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Analyze and Move Forward

Lesson 24 from: How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Megan Auman

Analyze and Move Forward

Lesson 24 from: How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

24. Analyze and Move Forward


Class Trailer

Session 1


Class Introduction


Define Your Big Goals: What Gets You Out of Bed?


Finding YOUR Ideal Number


How Much Should You Pay Yourself an Hour?


Who is the Ideal Customer for Your Products?


What is Your Customer Willing to Pay?


Pricing Your Products for Profit


Where Does Your Brand Need Work?


What Are The Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Products?


What Makes You a Great Business Owner?


What Should Your Product Be Now?


Bonuses w/ Purchase


Bonus w/ Purchase: Your MAL # (ideal #) in Detail


Bonus with Purchase: Testing Customer Profiles using Facebook ads


Session 2


Live Check In


Shift Your Money Mindset


How To Finance Your Business


Are You Ready to Crowdfund?


Analyze Business Opportunities


Test the Market by Entering with a BANG


Plan Your First Big Sales Event


Market and Promote Your Event: How to Build Buzz


Make Your Event a Success


Analyze and Move Forward


Bonus with Purchase: Calculating ROI


Session 3


Evolve Your Product Line


Create a Production Strategy


Plan for Growth and Future Revenue Streams


Your Big Business Vision


Draft Your Daily and Monthly Action Plan


Keep the Momentum Going


Live Check-in - Finale


Bonus with Purchase: Adjusting your MAL # with employees and contractors


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Catherine Utschig


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Christine Herrin


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Holly Tanner Straus


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Joy Jenkins


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Leah Drapkin


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Lisa Jones


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Monica Jacquay


Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Richelle


Lesson Info

Analyze and Move Forward

Hello, everyone. So today we are on lesson nineteen, analyze and move forward. Let's look at our goal for today we wantto analyse your launch or your event so you can move forward with the plan. So we spent the last few lessons talking about this idea of the test market event, right? We talked about why it's important, we declared your test market event, we figured out your action plan, your marketing strategy and how to make your event a success. And now I want to talk about howto analyze your event once it's happened, right? So we learned how to attract unhook your customers in the last lesson. But now let's talk about what do we do when it's all over right? So we're in session to generate revenue quickly, we've been focusing on making the money and that's what we want to do on your test market events, right? We're actually on our last lesson of session to, which is analyzed and move forward. So remember, you can't make a living selling what you make if you aren't making a product pe...

