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The Merriweather Council Podcast

The Merriweather Council podcast, hosted by Danielle Spurge, is all about celebrating the reality of gainful self employment through craft. This is a podcast for art and design entrepreneurs - makers, etsy sellers and shopify users! Featuring tips, insights, advice and tough love for handmade business owners in concise format. Focused on sharing realistic ideas and personal experiences with the nuances of handmade business in mind. If you are working to turn your crafty tendencies into profits, tune in every Tuesday and Thursday.
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Now displaying: 2020
Dec 10, 2020

We’ve made it to the end of another season of the merriweather council podcast! It is always bittersweet for me to end a season but I truly hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed making it!

To end this unexpected year, I thought it would be fitting to look ahead. Has a new year EVER been more anticipated?! (Probaby, but I’m not old enough to remember another one so it’s at least been a few decades.)

2020 HAS BEEN A ROLLERCOASTER! 

One for the books. A LOT happened… to say the least.

Because of *gestures widely at everything* all the things going on, the fact that you decided to tune into this podcast, a podcast about building a handmade business, is extra meaningful. We are so honored you allowed us to be a part of your business this year in that way!

With 2021 nearly upon us, I do of course think about my own goals and plans but, I think about yours, too! I am curious – what’s next for you? 

WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR YOUR HANDMADE BUSINESS IN 2021?

No clue? Too many ideas? Can’t decide?

I hear you —  the new year can feel really intimidating and abrupt. There are two things I like to do in order to transition into a new year smoothly: Make no ‘resolutions’ – i set INTENTIONS instead, and I like to get a head start on the year so it’s less of an abrupt spiral into a new reality and more of an ease into a new way of things. 

Find success in 2021 with Intentions

It’s much easier to flake on a ‘resolution’ than an intention. With a resolution, it feels like you’ve failed the first time you veer off course. With an intention, you are always SUCCESSFUL as long as you are working, because as long as you have intention at heart, you’re winning, even if you fumble a little bit from time to time. 

Whether you’re feeling a bit ‘deer in headlights’ about 2021, or if you have full clarity, resolution or intention (or whatever you like to have!) we would love to help you make big things happen in 2021.

To find out more about setting realistic intentions for your business and to see the links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/140

For a full list of episodes visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Dec 8, 2020

Today, I want to explain myself. 

I want to tell you why I've been holding out on you. We have shared a lot of information with you since 2015, when we started focusing on the education side of the business. I've shared A LOT. Over 120 podcast episodes, countless Instagram posts, videos, and other pieces of content… I've shared a lot!

There is one thing I haven't shared, though.

I haven't told you the four hacks to skyrocket our sales… because they don't exist. I cannot tell you about them because, well, there aren't any.

Any such tips masquerading as such are just that: a masquerade. There is no such thing as '4 hacks to skyrocket your sales.'

For all links mentioned and full show notes for this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/139

To see a full list of episodes please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast



Dec 3, 2020

This is an essential message to the person who steers the ship in your small business: you.

The C.E.O.

C.E.O.

Y-O-U.

We get lots of emails and messages here at MWHQ from small business owners looking for advice, guidance, and support. We have noticed that many are not in the correct place, mindset-wise, to really receive and make use of even the best advice that we could possibly give.

And that is NOT a call out. That's a call FOR! I'm calling for you and all small business owners to step into a C.E.O. state of mind to become better equipped, mentally, to make use of any and all advice and guidance that befalls you!

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/138

To see a list of all Merripodcast episodes, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

Dec 1, 2020

Overwhelm is everywhere.

Things 'to do' pop up everywhere - TikTok lists, IGTVs, Pinterest pins, posts in Facebook groups… everywhere you go that entrepreneurs hang out, you will hear and see people talking about things you absolutely MUST DO to be successful.

It's impossible to avoid seeing them, and it's tough not to let these things take hold and rule your time if you aren't in a place to know how to react to them.

Being an entrepreneur can be very overwhelming, and we are inundated with information. The good news is, there are not, in my opinion, a lot of MUST-DO things that apply to everyone.

Today we are talking about the misconceptions of must-dos and things we KNOW you do not need to do. More importantly, we are talking about the things you need to HAVE and BE to be successful.
Let's dive in!

