The Power of Knowing What You Want in Business


Marketing for Crafters: Create the Right Plan


Lesson Info

The Power of Knowing What You Want in Business

So we've covered a lot so far, we've talked all about like you mentioned your north star kind of what is guiding you in your business, and then we dover lady, into your right people, your message, and then yesterday your customer path kind of what you're building as your marketing plan, but the bigger thing we need to talk about is really, why are you doing all this? So we got one more star in mind so that you know what it is that you want to get out of your business, but I want to break it down today and especially in this first segment of today's session tio, get very clear about what specifically you're trying to build and what you want to do, and the reason is that this will help you make all of your decisions from here. So yesterday we generated, like five thousand ideas for what you could do to improve your customer path, and I told you to go home and think about the part of your path you think needs work, but there's still another ten million things you could do on just one part...

of your customer path that you could improve it, or just one thing you could tweak on your website, so we want to take actions that are in line with where you're going in your business, not just your you know we talked about through north stars kind of the macro view, but now we're going to talk about the micro view of like where you want to be in the next three to six months? Where is it that you are actually going like right now? So it's really easy to become overwhelmed? We've talked about this a lot already in these sessions it's hard to know where you're going to start, what you're going to focus on and where you should spend your time so even though you're clear on your right person, your message, your customer path you still might be wondering uh with all of these ideas where I actually start what is a priority for me right now? So that's, what we're going to do in today's cost we're going to defeat that overwhelm by getting really clear on what it is you want to do and accomplish and could an action plan for the next three to six months? So by the end of today you will have a step by step plan not just for what will happen in six months but what you're going to dio one month from now what you're going to one week from now we're going to do tomorrow or monday when you get to work to make that connection in that relationship we've been talking about with your customer, so we're going to cover how to create a plan you'll stick with because it's the number one thing, right, no amount of plans matter if you don't actually do it, so we'll also talk about how to choose the right tools for your goals, so we didn't talk so much about social media yesterday in the customer path we talked about clogs, and we talked about e mails that you're going to send an email opt ins because there are so many other tools other than blog's and e mails, twitter, facebook, pinterest craft shows should you sell in shops, we're going to talk about how to make those decisions, and this is really what my goal is for the day is for you to leave, knowing how you're going to make decisions in your business going forward, so have a plan, but you'll also know how to handle things when they come up. When things change, when the new pinterest starts in three months, whatever that looks like, you'll be able to decide is this for me? Is it's not for me? If you get an opportunity, you'll be able to decide is this for me? Is it's? Not for me is is taking my business where I really wanted to go in the long term. So we're also going to talk about how to experiment to figure out what's really working in your business because that question what should I spend my time on? What tools should I use really depends on you and what's working for you for you your customers and where you want to go so I'm gonna teach how to experiment so when you leave here you can pick a thing hold on experiment on it and whatever you learn like I was telling you yesterday any data is good data you'll apply that data to the next thing you want to dio does this work I don't know I need to experiment with it so it's going to be in segment three that we actually talk about how to hold on experiment how to be a scientist in your business because it's going to help you kind of step back from all the emotional distress of decision making in your business so I made this cross specifically for you if you are feeling really overwhelmed by all you should be doing in this first segment we're going to talk a lot about should zx and how to get around that what blog's and books tell you should be doing and really hone in on what you want to be doing to get you where you want to go also if you have really scattershot marketing this is the thing I see more than anything else people are sharing their work but they're doing it so randomly and without any kind of plan and without any kind of goal that they really frustrated but I've been on twitter for years and nothing has happened but it's so random they don't have a plan they don't have any kind of a goal that they're hoping it's going to dio so I really want you to not feel random I want you to feel focused this is also for you if you're not sure what's working but I said about holding an experiment is the result of the experiment is you won't know this is working this is not working I need their need to keep doing it and stay consistent our need to make changes because I'm there's no other way to know it's working there's no book that can tell you this will absolutely work for you you have to figure it out on your own but I want to give you the tools so that you can figure that out and also if you want a plan you'll stick with if you have made plans in the past marketing plans or blogging plans or email plans and you have not kind of carried them out, which I know is really frustrating and you get disappointed in yourself and you start to lose the confidence that you're going to stick with the plan we're gonna talk about howto actually stick with it how to make a plan so powerful, so inspiring you don't want to stop working on it because no amount of marketing knowledge everything we covered in the last two sessions is pretty useless if you don't actually use it to create the business you love and they're two parts of this there's this you have to use it right? You have to take action in order to create a business and the other half of it is that you have to know what you want your