Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Look - Revamping for 2011 - And New Graphic Resources for You

I have been in an updating mode - a rework of "the plan" for 2011 for all things online: shops, blogs, profiles, etc... Here is IndieCEO's new banner look! I am rethinking shop banners and avatars too. It will take some organization to get all of them changed on all the networking profiles.

Large corporations will update their logos and look every 5-10 years. Even if they keep the same images, they will freshen them up a bit for a current look.

With the IndieCEO banner, I wanted to achieve an artistic look, but a current look and a bit edgy. The image of the hands reminds me of potter's hands. The grunge text adds to the edge and the great mix of deep colors contrasting with selected lighting adds drama.

Here are some free graphic resources I use for all my work and hope you will find some uses for these too!

There are many free fonts to be had online but I seem to keep going back to as they always have what I need - quick and easy.

For free textured backgrounds - especially the grunge backgrounds, I just love and use them frequently.

For your holiday shopping pleasure, there are new, awesome, "off-the-wall" earring designs in GalleriaLinda's loft shop on Zibbet. And, a 10% off - free US shipping promo too! These are great inexpensive "Secret Santa" gifts gatherings at work, clubs, groups, or church!

Wishing you a great holiday selling season!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

'Tis the Season to Know Your Customer

We are into the heart of the holiday selling season! Although I am prepared as I can be for my tiny business, it always sneaks up on me. Preparations in July for year-end holidays just seem unnatural, but necessary!

The concept of "knowing your customer" has been introduced many times in this blog, as this is the heart of your business. 

To make more sales, you must bring your product to your target customer - to where they work, play, and live. Through advertising and exposure direct to those who are interested, you eliminate the waste of effort and money.

IndieCEO recently wrote a guest post for the Zibbet blog about this very thing. Read more to find out methods you can use to figure out the customer profile for your product. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fun Software Training Even I can Afford

Oh my. Does software training sound dry and boring to you? Expensive even? Homework-esque? Drudgery?

Well, I have a resource for you that I have used since the late 90s and just love it. has been offering online video training for a long time and is well established. I have watched them grow over the years and am amazed at their current 910 courses.

Starting out with the basic business and graphic software, they now have a tremendous line-up of expanded titles that touch Selling on eBay, Making Money with Podcasts, and There is a treasure-trove of good, fun, video training to be had at Lynda's!

There are several payment plans but when I get a hankerin' for software training (and...I do), I will pay the $25 monthly fee (no contract) and have fun for a month then stop the subscription. Then, maybe I will pick it up for a month the next year. For that one fee, all 910 training titles are available to YOU!

If you do it this way, to get the most benefit, you will need to be organized for that one month. I actually schedule "appointments" on my calendar to carve out time to do this. Each course has a course outline that you can view along with free video peeks into certain chapters.

As small businesses, micro-business, and especially us "kitchen-table businesses," it gives us an economical way to keep up-to-date with software and skills that will help us manage our own businesses. It will also make us more marketable in the workplace. 

At Lynda's you can:
– Stay current and keep skills sharp
– Learn innovative and productive techniques
– Access over 910 online courses, 24/7
– Learn from experienced instructors
– Gain confidence and marketability
– Learn at your own pace: Stop, rewind, replay

Have fun!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Photography and Editorial Photography

(All photos in this blog post are ©2010 Copyright John Evans, All Rights Reserved)

There are many uses for interesting photos and just as many perspectives on how photography should be presented.

I wanted to share some great photos from a friend of mine, John Evans, who is a real estate agent, specializing in Florida land.

John amazes me with his "eye" for photography that allows him to capture the the real feel and flavor of the land he is presenting. You can read more about John's photography on the GalleriaLindaShowcase blog and view additional photos of John Evans' in this post.

Purists in the art photography community will say that these photos (or any photo) should be able to stand alone on their own with little or no Photoshop editing. I agree that is absolutely the goal for art photography. Art photography presents that highly creative and technically skilled photographer, who has the critcal creative eye for composition and knows how to capture rich colors, lighting, and focus of the subject. Art photography sometimes makes my jaw drop with appreciation of those skills.

Photos that come across my desk are used in my designs for glossy magazine property brochures, such as the one for John's Lake Disston, Florida parcel of over 3,600 acres. They are editorial in content and use. Some photos I receive from the agents are even "artistic" in the layman's definition, but require editing for print purposes. Many are questionable for use at all!

The photos you see here are indeed heavily edited in Photoshop for output on a variety of commercial printing equipment. The original photos would have had much less impact without the editing.

The photos we use have to look good to a layman's eye; satisfy the client, the agent, the marketing team, and the broker.  The photos in these brochures are the conduit that sparks the reader to want to see more.
I work with dozens of land real estate agents who take their own photos of property listings. Most photos are "ok" but must have Photoshop editing in order to be used at all.

