Focusing Your Marketing Sparkle
You notice that on page thirteen I want to point this out that when someone else sees it what's the first thing that comment on this is huge because we usually can't see our own awesomeness you are just used to being you and thinking the way that you think and seeing the world the way that you see it but that lens through which you view the world that shapes everything you d'oh, it shapes how you approach things, how you talk about them, what you make and but because it's your lens, you can't really see that it's different than everybody else's so having someone else paying attention to what people comment on about your work can show you what's unique about it well, most people want to do is be humble and the oh no really it's fine, but don't I mean you can you can react like that you want to take a note of what they said and and then make sure you're working that and when you talk and we're going to talk a little bit later about capturing people's words so that you're using their exac...
t words but for now just focus on what is people's first reaction to it it might be totally different than what you expect yeah, well you're the questions here like where do you see where do your supplies come from? And that could really be a main part are important part of the whole how do you describe your work? Absolutely that's obvious tub. You know, I just he's a real real questions. I'm a good I'm here. Yes. Oh, that questions actually interesting, because when I knew I wanted tio make yarn, I thought about I researched where the yarn comes from and what it's doing. And this is in two thousand six where there wasn't really the sustainable yarn movement yet. Maybe if you're not in it or you don't know, they're just in sustainable urine movement now. And a lot of yarns tell you where they came from, and the more that I learned about a lot of the practices I didn't agree with, I decided that I was going teo on ly get my arm from suppliers where it was sustainable or small batch or or were the factory remnants like stuff they would throw away? Instead, it was perfectly good, but it just didn't fit in their machines. I would take it in, spin it so and I always struggle to come up with a word for that. Is it eco friendly? Is it sustainable? Is it you know? But by knowing where my products that was one of the very first decisions, I made it my business and not impacted. What I sold what how I talked about it where my yarn stood in comparison with other yarns so yeah knowing where your supplies come from is huge if you're making a conscious decision about it and if you're you know it doesn't have to be that it's sustainable it could also be that you work in conjunction with another artist tio something to make some aspect of it and you take their work and you combine it with your work um does that does that make sense and it goes back to the flowers in your crowns the fact that you're not using the supply from the craft stores it comes but you're deconstructing and reconstructing it that that answers that questions about where your supplies come from and that's going to impact how you talk about it now I also want you guys to go back on page thirteen you'll see that I tell you to look back at what she wrote and look for what words in your description describes something that's a different than what other people do and I want to circle these words and these are bright spots and what I mean by that is this is a place where you're already being awesome and you're already being unique so what I what I hear a lot from crafters is I don't know if what I make his unique I don't know if what I make is good enough the fact is it is if you're doing your best possible work and you're creating something high quality it's not an issue of you getting better or different it's an issue of you being able to spot what is better a different those bright spots already exist you just wanna sift through them all and that's why I asked you so many questions is to get you to write so many different words to get you to dig up something that maybe you didn't even know about your work example here that eyes and knew exactly what you're what you're discussing this comes from april and they say I make soap as well as bath and beauty products I make them with natural ingredients that are better for you but I'm having trouble finding what makes my product better than the other hand crafters in my line of work we're all making better for you prada I can't say that my sparkle is in my products so how do I address this so there are a few things that could be different about it um I didn't hear you say did you clarify what supplies she uses not the specific but she says that I make the soap with natural ingredients that are better for you right so she's right though so many soap makers and talk tio is national ingredients which means that it's better for you so you have a few ways of going about this one is it something about your soaps there's some other quality like do they smell do they include oatmeal that scrubbing I don't actually know about soap so that might not be nothing but do they? What else is included in it for example there's a lavender farmer near where I live and she makes soaps and lotions that all included the lavender from her farm and she even buys lavender because she doesn't make enough to make all the body supplies that she makes but the fact that she's a lavender farmer is the differentiator so it's more about her than about our product because there's lots of lavender soaps out there but instead of focusing on the product she focused on what she adds to it so this person I would ask them is there some other aspect of the product like its smell it's adan's the way that it will be used differently and if not and that's fine what about herself? Is she putting into