How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 28 of 30

Build Your Momentum Plan

 

How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 28 of 30

Build Your Momentum Plan

 

Lesson Info

Build Your Momentum Plan

- [Megan] Now, we're going to pull everything that we've done in this class together, and we're going to build a momentum plan for you. So I have a question for you guys, I started the class by asking if you're feeling overwhelmed, so now I want to know specifically, do you overwhelmed when you think about all the tasks you should be doing each business day? Some of you, some of you not, who makes like a to-do list that feels like a million miles long. Oh, my God, I know we have some list makers here, I can tell. So what I want to do here now is literally help you answer this question, what should I be working on today? Where should I be spending my time? What should I be doing? Guess what, it's not spending five hours on Facebook, it's not spending five hours responding to emails. Does anyone spend a bulk of their day replying to emails or convos on Etsy? Or if you guys already fixed that problem? Thank God. Skip that step. If you're getting up every morning and spending three hours r...

esponding to email or responding to convos on Etsy, you're doing something wrong, that is not where you should be spending your time. If you're responding to questions, that means you're not giving enough information on your website. And don't check your email first thing in the morning, do all your other stuff first. You can check it, like I check my email first thing in the morning on my phone because I'm addicted to my phone, but then I go do my work, and then I come back at the end of the day and I reply. So I check the email just in case there's anything like super pressing. Guess what, there's almost nothing ever super pressing. Mostly I just want to know if I made any money overnight. So check the email so I know if I have orders that I have to get out of the door, and at the end of the day I'll come back and then respond to things. All right. So we want to figure out how you're dividing your time between honing your craft and growing your audience. And really you're probably adding in this third layer that we talked about, it feels like ages ago now, with improving your photography too. Whether that's just your product photography, whether that's also your visual content, you might be spending some time in there as well. So we want to figure out how you're dividing up this time. So you want to take stock of where you're at and where you need to be. And we started this class... see, it all comes back around. We started this class by looking at the financial needs for your business. I mean, we didn't crunch hard numbers in this class because we did that in "Make a Living Selling What You Make." And this class is meant to be sort of like the simple version of that. And then when you're ready to crunch a little harder, then you can go into [inaudible], right? This is just to sort of get you started, but we established what your financial needs are. If it was sole breadwinner, if it was partial breadwinner, if it was like some contribution, if it was support your craft, and so you should have an idea approximately of how much money you need to make to hit that, right? Just ballpark. In your head, you've been jotting in your book approximately how much you need to make a month to hit whatever that financial goal was for you. And then you want to start to ask yourself things like, will your current audience support that? I mean, I think it doesn't, that's why most of you are here, right? Guess what that means, you're going to give a chunk of time to audience growth, right? Do you need better photography to increase conversion or grow your audience? Right? Is that holding you back? Be super honest about that, ask people about that. Don't ask your mom, she's going to lie to you. I mean, my mom never would have, she would usually told me that it was terrible and I should fix it. But, you know, don't ask someone who's going to be nice to you, ask someone who's going to tell you the truth, right? Or if you need to work on developing your product line. Are you missing key elements? Is there something that can help you sell better? Or do you need to actually hone your focus before you can ever even work on these things? So figure out where you're at is related to your financial needs. And then determine what percentage of your time to spend on each of these activities. And this is super ballpark, this is not like a perfect number, but think about like, okay, kind of where you're at now, right? So where are you dividing your time? Are you spending most of your time on making, are you spending most of your on marketing? And then does that need to change? Maybe you're 50-50 and you realize that to get where you need to go, you need to be about two thirds of your time is spent on growing your audience right now. Or maybe you've been living in La La Land and you're spending most of your time on making even though where you really need to be is growing your audience, and so you're going to work on yourself closer to that 50-50 split. I think that 50-50 split is a good goal, but sometimes you have to be more aggressive at one or the other, right? If you got to make some money, you got to make some money. And if that means spending a little more time on audience growth, maybe that is what it means. And now there are points in your business, we're not going to super get in to this but there are points of your business where you can trade time for money, right? So I realized that I wanted a little bit more about PR strategy, and even though I know how to do it, it's like, "I'm not doing this. Hey Brigitte, you know, you don't really take on clients like this, but I love you and you're my friend, will you do this for me and I'll give you my money?" And she said yes. So there are cases where you can trade time for money. Same thing with like a trade show. So Matt was asking about this, you can get up every morning and you can send those emails. And that's a great way to do it because it's free. But at some point, if you're like, this is feeling like a lot of time, you drop down the dough, you go to the trade show and you see that everyone person over three days and then you home and fill it. So that's when you think about making those decisions. So really thinking about what those percentages look like for you. Do you guys feel like you can kind of ballpark that, like it's starting to make sense for you and where you want to go? Again, this is not perfect, we're not sitting here by the clock. I don't even look at the clock when I'm working, like I've no idea what time it is most of the time. But this idea