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The Art of Selling What You Make

Lesson 20 of 38

Student & Internet Questions

 

The Art of Selling What You Make

Lesson 20 of 38

Student & Internet Questions

 

Lesson Info

Student & Internet Questions

I would love to get some questions from you guys and then go to the nets. Yeah, okay, so, um, I know that I'm that kind of customer, so when I see an artwork, I normally have all a lot of my clothes are like locally, and I meet the the designers and I get really excited about buying it, and I keep getting in debt because I feel like it's worth it, but once, like all that that comes and then I have to, like, pay the bills and all that stuff, and I'm always in the negative, but I don't have like that big of a problem with it, but now, because I have a different relationship with money now, but I don't want that feeling to happen, too, the customers and I think that is really like my problems, so I don't know how to deal with, like, I mean, I know my eyes worth it. I know I'm worth that I've said it to a bunch of people like, I'm like six hundred dollars an hour, you know? But and I've seen people with a few people that have paid this much have were like, you know, like they want so excit...

ed about it, and it makes me feel so sad because, like, I know how that feels, this is such a great questions such a great problem to talk about because I think this is a lot of people's minds and I have to say I've given this talk probably ten times and nobody has ever posed that particular scenario to me. So thank you for that I think it's a really, really important we are you know, I talk about the day and age that we're living in, we are living in a day and age of credit card debt and lots of people are still struggling with this and are dealing with the after effects especially of earlier years. You know, I think a lot of different things are going on here one you are not responsible for other people's financial decisions and that's one very important thing people buy for many different reasons they spend money for many different reasons they have very, you know, different relationships with money, all sorts of different relationships, some negative, some positive you are not responsible for other people's financial decisions, period. You are responsible for putting out a great product, you are responsible for attracting great customers who are excited about buying that product, but that's where your responsibility ends, you're not responsible for other people's financial decisions that said, I think you need to work really hard in getting your art in market places where people are excited to be spending at that price point don't go to shows where you're going to be surrounded by people who are not spending for or five or six hundred dollars, but but, you know, surrounded by people who are spending twenty dollars, a pop, fifty dollars a pop that's not going to serve you very well, you probably need to be at fine craft shows where people do really value the kind of techniques that you use, I mean book binding, the silk dying thatyou're doing those are fine, croft techniques you went to school for, and there are marketplaces where that type of product and that price point is very normal, where you might actually be on the low end of the spectrum, you need to make an effort to find those places just because lots of people you know, here online are selling in market places where the dollar, you know, the average transaction is much, much, much lower doesn't mean you need to be there. Okay, so change where you're showing seek out new markets look online for market places that are similar to those, and get yourself out of that, because when you, when you go and you show at a show where the price point is so much lower than what you're offering, you're going to be constantly reminded of this problem, and that hurts, it hurts emotionally. You need to get yourself out of that situation because you don't want that constant reminder of that pain instead you want to be someplace where you are constantly reinforcing the message that this work is worth it that people are excited about purchasing it and the on top of that you'll just make more money so it's much better for you you know fortunately or unfortunately for lots of different reasons a lot of times those shows are a bigger investment for you the booth fees arm or there's more requirements it's worth it it's worth it just like your customers are making decisions about whether your work is worth it to them or not you need to make the decision that going to a fine craft fair instead of you know the weekend indy craft fair is going to be worth it to you to be with the customers to be having the conversation is that you need to have in order to feel really good about the work that you're selling and the transactions that are happening naturally except I think that's a great question and I think probably a lot of people online are feeling that that as well and again thank you I really have never been posed that particular scenario before and I think it's really important what other questions we have sasha well the topic brings up so much and I totally understand on the one hand what you're saying about the value in a sense being arbitrary and that you can decide what something costs based on your overall strategic a clown for the income that you need to earn and I've been turning in that direction in my planning and then there's a lot of fear that comes up about like I have a message that sort of democratic and it's for everyone and quirky people are in every place but they may be like us and they're following their passion and their bliss and you know, they have these miss so they're not making a lot of money and like, I imagine people getting angry at me, you know, I imagine they're you yeah, and like, well, this isn't because I have a value of accessibility, but then I also have a value of living well, and I frankly have a resentment as a writer that people expect me to do all this work for free, like you're getting these blawg post for me you're benefiting and then like they don't get messages from people like, why are you doing more free stuff tomorrow? Your thing and I'll just get angry at them, like I have a little bit of a problem because I'm like, well, you know, I'm a person too, like I sort of have that bang some working for a lot of stuff around that and wanting to be like, somehow I wanna have this perfect message that people can understand like yeah, there's a higher price point for these things they're worth it absolutely is worth it of course it is and you're supporting all this work that's been