If you want to have a successful business selling what you make you need to shift your mindset from thinking what you do is just a hobby. Take yourself seriously and own the fact that you run a business! In order to get you ready for my bootcamp on CreativeLive I wanted to outline 5 simple steps to get you from handmade hobbyist to proud creative business owner. These five mindset shifts are key when it comes to growing your creative business.
Declare your intention. You may be making a few things at your kitchen table right now, but if you’ve got dreams of going bigger, it’s time to share them with those closest to you. Let people know you’re trying to make the move from part time crafter to full time biz owner and give them a chance to step up and support you. And the more you say it the more you will believe it yourself. Claim your intention and own it.
Think about the customer. You started making because you love it, and it’s important to keep that spark as you build a business. But in order to make a living selling what you make, you’ve also got to make something that people want to buy. As you’re making your products, start thinking about who is going to buy what you make. Who is going to use your product and how? How will she feel about using it? If you can imagine making your product for someone specific, it becomes a lot easier to talk about it when it comes time to sell.
Take the shame out of selling. If you want to make a living selling what you make, you’re going to have to sell, baby, sell! And that means letting going of the guilt that comes with “bothering people” or being a “pushy” saleswoman. The quickest way to do this is to focus on what you LOVE about your products. When you’re only making (and selling) products that you truly love, selling isn’t about pushing people to buy, it becomes about sharing your gifts with the world. Don’t be afraid to always be wearing or carrying one of your products, if people compliment you it’s the perfect segue to talk about what you make and sell.
Price to put food on the table. Your work may be a gift, but you can’t pay your mortgage in product. Shifting from hobbyist to business owner means you’ve got to price your products accordingly. That means the price of your products needs to reflect not just the materials and time spent making them, but all the other expenses related to your business AND your life. Because if your business can’t support your living expenses, you’re not going to be in business very long!
Grow with intention. There’s no shame in growing your business in a slow and sustainable fashion. We all dream about being the business that gets that major piece of press or goes viral online, but that kind of sudden success can actually drive a business into the ground if you don’t have the right foundation. Have goals and plans about where you want to go, but focus on getting there in a way that feels sustainable and smart, not crazy and out of control.
For more tips and information on how to make a living selling what you make check out my CreativeLive class.