the art & business of crafting your online self.

who are you online? who do you want to be? how do you want others to perceive you? i spoke at my alma mater on tuesday afternoon about my personal journey to an online career and about the theory behind making a name for yourself online.

if you search around the “social media guru” blogs, you’ll find plenty of 7 ways to this and 5 tips for that. but not nearly as much in the way of theory. and this was college, right? so i wanted to really consider the deeper workings of social media. why it works – how it works – and how we communicate the essence of our selves & personalities to a network of thousands of strangers. in short, how we form our online identity.

since my mission at scoutie girl is more about telling the stories behind the stuff, i think this information fits here. this is the story & the theory behind what i put into scoutie girl:

the art & business of crafting your online self

how do you communicate the “essence of you” to people who’ve never met you before? if you create a persona that you will ultimately tire of or that you cannot maintain, you’ll lose interest and so will others. you life “wired” must be a true representation of the person you are and hope to become.

for me, i lost touch of my “true self” while i was working for “the man.” i lost touch with my love of learning, the part of me that loved to read & write. i rediscovered that when i took time off when lola was born. that’s the identity i choose to share online. a positive, successful, optimistic, and driven self.

i hope that’s the person you know.

you are what you share

you online identity becomes the sum total of the information you share online. for me, it’s sharing beautiful handmade goods, connecting artists, finding helpful blogging resources, & recapping special events. i immerse myself in this online community so that i can have access to the best information to pass on to you as readers & followers.

once i started to share, my value & influence grew by sharing the most interesting & helpful information i could find. that cultivates authority. as authority grows, my network – and my online identity – grows because of the value you provide to the community.

greater authority + larger network = more people exposed to the information i share

the sum of the tidbits – information, art, people, beauty – that i share creates an image of the virtual me. the “person” that you know.

the space between those shared bits, the juxtapositions, and the connections complete that virtual image. you probably don’t know me as a “person” – you know me as the words i write, the information i share, and the people i introduce you to. i am all those things, put together, and examined.

but i am nothing without relationships

if its not for you, the people who i work hard to cultivate relationships with, i am nothing. scoutie girl is nothing. my online self may be built by the information i share – but it’s propelled by our relationship.

i don’t know exactly where my own journey is headed, what new challenges & opportunities await me. in the end, my success – my ability to maintain this life that i love, hinges upon my ability to maintain my “wired” self image and my relationship with you.

***

if you enjoyed this post, please check out my personal blog at taragentile.com. you can find more of my musings on social media, blogging, and the more “theoretical” side of indie biz.

122 thoughts on “the art & business of crafting your online self.

    1. you’re quite welcome, robin! i think a “sales pitch” might sell a product – but it will never sell a brand. and brands are what last, what stick in your mind, and what ultimately make you a loyal customer.

      thanks for stopping by!
      tara

    1. for sure, brandi!
      the internet provides such a great platform for expanding your true self – i know i do! – but expansion can’t come at the risk of forgetting who we really are.

      thanks for stopping by!

      1. This is the first time I have read scoutie girl, and I am really enjoying it. I started blogging a few months after my husband died, mainly because I was tired of hearing my sister talk about her “friends” in Australia, and lots of other places. I must hastily add that I had no intention of blogging that night, but after reading several blogs, I was hooked. Previously I had thought my sister needed to get a real life with real people. I quickly learned that people who blog are very real and make some of the best friends.

  1. Great synopsis of how and who are social media. I have been so fortunate to meet some wonderful people and it amazes me that each of us can reach out to the entire world. Five years ago most of our social interaction was within a 100 mile radius…now it’s the world.

    1. i know!! eek! yesterday at my talk, a popular question was – where do you see yourself in 5 years?

      what?? who knew the internet would look like this 3 years ago? i have no idea – but i’m sure game for coming along for the ride!

    1. it is fun to share in real life. only, sometimes i worry that i don’t live up to others expectations! which is funny… since i feel to “myself” online.

      thanks for stopping by today, amy!

  2. Thanks for sharing such positive thoughts!
    And great advice – I started blogging myself fairly recently and am still trying to figure out what is “blogworthy”, so your post came just at the right time!

