photo of our "lawn" outside our cabin, by moi, Kimi Weart
Big announcement! We will be taking time off, from 10/1 to 11/15. Six weeks of pure dream-following and art-making. You know who made this possible? You. You, our lovely, warm, delightful customers, who believe in beauty. You, you amazing, funny, art-loving people, have enabled us to give ourselves the incredible gift of time, to follow inspiration wherever it may lead.
There are many things that are wonderful about being your own boss in the arts. You get to do the work you love, take long walks at random times, and cuddle with your pet. But, no matter what anyone thinks, it is also a job. You know how when you start a new job you get a measly week or two of vacation per year? But hopefully with each year you get more? Well, having been happily in business since 2009, I, Kimi, as the owner and designer, have decided we deserve an executive sabbatical.
We are a tiny team of two, but have been very very lucky with Printable Press. Even though in the past few years the wedding stationery market has EXPLODED with companies, many of them giant investor-backed ones, we have continued to be successful. Because of you, you warm and whimsical ones.
We thank you, dear readers, for making us successful enough to take this time for a journey in imagination. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for choosing a tiny business for your special day. We thank you for being you. Keep on doing it. Upon our return I will let you know the things that happened, the things I drew and thought. Stay tuned for a November newsletter sharing the journey.
If you stood on a street corner and asked people passing by, "Excuse me, do you think a modern business should use social media?" I believe that almost every one of them would give a resounding "Yes!" if not an "Of course!" or even a scathing "Well, DUH". So here is why I don't have a link to Facebook:
I hate using it.
Mind you, I do not hate Facebook itself, nor Facebook users, not at all. You are lovely, you are wonderful, you are one hundred percent absolutely stupendously super-terrifically fantastic, one and all! And Facebook and other social media outlets help businesses tremendously, from the small to the large. It helps humanize your brand, keeps your business in front of people's eyes, and gives potential customers or past customers another avenue for input. So two years ago I felt I had to bite the bullet and try it for Printable Press.
I was incapable of sustaining it—I kept petering off, making the Facebook page look like an underwatered wilting plant. I couldn't generate a feeling of sincerity when posting cute-yet-brand-relevant images every day.
So I bit a second bullet, and hired a Facebook expert. I wanted someone else to post for me for a while, and to tell me how to post. For many this is the right way to go. For me, it was not.
—Post an image every day, if not twice a day.
—Sound authentic, but make sure your voice aligns with your brand.
—End posts with a question, such as "What do you think?" in order to engage your audience.
—Every few days include a photo of an attractive person or cute animal in your post.
—Every week post a "Call to Action". Tell people they should look at your blog, your new products, or check out a sale.
—Twice a week pay to have a post show up to all your friends. Your unpaid posts show up in only a small percentage of people's feeds, around 15%, even when "liked" or friended.
Here's the thing: it didn't generate any profit. No matter how we figured the conversions, in three months not one sale was brought by Facebook ads or calls to action. So why was I forcing myself into a marketing headspace (aka feelin' phoney) with no guaranteed profit?
I stopped caring if it would eventually bring in business, hell I stopped caring if it would eventually make me a million dollars.
I do not regret the experiment, I do not regret trying. So here's the question: can a business survive, in the current social media era, without a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a Google Plus circle, and all the other things I am almost certainly behind on?
I will only and forever do things that feel sincere to me. Here are my own social media rules:
—Only do what is sincere.