How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Lesson 20 of 41

Test the Market by Entering with a BANG

 

How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Lesson 20 of 41

Test the Market by Entering with a BANG

 

Lesson Info

Test the Market by Entering with a BANG

Hello everyone so say we are on lesson fifteen tests the market by entering with a bang I'm super excited about this one in the next couple I'm excited about all of them not gonna lie but having you as a really gonna love what's coming up in the next couple of lessons so today's goal is we want to learn how to hold a test or learn how holding a test market event can help you generate revenue and make a bigger impact on the marketplace it was really fun because we're gonna actually work through the hole that we're gonna talk about the idea behind it we're going to plan for we're going to market it we've got a big couple of lessons coming up so in the last lesson we analyzed an opportunity to see if it was the right fit for your business right? So now we kind of know what direction we want to head in right let's take a look and see where we are in the course so we are on session to generate revenue quickly we're in less than fifteen learned how to how to test the market by entering with ...

a bang so I want to talk about two major mistakes that hold most makers crafters, artist product people that pretty much holding everybody back and I'm guessing it's holding it more than a few of you guys back as well, so the first mistake is that you drip products into the marketplace and you hope people will notice right who's guilty of this, you slide a couple products into the, etc chef free slide a couple of products into the online store, maybe you go to a craft show, but you haven't really created any buzz first or even, you know, I've seen this happen a lot to a lot of people where they get their first trade show, and they're so exhausted that they haven't actually marketed properly, right? So you're just you're dripping things into the marketplace, you're just praying that people are going to notice and buy them, right? You're like someone someone's got to notice there it is a big place, you could put a lot of stuff out there and no one is ever going to notice, right? Trade shows are big places, you could have a booth there, and a lot of people could just walk on by right that's the first mistake, the second one is that you wait until your products are finished and then you try to get people to buy, right? How much pre marketing are you doing when things are still in the production phase when you're still thinking about it, everyone in the eye just like none? I don't know what you're talking about that again, right? Here's the thing it is really, really hard to get people to buy stuff right there is always reasons not to buy there's almost always more reasons not to buy them there are reasons to buy and when you wait until something is finished, you lose out on this huge opportunity to get your customers excited to build anticipation it's so much easier to sell someone on the idea of buying something before they could actually buy it right so much easier to sell someone on it right? You look at my slides before the blood started, right? Right? So both of these mistakes lead toa lackluster sales and no riel gauge of the products viability in the marketplace when you're dripping products out there nobody's paying attention so you have no idea if people are actually interested in what you have to buy, right? So here's what successful makers and crafters and artists and product designers and businesses in general do differently, right? They released products in batches and they turn it into an event an event, right? Whether that's online or at a craft show or at a trade show whatever marketplace they're entering it is a big deal, it is an event and the second thing is they build anticipation for the products before they are available to buy they don't wait until the products done, they don't wait until the products for sale they get people excited beforehand now holly mentioned apple, which is in fact one of my upcoming slides but this is not a strategy that has toe on ly apply to big business right? So one of my absolute favorite examples person who I think does this spectacularly it's freshly picked you guys may be familiar with them I talked about some of my other creative life classes because they're just such a genius they're geniuses in marketing, right? So freshly picked never just puts a new product on our website it is always a big deal these air the new colors that air coming right this is when they're coming so we're expanding our line its upcoming on such and such a day and also why people should care right? All three of the colors are perfect for your summer babies, right? You can't buy these yet they want to get you excited before you can so people are waiting they want to knock down that door right to buy and then we'll go ahead and keep posting right they post now we're at today's release but it's not there yet who's excited this is really the secret that's what most people are missing in their business and I mentioned the masters of this are certainly apple they hold entire events just to tell you about stuff that you can't buy for six more months, right? Hey look at this cool thing you can't have it yet but let us tell you all the reasons that it's great right and then you know what happens everybody talks about it everybody talks about it and well you're not probably going to hold an apple style press conference to talk about your new product that's coming six months down the road I can guarantee you that there are people talking about this too have you seen this new color that's coming out I have friends who have kids I don't even have kids and I follow freshly picked so I can say to my friends who did you see that new color are you ready for that like so when you do this people talk about it people get excited right so I'm gonna give you guys a case study of how this worked in my business because I just went through a launch and this is something that it took me a long time to learn this lesson you know, I've been doing trade shows for a long time and I kind of got the hang of trade your marketing and things like that but it took me a long time to really understand how this could work so I recently launched a new collection called the contra collection you could see it right here right on it's a new line for me it started working the stones for the first time and so I followed this launch strategy right I decided I didn't really know where this collection was going I just bought a bunch of stones that were kind of cool right? And so I just started telling people about it but I was also doing it really strategically because even though I didn't know where the collection was going actually at a launch date set already I was telling that a couple of the people in the studio audience earlier I was saying