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Category: Business Talk

15 Jul

IDAL Bound…

Dana Tucker and I have been knee-deep in preparing for the IDAL convention and our class, Building Your Online Brand.  We’re SO excited to see fellow artists and also to teach the class together.  We sent out a survey to those who have registered to gauge what information they wanted most of and it was great to have that feedback readily available.  We don’t want anyone leaving without the information they need to have to enhance their business!  In fact, trying to pack all the information we can into two hours is the challenge!  We’re also planning a fun surprise for those who have signed up for the class.  You’ll see soon enough… ;)

IDAL Convention

I've even been seeing IDAL in my dreams...

Speaking of social media,we had a great Twitter #DecArts chat last night!  It was more of a “cocktail party” where everyone could e-meet fellow tweeters, discover new blogs, see a few great links… It was truly heartwarming to see those who came by for a bit.  In fact, one of my co-hosts, Barbara Rocha of Paint a Lifestyle, wrote a great follow-up last night.  I think it was a promising start to the regular chats we’ll be having with great topics and special guests.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.  BTW, Marketing and Social Media were two of the topics suggested for future chats.  We love all suggestions!  Of course, you are invited!

Next week we will have Column Week — I do hope you enjoy the five projects that are set to be profiled.  I’ll probably be giving updates on the IDAL  conference on Twitter and on the Fauxology Facebook Fan Page.  Are you going?  Look me up if you are!  Have a fantastic weekend, dear Readers!

07 Jul

You’re Invited to a Twitter Party!

Who doesn’t love a party?!?  Can I see a show of hands?  Yes, I think I see someone with two hands up in the back — you’re definitely on the list!  Well, a few of us on Twitter thought it would be great to host a  “cocktail” party on Twitter.

Everyone’s invited!

Date: Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time: 8 – 9 pm, EST

Location: Twitter!

Aaron Cohen (@StuccoItaliano), Darrell Morrison (@DarrellMorrison), Barbara Rocha (@PaintaLifestyle) and myself (Regina Garay – @Fauxology) are on Twitter.  A lot.  We love the interaction, the information and of course, meeting new people.  Aaron originally came up with a list of decorative painters and plaster specialists who were on Twitter but we thought to have an online gathering to introduce ourselves and e-meet others.

Never been to a Virtual Party, you say?  Never fear — here’s the deets.

WHAT TO EXPECT

First, join Twitter and become acquainted with how it works.  A Twitter Party works just like a regular party: you come in, introduce yourself, ask a few questions, join the conversation and have a great time — only the visiting is among the Twitter community with guests from all over the world.  There is no registration — simply by using the hashtag #DecArts you can follow the chat as it happens live.  You can meet other artists, find a broader audience for your blog or product line, find new people to follow and/or follow you, learn interesting new goings-on in the industry and more.

HOW TO PARTY!

You can use Twitter itself (search for #DecArts and follow from there with your saved search), TweetDeck or just join using TweetChat, which easily works like a great chat room. (I’ll be using TweetChat to join the party.  They have a great YouTube tutorial if you click here.)  As you tweet, be sure to type in #DecArts so everyone can follow what you are saying as well.  A great, short how-to: How to Join Twitter Chats.

Here are a couple of tips for the Twitter Party…

  • A Twitter Party is a bit of an Open House. You can arrive on time or be fashionably late. We would love for you to be there the whole time so that you can join in on all the fun.
  • As your party hosts, we will ask some conversation starter questions. Join in and reply!
  • Conversations will vary throughout the party or you may have a question or two. Other guests chime in with their thoughts to those questions and the conversation goes on. It’s all very informal and related to our topic of the party.  No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!
  • If you need to make a phone call, get something to drink, tuck a child into bed or put another load of laundry in the dryer, just hop to it and join back in the conversation when you can.  Time to head out?  We hope you will say your goodbyes and we’ll virtually see you next time.
  • The more the merrier! You are welcome to invite your Twitter friends and followers to the party.

We have a surprise for you.

We’re going to keep having these get-togethers to chat on a monthly basis and have a featured guest and/or topic.  The July 14th event is just for everyone to get together to meet, get to know each other and have fun.  On July 28th (same bat time and place), we have a special design tech guru as our guest.  We’ll be talking about time saving tips & tricks to maximize your business’ social media strategies while freeing up more of your time to focus on the creative works.  We’ll post more on that soon!  By the way, leave me any questions if you have any…

Are you excited? Hope to see you there!