    1. to me, anything that moves me, inspires me, and feels like it should be a part of me is blogworthy! whether it fits in with what you’re currently blogging about is a different question. but then the challenge is relating it back to your blog’s mission.

      thanks for stopping by, naomi!

  3. Thank you for sharing with us at LVC! I was inspired to know that you can definitely make a living without working in a job you hate. I’m graduating in a few months now. I love the internet, I love art, and I love writing. Your career path might be my choice someday as well! Thanks again and good luck with your endeavors.

  4. First, I love the picture you chose to put at the top. It is the perfect image to represent announcing yourself to the world, and shows the openness and vulnerability required. Second, your message to remain true to yourself is so true. I think blogging is a great venue for people like me who are generally socially very shy and private, but have thoughts and experiences that we occasionally would like to share with others. It is easier for some of us to reach out in writing than in person.

    1. the picture is of a statue at lvc. she welcomes students on to campus in the corner of the academic quad. she’s not very large – but she does command your attention! another lesson to keep in mind as bloggers πŸ˜‰

      thanks for stopping by, susan!

  5. This is great. I think the ‘you are what you share’ is possibly the thing that I, along with lots of other crafty bloggers, struggle with.

    It’s hard to maintain uniqueness in my business, but at the same time it would be nice to be generous with all the info I’ve gathered! Hmm.

    *pondering*

    x Penny

    1. hmmm, is right! i don’t think you need to give away the baby with the bathwater. you can and should keep things that are proprietary or profitable to yourself to a great degree. but what you do chose to share may end up leading to great professional & profitable opportunities than you could ever imagine!

      it has for me :)
      thanks for stopping by, penny!

  6. Wonderful post. “You are what you share” is so true. To me, you are giving and I look forward each day to seeing what you have to share. Spring is around the corner, I promise!

  7. I really enjoyed this post. Very true – sincerity always strikes the right cord and attracts good things, whether it’s a blog or an online shop. And I understand completely what you mean when you said you felt you lost yourself a bit in working for the “man”. Thank goodness I enjoy my current job but I’ve worked at many since I was 15 (a total job whore, lol) so I really understand. But I also think it’s this very thing that thankfully is contributing to this huge great movement of hard working small indie business owners building relationships together, handmade goods and blogs like yours. :)

    1. thanks, karyna!

      “job whore” ha! i know what you mean, me too. i feed off of success – so i thought if i was good at a job, it must mean that i should stick with it. nope – i’ll succeed at whatever i do so i better find something i like.

      good thing i did!

      and couldn’t agree more about what you said about that contributing to the indie movement. right on!

  8. “the man”. Ah yes, me too. Lost myself completely. Though in many ways, blogging about toys and freelancing as a toy designer is perpetuating that person I was. I’m hoping to find a way to combine the pride I had in what I did full-time with the person I am now. I’m much more grounded and real working from home and blogging (how ironic that it’s all virtual).
    This idea of a virtual identity is exactly what I’m struggling with. I’ve been feeling like my blog might be a little one-sided … maybe a more rounded representation of me through blogging is actually what will make it a more “successful” blog?
    Thanks Tara, as always!

    1. YES!!! i’ve really expanded my thinking that way in terms of SG and it is paying HUGE dividends. as you can see from this post, readers are more engaged and i feel like i’m connecting more & more everyday. big for me, big for readers, big for the success of scoutie girl.

      in fact, i’m even considering pulling back a bit on my posting frequency to really concentrate on writing complete, personal, thought out posts that still further the mission of sg.

      thanks, mari!

  9. I’m glad you wrote this! It’s so easy for people to post negative or pity-posts that reflect a really bad attitude. No one wants to be around that for long. You want to be around the lively, interesting, engaging person at the party – not the angry person in the corner. I have heard plenty in the forums that made me cringe and even clicked on a blog for a shop I was interested in only to discover that I was so turned off by their projected toxicity that I couldn’t get away from it fast enough! That’s not someone I want to do business with. Online we are our words.