ople want to buy. I know we're creative, we want to make cool things, you can make cool things, but if you want to make a living selling what you make you have to make sure those cool things that you're excited about our what your customer wants to buy, right and that's, why we're doing these test market events, it's, why we're getting our products out there? Because we don't wait years to find out that we've actually been perfecting a product that nobody cares about, right? So in addition to generating revenue, the goal of your test market event is to get feedback on your products so you can decide to pivot or persevere, do we keep on keep it on, or do we make some changes and adjust? So this idea piter persevere comes from air greece's book, the lean startup, which we've been talking about here because even though it's written for the tech industry, it has a lot of bearing on what we're doing is creative people. And so he says there is no bigger destroyer of creative potential than the misguided decision to persevere cos that cannot bring themselves to pivot in a new direction on the basis of feedback from the marketplace can get stuck in the land of the living dead, right, and what I think is really key here is that he says, that is the biggest destroyer of creative potential, right? Because here's, what happens if you get stuck in the land of the living dead, right? You make a few products they sort of sell but not enough for you to quit your day job right or have that creative freedom one of those really keys that we don't talk about enough when you figure out what those bread and butter products are that people buy and you can sell them consistently that gives you space to take on the more creative projects, right? It gives you space to go in your studio in experiment it's really hard to be creative when you're broke, right? I don't care what epic myth that we've learned in the history of art right? It's really hard to be creative when you're broke, right? So we want to find those products that are selling and if it's not what we're making now we don't want a pigheaded lee power through right? We want to pivot find the things that sell and sell easily, and if that supports our passion products that projects then then that's great let's do that right? We don't have force try to force something in the marketplace it's not working now. The good news is we don't actually have to focus on what's not working after each test market event I want you to focus on doing mohr of what is working right find the things that people respond to find the things they're excited about and figure out how you can do more of that and here is the hardest part for creatives let go of what isn't right let go of the stuff that's not working sometimes stuff doesn't sell climes you like it right? So this is one of my earliest trade show booths not the super ugly first one but actually my second trade show I got myself together pretty quick and you I had a lot of pieces that I really liked almost none of them are in my line anymore, right? I was super excited about all the stuff on the back wall it was really fun was really interesting and kind of a developed of the work I was doing in grad school and guess what? Nobody bought it nobody bought it because it was super labor intensive it was made out of steel and they didn't get it and it just sat there but I had a couple of pieces that did a couple these great chain necklaces the head some accents of silver I was like, oh people like these and they like the's at this price point that is totally going to make me money. What else can I do with that right? So I had to let go of a few pieces the end of the day I'm not sad that eight years on I'm not trying to make these pieces still because guess what? By focusing on the things that worked, I have time to do other things I hate to go to india and by pretty stones and design new collections, right? It's way more fun than trying to slog through with stuff not very many people want to buy, right? That's, really, what we're doing here is we're figuring out what worked, that we can keep doing more of that, so we didn't get keep that creative freedom and make that part of our creative process right doesn't have to be all about a business decision that requires us to let go of our creative selves were just channeling our creativity, right? We're gonna talk more about that in the next lesson when we talk maura about product development, but for right now, I want to complete an objective analysis will show you how to do that so you can do it after each test market event objective means we're going to be honest, even if it hurts us a little, right? So, here's, what you're going to do in your post event analysis, first of all, celebrate those winds we talked about this way back, I think it wasn't lesson one, right? We talked about the importance of celebrating winds do that after your test market, but I don't care what your goals were, and if you didn't hit them focused on the winds because those are the things that are actually gonna propel you forward, right? You've spotted someone who turned out to be your ideal customer and they bought five of something really they just bought the piece that was the most expensive that you kind of just threw out there because you weren't sure right celebrate that you sold some stuff celebrate that whatever the winds were celebrate them that's actually part of the key to moving forward right I also want you to track your kp eyes so if you guys watch tear it until he's amazing class on building a standout business she talks about this idea kp I stands for key performance indicator and it's the things that actually tell you what was successful in the event for me they tend to be things like conversion what percentage of people bought keep talking about this idea of a d s right average dollars per sale higher you can get that number the less people you have to convert that is like the magic number in my business right bring that a d s up I look at that at every event always what I want to see right when I was your look for missed opportunities what were people asking for or what didn't you have that you feel like you could have right and then I want you to acknowledge what didn't work without taking it personally this is really hard right? We're creative people we put our heart and our soul and our time and our energy to making this event a success and maybe it's a flop right? I can't take it personally it's not a reflection on you especially if you gave it all of your effort right? He kind of half teo and maybe you should take that as a reflection on you personally, right? But if you put everything into it it's not a reflection on you if it doesn't work it might be a reflection on your products they might need to shift right? Maybe it was the wrong market maybe you just miscalculated something and if that makes you a bad person and not even makes you and uncreative untalented failure is an artist, right? So we have to acknowledge it didn't work, but we're not going to take it personally, so let's start with analyzing in person events because in some ways they're a lot easier because we're getting that face to face interaction with people it's also sort of amazing what a table or like the edge of a booth between you and people does to their perception of what they think you hear like they'll make comments to their friends you're like, you know, I'm standing right here, right? Like I heard you comment on the price of that like it's almost a ziff you're invisible use that to your advantage, right? They're