you know I didn't know what the collection was gonna look like but I had set that target launch date so I could tell people about it right? So I went through the same kind of thing I started posting pictures of stuff in progress but I also started telling people write this collection is coming to my online store here's the date have a name for this collection so like my hashtag was just the date arriving june fourth right really just trying to get people excited again super in progress not done I didn't there's a lot of things I didn't know and I just kept dripping out these shots and then as I started moving into the model shocks just kept putting these things out there and putting these things out there so it wasn't like oh hey I made a ring go buy it like I'm making a whole group of things and in the future you could be one of one of the few who buy it right. So what worked in that launch, right? I talked about and shared images frequently on social media to create strategic anticipation and don't worry because in less than seventeen, we're going talk way more about that concept of strategic anticipation, one of my favorite new things, how do you get people excited before they can buy and then channel that energy so that they will make the purchase one time condoms? Right? Part of that was that I drove traffic to a mailing list. I didn't just hope that on june fourth, with my collection dropped, people were going to come back, right? I sent them somewhere so I could capture them. I also build excitement through scarcity, right? Any time you can limit the number of things and it has to be real, right? I have products that I tried to do this on before and they're just wire. I could make a million of them if I wanted to. I think people realize that this works out really great because there was an obvious scarcity in the case of freshly picked she has a big following and stuff just sells out. People know that, right? So they want to get in there. I also kept the turnaround time short. It was ten days from the initial announcement of hay and working on this collection to the day I want you in my shop now this is where this is different from the apple model, right? Because apple they do in event six months out right here's the thing there apple people are going to keep talking about it it's a big thing you're probably a one woman show if you're lucky maybe you're you know, two or three person you're a small show you cannot sustain excitement for six months, right? So we want to do this quickly enough time to get customers excited get them thinking about the idea but get it out there so that you don't have to keep that energy up it's a lot of energy to launch all the time we don't launch all the time we want to launch short fast and then kind of move on and then repeat the process what makes sense and I started talking about the collection before it was ready for purchase before it had a name I don't even know what it was gonna be called actually had some huge variables like I didn't know I was going to feel the steel like there were all these question marks and I didn't wait until it was done like I'll figure it out I didn't say that to them I was like, this is like a half baked idea guys I just like this is coming this is coming, this is coming, this is coming so people were excited about it even when there was almost nothing to be excited about, right? And then the other thing is that speed to market matters because I don't want you guys to spend months or years developing a product that people aren't actually going to buy. If it's not gonna work, I want you to move on, but he was one of the interesting things. Sometimes things don't work at the beginning because you don't have the right audience, you know, the customer doesn't mean you can't bring them back, right? But if they don't work initially, I want you to find a product that does and go from there, right? And the only way to really do that is to get it to market quickly because remember, you can't make a living selling what you make if you aren't making things that people want to buy, and this is really the ho whole idea behind this test market event behind this launch strategy, but what we're talking about in the next couple of lessons is yes, we absolutely want to generate revenue quickly. That is super important, but we also want to make sure that what we're selling is something people want to buy, and I don't want you guys to spend a million years perfecting a prototype that no one's interested in. And I know you guys have already seen this quote but it's super super important going to bring it up one more time, which is this quote from eric reese, the lean startup and he says I was accustomed to measuring progress by making sure our work proceeded according to plan and he said I started to worry about measuring progress in this way what if we found ourselves building something nobody wanted so doesn't matter if your product is perfect right? If nobody wants to buy it so if we want to get out into the market quickly and so now I want to talk about this other idea that comes from the lean startup which is the minimum viable product you may have heard about this, right? So this is a really big deal in the tech industry. What is the minimum products that you can get out there toe let customers and users test right? And I think it's a really hard concept for a lot of makers and crafters to wrap their head around because you don't want to put something out into the market that's not perfect right makes makes you guys nervous, right? What if it's got some clinches? What if it falls apart all of that stuff right? It makes you nervous but there's still a way to apply this to your business and so the question that you can always ask yourself is what is the simplest form of your product that you can put into the marketplace to gauge interest now remember marketplaces their conversations think way back to lesson five when we had carriage until you on here marketplaces their conversations. So what is the simplest form of your product that you can put into a conversation to gauge interest? This is actually the very first post from my contra collection promotion I laid a stone on my hand there is nothing there but a stone sitting on my hand and I said, working on a collection of necklaces with these stones from die poor but I think this one wants to be a ring instead but because I was also near was heading toward the launch and then I said yes, this mini collection is coming on june fourth, right? So I was still marketing, but this was my minimum viable product, a picture of a stone on my hand, right? That was all I knew. I don't know where I was going, but I wanted to gauge response should I take all the stones that I had and make them all necklaces or people interested in something else? So I just posted that picture that was my minimum viable product from there I knew I had a pretty good sense that I should take some not all, but at least