it where did she come from? Does she have a story? This is a huge part is you might have a personal story that somebody was seen yourself on the shelf wouldn't necessarily know but it impacts your reason and you'll connect with your customers over it so the I didn't I quit nursing school in order to be a state home mom and do this business is a story that your customer could connect with of course your product also has all these other qualities that make it unique but that story of why you're doing it or some people start making soaps because they don't want to expose their family to the harsh detergents that aaron other soaps so they have a story that it's about their own life wanting to provide a better product or if you have a story about they're being a gap in the market like you were looking for x and you couldn't find it anywhere. So then I made this and it's the solution to this that's a story that even if your product basically contains what other people's products does that's, what makes it different is the reason that you went after it and that's why I asked you questions about yourself you can add in the question what's my story like, why did I get started making this? Because that often leads you to a really interesting place that gives you a perspective that other soap makers might not have. Is there a certain medication? You know, we have a few more that are coming in as people are doing these exercises as they're writing these down, I think that's when these questions come to them so it's good that we're doing these activities this one's interesting this one comes from curious lerner and they say the first word that people always say about my products cute but I'm nothing but cute should I respond to that? I tend to tense up in my seriousness gets the best of me everything that I want to say sounds cute in my mind, but boring when I say it, we're gonna happens if you do get that that label of cute, but you want a little bit more than that? Well, so I would focus on what it is that you do want to be and forget about you, focus on what it is, and without knowing more about how adorable your product is. Maybe you, if you feel like people's reaction to your product is an in line with your intentions for it, you might want to look at what that means. Are you making something that's in in alignment with who you really are? It might be that you need to shift a little bit like maybe you need to start adding more black or schools or something and show your dark side. I'm not quite sure with the choice would be, but you might want to look at first if your products really are in line with what, what you want them to be, and then focus on the words that you want to focus on, people will shift based on how you describe your work to them, so also focus on how you're displaying it if you are displaying a doughnut hearing on like a really cute little girl. People are going to call it cute, whereas if you show it and somebody that has a mohawk, they're going to call it edgy. So how you display to the world is how people will look at it and so that's. Another thing is to check out your own branding, but first to do that, you want to get clear on what it is that you want it to say and that your products are in line with that. And actually, you know, I said the thing about the story, I totally forgot. I've actually ask you these questions on page fourteen and fifteen, the next step. So we've talked about you and your vision, your aesthetic when we talk about your products and what makes it unique. But the other side of this is what on lee, you can do this whole be yourself special snowflake thing you actually have had experiences, knowledge? Um, and things happen in your life that has made you look at your product totally differently than anyone else who's making it so on page fourteen. This is what I tell the soap maker to dio is to talk about think about what air the life experiences that brought you to this point. Did you fall in love with soap making at a workshop? Do you do it because you only consume natural products? Do you make it because you're vegan and you don't have anything to do with animal products um and then what experience or education did you bring to doing this work for example, if you're a knitwear designer that also teaches fashion, then that experience totally changes the kinds of things you're designing and it's not going to be like someone who doesn't know anything about fashion and is designing you can write about what inspired you to start your business why you make what you make and the big one is how you want people to feel we talked earlier about a lot of us make things because we want to see it and someone else's life I think that's a comment we got from the chat room and so what is that feeling you want people to have? It might be peaceful it might be joyful it might be freaking out excited like when you were talking a little bit about fame and being an oprah magazine what you're talking about there is the feeling you want people have is that they I want it they think it's amazing they're so excited and that's not something if you are selling you know, pillows to sleep on that you necessarily want people to be excited about you want them to feel rest ful calm or if you're selling lavender self but might be relaxing so you can go back to that list of qualities I gave you on page seven kind of if you are having a hard time thinking of the right words or some words listed there and you think about how you want them to feel when they open it when they use it when it's living in their life, what is that going to be like? Because that's the thing that's totally unique to you because I might want my yarn to make you really happy and somebody else wants there you're in it to make you feel warm and cozy and like you just snuggled in at home in