How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Lesson 8 of 41

Where Does Your Brand Need Work?

 

How to Make a Living Selling What You Make

Lesson 8 of 41

Where Does Your Brand Need Work?

 

Lesson Info

Where Does Your Brand Need Work?

Hello everyone we are on lesson seven where does your brand need work so today's goal is that we want to identify where your brand needs work and create an action plan to make improvements right we don't just want to say this sucks in my bran this needs help this this doesn't work right we also make that action plans that you can make improvements so in the last lesson we set the value based prices for your products for some of you that may have meant bring your product prices up a little for others it may be bringing your product prices up a lot right and so one of the things that we can dio to support those higher prices is make sure that all of the elements of your brand are spot on okay let's take a look at where we are in the boot camp we are in session one set the foundation for your sustainable business so we're in less than seven so we're almost through session one we're working on kind of all of those the last foundation elements so we can start making some money right so I ha...

ve a question for you guys for today are you scared to move forward with your business because you're embarrassed by certain aspects of your brand right so they won't have any areas that you're like shell shaking her head what do you what do you not feeling in your brand my blogged isn't it awesome all right, who else who else feels like they need some work I need everything the whole get hold back it are okay yeah any more focus within my brand okay, I feel like I spread a little bit too thinly across many areas often that happens I think to a lot of people having a sense of focus on I think the other thing to keep in mind is that there are always elements of your brand that can be improved you know it's a constant process it's not a cool I'm done and I can move on forever right? And the reality is that the stronger your brand the easier it is to support those higher prices people respond to branding is just the nature of the time that we live in the stronger your brand the mauritz supports those higher prices which is great it's actually great because it means that you get to be what you want and if you can support the brand around it you can really justify those prices. But here's the other thing seeking perfection in your brand is a stall tactic we've all been guilty of this right? I can't do x until I fix why I can't do that show because my packaging isn't right I can't pitch the press because I need a better website I don't want to mark it to people because my product photography isn't that great right yes, there are all of those things that you're going to want to improve at some point, but if you wait until they're perfect, you're not gonna be able to build a business. You can and should move forward with your business. Even if your brand isn't perfect. I'm gonna tell you why, so I want to share a quote from eric reese, he wrote a book called the lean startup. Now this is a book that's geared towards the tech industry and thinking about how you get ideas out to market quickly, but we're actually going to use it as we move forward in a spook camp as a model for us, a cz? Well, because his idea is that if you're an entrepreneur, you're bringing something new and untested into the market, and that means that you can't follow a pre determined path. You have to put things out test, see what customers respond to sound familiar, right that's what we're doing, because if you guys are designing a product that is different from what's out there on the market, you need to follow the same rules as a tech company, building a new act or a new a new system, you you don't know if there's a customer for your product, right? So in the lean startup, he says. I was accustomed to measuring progress by making sure our work proceeded according to plan was high quality and cost about what we had projected. I started to worry about measuring progress in this way. What if we found ourselves building something nobody wanted and that's, really, the thing that I want you guys to think about is that we want to work on these elements of your brand, but if your brand is perfect, it doesn't matter if you've built a product that nobody wants, right? So we're gonna talk about the elements of your brand, we're going to create an action plan, but we're not going to let that hold us back. So in order to make a living selling what you make, you need to strike that balance between getting your products out there quickly and making those incremental improvements to your brand that will help the business grow. I'm going to show you a really embarrassing example from my own business, so you guys may have seen this image before. This is my first ever trade show wholesale booth really embarrassing, right? It it was awful, I didn't have lights there no life that's why it looks this awful green color, right this really technically a cream color, but everything looks screen because I had no lighting, not so good, but I put the work out there. I talked to buyers or wrote order, I got feedback, and over time I evolved my brand toe look like this, you'll also notice that my product line is shifted, even though if you kind of quick quickly and so this doesn't seem that different. I did a count, and I think from this booth to this booth, there are maybe five products from that first one that are still in my line today, that's a pretty big shift, right? The five ones that are still there are the ones that sold right, and then I started doing mohr of what sold as I evolved the brand if I had waited, so that was perfect to do my first trade show, I wouldn't have a business, right? I would not be up here talking to you guys because I would have no leg to stand on and still be trying to figure out what the heck I was doing, right? So I put this out here even though all of these elements weren't perfect. The other thing is, I didn't know enough that if I