going to say whatever they want to say and again we're not taking it personally we're just learning from it number I hate a woman once turned her friend she was looking on my big necklaces and she was like I would wear that every day if I was famous and then like they walked away I feel like we'll miners were now right or I could take that piece of information and be like, oh, you know what? There's probably other people who think that who think that they can't wear this piece every day that they need a special occasion but they need to somehow be different and how do I overcome that barrier? Because if one person said it twenty people are thinking it or hundred people are thinking it right you can learn a lot from that so what people are buying and who is doing the buying? So this is your first opportunity to really test your ideal customer profiles, right? Was it what you expected? Do you get surprised? Who are they? What did they look like to make a lot? I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but you could make a lot of educated guesses based on that cover right? You could learn a lot from a person just by looking at them and then what is missing from your product line right and why aren't people purchasing so there are other things right? So what are people buying how closely to the people making the purchases align with your ideal customer profile were you in the ballpark or are you way off the mark? Right? The people you thought were your customer just walk on by walk on by walk on by great now my customer, now I can move on, right? So really pay attention to that. You also want to look at what products sold, right? What did people actually buy? What did you sell the most of what seemed to be popular? Did any products sell out right? Was there anything that just really went crazy? These are all really key things to pay attention to. One of the things that I've learned, and it took me a really long time is that people actually want to know what everybody else is buying, right? We think that people want to be creative and individualistic and they dio but they don't stray too far from the herd, right? It's like that basic conflict of human nature, right? You want to stand out and fit in at the same time. So if you could help people do that that's that's like you're onto a goldmine right there, right? So if you know what the best seller is, you can turn that into a continual bestseller just by telling people, huh? People really love this one so many people have it I'm a big fan of all my friends have that necklace they all stolen from may right? You know you can direct people so if you know what your best sellers are you can use that to sell more of your best sellers this amazing kind of engine that happens right what was your a t s just as important in person event right I want to know how much people are spending right? We're gonna take our total dollars sold and divide by the number of sales simple math right it's really really key especially an in person events right? That is a huge metric for retailers because it's our it's easier to get someone who's already making a purchase to buy more right that's why they have all that stuff around the register right doesn't matter what store it isto no matter how high end they are there's something else by the register that they're hoping you will buy it does that because it brings the eighty s up if you can bring the eighty s up so much easier right and then how many pieces were in the average sale we were buying one they buy twelve with a stocking up and you could even look at this if you're at a trade show right? So are your stores buying singles of things? Were they buying multiples? And I'm a very lot of my boutiques and craft galleries they will buy one of a broader range, right? My museum stores usually pick a few pieces and order deep sixes eight, twelve whatever it is, right? So it's gonna be different, but it's helpful to know that, right? Because then in my next event, I know if I'm talking to a craft gallery, I'm going to help them pull a broader range of product right now I'm working with the museum store, I went home them in on a couple of key pieces because they're going to give me less case space, but they're going to buy a lot of those, right? So when I learned that information, you could move forward, you know, if someone's buying something for a gift, can you remind them about someone else? They also need a gift for, right? Oh, great, you got your mom, your sister right? Try to encourage that sort of thing and what were people asking for or commenting on? Sometimes it's really explicit sometimes is a little less obvious. You know what is missing from your product line? When I first started doing retail craft shows, I don't know why, but I only made earrings and bracelets. I don't know it, just it just how my line evolve, right and I would go to shows and I was wearing my jewelry by and long hair. And so I wear these big earrings and I wear these bracelets you will be standing at my table and people would come up and they stare at my chest I'd be like why aren't you wearing and that clearly not whining right? Why aren't you wearing any jewelry like no, I am look see earrings bracelet I realized people were looking for necklaces, right? That was what they wanted so I started making necklaces necklaces are my best seller I sell more necklaces than anything else and they're also my most profitable pieces, right? People are asking for it or they're asking why it's not there I take it there's a reason probably not going to say I want a necklace but they're looking at my neck to see why I'm not wearing one right so what's missing from your product line and it could be something as simple as you know is there a laptop sleeve they could buy that slides into the bag right? Or a wallet right or a pouch? I'm a big fan of the big bag how much you know an ipad like whatever it isthe right what's missing what's not there and then what reasons are people giving for not buying again? They're not going to give these to explicitly, but they're probably gonna make comments to their friend that they think are under their breath and they're really not right like is the price point is it not their style? Are they not ready? You know, sometimes you might hear like I'll just be right christmas gift and the show's in july so they're just walking away, right? You mean like why don't you join our mailing list so I can remind you write you can always catch them before they walk away but it's worth the effort, right? But what reasons are they giving for not buying stephen just facial expressions? People will tell you a lot if you'd just pay attention, right? So you wanna pay attention all of those things during your in person event? I know again that's a lot when you're also trying to make the sale right it's a skill that you honed over time but again, if you didn't bring a second person in just to help you pay attention that's always a good idea right in the beginning trying make it someone you don't have to pay, you know we're going to keep those cost out, but it's really helpful if you could do that, right? The downfall of online events is that you don't get that immediate human reaction like you do in person, right? You don't necessarily know why people aren't buying, which is why do you think that at some point in person event is really great if you're struggling online right if you did your online event and it went great clearly you're hitting on something moved forward, but if you do, a couple of online test market events are