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Marketing for Crafters: Create the Right Plan

Lesson 7 of 10

Evaluating the Results of a Business Experiment

Tara Swiger

Marketing for Crafters: Create the Right Plan

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

7. Evaluating the Results of a Business Experiment

Lesson Info

Evaluating the Results of a Business Experiment

So the last stage is to review what the results to figure out what works, and by the way, you can fill out your entire experiment on page fifty six of the workbook ask you for your hypothesis, parameters of support, and then how you will evaluate it and that's what we're at. Now, when you review the results, you're going to ask yourself what worked? So you need to know now part of your parameters is to know how you're going to evaluate it. Are you going toe? Compare this sales like I was asking you of this pattern to another pattern are gonna compare your total sales for the month toe last months? Are you going to look at you know, for you the headbands going from zero to even twenty like that will be the results you'll eat, sleep, be able to measure it, you have to decide ahead of time what metric you're measuring in order to know it is very easy for these two kind of fizzle out going to be like, I don't really know if that worked or not, that makes sense, okay, so one of the things t...

hat I tracked regularly, regardless of what experiment is ongoing right now, is my monthly sales, my monthly traffic to my web site. And the subscribers to mighty, his letter and its subscribers to my starship specific list, people who are interested in the starship and then I can see, because I'm tracking that month to month when I get to be an end of an experiment, I don't have to do something extra. You know, those numbers were there for me, and I can compare that, and I also make notes than in that that little spreadsheet that says, like, uh, taught it created five or I did I wrote a block siri's for this other guest posted right? Or an article I wrote for this magazine came out that could help me see what's impacting it. So in the future, I know what future experiments to hold, and you'll see that on page fifty seven I actually give you a bunch of questions to ask yourself when your experiment is over. So I want you to look at the parameters of your experiment, find the end date and then go to your calendar and put in the calendar, evaluate my experiment so that you actually remember to come back and evaluate your experiment. And when you do, maybe she also put in your calendar marketing for crafters page fifty seven, because these were going to be questions that you will answer. To help you evaluate it. So you're going to figure out if your hypothesis is true, what you learned about it, what you learned about yourself totally surprised you what you're going to adopt into your daily flow. So this experiment isn't just a one time thing. What you're going to discover from this is, is this something I'm gonna keep doing something I'm not going to keep doing right? So like, are you gonna keep blogging about all the details of the patterns are going to keep instagramming and making a clear offer in your instagram and then what else does this teach me? What what else could I go from this? Maybe I do need to make it clear off her more often, maybe I need to make it in other places, maybe instagram works so well, I should start doing it on facebook, you know? And so from there you could develop a whole another experiment with all new information, but I also asked what doesn't work because it's really so much you can learn from what didn't work it's easy, tio, be afraid of it and think I don't want to think about how I failed, but if you really look at what's not working, you're going to figure out ok, why did network maybe I don't need to do it ever again. Or maybe it didn't work because I actually didn't put the energy into it I just kind of let it fizzled or maybe there's something I hate and if you can learn that now at the end of your experiment of just four to six weeks you will keep yourself from doing something that you hate for like the next six months, you know? So learning what didn't work can stop you from wasting your time and then of course asked what you want experiment with next because in theory you could just keep doing new experiments all the time and that's really how you're going toe be able to figure out what social media tools should you use? What should you be blogging about? What should you be sending in your news letters? All of these questions that we've had come in and I keep saying it depends that's the next experiment for that person so aren't you actually carrying out like a lot of experiments at once? Yes, and so shouldn't we like the treating more than one experiment because I mean, I I know that I probably have like five or six going on right now, so I think that I haven't formalized so it's like what I said that there's that you're doing more than one thing at any time like you're doing multiple things in your business and your life you've got lots going on you could do this for multiple things but then you're just giving yourself a lot of paperwork so the reason why I tell you to just pick one is because of this lets you just measure this one thing over time and not get distracted because if you made three experiment it's one of them you're probably not going to finish and one of them that has bad results you'll just like put away and so if you're just doing one it's going to focus you both were talking at lunch you don't like to limit to one thing well plus that I'm really lazy so I don't like one I have to do stuff that like I'm already doing I don't want to do it again right? So you're just gonna do your block a series for just three weeks and then you'll be you'll have discovered if that works or not is that what you mean? You don't do it and that no I mean because like I think I feel like I've got experiments kind of going all the time yes and so if I I was measuring the results of three different things at once yeah that would save me from having to I see what you mean well, you definitely can you definitely I mean so I said I track my sales and my traffic and my newsletter stats each month so in that way I'm kind of tracking everything right? And I make notes in there of everything I did, whether it's, my experiment to see if creative, I've changed a traffic to my website it's still being tracked, right? So I think that tracking certain amounts of numbers and then making notes of what james that's what I'm doing is I'm just tracking stuff because I didn't have this bridge, right, which probably is surprised. Well, that probably helps you learn a lot more than just the one experiment, but the reason why I talk about picking one experiment is really to focus you on it's kind of like doing something you wouldn't do already like you're already doing the things that you do and seeing the impact to have but picking something that you you're not quite sure about that's when the experiment comes in, you know, if you're already blogging three times a week, then you don't necessarily need to track to see if that's an experiment you want to hold. If