getting done for free and could like you please recognize that so knowing where you're moving in your business model and knowing all that on dh understanding that you are figuring these things out, you know, you know you've got to put out of course that's got or, you know, some sort of offering that has this price tag on it and you are going to make that course worth every bit of that price tag based on how it needs to work out in your business model I think that you're forgetting, but you actually have these amazingly accessible products they're right there, yeah, you're working on another one, I think you're actually working on more than that, but yeah, the same time putting out all this free stuff these are part of your business model as well and you know, writers in again in today's, day and age have this really they have this awesome opportunity and this crazy responsibility to both be constantly producing the books, the things that essentially become business cards and they have they have this responsibility to create a whole business model that allows that to happen sustainably and so you're in that phase where you're building out that bigger part of your business model the part that actually pays the bills or that will actually pay the bills. Andi I think it is very easy to remember that these things are very easy to forget that these things are not part of your business model if anyone ever says to you, well, I can't afford the quirkyalone class how dare you? But you've got a twenty dollar book, a fifteen dollars book all you need to do is send the link you know, I'm working with a group of people I need to charge a certain amount depending on, you know, the time that I put into this the value of the program on dh that price is the price that I said I feel really good about that price and you can work through this on your own by reading the book and as long as you're continuing to publish and I don't get the impression that you're going to stop publishing any time soon, you are always going to be creating these extremely accessible versions of the things that are on the higher end and there are people who and you've experienced this over the last year there are many people who want the higher price to program because it means more access to you maur community in and of themselves a bigger commitment to themselves as people growing, changing newly understanding themselves as quirky, they want to make that greater investment. Sure, there are people who wish they could take that program but can't or decide not teo which is much more likely what's happening it's not I can't afford this. And maura I've decided not to afford this right there there are those people but you have a version of that product for them and I think that's really what's important same thing for me not everyone can decides to afford to spend an hour with me or to take a program with me but that's okay they can download a book they can download a free exercise. Those things are in the the business model themselves so that you do have a way tio meet all sorts of different price points. Not everyone needs to have that whole big spread, but writers, coaches anyone who is putting pen to angkor pent ink and a favor is is capable of having that really big spread in their business model that really works well. Does that help it does it and it makes total sense. It's just what strikes me is like it's so emotional and the on ly um the only way to move forward it's just to move forward and do it like I just get that that you just have to jump and try it yeah and I think you know just like I mentioned to sahara the b and what I had said earlier it's all about practice so the more that you're putting out the more that you're offering those programs at a higher price point the more practice you get both saying you know what if you decide not to do this I've got a book for you and tow practice welcoming in the people who really value the work that you're doing enough to pay that price yeah and you're your point's made me remember that long before I launched my own business around this I did workshops it holistic retreat centers that are quite expensive on people came and they loved it and they were overjoyed so it's like because I was within that structure it was like okay, this is x hundreds of dollars and it's like okay well right I can do that too yeah yeah yeah yeah you know it brings up another issue that I love to talk about when we're talking about money miss and that's the middle problem I find very often artist makers and designers end up in the middle of a market so they're not competing on price which is very, very difficult but also really straightforward if your cheapest you win you know so it's always a race to the bottom and they're not at the super high end where it's actually fairly easy to stand out they end up in this really murky middle place where there are lots of people doing similar things at a similar price point and it's nearly impossible to differentiate them selves what those retreat centers do really well is ending up on the high end of things, and so they do stand out, they create a following of loyal customers, they have brands that specific group recognizes and so they're doing well at the high end, and you may be having a little bit of middle problem issues right now and that you know, that doesn't mean necessarily that you need to raise your prices on things, but that you might need to think about what the highest end of your business model looks like and kind of anchor yourself in that for a little while a swell this is a question terror that we get in almost every photography class. We are talking about business and so it's a theme that comes over and over about valuing yourself against the state of competition, so I'll read it. New york photog says while making memories that's photographers is extremely valuable, technology has made it so people could do themselves as a pro photographer are not as valuable in the market of people who will pay for the x people who will pay for the experience seems to be shrinking by the day, even for innovative creative photographers if this is what I love and the market is decidedly small, is it time to leave before I've invested too much? Oh oh okay, so the market is infinite. Thank you, yes, but the market is infinite now, you know, realistically it's, not there's a finite number of people in the world there's a finite number of people, perhaps in the income bracket that is willing to pay your rate but that's fine, I have yet to find a market so saturated that people can't make a good living at it in this audience jewellers gosh, if I had a nickel for every jeweller told me