online launches and they fall flat it's time for an in person won just because you're clearly missing some key feedback, right? You're not sure what's working so you may have to throw in and in person event or two just to get that human reaction because it tells you so much right? But there are so few things you pay attention to, so really keep re online event kp I ke performance indicator is your email sign ups from launch start to sell date how many people did you drive to your list again? We don't love it if, like people just magically came to our list every day, but the truth is that we need a reason, right? So you can use this event as a huge driver of email sign ups and you can do it in person about to write so if you're doing it in person event but all your marketing is driving people to a female issue can still use that as a key metric, right? How many people were you know, excited about that? But then you wanna look at your key focus areas for your online events? Where is traffic coming from right where they clicking to on your site if you're operating on some kind of platform where you can't get that information you need to move to a different platform right should either be able to see it on your platform were installed google analytics you cannot run a successful online business without paying attention to this stuff you don't have to look at it super in detail not gonna lie I very rarely popping in my google analytics ru shopify I get a lot for my you know my dashboard there I don't need the minute details but I do need this information right? What percentage of traffic is converting and then again a d s a number I live and die by right what's our average dollars per sale so look att where did the traffic come from right where did they click through from what did they click on? Do they click on the main page and leave? Did they cook on individual products to certain products get way more views where did they spend the most time right? They go into a product page and stay there for a while you get all these things from google analytics right? And then what percentage of traffic converted into sales? So just to give you an example again we've been talking about my contra collection launches the case study one hundred percent of orders clicked through via email everyone who bought was on my email list first that means that for me that's my biggest driver of sales right every time I'm doing a launch every time I'm doing anything the goal is to get people on the list first and then send them from there because on your email descend a wordy email or do you send like kind of like a picture postcard now it's a combination of both I use male champ everyone's use male champ and so I'll put in a few pictures we'll add a little text as well usually my trick is that I'll add a little bit of text a great image and a really immediate called action go here to buy and then I might add a little bit more like a couple more images another reminder so it's I usually do more than one image but it's all themed around the same thing so there is an engine there's not you know I would never I would never send an image in any way no yeah yeah always an image oh usually multiple images because I know you're running to get the emails and the like, but then what do you do with them? What you have them yet now always always an image in there because number that gut visceral reaction that doesn't come from my copy I probably spent too much time writing email copy they're not reading it they're looking at the picture on their clicking let's be honest right? But you can't you have to have that picture right? One hundred percent of orders click through via email. And then what is your conversion percentage? And how does it compare the other times? So just to kind of show you guys give you an example, you know, the first six months of twenty fifteen averaged all out one point one eight percent conversion free commerce shop. Probably right in the ball. Park it's not it's. Low converting type of site that's. Just the reality of the right down here at the bottom is our contra collection launch. So I was hired, right? So almost double that's. A really good side. That's. Awesome. Just for real comparison. I also happen to do an online sample sale. That is an amazing conversion percentage, right? Seven percent. Seven point, six percent on annie. Come shop, that's. Awesome, right? That tells me that everything I did leading up to and marketing that event worked really well, right? If I'm converting that high of a percentage of people and it also tells me that on that day I sent very targeted traffic, I sent people to my site who were ready to buy. It makes sense that this one is lower, because even though there was a lot of buzz, this is a higher price point. Peace but again much higher a d s I'll show you how that kind of compares in the second so you can look at those same stats that you looked at in person write what people buy what's old fastest did anything sell out where were people spending their money right and then what was your average number of pieces per order with a bang one thing where they buy multiple things and what was your a t s what was your average dollars for sale right so I should you guys my conversion percentage is my average tds for those six months was one hundred thirty one dollars actually pretty high compared to a lot of people I work with right? My eighty s for the day for the whole day of the contra collection launch was to eighty eight I did sell a few other products in addition to contra contra pieces alone made yes was like three sixty super high but even with a few other products thrown in for the day it was still a two eighty eight right much higher than that on this day it was one thirteen so I converted a lot of my a d e s was a little bit lower in the sample sale so I actually with super strategic I did a few little things like giving a coupon code at a higher price point because I wanted to keep my eighty s is close to one twenty as I could for me I won't always want to keep it up there anything below about one ten is not successful for me, right? And then you're metric is going to change you talk to tiffany whips testing and I were talking about it hers I think she said is that like the forty to fifty range? She has a different model I personally don't like to work it's hard okay that's not true I like to work hard I don't want to have to sell so many pieces I want to keep my eighty asa's highest possible that's a really key metric and it's also really key metric when you start to right compared to other events compared to the lifetime of your business get to know these things that's what tells you that it's working right, but really the two must have met tricks you all you want the email sign ups, right? We want to know what those are and your sales sales is a metric, right? How many dollars did you bring in what sold the end of the day is the only thing that helps you pay your mortgage right the only thing that buys a cute shoes right I can't chariot an email sign ups that cole haan wish I could be awesome but I cant you have to make the money right so those metrics are always important all right, so moving forward from your event we've analyzed we've looked at the numbers we've compared them to what's happened before now should you pivot or persevere right so a pimp requires that we keep one foot rooted in what we've learned so far while making a fundamental change in strategy right now is another quote from eric reese from the lead start up a pivot it's not a one hundred