How to Choose the Right Tools to Run Your Craft Business
So now that you guys know what you want to dio you have set a goal, you have kind of a vision for eternity. Next, the question is, what do you use to get there? What tools and what actions can you d'oh to actually get your goal? So we're going tio kind of defeat overwhelm this? What I hear from most people is that they are just asking should be on pinterest should be an instagram shy, so wholesale shy do craft shows that kind of overwhelm of not knowing where to go, it all comes back to really narrowing in on your goal, which of these will get you to your goal? So we are going to cover how to use social tools like we didn't really talk about him a lot yesterday when we did the customer path stuff, we focused on creating longer form content like blog's and email lists because there so many social tools out there, and instead of focusing in on just one and how it works, I want you to have a decision making process so that you can make decisions about whatever tool your industry might hav...
e a really specific tool like knitters and your knees have revelry, and I'm not going to know all the specifics of that tool, but if you know how to make decisions that you can decide if it's right for you so we're also going to talk about social tools we're going to talk about other tools like craft shows or selling venues or anything else you might use in your business like accounting tools or budgeting and also what actions to take that's the big question right? And if you figure out how to make decisions about what actions will get you to your goal, you can use this again and again in your life to decide should I be doing this should not be doing this? How should I spend my time best today we're going to go kind of how to make decisions in each of these areas because you really have so many choices when it comes to what you're going to do and there are always bean new choices, and if you can learn how to best make decisions to help you reach your goal, you'd be able tio no matter what changes and there's so many tools, but they're also so many ways to use a tool, so we're going to talk about how to use social media tools ls the different ways because it might not be what you think. We had a question in session one where somebody said don't have to be on twitter in order for people to share me on twitter and so we're going to talk about other ways you can use these tools other than just you broadcasting your message ok, so two ways the first way is to empower your fans, and we talked about this when we talked about making your work more share a ble in the high segment in session to you want to empower your fans so that they can share your work very easily. Whether it's a share buttons on your website, if it's them knowing how to talk about you. If it's the shop owner, knowing how to talk about you, you can use social media specifically to put the power in people's hands to share you with their audience. We went over that in detail, and I think segment to have session, too, so uh, yeah, I should be clear on that the next thing you can use social tools for is listening what I mean by this is getting to know your customer. We've talked a lot about how if you're a new seller, you might not know specifics about your specific buyers, but if you can listen in to what they're doing on social media, you will figure out what it is. They're talking about what they're looking for, that's, why we defined you're right person so much, oh, by thinking through who she is without you necessarily having any buyers yet is so that you can listen in on what people like her are saying that they're looking for even if you haven't had buyers, you can use that right person profile to figure out what it is she most wants from a business like yours the third way, use a tool is by connecting and by this, I mean, building relationships like getting to know somebody really just connecting and building so they feel more comfortable and they feel like you're trustworthy and just being a really person let's talk about how to be a normal person on social media because so many people struggle with this, right? This is something that aa lot of people are doing wrong and you'll notice that somebody follows you. You click over your like they're just saying just listed on ads e think, think, think just listed on it, see or just blogged new on the block, over and over, they're not they're not being a real person, they're not connecting. So here is some tips for being a normal person. If you're kind of worried, you sound like a robot, the first one is to listen like so here's a thing to be a normal person on social media, you act like a normal person in your regular life, right? How do you build relationships in your regular life? How do you talk to your friend? You listen to what she's saying, you ask her about her day and then you listen and you listen, what she's complaining about you just listen and then you reply. I imagine that when the person that's done talking, you speak back to them, right? So that happens on social media. You can listen, I'm going to keep using twitter is an example, but this is true in many of the media. You can listen into somebody's question, and then you reply with an answer to their question. You can listen in on their talking about they really love the song and replied that you also really love this song when I say, listen, I don't mean in a creeper way. I mean, people are posting what they want to post what they want people to see on social media, so you're not stalking. You're paying attention to what it is that they want to be sharing with you, and you are having conversations about it. The next baby or normal person is to share experiences, this kind of one of my favorite things that's amazing about trying and facebook is that you can live