hadn't done shows, I would never have gotten to that booth without having done this first, right? So I want you guys to put yourself out there, even if you don't love every element of your brand and then balance. Taking action to improve the brand, especially in the areas as we move forward, you going to identify key marketplaces that's also going to help you figure out where you really want to invest your time and your brand? For me, wholesale is a really key marketplace, so that was where I focused a lot of my time and energy on improving the brand, right? So for this lesson will be focusing on what needs to improve in the key presentation areas of your bread. So branding is a much bigger topic that we're going to cover here, and in fact, I did an entire course in creative live about that already. So what we're going to do now in this lesson, it's, just check in and identify some of the areas, but what I also want to do is give you a tool so that all of you who are watching online at home can do this for yourself, right? I'm going to talk through it with our studio audience here, but I want you to be able do this for yourself, so we're going to use a tool called a swat analysis you're familiar in any kind of leadership activity. You may have done one of these before, so we're going to a swat analysis identify seven key brand areas and where they're strong and where they need work so what happens in a swat analysis as we look at the strength, the weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats what's working? What needs improvement, where what's working provides us with opportunity and where what's not working, maybe causing us problems, maybe having giving us threat to the business right now in that workbook that you guys got when you all are cpd, there are pages to do the swat analysis for every single element of your brand, so you can sit down and work through that to figure out what needs work. But today we're going to talk about some of these key brand elements. We'll look at your business name in your tag line, right? Because there's some people that that may not be working in we'll talk about the overall aesthetic, including the logo, the font, the color palette is all that support your brand. We're talking about product photography really big maker break aspect for sure we're going to talk about your website, your online store look at those things promotional materials, packaging display all these air really key areas of your brand and you should go through all of them to figure out what's strong and what's not, and so if you're in that work, well, you'll see something that looks a little like this I'll tell you what the brand element is and then you can work through that strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then below each and we're actually gonna do this in a minute with our in studio audience below this you'll also see that I've given you a space for action steps, right? So you couldn't list what needs to happen when you want to get it done and you can check it off when you complete it, right? So this lesson I really want you guys to take control and identify those elements and work on that. All right? So we're going to dio a couple of brand hot seats and work through this, and as you can see, we've got this lovely flip chart that looks exactly like what you've got in your workbook, that we can actually sit down and work through this exercise with a couple of people in our studio audience. So who wants to be brave and go first joy, hop on up here, I'm gonna have you sit, and while you're doing that, I'm going to we're going to pull up your website so let's, take a look at all of the elements of your brand and figure out where is the strength fly, where the weaknesses like now in the workbook that you guys have, you can actually do the swat analysis for every single element individually but to keep things moving, we're going to talk about all of the key elements of your brand here in kind of one one magic flip chart. Right? So let's, go ahead and talk about some of the elements of your brand. So your business name and your business tide line starring sweetness is what's working for you what's? Not way. Have so our business it was ransoms, heart's design studio. We still keep going. We have so many taglines that we come up with, we have one, words at a touch of breathless okay, and then there's one that's great design within your reach. Okay, so a couple things about those first of all, you guys totally set on the name you feel about that pretty long, just fyi. So even though you're not going to change it, I would still put that in there. Is that your name? There's. A little bit of a mouthful, right? And usually when I do say it, I say russell's hearts, right, even though so right and on the other thing that I might say about your name is that I'm not sure that I expect to see your product when I see that name. What do you what do you guys think cleaning classy, but renaissance means historic, right? I don't think it quite is the modern nous of what you guys were doing and so I know that you have that kind of balance because you want you want to sort of feel like you're drawing on the history of things and so I wonder than the history it's renaissance means rebirth, right? And so that's where we're going with the renaissance so I actually wonder if it's the word hearts that might give us up renaissance combined with a word that's more modern I think might fit stronger with your brand so that's something that I would make a note of is that maybe the renaissance is working but you know, is it not quite modern enough? Yeah, so that may be something to think about now give me those two taglines again um there was at a touch of breathless okay and great design within your reach. So I would say that the second one is probably going to be out just based on the president that we do for you chipping your pricing that one probably doesn't work. Yeah, say the first one again at a touch of breathless okay, so that one maybe I like actionable it's not quite actionable we think you could kind of shift that a little