you're already sharing comfortably on twitter, have you twittering that doesn't need to be an experiment because you're into it. You're enjoying it. This is for things. You're not enjoying things you're afraid of shying things you don't want to d'oh. It makes sense, it does, and I actually did an experiment at one point to see if I could make myself lost my teeth more often by giving myself permission to read while I did it. And then I was like, I was willing to do it more than one time a day you're allowed to read, I love that that's great. So the, uh, thing you got to keep in mind with all this and the thing that scares people off from doing this is you're going to get negative results, as in you are going to disprove one of your theories, but negative results are data and you can learn from any data. So it's, like I compared it to a scientist and an earlier session, right? You are just a scientist just learning the scientists learns that when I combine these two things, it doesn't do what I thought, he just moves on, and he learns from that now he knows these two things combined on to what I thought, so you are not a failure. You don't suck nothing's wrong with you if you think that the contest idea what some more headbands and you saw zero headbands, that's data ok, a contest doesn't right for my people or contest set up in this way from my people if you don't get any more sales from instagram you don't, so now you know, you can stop worrying about if you should be making an offer on instagram and instead you could move to learning about making an offer someplace else. Any data that you get is going to be good, it's just data it's not a referendum on you on your smartness on anything it's, just data. So think of it like a scientist, because your business really has a lot of numbers and influences on it, and you can start to get a handle on those if you're just looking at it is data instead of judgment because we're talking in the beginning about wondering, what's working what should I do? I don't know which tool to use that's the dilemma here, so the answer is to just test it and kind of take you and your emotions out of the process of testing it. Because that's the answer to many people's marketing questions. Once you know about your person and your message and your customer path, the next question is like people will still say, I have no idea. Well, now you have to test take your emotions out of it, take your overwhelm out of it and just looking at this data. So the last part is that you're going tio come to a conclusion uh it's like what I said about clarity, you have to decide you're ready to not be confused anymore when you're done with your experiment come to a conclusion don't be afraid of saying I've learned I making clear offer on instagram does not work conclusion moving on because there's so many open issues in your business, right? There are so many things that you're not sure about that you don't know you're kind of struggling with on the things you can come to a conclusion on come to a conclusion and let it go will that always be true? Probably not. The thing that you come to a conclusion on might change completely in six months, but it will allow you to take consistent action if you don't get bogged down and I don't know maybe this worked maybe this didn't work really seriously come to a conclusion move onto the next thing and I'll help you trust yourself that you are learning from it that you're making decisions and it'll also help you just filter out all that other stuff that we're trying to filter out all of that confusion uh so yes, a conclusion it helps bring a lot of clarity, what will you experiment with, which I've actually think I've heard from almost everybody? Do you want to show your experiment well I thought I had one until you said do something you don't know about ok well that's your initial body well say go well with place I do like coasting every day I go the stamp quote so I thought I would start that again but have it linked back to my website and then have a little you know tweet this and to see what happens if I add so what's your hypothesis what do you think might happen that people come to my website okay, so you gonna measure traffic all measure traffic okay, yeah awesome. So the link that you're sharing on social media will go back to your website and then you also put a quick to tweet there so more people can share it that's genius because you want the whole circle I love it. What are you doing here? The experiment I have I've kind of come away from blogging that hasn't really been a top priority um but I was thinking of maybe doing like styling tips like hair tips to wear with the crown or different hairstyles to wear with the veil maybe do it like once a week for like five or six weeks on and see if I get more traffic from my blawg to my shop maybe not more sales but traffic from that side to the other eye like that and thinking I like that so you might be measuring traffic yeah, just for now, okay? And I think it also sounds like you're measuring if you like it or not like something you can keep doing yeah, because it's hard to put the time in to block when there's so many other things to be doing right if I if I can give you a suggestion I'd say that when you do that when you post that make her really printable image take one of the best images from the block post and then put the words how to style blah, blah, blah specifics on how to sell your hair style with a floral crown for your wedding, okay, and then make it so that when they pin it, it comes with a description under it. So your tanks that handle the photo you mean the text on top of the photo but also in the photo description, ok? And that way, when I if I just want to pin it bam, it pops up into my populates my pinterest pin, all of that information. Okay, that makes sense. Yes, awesome. So are there I would love to hear experiments from the chat room to yeah, I mean, I'm curious to know from the students here we have the people, the chat room who are timing and keep those coming in if you if you do have some experiments to share but our students here after being here for three days are you kind of inspired to even take on some new experiments that you never would have considered before what we've done here on the other, inside on that, yeah experiment in itself because it's so easy to set a goal and to say you want to figure out what will increase in what will drive sales, but when you get one response or two responses so easily like for you to disregard into, like, oh there's, no data there but writing down like what you're expecting, what you think will work and stuff like that and then going back and evaluating it? Well, just help us grow absolutely that's my hope. Well, we have more of them coming in now in the chat rooms. One from happy cat in the chat room says that my experiment will be to show photos of my creative process on my block once a week for three months and to see if that's going to drive sales of my art. Does that sound like a good experiment for them? That does, they should definitely I figure out how they're going to measure those sales what they have either compare it to the previous month or just know, ok, I had I had