Guide to using internet images for marketing, products and blogs : stay copyright safe and don’t risk it!

copy right

stay copy right safe

Have you recently started a craft business or at home business and looking to put together some marketing information? As you browse and scroll through countless internet sites you inevitably see some fantastic photographs and marketing material that would work perfectly with your product. You may casually consider inserting one of these already done marketing images into something you are selling, on your website, within your marketing information but we caution you against this at ALL costs.

This is when you have to consider and stop before proceeding and you must gain permission from the copyright or image holder before using for anything that you create. Why is it so important to ensure you have permission to use an image on the internet:

Every image is copyrighted by default. The copyright is owned by the person who produced or engineered that image. They can sell the rights to that image in various ways or they could license the image for use for free.

Browsing ThinkStock (affiliate link but reputable royalty free images and marketing for your business use) will give you an idea of what is out there for your use. In fact, it is much easier to browse images that are well-organized in this way vs countless hours searching on the web for something to use: Stock Photos

It is usually innocent enough, you browse and browse and find something so perfect for your marketing campaign and cannot even find the source for the image, so you assume it is copyright free and insert it into your marketing campaign.  Easy enough. Months go past and you find that you get a cease and desist letter from someones lawyer after the original copyright owner has found their image on your business pages.  It happens EVERY DAY.  It is so costly to back out of this accidental situation that we highly advise you to ensure it does not happen from the very beginning.

When you are working with a graphic designer, task them with detailing in writing how the images they are using are copy written.  Countless stories are out there about how much a small business has paid for marketing design, gone to press with it, paid thousands for it and only to find later that the images were actually copy written and therefore illegal to distribute! If your graphic designer is unsure about how design copyrights work then that is a red flag to find another graphic designer. All they are doing is passing the buck to your business and making it easier on them by just grabbing and copying something on the internet vs. designing something that is copyright free to use and is unique.

What is the best way to ensure the images you are using are free of copyright issues and can be used with your material? You should purchase that right. Make it free and clear for your use from the very beginning and save heartache, time and legal issues later.  We suggest the service think stock (affiliate link) that you can pay for the right to use vector, illustrations and photos.

Thinkstock

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How to start your craft business : research and pricing tips.

research and pricing craft business

tips for starting a craft business

Pearson Education (FTPress.com) ( good source for education related material, entrepreneurship, marketing and more)

There seems to be a never-ending buzz of information in regards to business ownership and starting a business.  Pinterest will show hundreds of ideas and craft ideas that you may think to yourself , ” I can do that too, but with a personal spin on that idea”.   Perhaps  pinterst or other blogs inspires a flourish of activity on your end as you build your craft business from scratch.  Or , perhaps you are gifted in  craft  that you do already .  So your idea is  just needing  to be fleshed out  into reality.   No matter where you are in your craft start-up, once something starts to take shape in your mind is when some pretty tough questions you will have to answer:

would this sell? can I sell this?

This article will help you with these questions. Get your mind cranking and gears shifting and focus on something that is viable for your at home craft business.  The best way to start this large task  is to  start with category research and pricing.  These can be very complex subjects and this article is meant as an intro to get you started.

 

 Do your research on your category

Have you researched your competition in your category and sub category? (for instance, are you a knitter? are you going to specialize in something like hats or mittens or children’s goods?) Who are you biggest competitors, how much are they selling per month? What are they selling the most of? Here is a tip : going to www.craftcount.com will let you research the top 100 sellers for etsy in EACH category to get you started on who is doing what in the world of etsy.  Remember you are researching your friendly competition in ways that you can differentiate yourself apart from them, not emulate.

Take a piece of paper and jot down what is happening in your category, what is the look and feel of the major players in each sub category? Can you understand why they are successful (write down why)? Is there something they (you)  could be doing better?  What is their personal story and what would yours be? What is the brand feel like to you ( the logo, colors, name)?

What can you offer that is unique or better than they are? You  must differentiate yourself, not copy a business model. Push yourself to creatively wedge yourself as a fresh new player in your chosen category.

