How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 29 of 30

Student Examples: Build Your Momentum Plan

 

How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 29 of 30

Student Examples: Build Your Momentum Plan

 

Lesson Info

Student Examples: Build Your Momentum Plan

- [Megan] I just want a hot seat with the momentum plan. I want to make sure that we're really on the page of helping you guys move forward. - [Caitlin] My name is Caitlin Van Keara and I make women's accessories. I started with hats and hair accessories, and now I just added a jewelry line that suddenly got much more expensive. This kind and the one I'm wearing is probably the most popular one. It's kind of a drip and it comes in a variety of colors. - Awesome. All right, so let's talk about your plan. So, first off, tell us where you are with the financial needs. So are you...you're now somewhat contributor... - Yes. - Or you're building to that, hopefully? - Yes. I had a full time job. I've had a full time job forever doing things that I'm good at but I didn't really like. And eventually, I got a bad boss and I'm like, "I've been wanting to leave anyway, so I'm just going to leave." So currently my husband is the primary provider but I really want to get back to the point where I am...

pulling my weight again. - Okay. - So it's not an urgent need but more of a... I really don't like being supported. - Okay. And your current audience does not support you getting to there yet, correct? - No. And so that's my one concern. I have my to-do list and everything, but I felt like with these new products that I had identified who my people were, but now I'm going to more than triple my price. And so now I'm not sure who my people will be or how to find them. - Okay, and so that's actually a really good question. So that means that there's still a little bit of unclarity on your audience growth strategy. And that's probably where you're going to spend the bulk of your time, right? Because you're in focus mode with your product. You're doing a little bit of experimenting but you know... - Yeah, some variation. - Right, but you know where your line is and what...you just know what you need to fill in, right? - Yeah. - So for you, really, the bulk of your time is going to come in growing your audience. And what strategies are you using? - Well, so I want to... - Or strategy. - I feel like stores is the primary thing but I also feel like a supplementary one of press might work. Just because everybody always tells me that they've never seen anything like it and... - Yes, and I do think that's really true for you. I think there is a good opportunity for some press out there, and probably, in your case, the press is not fashion magazine press. Right? And that's why we focused on this idea of, "I've never seen this before," because that's a little easier to get. That fashion magazine press is so hard. But I think you... Because it's creative and quirky, I think there's some good opportunities for press for you outside of that, which is where I think you're going to find your customer anyway. I don't think your customer's probably reading a lot of fashion magazines, if you were to make that guess. - Yeah, yeah. I think they're more... I don't know, more creative people? You know, like unique things. - Right. - One person suggested museum stores where you can find more expensive jewelry but it's usually a little different. - Yeah. I think that makes total sense for you. So before we get... I want to talk a little bit about what the to-do lists look like for these because I think that's where you're confused. But where do you think you are percentage-wise? Where are you spending most of your time on growing your audience? - Well, I feel like... Now, at this point, I feel like I want to do it in thirds. I feel like my photography needs work. - Okay. So that's a big piece for you is photography. - It's not horrible. I feel like the photos on white are fine, but I feel like I could use some on humans and maybe in settings. - Fun, quirky. - Yeah, yeah. - So you've got some room there for... So you're thinking a third of that, a third on your audience, right? - Yeah. - Okay. And are you thinking you're going to split that by days or a little bit every day? - Actually, I was thinking that, yeah, pretty much like an every day. I like having a schedule, and I usually do the things that I hate first because... - Then they're done. - Yes, because otherwise, I will... my husband calls it "procrasticleaning." I always stay busy, but I... - Can you come procrasticlean my house, please? - I know. I will say, "I have so much to do. The bathroom has not been cleaned in three days." And he's like "You are a crazy person." And so that's something I've been working on this month is... - Is cleaning the bathroom? - No, all of the personal I would like to do. Cleaning out the closets and scrubbing the grout, those are on the secondary list. So I have to do all of the business stuff first. - So when you say "I'm going to put the things that I hate first," what are the things... Of these things, what do you hate? What's going to go in the first thing in the day list? - Well, actually, I'm really excited that social media is not my strategy because I hate that the most. - Well, yeah. Now you don't have to worry about it. - So I'm really excited about that. Photography is really stressful for me. So I will probably try to at least work on photography a couple days. Probably the mornings a couple days a week just to try things out and also to start... Well, I kind of like doing this sort of thing like figuring out all the steps I need to do so I'm like, "Okay, well I need to find models and I need to contact the makeup artist." And I'll probably take the photos but... So I'll probably do some of that but probably try to make myself do more of the shooting because that's the scary part. So that I want to do, and then just coming up with emails and lists of stores that I can contract because I feel like I want to... I need more income, so I want to just email stores first before I jump into an expensive trade show. - Yes, I think that's a really good strategy. And have you watched Sell Your Products to Retailers? - No. That was also on my list. I feel like that would be a good idea. - So I would put that one on your list. And because it is where you're starting, I would make that just a high priority because then it literally... you know everything you need to do. It really gives you those steps. And then I think you will see where the photography then needs to happen so that you can put together the line sheet and do that. And I think that will really clarify for you how to build the store list, which stores to be reaching out to. And the nice thing...so here's the beauty of stores and press. Actually, it's really the beauty of all of these things is that there are systems, right? So in your case, there is a system for this. - Yeah. - I didn't