Once you establish that there’s a pattern with your preferences, consider how a brand containing those specific things might be perceived by your future readers.  If it feels like a good fit, you’ve done most of the work already!  If it doesn’t seem like it meshes well, do some research on what similar blogs have branded as.  Don’t copy them, or ask your designer to copy them, but take notes about specific things they’ve done.  What makes you want to hang around and read the blog?

Where can I get one of those brands?

Shameless plug, obviously.  You had to know this was coming.  We have stuff for every budget here at Autumn Lane Paperie.  I’d encourage you to set your budget for your brand and website ahead of time, and also consider what you might need so that you’re able to plan it out.

When I say we have something for every budget, I mean it — we have premade logos that start at $25, and fully custom websites for less than $100 a month, or complete packages for $4255.  My personal recommendation?  I’d recommend our Ultimate Boutique Branding package, paired with our total website solution.  It’s the perfect combo of solid, research-based branding with a beautiful custom website…with manageable payments!

Oh right, a website.

WordPress is badass.  Learn it, use it, love it.  I suggest a self-hosted WordPress website, and I would also recommend forgoing the free blogging platforms.  Super convenient, and such a great idea, but if your aim is to blog, gain a following, and make this into something full time, you’ll establish more credibility by spending a bit — get your own domain, get hosting.  Don’t get stuck with a www.awesomeblogidea.ickyblogplatform.com web address.  Isn’t www.awesomeblogidea.com a much more visually pleasing web address?

There are many free themes, or low cost themes, that are out there so that you can have a great looking blog with some customization options.  If you want fully custom, though, drop us a line.  A custom website can go a long way for a business.  The same holds true for a blog.  Always with that credibility.  You wouldn’t wear pajamas to a job interview, right?  Why would you NOT put your best foot forward with this new venture, too, by having something that looks amazeballs?

How do I set my budget?

I would recommend setting your budget based on how involved you intend for your blogging to become.  If this is more of a passive hobby, you might want to consider a smaller budget.  If you plan to blog full time, monetize, and make a real go at it, spending a bit more at the outset would be advisable.  Why?  It goes back to that word: credibility.  If you have grand plans, the more credibility you can gain, the better.  The sooner you can create trust in your brand, the better chances of success.


So, now you have a badass idea for a blog, right?  You should also have a badass plan for what you want your blog to be all about.  Hopefully, after this post, you’re going to start forming ideas for a badass brand.  I’ll be going over the fourth part of this series soon — a second plan.

 

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Shinedown + Five Finger Death Punch Concert, Anaheim, CA

I love music.  I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and I don’t know how to read music, but I sure do love it. We recently went to the Shinedown + Five Finger Death Punch Concert in Anaheim, and had a blast!

Our first concert in California was Seether, which was in a small venue in Pomona. We could have been right down near the stage, but we opted to stay a little further back, unsure of how much action might happen near the stage. (I’m not a mosh pit kinda girl.)  They played with Sick Puppies, prior to their lead singer leaving the band on seemingly not so fab terms.

Seether held a pretty special place for me and Jeff (still does) but their music has changed a lot over the last few years. We’re still fans — just fans of their earlier days. Jeff and I both listened to Seether quite a bit during some tougher times before we wound up together, and it was also played quite frequently during our Spain trip in 2012. There are a few songs that I will always associate with driving in that itty bitty little Fiat to the next castle I wanted to see.

Our second California concert was in 2014. I realized that one of my favorites, Theory of a Deadman was going to be playing in Anaheim at The Grove. I immediately got tickets for the September show.  It was an anniversary present to ourselves, since Jeff and I would be celebrating in that month. Theory of a Deadman was playing with Black Stone Cherry (another one of our favorites), and a band called 3 Pill Morning. I hadn’t heard of 3PM until then, but had a chance to meet their bassist on a random trip to the bathroom. I follow them on social media now and think they’re super nice guys (if all of them are like the bassist), so hopefully they’re experiencing more & more success.

The Theory of a Deadman concert will probably go down as one of the greatest concert experiences ever, next to my Bon Jovi concert experience with my girlfriend Cassie back in my Air Force days.