    1. anne – you are so right. negativity is such a turn off. even disappointment breeds more disappointment.

      i don’t believe in fate – so it’s hard for me to get my expectations up, my steps back are only steps forward in disguise. it may be cliche but i truly believe it’s what contributes to my success.

      stay positive and future-focused and your future will be positive!

      thanks so much for contributing to the conversation.

  10. Wonderful post!!!

    Thank you scoutie girl for doing what you do and doing it so well. I am so glad you left the man to join the people, blogs like yours are so valuable both for the great information that you share and for giving independent artists and craftsmen like me exposure!

    1. you are quite welcome, einat! thank YOU so much for giving me an audience. i am truly blessed by all the wonderful people who stop by here on a daily basis.

      hope you had a lovely weekend!

  11. Thank you for this! I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I DO actually know who I am, and I am determined to not let go of that. Sometimes as an independent artisan, I want to be like the bigger companies and make lots of sales, but then I remember that’s not who I am, and that other things are much more important to me. I think by being true to myself, I can better serve those around me, too.

    1. hi christine! certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting success but there’s a reason we choose to be independent right. and i think when it comes down to it, it’s because we do things better than big companies who drown in their own resources.

      keep up being who you are – and keep striving to expand & challenge yourself at the same time. we’ll all grow together!

  12. The blogosphere has brought me a whole new group of friends, some of whom I exchange a few words with nearly every day. You are so right! One need not look a new friend in the eye to see his/her soul. Thanks for the pithy and heartfelt post.

    1. you’re quite welcome, ricki!

      i’m so thankful for my internet friends – many of whom are now friends in “real life.” many times, i feel like i know these friends better than i know my own family – lol.

      hope you had a great weekend!

  13. This is so true always stay true to yourself what you belive and what you are about and from there everything else will fall into place be true to yourself in your art or craft whatever it is don’t do or be something or create things that really does not represent you and your style no matter what do not comprimise.

  14. I am so glad you wrote this!..Not because I wasn’t being myself but because it validated that I am who I am and my craft is a big part of that. I will forever feel less insecure about my online personality (which is pretty well the exact same as in person)after reading this!

    Thanks a trillion!

    WEEEEEEEEEEE

  15. Love this! It’s expanding on the idea of “using your voice” which I preached when I taught high school English (mumble) years ago. I try “use my voice” in my etsy shops since people can’t meet me in person. I want them to feel like they know me.
    The whole blogging phenomenon is overwhelming to me, though. I’m 50 and not as tech-savvy as my kids and their friends. So many blogs, so much to learn, so little time. How does one keep up?

    1. hi martha! want to know a secret? we don’t keep up! lol. i’m so behind… but i do my best to visit my friends and make a new one or two a day (ok, may be a week!)

      if it’s something you might enjoy – and as a former english teach i bet you would – i would advise you to jump right on in!

      thanks for stopping by!

    2. Martha, I used to get all worked up about how much technology was above my head, but what’s the point of worrying about that? I try to trust my intuition, and pursue the technology that speaks to me (but I don’t youtube LOL). I’ve learned a lot of technology “on-the-job” because I had to; now I’m investing myself in a path that is truly mine, and I seek the knowledge (tech or otherwise) that will help me progress along that path.

  16. Thank you for sharing these great tips. As an extrovert in my day to day life, my blog personality follows. Not all the time, somedays I will just post some photos(it took me awhile to realize that just photos is OK) and other times, when I am truly struggling in my life, I will write about it.

    1. hehe – i’m such an introvert in real life and an extrovert on the net. i think many of us are – it’s nice to meet someone who’s representing extrovert on both sides!

      i think a blog is a great platform regardless if you’re wordy, introspective, have an eye for pictures, etc… be yourself – whoever that may be!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this insightful information. As a middle aged stay at home mom I have come late to the online world. The whole internet seems at times completely impersonal while at the same time giving me to much information about people I don’t even know.

    I think you are so right about staying “true to your self” and “using your own voice.” I try to do this in my craft and art. I try to express myself without giving to much away. I see it is the same thing on the internet. And you right – it is very important to be positive.

