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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Book Review: Painted Appliqué

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Painted Appliqué
Painted Appliqué
Linda M. Poole
AQS; $24.95

Creativity — photography, writing, painting, sewing — has been the mainstay of Linda Poole’s life, so it is no wonder that she took the opportunity to combine those loves in Painted Appliqué. Linda teaches you both her glue stick appliqué method and her painted appliqué technique using the same patterns; i.e., you see the same pattern completed in both mediums. By reproducing Linda’s patterns or creating your own, you have the option of using either or both techniques. You will learn how a variety of paints, mediums and ink pencils work on fabric. I really liked the close-up, step-by-step instructions. If you are looking to add painting to your fiber toolbox, this resource will answer many of your questions.

This book can be found on Amazon.com; leave a reply below to tell me what technique Linda taught you.

Are You Using Testimonials to Build Your Business?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Testimonials are a terrific way to help market your quilt or creative arts business. It’s word-of-mouth advertising, only you get to decide who hears it and what is heard. While you may get unsolicited testimonials, it’s a good idea for you to actually ask for a response. In some cases you might want to offer a thank you gift for the comment. Here are some ideas to try:

1. For the fiber artist or longarm quilter who has finished a commission, include a self-addressed stamped reply postcard with the work. Ask for comments that will help you in the future. You might try: Was the communication between quilter and customer adequate? Was the project completed in an appropriate time frame? Encourage the buyer to send you a photo of the quilt in use and ask for any other comments. If you want to thank the person giving you the testimonial, perhaps a small discount on a future order is possible.

2. For the teacher, include an additional comments line on your evaluation form. You’ll not only get ideas to improve your classes, but you’ll also get wonderful and heartfelt comments to use as testimonials.

3. Any book author can tell you how valuable the testimonial blurbs are on the back cover of their book. You will need to ask someone if he or she would be willing to write a blurb and then provide a galley copy of your book for reading. A published book might be a nice thank you for the testimonial.

4. If you sell a product to the general public, you can include a comment card in your packaging. You can request that someone leave a comment on your website or return the comment card via regular mail. Another idea would be to encourage feedback from the user. All products include some written material. You can add a couple sentences about how excited you’ll be to hear back from the user about their experiences with the product. You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll get. I think this would be quite effective for pattern designers.

5. For shop owners it’s easy to get testimonials either with a return card with a purchase or a comment card box somewhere in the store.

After you start receiving these comments, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You are delivering a great product and building an ongoing relationship with your customers.

What do you do with the testimonials as you get them? Be sure to include them in all your advertising. Here are some specific ideas:

1. Create a page for testimonials on your website. We have one we call Success Stories. You could also intersperse them throughout your site.

2. Include testimonials in your catalog. For example, a pattern designer might include a testimonial about how easy to follow her instructions are.

3. Include testimonials in your tri-fold brochure if you are are teacher or do commission work. It lets potential customers know the value of your work.

4. Include testimonials in any of your print ads. Study ads in magazines to see how testimonials are used.

5. Include testimonials on your product packaging, if space permits. It might be limited to just a few lines, but it could make a difference in someone buying the product.

Lastly, remember you don’t have to use the whole testimonial. You can use an excerpt, just be sure to keep it in context.

How do you gather and use testimonials in your business? Please leave a reply and share your experiences.

PQ Café Business Series: Your “Quilt-fluence”

Friday, March 6th, 2009

cup_of_tea_with_spoonJoin us in the PQ Café on Thursday, March 12, when I talk to Jake Finch about writing to expand what she calls your “Quilt-fluence.” Jake birthed a new addiction when she began quilting 20 years ago. Five years later she plunged into teaching. Since then she’s written two books, Fast, Fun & Easy® Book Cover Art and Comfort Quilts From the Heart. She’s also a development editor for C&T Publishing and the managing editor for Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home. Daily she finds herself answering questions on how the individual quilter can get her name known. Jake’s first response: Write something.

Join us when we’ll cover how to get started writing magazine articles or books, how to write a query, where to pitch your idea and more. And don’t be surprised if your quilting career really takes off as a result.

The teleclass is scheduled for Thursday, March 12 at 8 pm, Eastern Standard Time. Registration includes both the teleclass and the MP3 downloadable recording, so if you can’t come to the class, you’ll get the recording to listen to at a time that works for you. Here are details.

Hope to see you then. And, if you have questions you want me to be sure to ask Jake, just drop me an e-mail or post a comment, and I’ll try to fit them in.

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