some of the stones that I had and make rings give people an option right? So what's the minimum bible product for you what is the simplest version that you contest and get into the marketplace? You know if you have this idea don't hold on to it and let it you know stew in the back of your head right get it out there and I know what some of you are thinking if I have this idea and it's not fully formed and it's not ready I can't put it out there because people are going to steal it right some of you are probably thinking that right? What if someone steals my idea so I like this quote also from lean startup where he says headstart israeli large enough to matter people talk about wanting this head start headstart israeli large enough to matter and time spent in stealth mode away from customers is unlikely to provide a head start right? So when you hide an idea because you don't want your competitors to steal it you're not putting it in front of customers so you're never going to get you anywhere it's not going to give you a head start on your competitors right? Because you don't actually know if it's what anyone wants we have to let go of this idea people stealing our ideas right? First of all a lot less people are paying a hundred to you than you think sorry to burst everybody's bubble right? But most people aren't really paying that close of attention anyway and ultimately it takes more than a good idea to run a successful business, right? If all you needed was a good idea, we'd all be millionaires by now, right? The whole flight we have a twenty five lesson boot camp, right? There is a whole lot of stuff that goes into running a successful business, so even if it's half baked even if it is a stone balanced on your hand put it out there so you can start gauging customer response so you know, if you're even moving in the right direction, right? And I was engaging a lot here, I was engaging, you know, if people are gonna buy it if the price was right, I was gauging was that people had that gut immediate visceral reaction, but that's the kind of products we're selling right, that's what we're going for. So now I want to talk about what we're going to be working on for the next couple of lessons we're gonna work on something they were calling the test market event for lack of any better term. I tried to think of a different one for calling at the ti m e all right? And so what this really is is it's your strategy for entering the market with a bang, the market being whatever market you identified in lesson ten is the right market for you, so I gave you my example from the contra collection launch, but we can apply this strategy if you're going to a trade show if you're going to, you know, an art fair if you're putting on a workshop, if you're trying to judge stores, whatever it is, whatever your ideal number one target market is that you're focusing on that's what you're focusing on for your test market event, so don't be like making just showed us this cool online launch I want to do this online too, especially in the beginning, I could not have pulled that online launch off probably even a year or two ago, right? I spent years using the same strategy and other areas of my business first because those are my better fit markets, so avoid avoid the shiny objects in term of being like megan just did this cool online lunch that's what I want to do too go back to lesson ten remember what your target is that's what we're going to focus on for your test market event. So here are the goals of your test market event we want to test market interest, right? We want to see if the market you think is your best fit it's really interested in what you have to sell we also ideally want to generate some revenue right that's the theme of this session generate revenue quickly so we are putting things out there to buy nothing speaks stronger about what people are interested in then money right? How people vote on your product like not my legs not by pens the metrics that really counts of the end of the day is money right? We also want to get feedback from your customers if they're not buying or they're not buying as much as you wanted them to we want to know why that isthe we want to find out so that way we can move forward make some changes do this again because the other beauty of this is this is a repeatable system we're not at the end of the day talking about one event that makes or breaks your business we're actually talking about doing this over and over again and whatever markets make sense for you to generate revenue to get your products out there to get feedback but right now we're just focusing on the first one right? We don't try to plan twenty at once that something that goes back to are we don't want any more than one market once right were to plan one so one of the things I want to answer is what if you've already entered the market right doesn't matter you have to do this all anyway because if you've entered the market and you're not hitting your sales goals if you're not making the money that you want to make you haven't actually entered the market you're not really there you think you're there because you dripped your products out right? But you're not if you were already in the market if you had already entered with a bang, you probably wouldn't be listening to me right now, right? The other out reality is that there's probably always something new, right? So you may already sort of being a market but your designer your maker you're creative person I'm sure you're thinking about your next thing that you're going to make right everybody is everyone's always got that next idea they want to test right? So you know you're already in a market you could also use this system to test the next idea and the next idea and the next idea and see what works for your business right? And that really is the beauty is that this is a repeatable system now you have to keep in mind that certain types of events could be repeated more often than others. I can't run that contra collection launch online every week right my audience to be like stop, stop we don't care can't do it seems he had a little get a little time and space happened right? But when I was first starting my business I did a retail craft show one or two a month every month for a long time. That was my test market event. You could repeat that all day long. Different city, different show. Repeat. Repeat, repeat. So one of the other things that you want to think about is that it's going to take you probably a couple of test market events to really figure things out. So you want to figure out what you can do that let's? You repeat, christine, I'm talking about this workshop idea. That's. Great there's. A lot of places that you can run a workshop, right? So that's. A perfect test market event. So you could do it over and over and over again. In different places. You can tweak. You could find out it's a great place for you to start. So what makes a good test market