To continue the list of ‘beginnings’. This is a good ‘memory’ exercise and I read ‘memory challenging’ helps off-set early dementia…let’s hope it works!
Lesson 6: A ‘logo’ for ‘branding’ purposes. Now a logo can also be a Gravatar, but not necessarily so. I made my logo through word.doc ‘shapes’ and thought, “hmmmmmmm, maybe I need a professional artist to clean this up.” So I paid $$ to James at Lazer Quick to see, as an artist, what he might improve upon. He added a ‘wavy’ banner across the heart and kind of ’rounded out’ the heart for ‘depth’ for around $15.00. It did improve upon what I had originally. He didn’t have to do too much, so I took that as a compliment. See what I mean?
A or B
Business cards…does one print them oneself, or pay $$$ to have them printed? Now here’s a real conundrum. I printed them myself with Avery business card stock, but I live in Oregon–what is Oregon known for????? R-A-I-N! Say it again! So, unless I kept the cards in a zip lock bag, the ink ran all over…messy, messy, messy and NOT a good look when handing out business cards to someone IF one wishes to reflect what is known as a ‘professional’ persona…”the brand seems a little smeared,” one of my dearest friends kindly pointed out. “You might want to get these ‘professionally’ printed.” More $$$!
Lesson 7: City Business License ….ahhhh yes, $$, but one can’t sell things without a business license UNLESS one sells only through the internet and even then Uncle Sam will eventually WANT to know or Find OUT! Now one might argue, “but I only sell a wee, little, tiny number of products…hardly worth Uncle Sam’s interest!” Uh huh….just how many products might tantalize Uncle Sam is a bit of a murky area. For me! Well, I blew the top off everything when I decided to send a ‘Love You’ Hide a Heart to President and Mrs. Obama for Valentine’s Day! Oh, yes…it was one of THOSE moments!
Lesson 8: Promotion on the cheap! Who has an advertising budget????? Well, I might have had a little one if I had known about Etsy instead of spending $$$ on a webmaster! But, alas, I spent the $$ on the webmaster, but he very enthusiastically directed me to begin writing articles for EZINE…what are THOSE you ask with all naivete? Here’s a starting list:
You see, just having a web page with meta tags–those are the little words one uses hoping that when someone searches for a product, your web site pops up. But do you know how many websites pop up if you Google ‘glass hearts’? Go ahead…try it! There’s only about 6,000+ websites with waaaay more Google recognition than Hide a Heart! So, you’ll want to get ‘registered’ with all of the above mentioned and more as you will discover, there are many, and then write articles about things, but you can’t EXACTLY mention your product or the article won’t be published. It takes a while to figure out what you can and can’t say to be APPROVED! It certainly improves writing skills and styles but pretty much keeps you Living on Mars!
Lesson 9: You will need to ‘register’ the web page with search engines too, otherwise, pretty hopeless of being ‘found’ among the www.THRONG! (I don’t think that’s really a web site domain name, but you never know!)
Lesson 10: If you decide to go the website route, first you have to search the name you’ve chosen to find out if it’s available…. http://www.godaddy.com is where I began only because I remembered the name from a Super Bowl advertisment a couple of years ago. It made absolutely NO sense to me at the time, but I’ve become pretty familiar with them. For the $$ Godaddy actually has a pretty good ‘full service’ menu and tech support, etc. etc. etc.
Lesson 10.5: If you plan to allow people to purchase with a credit card, you actually have to go through a bank of some sort. Who knew? What was I thinking???…..after all people’s credit cards ARE $$ and need to be protected…a real argument for requesting orders ONLY be paid by checks, money orders or through PayPal (which of course you will need to open a PayPal account too)! But everyone wants to use a credit card these days and one needs a service to help VERIFY the card and one cannot do that on one’s own. So pretty much, you will be entering bank credit card hell!
I spent weeks trying to work with Chase after providing them with every known good credit reference I’ve been building for the past 40 years, but my webmaster told me he thought Chase was a real bugger to work with and that the “very sophisticated shopping cart” he was “offering” (as a favor no less and he was quick to point out I “didn’t fully appreciate.”) was NOT compatible with what Chase demanded and that, in his opinion, Godaddy’s cart was a “piece of sh–” and Godaddy informed me they would not support the webmaster’s shopping cart choice so if there was ANY problem, I’d be pretty much drowning in QUICKSAND . In the end, I cancelled the Chase account, who BTW before the webpage even was up and running and without one sale, charged the $22.00 monthly ‘maintenance’ fee….What maintenance?????? They hadn’t DONE anything YET?????? Just an FYI: my experience with a webmaster is that, at least the one I used, is pretty much a Prima dona and if he ever reads this, I’ll probably be blacklisted from webmaster heaven!
So, I’m beginning to notice I’m using $$$ signs a lot—good thing I still have a day job! HAH is beginning to develop the $$$-pit reputation!