business to be that the business you'll love you'll have to figure out what that is for you and then take the actions that will get you there and you have two options when you are thinking about how to create a successful business. The first is that you could do all of the things you think you should do you involve all the advice and the newest blog's you can follow all the advice and all of the books you read you can do everything that everyone else who's successful has ever done and you might actually make a successful business it's completely possible that if you follow a ten step plan to have a successful business is that it would be and it might be successful in money sales amount of fame that you have but that's not necessarily gonna get you your business that's going to give you someone else's model of business on top of your and your life and most of us discover that that's not actually a great fit that someone else's business is not actually what you'd run a run I talk to people all the time who are in love with their business but I couldn't do it it would wear me out or it just wouldn't be my skills or it would require me to do something that I'm not great at so I wouldn't do it nearly as good as they could the next option this is obviously the one I'm a big fan of is you can define what success means for yourself so you know I use the word successful specifically because it's so loaded when I say have a successful business that actually means something different for each of you know since you're pregnant a successful business might mean that you have time off to spend with your new baby you know where that would be totally different for someone in a different stage of their life it might be that a successful business to you well for me all those years ago it was that I would be able to quit the day job that I really hated and that was bad at and it was boring so that was success for me but then I reached that I'm headed to find success a new all over again and actually I went through a period of time or is quite lost because once you set a goal and then you reach it you immediately want to go and set another goal but I had already reached such a big win and it was like ok so I have a successful business uh what next so by defining the success for yourself you also give yourself permission to change your mind decide that's not actually what I want it's not actually enough for me just to quit the job I had toe actually keep sustaining it I had to actually keep paying the bills and then I had bigger and different goals so success is always shifting so I want you guys to throw out what you think of the success and define it for yourself for your life where you are right now in the age you are in the life situation you're in in the things you have coming up in the future you want to be able to dio and I have asked many questions on your workbook and page forty three that will help you define success for yourself because you know just like sunday one you said you never really thought about what makes your work special most people have also not thought about what they want it seems kind of base but it's very easy to just get started and look around and all these other successful businesses and think oh I want that or I want to look like that but you won't know what actions to take until you define what that means it's perfectly fine to be inspired by someone else's success but look at it and think what part of that do I want? What section of their success on my really going for here is that their number of sales or is it the number of freedom in their life? So I asked you on page forty three to answer and you should be filling it out now because I'm gonna ask you to share what does a successful business look like for you when you hear the term successful business? What first popped into your mind and then what is your role in that business? Some people really want to hire a team and step back and uh uh and this is kind of the traditional entrepreneur roll, right? You do the start up and then you hire the team to keep running it and then you step back or maybe you sell it for a lot of makers that they never want to stop making. They're going to keep making no matter what, so instead maybe they want to get some support or they want to do it all themselves or they want to take it on the road or they want to be an oprah magazine, so I also ask you how much time you spend how much money you make and then we're going to talk about your why here in a minute you don't fill that out for a couple seconds why I share some examples because I want to say this if you're feeling lost and confused about your marketing or the direction your business is going in it's because you've been going about this from the outside in you look it there's a saying that kind of goes around the internet that ah, you know when you get jealous online it's because you're looking at other people's outsides and comparing them to your insides what people post a post on facebook is just is just what you can see it's not about other emotional turmoil and their stress and things they're worried about and the same is true of business if you look at just the outside of what you want in your business and try to build that without addressing what it is you truly want on your inside what it is that you want out of your life what it is you want to do what you want to accomplish will be really frustrated you can build this x a successful business this way but it's not going to be that satisfying and it's probably gonna run you ragged it's probably not going to be in alignment with your north star so as you filled out these questions I want you to keep firmly in mind your north star if your north star is sustainability, then you'll want tio look to create a successful business that has everything sustainable in mind. The northstar example I shared on session one it was about karen, who said this dress her north star was a gentle and so she created a whole business around gentleness, gentleness in her production schedule, gentleness in how she treads on the earth, gentleness and how she treats her customers. And so that is for her now that's totally shifted her version of success. She was very successful in the corporate world in a totally different way, and it took her a while to accept the way that success is going to be in her business. Now, it's not going to look like when she worked for big corporations, it's going to look totally different now I have two stories of people who created businesses that were successful that they were quite