Writers Spark: Interview With Amber Jordan (aka Mommy The Marketer)

Typewriter necklace by Cute Ability

Typewriter Necklace by Cute Ability

In this installment of the ongoing Writers Spark series I interview Amber Jordan, aka Mommy The Marketer. A veritable font of marketing knowledge, Amber is a very busy lady! She maintains an Etsy shop (Tate Skye Designs), writes for Handmade Spark and her Etsy Momentum blog, and helps other small businesses through her consulting work. Amber clearly has a passion for small business and loves to pass on the tricks of the trade she has learnt along the way.

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Sprinkled with fantastic advice and laugh-out-loud moments, I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

1. Tough ask but…give us a bio in one sentence!

Just an enterprising Mommy shouting out small business advice and the crazy musings of a parent, business owner and artist.

2. What do you create? What drew you to this particular art/craft?

I guess you could say I stir up online press releases for Etsy shops and other handmade businesses. Mommy The Marketer keeps me very busy with consulting work and writing business articles for both Handmade Spark and my blog Etsy Momentum. In my downtime my alter ego, Tate Sky Designs, is allowed to focus on my passion for photography, architectural illustration and watercolor.

The Mommy The Marketer website and my personal Etsy shop, Tate Sky Designs, are my outlets for all of my loves. I helped the ‘big guys’ get rich for far too long in my corporate job as a Designer/Project Coordinator and in-house Marketing Department Gal (they had to hire three new people to replace me when I left). It is refreshing getting back in the trenches to help out small handmade business owners. I love getting to know shop owners and seeing them meet their small business goals and find online success.

When I traded my dry cleaned suit for yoga pants and a ten year old t-shirt after the birth of our second child, I felt a huge hole in my life. I started Tate Skye Designs as a little back-burner Etsy shop to allow me to focus some of my creative energy. I quickly realised how hard it is to ‘get noticed’ in a sea of handmade businesses out there. Several years ago I successfully helped launch another small online business and got the burning desire to get the ball rolling again. After some no so subtle hints from my husband, Mommy The Marketer was born!

Cherry Kiss by Tate Sky Designs

3. What inspires you? How do you keep your creative spark firing?

I love photography and painting to help decompress but my real motivation comes from helping out others. I am absolutely thrilled to get positive feedback from my clients about their small (or large) victories after I’ve helped them.. Sometimes I feel like an ‘insider’ leaking secrets. Or the tireless cheerleader for all the underdogs out there. We can do it!

4. Tell us about your day job…

My ‘day job’ is wrangling my two very busy kids (5 years and 15 months). After I finish pulling the toddler from the curtains and washing peanut butter out of the 5 year old’s hair, I usually have a spare minute or two to work on my articles and website. Mommy The Marketer really gets fired up when my husband comes home from work and the kids are in bed. Saturday morning is also my ‘press time’ to really crank up on my upcoming features. Of course, as I write this my children are dumping an entire box of cheerios on the floor…but they are quiet so I’m okay with it.

5. What kinds of things do you enjoy writing about? Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

I enjoy writing about the roadblocks and challenges that small handmade businesses face on my business blog, Etsy Momentum. Tutorials and honest advice on what to do and not to do as far as marketing your company and the delicate ‘art’ of selling. I guess you could call it my killer instinct side! The Because I Said So blog contains light hearted musings that ramble about all my passions: art, handmade, parenthood and my attempts (keyword there) and ever ending quest to balance it all. Stop by for a good laugh on your coffee break…or if your life is like mine the two minutes you have that should have been used to pull your toddler off the curtains.

White Goddess Tulip by Tate Skye Designs

6. What’s the biggest lesson you’re learnt from running a handmade business? What advice can you pass on to other Etsy sellers?

Know who you are. Really refine your image or ‘brand’ before you jump into an all out “hey everyone, come and buy” campaign. First impressions are everything. You have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of a potential buyer. Be memorable, be honest and be yourself. It kills me to open up an Etsy shop or Artfire store and see a blurry logo and poor product shots. I know you are an incredibly nice person but you are selling you and your business short by not taking the time and energy to do things right.

7. And for blog writers? And advice on writing posts and engaging readers?

Ask the right questions and fill a need. My most successful posts have come from direct questions by clients. For example: ‘Why am I loosing fans on Facebook?’. My articles explaining insights into the world of social media have had a great response.

8. How do you market your business?

Well, as ‘Mommy The Marketer’ it is part of my job description to be everywhere. The Facebook fan page has been an incredible resource as well as Twitter. My Etsy Momentum blog has a loyal following. However, most traffic comes directly to my website (MommyTheMarketer.com). Great referring sites like Handmade Spark have helped as well as several other top business and craft blogs in the industry.

I rely heavily on word of mouth and wonderful referrals from clients and fans. People are much more likely to buy a product or service if a friend or colleague has referred them. Never underestimate the power of ‘your best customers’. Treat them with respect and give them your best and they will pay it forward with kind words about you and your business. I am thrilled to the ‘go-to gal’ for several of my clients. Handmade business owners have such a wonderful passion for their work nd it is an incredible feeling to be with them on their journey.

Goodbye Winter by Tate Skye Designs

9. Time to pay it forward! Tell us 3 of your favourite Etsy shops that we should support…

Just three?! I love so many! I would say a couple of standout shops (and their owners) would be:

Swanky Place – her crazy blog about ‘Betty and her dog Muffin’ and their travels in their 5th wheel around the US keep me laughing and coming back for more. Hey Betty, tell Muffin I said hi! (Muffin likes to sneak out and update blog posts when Betty is busy).

Fanny Women’s Perfect Apron by Swanky Place

Chrystalyn Jewelry – Chrystal keeps me ‘on my game’ and is a seasoned Etsy seller. She works social media to the max and has created her own network with her Redding Handmade Team. She is an example of one who is doing things right. I love seeing her next move, odds are it will be a winner.

Landscape necklace by Chrystalyn Jewlery

Edith and Elizabeth – I consider Jane my Facebook ‘mole’ (in a good way!) – she gives me a heads up when there are hot topics on discussion boards and always asks for my input. Her decals are crazy cool so that helps as well.

Chandelier vinyl decal by Edith and Elizabeth

Thanks Amber