event? It puts you in front of your ideal customer number one, right? It all comes back to the ideal customer. It has to put you in front of them, and it aligns with your ideal marketplace, right? So if you decided that the best fit market for your products was teo to do trade shows to sell the stores, a good test market event is not an online launch, right? We wanted to do something that test us now. Depending on where you are in your business, a trade show may not be your test market event, right? That's a big investment if you haven't already started things, so we'll talk about some options if you're not quite ready for the biggest step but it should still at least be related you know, maybe it's a trunk show at a store before you move in to trade shows there's a lot of options here and then the last one is you can plan and execute it in two to six weeks actually originally had that at one to four and then I figured I'd really scare you got in the way and I boosted up a little bit but remember that speed to mark it matters now you might be planning for a trade show that's for six, eight months down the road that's not your first ti m e then my goal with this campus I want you guys to get this going wall this campus still going on, right? I want you to do this quickly to get your products out there so it needs to be something that you can put out quickly plan execute, move on! Like I said ten days from that first post of a stone on my hand tio boom by this product, right, that is quick, but in ten days I learned so much about what the interest wass what people were after what they were going by with some of the concerns were ten days is a really quick time to generate revenue and get that but that's what you want right? We want that speed we want to move on so what do you do if you don't have the time to launch that quickly? Because I know there are some people either sitting in our audience there watching who were like I can't pull and something off that fast anyone thinking that you got you guys are like all go getter secretly is like maybe I don't know and I don't know what you're like I have a day job, I have kids, I have all of these things here's the deal if you're serious about this if you want to get out of the rut you're stuck in, you have to make the commitment just to do it. You had to start putting the products you know, the products out there. We heard it from mindy when she talked about finance with us you have to prioritize revenue generation and that's why we're focusing the huge chunk of this boot camp on this event because above everything else it prioritizes getting you to the customer and generating revenue and that's really the strategy to your business so if you don't have time first of all prioritize your minimum viable product right what is the most basic thing you could put into the market to gauge audience reaction? If you don't have a lot of time, you don't have to launch a thirty piece collection, maybe you decide that you're going to focus on one product and take pre orders right? There's a lot of different options, so figure out what the minimum viable product is what's the bare minimum thing you need to get in there and test the market and then I hate to say it, but make time right? Put the kids in summer camp for two weeks, cash in on that vacation, right? I know you're like my day job and like I want to use that vacation, relax, right? Because I've been working my butt off, but if what you really want to do, your end goal is to run your business, I can take a week's vacation, sit down, do the launch, do the test market event, get the work out there because once you're making of money, you can quit the day job and then you take a vacation whenever you want sort of, uh you gonna leave plan for it right in your business so you should plan for it in your business, right? So figure out what you have to do to make the time tell your family, look, this week is what I'm doing sorry we're in order takeout a lot this week whatever it is right and nice thing is you that's why I want you to focus on getting it out short because you couldn't do anything you can work really hard for a week, right? You think live through that you can get through anything if it only lasts for a week or so right you could make that happen it's a week so that's the other reason to kind of keep it short because you might work really hard but you could get through that you can make that work right let's talk about this should your test market event the online or in person because that's really what we're deciding here right? So the goal for this lesson is we just want to decide what your test marketed that is so I showed you guys the contra collection launch but for me this was my first test market event actually I should go back. My real first test market event is that when I was in grad school we had student jewelry sales and I stood on a table in the student center and tried to sell my work a bunch of other people I had no idea that's what I was doing I don't know it was a test market event there was no there was no logic to it it sort of happened for me but now I can tell you that this is the reason that my business was successful is because I would go to shows get my workout there I would gauge audience response, I would generate revenue and I would make changes right? I didn't keep doing this forever. That's the other thing, every single test market event that I was doing retail craft show. Now I know it's a test market event, right? Every single test market event that I was doing, I was paying attention to the audience, right? I was looking at what they were responding. Teo, I was looking at what's old, I'm not sure exactly where they are this moment, but I have very detailed notes from every show that I did. I knew exactly what sould I knew what people bought. I knew what my a d s wass eighty s is average dollars for sale as a magic number that I live and die by, right? Because the more you can bring up your a t s, the less people you have to convert, right, the higher your average sale less people you guys sell too there's a lot of ways to do that. One of them is just to raise your prices. Another one is to get people to buy more than one thing, right? But I was always looking at how could I bring that eighty s up? Makes a big difference in the business and then I was always evolving, right? So I was looking at the products that we're working was trying things out and I want to just be really clear about something here, so none of this limited my creative expression, right? So it's really approaching us erm two angles one is I would see the things that you're responding, teo and I would try more variations of that but I'm a creative person and I always have lots of ideas so I would also mix in new collections from time to time I had something new and cool I wanted to try I just did it right so the beauty of this is that you can also you know we want to do more of what's working but