unhappy with. But before I tell those are their questions about this, he has air thinking furiously. We have people in the chat room who are sharing what they define as success, so I'd love to read a couple of these as they come in now, amanda royces success for me is being able to make enough to make a significant contribution to our little family while still having time to pursue other hobbies and passion e couture and and says validation is my goal I almost don't care if I sell anything if I got paid for my time, it's been sixty to eighty hours a week over a year now that would get me out of a financial hole. Other people have some financial success here now, chris, with cases success for me, long time success is leading large scale workshops to help other women to share their voice with their happiest and most favorite audiences. I want to be able to be there for my clients, but also be there for my family and be able to work on literary writing at the same time that's awesome and that right away you can see, like how you'd have to structure your life in order to be able to do that, right? So if you want to have the success to be teaching big workshops and you also wanna have time for your family, then maybe you're going toe purse your time a different way. You're going to spend a lot of time on a workshop and then maybe a lot of time with your family, right? Like when I do something really intense like this, then I go on, I have a really uneventful week why don't why don't do anything? I don't produce anything and that's the only way that I can we're talking about balance before that's the only way that I can balance it is actually not in balance in the moment right now, I'm not in balance not spending time with my husband, my dog, but I'm balancing all of this intense work period within an intense rest period so that if that is part of what success is for you, you'll you'll you can see how this will start to influence all the decisions you make and two examples of people who have worked with who have created success but not one they wanted is one was a copywriter she's actually here in san francisco that I worked with and she had huge amounts of clients the painter, huge sums of money to work on very big projects and she's really, really good at what she did. But she got burn out the kind of clients and deadlines and project that she's working on wasn't sustainable for her life mental health for to have time off, she would find herself working ten and twelve hours a day and that's not what she wanted to dio shouldn't have she didn't really I feel like she had time to eat or to go exercise or to do the things that mattered in her life, she fooled really frustrated what ended up happening is that she burned out and when I started working with her she was at a point where she had avoided her inbox for three months she just hadn't gotten back to clients she ended up refunding people thousands of dollars because of the burn out and she is a smart, clever, very good at her job person but she just she had just gotten into a business that didn't suitor and she had, you know, read all the business advice done all the things that she should dio she's a genius copy ratings for her website with him amazing and immediately convinced you should hire her but that's not actually what she wanted out of life, and so since that wasn't her definition of success when she got it, she was just overwhelmed. So another example is actually someone who didn't make money but who could have a very successful blawg and platform with hundreds of thousands of readers. And when we started working together, she was at her wits in because the readers and participate er's in her community. I didn't buy anything ever so she worked forty, fifty, sixty hours a week for free producing content that people freaked out over loved she's asked right for magazines, she was asked to do all these amazing things, but the product she was making weren't speaking to her customers so there's a couple different places where it didn't quite match up, and one is that she was giving away so much free content that people didn't get, they should be paying for things, and another way it didn't line up is that her readers and followers were one set of people, but she wanted to produce a different kind of product. So all of those people didn't matter if they're not the right people that are actually going to spend money on your product. And if you're not clear, like our kale story from session to, if you're not clear that your thing is a valuable and worth paying for, because you're just giving people so much free stuff that they don't even know that you sell it, then that's going to be a mismatch between what looked like outward success and many people think of her as successful in the industry and in her own definition of success was that I can pay my rent and I can buy groceries. Those two things didn't line up. So that's actually what got me first thinking about working with both of these people, how important it is to define success for yourself because it seems kind of obvious that you want to create a business that you will love, but I'm surprised at how easy it is to create a business that you don't love. It's actually quite easy if you put in the work and you do the things you're supposed to dio tio have some measure of success that just doesn't fit in with your life and makes you miserable, so I'd like to hear from you guys, what is the successful business look like for you? So somebody want to share? Yeah, I thought of I mean, I have positive things, but I also thought, you know what? I can't take overwhelm, so I thought of like, what I don't want to have is overwhelmed. So how would I not have that? What be able to make enough money so I can hire somebody to do the books? So since my nor my north star's acceptance is like accepting, you know, I'm never going to be good at keeping my books right, but I need to make enough money to hire somebody to do that. Yes, yes, that's good. So I'm part of a successful businesses that you're paying someone else to do with the math. Yeah, I did not feel overwhelmed, right? Always go backto going like that. What do I do? Not? So I would charmed you to dig into what overwhelmed means to you, many people are overwhelmed because they don't know what action to take their overwhelmed with too many options if that's the case the answer is to get specific about what action to take but other people are overwhelmed because they have too much work and they don't have a good way of doing the production you know and if