 

Do your pricing research

There’s definitely an art to pricing and strategies ( we will look at this in a deeper way in separate articles) .  Pricing is the most challenging aspects of your craft business. Honor yourself first. What do we mean by that?.  Establish a price that pays yourself and your work as a priority. Do not give your product away. The entire point of having a business is to make a fair profit. Ensure you build a fair profit into your pricing strategy.  We suggest starting with this time-tested retail formula :

Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale (x 2) = Retail Price 

Then take a look at what your competition ( from all that category research) is doing in regards to pricing.  Is there a reason why they are price positioned that way? Is your number above or below their retail pricing?

 

Doing your due diligence for research in pricing and category will help get your mind brainstorming .   Your goal is to get those craft ideas  into reality and profitability.  There are so many pieces to this puzzle and in other articles we will discuss them.

Kelli with The Work at Home Magazine

Copyright 2013-2014

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Where to advertise your blog or business

business advertising ideas

90 + places to advertise your business or blog

Advertising options are simply overwhelming and there are many ways to advertise your blog or business. With that said, we asked for a list of places to advertise your blog and we were sent this list (thank you carmen zurich). Hopefully this gets you started in the right direction for your new business or venture. Getting your blog seen is all about marketing, seo, traffic and views :



Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only



Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only



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New From: $39.50 USD In Stock
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90 + ways to advertise your blog or business 

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Craft show table cloth ideas that are DIY

craft booth display ideas

DIY table cloth for craft booths

 

Any business that operates at a craft show has to engineer and create every part of their setup.  The not for sale items in your booth which is your booth setup is very crucial to your success.  They are vital for a number of reasons :  cohesiveness for your brand, ease to transport and usability.  The issue of usability is very important in regards to your craft booth setup. If you have something that is not usable it simply will not allow you to set up your craft show or work your booth well. There are a host of purchased and manufactured craft show table cloths out there, but what about DIY?  Creativity is rampant among fellow craft owners and they have put together some polished table-cloth ideas.

Why is something that seems so basic like a table-cloth so important?  Here is one example of a craft show table-cloth that didn’t work well for one business owner,  Marine Weisler :

” I made the mistake of using a store-bought table-cloth  that fits an actual table for my first craft show, about one hour into the show I realized what a huge mistake it was…it would not stay on the table and would slip and fall off and looked terrible. I ended up pulling the tablecloth off midway thru and my product had to be re-installed on bare white craft show tables and needless to say, my sales were terrible and I believe it was my lack of understand how to put together a craft show  and NEVER again will I make that mistake again “.

 

With that in mind, here are some examples of craft table clothes that you can DIY or have made and some interesting uses for them:

 

  • This craft show booth owner source : MaieDae    looks like they drapped antique or crocheted linens on top of a standard black table-cloth and then hung a banner of knotted fabric.

    craft table cloth

    craft table cloth

 

  •  printed kraft paper banner to add a feel of artisan and hand-made to their craft show booth and table design  source : craft lab 
craft show table cloth idea

craft show table cloth idea

  • Here is a DIY example on how to make your own booth table-cloth from Zween : source 
DSCN6359

diy craft show banner

  • Stencil your own banner on burlap or other fabric material.
craft show booth

diy burlap printed table cloth

  • Hand drawn tables directly on white table cloths , what could you draw on yours?  source 
    craft show table clothes

    hand drawn table clothes

     

  • A very creative, yet extremely inexpensive idea is using kraft paper and decorating it with paint and affixing that to your table. The possibilities are endless here and could be redone before each show if needed or desired.  source

    craft show table cloth

    hand painted craft show table cloth

     

  • Great use of space here, on what looks like a simple burlap covering on the table, the owner utilized space in a way that not only decorates the table but is usable as a product holder. source

 

unique table cloth design

using product as a table cloth design

  • This craft booth used interesting and cohesive colored fabric that ties in very well with their product offerings, draping them in ways that draw attention and focus to the products. source
draping cloth show display

using angled cloth as table display



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How to start creating your craft show booth . Display and decorating tips for successful craft show business owners.

craft show , booth design, setup, ideas

Craft Shows booth displays: the idea of which is both exhausting and exhilarating.  Displays can swing from wildly successful to depressingly terrible. There are so many factors that go into a successful craft or trade show ( and we will have a more in-depth look at craft shows in other articles) .   This article concentrates on starting from ground zero in terms of planning your own craft show booth design.