this doesn't hamper your creativity, right when you want to do something new now you have a system for it why have this cool new idea let's? Test it out let's run that test market event so for me, for years and years and years and years in person events were the way to go, right? If I had tried to do this five years ago seven years ago, even two years ago it would not have worked for me because in person is the strength of my business, right? That is what accelerated my business quickly so you know again don't get distracted by that kind of shiny object stick to what you know plays to your strengths and then eventually when other aspects of your business or stable you can actually use the test market event then to finally figure out how to make these other markets work for you right it's really? Only when I started using this test market about model online that my online sales finally started to pick up right, but I needed teo play to my strengths first to generate that really stable cash flow for my business let's talk about the options for your test market events so if you're thinking about an in person event, you could dio a trunk show so when I think trunk show what I mean is you work with a store, you go to that store, you set up a sample of your products to billy, you stay for a couple hours at the trunk show is going on and then you split the revenue with the store, right? Usually it's a I would not go fifty fifty split a lot of times I do sixty, forty or seventy thirty you take sixty or seventy store takes the other percentage because you're there the whole time you're trying to do the work of selling right, so that could be a good option for you, you know if stores your eventual goal but you're not quite ready to track tackle a trade show you know that could be a great option for yulia so you know stores sometimes they're hesitant to take on new artists if they don't kind of have a proven production record if they're not sure. So if you found a store that you thought was a great fit and you weren't quite ready to say let's do a wholesale order you could try something like a trunk show the other advantage is something like a trunk show as opposed to just reaching out just storing getting an order is you get that face to face customer interaction so you see what people are interested in right? So gives you a little more feedback than just dropping product off in a store and wondering if it's selling or not you could also do a pop up shop so that I view the difference from the trunk show in a pop up shop is in trunk show you're doing something in someone else's space in a pop up shop you're renting a bare bone space and you're you're doing the whole thing right it's your space for the day the weeks a month, whatever it isthe right? So that's how I would view the difference that could be an option if you find a space that you could do nice short term rent on, you know that it's going to target you it obviously requires mormon upfront investment than, say, a trunk show but it could be an option I view every single craft show I've ever done as a test market event and I didn't know that's what I was doing at the time but that is a great way to get stuff out there and test and here's the thing when we get to marketing you're going to learn some stuff that's going to put you head and shoulders above almost everybody else of that show who was just showing up and hoping people by right? Because that's the other piece of this we're not just showing up right? So that drip your products in the market place a lot of people do it with craft shows they just show up and hope somebody's gonna buy stuff you guys are not getting me those people right? We're gonna we're gonna get it so that you're ready and you may do a trade show if you've got to a point where you're ready you can use the same strategy for that but if you're super newmarket I would do one of these first because we want to get you in on that short timeframe, right? So then your other option is an online event and and sick to whatever marketplace we determined was the best fit for you so it might be that you're just launching an online shop right? It could be an online store it could be you're switching to a new web host whatever it is something that or you're just redesigning the website something that kind of feels like something new um maybe it's a product pre order right? Maybe you've decided that your best bet is that you want to try to make a million of something you want to design a prototype for a couple of prototypes and then launches people say yeah, I like it I want to buy one for down the road right? That could be an option you're already in the online market it might just be a new collection launch you that's what the contra collection was for me wasn't a new business it wasn't new a new whole thing it's just a new collection that I was launching right? So that's an option and of course you can always do any of these things at your in person events too so you can have some of these. You might also say I'm going to do a trunk show with the focus on a new collection launch, right? And then you may actually use a crowdfunding campaign as your test market event. You know, we learned a lot from having bridget lions here on and you may decide that that is actually the right first market for you and that's what you want to use and really with all of these probably other than the crowdfunding campaign you have to choose what platform use and again it's whatever you think is the best fit you may be like you know tiffany when she was here where etc is really great market for you so you could use this strategy to launch, you know, products to an etsy shop right? Or you could use it to launch to your own website you maybe that's built on shopify maybe it's built on square space whatever that is so really in this case it's more about left about the location and more about what the angle is right all right, so our exercise for today but I want you to declare your test market event we're not gonna worry about any details yet that's our next lesson but I want you to definitively stay and commit teo your event, right? So this is what we're gonna do it right? I'm going to have a blank event blank from now right that's what we're going to figure out so what we're gonna do now is we are going to do some hot seat so we actually bring somebody up here and we're not planning any of the details yet we just want to declare what your test market event is so who wants to come up here come on, have a seat and actually go ahead and tell us who you are and where we can find you and what you do here I'm george jenkins and you can find me at renaissance heart stock calm and we make handwoven scars and be the jewelry awesome all right, so word answer a couple questions here to talk about what your test market event should be. So what are you thinking, what's your number one marketplace based on what we do unless in ten and then what do you thinking your test