watch something together, right? So confession I live watch scandal with twitter uh, and I would not normally talk to my friends about such like a soapy show, but it's really fun to watch it and see people's reactions on twitter. I know game of thrones is a big thing that people share together and also be experiences like you guys have all been tweeting and instagramming about being here. We're sharing that experience together socially and with you're doing it with your friends as well, who are watching and talking in the chat room so, like, you know, you've treated like we're on break and then people were reply and other people will comment and people in the chat room are all engaged that's what I mean about being a normal person is that you are sharing experiences that you're all going through together, just like you would with a riel life person standing next to you. So the next way to be normal is to remember where the people are on your customer path. When you're using social media, tio connect with people as part of your marketing plan, you will remember where this person is on the customer path. And we're gonna get into this in a minute, but I actually want to go back to talking about listening because this is something that some people struggle with they're not sure what I what I mean or how to do it without being creepy. So how do you want to listen is like you listen to your friend when you're talking, keeping in mind that people are wanting to post this stuff that's why they're posting it, but you're gonna also learn so much about your right person by identifying who some of the people who are like you're right people this doesn't mean you're trying to sell directly to this specific twitterer, but she may be is a stand in for other people like her like and I would suggest getting a whole group of these people and listening whether that's, a facebook group, whether that's just a list on twitter, whether that's, some instagram people you follow and then what you want to listen to are things that they're saying about your product not not necessarily your product but your type of product so like accessories or how they do their hair if you're selling here hair band or their big day if you're talking to brides, I see when I listen to what their experiences are, what their issues are remember it goes back to that need that you're filling benefit you're providing and using their exact words that's where listening fits and you're going to listen to the words they use not to talk about your product but to talk about the product in general the experience of where your product will fit into their life. So if you're making jewelry out of their vacation photos how how are people talking about their vacation photos? Are they saying I wish I had a way of sharing my vacation photos other than instagram or I wish I would finally put my instagram photos or you know I love this photo I took and I wish there is some way for me to have it forever right? So then you can use it the same exact phrase is they're using in your blawg writing in your social media and it will speak directly to them I want to give you guys some specific ideas of what to listen for have a whole list here so there are questions about use like um like in my example about ironing the dress running my somebody suggested in session tio that when she sends garments to people she includes a government care guide and I said she should also include howto iran this guide so questions about you it's like how do I wear it how to iron it or how do I style it like if I'm going to wear one of your chunky scarves? What do I it's like a big skirt or like a right you're the expert you know your thing better than anybody else and you have a specific vision for the style of what it looks good and assume that I'm your buyer and I got no style I want to look as awesome as you but I'm not sure how so all those questions you hear people asking about like I got an amazing new thing but I'm not sure what to wear it with I regularly as instagram what hearing should I wear or show where this card again or this cardigan right so if you were a person who are I was you're right person for earrings or cardigans you'd want to be listening to what my questions are and then so you can answer them on your own social media and your blogged and all of your communication so also look for questions about utility like why do I need that how do I use it? How specifically do I use this especially important something technical like knitting patterns how to read your chart that's what we talked about in session to that's genius to explain that to them because those are the questions people actually have also listening for comments about choice like I wish this came in green or haven't been able to find a scarf that comes in wolf it's all in acrylic or vice versa I really wish I had a washable scarf because my kid keeps throwing up on mutton exclamations of joy when people are excited about something your product somebody else's product that's similar just a piece of their life. You want tio, listen in to when they're really excited. So, do you have any questions about how to listen in? Because I know this can be sound creepy way actually do have a question coming in here now, a lot of people are curious to know listening is very important on social media. But when do you take that step, tio? Not stop listening, but to initiate a conversation. No, tara said that we should engage with people on social media. But when is that to forward? Now? When is it, like kind of creepy to be listening in and then be like, oh, hey, by the way, here's my product or I see that you were talking about this here's a link? When do you kind of know when it's ok to should make that step from listening to engaging that's such a good question. I think that it's going to depend on a few