    1. hi, melissa!

      you touch on another excellent point. i think drawing the line between personal life & internet life is different for everyone and is a decision you & you alone can me.

      for some reason, i’m very comfortable sharing just about everything. and i think i’m known for that. i want people to know the “whole” me. but i completely respect & admire people who are able to draw more of a line. both have their challenges!

      1. I couldnt agree more, everyone has their limits of how much is enough.
        As a buyer I like to hear the story of how a product got its start or how the seller got his or her start in the business.
        As a seller I have added my own personal stories of my products and myself. I have just started doing this on my website and feel its like i have found myself again.
        Great read Tara! thank you!

  18. Very true and helpful article you wrote in here, I believe in being natural and honest and show the real you through your work, blog, shop, etc…I have made very good friends and contact over Internet by being helpful, respectful and kind to others.

    Thanks for sharing this words
    Marga

  19. i am still a new fish swimming in the big ocean of technology
    I love to create and my goal in my life now is to be a successful artist and sell my work.
    I am a art teacher by day and an artist selling her work always
    check out my store and I will send my flikr address
    peace and thank you
    kathleen
    wireknot

    1. hi kathleen! nice to meet you. however, your comment illustrates an interesting point about my post. throwing your marketing message around isn’t really being true to yourself or your art.

      sharing your personal reflection on my post or a related experience is much more likely to solidify my connection with you and, in turn, get me to click on your link.

      thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. you’re very welcome, jennifer! without patting myself on the back, i think this kind of insight is missing from the creative community’s perspective on marketing. it’s fundamentally who we are but it’s SO easy to get sucked into what the gurus tell us to do.

      thanks for stopping by!

  20. I know exactly what you mean by losing yourself by working for “the man”. I have my undergrad and grad degrees in Accounting, been a successful CPA for almost 8 years at a international accounting firm and one year in industry…one would think I would love doing what I’m doing getting to experience the business world so much at this age. But yet, I’m tired of working for others. Others that stopped appreciating the work and just expect me to do it at any cost, which is usually my personal life and health (as I am finding out now with issues I am having). I started my own natural skin care line last year and all I can think about during the day when I am at my 9-5 (or should I say 6:30 a – 6:30 pm) job is getting home to work on my side business. I love studying herbs, oils, skin types, researching, coming up with new formulas, understanding my consumer….someday I hope to make this my full time job but for now, I’m glad that, even if it is for a few hours a day, I can get back to the new true me.

  21. love this post…ive read naomi’s comment i have the same problem with me i stopped using blog because iam not very much good with words…i do talk a lot but its hard to interpret in words besides i dont know if ppl would be interested in reading my blog…maybe i should i start blogging again…i should give it a try.

    thanks tara this post is just wonderful.

    sara sekhar.

  22. I will be reading this post in a short while, but I noticed one thing… Even though this is a sort of blog tribute, one should always be wary of grammatical errors. Pretty much nothing was capitalized in this entire article.

    Never the less, I’m sure I will find it a good read, as much as a helpful one.

    1. proofread much? HA I know I do! It’s a big part of my day job now. I never thought I’d say it (I always take/took such umbrage [read: judgmental] at typos–or what I see as syntax, grammatical, compositional errors), but online communique works best when we can get past the “style” issues and connect with the “substance.”

      Tara has chosen non-caps as an intentional style — like e e cummings. I think it’s a great energy-saver; especially for pinkie fingers!

  23. In reference to the “social media gurus”, I have to agree that not much emphasis is put on theory at all. Sure, social media is a great way to network and build relationships – and the tips can be helpful – but this post was among the first I’ve recently read that helps me better understand the inner workings of social media – defining myself vs. blindly blasting a message.

    I’m still in the “defining myself” phase on my blog, but what I find most rewarding so far is the sharing helpful information. People really do appreciate neat little tips and tricks to doing whatever. When I thought about it, there are a few blogs I’ve started following because of some technique or trick they shared.

    I certainly am open to learning more about relationship-building, but I guess that, too, will be one of those things I learn as I go along. :)

    Jen S.