or not too attached to it it's one of the ones we kept working with right? So I think that was something that I would kind of probably come back to the drawing board on and maybe start again there. Okay, so, let's, take a look at some of your other elements of your brand. So we've also got your logo. How we feel about that. What do you guys think? Strengths, weakness, many potential for change. Is there a reason why the h e of the hearts is in the box instead of just the age I e o that one, I don't think was for any specific grace, and it just happened that way. Okay. Okay. Was it to highlight, like arts? Maybe. I don't know. Yeah, there is that part, because then we also have my brothers started his own business under us and it's run art. Uh, okay, baby. So it might be there might be a little bit of confusion. We'll go. All right, so that's, something that could maybe be played with and innocents like I thought the banks around the r is a tea. And then we got all hands with because I'm not reading them right with bad eyes. They're like, okay, all right. So you might need a little bit of kind of clarity there, okay, so then let's talk about some of the other things, so I want to talk about product photography because that's a really big one, and I think for you, the model shots are really strong, I think that's a huge strength that you guys have when it comes to the brand, but I noticed when we were looking at your website, see your photo collections? I don't think that the individual product shots there's you what you yeah, I'm not sure that they convey that sense of kind of luxury and that's word changing on all their products. I wouldn't have some of them up here, but what we're doing is we're going for like this site show where everything is kind of exaggerating colors were going for more artistic pictures were changing all the products, so instead of just kind of boring picture is going to be fun really close in depth, detailed picture so that something that you want work on more short? Yes, and then I think the other thing to keep in mind is that you have the beautiful model photography on your home page, but people don't always enter your website through your home page so they may never see this, and they may never get a chance to kind of see and understand kind of the beauty and simplicity and the elegance of the product, and really this communicates so much about your brand they're so strong that I want to see that infused in every single product page and that's what we want todo yeah, so you guys, what about let's talk about some other elements so your packaging we have not started on the patio so I know that you weren't doing wholesale, but I think it's something that you do you want to think about and the other thing is so when you are shipping products, what you doing there in that scenario way back in shipping products? So but we've started getting into ok, so what do we want to ship it in a custom box with very heavy duty? Kind of you can just feel the structure bark, so it just says this is something special and important awesome that's where we've started, so I think for you because it doesn't exist yet packaging is a huge opportunity to really kind of sell that story of your brand and then also infusing those model shots on product page is, uh is really, really key. So what do you think are maybe any threats or any problems that you could see coming up with your brand right now? Do you feel like there's anything that has to come up to support that higher price? Or do you feel like it's close to just think that education part is we need to educate people because you'll get in said oh it's a scarf rise it about five hundred dollars but once we educate people all across the board once I say well, this is what goes into it everyone across the board is okay that makes sense I would totally pay a price for that often so education is huge and so one of the things that I would encourage you to think about because I've heard this from a couple of people about indifferent things is that educating the customer is keith but if you're selling a product, chances are that people may not want to be educated yeah, I mean we're on an entire platform here that's about education so yes people absolutely want to be educated but they don't necessarily want to be educated about the things that they're being sold to. So instead of thinking about it as education I would think about it as a story, right? Yeah and that's where ralph lauren has this amazing ad where he takes a watching you see all the details but he tells a story about it it's a heritage and that's where we feel like in a video we could just say this is what it is brothers of videographer and so we're planning to make a whole video where you can see the deep wells and just like with the model shots one of the key things to remember is that where people come into your sight and how are they going to get that video so can you put that video on every product page you know probably a good idea because you want them to see it is it something that then they also get when they find out you're a mailing list there's lots of different ways you know it's one of those things where if you're gonna spend the energy on this really key piece that explains your story don't put it in one place you put it in all right and then snippets of it on instagram and all of those things so that's the other element of your brand is what's your house your social media presence looking right now we just started okay back into facebook and instagram and just updating saying hey working on new collections or here's a photo shoot that we just took so can we link to those off your web site when I get there probably not gonna instagram for some reason the tab can my can't type so if we wait we can't get to it we can get all right that's fine so how are you using those platforms you have one that you think is really key for you guys way haven't done the research enough to find out which one okay it's really gonna be the best on I would say for you it's probably something very visual being about these great model shots