then you should sort of know like am I spending the bulk of my day on audience building strategies? Am I my spending the bulk of my day on working in the studio? Am I spending the bulk of my day on improving your photography? Figuring out where you need to be spending your time and just having these big, broad stroke answers. Because again, we're not worrying about little micromanage. I'm not going like, "Okay, today I need to spend 20 minutes on Instagram doing this." No, it's like, okay, say, I have to get up, I have to get my blog post out, I have to schedule it on Pinterest, I have to email my list, I'm going to reach out to my stores, and then go to my studio, right? Simple. You guys want to simplify. You also want to be honest about the amount of time you have to spend on your business. So if you only have 10 hours a week but you really have to start making money, you might have to spend 9 of those in audience growth. And if you're like, "Well, I can't produce enough product in 10 hours a week to do that, then you raise your prices. You see how that works, right? But be honest about the amount of time you have to spend in your business. And then cut out any task that don't support these three areas. There is one more big reason why I didn't talk about Facebook as a marketing strategy, it's because it's a giant time-suck, but you feel like you're doing work. You're like, I went on Facebook to promote my business, and like four hours later, we're watching cat videos. Right? Like it's a big time-suck, and I realize that both Instagram and Pinterest can also be time-sucks which is why you can develop strategies, right? Like for me, those things never happen on my computer during my workday. They only get to happen on my phone and they only get to happen during like breaks. So there are ways to think about that so you can kind of control it. But cut out any task that don't support these areas. If it doesn't support it, let it go. Is there anything you guys are doing now that you're like, "I can let go off that?" - Facebook groups. - Yes, Facebook groups. I mean, and I run some classes and I have some Facebook groups in there, but man, Facebook groups are a big waste of time. Yeah, cut that stuff out. Get rid of the things you don't need. Then, once you know kind of where you need to be spending your time, and again, you have to get comfortable with like how concrete you want this to be. I am clearly not that concrete, right? Like I have some vague ideas of where I'm spending my time each week and I'm really comfortable with that. I don't have a planner, sorry, I would never use one, they're beautiful. But I don't plan, okay, it's just not my style, I don't like to micromanage my day, that's why I don't have a real job. But I know where I need to spend my time and I feel comfortable with that. In the beginning, if you have to write it down in a little more detail, write it down in a little more detail, okay? Then the other thing you got to do is you need to decide if you're going to allot time each day for all three of these, if you have to get all three done on a day, or give each element its own days and times. So for me, I have this sort of breakdown of market in the morning, make in the afternoon. I get up in the morning, I make my tea, I sit down on the couch, I get my audience growth strategy stuff done, right? I send the emails, I schedule the stuff on Pinterest, if I'm feeling it, I post something on Instagram. I do that first. I like to get it done because then I go to my studio and I make things, and then I don't actually open my computer again until the end of the day when I sit down to ship out what has to go out that day. So that's the strategy for me, I don't like a day where I don't get to go into my studio, it makes me sad. Some people need to compartmentalize on different days, right? If you're one of those people who's like, "You know what, every Tuesday is the marketing day, is the audience growth day." And that means that the other days I don't have to think about it, that's fine too. Think about what works best for you in that scenario. And then some things don't have to happen every day. So like I said, I batch my photography. So usually like once every two weeks, I might do some kind of photo shoot. And usually those model shoots happen like once a month or once every two months. So, you know, I batch those in, I just carve out a day, it usually comes out of my studio time, I still get up and do my marketing tasks in the morning because it always makes me feel better to get...that's an Always Be Releasing, right? Like if I release something that morning, then I can move on with my day and do either what I have to do in my studio. If I've got orders I have to get out of the door or what I want to do in my studio if I'm designing one of a kind work. So then I'll just kind of drop the photography anywhere I need to. And then for me, let me be real honest with you guys right now, super workaholic. So like at night I'm at home, I go home, do my workout, cook dinner, watching TV. And if I need to edit some photos, laptop comes out, I might edit some photos. That kind of no-brainer work, I'll do that while I'm hanging out, watching TV, my husband doesn't care, he's playing games on his phone anyway. Well now he's on Pinterest on his phone because I got him addicted. But he doesn't care, right? You're hanging out, I'm going to use that time, and I realize not everyone has that time. I don't have kids, so I have that luxury of doing that in the evening. They may not work for you, so you want to find kind of the rhythm that works best for you. And then, once you've determine how you'll spend your time, you can base your to-do list off of what you need to do to grow that area. So if you're a person who needs a to-do... who feels like they need a to-do list? Perfect. Some days I do, some days I don't, but I understand sometimes you just need to keep your brain straight. Now, you can base your to-do list off of what you need to do to grow in each area. So instead of it being like all these little tiny tasks, it's like, here are my buckets, right? Like grow my audience bucket, and then my, you know, hone my craft bucket, and if I need to, my photography bucket that day, right? Here's the things in my bucket. Here's your goal, and I know for long list makers, this is a tricky one, right? No more than three to five items on your to-do list for any given day. If you're like Megan, "That is impossible, and I have kids, and I have this, and I have that, and that's not happening," I'm going to let you create a second list, it's called your odds and ends list, it's all that little stuff, right? Call the pharmacy to get prescription, pick up snacks for the bake sale, whatever it is, right? Those things