Subtitle

A personal look at the trails and triumphs of creating a business from the ground up; of starting a business selling what you create.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Facebook Marketing

I have come to the somewhat sad conclusion that Facebook is not the place for me to build an original following for Scarlet Moon Creations. Facebook before it went public would have been great for my young business. Unfortunately, I did not create a business page until just before that. The effect going public had was that now Facebook had to prove that it could make money as a social networking site. It decided to do this in one way by changing its site wide algorithms ruling what content users see. Basically, the more you like a certain person's or page's posts the more they show up on your news feed. The drawback to that is if you don't click that like button often enough those 'less liked' people and pages will disappear from your news feed.

Now all of us who have used Facebook for purely personal reasons know that we don't click that button for everything we see on our news feeds but that does not mean we do not want to see it all. Now Facebook did try to adjust things by giving you the option to change your settings and let certain people and pages onto your news feed while blocking others. They then came up with the Pages Feed so that you could actually see what the businesses and groups are up to without them getting lost among your more personal contacts. You can even make lists for family, friends, co-workers, and any other specialized grouping so that they can essentially have a separate news feed that you can look at. But honestly, when it comes down to it who wants to do all that work to find out what's going on with the people, places and things you have already taken the time to find and like so you could follow them easier. It somewhat defeats the purpose.

After officially going public, Facebook took even more measures to show its backers it can make money by creating advertising and boost payment packages for pages. "Hey, not getting enough followers, why don't you pay for an ad that you create for your target market here." Not a bad idea; a good one actually. But on top of that Facebook's new algorithm says, "hey all those followers you got (and possible paid for ads to get) aren't really seeing your posts. Really it's only 6% of them so you should pay to boost your individual posts so that the people who already liked your page can actually see you on their news feeds." Many business pages went from having, as an example, 1,000 followers and roughly 600 likes and/or views for each post they publish down to roughly 60 likes and/or views per post. For those of us just starting out, you only get about 5-10 views or likes per post unless you pay to boost your posts. And that's hard on a new small business. Unfortunately, within the past few weeks Facebook has done another update that reduces views for posts to only 1-2% of your following.

Courtesy of Pixabay
One way to get around the views issue is for your followers to click yes for notifications from your page once they like your page. This means every time you post something they will get a notification. The drawbacks are if those people don't look at their notifications often, it makes no difference or if you post a lot all those notifications can become annoying. So with all of this, these past few months I've been very frustrated trying to crunch the numbers and coming to the conclusion that Facebook is not the place to build a new business following. I think it's best to be more established elsewhere first and then give those people the option to follow me on Facebook and to offer Facebook only specials.

What does this mean for Scarlet Moon Creations and Facebook? Well, I've reduced my presence there by not posting as much. I plan to be more active on this blog and on my personal blog on tumblr. I use Pinterest, Instagram and most recently Google+ as sort of behind-the-scenes looks into Scarlet Moon Creations inspirations, creation process, ingredients, and its owner. I hope to create a full picture from all angles so you can see the business grow without being redundant across multiple social networking sites.


So Facebook is not going away entirely just having a reduced presence. I know that means more work for me since one of the perks of Facebook was if I go on for personal reasons and see or think of something worth posting on Scarlet Moon Creations page I could do so easily. That and already having a follower base to work from. But if even my friends and family cannot see my business posts to like and share it short of defeats the purpose. I wanted to end this post on a positive note and not a bitter one. I've gone back and forth over this entire issue and how I feel about it and I think that this decision is best for now and that is why I feel I can write about it. Its not the end, its just the beginning.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Business Ventures in 2014

This year has been the beginning of something new. At my current day job I told my boss I would give him two years. That was in March of 2013, which means I have now been there a little over a year. The reason for this time constraint is that I had originally been turned down for this position and I had decided to focus all my attention on my Etsy business as well as starting on my ultimate career goal of running my own event planning business. So I gave myself two years of paychecks to help fund both of those ventures.

Late last year I realized that I needed to start moving forward on the event planning side of things. But being a bit apprehensive and wanting someone by my side I asked a friend if she wanted to be my business partner. This was just after Christmas 2013. You would not believe the amazing event conversations that I have with R. Its been awhile since I've had someone to talk to who is just as enthusiastic about event planning as I am.

So what have we been doing since then? Living our regular lives and slowly putting together an event business. Coming up with our business goals and structure so that we can get down to serving our clients. Every time I think about it I want to dance around the room. How about you?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Body Butter and Body Bars

The body butter is not coming out how I think it's supposed to so I tried the recipe three more times. Twice each with an increasing amount of jojoba oil instead of the coconut oil I had used the last time. I did this after doing some more research online and reading in one blogs comments how a liquid oil was necessary for that soft and fluffy whipped texture to stay and not harden the better later.

Coconut oil is still considered a "solid" oil so I switched it with jojoba oil which is the closest to our skin's naturally produced oil. I didn't use enough the first time because I got the same results, so I tried again. This time seemed better but because I let the mixture harden too much before whipping, it was too difficult.

Since I was pressed for time at that point, I just let that mixture melt again and poured it into the soap molds I had bought just for that purpose. A few months ago I came across a recipe for body bars which is very similar to that for body butter. Obviously, no whipping is required.


When I came back later the bars had hardened nicely but they were still a bit too soft to come out of the molds properly. The recipe calls for coconut oil not jojoba oil. The bars certainly work wonderfully but to make them look pretty I'll use coconut oil or even mango butter as the third main ingredient next time.

So essentially its more liquid oils for the whipped body butter and more solid oils for the body bars. Though if I can find a happy medium that works for both I'll be happy.