One of the most anxiety inducing component of a craft show is your booth : the aesthetics of which can make or break your show.  We have written a list of questions for you to answer in a way to help you springboard your own creativity and design into fruition.

Remember that you are not only selling a product, you are building a brand image. Your brand image needs to not only make sense but needs a cohesive identity from booth to product to communication. Think in long-term ways  for brand design ( yes , even designing a craft booth display for your local church craft show IS a brand design and is very important).  

Here are  ’10 questions for you to consider while designing your craft booth ‘.

  1.  How much do I want to spend on my craft show booth setup ? ( what is my top limit to spend and what is my ideal limit to spend).
  2. What is the ‘feel’ of my product ? (  crafty, organic, polishes, flashy, corporate etc).  The goal is matching the TONE of your booth to the TONE of your product.  Branding is all about creating harmony, especially in the confines of a craft show.  The typical craft show buyer is walking by quickly and accessing your product in mere seconds – give them a cohesive idea of what you are selling and what your product IS all about. If it is organic, show  the organic feeling.   Make the customer FEEL they are right there on that farm, kitchen, business or studio as you design and work your product in real life.  Write these feelings about your brand in words , aka brainstorm. You are answering what image or feeling does my brand evoke and why?  Free flow your thoughts on paper. Read, collate, collect and notice patterns.
  3. How big are my products and how big is the transportation that I have to haul both of my product AND my display? This is important. Your transport options directly influence your setup.  Many people make the mistake of realizing this after they attempt to pack up the night before a craft show setup and then have to scramble to plan b. That is both a waste of time and money not to mention stress.  Do a dry run of how much product you will be taking and how those products will be stored and then figure out how much extra room you have in your car.truck.van in which to bring your display.
  4. Do you have any ‘small object branding items’ ?  Now that we have nailed our money, space constraints as well as appreciating what the FEEL of our product is, start combining these in ‘small object branding’.  Brainstorm some common or uncommon household items, cast offs, found items, old wooden boards, antiques and even graphic design. Utilize any items that are space conscious and pertain to your feel that you are going for in regards to your brand.  For instance : artisan handcrafted goat soap – maybe an antique soap tray as a display among your soaps? Or how about if you sell scarves or knitted products –  scattered or displayed knitting needles? You maybe surprised how many objects you already have that could tell the story and feel of your brand and add some excitement to your display.
  5. How big will your space be? Now this is a big one, as you start to sell in more and more craft fairs or trade shows you will notice that your space will change frequently.  Sometimes you will just have your standard 10 x 10 but then other times you will have an oddly shaped design of 8 x 5.  Is it a corner? Are their electrical outlets (if so where)? Will the booth floor have carpet (if not I highly suggest you get a cheap rug for your feet so you can stand all day and sell!).  Is there anything unusual about the rules of your event ( does it come with drapes? are you allowed to hang anything from the walls or are you needing to have everything freestanding)? Study your booth guidelines from the craft fair director and ask any questions in email when in doubt ASK and have it in writing.
  6. Where is your space in relation to other booths during the show? Are you wedged in between other craft booths ( if so you need to design your booth with the possibility of HIGH sides from your neighbors swallowing up your booth).  If you are on the corner, you will need to take advantage of the idea that traffic can come from both ways.  Study the traffic flow and layout of your booth in regards to this event, a mistake here can be quite costly.  It is like what they say in real estate ‘ location, location location’.
  7. Will you be bringing your own tables and chairs or will they be provided? ( is it time to invest in your own tables or is it easier for you to rent them?)
  8. What is the color scheme of your booth?
  9. What is your favorite retail store and why? ( this is to give you some creative nudges to start thinking in real terms about why you are drawn to a certain type of aesthetic)
  10.  Is your booth seasonal or will it remain static (will you decorate it based on a theme for holidays and then for spring, or will it remain the same year-long?

Good luck to you as you start designing your craft booth. We will have more in-depth articles about craft shows and how to be successful in them in later articles.  One final note, we have been collecting and curating an online pin board pertaining to craft booth display and design for quite some time, last look there is over 900 + pins.   http://www.pinterest.com/artisansupply/craft-show-booth-ideas-trade-show-how-to-decorate-/

Kelli Hale, The Work at Home Magazine 

 

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