things. So if if it is a depend on your reply, if you jump in and say you, then you should buy my thing that's creepy, but in general, if somebody's posting it to a public thing like twitter they're doing it because they want engagement, people love twitter replies, so unless you're being overtly sales e and gross and focused on yourself, if you are being useful and a normal, uh and and maybe you ask them a follow up question before you talk about your thing, then it's not going to be creepy because they're posting it someplace public, and I keep saying twitter, but instagram is the same thing somebody pin something on pinterest with a question below it like I'm not quite sure how to wear this. You could comment not as many conversations happen on pinterest, but whatever your social media tools of choice are, if it's a public thing and it doesn't seem like they're just being private about it, which on twitter you're not you're putting it all out there. It's not creepy to reply what makes it creepy is win, and we talked about this in session tio when you reply to every single thing one person posts so when you are being replying and taking part in conversations, do it across a wide variety spectrum of people, so you're not just like piping up again and again hey, you should do this hey, you should buy my thing, you know, so you want oh, to be taking part of a conversation like you're just a normal person so when I also said part of being normal and not creepy is remember where the person is on the customer path when you're using social media, so oh, I for almost forgot there's a page in your workbook on page fifty what to listen for? Um, you guys can start filling this out, but they'll also be time. It'll be your homework over lunch to be thinking about as I was talking about listening for explanations of joy for listening. Tio question that people have comments, they have trend report news about your industry. What did that spark for you? What did you think? You know, if I could hear my right person talk to her friend, I would be listening in for this because another place you can listen and I ask you this on page fifty of your workbook into blog's that talk about your thing like bloggers that talk about jewelry or photos or memory keeping that's people sharing very publicly, they are putting it on their platform because they want to talk about it does not mean that you should comment and say, well, by my thing, but you can use part of listening is just listening and gathering it doesn't necessarily always need to be a reply for it to be useful to you. For example, I always think of the experience of being in a dressing room and a mom and daughter in the dressing room next to you and you hear them exclaiming over how bad something is how awesome something is right if I was a clothing maker or a jewelry maker listening in on that would give me so many keys for how to talk about it doesn't mean that I go knock on their door like I have your solution right by my dress but I dio then realized how people are always complaining about how a bus starts fit right? So I need to have a block post I need to be tweeting about how minor different I need to be talking about how the fabric drapes because that's the complaints I hear from people so you're apply might not be direct it might be indirect instead you're just gathering that and then using it to figure out what for you to write about what for you to share about so I ask you on page fifty to think of some ideas this is just going to kind of guide you you know, if you're if you're on twitter and you're kind of overwhelmed and this will help focus you on what it is you should be paying attention to eso to remember where they are on the customer path when you use social media you want tio keep a few things in mind and the thing is, is that they're actually gonna be in all different places. People are going to first discover you on a piece of social media like instagram. I thank you for taking that picture of me that she took on that first day so my followers might click over so they're very that's like their high step they meet you, they are also obviously your followers are following you. They know you, they might have met you yesterday. They might have been following you for five years if instagram was that old. So they it's all over your customer path and that's. Why we didn't talk about it yesterday because it doesn't fit nicely into the thing. You can also use social media to do that final clear offer. You know, when I have a deadline coming up, I will tweet and post on instagram this is the last time to join it. Please join here or if you don't want to miss it, please join here this morning I posted on twitter, I'm about to go into my final session if you want to watch live watch here that's a clear offer, I send them directly to the sales page that wasn't ah deeply relationship building one that was letting people know who have been calling me for a long time and who want to take part they're so does fit in on each stage, so then you want to be thinking about when you use any form of social media? How am I using it now? What is my intention now and my building relationship with followers? Am I asking for something specific? Or am I just letting people get to know me a little bit? Who maybe just met me, giving them a little more info about what I do? So perhaps a good example with your photo jewelry is maybe one picture that she post is about where you just talk about, you know, I created this using their memories created a piece of jewelry that's kind of a high message that just very first and then another one might be like I'm three days into working on this project, and I love this customer that's more like building a relationship with me over time, and then you might have another says sale in my shop now on allison, wonderfully