(Long story short, a friend of mine worked security for the band.  He scored us some amazing wherever-the-heck we wanted seats and a pass for the after party. We stayed in the barricaded-off sound booth on the floor for the concert.  The Hair Band girl in me still squees over the fact that Mr. Bon Jovi himself smiled at me at the bar, and I literally rubbed elbows with the keyboardist, David Bryan. Bon Jovi was touring with Daughtry at the time, so I ate Hard Rock Cafe mini cheeseburgers with Daughtry’s drummer that will never ever remember me, and watched David Bryan & Daughtry karaoke Wanted Dead or Alive. IT WAS A DREAM, since Bon Jovi is basically my favorite.)

I digress. The Theory concert will probably go down as one of the greatest. We happened to run into Theory of a Deadman at a brewery prior to the show. Katy Perry was playing at the Honda Center right across the street from the brewery, so there were young gals and older women in feather boas and crazy bright pink leopard get-ups. It was entertaining to say the least, but as I rounded one of the corners, Tyler Connolly was standing there. I tried to be cool, but I know I was shaking, and he was so, so gracious. He laughed and said he was ready for the Katy Perry show, and took the time to speak with us for a brief minute and take pictures with us.

We were kidless that night, but the kids have always been huge Theory fans — we asked Tyler if he would mind saying hi to the kids in a video, and he legitimately took the time to do it. I can’t say enough how thankful we were that he was so open and willing to engage with fans; we were even more thankful that we actually had the opportunity to say thank you. Thank you, because our first years in California, and leading up to our first years in California, were NOT easy. We struggled, a lot.

Personally, and professionally, and one thing was always there — music. And Theory of a Deadman’s music, as nutty as it sounds, helped us through some incredibly difficult times. It meant a lot to me to be able to shake hands with & thank them, and even more that they appreciated their fans. We probably interrupted a conversation and their dinner, but they never acted like that. That’s amazing.

Tyler Connolly, Theory of a Deadman frontman was so nice to take a few moments to talk to us.

Tyler Connolly, Theory of a Deadman frontman was so nice to take a few moments to talk to us.

The Grove is a pretty small venue, so we got to choose where we stood. I like it not too far from the stage, but not too far away either. Where we stood was perfect. Black Stone Cherry played an amazing show, super energetic, and they played all of our favorites. It was pretty awesome to be so close, enough to be able to wave if you wanted and make eye contact with the band and have them interact with you.

The Theory show was a whole lot of fun, too. Both bands played really well live. One of the things I’ll remember is Tyler messing up the words on one of his songs, and laughing about it — I mean, how relateable can you be, right? We wound up with two guitar picks from the band that night because we were really that close to have them thrown at us. Our girl, Katie, got one of them, and the other is sitting in a shadowbox with our Theory tickets and the autographed bag we got because we bought so much merch.

So, fast forward about two years — we finally decided to go to another concert. Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch were headlining. As Lions and Sixx A.M. were the opening acts. I found out about this concert driving by the Honda Center in Anaheim. Their ticker said something about “Death Punch.”  Out of curiosity, I looked and about jumped out of my skin because they did mean FFDP!  I’ve been DYING to see these guys live. I’ve basically been playing FFDP during my work day every single day for six months. They’re definitely the get-shit-done kinda music that I need and helps me be motivated.

Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown

I’d really been looking forward to our date night and late anniversary present to ourselves. We ate dinner at the same place that we ran into Theory of a Deadman.  No luck this time, though!  I loved the FFDP show!  They had a pretty epic laser show that coincided with their music. Clearly, someone put a whole lot of time into it!

They played last, after Shinedown. I thoroughly enjoyed their show, and loved even more that they recognized veterans. I’ve never been one to wear the “veteran” badge on my sleeve, nor take discounts for active and former military, but it was evident that these guys CLEARLY appreciate those that serve.

For me, the greatest part was that they asked everyone who had served or was serving to raise their hands. Jeff and I acknowledged our service, and then listened to FFDP ream the handful of people that raised their hands without allegedly serving. It was sort of nice to listen to someone stand up for the people that served. Then, they played one of my favorites — their cover of Bad Company. Amazeballs. They played the other song I was hoping to hear, too — Jekyll & Hyde. Needless to say, I was totally satisfied.