I'm thinking about how you kenbrell those and bring that element of the man into your social media is going to be really good for you. All right, now, let's, talk about a couple of action steps for you because that's the last piece, right? So we looked at kind of what your strength your views were with opportunities. So what are some key action steps for you that I think definitely rethinking the logo. Ok, that's one of the first things you see, and so if then used to change you wanna and the name. Okay, so logo design and name tag line are really key. And so those are in terms of our level of importance because the other thing that I want you guys to think about is a level of importance and how much it needs to be done before you can move forward on the business on unfortunately, I think with a kind of name and logo thing, I think that's really high because you don't want to kind of generate that momentum and then have to do the name change now it impossible. And I just saw a pretty one on kids brand kind of go through a big rebrand, and they did okay with a lot of followers. So it's not impossible but if you know it's something that needs to be changed and I know you got monica went through this not that long ago if it's something you need to be changed definitely make that priority especially since we're not having a crazy amount of customers a good time to do it before right keep getting it's here to make that change yeah. What are your other action steps definitely the product shots getting those so there'd be artistic pictures that people can identify with awesome and that's kind of somewhere where's that fallen there was a priority still be pretty hungry pretty high all right and for you we might end up shifting that it may be possible that that e commerce is not the first market that you actually attack so inmate that I shift as well but typically for a lot of people product tog ra fi is a is a pretty high component because it shows what we're selling right and what else for you uh working on packaging? Okay. The nice thing with packaging that's a brand element that I think is really key but it's also pretty low because it's not revenue generating right here this is high just because it kind of makes your accident this product shot their high because their revenue generating right this one you can work on once the orders come in kind of have a no idea yeah and then you can boost that overtime that's definitely one that's kind of ripe for incremental improvement. Anything else then just the video at that video down. Yeah yep and so probably somewhere priority it somewhere between product shots and they think they are medium one yeah, awesome. So then what I'll let you do is then later on you can go ahead and put them target date to those that kind of fits with your schedule and move forward with this sort of gives you so next steps in terms of your brand especially since you've got a much higher price that you need thio now, right exactly. Okay, thanks. Thank you. All right, two one still next lisa have on up here go ahead and pull you up there you are. All right. Let's flip bar flip chart so let's start right from the beginning with you as well. So what what's your name and then let's talk about if you're naming your tag line are working for your brand okay? It's throckmorton jones and stop mourn jones dot com and it's classic a tilly a techniques and expected designs and exceptional materials has a lot to say s so how do you feel about the name? Good. Yes, happy I think it's good I think the tide line if where I need a little work on dh the reason for that is that it's super descriptive and it's not very actionable to the customer so it doesn't it tells us a little about your business but that's not really the job of a tagline we'll actually get people excited maybe introduce them a little bit to your why so I think tagline for you is going to be a big one we had not so mouthful who had a tire tech and play entire technology and play not quite not quite it's still even though it's shorter which is great, I probably wouldn't recommend anything much longer than that it's still very descriptive doesn't give people an emotion or a feeling right and that's a huge part of branding is making that emotional connection right from the back so if you can do something that infuses a little bit more of the emotions behind your brand into it that really helps okay, so that's an area that I would work on ok, so then let's talk about logo how are we feeling about that? So do you use this little piece by itself? Well okay, yeah just to brand like bring right, huh? My looks are designer you have any thought that's good. Yeah, brandon yeah, I think that's a really good thing I would say that that that work for you because you've got a logo that works in multiple situations turn this way you've got that little piece that you can use but then you've also got the logo that really sells the whole name so I think that that definitely works for you and I think it matches the aesthetic of your products I think you're good there all right? So let's talk about your website and your product photography right? So let me know what your thoughts are on that and then I've got a few for you as well so what do you think her that kind of starting something this is what you've got going on here. Well, it's really clean but there's no uh at least on here but in the shop I put some yeah, we're we're changing it a little bit and so the shop is kind of what it's becoming it takes a little bit load so that is that we're going to put that down there is a weakness, huh? Yeah that's and that's why we're changing okay? And so it's the landing page is going to be different but it doesn't have any, um, like editorial shot okay is really what we were missing. You are missing the editorial yeah, now we're in their we're yeah that's a very long time it's painful toward over a little bit yeah, I think the other thing is when I was looking at your bags straight off the bat I think that you obviously want to get those editorial shots in there. You want to get those kind of more