go on your odds and ends list. Or even this like sale orders, reply to email, put those on the odds and ends list. This list comes first, that list comes second, right? You get to make a game out of this one, like how little time can I give myself and still get it done. Like most of the time goes here, a little bit of time goes here. Make sense? All right. So yes, the goal is to spend the majority of your day on the things that move your business forward, no more busywork. Here's the other thing, no more learning that doesn't support what your focus is. So if you come out of this class and you're like, "My audience growth strategy is Pinterest," you can go buy my Pinterest class and watch it. Still, it's a good one, I really like that one. So you can learn that, you can learn anything you want that supports the core activities that you identified here. But if you get served an ad on Facebook for like how to grow your Instagram following. And you're like, "No, I sat in Megan's class and I determined that I was going to focus on search and Pinterest, and that's it," please do not click on that button and sign up for another Instagram webinar, all right? That is not moving your business forward. So only classes and only learning to support the things that you know you have to do here. Because otherwise you fall down the rabbit hole, right? And don't waste your time with like crazy stuff if there's something you're missing here, come back here to CreativeLive, right? Use the platform, you're not going to find a better platform for learning on the web, right? Come back here. So here's what you're going to do to build your momentum plan. You're going to assess the financial needs of your business. I know we did that, but just revisit that, jot done a number. Determine approximately what percentage of time you're going to spend on growing your audience, honing your craft, and improving your photography. And be realistic, step three, be realistic about the amount of time you have to spend on your business and cut out any tasks that don't support your core activities. Make a stop-doing list, what are you going to stop doing. And then step four, determine if you're going to break your timeout by hours or days, right? Are you a, "I want to devote specific days to each element," or, "I'm going to a little each day." Either one is fine. Just decide what works best for you and you can try them out and see. You'll be like, "This week I'm going to try it this way, next week I'm going to try it this way, I'm going to see which works better for my time management." Especially if you have smaller chunks of time for your business. I work in business full-time, right? So I have all day to do multiple things. If you have a smaller amount of time, like the kinds are only gone for a certain window, you probably are going to want to divide by days, right? Because you can't spend like 20 minutes on a task and then change gears, you're never going to get anything done. So if you have less time in a given day, you're going to be more likely to chunk them out by days instead of trying to get everything done in one day. Because you don't have to, you have to focus on these things every week, but you don't have to focus on them every day. Does that also make you feel better? Okay, yeah, every week, think weekly not daily, it takes a lot of stress off. All right. And then, you're going to create your to-do lists based on what you need to do in each area on any given day. So you can do this the night before or you can do it when you wake up. "Okay, it's Tuesday, Tuesday is a grow your audience day. My strategy is search. I'm going to pick one product, I'm going to go in, I'm going to do my keyword research, I'm going to figure it out, I'm going to rewrite my listing." Maybe if you're being a little more aggressive or you have more time, you're going to do three products. But that's how you're going to set those goals. Does that make sense? Any questions about the plan? Seems it's pretty straightforward, right? The ideas that...we're keeping it simple. Michelle? - [Michelle] So my photography is like pretty good I think, I took a lot of time getting the system down, but my website definitely needs work. So would I consider that in the bucket of grow my audience or can I just like divide the improve photography? - So I would divide improve photography over your website. Yeah, because growing your audience is happening outside your website, like you need the audience to send to it. So yeah, in that case I would split your time in like improving your photography there. Yeah, that's a good question. Any other questions? And use your judgment, like if your website is holding back you making money, and then like you're going to have to devote sometime to your website. But don't use that as an excuse to not do ABR, right? Always Be Releasing is essential. And remember, email list before website. So actually if I were you and I were like, "I can't review my website right away," I'll just throw up a little landing page with a little teaser image of the new work, "Something new is coming, join my email list to be the first to know when it arrives." Super sneaky way to like slide that in there until you have time to fix it, right? So you can be on Instagram, you can be promoting the new stuff, you can switch that over and just start capturing those emails. - So do you think I should like do the website all at once or kind of like do what I can, when I can? - So in your case, it's probably better with a pretty clean break because it's such a drastic product change. Which is why I would recommend something like that landing page idea because then you can work on it a little at a time behind the scenes, but then drop the whole big thing at once. - All right, perfect. - Other questions? Maybe a couple on... Nope, questions from you guys, we are working on some online ones. Do you feel good about this? I'm going to touch base with you guys. Do you feel like there's anything that you're still missing to create this plan? Are you like, "Please stop talking, Megan, I have work to do." - [Matt] Yeah, I think it's like a pretty clear like I really have to get like breaking things down into days, like that just makes more sense for me. Like today, I'm just going to do like Pinterest all day, because I can just like sit and do that for the whole day and then like not have to do it for the rest of the week, kind of thing. - Right, yeah. - So like breaking it up like that makes so much more sense than like you said, like waking up being like, "Okay, what am I going to do?" Okay, well, I'll do like everything I've ever thought of. - Right. You definitely don't have to do that, like you do not have to do everything you've ever thought of everyday, right? As long