Five Finger Death Punch

Shinedown, though… SHINEDOWN. They played before FFDP, and I was excited to hear them play. I’ve been a Shinedown fan for years, have their albums, and love them when they pop up in my playlist. I wasn’t as excited to hear them play as FFDP, but I was happy to be there.  But, let me tell you, they STOLE THE FREAKING SHOW. For me, hands down, Shinedown was beyond epic.

Brent Smith, the Shinedown lead, was so, so, so engaging and I think he had the greatest message that t

Shinedown

here’s too much hate in the world and we should love & unite instead. It’s a little touchy-feely when you say it out lo

ud, for me, but I appreciate the message so much. Brent Smith left the stage, ran through the crowd, connected with

us in the back. The fire display with the Shinedown show was pretty incredible, too!  Even though we weren’t super close to the stage, we could feel the heat.

The greatest thing about the Shinedown show was that they made me *feel* the music and the message they had. It wasn’t simply exciting to see a favorite band play, but actually FEEL it in your core. I haven’t had many experiences like that at concerts. How incredible is it to get lost in the music and the lyrics?

The verdict for me? I would absolutely see FFDP again the next time they’re in town, but I think that I will most definitely seek out another Shinedown show. I’ve already looked to see if there are any additional shows within driving distance. There aren’t, but they’re on my radar and I’ll be waiting.

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Badass Boss Babe Inspo

Who could use some badass boss babe inspo today?  I love this quote from Einstein: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

I think there’s a ton of truth in that.  Making mistakes is sort of life, ya know?  I think that sometimes, mistakes are embarrassing, but most of the time, a mistake is simply a way of learning what *not* to do next time.

I also think that this is a good way of saying that you should be prepared and ready for a mistake, especially if you’re trying something new.  The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with making a mistake or not being perfect.  If we were perfect, we would never progress and push ourselves further.

So, please feel free to snag this downloadable graphic!  It’s sized perfectly to share on your social media… in fact, I’d love for you to share this on your social media.  Encourage your fellow badass boss babes, why don’t ya?  Simply click the graphic to download, or you can click here.

 

Want font info?

The lovely sans font is called Athens, from Jen Wagner Co.  This font has become one of my regulars!  I love a tall, skinny sans. And, I think it’s amazeballs that it comes in multiple weights.

The cursive font is called Lemons Mangos Sunshine by the super sweet Emily Spadoni.  I’m a big fan of Emily’s work, and this particular font is one of my absolute favorites she’s ever done.  The swashes are so gorgeous, and the entire font is super versatile.

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Thieves – Handling Intellectual Property Theft

Oh yes, I said THIEVES. Not that amazing smelling essential oil from Young Living (my fav oil ever!), but legit THIEVES. Intellectual property theft is what I’m talking about.

If you’re a person that has put their all into their business, only to find that someone has stolen your material or intellectual property, you can understand the frustration that we’ve felt before.

We’ve become those victims. It’s happened a few times, and it’s always perplexing when it does happen. Is it really so hard to figure out how to say something on your own? We’ve had a gal, under the guise of being a future client, steal our questionnaire and probably use it. We’ve had people swipe our specific, injected-with-our-personalities wording from our listing details. People have copy/pasted generic information from our listings. It’s insane that people are really that lazy and dishonest.  We’ve also had folks inquire and solicit for more information about our services, claiming that they were in the market…except they worked in the same market.  We’ve even had a few of our premade logos blatantly copied.  (I mean, they were pretty awesome.)

We’ve handled it directly. We’ve submitted reports for copyright/intellectual property infringement, both with federal organizations and with Etsy, since that’s where the crime happened. Yes, crime. Because it is. (What? You didn’t know?) We’ve learned a few things along the way.

 

Reach Out.

Reach out to these people, if you want to take action against them. One thing that I learned in the military is that you should always handle things at the lowest level possible, because it’s often easiest this way. It’s always great to have a record, too, where you can submit proof of requesting the information/item to be removed. If someone knows that they’ve been busted, they likely won’t want any trouble and will remove the offending pieces from their website or shop. If they oblige, it’s super simple and fast. (But keep an eye out; our experiences have been such that we’ve had repeat offenders.)