lifestyle shots in there, but I also think there's some room to improve your brand photography, okay, so yes, when I look at these there's, nothing about that, that I have to have it right, there's, none of that kind of draw, and I also think, there's just nothing that that also sort of speaks to the tech element. So I think that there's a way to sort of have those really, like must have price, and part of it is even just cropping closer. But then also showing the inside showing the versatility, I don't think there's enough of that when we click onto individual product, really give us that information, right? We can see all sides of the bag, but if you're trying to sell to someone who's going to put their laptop, but all of their stuff in it, they want to see what the inside of that bag looks like. Two that's really key. So I think for you, product photography is a really big piece, especially if you're trying to sell a seven hundred fifty dollar bag online on dh, even really looking at that, I think, there's some improvements that could be made in terms of the lighting e think there's a better way to light these they're a little glare e I think there's a lot that you could do with your product photography that makes it feel more like this is a seven hundred fifty dollars must have luxury product and not I think you could go on to amazon and buy. Okay, so that is the other thing I think is really important when you're talking about branding and product photography is that you do need those white background shots if you're gonna pitch press if you're going to do all of those things, but is it actually the best shot to really sell your product? Sometimes it is sometimes it's not so. Even though the branding is really great and clean, it may not be supporting your products as muchas as you really wanted, teo s o that may be something that you play around with, what aboutyour packaging you have that kind of sorted out, I think it's pretty good. I have some example on instagram, but I usually for the belts I make like a leather pouch and then I have the logo on it, the bags I'll come with pretty like dust bag awesome, perfect s oh that's really good and I would say that something that you may want to talk about on your website as well because if you're buying a seven hundred fifty dollar bag, you want to know that it's going to be well protected and that you can store it in your home and that you can keep it really nice so that's something that you may wanna work on as well on and then how about your social media? So how is that reflected in your brand or do you feel like that's strong or couldn't use the work? Well, it's getting a lot better get to it you can get to it on the from the website I have to go all the way back one more s so this is another thing that is really key I think for everybody when we saw it with joins us out, you know, we're doing years actually able to get they're from every page on your site, right? Um because you don't know where people are coming in, you know, our people are leaving and social media is an important part of your engagement you want to make sure that they can get to it. So one of the things that I see right off the bat and it's something that I think that you're probably gonna have to reconcile is that the the imagery that you're using on instagram it doesn't have the same aesthetic as that clean, modern vibe that you're doing on your website I would venture a guess that this is more you than what's happening on your site right? Yes so right just by looking at you yeah so originally we had this taylor gypsy cos it was really good I mean it's very indicative of my style were and then we had people really requesting a lot of the basics like men especially but they didn't want the tailor gypsy logo so we started this whole kind of throckmorton jones brand and it was supporting more like the basic belt the blanks thie the computer bag messenger bags so now we're like in this transition of trying it's hard to let go of the tailor gypsy you know I'm quite attached to that brown but the throckmorton jones this is what selling so do you have um but throckmorton jones instagram no I did have two of everything but it's too much it can but I think here's the thing for you it's what you have to dio look if you can't let go that taylor gypsy because it feels like your identity then you need thio commit to having the throckmorton jones on all the social media and linked to it separately separately how it kind of is in facebook right and it's it's what you're gonna have to dio so I think for you the threat is like the brand confusion exact between these two different lines and between myself s okay I think that's a really good point so you are not your branch, you might be similar to your brand, but you are not your brand, and sometimes you have to make the decisions that support the brand and then let some other things be personal so you could keep taylor gypsy, right? You could keep that, and that becomes your personal instagram account and then the throckmorton jones one is a really highly curated place that just shares the elements of that brand, and I'm thinking for you, there's a lot of great examples of people who are doing that really well, and they're kind of hitting more about like men's tag high end luxury like I'm thinking off top of my head of shine, ola detroit and you're familiar with that brand slightly different ascetic than you, but really high end leather goods watches that sort of thing, so I think for you, if you want to kind of keep this as a personal journal, keep taylor, gypsy that's you that's who you are, but there doesn't have to be it's when you feel like it when it's fun you post on it, whatever. But if you're serious about growing throckmorton jones, because that's where the money is coming in, then you need the social media profiles to support that because it's super confusing to be on throckmorton jones and then click over and get this right yeah that's a huge huge threat to the brand right hey yeah so I think for you than the opportunity it has that you've got the throckmorton jones product