sales, you know, thirty sales in march, so I'm gonna have x amount now and you can you can guess at how many it's going to dio the door you could just measure if there's any difference you know, but also take note of all the other things you did that might have increased sales because increased sales it's still kind of aig you wantto nail down what that means and decide for yourself are gonna be happy if you invent increase sales by two are you not gonna be happy unless you increase sales by fifty and be really clear about that up front so that when you actually get there you can celebrate and that's one of the things we didn't mention that is super important and what I love about experiments, the reason why we wanted to be bendable and we'll talk about this a little bit in the next segment too is because at the end then you need to sell it right celebration is really important because obviously you're going to keep wanting to do new things and what we tend to do is just like move on to the next thing I did this experiment it was killer I saw all thirty eight headbands not moving on to sell all these scarves and and just we just bypassed that and if you continue to bypass it then you when times are hard you look back and you think I'm still in this place I haven't made any progress uh, because we just gloss over our accomplishments when we're looking back and especially when we're in like, a tired or disappointed place, so if you take a minute and you celebrate, you do some kind of reward, you make some kind of big deal about it no matter what that is for yourself, it will give you a little memory to look back on and be like, all right, I didn't do that and also is just a way of marking this phase is over and I'm moving on to the next phase like so many business owners want to get teo I want to make a thousand dollars in sales in a month, but the minute that there are, like, nine eighty they think, ok, well, so a thousand that's that's not very much because I'm already close to there. So what I what I really need to do is get fifteen hundred a month that would mean bah bah blah. So they passed one thousand on their way to fifteen hundred and then as they get closer to that, they're like, well, man, so yeah, no two thousand because that would give me this and this and they're to the point where they're making you know, I've worked with people are making two to five times as much as they used to be making, but they don't actually remember that when and then they'll come you know, I told you have this weekly chat in the starship but will come and be like, you know, I just haven't done anything I've been in this place in my business forever I'm really disappointed I said last week you told us you made five times what you are making a year ago so no you haven't been in this place forever you used to be in a place where you making five times less you're in a totally different place now but every new place you come teo you are you have challenges, you have struggles, you have things that aren't going like you wanted them to go and just because you reach this new goal, what is what we're going to work on in the next segment or you complete this one experiment is just a raging success you'd be surprised how quickly you forget it quickly you'll just be like under the next thing I don't even know one example if I can use you in for example joe is that she used a you were struggling with your marketing and feeling like you had no handle on it and over the past so we have one on one together each month and she will write in the notes of what she did from the last month and much wants to do this month and she started to write actually feel really great about the marketing plan, but then we would start talking about an individual piece and should feel like, well, I feel like I should know this already, but you, you said you've made so much progress, you already feel great, and you felt so horrible before you have made progress. This is a totally different place of learning, then you're in six months ago or a year, and even though I don't know all of your businesses in that much detail, I know that you all are also in a totally different place than you were six months or a year ago. You've already had you already reached some goal, but you don't even remember because you've already been passed it. So one of the girls on the starship started a discussion through just called the success thread, and so you can just go in there and post when you just want people to gook and I tend to never acknowledge anything, you know, I'm just like, next move on, and so I started, like, really making an effort to think of something, and sometimes I have to go back like and find the thread cause so many other things have been posted, but it's really helped me acknowledged that, like I get shit done, don't get stuff done were before, I just felt like sorry, you know, you just felt like you were just like constantly in a state of like, I'm not doing enough from not doing enough on that's my celebration is so great is because everybody feels like that and you're you are you're doing something like, I mean, if you're making a product and you're even making it available for sale, you were passed like eighty percent of the crafters author who want to sell their stuff there's so many people at the I haven't even made it available for sale yet stage that just getting it in available for sale. You're past that point, and then if you've made a sale, you're past that initial hurdle, which can take months to get past. So you've definitely accomplished stuff and stopping and writing your success is sharing it with somebody else like there's mention of accountability partners making sure that you stay accountable for your successes actually saying I did that, I said I would do it, and then I did it. It helps you not just feel great but truly become the kind of person who knows, no matter what comes up, I can definitely do this and that's what I want the experiment to help you with, I want it really teach you that you are capable of figuring out your own answers for your business. Is that not only can you build the business that you really want to build, but also you can come up with the answers you contested out more than any marketing book or marketing blood posed or any teacher tells you you can come up with your own answer, you know you can find it, especially now that you know your people and you know your message and you've got your customer path starting to be figured out. You will find the answers to the questions you have now. People in the chat room are curious to know if you have any other experiences I'm from your own work experiments that have worked well for you or any experiments that haven't worked well for you things that have just been a complete disaster. Maybe you thought they were going to be good. Yeah, so so many eso many one of the things that I think so so the first experiment was really that initial month of love, and I talked about it in session one so a quick recap if you missed it is that, uh every weekday for a month I would spin a yarn inspired by a famous couple and people could suggest those couples to me, and so that was an experiment that really worked, but I tried other