You might encounter some full-of-crap excuses.  “I’m so sorry, I had no idea, I hired a guy to write my content for me, and I guess he stole it.” or “It’s not wrong to use YOUR business name in my logo display, give me proof.” (Yes, someone took Autumn Lane Paperie, OUR business name, and used it as a display name in their own shop’s logos.)

 

Submit a report.

If you run an Etsy shop, their IP section has a standard operating procedure for something like this. It requires you to submit a report, but they do request that you reach out to the person(s) first to handle it without the “grown ups” getting involved. Having screenshots of the infringement will be key to having action taken, and Etsy doesn’t take infringement lightly.

 

…but only if you’re certain.

You should also understand that Etsy, and many other entities, doesn’t take false reports lightly, nor do they take kindly to reports that come from shop owners that are under-prepared to make a claim…for example, no legal paperwork showing trademark rights, screenshots of plagiarism, and so on. A false report or a report in which you simply feel that you have been wronged but don’t have the legal stuff to back it up could result in your own shop being shut down.

 

Hire a Professional.

Hire a professional if you’re unsure. A lawyer can send a cease and desist letter to the offending person, and, lawsuits can be filed over this stuff. You should definitely use this as a last resort, though — you might wind up spending more than it’s worth just to prove a point.

 

Nothing.

Sometimes, doing nothing might be the best option. Follow me on this one.  We’ve had a few incidents where people took generic wording directly from our product information. I hear you saying, “If it’s generic, how do you even know?” It’s pretty simple. We noticed patterns.  Following on social media, sudden likes and favorites, and oh look, you’re a competitor? When you’re knee deep in web design, writing, and design work, you tend to notice stuff like this.  You also likely have ALL of the resources necessary to track down information.

 

Well, not NOTHING.  Keep an eye out.

When we get some fishy looking followers and favorites, and then notice you’re a competitor that is fairly new to the scene, and we see the exact generic wording contained in our listings showing up in yours…it’s pretty damn obvious. Sure is a big coincidence that even our generic information and lengthy lists are word-for-word.  If it’s generic, we often choose not to do anything drastic except for thanking for the favorites (we’ve got our eyes on you), and watching (yep, still have our eyes on you).  You can only be so creative when you’re listing what your branding package includes.  At the same time, no one likes it when you directly copy/paste — stop being lazy.

 


The whole thing sucks, let’s be honest. It sucks to realize you’ve been taken advantage of and that you’ve been stolen from after you’ve put countless hours into what you have. On the other hand, it’s a slight compliment (in the weirdest way) that someone sees you as successful enough to want to mirror your business down to your wording for generic branding items.

We recommend a legal statement on your website and shop to ensure protection.  Hire a professional, if you have any questions or concerns about whether or not your IP rights were violated.  You might also want to look into protection through an entity like DMCA. We’d also recommend trying to protect yourself by ensuring YOUR ducks are in a row and that YOU aren’t inadvertently being the problem.  Ensure that you keep licensing, if applicable, on hand so that you can offer proof if there is a question.  Additionally, make sure that if you’re doing business with other entities that maintain crystal clear policies.

Let me close this by saying that in our experiences, every single person that we’ve caught stealing from us has actually gone on to shut their shops down shortly thereafter. It won’t be true every single time, but you can’t get that far on stolen stuff or imitating abilities. Karma’s a bitch, after all.

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Badass Boss Babe Inspo

Here’s a little badass boss babe inspo for you today: be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.  Isn’t this amazing?  I think it’s the perfect reminder for a business owner, plugging away at what they do.  We’re all in business for a reason, right?  We started businesses because it made us happy.  The day-to-day aspects of business can really zap you of your passion if you let it.

Sometimes, I think that we even get “stuck” in what is working and keeping things afloat that we forget to keep charging forward for those things that set your soul on fire.  New ideas, new concepts, new additions are all things that you should be fearless about.  Don’t get too comfortable or complacent — be fearless, and constantly seek out more.  I think that fear — especially fear of failure — keeps us from realizing our fullest potential and greatest joys.