that's what you're afraid of you might be stopping yourself from selling more work because you're afraid if he saw too much you'll be too overwhelmed so I ask you to write down like what is overwhelm what specifically are you afraid of? Because there's a lot of different ways you could also be overwhelmed in time you could be overwhelmed with what if I have too much money what I spend it on which is which right? So does someone else want to show there definition of a successful business for you? Yeah um it's funny that we're talking about overwhelmed because last night when we were by the hotel room were lying in bed and I was looking at my shop and I was like going through all the sold orders and I had just a list and then on top of the huge wholesale order that I'm also doing and I'm like I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I'm so incredibly thankful but I'm realizing this is so much time to do all of this and it's time that's taking away from my family and yes I want to do what I love and I'm still going to do what I love but initially, when I started everything, I didn't think I'd be spending so much time in the craft room yeah, that I am and then I have the guilt like, well, you know, I have I need to spend time with my family and I'm like working on this and it's hard to take it all in, so I realized, you know what? I need to just raise my prices and you were telling me on and then it's it's sad because, like I felt bad for raising my prices, but I'm like I can't do it all the time like I cannot be this overwhelmed and so stressed out, right? Absolutely so I made that change and hopefully, you know, keep making changes, I'm not so over well, I'm so glad to hear it that's and that's a big thing, so you shouldn't feel bad because you're not forcing anybody to pay more money, right? It's what we're talking about a state with john raising her price is not holding anybody at gunpoint and saying, you must buy this it's that it's going to be for your right for your right people, it's, it's, they're going to be able to afford it that's part of what makes him there right people is that this is something that they want in their life and they can afford it, and so you have to be paid for that time and energy so that you can lead a sustainable life because the alternative is that should get burn out and you don't do it anymore and in that case nobody gets their bridal crown right if you let yourself get burned how you don't get to offer this to the world anymore if you just get if the overwhelmed builds and builds and builds so finding solutions like that raising your price is actually the first thing I was going to suggest when he started talking some grad agreed on that but then I was like well how much higher do I raised like I'm just like yeah well so I would definitely do some math around your profit margin a little experiment so I would do the math around your profit margin around each product compared to how much time you're spending and then do some math around part of what about defining a successful business is actually defining a number so if you wanted to make x a year how many crowns would that be and that number might freak you out you might be like I could not make five hundred thousand crowns a year so then you have to raise your prices in order to reach that number or you have to change something else about how your business works maybe you hire little elves that come in and so with you I have one little elf c s so there's there's a couple different ways and that's the thing to keep in mind when you're feeling overwhelmed is that there are always options you can always you can always go back you can always make your thing limited edition you can always change what you're charged change who helps you but you can only do that if you have some limits in your mind I'm on lee willing to spend this much time or I'm only willing to make this much money if I do this much work and then I have this goal of making this much and in order to do that then everything kind of flows from that so you do a lot of its math to begin with but then you'll have an idea okay I need to sell x amount of weak I can easily do that in these many hours and then sometimes it's a matter of setting up boundaries these in my work hours these air my family hours that you don't really overlap and I'm gonna give myself permission to not be with my family I'm gonna give myself permission to not be with my business so if I raise prices than like oh a lot higher like do I announce it to the world before I change the prices or do I just go in and change the prices when I feel like it pisses people off it's like all the scent on there like what the heck here's the thing to remember most people don't remember most people don't have any memory of what your price I've been like kind of stalking you since before this class, I could not even tell you a range of what your prices were part of that is because I'm not necessarily in the market, but part of that is that people will look and then be like, oh, I love that, and then they'll go for that's a really specific number that means a lot to you, but most people aren't going to remember everybody have worked with its changer, prices, they haven't gotten any comments at all about something except for right now. I was going to say the difference is, is that you were priced above the rest of your market, so they weren't comparing you to you. They were comparing you to everybody else and that's the thing, so they don't. They don't remember what your price used to be, probably they just looked at your story was about how they looked at everybody else, so it's, the thing and keep in mind is that if you raise it now, I always tell people to make the announcement if you want to make more sales, but you seem overwhelmed with orders so I would go in and change it. And you have some options with it. If you have a goal number, I think I'll change it to this. You can go at the midpoint, first, do whatever doesn't freak you out. I mean, from a purely business standpoint, I tell you, raise it right up there, see what happens. You can always change it, and then you would announce that my crowns just became more affordable. If you wanna, you know, change sales like that, so I would announce it. If that will drive sales to you, though, people will say it's my last chance to get it for this price, and they'll go jump on it. But if you feel overwhelmed, don't do that. Don't drive more people to you. Does that help? Yes, ok, awesome.

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.