My Favorite Things of 2012 {Business Favs}

I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that we are in 2013:-)

I loved 2012.

It was truly a year of growth and seeing a clearer path.

It was a year of appreciation and connection.

It was a year of figuring out what we really wanted and working hard in many areas to hold on to it.

Working hard for the things that really matter.

I always like to do a favorite things each year.

I didn’t do one before Christmas so I thought I would give a quick run through of my favorite things of 2102.

Unlike Oprah I am not giving you anything:-)

Bummer for you!

Each day this week I will share my favorite things in different areas of my life.

I am going to start off with business because I know there are so many of you that want to see your business take off this year.

With the right tools it CAN happen!

The things I will share with you today are not all of my tools but some that I used a lot in 2012 and they really helped grow my business.

My Favorite Things for Business in 2012

1. I can not say enough about how lucky we are to live in a time when we have sites like Kajabi (first site I hosted my e-courses on) and Ning (current hosting site of our creative community).  I have been able to create e-courses that allow me to connect with hundreds at a time.  The internet is the most powerful tool for your business and learning all the ways it can help you grow is worth the time, energy and money.

2. Mail Chimp is the newsletter site we use.  It allows me to easily share the newest news about my business, new classes, new products, retreats etc.  When you GO to your client’s homes instead of waiting for them to come to you…you will connect easier and see better results.  I am so glad when I see a new newsletter from my favorite artist telling me what he/she is offering.

3. At the suggestions/demands of our friends and clients we began putting in business card size moo cards into all of our purses (3-5 in each purse).  One side of the card has a photo from our lookbooks and the other side has our website.  Very simple but it allows our customers to have extra cards on hand when people ask where they got their purse.  It is the best advertising and we love hearing how people run across the street to ask a recent customer where they got their bag.  If someone is going to run across the street I want that person to have my card on them!:-)

4. My camera is still one of my best used tools.  I take all of our photos for our website, lookbooks, e-courses etc.  Because I take all of the photos I have control of our look and branding.  You sure don’t need this camera but a good camera is worth the investment.  My camera will also do HD videos which I used more this year.

5. The game changer this year was Pinterest.  If you have blogged for awhile I am sure you felt it.  People want pretty photos/ideas/inspiration.  Pinterest gives you all of that without the words.  If you are a business owner you want to use Pinterest and take advantage of this shift in how people look for ideas.  You want to make sure that some of your blog posts are titled and have content that can be easily pinned.  You want people to see your beautiful product and to share it.  Take the time to explore Pinterest and start sharing your product!! You can find me HERE.

6-7. I am still a lover of holding a magazine in my hands but the world of online magazines have blown the doors off what you can offer.  I can make an online catalog of a new collection and thousands get to see it, get an idea of my brand, see beautiful photos, connect with my brand without me spending anything but my time.  You can create magazines, catalogs etc. and share it with your customers.  It is one of the most effective ways for me to share my BRAND!

8. With all of our e-courses and the videos we make it was time to finally upgrade our video camera.  For some of the early e-courses we used a Logitech camera that attached to our laptop (and it worked great).  It was affordable and let us learn the ropes.  This year we invested in a new camera that is incredible and gives our videos and an more professional look.  It you do tons of videos with your business I highly recommend making the investment.  Keep in mind that we didn’t spend the money until we had been making videos for over a year.  Don’t spend the money until you really have to.

9. We had an inexpensive tri-pod that broke this year.  It was really not strong enough to hold my heavy camera.  The new tripod and head really changed our indoor photos.  It made it so much easier to take photos for our Creatively Made Home e-course.  Once again we didn’t invest in this tripod and head until we had been in business for five years!  Don’t rush into spending money. Spend it when you absolutely have to.

No matter what tools I have used to grow my business this year it has been connections and people that support us that make the biggest difference.

It is YOU and how you connect with our brand, write about us, pin our images, share our stories on Facebook and share our products with your friends.

It is YOU that takes that extra business card out of your new bag and shares it with a stranger or a friend.

Thank you!

It is the support and encouragement from family and friends!

Thank you!

It is the connections I get to make with so many of you when I teach an online course or teach at a retreat.

Thank you!

I could also never do all that I get to do if I hadn’t realized a LONG time ago that I can’t do everything and that I needed HELP!

I get to work with so many beautiful artists that help with so much that you see in the shop.

I have incredible seamstresses, flower makers, leather artists, office and packaging helpers that make Jeanne Oliver Designs possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and contract out for the things that others can do…that leaves you free to do what only you can do:-)

What are your favorite business tools?

What has helped you to grow your business?

My e-course Building a Creatively Made Business {you’ll never know what is possible until you begin} begins February 4 and I would love to see you there!

Tomorrow I will share my creative favorite things of 2012!

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  1. kay

    Terrific advice! Thanks so much for sharing the different ways you have grown your business and which tools helped you get there. I’m looking forward to this week of posts:-)

  2. Patty Palmer

    What a great post! Lots of good business nuggets. I have a question about Ning. I offer an e-course as well and have been using a self-hosted WordPress blog with a built-in forum. What has your experiences with Ning been? Is it easy to customize?

    1. jeanne Author

      We are really liking it so far. We were at Kajabi for a year before we changed. I like the set up better then Kajabi and the way that the members can connect.

  3. Laurie

    Such great advice, and you’re always so willing to share/help/encourage. You are one-of-a-kind, Jeanne; thank you!

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