it hits a lot of men right? Yeah so you can do this sort of male oriented you know branding because that is a huge growing market right now because while it's being served it's not being certain there's a million options for women right there's a million bags from and there's a million of your there's a million shoes this market is only just now insert and it's huge and its audience with huge buying power so all of the elements of your brand should really support that something that women are never gonna buy your back because you know, they are right but the branding I think needs to focus a little bit more on that and then let that second piece be you and something that you kind of do for fun don't feel like you have to manage it like you have to do with the throckmorton jones and that's how you can kind of balance the two okay, I'm also gonna say martin don't sounds really like monkeys all right dark so the white like I have a husband that really like we buy chunky think things but maybe if you could take like your favorite piece of really like yummy leather yeah and that's kind of your back dropped out because I almost want to see it surrounded like a like a nice really nice wood or something because you obviously love textures and layers and I think that's what I'm missing when I see the super clean right above the stock martin jones I want to see rich yeah, I'm I'm solid here right indestructible kind of and I think the other thing that you could do to when you're looking at that product geography is go to those sites that are tracking that audience so I'm thinking of like, uncreative my husband reads on create all the time so there's a lot of websites like that that are geared towards a more male audience and look at the images of the products they're featuring because I think a lot of those you're right aren't on that white background there on something kind of textured and earthy and something it looks a little bit like the floor of this studio or a little more techie right? So they've got a little bit of that happening that kind of like rough, rough, earthy quality like that better than the white right? I mean that we'll be closer to you and what you're trying to dio but then keeps it more on the direction that brand needs to go in argentinian leather company and it goes as a female or a male you'll really like it, but it's definitely very rich good for liking kind of harder so I think for you that means a really key first action step is to do some visual research right? So we talked about in previous lessons you know, finding out who your market with the conversations are what the what the customer is in those visual conversations I think for you that's kind of step number one is doing that visual research so that you can make those improvements there fell into it so it's like a brand new I mean yeah I never even made really men right before but suddenly I just had all these orders and right they totally different stuff wait did you bring that up right that's a perfect opportunities right look at this market opportunity take advantage of it and then sort of tweaked so that you're really really taking advantage of it and here's the thing you know so the teller gypsy if that's where your heart is and that's what you want to dio you can still do that once you've got the throckmorton jones brand upset sustainable point that sort of support the other project but you have to get one of them to the point of being the sustainable driving business and it's clear from our conversations that throckmorton joneses that direction so make everything support that okay don't ditch the tailor gypsy stuff but let it just kind of hang out for now what other action steps do you have? Well, definitely the photos yeah and just having some lifestyle shots which right? I totally knew that but eh? And I would venture a guess that you're lifestyle shots are going to be very different once you're done with your visual visual research than what you were maybe right now thinking they need to be so really sitting down doing that research, figuring out right what those need to be and then putting a focus on that and then I think that there might need to be a small website redesign right? Because if you're going start to get in I missed I missed some letters that redesign oh you're going to start thinking about adding that texture into the product and it may be that the white background becomes too glaring you know, this may this may set off a chain reaction in a lot of other elements of your brand, right? And then I think there was one more thing that we should work oh yes so than actually getting that social media dialed I think the social media except for the instagram is pretty good. So yeah between twitter and facebook I think they're okay, but obviously I don't have a separate right I think instagram is really key because so visual and that's such a good way to connect with customers but it's something that I would make sure that you know you don't know what a customer's preferred method is going to be and you want them to be on star morton jones and then be like instagram like what is that? You're a teacher right here so you want to make sure that you're eliminating that brand confusion so that one even though it's probably not as high of a priority is a pretty quick fix even if you only have a couple of images on it to start direct people there anyway now on then once you start getting that product photography that's something you can feed into all those social media platforms than to build them up. Okay, can I ask you happily on the throckmorton jones shop? Yeah, I was trying to find a way to still have an outlet and only manage one website. Okay, so I put the I put like one taylor gypsy one off because I have still so much product yeah, and I go notice that one of yeah it's a little confusing. Yeah, yeah, I think it's one of those take it just take it off. Yeah, another site if you're serious that actually selling that product yes, I think it has to be a whole nother site now what I would do is I would probably say you have this here andi thinkit's just