things where people would suggest things to me and I would spend it in a siri's something about the month of love because people think about valentine's day and because thinking about what two people go together and what that would look like, it was great. But when I ask people like anything, your favorite flowers, your favorite, I don't even know the so many two things I tried that nobody would comment on, and I would hold contact. I would make it exactly the same as a month of love, but do it in july nothing, of course, people don't want well, yarn in july on and there's something about thinking what a color would represent a person that really spoke to them, so that experiment, even though I would create it in every other aspect that I could it just wouldn't work in the same way the blogging experiment I shared it taught me a lot. I also I have done a lot of classes that people have asked for specifically, I want, okay, so like a question. I just get all the time. And I will create a whole class for it and no one will sign up or to people will sign up you know, like and so I think what actually I hear from other people who are starting to hold their first class is is I'm so disappointed I worked on this for two months because creating us much content takes a long time I worked on this for months and months and then I had four people sign up and they're just in the depths of despair and I'm like, do you know how many times that has happened to me over the past four years so many times? And those are all I have to look at it like data, right? It's just data so doing across on twitter is not nearly as effective as doing in class on how to make your own decisions about if you should use twitter you know that's one thing that I've learned and so every new product I try my hurt us to think of it as an experiment because if I thought about it as people voting on, whether I'm a good person or not I would just die right? So that's what we're really doing, the reason why we have parameters and guidelines and boundaries and ten points is to take you out of it so it's scientific it's measurable its numbers it's not you and your self worth that's the real key here is because we can feel like well, you know, I talk on twitter and nobody answers I try this and nobody responds, but if you make it an a experiment that it's not about you it's about the data it's about the thing you're trying and it worked it didn't work but I'm still ok, you know? So that is products or a big one and I think everybody experiments with that all the time that's one of those ongoing experiments that you not maybe setting boundaries and parameters for but in general if I try and I flop, I say ok, experiment I'm gonna I'm gonna actually put an end point to that and be done trying to make it work because it's just not working anymore. Good. Now we have a question here from kris with a k and they say, how do you feel about doing customer surveys to measure the success of your experiments? Because sometimes you may consider your experiment to be a success, but if you ask your customers, maybe they see it differently. Yeah, that's tricky it goes back to the customers not being sure they want, so I think it depends on everything depends on you right what it is you're offering now if what you want to know is she mentioned earlier, I think she does workshops chris with the gang so that's like an experience right you come and I want to see if the experience that I thought I created for you actually is what you got and in that way the only way to know is definitely a survey so it goes back to what parameters what are what is your hypothesis? What is it you want to dio if my hypothesis is that I've tried to x y and z it'll create an awesome workshop for you the only way I'm going to know if that story is if I ask you but if I want to know if my my product holds up over time I'd also have to ask you that so it really depends but if you want to see if like a specific tool or inaction is effective in you reaching your own goals separate of how people feel about things in your customers probably can't tell you and they probably don't know you know like if if I asked all of you is the twitter across a good idea everyone would say that's amazing idea and then nobody would sign up for it so you can't always know what is actually people are going to end up paying for and stuff but I like the idea of a survey after the fact if my whole point of it was to see if I gave you what you wanted good know that we have a question here that came in about video segments. We we talked a little bit about blogging and doing the social media aspects. We didn't talk too much about video, but happy cat has a question for you where she says, how do you feel about using youtube videos as a new way to drawing followers? Is this a worthy experiment? Kind of getting out of your comfort zone and say you've been blogging for a long time experimenting with either podcasting or video or something that's different? Is that a good idea? And how do you how do you kind of quantify something like that if it's new to you completely so? Ah, I do have experimented with both video and podcasting, and I visited it depends on your goals because what is it that you want to get out of it? Video and podcasting totally worth the effort. It will help your people meet you and connect with you in a deeper way. So if your goal is more connection, deeper relationship than absolutely video is an amazing way to do it because we could look, I get to know each other and people will feel like I mean, the interaction I've had with customers is a whole different level since I just shot a few videos for my website because they're like oh, I know what you look like you actually like looked at me and smiled and you sound like that it just makes you into moore a real person. Podcasting is the same way it's so much more intimate toe listen to someone's voice in your ear and is to read their writings on your computer screen valued also doing ten other things so it's great for customer connection. But if your goal was increased traffic or sales, then that might be different because a lot depends on if you're sending people to your youtube channel or you're sending them to your website to watch and if people keep coming back again and again, I know that I'm I know that one of the video podcasters I've talked to, she does a weekly meeting podcast show and she loves doing it. She gets amazing connection, but it hasn't translated into any sales yet, so she feels like it's bringing people go to youtube toe watch it and although she includes links in this stuff, it doesn't necessarily bring people back to her site. But now, if your goal was totally different states to be a video rock star definitely you should do video, you know, or if your goal is to like work in radio, then you should absolutely do podcasting so it's going to depend on you and what you're good at if you get in front of camera and you get very quiet and you get very low energy, which is actually kind of my default when I was first on from the camera, then then maybe it's. Not for you. Or maybe you need some practice before you do it. It's got to be a good fit, and it's got to be in line with your goals.