  24. This is perfect.. I have been beating my head against a silent wall, zero people for nine months on etsy. I know that I am doing the right things, but without people, any people in the brick and mortar world, how on earth can I drive people into the store. Well the blog did not work, maxed at 6 followers who were not reading. My frustration culminated in a breakthrough. Focus on one thing at a time.
    MOSS won out. Now have moved to video, to try to reach even more people. Still in process. Thanks for the pep talk.

  25. Thanks Scoutie for probing more deeply into social media. You have given me more to ponder as I contemplate developing a blog. Yes, what is mine to bring, offer and share to the many I may connect with but do not really know. Provocative area that I will continue to explore.

    I appreciate your sincerity and invitation to being real and genuine.

    Would love to know where that sculpture is located.

  26. This was great. I recently started a new blog and wanted it to really capture who I am. I think I am doing well with it except I never now how much to share. I find that I pull back and censor myself a bit. Where do you draw your line in the sand?

  27. Thank you, I’m just starting out in the blogosphere world…and this post shares a great message to beginners and beyond. Being true to yourself whether it be a virtual moment or reality one is very important! =)

  28. I really appreciate these inspiring words. I am very new to the online marketplace and feel a bit overwhelmed with all I need to learn. Thank you for reminding me that the reason I am in this is because I love to create my art work and share it with people.

  29. What a great post…thanks for sharing Tara. Such inspiring words and I completely resonated with your “working for the man”. I was feeling like I had lost all my creativity and even dreams by the day to day awfulness of my job. And then I discovered the world of blogging and found this incredible community of like-minded people and I started feeling creative and energized again!

  30. This was inspiration I needed. I’ve been unemployed for over a year and trying to get an online shop going. After working for over 30 years and downsized 4 times I do feel like I’ve lost so much of my creativity. Trying to get back in touch with the person I remember and like is a challenge.

  31. Wonderful advice. You’ve put this into words in the perfect way. Your post is timely for me and I’ll save it to look back at from time to time. Thank you!

  32. Thanks so much for your inspiring words. I am very new to life online and still finding my feet at online selling.
    Now I must jump into online being which as you have described needs careful handling to be a true representation. How exciting it all is with such great people already in the pool.

  33. Thank you for being so open and sharing. I am a full time art teacher and spend any extra time weaving in my studio. I have a passion both to teachers others how to make art, but also to educate anyone and everyone about the importance and value that art holds in culture, which I think many do not understand. I asked my high school students why they feel that art is important and all that they could come up with was for entertainment, I was a bit surprised that they did not realize the great impact that art and creative thought has on everything around them.

  34. Thank you so much for your insight into cyberspace. This medium of communication and social networking is so unfamiliar to me. As I get more involved in it, I find that remembering that you are not just typing words out into the great unknown is easy to loose sight of. The truth is that what you type is as important to who you are- as what you say in person.

    Defining a cyberself is another great way to put your best foot forward walking towards the person you want to become, and redefining the person you are.

    Thanks for saying it out loud;)

  35. I too lost myself working for “the man” and actually I worked for a great agency for the last 7 years. But even with my 13 yrs of experience as a graphic designer I felt like I was a button pusher and designing for everyone and their dog and never for me. I finally creatively flat-lined and decided to pull the cord. The BEST decision I’ve made. I am so happy now everyday!!! and LOVE creating and designing again. This is who I am… I want more of me and can’t wait to see what else I have to offer. I am in it 150%!! Thanks for your post

  36. Hello All,

    Miss Scoutie girl- your break from the work world with your daughter sounded like a great catalyst. I am in similar state- with a brand new baby girl, recent move form SF to Charlotte, NC. I am an art professor by trade, but hope to expand some design concepts into tangible goods to sell. Totally thrift store inspired- I’m aiming to have time to hunt and make things with my daughter at home. Any advice on creating this balance?

    Loved hearing your thoughts,

    Molly

    1. hey molly! sadly, i’m not the best one to ask about balance. my little girl is at home with me too and i was very unprepared for my business to have picked up as quickly as it has in the last few months. it’s been great – but not at all balanced. i would encourage you to check out scoutie girl’s founder, jan dicinto – daisy janie (http://daisyjanie.com/blog) for inspiration on balance. she’s been at this for a while and really leads by example!