Feel free to click on that image over there, download it, and share it to your social media to encourage other business owners & dream chasers — hashtag it with #autumnlanepaperie and feel free to tag me, too!  You can also click here to download the image!

 

Want font info?

The ever talented Sam Parrett designed Crystal Sky, and you can find Bravery here, by Pollux of Geminorum.

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Three Tips on How to Build Trust in Your Brand

A trustworthy brand is so important if you expect to make it as a business.  The trust that you can build will lead to that initial “leap of faith” with a purchase, and continued trust-building will likely lead to additional purchases, as well as referrals.  Basically, building trust in your brand is crucial to establishing lasting relationships with your clients.  Let me give you three tips on how to build trust in your brand.

The Golden Rule

Treat others the way you want to be treated.  The Golden Rule sounds like a given, but so often, people need to be reminded of this.  Businesses make us busy. Sometimes they make us short-tempered or terse with our prospective clients that simply want to have their questions answered.  After a long day of managing your business, remember how you would feel if you received an e-mail like the one you’re about to send.  Kindness, compassion, and gratitude go a long way in establishing a personal and personable relationship with the people you want to make your clients.

Show Off Your Brand

In short, branding equals credibility.  The general population is judgmental, and if you don’t have a nice-looking logo, website, or branded materials to look at, there’s a good chance they’ll pass you by.  I sat in on a seminar once in which the gal speaking mentioned that a logo must be seen some 6-8 times over the course of 2-3 weeks.  Why is that? It’s because your brand needs to stay etched into someone’s mind in order to build trust and familiarity.  That could come in the form of your logo on a website, on a postcard, on a business card, or perhaps someone talking about your company in conversation.  Keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds.  The professionalism you could display with your brand will also go a long way to build trust, as well.  You may be the most credible, trustworthy person ever, but if your brand looks like you made it in Paint…well, you know.

Be Accessible & Prompt

Make yourself accessible to your prospective and returning clients.  Answer your e-mails promptly.  If you have a business line, publish your phone number and answer it.  Are you in a physical location?  Make sure you display your address, and ensure that the maps display your correct location.  If it’s difficult to track you down, people won’t put in the effort.  Additionally, if you don’t display various methods to establish contact with you, people may view your inaccessibility with distrust.


Of course, you’re not limited to three ways to build trust.  There are many ways that you can build trust.  First, think about some of your favorite brands, or the companies you purchase from regularly.  Why do you give them your business?  Consider what factors make you trust their brand.  Then, consider how can you take those factors, and use them in your business.  Ultimately, trust will lead to buy-in.  If you have people on board with your business and products, you’ll be unstoppable.

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So, You Want to Blog? Part 2: A Plan for a Badass Blog

So, you want to blog?  Now that you have an idea, you need a plan.  It has to be a badass plan for your badass blog.  Duh!

The biggest part of your plan will be content.  Content is this.  Look around.  It’s the stuff you write, the subjects you talk about, and the info you’re putting out there.  Unless you’re heading down the lifestyle blog path where you detail your day to day, you’ll likely need to plan out your content.  That’s not the same as planning your blog posts, just so you know.

When I say “planning blog content” I mean gathering up topics & information to write about.  If you’re planning an informational type blog, you might need to plan for research, too.  The planning your posts part is more like scheduling your posts once you have the content written.

Other parts of your plan should include your brand and your future website.

 

Brain Dump

The first part of your plan should be a brain dump.  This’ll probably occur over a time span, and not one single sit-down session.  When I say “brain dump,” I mean that you should jot down all of your ideas for your blog, no matter what it’s about.  I would suggest dividing your dump into a few different sections: content ideas, brand + website ideas, and other possibilities.

I write down ideas that I have ALL the time.  Most of my ideas go into my Notes app.  Since I use Apple products, I can add them to my phone on the go, my desktop machine as I’m working, my laptop as I’m blogging, or on my iPad if I’m using it.  They all sync up, so I have the same notes no matter where I go.

