Why a Facebook Fan Page matters, but the likes don’t

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Welcome to Facebook where everything is made up and the likes don’t matter. No, really.

This all started off as a school project that I’ve just decided to continue and grow because, well to be frank, I’m honestly addicted to it.

I had to initially create a blog about something I am really passionate about for a class project. Well, I love Dallas, I love conventions, and I love dressing up in fun costumes. The outcome was my website, DallasFanGirl.com. With the support of my  professor I actually became confident enough to go for it.

So now I had a website and of course, I really wanted to blast it out to everyone I knew and let them know about this awesome exciting thing I was doing.

I started my Facebook “like” page about a year ago. I decided I really wanted to make a separate page for my crazy nerdy antics because I realized not all of my friends were really into it all as much as I was, and were probably tired of seeing it all over their feed.

When I first began my page I was ECSTATIC that it reached 100 likes. Seriously, 100 of you like what I post enough to follow me? That’s so awesome! Each like is exciting to me because if you like my content, it genuinely makes me happy!

I wanted to do something to thank all of my friends for supporting my craziness and in turn, started to do little giveaways. I really wanted to give my friends something that they would like and genuinely feel my appreciation.  Gift cards and codes are definitely something we can all be down for.

I got more and more likes as the giveaways drew new people into my page. Which of course, is very exciting!  But it’s become a recent realization that I really don’t need all those likes. Those numbers are just numbers and what really counts are the people who actually LIKE what I do and are interactive with me and my work. I mean, what’s a bunch of numbers if no one actually cares what you are putting out there? Especially now that Facebook insanely limits the amount of people who see what you post (I think it’s like, 5% of your total fans?).

So, why do I promote my page if it really doesn’t matter?

I really believe in everything I post. Yes, even down to the memes and stupid selfies. Everything I post I think “yeah, I like this and maybe one of you will too”. And that’s all that really matters to me; that someone out there enjoys what I share.

I actually think it’s really important for people to have a fan page if you believe that there is a niche audience who will appreciate what you do. Not all of your friends care as deeply about that one thing that you do, so why not corral everyone together in a place where you all know you love the same thing? This creates an atmosphere where you can tailor your content to fit exactly what you know your audience will appreciate.

If my page stays at 500 likes, where it is right now, I won’t bat an eye. To know that there’s a chance that 100 of those 500 likes are actual, real life people who care about what I publish is more than I could ever ask for.

As a kid I used to make a list of friends on notebook paper. I remember being SO amazed when I had 10 friends, but then deciding I didn’t want anymore because then I couldn’t count them on my fingers and I would start to forget them. (Which obviously is not the case, because then I realized I had toes and that helped a lot).

Getting more views on my stuff is scary. It’s intimidating to think who may be looking at what you do and sometimes it really starts to freak me out. I sit up at night worrying that what I’m doing is wrong and it’s not going to do me any good but then I remember why I want this to grow.

I want this to grow because know that there are a lot of people who don’t know about how many conventions happen in Dallas and details about them. There are a lot of people who wish they did know about all of the convention announcements and have all the information they need in one place. Heck, that’s why I was driven to start this whole thing because I could never find some place that told me things I really wanted to know about a convention like, “is it mandatory for me to cosplay at Dallas Comic Con?”

When it comes down to it I just really want to help people find the answers they are looking for and to provide it all in a fun, exciting way. I want to make sure anyone who is curious about upcoming conventions, or wants to see a review of a convention to see whether or not it’s worth their time to go, can go to my page and find those answers.

In short, if my page ever gets bigger than it is now, cool, awesome! And if not, even better! Because I won’t have to worry about more than 500 people judging me for wearing p.j. pants in my YouTube videos.

 

Adventures in Costuming – Recommendations to New Buyers

It’s always nerve-racking pulling the trigger when purchasing items for a costume. I feel like once I buy the first piece – I’m committed. There’s no going back. Maybe I have a large fear of buyer’s remorse, or maybe I’m still warming up to the fact that that to really get a good quality costume I need to be prepared to shell out some dollars.

Since there’s less than two months until Dallas Comic-Con and I’m preparing a new costume (exciting!) it’s crunch time for me to order
my materials. I’ve had quite a few friends ask me for some advice when it comes to putting together a costume. So, instead of telling you all separately at the risk of forgetting something, I’ve narrowed down what I think are the most valuable tips I’ve learned over the years into this nice little post.

Plan in advance

Get your costume planned out in full detail at least two months before the convention you are planning on attending. Not only does this give time to figure out the exact materials that you want but it also majorly lowers the risk of not getting your order on time. If you have a costume idea that you think is going to require more than two months worth of work (this is sounding pretty intense) and you have less than two months to do it, it might be worth trying to enlist some crafty friends to help. Cookies are always a nice incentive.