Connect with me on instagram @merriweatherc

All of the resources mentioned in this episode can be found HERE: merriweathercouncilblog.com/137

To see our full podcast lineup, visit: merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Nov 24, 2020

In the past TEN years (oh my goodness, y'all), I've filled thousands of custom and personalized orders – and I've learned a ton! It's a whole different ball game to do that kind of work than it is to batch produce something and ship it once it's ordered, as I am sure you can imagine. That sort of work has a it’s own set of pros, cons, challenges and nuances, too.

If you are considering offering custom work or personalization in your product line, I hope the insights I'm sharing from my experience will be valuable to you in making that decision and having some foresight to work with as you go.

To get the full show notes and all the links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/136

For a complete list of all episodes please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

Nov 19, 2020

No matter what niche you are in, no matter what kind of product you sell... sales becoming sluggish or stalled sometimes is normal. ALL businesses have slow times. Just like all businesses have busy times!

One of our goals here at Merriweather is to empower you to weather storms, deal with challenges and make progress even when things feel hard and I am hoping this episode does help you feel more informed and empowered.

The first thing to do here: remind yourself, it's normal, and it happens. 

Next, consider this a bit of a gift. We are all continually trying to find time for things, aren't we? I think most people are looking for some extra time on most days. Consider a slow spell, an opportunity to catch up on something that's been lingering, or a chance to explore something new that's been on your list. You might have tasks that have moved from one month's to-do list to the next several times already. Get those things done! Take the time and make it useful to you. Anticipate that things will not stay slow forever and prepare for things to pick back up. 

I know that telling yourself it's normal, and looking on the bright side won't always make your worries about it go away. Likely, that will not be enough, which is why we have a list of questions you can ask yourself if your handmade business experiences a slow spell.

For the complete list of these questions and all the links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/135

For a list of all Merripodcast Episodes, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Nov 17, 2020

If you feel drained and overwhelmed by social - you are not alone, and there are plenty of reasons that might be the case. One of them is merely feeling clueless about what your audience wants to see from you. I know for a fact that this one question creates a ton of anxiety and lots of hurdles for handmade business owners who use social media with the hope of casting a wider net for their business and connecting with existing fans and customers.

What kind of content should you create for your social media and email audiences? What do your followers want to see from you on social, in their inbox, or wherever else you show up for them?

The great news is this question has a straightforward answer. Your followers and audience members want to see you showing up as a confident, independent, capable, creative business owner.

Better news: there are LOTS of ways to do that. There are many ways for you to show up and exude confidence, independence, and creativity on behalf of your business.

For full show notes and all links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/134


For a full list of all Merripodcast episodes, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Nov 12, 2020

Your business needs more than an Etsy shop the same way it needs more than an Instagram account. 

Every business owner who uses Etsy should also build their own branded domain eCommerce shop. Full stop. That is one of the VERY FEW must-do things that universally applies.

I say things like that a lot, in a variety of ways. I believe it is my thesis statement on business.

Having an Etsy shop as part of your business is a brilliant move. Having a branded domain shop as part of your business is an essential move. 

For more details on the what and how of this episode, or to find all the links mentioned please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/133

For a full list of all of our podcast episodes and other free resources, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com

Nov 10, 2020

We know that Etsy can be a powerful tool in your business, but only if you feel okay enough to give it a try and use it. That is, of course, the first step to making it work for you!

Many Etsy sellers, would-be Etsy sellers or Etsy curious folks have heard loads of stories about Etsy that have thrown them off and discouraged them from trying. 

Many current Etsy sellers also have concerns. We are hoping to address some of the most common concerns Etsy sellers have here today so that you can make a better decision for yourself and more effectively tap into Etsy's unique power and leverage it for your business on and beyond Etsy.

As a reminder: we here at Merriweather see Etsy as a tool that you can use in your business, and we always encourage sellers to use Etsy in conjunction with a branded domain site. This means we see you first and foremost as a business owner, not just an Etsy seller.

Additionally, we want to empower business owners to make decisions that suit them best. If that means not using Etsy at all, fantastic! We don't care about which decision you make; we just want you to have the best information as you make that decision. There is no peace in making a decision that you still feel uncertain about. So make your decisions for yourself, but do it with the correct information!