as you're hitting everything like once a week, I mean there are things like if you're on Instagram, you're going to need to throw up a post once a day, but you can even batch that, right? You can say, "Tuesdays are the day that I take all my Instagram photos for the week, and then I'm just going to schedule them out." I am not a person who uses an Instagram Scheduler for the same reason where I don't like to schedule...I wouldn't schedule things on Twitter far in advance, which is things like Instagram and Twitter, people do use for like breaking news, in a way, right? So sometimes I feel like you pre-schedule things, like you preschedule things on Pinterest, that's fine because it's not like people are on Pinterest, right? But you preschedule something like happy and sunny on Instagram, and then Carrie Fisher dies, and you kind of look like a jerk, right? So I don't use a scheduler on Instagram for that reason, but if you're like, "Megan, I really need a scheduler," just Google Instagram scheduling tools and pick one, it's all fine. All right. So let's go ahead and look. I think we have a question and some comments. All right. So what do you think about advertising on Pinterest or Instagram as a product based biz? Even if with a small budget of $50 a month. How has that worked for you? So I prefer Pinterest advertising to Instagram advertising for a couple of reasons. So Instagram advertising can work, but what I have found is that the targeting on Instagram feels like it's never as true as I think. Like I set my parameters for who I want to target as my audience. And then I start looking at who's like liking that posts. And I'm like I said women from 35 to 55, and this is a 17-year-old kid who liked this post. Like you guys are lying to me about the targeting. So I find that it doesn't work as well as others. The other reason that I prefer Pinterest advertising is that your ads continue to work for you even after you stop spending, right? Because people are continuing to repin. So Instagram, as soon as you spend that money, it's gone. On Pinterest, you run a few ads, and then it might just be the bump that you need to get traction going on your product. So I do actually use some, I dabble in everything. But I do use some Pinterest advertising, I don't use it all the time but I do use it. It's gotten better as well. So in the beginning of Pinterest advertising, you could only do keywords, which is fine if your customers are like really ready to buy, but I was doing a little bit more brand awareness. Now on Pinterest, you can create custom audiences just as you could on Facebook, you can create look-alike audiences, and you can also now on Pinterest retarget. So if someone was on your site, you can retarget them again on Pinterest, which is great. Because, again, people go to Pinterest to shop, right? So if they were on your site and they didn't buy, instead of retargeting them Facebook, which is what everybody tells you to do, but again, they're in the coffee there, retarget them on Pinterest where they're already ready to shop. And in fact, if they're a really serious shopper, their credit card information is already probably saved in Pinterest under Bible pins. And if you're on Shopify, you can turn those Bible pins on. And people do actually buy from that kind of stuff. So I prefer it and I do think, on Pinterest, you get a little more bang for your buck with that budget. So if you have it, it's definitely worth playing with for sure. Great question. Denise? - [Denise] Do you feel like advertising on Pinterest and such is necessary? And if so, how much would you suggest spending per month? I mean, do you need to be spending $50 a month on advertising in Pinterest? Is it...? - It's not necessary, I honestly don't think it is. That said, like if your product is an impulse by price point, it can move the needle. But you don't need to, I really feel like you don't. The whole point is I'm really trying to show you guys strategies that you can actually do without spending any money. And I make plenty of sales off of Pinterest and I get plenty of traffic from Pinterest without spending money. So for me, more of my spend is because I like to know things and I want to see what's working, right? And I do think Pinterest ads work better than Instagram ads. But if you're optimizing for keywords on Pinterest, it's way better than running an ad, right? Because you're getting found by people who are actually looking for your product. Matt? - And so Pinterest, newb question, because I would totally be down to drop some like advertising money on Pinterest because I think that is like a good platform to like grow on. But is it like Instagram in the sense that like when people click on it, they are like aware of like that if you have like lots of other pins or not? Like does that make any sense? Like do you have like a profile with like lots of stuff going on or can I just be like hashing out my stuff and being like... - No. So if you're running an ad, the pin would go directly, like they click on the pin, it would go directly to your website. - Okay. - So that's what makes it super valuable. It's not sending them back to your board, like it's going directly to that product. And in your case, you can...Yeah. - Because it didn't go to like a profile, it just goes to the thing. - No, like you can have it go wherever you want it to go but you would have it go directly back to one of your products. And because you have an impulse buy product, it's probably worth playing around with. and since you are new, to get those ads, you'll need to sign up for a Pinterest business account. It's totally free to have the business account. And if you do have, I don't know if you even have one set up. Okay. So for those of you who do have one set up, there's literally a button you click and it turns your regular account into a business account and they're not any different. - Cool. - All right. And I think we have a comment or two. Let's see. So Kelly say, "Well, lots of great stuff in the last two days, I'm overloaded but excited. Lots of homework on my end." Yes. And remember, you don't have to do everything at once, right, come back to it over time, work on it chunk by chunk. You don't have to go home tomorrow and rewrite every listing for search, you can work on it over time. It's about that incremental improvement. Awesome. Maybe another comment. Aww, thanks guys. It's hard to read that, it feels like I'm like bragging. All right, let's just do it. "Megan Auman is a great teacher! Not only is she very on point with the information, but she's also funny and blunt in her delivery." Thank you. I try really hard to be funny, that's really important to me. "I've learned a ton from this class and for her other courses." Thanks, Karen.