market event should be so our deal marketplaces trade shows where it's one on one sort of kind of place and then also I seen galleries where people already around art how to get into galleries I'm not sure um, but I'm still your applause even answer that question because there's probably a lot of other people are like, oh yeah, tell me that so the kinds of galleries that you would be selling to where they're looking to buy a product as opposed to just take things on consignment they're going shopping trade shows teo so you just want to find the trade shows that are hitting that market high end like handmade art gallery type story yeah, that was chose art galleries so what do you thinking should be your first test market event that's actually thinking trunk show okay, because if I get into the right store where their prices are already up in the range that are scars would be then people coming in one inning be so shocked by the price is right. So right so that's perfect so what we want to do now is just kind of answer this question. So do you have some stores in mind that you could maybe reach out to and you're in the boston area, right? You have some stores in mind that you will could reach out a couple okay, one is j mode where they kind of held business people have that kind of defined their style so awesome perfect and there might be some other great there's some really great kind of high end craft galleries in the boston area. Yeah, I have a lot of them are my stories I love you guys so there might be some other options there as well that you can reach out and we know what the lines of your strengths, right? And then is that something you think you can get out there quickly? Right? You khun go home when this is over, right surgery, justice and stores and try to do it fairly quickly, right? Yeah, I think so. I think we could and you're thinking about adapting your product line a little bit. So are you going to maybe just go with the scars? Are you going to try to get a couple of those other products out first? What kind of the angle of them um I thought about that part I feel like for a trunk showed in the next two to six weeks necklaces but actually better I'm not sure how much people are actually buying scars in the middle of nowhere when it's humid it so yeah that that's a valid point so you may want to try with a couple of different products yes as well so but I would still venture a guess that I would not limit since you have those two product categories both necklaces and the scarves I would bring both of those show because yes you never know I mean you could get a freakishly cold day someone could just fall in love with it anyway and the other new thing about these test market events is yes we want to generate revenue right away but they're also always marketing for future thing on one of the things that you really have to keep in mind is that that's not an impulse buy definitely not an impulse buy right at our new price point so people are going to see it fall in love with it and think about it so that's something that you have to work with the stores that's why bringing both the necklaces and the scars will be good because it gives me multiple price point the store's gonna bring you in for a trunk show they want to generate revenue right away right but you can also focus on handing out cards to people and doing email capture you know pictures really key because right this is the kind of thing that if they want to purchase it when they get to winter they may need to have been thinking about it since the summer so the sooner you get out in front of people the better so awesome so you're going to start by planning some trump shows and and one one to start but that's a great repeatable system that you can do it a lot of stores so awesome you I want to talk about one more person who else wants to jump up here and talk about theirs monica I want to bring you up all right because I think we're still kind of talking about a lot of different markets for you and I really want to nail you down on something here so you teo because I wanted to get a couple classes now I think that would be one of your problems right? You guys are trying to do a lot of stuff we want to commit you to something yes so what do you think is a good fit for you based on your strengths in terms of a test market event so you have a primary market I'm goingto change my question do you have a primary target market that you're working towards? Are you still in that dabbling road no I mean we definitely have the you know, targeted market that we're going after andi, you know, the best way to get there would be through trade I just need to identify one that is on the horizon and is affordable with enough time to execute it right the whole set up and I think for you this is going to be a case where you may you may break the rules and we may just put you right in a trade show because I think you've been doing a lot of the kind of testing and I want to just get you I wantto click push you into the deep end, right? Yes, you're right off the diving board and so one of the could and bad things that is happening now is that especially in a product category like yours it's very possible that a trade show that's not that far away hey still have boots available right now, so if you can figure out this is our budget, this is how we're going to secure some funding and we learned a lot of great funding opportunities maybe was just diving in for you guys. And so I think for you the rial ki with with doing a traitor as your test market event is figuring out how to play to your strength, right? So static product in the booth is not going to fell it right you need to be on and demonstrating the whole time right you even need to have like a screen playing so that it doesn't look silly for there's not somebody in front of us the products yeah there's no one there right then you're you're not going but you don't actually have tio but yeah I think a screen can help definitely catches people's eye and it's one of those things that can solve one of your concerns which is how do we stand out how do we not get lost but it needs to be a sizable screen right live happy and I've had sorry hes radia but you want thing that's going to attract a little bit of attention and I think this is a good case where you've got that kind of great quick video on the home page of your website so that might be what plays and then you can do the kind of longer explanations spiel spiel as people come up right but I think for you really the key with this test market event is you just have to commit to that trade show and dive in and I know it makes you nervous but run your numbers pick one and just go for it ok ok so I know that there's one coming up in seattle and I believe it's september yeah ok so is that too quick of a turner anything for a stable to execute don't think so at all I think you can do it my first trade show I found out in november that I had a booth and