We have covered all of these concerns before but never in one centralized place, until now! These are the top most common concerns that we hear from current or would be Etsy sellers. 

For links mentioned in this episode please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/132.

For a list of all episodes and other free resources, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast.

Disclaimer:


*This content is published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.

Nov 5, 2020

Getting out of our comfort zone is a choice. We can choose whatever we want. Comfort or discomfort. Go out and get it or not. 

There is no wrong choice! We just have to accept what comes with that choice.

If you apply this to your business, you can see the connection. You can choose to stay in your comfort zone or NOT. 

You can choose to push yourself and break down the barriers you put up for yourself. Or, you can choose not to.

If you placed a hurdle and you're unwilling to break it down, that's okay! But you'll have to accept that you won't be able to reach what's beyond that. 

You get to decide, but it comes with owning the outcome of making that choice. 

You get to decide what your experience looks like.

For links mentioned in this episode please find our full show notes at merriweathercouncilblog.com/131

To see a full list of our podcast episodes, visit merriweathercouncilblog/podcast

Find us on social @merriweatherc



Nov 3, 2020

Business

There is a post on my blog from several years ago that gets so much traffic. It's honestly a little silly. By the way, this is also a shout out to the power of Pinterest.  90% of the traffic that post gets comes from Pinterest, and Pinterest is sending a lot of traffic to this post every single day for years. So, thank you, Pinterest.

That post is titled four things I wish I had done in my first year of handmade business.

The things in that post are still 100% relevant, and I still wish I had done them. 

Even though this makes me feel old, I should mention that I started selling handmade products in 2010…

When I started my handmade business, Instagram wasn't even a thing, so I COULDN'T have done a couple of things sooner, even if I wanted to. That being said, there are some things I should have done sooner or that I would do asap now if I were starting fresh.

Tune in to hear about 4 more things I wish I had done during my first year in handmade business.

For the links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/130.

For a list of all Merripodcasts: merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

To learn more about The Council visit jointhecouncilnow.com.

Find me on instagram @merriweatherc.

Oct 29, 2020

2020 threw us a lot of curveballs. Like, a LOT of curveballs. Ups and downs were happening faster than I think most of us prefer.

Everyone's experience this year was different. But today, I want to chat about what it means if this was a good year for your business.

If your business did well in 2020: own it. If your business did well this year, it's not 'just because of covid."

There was a lot of uncertainty and misery for small business in 2020, no doubt. But there were also a lot of opportunities for businesses that were already established online, especially. 

It might be true that people are online more than normal for a variety of reasons. It is ALSO true that If your business is doing well right now, it's not just because of COVID or because people are online more often.

The success your business saw is not a random coincidence.

For more information on the resources mentioned in this episode or to view the show notes, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/129

To see our full podcast lineup, visit: merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast






Oct 27, 2020

Everyone wants to make sales, but no one wants to sell. 

That's the short and sweet summary of what I have observed. It has also been told to me many times: "I hate selling; I feel salesy."

Before moving forward, I want to preface this by explaining when I say "selling" in this episode, I am usually referring to the act of selling, the advertising/ marketing/ show-up-and-sell selling. The action the human person takes to make a sale. Not' selling' like, "my items are/aren't selling well." To be clear!

EVERYONE wants to 'increase sales,' and almost everyone feels super intimidated by marketing or showing up in any sales capacity. No one likes that act of "selling" or having to be "salesy."

Connect with me on instagram @merriweatherc

For links and resources mentioned in this episode please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/128

To see our full podcast lineup, visit: merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Oct 27, 2020

Welcome back to season 7 of the Merriweather Council Podcast! 

We are so excited to be back for another season of realistic and concise advice for makers in business! 

Everything we do here at Merriweather Council supports makers in turning their crafty tendencies into profits.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/127

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

Jul 7, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

I truly hope you enjoyed this season of The Merriweather Council Podcast. It is such an honor for me and my team to be a small part of your business. We appreciate you tuning in!

Today i am leaving you with a bit of advice for the summer months - whether it is actually summer where you live or not, the next three months are critical if you want to be positioned and ready for the holiday season!