Class Description

Are you a maker in the first phase of starting a business? You have a great business idea or beautiful product to sell, but not enough time to focus on both your craft AND selling your product. Well, this class is for you. 

Considered one of the most respected crafters in the business, Megan Auman will show you how you can concurrently work on your craft, grow sales, and focus on marketing initiatives that will get customers in the door. Megan is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design and sustainable business. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more. 

In this class, she will show you:
  • The who, where, and when of your business; who you should be selling to, where you should sell, and the right time to launch 
  • How to adapt your business and your product line as your business grows 
  • How to make money in the beginning stages of your business that allows you to justify spending more time on your craft
Learn the essential skills needed for having a successful craft business. There's no better time than now, so reserve your spot and turn your craft into a profitable business.

Reviews

Kristen Girard
 

Fantastic class! If you have never taken a Megan Auman class, this is the perfect one to start with. It filled in some knowledge gaps that I didn't know I had. Lots of great basic knowledge that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. Super helpful!

Maike Armstrong
 

First of all, it's so fun to learn from Megan! She is so motivating and enthusiastic – making you feel great about your business even when you are just starting out. The class is well put together, easy to follow and has simple, actionable steps to follow in order to actually move forward. I definitely recommend you check it out for yourself!

Shelby Anderson
 

Megan's class has given me such a great start and very practical how-to's for starting as a solopreneur. I've been so overwhelmed by all there is to do and all the tips, tricks, and knowledge; she was great at explaining and giving some real life and real time examples of how to step out and be great as a creative. Thank you Megan!