Order from a place you know is reliable

My favorite place to purchase materials is Amazon, especially when I’m in a time crunch. It’s easy to find competitive deals from brand name sellers who offer quick shipping dates and are reliable.

Ebay is risky, but can pay off if you’re willing to wait. The thing with Ebay is that you are able to purchase from international sellers which in most cases results in lower prices. For my Captain America outfit ordered the red under-bust and my red boots from a seller in China via Ebay.  My items arrived in the mail roughly 3 weeks after they were ordered. One of my friends wasn’t so fortunate and had ordered similar items only to have them get stuck at customs and she didn’t wind up receiving them until 3 months after the convention.

Always, always, always check reviews

Reviews are your best friend. I go through as many as I can before placing an order. Maybe it’s some sort of paranoia but I always want to make sure where I’m ordering from is reputable and the item is the quality I expect.

For most costumes I’ve put together, the items come from the same place, so I really want to make sure this place is reputable before I completely put my trust in them. For international stores and smaller businesses I usually just Google “store name review” and in my experience a forum on either a cosplay website or on another social media platform will pop up and several reviews will follow. In some other cases I’ve seen reviews posted on the items website but not correlate to the item. Spambots are out there and so are trolls! Be wary.

Fabric stores are awesome resources

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Eevee costume I put together for Ikkicon 2010. I did everything with fabric glue! No sewing required! Amazingly all the pieces are still sitting in my closet in-tact.

I’m not the craftiest person on the planet and I’m pretty challenged when it comes to sewing. That said, I usually try to find any other method of adhering fabrics. Although it’s pretty easy to search the interwebs for solutions on alternate ways to attach two fabrics, my best results have come from the people at my local craft store. There I’m able to show them the fabrics and they can tell me whether any sort of craft glue will do the trick or if I need to suck up to a friend to get them to sew it for me. Coincidentally  I found out most of the younger people who work at the craft stores in my area actually go to conventions. They have a lot of experience with the fabrics and understand just how much wear and tear they will go through. You may be surprised what new friends you can find!

Etsy is magical

I was really apprehensive the first time I ordered something from Etsy. I ordered a custom set of ears and a tail for a Rigby, from Regular Show, costume I did a couple years ago for AnimeFest. Before I ordered anything I contacted the seller to make sure I could get the items in time and got a really fast response. The seller had ears and tails ready-to-ship in her shop that would have worked for me, but when I messaged her I was surprised to get feedback saying that for the same price she could custom make me a set that was modeled right to Rigby’s. I got it way before I expected and the quality was fantastic!

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Me in my Rigby costume (circa 2011) with a very cute Fionna!

For my newest costume that I will premiere at Dallas Comic-Con I ordered from a new seller on Etsy. Her shop had no reviews and she had just recently opened her store, but she had the exact item that I wanted. I really lucked out on this one. The seller not only went out of her way to contact me but actually hand-delivered the item to my place and refunded me the shipping! Not only is the item exactly as it was described but the experience with the seller helped put my mind at ease for future transactions.

Party City – My last minute costume headquarters

I know a lot of people give criticism to those who wear Party City costumes to conventions. I don’t really understand this unless someone is trying to pass off a costume that is obviously purchased as hand-made. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of my favorite costumes came from Party City. For last minute accessories, Party City really is the best place to go. They carry costumes and accessories year-round and are usually well stocked with a good selection. Most of the accessories I’ve purchased from Party City I use as bases to build upon. For example, I got a pair of cat ears that were on a durable headband. I covered them in fabric and shaped it to be the headpiece that I was wanting. The price of the headband plus the price of the fabric was a large percentage less than buying an exact replica item from somewhere online.

What are your favorite places to get cosplay/costume materials? Have you ever had a bad experience?

Can’t wait to see all my friends at Dallas Comic-Con!

Captain, oh, Captain!

Dallas, get ready to get hammered. Nathan Fillion, aka Captain Hammer, has just been officially announced by Dallas Comic Con as a guest

Nathan Fillion was Captain Hammer in the Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog mini-series.

for the convention this May.

Fillion is also known for his role as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly, current star of the TV series Castle, and has an extensive list of other recognizable roles.

Dallas Comic Con will be held on May 17-19 at the Irving Convention Center and tickets are on sale now.

Check out all the other attending guests Dallas Comic Con is hosting here.

Who are you looking most forward to meeting? I think you know my answer.

 

Update: Nathan cancelled his appearance at Dallas Comic Con due to health reasons