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/127

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jul 2, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

There are two brackets of sellers to be aware of when it comes to offsite ads. Sellers who haven't generated more than $10,000 in revenue in the past twelve months, and sellers who have. Those who have not can opt-out of these ads (not participate). Those who have cannot turn the ads off in their shop (must participate). HOWEVER, we will discuss how sellers above this threshold can 'opt-out' in this episode too.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/126

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

Disclaimer:

 

*This content is published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 30, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

On this episode I interview our Etsy Training Course student and current Council Member, Deobora from The Timeless Crane all about her maker story. I find it to be very inspiring and is such a testament to the wonderful opportunities makers can receive when they take the chance on themselves! I hope this inspires you.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/125

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 25, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

I was so excited when Chereen from @smeenybeanieknits asked to interview me on her IGTV series! Today’s episode is THAT interview! So fun to have someone else interview me.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/124

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 23, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

If you feel intimidated by the size of your audience and how that is going to impact your successor etsy - this one is for you!
If you've been putting off opening shop on Etsy until you have a big audience, don't! I'll explain why.

Many would be Etsy sellers, and quite a few already-sellers - feel that they cannot be successful on Etsy because they don't have a large following. There are lots of ways this manifests. It might sound like, "I don't have many instagram followers" or "I don't have a mailing list."

Basically it boils down to a general malaise of “I don't have an audience to sell to yet so I’m waiting for that before I open my shop" and / or “I don't have an audience to sell to so i cannot be successful on Etsy."

Thankfully though, those thoughts are actually completely incorrect!

You do NOT need a big, organic audience in order to have success on Etsy! You don't need any audience at all, actually.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/123

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

Disclaimer:

 

*This content is published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 18, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

This entire episode is a tough love alert! Friends, we need to come together and normalize these realities of handmade business. Once we do, we will all be much happier and probably more successful!

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/122

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 16, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

Will we ever stop talking about email marketing? It’s unlikely. We are doing it again today with our friend Prerna from Content Bistro. Prerna is a conversion copywriter and she is sharing her 3 Es of Email Marketing with us today - and they are GOOD.
Tun in to hear what you want to keep in mind when emailing your list for the best results for you AND for them.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/121

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 16, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

This episode is all about Facebook ads featuring Mia from That Marketing Girl Mia!

If you are considering running Facebook ads, this episode will be super insightful. Mia created a freebie checklist for Merri listeners that you can find in the show notes on the blog!

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/120

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 11, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

Really excited for you to hear from Jake from Kenyarn today on the show! We had a great chat about so many things including separating your work space from your home space, establishing a studio, using instagram to find community, showing up as your authentic self online and how he is managing his full time non-craft career alongside his business dying fiber! I truly hope you find this inspiring.

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/119

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 11, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

► If you are listening to today’s episode, screenshot and tag us on IG @merriweatherc!

Etsy sellers often feel that Etsy isn’t being supportive enough - most usually we hear this in the form of Etsy features or behaviors specifically in regards to running sales and discounts.
If you are an Etsy seller who feels that Etsy is just constantly asking your to discount yourself BECAUSE they don’t care and don’t see the value in your work, I hope that today’s episode helps you reframe that a bit!

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/118

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

Disclaimer:

 

*This content is published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

Jun 2, 2020

Welcome back to season 6 of The Merriweather Council Podcast.

Today’s episode is about why even the best marketing advice in the world doesn’t work for you!
If you’ve implemented really solid marketing strategies but they didn’t generate results for you - I’ll tell you why that probably is! It’s usually one of two very specific reasons - or a combination of both.
► In this episode you will hear me explain why the above situation is NOT caused by an oversaturated market. You’ll also hear me say that over saturation in a market is not even a real thing. That is a rumor that’s very easy to believe though. If you sell on Etsy you’ve heard it before: “Etsy is too saturated” and “if you sell THIS PRODUCT or THIS PRODUCT, you can’t be seen on Etsy because it’s too saturated.” ... lies, lies and more lies. There are some other very specific rumors that run the Etsy seller circuit that we would like to clear up for you! 

For full show notes and links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/117

 

For more free handmade business advice, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/podcast

 

To learn about our handmade business community visit the jointhecouncilnow.com

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