front of a fire that distinction will totally change your marketing no change of pictures you take the description to write and the places that she market and how you go about it so you thought page fourteen and fifteen and I'm asking you guys a lot of questions so what are they saying in the chat room with this question came up actually talking about having those unique words no this is this is interesting I want to know your take on this this comes from twin set jan and they say as tara talks about using words that others aren't using doesn't that limit having your product found in marketplaces like etc when people use the more common words to search for things that's a great question and there's a very big distinction between the words that you used tio shape your brand and the words that you're going to use for search engine optimization we're going to talk about search engine optimization a teeny bit uh in the next session ah and we're going to talk about how to identify the words that people search for that you want to make a totally different than how you describe your brand and how you talk to the world about your work because search engines are computers and very technical and they're looking for really specific phrases they're not looking for mood and feeling but if you just talk to the world like a computer it's going to sound very stilted and you're gonna look like everybody else so in an example like that see you will tag entitle your product in order to highlight those search engine optimized phrases you've chosen but you want to write a description like a real human be being a human being connecting with another human being and for that you need words that other people aren't using not necessarily made up words but words that display the mood or the brand of what you're doing and so for now it's all about you in the next segment we're going to talk all about the person you're selling tio but you first have to know about you and what you make because it's so tempting to change what you do it to get other people to like it and the minute you do that it becomes like what everybody else offers and it becomes so that you can't make it unique there's no amount of marketing that will make it stand out if you are trying to make other people like it. So the first half is about you and the second half is about the people and your responsibility through all this and you probably hear me say this a lot is to say one hundred percent focused on what makes you think special we're only going to go over this in this in this one segment your sparkle, but I want you guys to keep this in mind throughout it the whole system builds on you knowing and you being focused on what makes your work special so you have tio remind yourself narrow back down, okay, but how does this apply to what I make and how does what I make stand out here in this instance or on this platform? And this becomes your brand? And I've said that word a few times what I'm really talking about is a cohesive vision you're showing to the world this will be your products, your photos, your website, your your personality when you're online, the you that you show the world that's, a cohesive brand shaped around all these things we've talked about your sparkle, your product sparkle, your experiences in the world and how you make a cohesive is to be really true to who you are. You cannot create a cohesive brand built on what you're trying to be, what you're trying to pretend the fakeness so that's, why I wanted to talk about what's so great about who you already are, so that you can focus on that and that of what you're really trying to be, or how you wished people saw you. So when you know your sparkle, you create a cohesive brand, and this makes your work unmistakably yours. When somebody sees your jewelry in the world, they're going to know it your jewelry versus other people that might make photo jori I wanted for when people saw my bright happy yard in the world for them to know that it was mine, that that's where it came from and this could be tricky if you do something like so, which on its own is just a square, a brick of whiteness, but so you're you're branding and you're labeling would help it stand out, and it would be totally in alignment with your website, which would be in alignment with the way that you talk about it on twitter, facebook, instagram, the way that your photos look, all of that creates a cohesiveness so that when people see it there like, oh, I totally know that crown belongs to her because it has this vibe. No, your brand also gives you focus, it keeps you from getting distracted by what other people are doing, and it focuses your actions so that you only do things that are in alignment with that. For example, some people's brands are like kid focused, so they need to focus on marketing that's going to reach the people who buy things for kids, which are either their moms of their grandma's and so they can say goodbye to all of the things like snapchat that teenagers air using because if you're selling something to mothers of six months old, you might not need to be on snapchat, you know, whereas if you're selling something to fifteen year olds, maybe you would be I actually know nothing about snapchat, but I know fifteen year olds like it s so so we'll focus you and we'll just keep you making the right decisions. So knowing that, knowing everything we've talked about about you, your product, your sparkle and your own experiences, I would like to hear about the qualities that you think that define your brand so you guys have shared with me what makes it different like the fact that you've you've sowed the lace on or the fact of your experience being a fashion instructor or that you hand stamp but what what are the qualities then of your brand and this is kind of the big questions