percent overhaul right pivot is one planet turn right? I'm not like oh well that didn't work so now I'm going to go over here and try this thing right because now we've lost all of the information by completely starting from scratch right? The other thing is that if you change everything every time that you never know which change is the thing that made the improvement right so if the response to your event was positive and the event generated revenue make small tweaks and keep repeating this test market event system as I said this is a repeatable system and no one event is going to make or break your business right we talked about that when we had many crary here and she said a lot of people struggle with funding their business because they think that this one decision is going to solve everything forever forever and ever right it's not you're not going to do one test market event and be like whoa ho time to retire to an island, right? We're going to keep repeating it you're gonna make a little tweaks you take what you've learned, adjust and keep going and really the goal is to get a few test market events under your belt to generate cash and get that feedback in order to be in scaling and growing the business right? I can't scale and grow if there's nothing to scale right? So you want to get a few of these under our belt start to learn something, sergeant ari that cash and then we can create that plan to scale and grow that's actually what we'll be doing in session three right? We're going to create that plan, but you're probably not gonna be able to create a really accurate plan based off of one test market event where you need to do it a few times to get that feedback now if the event didn't work, it didn't work the way you thought it was gonna work. You didn't come out of there with the kind of cash that you expected that it's time to determine where to pivot right? Was the marketplace the wrong fed? Did you think you had an idea of who your ideal customer was and you were totally off the mark or did you think that you're going to see your ideal customer there and you didn't? What happens too, right? But if the marketplace just feels like the wrong fit go back to lessons for in five remember that's where we identified our ideal customer and we talked about the conversations are customers were having in the marketplaces those aaron go back to those lessons armed with what you learned in your test market event and adjust from there, right? Maybe it was your presentation that wasn't up to par. Maybe you really tried on your product photography, and it still didn't quite get that desire right work on that for next time go back to our lesson seven where we talked about the strengths and weaknesses of your brand go backto lesson eighteen, where we talked about making the event a success, evaluate what worked and then adjust right? Or did your marketing fall flat? Did you plan the event? You got a little scared, right? You're like, I know what megan said, I know I'm not going to bother people, and then you had to take because you thought you're gonna bother people, right? Maybe you didn't quite have the right called action, and you didn't quite have the right angle to get people right adjust that go back to lesson seventeen. Look at what we talked about marketing go back and kind of rewrite your copy think about those things that you can dio and adjust from there, right? And then figure out do you need to evolve or adapt your product offering because of the end of the day right? We can't make a living selling what we make if he won't buy our product right so that's usually a big thing that has to be adjusted especially in the beginning and we'll actually be talking about that in the next lessons we're gonna go way more into detail into product development which is one of my favorite conversations actually all my favorite conversations I love them all equally right all right so one more thing to keep in mind is don't try and change everything at once right it's a pivot start with what you think is the biggest problem and make that adjustment the first best place to make that adjustment is probably with your product line right what's missing what's not there what needs to evolve but if that seems like it's okay then pick the next thing then pick the next thing right product line seems ok make sure you're in the right marketplace make sure you've got that under control right then check on the marketing work on each piece individually I'm trying to change everything at once and then of course focus on those winds no matter how small they seem because the winds are what guide you towards the right decisions can't be like well who this customer like bought a three hundred dollar necklace and then be like but I'm just going to keep making like thirty dollars hearings right? Because that's what people want right know somebody he entered you three hundred dollars and told you that they wanted this necklace make more of that necklace and find more people who want a hand you three hundred dollars so celebrate those winds because those are the keys to growing your business right? So in the next session because we're at the end of session two we've got one more to go right? So in the next session we're going to create the long term plan for business success were take everything we've learned so far and figure out your strategy moving forward I'm going to do this by evolving your product line and creating a production strategy, right? We're going to finally solve that piece of I mean, I make a living number and I'm freaking out because there's no way I can make that much product right? We'll talk about that we're going to create a plan for growth and future revenue streams going to really create that action plan to get you to that make a living number and we're gonna create the big vision for your business. So in the next lesson we will identify the gaps in your product line and create a strategy for adding new products even though I'm saying create a strategy for adding new products it's really about harnessing our creative energy right this is fun product development is fun, channels are creativity, right? So we're going to do in the next life, but first let's look at your homework. So I want you to look back at a previous sale or event that you've done so if you haven't done your test market event yet, you should be working on your test market event, right? You haven't done it yet. Go back there and determine the kp eyes that you thing uses the benchmark. You know, if you've been selling online, what's your conversion rate what's your average dollars per sale start to establish those benchmarks now so you could know if you're improving them, but I want you to focus on the small winds to determine what you should be doing more of in your business think of a time where you had that little victory that little win you've found the ideal customer you made the big sale think about that, and then I want you to share a small or big win that you've had recently in your business and instagram tell us that something great that happened and use our hashtag make live cell that's it and I will see you guys in the next lesson.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Class Workbook
Private Facebook Group Invite
MAL in Detail - Numbers Template
Editable Bootcamp Workbook in Pages Format
Editable Bootcamp Workbook in Doc Format
Cost Plus Pricing Elements Bonus Video
How to Talk About Your Products Bonus Video
Trade Show Traffic Flow Bonus Video
Visual Branding Basics Bonus Video
MAL in Detail - Excel Template