  37. Tara, thank you for sharing all of this information! For 2010, I wanted to increase my blog readers and get them to interact more. According to stats, I have lots more readers but so few comment. I’m still trying to find my own niche in blogging, but I do feel that I am on the right track by blogging / sharing what I know, what I like, what I’d like to know, and not try to be something / someone that I’m not. If I continue on that path (and I have since I started blogging), and put more of your tips to work, I think I’ll see more results this year.

  38. Interesting read! When I meet someone in person that is gilding the lily it doesn’t take long for my bs meter to go off. Online it can be tougher to see through the veneer.

  39. you put it so well and so clearly….I too am passionate about something bigger than my shop, I forget and just want to plug my shop which is narrow and boring…thanks for putting me back on track

  40. Thank you! I am really new to all of this and it’s harder then people think. I would have people tell me, “just sell it online, it’s gotta be easy” but it’s not. I am slowly learning things and I’m trying to start blogging but that’s harder then I thought too. Reading your article and the comments from everyone else, helps me feel like I’m not the only one out there like this.
    Thanks
    Lindsay

  41. Damn skippy! What I just read re-affirms exactly what I’m about. “a positive, successful, optimistic, and driven self.”

    ME! Driven to make killer stuff, wildy successful on Etsy, positive, and with a killer outlook on what’s coming my way. Rad culmination of thoughts. I’ve been my authentic self forever, and I think it shows online πŸ˜‰ I dance to a different drumbeat, am a lover of color…and I make really good yarn!

    1. hey sayra! that has literally got to be one of the best comments i’ve ever read! i’m so glad to have found you as a kindred spirit πŸ˜‰

      keep on being awesome!!!!

  42. Tara-
    Thank you for sharing your insights. I’m new to the blogging world so I’m still trying to find my way. There are so many things that I’m passionate, I sometimes find it difficult to narrow it down. It seems that successful blogs are focused. What are thoughts? Sound advice is always appreciated!

  43. Thank you for sharing, I totally agree, truth always rules in the end. I appreciate your insight into growing my online business. This is all new to me and I need all the help I can get. I have been truly amazed at how much this community shares it’s wealth of knowledge with each other. I am most happy and filled with joy when I am creating something. To have others appreciate it, makes it more of a joy and blessing.

    Peace

  44. This post is great! I discovered you back in January and have really enjoyed all the things you put out there! The integrity and spark that you carry for art, being true to yourself, and spreading your knowledge is very apparent on every online portal I have followed you. Thank you for your encouragement!

  45. I am paying all the attention to what experienced people told me on Etsy. BUT I think it is very hard to sell original paintings, and think the avalanche of different emotions, money, happiness does not allow the right person to whom I direct this message to tell me his soul out and truth.
    I made batter photos, I put my paintings over a Couch to make believe and see the size, and how it fits in a Living room or bedroom. No answers to business, no buys, what to do?

    I do not sell clothes, nor rings, nor peluches, I sell paintings made with my hands, and by myself, what can I do?

  46. This is great–I have a never ending fascination between the online world and offline relationships. I just took a great class on this for my masters degree–which kind of shocked me into going back online to sell my stuff a bit. It’s hard sometimes though, creating that mix between “Hey I want to show you guys this!” and “Am I giving you a little too much information about myself?”

    This is a fantastic article.

    1. hi maggie! thanks so much for your great feedback! i think the best way to straddle that fence is to always engage your fans while promoting your work. where would you wear this? how would you use this? what other colors would you like to see this in? you get great feedback, they see your work, and hopefully, you get some sales too!

      thanks for stopping by!

  47. thanks for this honest post. i do agree and it does help me and my ultimate persona online, as i am a beginner in this world. i used to do everything in person, old style, real. but so huge is the networking needed for a succesful business that i had to introduce my passion/work to the internet. thanks again! claudette for nube indigo

  48. You have definitely validated something that I have been pondering if I should post about. Thankfully you have beaten me to the post, so my words should only enhance what you have already said.

    I recently attended a seminar which spoke about “Living The Brand”. You have inspired me to write about this topic and buzz about it through seeded buzz.