independence go here to buy or lincoln profile on instagram and so that's you wantto kind of have in mind if you're feeling overwhelmed, think about where on the customer path does this piece this message fit? Why am I saying this? In other words, what use is it serving that will keep you from doing those annoying posts that air just a new thing in my auntie shop that would keep you focused on being a real human and sounding like a normal person? But when we think about social media, we also have to think about a few other things and that's if there are some problems with it. This is why a facebook page is not a marketing plan and a facebook page is not your home base because of these problems you can't control what people see, I only see the tweets there are the front last five or six people that tweeted in the mere moments before I opened the app, right? I don't go back and read everything that would be that's crazy, so you can't control if I'm even looking at twitter when I'm when you say what you say and if I'm not, then it disappears from my view forever. You also have no idea how many other people I'm following. If I'm following seven thousand, then the chance of meeting your messages in van testicle and on facebook, you can't control at all if people see your posts or not, so you can't control what people see. And also it moves so fast your followers don't see every single thing that you post so this is not an effective way of reaching people consistently in the same way that email and to a lesser degree you're blogging is because you're blogged your post is going to sit there and at the top of your page and as long as the person visits they will see it we're on twitter like it's just going so fast the messages air just whizzing by them the other problem is that your message is diluted your message is surrounded by everybody else's message and you have no idea what message that is you don't know if I follow one hundred etc sellers that all sell exactly the same thing you just seem like one of many you don't have any control over that or if I follow a bunch really spammy people your message is just one of many spammy messages right so it just gets diluted in the mess of everything else that's going on which is why we talked in session to about how important it is for you to have your clear home your home where you are in control of how the furniture is and how it's laid out how nice and clean and welcoming it is because then you do you can make sure things don't get deluded you can have a clear offer that you know people are going to see if they're there but the ways you can use social media is that you can spread the content you're already creating. This is my most favorite way and you're content includes new products, you're blogged posts and maybe your email messages. Social media just serves as kind of a bull horn for spreading that two more people because you might have more twitter followers than you do people who check your block now, remembering that only a percentage of those followers are going to see each of your post it's just a way of letting that small percentage of people who are looking right then let them know you did a post theirs. And this is another way that your marketing can actually be like a flow where instead of you worrying each day oh no, what should I do? You have a system I read a block post, I share it on twitter, I share it on facebook I post want the picture on pinterest this is a way to spread the content you're already creating two people who are more comfortable on other platforms or perhaps weren't remembering to come back to your platform. Another way is it will lead people to the next part of your path, so we talked a little bit yesterday about tweeting out you can sign up for my email and get a free guide to fill in the blank here and then give them the link you can also say, did you know that I sell cruciate headbands? You confined him here and also make the clear offer like I did this morning? If you want to listen in this is your last chance go here. So you see that moved that percentage of followers that saw that message from just mildly kind of knowing I was out there to take the next step so you could move them down your path. You should definitely be useful share links, photos, ideas that you're right people are going to love, you cannot make it all about you and his the worst thing twitter feed that's just full of what one person is doing because think why are people following me? Whether it's twitter whether it's instagram, whether it's, facebook, why are they wanting to receive my message? Is it has to be that they're getting something from it? A little bit will be that they want to keep up with you, but you will get more followers. Facebook likes, etcetera if you're sharing things, photos, links and ideas that are like right in line with that right person once. So if we're talking about busy moms who want to look stylish, sharing a variety of tips, ideas, whether you create them or you gather them from other places like your curator of other great sites for busy moms or you know, you have a link list of the best places to go for knitting tutorials anything you're doing that served your person and is useful to them that's how you can use social media that's a really good place for that because it doesn't dilute your own platform in any way it keeps people in your platform on your platform, but it builds relationship with all those people on your customer path. They're falling you there and in the last way is to have conversations just, you know, be a normal person, talk to people reply to people knowing this goes back to the consistency and trustworthy thing by showing up consistently being useful, interesting, being just a really human that will have conversation that builds trust that I could trust you with my family photos