 

 

18 May

Fauxology Updates

Hello, hello!  Well, I’ve been busy testing out several things and wanted to update you on the results. You ready?

First up, our Fauxology Fan Page on Facebook.  Are you a Fan yet?  WHAT?!?  No, no seriously.  It’s cool…no worries.

OK, enough shenanigans, we need to get through this post. ;)   Our Fan Page features a lot of links to stories and profiles that I find around the Internet that don’t necessarily translate to an entire post — but they’re still very cool to look at and read.  I also post (what I think are) amazing images, too.  I try not to cross-pollinate much because I like fresh content on both the blog and the fan page.  But I did do this…

fauxology facebook fan page
Screen Shot of Fauxology FB Fan Page

The updated menu on the side has an All About Fauxology tab which links to our Mission Statement and other cool things, including a Contact Us form. We’ve added our Twitter feed and the brand-new YouTube channel.  Best of all, there is a Contests & Giveaways tab which can keep you updated on all the current opportunities you have to win a great prize. It’s divided into three categories: The Deets (which is currently showcasing info on the gorgeous Royal Stencil Crèmes and a Giveaway), Week-long Series opportunities (only a few days left to submit your Column projects!) and the Photo Contests. The next Photo Contest is in June and it is a great prize.  I hope these enhance your Fauxology experience on Facebook!

Our YouTube Channel is new but we will be updating it with videos on both decorative painting in design and online marketing bites.  There’s a very cool announcement coming up about Twitter as well.  That’s all I can say for now since there’s so much more to come to compliment our Building Your Online Brand class at IDAL.

A personal triumph for me is that we sent out our first Fauxology newsletter this morning — it rounds up the current goings-on here at the blog as well as a sneak peek into what’s coming up in June.  If you’ like to sign up to receive future issues, the form to join our mailing list is on our Fauxology home page.

As a final, I wanted to let you know that yours truly is being featured in the Faux by Kathy website as both a blogger (home page profile) and as a Preferred Decorative Artisan with images of our work.  On the blogger article, you find out exactly what jumpstarted Fauxology.  (It involves the word “Intervention”.)  Faux by Kathy is a fantastic site for faux finishers as they post info on products, workshops and offer a slew of resources, including a free Finish of the Month series.  It is run by the lovely Kathy Carroll and is definitely worth checking out.

Any thoughts on the improvements and coming attractions?  Have a great day!

28 Apr

IDAL Class: Building Your Online Brand

Have you made your travel plans yet to attend the IDAL Convention this Summer?

idal conference logo

IDAL is the International Decorative Artisans League and they hold their annual convention and conference each summer. It is an opportunity to network with colleagues and peers, brush up on techniques by taking classes from the pros and check out the latest in products and tools at the Expo. This year’s conference is being held July 20-24th in Hampton, Va. I am excited to announce that Regina Garay and I will be teaching a class at the convention called, “Building Your Online Brand”.

Regina and I actually met “online”. I found her blog (this blog) and started leaving comments here and following her on Twitter and friending her on Facebook. (Does that make me a stalker?) Anyway, we became fast virtual friends and started talking about techie stuff like social media, search engine optimization, website building and blogging. I have a marketing background and have spent my entire adult life helping businesses “get the word out” about what they do. So, it was a natural progression for Regina and I to start talking about how we can help people in the decorative painting industry use technology  and social media to grow their reach, expand their customer base and have their brand show up in a BIG way online.

We have invested a good amount of time studying the best online practices and putting into action what we are preaching in the class. We have networked, taken online courses and both attended the Design Blogger’s Conference in Los Angeles in February. Regina has poured her heart, soul and brain into this blog, Fauxology for the last 4 years.  She dove right into the pool of social media in its infancy and now is a high profile Twitter-lebrity in the Design Community. I personally have spent the last five years of my day job helping clients brand their businesses, writing marketing plans and developing strategies and tactics for successful campaigns; All online. Regina and I are so stuffed full of tech stuff that we can’t wait to unload some of it on all of you guys.