but I make jewelry and it's a really saturated market, so I can't afford blah, blah, blah sorry, I'm not making fun of any jeweller's I love them to death, but they're obviously are tens of jewelry makers making a very good living selling plenty. Everyone always wants more jewelry. I always want more jewelry, you know? So the market is infinite on I think that's just the way to think about it. No, I don't think you should get out. I think instead start differentiating yourself one so focus on what makes you unique, what air the unique skills, strength, passions that you're bringing to the job, what unique experiences are you creating? With your customers and perhaps be thinking about packages that really highlight those unique qualities so instead of pricing the way everyone prices either by the hour or by the session could you put together a pricing package a package of the eggs experience of coming and being photographed that really highlights those unique skills, strength and passions that you are bringing to the table because not only does branding and marketing help you stand out, but pricing and packaging specifically can help you stand out if you start doing business differently than the rest of the people in your market, I can guarantee you people will take notice on that so that's that is huge than the other thing is what I what I mentioned to sahar you may need to get into a different market you might need to start meeting different people. I'll give you an example of this from back from my mother's story we lived in a very working class kind of neighborhood where the houses where, you know in the hundred one hundred and fifty thousand dollars range little houses you know, the normal kind of like a said working class jobs so when my mother needed new customers did she stick her flyers in the doors of those houses? No, my mom's a smart cookie so she took her fliers drove across town and flyer dde the huge house, the neighborhood that was, you know, a couple miles down the road and that's where all of her customers came from I don't want to sound cynical I don't want to sound like you know and I've gotten the question a lot does this mean I can only sell the rich people know absolutely not, but you do need to be smart about who you're targeting and part of that is understanding that who you're targeting right now who may have been your customer for years and years and years is no longer your customer and you need to move into a different market you need to start meeting new people so that would be kind of a two pronged strategy that I would suggest for you thank you yeah so what about for those that are ready to set goals? Nothing obvious says I'm wondering with a lot of the goal setting how often would you suggest setting the goals and also how often would you suggest reassessing them would have a yearly monthly bimonthly? Yeah great really great question so I would highly suggest setting goals on eh especially at the beginning setting goals on probably a monthly basis each month set a new goal for yourself and that means you're constantly reassessing as well every thirty days you can reassess did I make that goal? Is this realistic? Where do I want to go from here as you get used? Teo making more money meeting those schools I thinkyou khun set goals much longer term, so maybe you're setting a yearly revenue goal or maybe you're projecting out even five years so that every year perhaps you do a five year projection and you say in your what I'm going to make this and you're too, I'm going to make this, and then you're recalibrating on a yearly basis as well. But even when you're setting goals on a yearly on an annual basis, I want you to be breaking that down into month legals until weekly goals and even into daily goals, depending on what it is that you're selling. If you if your base, if your business is based more on volume, you could really set those daily goals where, you know you want to be hitting about five sales a day or ten sails a day if you sell big commission pieces or really high end things. That's not realistic, maybe you want to be. Maybe you want to be setting a goal of selling three commissions per a month and that's as far as you could break it down. But even knowing you know, selling three commissions per month, you can break that down into action. Steps, how many people do I need to call? How many emails do I need to answer how many businesses or organizations do I need to approach about commission work? And that way you've got those action steps that mean you're going to be hitting those goals on a regular basis? This is in such a powerful segment, I just I'm blown away, actually, by all the comments and what everyone is feeling in here, so let's, talk about what it is that we are going to do after break, but first, I did just want to say, this is really hitting home for people, and I love that. Jessica nichols wrote down, I just did the math for the first time. If I sold six hundred and sixty seven at one particular product, I would hit six figures for the year. This definitely does not seem inconceivable, so they're doing the work. Yes, good job, jessica. Yes, the next segment we are going to be breaking this down, both into math so that you can figure out the dollars and cents of the materials, labor and overhead that you're putting in understanding where your wholesale price needs to be, where your profit margin needs to be on dh, then understanding what that means for your retail price, which for a lot of you, it might be a little bit scary, but that's okay, I will help you threat, and then once we've got that, we're also going to talk about value in terms of all the intangibles, and this is most often what I find people not doing on. So if you've already run all that math, if you know your wholesale price in your retail price and your profit margins and all that good stuff have you taken into account the intangibles that that influence the price of your product, we're going to lay all that out next segment. Oh, we are excited. Well, let me share some feedback for you, terra virginia says, wow, this is so inspiring. Gore lingo mentioned that sasha's question really hit home with them. It is emotional and loaded. I write about arts and culture, and I'm about to launch a mentoring program for artists and creative I, too, value accessibility and struggle with how the program graham will be received. So this is great advice from terra as always, and I'm happy to discover sasha's work too. So on I'll end with jen draw says, I love that terra preaches correct price raising so many people under charge and under cut, and you are right, so thank you for busting through that.