Class Description

The world is awash in good marketing ideas. The key to success is having a concrete marketing plan that aligns with your goals. In Marketing for Crafters: Creating the Right Plan, Tara Swiger will help you structure a plan that is just right for the way you want to do business.

Every crafter brings a unique set of skills, dreams, and limitations to their business, and it is essential you are clear about the commitment you want to make to marketing so you can create a plan and actually stick to it. In this course, Tara will help you get honest about what you want and help you chart the course for getting there. With so many options available, marketing can feel incredibly overwhelming – Tara will teach you a process for vetting new marketing ideas and platforms, and teach you skills for evaluating the usefulness of marketing tools before you commit.

Marketing for Crafters: Creating the Right Plan will show you how to structure a marketing plan that attracts loyal customers and keeps you excited about your business.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Resource Guide for Marketing for Crafters

100 Off Solo Mission Coupon

Marketing for Crafters Bibliography

Marketing for Crafters Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I feel like I found a secret gold mine of information! Tara is so smart and so present, she really gets what it means to have a crafty business! She helps you think, rethink, and then think about it some more, all with a different strategy and approach that is laser sharp. I've taken a lot of these kinds of classes and she knows her stuff, she isn't just reading from a prompter or listing off "rules" or steps, she genuinely cares and comes up with a way to answer everyone specifically and generally. She informs you in a way that is friendly and approachable while still being SUPER focused and serious about helping you achieve all that you want out of your business!

a Creativelive Student

Very valuable information that has changed everything for me, starting with doing what I love and not falling into the pit of doing things just for the hope of attracting customers. If I cannot have a business a love, I won't want to do it. My target, although it will be more difficult to attract, will receive a lot more from me if they are the right customer. The biggest component to this course is doing the homework, but to do the homework listening to the videos makes it very clear on what is needed. Tara does not talk in a language that is difficult to understand or over my head - she brings clarity from confusion.


Easy to understand, actionable advice for those of us needing a little help finding our 'North Star". Fantastic workbook, too. I have incorporated some of the exercises into my daily routine. I also love Tara's podcast!!