We decided to offer a class at IDAL so we could help the artists in our industry navigate the web independently and show them some of the important places where they need to be found online. Some of the topics we will cover in the class are:

  1. How to set up and grow a blog
  2. How to use social media to promote your business
  3. How to set up Google Places
  4. How Google’s changing algorithms are affecting  Search Engine Rankings
  5. How to monitor the web for mentions about your business
  6. How to use Linked In, Twitter and Facebook effectively
  7. How to use analytics to track results
  8. How to create buzz without spending any money
  9. How to use long tail keywords to show up in organic search
  10. How to get the referral engine cranking

So, for a small investment in time (2 hrs) and money ($85) you’ll be ready to conquer the on line world. Well, maybe you won’t be able to conquer it, but we will at least give you a road map to get you started on your way. Check out the other classes, too.  There are lots of great teachers assembling in one location for the week offering classes on everything from stenciling to counter tops. Why not take some time off, come and network with your peers and learn a few new tricks? I hope to meet you all IRL (In Real Life) at the conference.

23 Mar

Social Media Etiquette/Netiquette

Thought we were kidding about sharing social media info?  We’ll be doing that more in addition to sharing the decorative painting & design visuals! (It’s all about balance here at Fauxology — creating the beauties AND  running a creative business.)  Dana Tucker shares her thoughts and experiences surrounding “netiquette”, meaning, the proper etiquette to keep in mind while surfing the web. It’s a fantastic post and I hope you enjoy it!  Take it away, Dana!

Etiquette image

I have to admit that I am a digital early adopter. As soon as I heard about Twitter, I was on board and tweeting within the hour. It was so new at the time that no one really knew how to use it properly. It became clear to me very quickly that the way to use this new technology to my advantage was to LISTEN FIRST and build relationships.

Listening image with glass

My mom gave me some very valuable advice when I was in 4th grade. I was having trouble making friends and she said, “The way to make friends is to NOT talk about yourself. Ask them what they like to do, what their interests are, and what fun things they have going on in their life”. To this day , that is the most valuable advice anyone has ever given me. This advice also holds true in the social media landscape. Ronda Carman of All the Best Blog stated this point perfectly during her session at the Design Bloggers Conference.  She said, “Social Media is like a big, giant cocktail party.”

vintage cocktail party

You wouldn’t barge into a cocktail party saying, “Look at me”, “Buy products from me”, “Read my blog”, “Take my class”. You would ease into conversations, build a rapport and gain credibility. You would ask questions of the other person and then respond to questions asked of you. Keep this in mind as you navigate the social media webisphere and it will serve you well.

The absolute best reference I can offer on this topic was recently written by Chris Brogan called AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA. I would make this article required reading if you are using social media in any form. I am including some of his pointers below and have added some of my own tips for the painting/design industry.

  • Friending Do yourself a favor and “friend”  or  “follow” everyone you can find in your industry including your competition. Being friends with your competition might require you to sensor some of your posts and not tweet/post intimate details of what you are working on, but the rewards will be far greater. Not only will you be inspired by seeing and hearing about the wonderful projects and commissions that are being executed, you will be pushed to your limits to produce your best work when you know that it will be seen/heard/commented on by a jury of your peers. I have personally benefited greatly by making friends with local artists. It has led to collaboration, camaraderie, and lead sharing.social network image
  • Commenting The SINGLE BEST WAY to build relationships is by commenting on others’ posts, photos, tweets, status updates, videos, blogs, etc… Be genuine. If you see something you like, hit the “like” button. If you see something you love, leave a comment. If you see something amazing, share it with your friends. Think about it. Wouldn’t it make your day to have someone share your art, project, or profound thoughts with the world? While we are on this topic I’d like to make two points. a) ALWAYS give credit to the original poster and the source. Someone is working hard to find all the great articles and projects you see. If you like it and re-post it, give credit to the person who found it in the first place. b) If you are reading a blog post someone has posted on Facebook or Twitter, don’t just comment on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you also leave a comment on the actual blog post itself. Think of it as giving the blogger a pat on the back. Bloggers work very hard coming up with fresh and relevant content. There is nothing more rewarding for a blogger than to see multiple comments on a post. It is validation that they are on the right track with their readers.
  • Don’t re-tweet or re-post someone’s praise of you In a real life social situation would you walk up to someone and say, “Hey, everyone says the project I just finished was gorgeous?” Uh, No! Instead make a habit of re-posting and re-tweeting the compliments that the friends in your network are receiving. Hopefully, they will return the favor and do the same for you.join the conversation
  • Interact I think the biggest opportunity people miss with social media is that they throw out a tweet, post, or status update that sparks conversation and they don’t join in. You should always be gracious, thank people for compliments and comments and “likes”.  Isn’t that how you would respond in real life? As Chris Brogan says, “You should be the #1 commenter on your blog”. I would also stretch that to include being the #1 commenter in your comment streams on your Facebook wall.
  • Linking If you are talking about someone in your blog, link to their website, blog, facebook or twitter page. If you are mentioning someone on Facebook, link to their profile. On Twitter, use the @ and their Twitter handle. This is a great way to promote your friends by introducing them to all your other friends.
  • Posting- If you have a business, a blog,  or something you are selling, promote OTHERS more than you promote yourself. The rule of thumb is 10:1. For every one thing you say to promote yourself you should say 10 things NOT about yourself.

