Concluding The #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Thank you for joining us for the #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight here on the Christmas In July blog! It was a really fun time!

We had a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member small businesses for you to get to know.

Each shop at our #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight was individually introduced so please look in their store, get to know them and shop!

Here are the featured shops:

Kelly / ColourscapeStudios / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

SLS / StockLaneStudio / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Richard and Tatiana / DesignstheLimit / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

I would like to take a moment to thank the CIJ leaders who wrote the articles! Please take a moment to check out their shops!

Alicia from AliciasFindings

Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Opal from ApronStringsOwlLadycijfacebookavigood3

Introducing The #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

We are thrilled about our first #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight – a showcase of small businesses on our blog!

We have a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member shops for you to get to know. These shops are here for you and they are looking to interact with you here on our blog!

Each shop at our #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight will be individually introduced, so please come back!


Let’s start shopping!

  1. Kelly / ColourscapeStudios / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight
  2. SLS / StockLaneStudio / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight
  3. Richard and Tatiana / DesignstheLimit / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Please use #EtsyCIJSmallBusinessSpotlight on social media as you visit all the fabulous shops.

Thank you so much for joining us at our first #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight!

Online Tools for Small Business

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

There are many tools and apps that help the small business owner make their business more efficient or streamlined.

Here at Christmas in July we wanted to know all about those apps and tools that you wouldn’t know what to do without!


Susie from GinnyPenny told me all about Evernote. This tool allows you to organize notes and thoughts, track tasks, share and collaborate in real time and sync from any device. It seems like a real time and space saver.


Alicia from AliciasFindings talked about bitly. I love using bitly, a tool that helps you take a long url and make it smaller. This way your posts look so much nicer on social media.

Etsyonsale is a great one for Etsy sellers. This site lets you put your shop items on sale. The best part is you can do whole shop or just one section. You plug in the details and it starts and ends your sale for you!

It is free to try at first, but then you either have to get credits by people using your “special link” or buy some. I bought some years ago and still have quite a few credits.

If you are in need of a photo editor,but don’t have the bucks for something like Photoshop then GIMP is right for you. GIMP is a free photo editing tool that I have used from time to time. I have heard about a few others, but I tend to use it when cropping, brightening, etc my photos. It takes a bit of getting used to since its different than Photoshop.


I have heard a lot lately about FreshBooks. It is great for online invoicing, time tracking and expense services. It is supposed to be easy even for those new to doing such.

Mailchimp is what I just started to use as my newsletter service. It is a great way to alert your customers to new items, deals and so much more.

There are so many tools and apps out there for any kind of task or job that you have a need for. I hope that I have introduced some of these to you and would love to know about any others you think might be useful.

Social Media And Its Impact On Your Small Business

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Social media are  tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.

These tools are a great way for Small Business to network, publish and market their works.

Christmas in July team asked how Social media impact their business and also what they use it for.

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons

Nancy Duncan of EponasCrystals states:

I use pinterest, facebook, twitter and amazine. Just started on tumblr.

I seem to have the best response on pinterest, but that is also my favorite.

Facebook doesn’t bring in much traffic at all, but I don’t devote much time to it.

I post my items from my shop. Basically use it as advertising, although I do reciprocate with LIKES, follows, etc. I just don’t get much interaction.



AliciasFindings says:

I use my social media accounts to network with other sellers,so I can learn things to help my shop grow.
I also use it to publish my items-usually on facebook and pinterest.

I use pinterest as a marketing helper by finding all kinds of business tutorials and info so I can use it in my shop or for my shop.






Lin Collette of rhodyart lets me know:

I have a love-hate relationship with social media because I really am not sure it’s worth the time and effort.

My Facebook page ( is where I really do like to post things, but it’s not just my work I’ve wanted to post. Rather, I like to share information on art and such. Problem is that people don’t seem to be interested – or FB doesn’t like the posts (more likely). But I really would like to see FB as an interactive tool – it’s just not working out that way.

I’m trying to become more enthusiastic about Pinterest ( and need to radically overhaul my boards, clean out the old stuff, add the new.

I also use Twitter but admit to its limited effectiveness because tweets number in the millions – one is lucky to get one view for a tweet I think. I don’t often tweet directly but, rather, have my FB page set up so that FB posts are automatically tweeted. (

I’m still trying to determine what other social media I want to use. I’d like to use Instagram but again, I think the volume of posts outweighs its usefulness. I also hate that I’d have to use my smartphone to post since I haven’t mastered the fine art of copying links anywhere.

I haven’t used Tumblr enough to judge its usefulness either.


Heather of CallunaMuse talks about:

I am a Pinterest addict, so it is a mix for me, between posting my shop items, and pinning my interests like a mad woman. It’s hard to tell how much traffic I get from it, but it is relatively low maintenance, so I plan to continue with it.

