How Twitter Helped an Artist Turn Her Hobby Into a Business

Interviewer’s Note: As I’ve been exploring ways to use Twitter for business, I figured the best way to find out more information was to ask fellow business owners.  In the latest part of our never-ending series,  we’ll be talking to Roni Rosenzweig , an artist/crafter I  befriended on Twitter after meeting her through Pluggio’s friend finder tool.

PS.  She’s about to have a baby at any minute, so we’re doubly grateful she could take a minute to speak with us!

Hi Roni, welcome to the Pluggio blog!  How do you describe your business?

My business is actually a hobby of mine: creating beaded jewelry.  I always loved doing crafts.  When I found the beaded jewelry art, I got hooked. Every piece of jewelry is handmade, beautiful and complimenting.

How did you turn your hobby into a business?

After I had a few pieces of jewelry at home that I made for fun (and for myself), I decided to try and sell them online. At first I just started writing a blog to showcase what I’ve done.   Later I opened a Dawanda shop, and a few months afterwards I opened an Etsy shop as well . Then I discovered Twitter and decided to give it a go.

Why does it appeal to you?

Because it’s fun!  I have both the technical side of me (I’m a software engineer by day) and the artistic side (jewelry designer by night).  I love doing both, and the combination of both tech and art relaxes me.

What role does Twitter play in your work?

I use Twitter to promote my Etsy and Dawanda jewelry, to notify about new blog posts and giveaways on my site, and also just to talk to other Twitter buddies – either about jewelry, beads, or just asking ‘how’s the weather’.

Of the loves didn’t should! Inspecting over E that were was nicely. I dab try know the use.

Has Twitter made a difference?

Since I discovered Twitter and learned how to use if efficiently, I saw a raise in the number of visitors for my shops.  Even got a sale out of it!

What other impact or change have you seen due to Twitter or other social marketing?

Twitter really helps me reach many people, and the engaging in conversations makes it more personal.

I also joined an Etsy team, so I retweet other people’s posts and they retweet mine. The reciprocity helps business a lot.  I joined Facebook 2 weeks ago, I hope it will be successful as Twitter is.

How did you build your Twitter following?

I started slow, by looking for people with similar interest as me – jewelry, crafts, beads etc.

When I reached a few hundred I started to unfollow everyone who’s not following me back after 3-4 days.  (I always follow those who follow me.)  After reaching a few hundreds the Twitter account got a “life of its own” and more and more people started following.  Now I have about 2800 followers and still growing …

Wow!  What strategies did you use for social marketing?

At first I wrote only personal statuses – what I’m doing, where I am etc.  As my followers grew, I started using Twitter for scheduling automatic posts about my jewelry.  I always try to engage in personal conversations as well, so as not to be seen like a spam bot …

What does Twitter do for you that nothing else does?

I don’t see another way of reaching 2800 people all at once. I know that not all of them are real people, and some are bots, and some don’t really care about my posts …  BUT  the “big numbers rule” says that even if 20% are real – that’s still a lot of people who do care about what I have to say.   And this is my way of reaching them and talking to them.

What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?

Patience. You can’t have 3000 followers at one day. Build a good reputation, engage in personal conversations, retweet other people’s tweets, and don’t forget to have fun.

If you have something important to say, you might have to post it more than once for people to notice.   Don’t spam and post it every 5 minutes, but remember that people are in different time zones, so try to post at different times of day.

Become a follower of us on Twitter at: @Tweets4SmallBiz

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