So there you have it, some basic guidelines to winning friends and influencing people on line. Social Media BandwagonIt’s time to practice, jump in and join the conversation!

- Dana Tucker

22 Mar

Building Your Online Brand

The Future of Business.

YouTube Preview Image

(Thank for that info, Socialnomics!)

Social Media is a cultural shift and it will affect how we do business in the future. Fact. It’s been fun doing so much research, attending conferences, reading voraciously, talking to top tech experts — all to see how social media can help the decorative painting industry specificallyDana Tucker and I have been sharing some of this information with you on Fauxology and in industry articles (and we’ll be sharing more, trust) but we’ve also gone one step further.  We’re teaching a class for you called Building Your Online Brand during the IDAL conference in Hampton, VA from July 20 – 24, 2011.  The class is on Thursday, July 21st from 1:30 – 3:30 pm and registration for the conference and class is now open.  The cost for this two-hour workshop?

One Million Dollars.

Ha! I just wanted to see if you were still with me.  :D   The class workshop is only $85 and we’ve culled the best information to put together as it can be used by our industry.  During the two hours we’re going to cover the following topics:

  • Using Social Media Sites effectively
  • Search Engine Optimization for websites
  • Setting up, Maintaining and Growing a Blog
  • Creating an effective online Marketing Plan
  • Question and Answer session

A lot of ground to cover in two hours!  We’ll be giving out a folder with a resource guide and we highly suggest bringing a laptop or other tech device to use during class.  It’s going to be so.much.fun! (‘Cause I’ve wanted to fall asleep during some of the really technical conferences and I don’t want that to happen to you.)  I’m really excited to meet some of our gorgeous Readers at the conference as well, no doubts about that!  Tell me — is there anything in particular you’d like us to include in the class?  Or, include in the blog and/or our other writing efforts?  Let us know because, for us, it’s all about listening and delivering.

08 Mar

Pittura Magazine Launches!

Wow — what a month for the publishing side of our decorative arts industry!  Pittura Magazine has launched and the premiere issue focuses entirely on Ceilings.  Beautiful, gorgeous ceilings!

Creative Director Mindy Harrell and Editor Sabrina Riffle have put together a great online decorative arts industry source.  Pittura has the look of a traditional magazine in an online format.  I love holding a magazine in my hand and flipping the pages so the online magazines that follow that format easily bridge the gap between the real and online for me.  In order to get that experience, I suggest you use the Fullscreen option (third button from the left) and then click on the arrows to start reading!

Some great kudos to Fauxology happen in the magazine!  I wrote the cover article (Page 8) and Dana wrote the article on Using Facebook Pages for Business (Page 100) — be sure to check them out.  Also, Ann Onusko was chosen to be profiled in the magazine via our Powder Room Week series (Page 29).  We see some old friends (like Anna & Scott Sadler, Jeff Monsein and Jason Lucas) as well as some wonderful new faces and products.  Our March Artistic Contest sponsor, Artistic Painting Studio, has a nice video embedded in the magazine as well.  Be sure to also check out the ceiling history article by Leslie Vigini among other terrific articles.

I hope you enjoy the issue — btw, check them out on Twitter and Facebook, too. Congratulations are in order for Mindy Harrell and her team – look forward to the next one!

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