I don’t use my facebook business page as much because it hasn’t been the best social media medium for me. I have tried the paid posts in the past and they don’t generate the interest I think paid ads should. And when only five people are ‘allowed’ to see your post, it seems rather silly to put too much effort into it.

I do use twitter quite a bit. I post my items, and I retweet things that interest me. I like using it, but it moves so fast sometimes!

I just started up an instagram, and I am excited to use it more. I have gotten as far as a profile pic so far haha but right now I am just getting used to the navigation, and checking out everyone else’s! I think I am most excited to use this one, as everyone keeps saying that it has made a huge difference in sales and traffic for them.

I am also using other avenues like wanleo, and bestie. Again, I’m not sure of the usefulness yet, but for me, I like to get myself out there wherever I can.


AngsanaSeedsPhoto posts:

Of all my social media accounts, I use my Facebook business page the most. I use it primarily to post my shop items, promotion and share daily photos. I will also pay for Facebook ad depending on the post and response. I also use it to network with sellers.

I do use twitter, but mostly to retweet photography-related post.

I also use Pinterest, but not as much because I find it very addictive and am not sure how much sales it generated for me.

Instagram is one social media that I plan to get more enthusiastic with.


Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns said:

I use social media to post my new products. I then also share these to groups and communities (facebook & google).

I used to use Facebook the most, but with the changes to Facebook with the visibility of posts to fans I have began exploring the use of other sites more.

I use twitter to promote my products and also to share fellow team mates posts and team posts.

So it is also a networking thing.

This does drive traffic to my shop, though maybe not so much sales – but my understanding is that the Etsy logarithms (which are always changing) take into account traffic. So even if sales aren’t necessarily generated, the increased traffic makes my shop more ‘visible’ on Etsy.

My understanding also is that this increased traffic increases your visibility on Google.

I also maintain a blog where I post general posts about my artwork and also posts specific to my Etsy shop. I also have direct links to my shop from my blog, which I also have on my Facebook page.

I use Pinterest to post my products and cross reference them on boards – for example I have a ‘My Jewellery’ board, but also have a ‘Jewellery’ board where I post other jewellery, but also post my jewellery randomly amongst the other posts. i am also on several group boards, and do get quite a few repins from these boards, and a reasonable number of shop clicks.

My most recent venture has been instagram and have only been on it for about six months…. I do get a reasonable amount of ‘likes’ and am unsure of the traffic drive at this point – but its a fun medium.


Google + Tips, Tricks, Business Uses And More

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Google + is fast becoming one of the most widely used social medias out there. That is most likely the case, because of how many ways one can use it. It is great for connecting, networking, publishing ideas to name a few. We at Christmas in July wanted to know how our members used Google +.

Google +

Google +

AliciasFindings says:

I use Google + to promote my Etsy teams. I find it to be a great way to get the word out about sales, coupon codes, etc. I love the Google calendar! It is great for not only adding Google events, but for your own life events! What else do you use it for? Promoting? Networking? Personal? Work wise?

Candy Frizzell of TrueEarthDesigns states:

I use Google + mostly a place  to showcase my jewelry. I do use communities to post to. But, it is a back burner behind Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

We also looked into other sites and found some more ideas for you: Google Analytic for Business helps you determine who your audience is. It measures data and lets you know the end result.

Why Google Analytics

Google + DO’s for business –

  • Take Advantage of SEO (search engine optimization) Value
  • Use visuals when possible
  • Strategically share content
  • Make your posts stand out
  • Grow and target your audience

Google +: Do’s And Don’ts For Small Businesses

Create Events (for business or friends):

  • Navigate to Events from Home menu
  • Click “Create Event” in upper right corner
  • Fill out info and invite guests
  • Click Invite and you started an Event!

15+ Google + Tricks You Might Not Know About

  • See who has shared your posts
  • Format your posts
  • Create polls
  • Share your circles with others
  • Create photo slide shows

Google + For Etsy Sellers From Google

How to set up a G+ page:

  • Hover your cursor over “Home” and select “pages” from the drop screen
  • Click “create a page” button in upper right corner
  • Pick the type of page category you wish to select
  • Click finish and you are set to add info to your page

There are Communities you can join on a whole host of topics. You can also join events being held by friends on G+ or near you locally. You can use Hangouts, which is like a chat/skype kind of device.

How to start a Hangout:

  • Click Hangouts from the Home menu
  • Click “Start a Video Hangout”
  • Invite guests and start sharing and chatting

How to start a Hangout on Air (speak to those internationally):

  • Follow same as above except click on “Start a Hangout on Air”
  • Give your Hangout a Name, start date, invite guests and click “Share” to begin

You can also post anything you wish to (within G+ guidelines). Businesses can also make pages and also have their regular G+.

If you haven’t already I would check out Google + and see what it’s all about!