Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2021!

Creative life, indie business, Sustainable design

I’m crossing my fingers and toes that this year is a steadier ride for everyone than the last.

My business couldn’t have made it through 2020 without the amazing support and encouragement from you, so a big thanks to everyone who bought anything, pledged to my Patreon (Patrons are superstars: without them I’d have thrown in the towel last year for certain), and those who shared, simply ‘liked’ or commented on my stuff on social media. All very important support, thank you. I was able to launch a Patreon page, invest and test new products, invest in a new graphics programme (Affinity Designer) to streamline my work, and even take a bit of time to dabble in some personal sketches. I feel like I could get my business affairs a bit more in order, finally!

I’m also here to mention that I also have plans for this year. How fast I can roll them out depends on what happens with the latest lockdown, and when my son can go back to childcare, and also my therapy schedule. I think we’ve all learnt to be a bit more flexible over the last year though, so I’m sure I can re-jig and fit most of my plans in if needs be.

I have a few new products sat here waiting to be assembled, photographed and listed, which I’m already proud of even if no-one else is interested in them. I already plan to use some of them myself.

On the ‘sustainability’ front I’m also dipping my toes in with a local supplier who hold themselves accountable when it comes to the environment. I’ll be trying new cards and textile products this month, actually.

Stay tuned, and have a good ‘un,

Laura x

Laura Carter Instagram

Setting up Instagram Shopping with my Etsy shop

Creative life, indie business

Recently I conquered the seemingly over-complicated task that is setting up Instagram Shopping. I say ‘seemingly’ because I think the complications were mostly down to my ineptitude with tech, and me misunderstanding what the instructions exactly were telling me to do. It’s probably not that difficult if you just follow, and most importantly, understand all the instructions to the letter.

I was determined to set up Instagram Shopping because a surprising amount of direct sales and traffic comes from my Instagram profile. Still a very small amount, but hey I’m working on it, and this is a step to making it even easier to buy from me.

It doesn’t help that, as I’m selling via Etsy, I needed to set up a Facebook catalogue first, THEN integrate that with Insta, get everything verified, etc. I wasn’t even on a full Facebook Business profile before this, which is the very least of what is required.

Also, I tend to lose the ‘help’ articles amidst my million tabs open in my browser… anyway, I did get there in the end.

For those interested (totally not leaving this here for my own reference when I lose the tabs again), here is the Etsy help article you need to follow to verify your Etsy shop account with Facebook and Insta. You’ll also need to have set up a Facebook business page, and also have a ‘business’ profile for Instagram first. Clicking on ‘settings’ in your Instagram will take you through to your profile type, and if you have a business one set up, you can click through to ‘set up Instagram shopping’. Then Instagram admin will review your Facebook Business profile, which takes about a week. I didn’t expect this very frustrating week’s wait, but I just wanted to get this all done an dusted, after already going through so many different steps. Finally though, Instagram will notify you in app and you can ask it to email you, asking you to finish and verify your linked (Etsy) domain over on your Facebook Business page.

My goal: my products on Instagram with clickable shopping links!

Follow the Etsy set up guide to the letter ESPECIALLY when entering the URL format for products in your catalogue (otherwise you get all sorts of security warnings), and you can finally create a Facebook catalogue and then tag your items over on Instagram. Phew. I hope you find it easier than I did.

Let me know if you have any questions and think I can help!

Laura