Ratings and Reviews

user a03f28

Love the shorter and longer format to this class. It keeps me interested and I don't have to schedule a whole day at once, during the free play. Well worth the money if you pay for the class too. Megan is amazing! She really knows business, marketing and has strategies which apply to all kinds of businesses. The work book is 150 pages long and breaks everything down into small bits and teaches you to really think about all aspects of your business. Where you were, are now and best of all where you want to be and how to get there. Highly recommend any of her classes. Thank you so much Megan and Creative Live for bringing us such wonderful content!


This course was totally awesome!!! I cannot express enough how fantastic Megan Auman is, what a great teacher she is, and am so thankful she offered it for FREE!!! Wow!!! It was exactly where I was at, stuck and frustrated. Exactly what I needed to begin to get my business off the ground. I am currently implementing all I have learned from her. Rebranding my self, rebuilding my website, new product shots, model shots, list building, etc., etc. I am still connected with the Facebook group, and that is awesome we have that connection to continue helping each other out and using each other as a sounding board. I plan on purchasing the course as soon as I can. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this course to anyone who is struggling to get their business off the ground and going!!!


Thank you Megan for this opportunity. I really liked the first classes. You indicated interesting directions to think about. Even though life verifies the rest it is still worth to become smarter. Great Work! Best regards from Poland. Ewa

Student Work