* Jenny! Welcome to Craft. You.! You truly epitomize the spirit of what this site is all about and even more so than most since you are literally crafting your career every day. Where did the inspiration for Craft Test Dummies come from and how did you go from inspiration to thriving online presence?
I started with a little blog (CraftTherapy.com) to keep me busy when I quit my full-time job as a music therapist to stay home to raise my kids. I found that, overwhelmingly, readers responded to craft reviews and started asking me questions about them. One night I realized that I needed to designate a blog JUST to reviews and tutorials & spend time with that audience.
* What are your thoughts about turning your passion into a career? I’m a big believer in being open to a variety of approaches to doing what you love, it may not turn out the way you expect or plan. You found a really distinctive niche as a reviewer and consultant; did that take time to unfold? Are you surprised at where you are career wise? Is this how you expected things to turn out?
I never expected to make a career out of blogging OR consulting. I just did what I loved, day after day- crafting, writing, and interacting with like-minded souls online. It took over a year of blogging to achieve good search engine results, and another year of building my "brand" before I started getting noticed in the industry. Then it dawned on me that what I'd done- build a blog with an active online community- was a skill that was in demand by craft manufacturers and retailers. By then, companies were coming to me for help.
Craft Test Dummies* You preach the gospel of social marketing. What makes you so passionate about it and how do you think it can benefit others who are trying to get their message across? There is a lot of white noise out there these days, how do effectively you target your message so it reaches your audience?
I firmly believe that you have to put the SOCIAL in social media marketing. I'm a crafter, I talk like a crafter, and I connect with crafters in general. The online community can "smell" it when a marketing person with little crafting background is trying to run a Facebook page or blog. Crafters are, I think, by nature social creatures. We like show-and-tell. Being an effective social marketer for the crafting community means knowing how to initiate, join, and enjoy the online conversation. If you aren't passionate and authentic, they know.
* At Craft. You. we’re all about turning lemons into super tasty strawberry fizzy lemonade. What is your recipe for success in spite of opposition?
Be you, everyday. Don't be afraid to let your light shine, and always reflect as much as you can onto others. Your authenticity is your strength.
Jenny on The Martha Stewart Show* What’s next for you and Craft Test Dummies?
Well, coincidentally, I just started another blog! This one is more tongue-in-cheek: www.CraftHoarders.com. I always joke that a large number of crafters are also "collectors!" There is also a vibrant little "crafthoarders" community on Facebook.
For CraftTestDummies, you can find me at the following online communities:
Website: Craft Test Dummies
...and of course, if you are a crafty company that needs some guidance with your social strategies, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity, Margot! I really appreciate it. Happy weekend! -