I did it at the end of january okay, so you can do it pretty but you have to really have your stuff together but I think you know your stuff you just have to put it into action so and then the other thing is, you know, there are a lot of shows that are happening right now on the west coast where they're giving some really affordable booth options like a table instead of a booth so you may be able to get into one of those shows for less money than you were actually thinking teo so that could be another good option for a test market opportunity and for people who are thinking about trade shows as a test market event there's a lot of shows that do smaller booths or tables for first time exhibitors so they don't always have to be that crazy financial commitment and I know when I start throwing out things like ten thousand dollar booth fee it scares people off but you can usually get into a trade show for less than that. So I'm finding for you you've gotta bite the bullet and do it all right you're super nervous I am I do the first thing that comes to mind is just like properly displaying everything so that it looks high end doesn't look rig eating right and yeah, I just don't have that vision quite yet so yes, I think for you that's kind of the big target and really I think the secret is like just picking the right fixtures can really make a big difference in your booth so you I know you love to shop because we talked about we talked about this like every break we're shoppers here go into some of your favorite stores that have nothing to do with baby product on just look at the types of pictures they're using look at what your option might be because I think it'll be easier toe upscale it then you think it well just by putting the right pieces of furniture into the booth I think I really actually makes a big difference that might be the good time to find a friend that's a stylist or finds a way for one time yeah, I need you know it would be if that's just not your thing right it's worth the time and effort of threaten over and you can do what you want to just tell you like pick these pictures do that move on so awesome thank you so much great I want to talk about one more is anyone planning an online test market vendors everyone in our in studio audience do it in person first, right? You guys are all in person people okay, let's do one more than it doesn't matter who it is. He wants to jump up here, all right? Because you're another one is thinking trade shows down the line. But what do you thinking about for you? Right away for right away? Yeah. Are you going to do to each other? You're going to try to do something else? Yeah, I was just making a little list. Kelso came up first. There's one called project there's bread and butter with fact in him. So yeah, definitely. I'm going budget for that. Okay, perfect. So you're you're going to do a trade show and how quickly or we're gonna get you to one, because if there are other thing, we're speed to market matters. Uh, well, okay, back to you know, I'm going to make you commit to that right here and now. So we just finished the season. So by january, because we just finish spring summer with all the buyers are okay have so so here's the thing. So if you're going to do one in january, I'm gonna make you declare a different test market event because that is too long from now. Yeah. So what can we do in the meantime? To get you out there and generates revenue are you we are you kind of know that some of the stuff is selling but I want to get you into more events to generate revenue because it's also going to take some of the financial pressure off when you do that show what can we do in the meantime? Um I love the idea of doing a trunk show outside of my immediate you know where I already do a lot of face to face also maybe you'd like a trunk show in south san francisco we're even in the city I do and so and what do you have? Some stores and miners have to do a little research I think I need to do a little more research kind of I have a couple of ideas but I'm not sure that they're the right market I need to just go in and take a quick look anything going that's that's something you can pull together in the next six weeks, right? Yeah perfect totally awesome sweet that's plenty of time you even bump up that time? Yeah, you can get him in sooner, mum and I think for you that's that's a really good option is you want a plan for this, but we want to make sure that you have a revenue generating strategy in place so that you're doing some things that you're getting the product out there it is also going to make that trade show so much easier, having spent the months preceding it, talking to customers selling even though that stuff that you're already good at, you know, when you go into trade show and people like, what do your best sellers like? Well, this does really well in this area, but this did really well in this area, so you really really start to know, plus you got that revenue generation piece, but I might have to do a couple so I can have stay luli ideas, absolutely, and I think that's, the thing is again, we're planning one at a time when emphasize that we're planning one at a time, but the time frame you have between now and your first trade show, you can absolutely get in a couple of trunk show type events and really learn a lot and connect with your customer so alright, thank you alright, so that is all I want you guys to do for right now is just declare that event what the event is and when you are going right when it's happening, whether it's the launch or you're going somewhere now down, get specific right? Because we can't work towards something vague, we have to work towards something specific, so that's all I want you guys to dio and then in the next lesson we're going to planet, we're going to start to put those details in so that it's really fully fleshed out and then the lesson after that, we're gonna create that great marketing plan, right? Cause stuff doesn't sell itself, but before we go, I want to give you guys your lesson fifteen homework. So I want you to determine what the minimum viable product for your business looks like. What is the minimum thing that you have to put out in the marketplace, right? Whether that's the picture of the stone in your hand or maybe it's a bag that doesn't quite have the insides flushed out. Yeah, or maybe it's a workshop, even though you don't quite have all the product manufacturing, whatever what's the minimum viable product for you, then I want you to declare your test market event, right? I'm going to have a plank event blank from now, and your extra credit is that I want you to post a teaser for your test market event on instagram or if there's another place that work? Sure you facebook, twitter, whatever it is, I love instagram remember super visual super easy post a little teaser tell us when it's coming, make sure you use that hashtag make love cell and I'll see you guys in the next lesson