very confusing even as to what it is so I think chances are people aren't going to click on it and then the other thing is and I did actually take a peek at it earlier today when people get too it's such a different audience and the audience for this product that I don't think that you're going to get people to drive to that so what I would say is that I would find other creative ways to offload that product without having to dilute this brand. So whether it's maybe it's just the facebook page james was the face of paige maybe you do look one pop up events sell it out maybe you decide that you're going toe donate it to some giveaways or things like that just figuring out a way to offload that product without confusing these two brands I will say this to you but I think it's really key for everyone who kind of has that like I'm creative multiple brands pick one you have to pick one especially for the purposes of this boot camp because trying to bring two brands up at the same time it's hard it's hard so it is really, really challenging which is why we did that right? Right? So you you started getting there where we can see right here that's a very different steady then yeah, the other pieces that you're trying to sell right? So the people were kind of that website aren't going to be looking for this anyway yes, you sort of started to pick one and you just have to commit to it on dh make that work and I think it's much easier to move back into that second one once you've got the traction for this other brand okay that make sense yeah, awesome. Excellent. Thank you for that sure, yeah no branding workshop is definitely a little bit of tough love you would go ahead and do one more really quickly someone else um I have one up here you your brand has been through a lot a lot of evolution's way find you christine there you are all right, so let's talk about your brand so you've got that video that runs what do you think is kind of working so far? We we did all the work on your name, right? Did you finally settle on a tagline that you're happy with know flip the eye chart? So one of the things that I struggle with is obviously have no idea what living lila is by just saying that right? So I felt like a tag should at least illustrate a little of what it is we decided on a while ago live in style with less dress um because our products lean toward the convenience that it provides for moms but I'm almost like maybe it needs to be something like enjoy motherhood and look good doing it or something like that yes I do kind of think in your case there needs to be a descriptive element the other thing is it may need to be that it's not your tag line but you need that quick elevator pitch that just says who you are right you're like we're living lila we make sheikh essentials for baby with convenient designs preferred by mom okay which is long right so if you were really trying to sum up what you said to people um what is that that you would say chic and convenient essentials for baby okay which is only sort of true because they're really products for the mom really is yeah so I think that's the thing is she's baby happy mom kind of like that yeah or or she come on happy baby yeah or have you baby chic mom or something like that I think could be could be really good so I think for you the weakness is not so much in the tagline itself though maybe is I do sort of like that new place inversion of what you came up here but I also think it's the weaknesses actually like how do you quickly articulate what you do right? I'm gonna write explain because articulates a big word um so I think that's for you really where you need to find that little bit of ofwork is figuring out how do you describe what you do really quickly and this is a case to or when your time here what you d'oh, you only have two products, so it might just be worth obviously not a tagline, but just talking about like, we make a diaper clutch however you want to say that better and then the nursing scar, so because you have such a small product line, I think that's kind of helpful, I think that that sheik factor, that stylish factor totally is what your mom is looking for you um, so yes, so for you, I think the other thing that works really well is you've got that opening video and the opening photography I think are really great, but what happens then is we go in to the shop, uh, and we sort of lose some of that. I think so that the other thing is you just like we talked about with the last two people, someone might not be coming in from your home page, right home page is great and you've got that video right? But you don't have that video or that lifestyle shot when we get to the product paid. The other thing is that even though you're trying to communicate the functionality of your product, which is really key for you guys, when you're at that first page, you know, if you're the mom and you're focused on style I don't know that this is the most compelling image right? Yes it's communicating the product but all you see is baby wife's right that's where all the mom already sees his baby white right sharing something different right? So I think that there is a better and I'm not sure if this sells enough of the product right don't quite get what it is that maybe if I had it like in a tow and it poking out so you could see like how compact and writing that you need and or I'm wondering if it's a close crop shot of a hand holding it okay hearing it like a clutch sure so that you get that scent of a little bit more of what it is okay even if you're just landing on this product so I think for you that's really probably the the biggest element is to kind of think about that the other thing that I want to talk about with your brand um can we get to your instagram page from here? Yes on the bottom bottom rate so I know you mentioned before that instagram is a big place of where you're connecting with mom's which I think is really true that seems to be really where a lot of moms are and the one thing that I would say for you is that I think there needs to be a balance that shifted it feels a little tio