John is one in a million when it comes to property photos. He is not a professional photographer, but is an emerging amateur photographer who can take his photography to the next level!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Run Your Business with Open Source: Illustration Software

If you are an illustrator with no funds for Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator to further your passion for drawing, here is a GREAT open source vector drawing program.

There are so many free sources online at this time that one could literally run a graphics business on freeware and open source software for business apps and graphics apps.

Scalable vector graphics are those that you can draw in a software program that can be resized without losing quality. Professional illustrators will use the likes of Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator to draw their images, then save as .jpg (or other) to be used online or in print media. However, the native file in the software retains the ability to resize up or down to create sharp, quality graphics.

I have not used inkscape because I have the other two, however, reviews say that it truly rivals the Corel and Adobe Illustrator programs.

Give it a try and have fun!

Monday, August 30, 2010

TWITTER: Know Your Social Media Limitations

I had an interesting question sent to me on Twitter recently. This person could no longer follow anyone and thought Twitter was having issues!

For those of you new to Twitter, there are "following" limits. Did you know that? Not many people new to Twitter do and it would help if they did.

Twitter Help offers this:

"If you've reached a follow limit, you can help yourself by reducing your following number until it resembles your followers number. Since the follow limit is based on followers/following ratio rather than time, you'll have to un-follow people before you're able to follow again."

Reducing your following numbers is easy with third party utilities - there are dozens. I like to use Dossy's Twitter Karma as I find it easier than the others. You can find more by searching on Google "Twitter Unfollow Tool."

You can follow IndieCEO/GalleriaLinda here and I would love to have you as a twitter and Facebook buddy!

IndieCEO Blog -
GalleriaLinda Handcrafted Jewelry & Beads -
GalleriaLindaLoft Vintage Jewelry -
GalleriaLinda's Facebook Page:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Edit, Edit, Edit....Make it Work!

If you watch Project Runway on TV, you will know these words well!

Project Runway is a show of fashion designer contestants that participate in design challenges in hopes of becoming the big winner. Tim Gunn, the designer-contestant-overseer, reviews all work in progress and frequently says "Edit, edit, edit...." and always ends with "Make it work!"

And so it is that this is good advice for everything we do. As online sellers especially, we need to "Edit, Edit, Edit....Make it Work!" in all areas of our business.

I took this thought to heart the other day and made a plan to edit my shops and inventory. It is time! On where I sell my handcrafted contemporary beaded jewelry, I have some jewelry designs that have not sold and are a year old or more that really do not represent my evolving design point-of-view (another Project Runway buzz word).

Pictured above is my evolving design perspective today and in the days to come, I will be selecting older items to either deconstruct and reuse materials, donate, giveaway, or place on another venue as clearance.

We must keep our shops fresh and current to where we are today and this is a journey, not a destination. I see that every six months an inventory audit is needed and GalleriaLinda's handcrafted jewelry, vintage jewelry, and bead shops will be doing that!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Announcing CentralFloridaOnline Where IndieCEO Contributes Articles

You can find IndieCEO and GalleriaLinda now on CentralFloridaOnline as an author!

Authoring articles about you, your businesses' services, or products is a great way to become known. Articles that will offer up informative topics that can be used by others is a goodwill gesture that will not be forgotten. Share your knowledge and people will appreciate you. And, every time you are posted online is an SEO target for people to find you!

I write for several blogs, as well as my own and have recently written blog posts for placement on CentralFloridaOnline. If you are from Florida, this is a great website to get Florida news, human interest stories, and happenings in Central Florida!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Charity Giving for Business

One of the things I love about online networking is meeting others who are street-smart marketers. One such friend is FairyCardmaker on I discovered a great two-part blog series that she wrote on charity giving for business. It is right on point.

Charity giving can be planned strategically as a part of your business plan. When working it into your objectives for the business year, you will not only be in control of how much inventory and investment you hand out, but also will have the ability to select charities that may benefit to your business.

As FairyCardmaker shows us, we can be specific in our planning for charity giving that may give us the opportunity for exposure to our products, advertising to a target group, or even develop other opportunities for our products. Charity giving is easy, welcomed, and helpful. It also can give your business a boost! I recommend this reading.

From the FairyCardmaker Blog:  Business or Pleasure?
Why not BOTH?  Just because you are running a business to earn a living doesn't mean that giving to charity has to be a one-way trip out of your pocket.  There are many ways that you can work charitable donations or time in to your business model.  It's a win-win scenario!

The key to selecting a charity to support is knowing your target market.  You can create a symbiotic relationship with a charity where the host is a shared target market.  This topic will be covered in two parts:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Online Sellers: How Important Is It To You? have one page that you promote that will show all your shops, social media connections, and other widgets? It is pretty important to me. As online sellers, we can get pretty scattered across the Internet with multiple social media networks and multiple shops.