I also use my Limelife Planner.  Sometimes, as I’m working through my day’s to-do list, I’ll have a stroke of genius that I need to scrawl out, or put onto my schedule.  Writing down your ideas will be key, even after you’ve done your brain dump.  Don’t just write down one or two words about your idea. Give a little detail and depth so that you don’t forget where you were headed with it.

 

Refine

After you’ve let your various ideas simmer, it’s time to refine things.  What fits, and what doesn’t?  What should you let go of?  Are these ideas you’re letting go of still great ideas you can incorporate later?

 

Vision + Mission Statement

Most businesses have a vision and a mission statement.  Well, at least, they should have those things!  In the simplest terms possible, a vision is the goal, and the mission statement is the plan to execute.  Your blog should have a vision and a mission statement, too!

It could look something like this:

The goal of Autumn Lane Paperie’s blog is to empower and connect with other like-minded business owners (vision) by providing easy to digest information and experiences in a down-to-earth, relatable manner (mission).

 

What I’ve Done So Far

My blog content planning was pretty willy-nilly and all over the place at first.  I’ve been rolling around the idea of blogging for years.  I actually started a few times, but it sort of dropped off because life happened, or because I wasn’t entirely certain that I wanted to open up all areas of my personal life.  (The blogs were definitely more of a lifestyle/family type of blog, and I think my kids should have privacy, so I sort of just stopped blogging and telling stories.)  I thought that a business-related personal-ish blog was a great solution, but it turns out, we really want to provide information to people and help them with their business ventures.  So, Autumn Lane’s blog is really the best avenue for that!

Once I started to realize the type of blog I would enjoy writing, I realized that a lot of it was business-heavy.  We (my husband and I) have a great deal of experience in the business world with both failed and successful businesses, a ton of combined experiences to share, and we’re also regular people working to feed a family and have fun.

I want to share those experiences as a mom + wife, a family person, a student, and business woman.  I want to share experiences and recommendations with people, and also have a way to look back on some memories made, connect with others over them, and so on.

In addition to the business related posts that I knew I would have, I realized I would also have a lot of great insight on branding.  It is what I do everyday, after all!  Some of the other things I want to write about include things that make my life easier (who doesn’t like that type of info?), organization, and food + travel.

As I realized the type of things I wanted to write about, I realized my blog was beginning to take shape as a business + lifestyle blog.  I have a ton to say about running a business, but I say it from a busy mom’s perspective.  Autumn Lane was born because I wanted to be there for & provide for my family.

I also really love the idea of being able to show that there are real people behind what we do at Autumn Lane Paperie.  Sometimes, business takes on a much-too-professional and sterile feel, and that’s just not me!  While we do provide professional level services and products, we’re pretty casual people over here.  I connect better with my clients when I’m communicating like *myself* and not someone trying to *sound* professional.  Creating better connections leads to better brands, plain & simple!


 

In the next So, You Want to Blog? series, we’ll be taking a look at making the actual *badass blog* happen!  We’ll touch on the website and branding aspect of your future blog!

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Common Misconceptions About Running an Etsy Business

Autumn Lane Paperie got its start on Etsy, like many businesses do. Etsy is & has been amazing to us — not only is the dashboard super easy to use, but Etsy has been super attentive to our needs when we have questions or when issues arise. We’re really happy with how things have gone with Etsy, and the clients it’s helped us reach. We’ve found that there’s a little bit of a negative stigma around doing business with Etsy, though.  People seem to have their own ideas about what an Etsy business is, or is not.

 

Incorrect Assumption #1: You’re not a real business.

I still encounter this a lot, where people assume that because you’re using Etsy as a method of setting up a storefront, it means you aren’t a legitimate, full-time business.  Tell that to a six-figure business doing this seven days a week! A lot of shop owners use Etsy *with* their website, or even open up a shop after they’ve established their own website. Simply because not everyone has the capital or inclination to go out on their own doesn’t make their Etsy shop any less of a business. Furthermore, when you sign up for Etsy as a seller, you *must* provide tax information. Sorry, but that seems legit to me!

 

Incorrect Assumption #2: You are obviously a hobby shop.