marketeer right now with all of that text on there oh, so I think the occasional post with text is really great like I think this one is really awesome because it's something that people can really get behind but something like this e think you're going to have a better response getting by like stylish mom holding the clutch I think there's a better way to do it, you know, for you because we're talking about this challenge of like, how do we describe how do we say show is better than tell right? So the more you can do with the visuals, the easier your life is going to become quick videos, more more product shots you know, it never hurts to throw cute baby and you're doing the moms right? But you may not need quite all of that text even on a giveaway, so thinking about how you could make this so that it feels a little bit more like I'm following my chic and stylish friend as opposed to I'm following a company who's trying to sell me a product told right hold I think for you that's really the opportunity is to become like that friend, not the brand right that makes sense that makes perfect so that putting the big opportunity for you they're your brand so let's talk about a couple of action steps for you, so your opportunity is friend not company right that's what we want you to be you want to be like the sheiks you I mean you are look at you you are stylish way want that to come out more in you're in graham so that that's what's going to be people who want that product I want to be like monica look I want to be the mom that looks really put together and he's wearing those adorable shoes right that's what you want so that's what? I want to see more of on instagram feed okay all right so what are some action steps for you? I need to just go out and do some new product imagery or social media and for the website yeah, I think so. How about the people who bought from you do they ever, like take their own instagrams of I'm using it I need teo I need to actually ask them I have have tony good database that I can reach out to very easily so it's a great idea because you khun repose those like how she writing totally yeah I love that yeah and having the living lila living lila hashtag I think is really key but especially in the beginning when you're trying to generate that email your customers and ask them and if you've got friends have just emailed them specifically text them whatever it is you ask people individually and specifically because once you start getting them, then you can go on social media and say use the hashtag share your product but you're gonna have to really plant that seed from the beginning absolutely so yeah, the other thing is when you're redoing that product photography, we want to bring the great product photography you have on the home page teo all your product pages so really adding, adding the better stuff to the product pages, you know? And again we have to talk about with other people too don't save all your good stuff for the home page put the good stuff everywhere because you don't know where people are coming into your brand and you don't know kind of what's missing there any other action steps for you o and then finalize a tag that tag line, right and that's one of those where it's okay, that you haven't gotten it yet because this is obviously one that you can keep pushing forward, right? It's something I have to work on, I can tell you honestly for me, it took me years to finally get one, so don't be like we're failing because we don't have a tagline yet keep playing with it, but also think about again and that kind of like elevator pitch is how you can really quickly sort of share that with people call awesome theo all right that was really great, and we looked at a lot of very different brands here, so I want everyone to really do this thorough brand analysis. We kind of very, very quickly touched on this with the people that we looked at, but this is something you could spend a little bit of time looking with and ask for some fresh eyes. It was great that we had everyone in the audience kind of timing in. You can make friends with graphic designer that always helps, right? So you get a couple people to look with you and really kind of working out or if you guys were in that private facebook group, you khun buddy up and look in each other's brands together, but take a look at and figure out where the strengths and weaknesses are for your business name and tagline your overall aesthetic, your products, photography, your website, your promotional materials, your packaging and your display, and again their swat analysis and action steps for all of those in your workbook, so you guys can work on making those improvements. Now, in the next lesson, we're going to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your products that you can choose the best markets, so we're going to figure out where you should be selling based on what those strengths and weaknesses are and what makes your product stand out. But first, let's, take a look at your lesson seven homework so I want you guys to complete a swat analysis for each of the seven brand areas that we talked about, those air all in your workbook. I won't repeat them again and then I want you to set deadlines for completing your action steps, keeping in mind that you'll be working on other areas of the business simultaneously, right? We move on in the spook camp, you're going to have other things to dio, so be realistic don't be like you do all of my product photography tomorrow by tomorrow you might that's awesome, but it might also not be very realistic. So he got in mind. But what I want you to dio before tomorrow it's complete one brand improvement action steps to pick something that's manageable and doable. Do that in the next twenty four hours and share an image of that, or share it on instagram with the hashtag michael itself and also give me a little at magnum and so I confined because I want to see what you guys are up to. So that is it and I will see you 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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