Zibbet has made this possible. It astounds me (in a good way!) that the Zibbet philosophy is to give artists, crafters, artisans, vintage sellers, and craft supply sellers a place to gather all of their Internet presence and paste it onto one page to promote. They encourage that!

No more worrying about how/if you can link to your web site that sells the same items. No more worrying about promoting your bead shop from your jewelry shop. There is nothing to hide here. And, I love the openness and helpfulness of Zibbet admin when it comes to online selling and it is a welcomed breath of fresh air.

I have had GalleriaLindaLoft's Vintage Jewelry shop on Zibbet for a little over three months now and have opened another GalleriaLinda Bead Shop on Zibbet that will soon go "premium." The "Loft" shop is a premium shop and I am delighted in what I can do to help promote my tiny business.

I cannot fully express how much I love the look - very white, very clean, and very uncluttered, as an artisan community should be. And I can manage how large my product photos are, and the color of the Zibbet logo, and categories, and, and, and..... There are just too many features to describe right now and new features come on board weekly. Oh, and I just used the sale/discount/free shipping feature. Oh my more editing EACH listing. One click and I am done!! There is a gift certificate feature too. Well, go check it out or I will talk your ear off. Zibbet is fairly new on the scene and traffic is building quickly and there is a certain excitement within the community.

You can check out my post on the GalleriaLindaShowcase handmade jewelry blog here. It has screen shots to give you a taste of how you can promote your other shops (with photo widgets), your Facebook, your Twitter accounts, and anything else with widgets!

Right now, until July 20 - you can get a FREE month when you become a premium member! After that you pay only $9 a month until the 119 (at this writing) shops are gone (then the price goes up). Click here to get started on Zibbet. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Bead Giveaway Like No Other - 7-1/2 lbs of BEADS!

In my blog surfing, I found a great blog by Denise Yezbak Moore ( and she is doing a HUGE giveaway of BEADS, beads, beads! Unbelievable styles and colors are in this giveaway.

How can you not enter for this? So, stop what you are doing and get over to her blog - run like the wind to enter! 

DEADLINE is this FRIDAY JULY 2 to enter! Good Luck!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Diary Project 2011 - Fabulous Free Advertising for Artists

 There are opportunities for FREE advertising and promotion all around us. Just keep up with a few artists' forums and you will always see calls for product and seller features. Keep your eyes open!

One such project that GalleriaLinda has participated in for three years is the Diary Project, organized and implemented by Fantazya, a long-time Etsy seller of handmade. The Diary 2011 Project is starting and dates are being offered now.

The diary is a calendar book, spiral bound, that has all dated pages created and designed by artists! The artists work their shop information into the designs and get year-round exposure for FREE. What a great concept this is!

And, it has been successful for years. Once all of the artwork is sent in, Fantazya coordinates the printing and cover options. These make GREAT gifts too.

When you participate, you are NOT obligated to purchase the Diary, but you are simply a featured artist. Each page is a window of original art for each day of the year. See the Diary 2010 Project Flickr postings.

I highly recommend this, so go lock in a date today and you will receive an email with all the information and due dates. You will have year-round exposure of your web site or shop URL to people all over the world.

This year, the layout will be a little different.

Read all about the Diary Project 2011 HERE!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Local Artisan Market is Today! A Great Networking Opportunity

Supporting your own local artisan community through your blogs, forums, and your attendance to fairs and markets gives you a great networking opportunity! You can meet like-minded people, either online or in person, and form friendships that will last a lifetime, as well as support for your art or craft.

Here in Lakeland, FL, we have an artisan market for local artisans that is held by Yia Yia's Bead Shop. The quality of artisans is great and the variety of handmade items is fabulous. These one-day markets are perfect for communities and artisans alike. This artisan market is held quarterly.

And, today is the day that the Artisan Market is open! The Florida weather is fabulous - cool, sunny, slight breeze, and no humidity - a perfect day to go. Local artists are displaying original art, pottery, paintings, jewelry, glass art, and more. If you go, meet Yia Yia's new neighbor, Red Door Wine Market and enjoy a glass of wine, beer or coffee! Photos are representative of work you will find there.

It is refreshing to see such creativity all in one place. I guarantee that you will find something you love. Owning something handmade is special because it is meaningful. Each piece is made with great care and an abundance of artisan creativity.

All of you can support Yia Yia's efforts in supporting our local artisan community too by becoming a Facebook fan and following on Twitter!

Yia Yia's Facebook - become a fan! Follow Yia Yia's on Twitter too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Animated Ads For Etsy Sellers

This is an awesome utility for Etsy Sellers. You can create ads from your Etsy shops that can be shared, embedded, or posted. You have a choice of several different sizes, so get your ads created and post them all over the Internet!  See GalleriaLindaLoft's Vintage Shop ad above.

Find out all about esellerads on the Etsy Storque Blog. Very classy!