Class Description

If you have serious crafting skills and are ready to transform your work from a pastime to a thriving business, this three-day immersion into sales and marketing in the age of Etsy® is for you.

Taught by business strategist Tara Gentile, this course will help you think like a service-based business to maximize positive customer relationships and sales. Using and applying basic pricing strategies and psychology, you’ll learn how to set prices that reflect the value of what you do while still remaining realistic for your customers. You’ll learn how to write marketing materials and create an online presence that piques the interest of clients.

You’ll also learn how to effortlessly guide customers through each step of the purchasing process, from the first spark of initial interest to the final transaction. Tara will show you how to apply your skills in online venues like Etsy®, real-world settings like craft fairs, and beyond.

This course will give you the concrete, pragmatic tools to connect with customers, make sales, and share the unique things you make with the world.

Reviews

Ramona W
 

I came in on the rebroadcast. Tara is so AMAZING!!! She made me realize that I could take my product out of the box on how we think about selling our products into awesome creative ways to get my product out into the world. I purchased this course to refer back to in the uplifting style of selling that Tara brings to life. Tara is uplifting, energetic, optimistic giving you confidence in yourself and your product. Well worth the purchase!

a Creativelive Student
 

I loved this workshop. It gave me so many good actionable things to do to move my business forward. This is the 2nd course I've taken from Tara Gentile, and I highly recommend anything from her. She knows her stuff, and pushes you to build a community around your business to make it a sustainable and meaningful business. I also met a lot of wonderful ladies who are on similar journeys. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this course!

a Creativelive Student
 

Amazing workshop! Such a mass of useful information and ideas. I will be implementing them for the next year probably. It was wonderful that it was specifically geared towards selling what you make, not a lot else like this out there. I loved the format with the five entrepreneurs who asked specific questions and then were helped individually by Tara. She helped them to tailor an approach that fit exactly their business needs. Now I just have to get organized and start making it happen!