because we've chatted now for a while and I know you're not a creep, so even also connect with editors and bloggers. We're all laughing at her being a creep connect with editors and bloggers he'd like to build a relationship with this one is ah little trickier, but if you can find the editor of the bridal magazine or the blogger you want to be featured in if they're active on a social media tool but that I mean they're actually having conversations or not just using it to broadcast their message, you can connect with him there and we talked about building relationships in session to right you're going to be useful to them, you're going to answer their questions, you're going to wait until there's some dialogue before you make any request so you're not stalking them to then hey, will you feature my thing? Hey, will you feature my thing? No, you're showing up, you're being useful, they will eventually click over or you'll move it on to the next level, which would be like email a direct email to them so I want to see a little bit more about connecting, but I feel like we've been talking a lot about social media, so you guys have questions, we have questions online, okay, let's, hear let's see, we have one here from one girl circus, and they say what's, the best way to ask for things to listen to, like, how do we ask for relevant things that are related to our business? You mean, ask your followers ask your like, ask questions exactly yes, because we're talking about listening, but is there a way for you to sort of generate specific things that you want to hear? Absolutely so first decide, but it is that would actually help you, and I think that like a lot of people tried to do surveys, but they're not sure about the information they really want to get and people don't actually know what they want, and henry ford says people don't know what they want until you show it to them. Otherwise people would have just asked for a faster horse carriage. I'm totally but you're it's similar to that, right? But the idea is that nobody knew they wanted a car until he said, look, a car and so, uh, asking questions is tricky because people don't necessarily know what they want, but you can ask questions about what you no people now, which is like what? Your favorite color or what really bugs you about dresses, right? We know one girl circus make stresses on dh custom clothing for people. So what is your biggest concern with buying this, or what is your biggest frustration about the dresses you own or, you know, what is it that you wish you knew about taking care of your clothes so that they last longer asking people about their frustrations, their issues? Is there problems that other people aren't solving, which can kind of be tricky away to word it so that you get the answers you want? But the great thing about social media is it's just going to kind of disappear after a while so you can try again. I mean I do this regularly like a lot of times when I'm writing an article I just wrote one on google analytics for a magazine and so I asked what do you wish you knew about google analytics? I got no replies a couple days later I said you know what are you most overwhelmed with google analytics? I got a bunch of replies soto ask a different way to ask but keep yourself focused the thing about listening as it's really easy to just be like well that's going to get what is it going to get on with it is I should say that so what I recommend doing is actually keeping like a log like a listening log I didn't take notes a lot and evernote you could use a notebook so when somebody says something and you're like I got to remember and tell my people that I solve that problem write it down if you have a list of like possible block topics put it there or craft a tweet that links to a place where you've already answered the question but kind of keep track of it but don't let it keep you away from your goal if people are having an issue and you think you could solve it you wish you could solve it but that's not in line with where you want to go in your business then you got to just let go of it and move on let's talk about how to choose a toll uh, now that we talked about everything, social media is good at everything this social media is bad at how do you actually choose? But just like with everything else, you're going to choose based on your goals, your people and what you like to actually d'oh and I have some examples here, but as you turn to page fifty one, I won't use you start filling out how you might choose some tools, and I know you guys already use them tools most people dio, but we're talking about specifically for your marketing plan. What tools are in line with your goals, your people and your skill set so here's some examples I have worked with some urine stores and they are overwhelmed by all the option that is out there because they don't have an online business, they need to stand in a shop everyday, talk to customers, hold classes, they're very location specific, so the whole online world can be kind of overwhelming to figure out what to do, but what I've asked them is ok, what? What do you have going on? What your goals and who are your people and let's? Think about it from that perspective, for example, you're in stores have customers come in every day. And say I finished this using your yarn yea they also have new products arrive every day that are beautiful and colorful and they also need to let people know their goal is to let people know what's new in the shop so a tool that works perfectly is instagram you snap a photo with your phone you don't have to get online you don't have to like go to your computer you know your phone is right there you could be talking to the customer and say, well, can I take a photo of you in that thing you made from our shop new products come you open the box you