How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

 

How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

You want to start a business selling your craft. Or, maybe you've already started one but you're not seeing the results that you want. So I have a question for you and I'm actually going to toss this to our studio audience so they can give me a few nods. Are you feeling overwhelmed? They're like, "Yeah, that's why we're here, Megan." Are you feeling frustrated? Are you feeling the pressure to succeed? And quickly? Right, I got to like figure this out or else it's a problem. Yeah, so if you're feeling any of those things, you are definitely in the right place. I want to talk about why I created this class. So one of the things that I have noticed over the last 10 years, is that we now have this incredible opportunity to sell our craft, and sell what we're making more so than any other time in history. It's never been easier to get started selling what you make. But that ease creates all kinds of new pressures and challenges. The pressure to sell the second you've made something. Haven't...

you all made something and then someone was like, "You should put that on Etsy. Right now." Right? "Do you sell on Etsy?" Like, and you're like, "I made one thing, guys." So you have that, and then because of that, what you end up with is this problem of what I call, "getting your 10,000 hours on the internet." So you may be familiar with this idea of 10,000 hours. Malcolm Gladwell talked about it in his book "Outliers." He did not create the theory, but he is the one who popularized it. And so basically this idea is that it takes you 10,000 hours to get really good at something. And if you're working on it on a fairly full-time basis, 10,000 hours is about 10 years. Which is a long time, right? So when I started, I went to school for jewelry and metals. I did undergrad, I did graduate, so I had seven years where I could develop my work away from the pressures of the internet. I finished my master's program in 2006 so Etsy was like a fledgling little baby at that point. I sort of had a website, but it wasn't like, "Why aren't you selling online?" So I kind of was able to come up without those pressures. But what I see in the students that I work with, and what I see with all of you guys, is you don't have that luxury, right? You started making something and then five seconds later there was this pressure to put it on the internet and make money from it. But while that's happening, you still want to evolve and learn more or maybe change your style or you're still figuring things out. So you have this challenge of learning your craft and building a business simultaneously. And this creates really, real problems. Problems like, how do I divide my time between making and marketing? Does everybody struggle with that one? I know that's a big one. And I know where most of us want to spend our time right, it's on the making side, and then the marketing it's like, "Oh crap, I got to do that today." Right? So that's a really real problem. And trust me, I feel it too. If I could just play in my studio all the time it would be amazing. And then there's this idea of like, "How do I handle the pressure to make money from the start?" So you just made one cool thing, and suddenly everyone's like, "Well why aren't you successful? Why isn't this making your full-time income?" Right? Like, "What's wrong with you?" So there's that big pressure. And then real clear problems like how do I attract a big enough audience to support my work? All right. I have this thing, maybe I've got a few people following me, but it's not making me enough money yet. Right? Or how can I evolve what I'm making when my audience knows me for a certain thing? So you made a thing, you put it on there, you've got some people, they might be buying it, and you're like, "Dude, I'm over this." I'm so over it. I want to be over here, but my audience knows me for this thing, right? That's a huge problem. No wonder you're feeling overwhelmed. So the goal of this class is I want to simplify things for you guys. I want to get back to the core of what makes your business successful so that you have an easier time making decisions. So that you don't feel that overwhelmed every day. By the end of this class, I want you to wake up every morning and say, "I know exactly what I need to do today to grow my business." And it's not going to be a 400-page to-do list either. It's going to be a couple of really key things that you're going to work on every day. So that's my goal for you with this class. Does that sound good? Yeah. So what we're going to do in this class is focus on the two core elements of business. So what I find is that people overcomplicate business, right? And it's really easy to do that when you hear 1000 voices giving you advice. But at it's core, a business is two things. It's something to sell, and someone to sell it to. And that is it. If you don't have those two things, you don't have a business. And really, if you have those two things, you can solve any other problem, you can make it work. So what that looks like for you guys, really simply, is your craft and your audience. And if you can focus on these two things, they will work together to move your business forward. And that's really the path to success. Just this relentless focus on honing your craft and growing your audience. And that's what we're going to be working on over the next two days. We're going to keep it simple, we're going to focus on these core elements, and when you leave here, you're going to have this game plan that says, "Okay, this is my path forward, this is my next step." And when you hear all of those other voices and all of those other pressures, you can let them go because you're like, "That's not my path this is my path forward." So I want to talk for just a second about how this class is different from some of the other classes. You guys know I've taught a few classes now here on CreativeLive and I'm sure some of you are wondering how is this one different, why should I give you the next two days of my life, Megan? So what I really want to address is how this class is different from my boot camp, "Make a Living Selling What You Make." Because, first of all, they have kind of similar titles, right, "How to Build a Business While Learning your Craft," "Make a Living Selling What You Make," what's the difference? So we're actually viewing this class that you're watching now as almost the precursor to "Make a Living Selling what you Make." After we ran that boot camp, I realized there where a couple of missing pieces, really this emphasis on growing your audience, that needs to happen. But the other thing I realized is that "Make a Living Selling What You Make" while it's awesome and I'm so proud of that class, it is detailed. Rochelle, you were there. You guys were there, yeah. So you know, that class is detailed. And so it's easy to get bogged down in those details and forget to do the really important things. So this class is really designed to simplify and focus. So we're going to look at these two elements, your craft and your audience. And if you can focus on those that gives you the momentum. You'll notice that I'm showing this as a kind of circle. This creates the momentum in your business. And once you've got that momentum, all of those little details that happen in "Make a Living Selling What You Make," they make more sense because you've already got some momentum in your business. So that's what we're going to do today. So we've got a lot to cover here. So by the end of this class, you're going to have a really strong understanding of what's motivating you to make money from your craft. Because we live in this culture where everyone can start an Etsy shop, where everybody can start a Shopify store, or everyone's expected to suddenly monetize their hobby or their side hustle. It's really important to understand where that pressure to make money is coming from. If it's coming from you and your financial needs or if it's coming from some outside place that's actually steering you astray. So we want to make sure that we're really clear on that before we start. And whatever the reason is, it's okay, there's no right or wrong answer for this one. Then we're going to talk about why ABR is the new ABC. I'm just going to let that one be what it is and then you have to stick around to figure that one out. We're going to talk about the two key priorities that are essential for your business success. And then we're going to identify the best way to build an audience and learn the strategies to make it happen. So I am not a one size fits all teacher. I want to help you find the solutions that are right for your business and your product. And so we're going to look really, at a couple of different audience building strategies, and decide the one that's right for you. And this is how we're going to get rid of that overwhelm again. Because if you know this is my right one, then when someone pops on and they're like, "You should be working on Instagram." You can be like, "No, I did the work, Instagram's not my thing I'm over here." Instagram might be your thing, it's one of the things we're going to talk about in this class, but it might not be your thing. And this just allows you to focus. And then we're going to learn how to develop your craft in a way that supports your business and your creative process. We're going to talk about if you have that like, "I'm really creative, I can't focus." Does anyone have that problem of like, "I want to make all the things all the time?" Yeah. We're going to address that one. We're going to talk about how to be slightly strategic in the way that you're developing your craft because that's going to make you better in your business. And then, we're going to create a plan to focus your time and move your business forward. So like I said, at the end of this class my goal for you is that you're going to wake up every morning and know exactly what you're supposed to be doing that day. Not super long to-do list, a couple of really clear action items that will move your business forward.

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.