Class Description

"The Course is RICH in content and full of VALUE. I strongly believe this course is BETTER than 99% of the course out there." - Tajul Ghani (CreativeLive Student)


It's common for a crafter to get inspired and pour time and money into launching a creative business idea that they “just know” will be a hit only to discover that there isn’t much of a market for the business they envisioned. But it doesn’t have to be that way – there are specific actions you can take to ensure even the most creative endeavor makes money right away and doesn’t flop.

How to Make a Living Selling What You Make is your complete guide to building a thriving handmade business. Megan Auman is a maker and educator who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design. Her jewelry line is sold in stores across the US and in this bootcamp she’ll teach you the recipe to her success. You'll learn how to:

  • Generate revenue from the beginning while balancing longer term growth 
  • Find the best and worst revenue streams for your products 
  • Set targets, create profitable pricing, and evaluate market demand 
  • Deepen your product line and build your brand 
  • Grow your email list and use social media for long-term growth 
  • Develop production strategies as you start creating more product 
This course includes a comprehensive workbook with exercises and activities designed to propel you through the lessons and position your business for sustainable success.

Megan will help you develop your business idea so you don’t waste time and money on projects that don’t pencil. She’ll also share insights on what to do once your business is up and running. She’ll coach you through best practices for hiring, outsourcing, and planning for the long haul. You’ll walk away confident that you can develop and stick with a business plan that won’t have you tied to a day job or pouring money into a project that doesn’t pay. How to Make a Living Selling What You Make will set you up to earn a serious income by doing what you love.

Lessons

  1. Class Introduction
  2. Define Your Big Goals: What Gets You Out of Bed?

    Find out what motivates you, so when things get tough you know what you are working towards. (And why!)

  3. Finding YOUR Ideal Number
  4. How Much Should You Pay Yourself an Hour?
  5. Who is the Ideal Customer for Your Products?
  6. What is Your Customer Willing to Pay?
  7. Pricing Your Products for Profit
  8. Where Does Your Brand Need Work?
  9. What Are The Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Products?
  10. What Makes You a Great Business Owner?
  11. What Should Your Product Be Now?
  12. Bonuses w/ Purchase
  13. Bonus w/ Purchase: Your MAL # (ideal #) in Detail

    Are you scared to move forward with your business because you are embarrassed by certain aspects of your brand?

  14. Bonus with Purchase: Testing Customer Profiles using Facebook ads
  1. Live Check In
  2. Shift Your Money Mindset
  3. How To Finance Your Business
  4. Are You Ready to Crowdfund?
  5. Analyze Business Opportunities
  6. Test the Market by Entering with a BANG
  7. Plan Your First Big Sales Event
  8. Market and Promote Your Event: How to Build Buzz
  9. Make Your Event a Success
  10. Analyze and Move Forward
  11. Bonus with Purchase: Calculating ROI
  1. Evolve Your Product Line

    Gaps in your product line mean you are leaving money on the table. Identify those missed opportunities and fill them.

  2. Create a Production Strategy
  3. Plan for Growth and Future Revenue Streams
  4. Your Big Business Vision
  5. Draft Your Daily and Monthly Action Plan
  6. Keep the Momentum Going
  7. Live Check-in - Finale
  8. Bonus with Purchase: Adjusting your MAL # with employees and contractors
  9. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Catherine Utschig
  10. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Christine Herrin
  11. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Holly Tanner Straus
  12. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Joy Jenkins
  13. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Leah Drapkin
  14. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Lisa Jones
  15. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Monica Jacquay
  16. Free Bonus: Student Interviews - Richelle

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