over you take a picture your employees or knitting some sample you have them take pictures and post it to your account is perfect because it doesn't take you away from your in person and customer it lets you show new people what you have and you can also tag things with locations so that people know actually exactly when the map where you were taking that and how they can come in so that's how they would use this process to choose a toll you've got to have questions about choosing tools are you thinking through the tools you already use and how they fit into your system? Yeah, I've noticed like if your business is really visual like minus and styling um then using a tool that shows photos would be the best tool to go to like with facebook. I can't even really do anything on there because no one really sees anything and twitter it's just words right and it's so it wouldn't really help me write, so I think instagram I like because you can also build relationships that way and pinterest I like because it is visual and inspirational, but you don't really get that relationship. Well, what I would do is actually instead of you using pinterest, make sure that all your images on your web site or really dependable, you know, and that you have do you have a block where you like, talk about the new thing, the pictures that you put on those blogged posts make one picture with some words on it, some text on it. So if I go to your website and I want to pin this, make sure that it either says, you know, the everly floral crown at and in your business name, so that when I pinned it to my bridal board, all my the libretto friends see it, they they know what they're looking at making to click through and go to what you do, but because when she does a visual, you're totally right instagram's a perfect tool and instead of you worrying about pinterest, just make your stuff tenable because your customer base love's pinterest like bridal stuff is like the second most popular thing on pinterest, so they're already probably pending your stuff. And if you check out your analytics, you might find that pinterest drives a lot of traffic, which means you're good to go with that, but for you using it, you don't need to, because you're not creating a bridal board, you know what I mean? So another example of kind of using it go back to pinterest is if you write a lot of tutorials, if that's your job, your business, you do tutorials and you teach people, then you can make images for your tutorials. They're very pinnacle that are longer than there are wide that have the words on him, like how to sew a circle skirt and then a picture like collage into one image. So when people pin that all of their friends now, okay, that's, that's what that is I'm going to click through to get that tutorial is a way of using that tool. You're actually not maybe on the tool yourself, but you're creating it so that your people can use it. And then another way of thinking about this is if you're an introverted artist who does not. Like to talk to people one on one, then craft shows they're probably not the tool for you, but that's, not the platform to be on. Instead, you could sell your work to a gallery so that they do all the talking or you could just selling your online shop where you just email instead of half a day be physically with people day in and day out, so anybody else wanna share? What platform is in line with your goals? Or do we have questions about this in the forum? Yeah, we have some people who are curious about using the right platform to search for things, to listen for things. Virginia says I'm not well versed on the block front, and I'm wondering how is a good way to find blog's where people may be talking about my product or my product type? I mean, I know that you said that a lot of these bloggers will be on social media. Is there a good rule of thumb for how to search for these people, whether it's, their blogged or their twitter account that's tied to their blogger? Maybe their facebook page? So if you don't know what blog's air writing about your industry, I would do a couple things one is, if you have customers, ask your customers that be one of those questions. It's where you say thanks much for purchasing it'll arrive here I'm just curious to know I'm always looking for new blocks to read what bloggers do you read? Okay so that's one way because then you know you're right person reads that so then you can go and maybe build a relationship to get editorial coverage or to guess post for that block another way is to ask your own followers especially if you're following is in line with your right people if you've been producing content that's good for your right people just ask ask on your platform and say hey what dogs do you read? I did this when I started my podcast I made a tiny little survey and I put it on my block and I just tweeted a few times that said because I wanted to know what kind of contact people already like to listen to but blog's to read what magazines you read what podcast you listen to just those three questions ask people to fill it out and it just gave me oh my goodness I met so many new pieces of content that I had no idea existed right like there are a zillion video knitting podcast out there who knew a lot of my people are watching those there's also that magazine molly makes I do not know every single person who responded reads that magazine obviously that tells me something about their audience in my audience to just ask people and that's, my favorite thing is just to say, what do you read and then check out, then you do that research we talked about in session to yesterday. What, uh, you know, do they really speak to my right people? What do they put on their platform? How can I be a part of that platform? How do I approach them that's, appropriate toe, what they're already doing?