No, not like a hobby shop crafty type of store…I’m talking about a shop that someone has opened up because they have a hobby and want to profit from it. This assumption also ties in with #1 — not all Etsy shops are opened because the owner has a hobby that they’d like to profit from. I’ve had conversations with folks before and when we mention that we’re on Etsy, they’ve said, “Oh, I didn’t know you were doing it part-time.” or “It must be nice to have a hobby that pays well!”

I’m not sure what it is about the mention of the word Etsy and people tying it to hobbies or part-time work, but so many shop owners rely solely on Etsy to have a paycheck! We don’t rely solely on Etsy now (we did before) but at least half of our income is a direct result of sales on Etsy. We also work morning, noon, and night…and although we don’t communicate with clients 7 days a week, you best believe we’re working on something for the business.

It’s not a hobby — it’s how we put food on the table for our family. Period.

 

How to “Legitimize” Your Etsy Shop

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about the assumptions people make if you’re an Etsy business owner, but there are a few things you can do to set yourself apart — if your Etsy shop is your bread + butter, treat it better and be freakin’ proud of it!

 

BRAND YOURSELF.

Whether it’s with us, or someone else, brand yourself!  Make it obvious and known throughout your Etsy shop. Etsy allows you to use a large cover photo and an avatar, which are great places to get your brand in front of people’s faces. You can also use such things as custom or reserved Etsy listings that are also branded for your business. If it’s feasible to put your brand on all product images, either by keeping the same layout on each photograph or putting a watermark there, do it. Often, being branded appropriately can make or break the sale — it shows that you are taking the time to give your business the best start possible and that you’re taking it seriously by trying to establish consistency and cohesion for your business.

 

WRITE MO’ BETTER.

Funny, huh? Seriously, though. Take the time to write your product listing details.  Take the time to give people a solid introduction to your shop.  Let’s not forget, introduce yourself, too!  It is 100% possible to write well AND still inject your personality into it so that it’s not boring and sterile. Spend the extra time on it, because these prospective clients? They’re judgin’ you. Similarly, make sure you have a solid policies section.

 

BETTER PICTURES.

Etsy gives you tips for your images — take the tips seriously, and do it. Product presentation is going to be HUGE when it comes to setting yourself apart. Think about it…if you are searching for penguin salt & pepper shakers and you find identical listings them, same price, but different product pictures, you’ll probably pick the one that looks the best, right? The one that has the best lighting, cleanest images, and clearly displays the product….not the one that is like Nokia cell phone quality, dimly lit, and painful to look at. This is another small detail that will have a huge impact on whether someone chooses to click that “buy” button.

 

COMMUNICATE.

Find a way to communicate better through messages. Some people have a real knack for making an e-mail sound fabulous and fun.  And then, others seem a little drab and unexcited. I know, I know — reading tone into an e-mail…who does that?! Um, how about everyone?? You’ve been there. Your significant other sends a text to you that simply says “ok” — no punctuation, nothing else, and you’re all… “ok???” Ok like, great? Or ok like, leave me alone I’m busy?

Don’t forget your punctuation in your communications.  Always ensure that you’ve found a way that jives with your personality to let people know you’re excited or happy to hear from them. It makes for a more positive experience for the customer.  It also means they’re much more likely to refer you, and so on.

 

What are some misconceptions that you hear about an Etsy business, and how do you deal with them?

 

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I Woke Up Like This … Tired

I Woke Up Like This ... TiredWho can attest to this?  I woke up like this … tired.  This is me, most days, and the reason why I can go through a pot of coffee in a matter of 2-3 hours quite easily.  It seems that there are NEVER enough hours in the day to accomplish what you need to (or want to).  There are even fewer hours to rest and recharge, am I right?

I Woke Up Like This … Tired

I love this shirt for so many reasons.  For one, it’s like the Mama Anthem.  I also dig how fun this is — I loved lettering this one.  It’s pretty, flowy, a little bouncy, and then…totally direct.  TIRED.  It’s a tee to wear with pride, but maybe a little bit of a warning for everyone else around you, too.  🙂  I paired this lettering with warmer, richer tones.

To me, it seems like the perfect thing to wear with your fav pair of jeans or some yoga pants, running errands or curled up next to a warm fire while your kids wreak havoc on the house you just cleaned.

Grab yours here!

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