    Thank you for the affirmation and inspiration,

  49. I’ve only just come across your blog and reading this post. I really enjoyed it. It speaks volumes to me in so many ways. I’ll be reading it again…thanks for a great post…you’ve got me thinkin’…

  50. This is the first time I’ve read your blog (thanks to a post on Etsy about it). Now I’m hooked and will have to keep reading it!

    Thank you for this article! It’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with lately…trying to put my true self out there rather than trying to be what I think the public wants. You are really right on about sincerity. It’s so much easier to simply be yourself and the only way your passion can shine through.

    Thanks again!

  51. Great post! This really resonated with me- “what you do chose to share may end up leading to great professional & profitable opportunities than you could ever imagine!”

    I’ve found this to be SO true in my life. I made the initial choice to share my techniques and now have a book being published this fall as a result of that choice.

    Plus, as soon as I did make that choice to be generous with what I know, I freed myself from the me vs. you mentality some artists have. I’m a better person because of it. :)

  52. love this. For me its all about finding my community. Doing what I love, sharing what I love, helping those i love…

    I’ve met some great people all around the world through my blog, and even though they are far away, sharing who you really are , attracts the same kind of people so that It makes the other side of the world seem like my back yard… gotta love that. Thanks for your lovely thoughts.

  53. While it is good 2 B yourself online, how does it help if you’re not one for much talk? I’ve been told, and I’ve seen the results of occasional postings (lots of responses from people around the world, and some sales……yeaaaahhhhh) that I need to make myself known, and I need to communicate. However, I don’t really know what to say when I get on line. I kind of live within myself. Face 2 Face I’m quite sociable and charming (I’ve been told), but vertually I’m kinda lost. I try to post stuff that pertain to my art and feelings about art. I try to respond to other people’s posts (so as to BE KNOWN), however, I’m not quite into it. Should I keep going and get used to it? or what should I do?

  54. I enjoyed your post. Yes, I totally agree. I have a large FB following because I share my personality and make people feel welcome, appreciated and don’t sell directly. It is more about sharing than selling. My blog posts are informational. I like to share what works for me as far as marketing and often share the blogs I follow or the information I find in research. I don’t have that many subscribers to my blog yet, about 55, but it is a good start.

    Thanks again for sharing, it is nice to know that there are other people that believe it is better to give of yourself than hold secrets when it comes to success at marketing and selling arts and crafts.

  55. I have just started reading Scoutie Girl, and I am loving the sincerity and generosity the I’ve found. For that….thank you! I am just beginning to sell my stuff online….well….anywhere for that matter. Also, I am very new to understanding blogging and discovering what is there. I want to be able to put myself out there, but I struggle with it. I am somewhat of a private person. I have no qualms with sharing myself with like minded individuals such as yourself and your readers, but I hold onto this anxiety about folks outside of that circle getting too much information about myself and my family on the internet. Are there any words of wisdom that you can send my way?? Many thanks!

  56. So well written Tara :) I like your style. Despite every piece of advice out there (about marketing) I’m staying true to myself. I’m going to continue being me, bot online and offline. Some people would want to see me split my blog into a million pieces (one for every category), but that’s not me. I’m the sum of those parts.

  57. I am new to blogging. The process of defining who I am is a journey that can be both rewarding and tough. When I read this blog, the phrase “You are what you share” summed it up. Instead of a paragraph to try to explain what you mean, those 5 words captured it exactly!! I like finding ways to say exactly what you mean without having to take an hour to explain. My personal mission statement is ….. LOVE! One word is all it takes. Tara I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Thank you for sharing.

  58. I must say, I’m glad I am not the only one who felt I was losing a part of who I am when I was working for someone else. After years a corporate company, I felt like a core piece of me was buried, lost, or broken–my love of creating and cooking and learning and reading and knitting. I never had the time or more importantly the energy for so many things that make me, me!

    I just quit my job in an effort to further explore my life as an artist and crafter, and I’m still finding my online identity, but I have no doubts (perhaps foolish ignorance) about succeeding in my new ventures.

    I only found your blog tonight, but I’ll be back often!

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