know that system when I started and I guessed a lot, and then I was like "This is not fun." So then I literally came to CreativeLive and created a class so that no one else had to fumble around with what I had to fumble around with. So don't waste time guessing. Just watch the class and follow the system. - Yeah. Okay. - Some of you guys have taken it. You know. It's really straight forward. You just have to do the work. - Yeah. - Same thing with press, right? Bridget gave a really easy system. - That was really helpful. - So you know that once a week, you can just sit down, find your media outlet, send your pitch. - Yes. Yeah, and so hopefully those will help reinforce each other, too. - Yeah, exactly. - If I got some press, then it'd give me more credibility. - Yeah, and so it will work like that. And the nice thing too, with actually pairing these two, is if you ever do decide to go the trade show route, these things go together so well because guess who walks trade shows? - Oh, yeah. - The press. A lot of the press I've gotten has come from trade shows. So that is one other reason to maybe think about a trade show. When I had that product, the cozy/cuff, almost all of that press... it didn't come from pitching because I didn't know Bridget then so I didn't actually know how to pitch, but it came from the fact that I was standing in the booth. And I did know enough to put together a press kit to set in the press office at the show, which is the only time you ever need a press kit again in your life is at a trade show. Otherwise, Bridget will tell you you don't need one, but so press was coming and that's what they're looking for. They're looking for the coolest products and they know that those are at trade shows. - And then they can do them at roundups. - Exactly. So these two strategies really do support each other very well. - Great. - And I think they're the right ones to find the new audience for your work. - Yeah. Okay, great. - So is there... You don't have any other questions? You're good? You feel ready to go? - Yeah, that's the only part I was scared about was just where is my audience and stuff. - And, really, there are so many stores. You're going to find that there's a lot. And this really is an easy way to start because you can do the research. - Yeah. - You can reach out to them. So actually, if you're not sure how to find your audience, stores is a really good route to go. - Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and I like research and I like emailing. - Yeah. If you like research and you like emailing, stores and press are literally your two best audience growth strategies. - I always feel so productive. - Yeah. Those are the two best strategies for that for sure. Awesome. Thanks, Caitlin. You can have a seat. Perfect. So does anyone else have any questions about that or are you guys like, "I have my plan," and "Let me get out of here, Megan." Denise? - [Denise] I have a little question regarding the stores. I'm pretty sure it was you that covers this more in detail with one of your other classes, but, I guess quickly, what are your favorite strategies to researching and finding those ideal stores that we should be emailing and reaching out to? - That's a great question. Yeah, we go into it in way more detail in Sell Your Products to Retailers, but my favorite ones are, first and foremost, to look at other people who are selling to your ideal customer. Go to their website, look at their list of stores. So you don't want to do super directly competitive products because they only have so much shelf space. So you can... So what I like to do is I like to take a competitor that I know has a decent amount of stores. I'll go to one of their stores' websites. So I'll look at another jeweler, and I'll go to their stores' website, and then I'll say like, "Okay, what other brands does that store carry that aren't jewelry? Oh, look, they carry Hobo Bags." So then I'll go to Hobo Bags's website and I'll look at all of their stores. And I know that strategies like that, you start to see overlap then because what happens is I'll go back to that and I'll be like, "Oh, I actually see six of my existing stores on this list." So then it starts to reaffirm. So I like to look at other peoples' websites. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. It's easy. You just go from there. Matt, do you have a question about that? - [Matt] Well, yeah. I was going to say with your stuff, I feel like someone that's buying a really nice organic candle, a scented candle, is going to be so into really nice, organic scented body goods too and that self-care vibe. If it's sitting right next to that product on a shelf it's going to make sense to them, and if it's the same price point it's going to make sense to them. So I would just look up some really cool candle companies that have the same aesthetic and then hit it up. - I think it was probably right after your course. - Do you follow Simply Curated? - Of course I do. - She's my favorite. - I think I first heard about her on one of your shows. - So that's a good one, and she is hustling out there... - Blown up. - ...with her products. So that's a good one. That's a really great place to start your list for sure. So yeah, that's a really good strategy. The other thing that I want to say about list building, because I actually just had this conversation with a coaching client I was working with. Building your list...don't feel like you have to super vet. So if you're clicking on it and then you're like, "Okay, now I'm going to spend 20 minutes on their website," seeing if its the right fit. No. Just be like, "Yes, they exist as a store." Go on the website long enough to find an email address if you're using the email strategy and send it. I have stores that, no offense to you guys, but some of you have really horrendous websites if any of my buyers are watching. But that's not their job. Their job is to have a beautiful brick and mortar store, right? So that's all I care about and sometimes you can't judge a book by its cover. In this case, sometimes you really can't judge a store by its website, and you might be missing out on a lot of revenue by prejudging all of these things. So just find them, put them on the list, find the email, send it. Matt was saying he's had really good success just sending not even great emails. Right? - Yeah. - It's literally just doing the work, right?

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

Liana Badea
 

I truly enjoyed this class, as it is very detailed, but straight to the point. 30 modules, more than 10 hours, it is so worth it! I also loved the interactive part of it. Building your business from scratch is not easy, there is so much to do. This class gave me some important pointers and valuable guidance, thank you Megan! I strongly recommend this class to anyone who wants to work smarter, not harder and be successful.

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!