that's not like you have to have it right because you're going keep thinking and working on this but um starting tio identify it and talk about it will really help again they're looking intently all right at practical there's something yeah practical about the words I like that a is that equality yeah no totally so you mean practical is in they will apply to their daily life I think so. I like that you know like that a lot. So it's not that's why it's not inspirational so much is like you know relatable price like how and so earlier couldn't hand standing on jewelry no that's okay well paper our campus okay or you know bored right? Ok. So it's artwork it's our practical e great because that's not how we think about our work like that dichotomy makes my brain couple and I want to know more about that so something like it's art for daily life for your yeah I like that that's going words out there no tracks goes great let's hear more words qualities of your brand I think personal I don't know that I like personally but you know your work also has its so there's personal and like precious, you know I mean like really sweet or tender or cute but from just the pieces you're wearing today I'm guessing that that's not the way you're work leans it's not towards personal and like precious keepsake e it's more like wearable and art you know, like art jewelry all right, exactly my tagline is to turn your, um favorite memories into a wearable works of art that's genius and so then I think that the qualities of your brand are that it is wearable like practical and also though that it is so personal I give it you mean by personal isn't just that it's your own pictures that it's at your own style oh, so you're like helping people make a piece of jewelry that fits their style and not just their photos. Um well I because I don't think about that you think about in the worksheets what, how your styles reflected in your jewelry and if or if you do all kinds of styles like you're not wearing something on a really delicate silver chain oh it's a teen aged charms right so it's beated and its boulder is a little louder and younger I think those are okay yeah bye oh yeah that's a good one yeah that's guy could market anyone else write it so you may become of descriptions of someone else because and that's what I was saying like you're looking through your lens all the time so you can't even see your lens anymore you don't even realize it's there it's just impacting you so having someone else be like hey, you see your lenses like this if that really helps and it was also like being proud of of your past you're wearing that you're saying this is me this is my family on this right? I've done right so there's some there's like a coward you care about your background or being proud of your heritage is kind of some benefit fighting around I like that but it's almost like the quirkiness of our individuality is in fact based on all those weirdos you weigh like I like the weirdos of your past where the weirdos of your past right here hidden in a locket I don't really see them right this way you khun and that's why I made the distinction between really precious sweet jewelry is there's a lot of family heirlooms jewelry that's very like in a little locket and it's cute nobody can deal with this very like loud and proud here's my you know my parents every foot, all right vacation photos too like if I take a good photo on vacation I want to remember it so I'll make a necklace and then right but it's also a conversation shin starter yeah like you can yeah well I think you came up with the word provocative earlier just be right back on you like that say I don't I was thinking of like romance as equality like getting people excited for like to marry the man of their dreams or ah for their new baby that's coming they want like beautiful photos tio remember this time by yeah that well, your work is so tied up I mean, you make the thing for the person aware in the photo it's so tied up to photography and memory keeping and capturing that moment that your pieces like a set piece on capturing that moment, right? And so yeah, I definitely like romance because your work is very romantic just to look at it, not even style just sitting there it's like flowers and b it's pretty this it's very romantic and you said something in the beginning of class when you're describing your work and I can't quite remember the word I want to see bohemian but I don't think that was its bohemian an ethereal I feel like I have like my tagline is having a dormant for the love struck and free so like love struck for the brides and free is more like the bohemian uh aspect of it that's so good so but sometimes I feel like well does it make sense back because I feel like I may have tio describe it well and that's what you can do and your descriptions and people when they see the photo it's so clear what yourself you know like it's clear that it's the the veil on the thing so your words but the love struck I think is a great word to shape your brand because that implies romance and passion and like and the free is like the girl in the field with the wind blowing her veil this that totally shapes your brand I love it and it makes you totally stand out from the ones that are just like the picture of the thing on the table you know yours have the I have amazing photographers so I'd love to hear our people in the chat ready to talk about their qualities of the brand we're sharing qualities of brand but we are getting a lot more questions as people do these activities they're coming up with some other issues when they're thinking about this this one comes from from parker and they say my products are created from other people's patterns so I don't feel I can claim it as my own creation I take customer requests I find an appropriate pattern and I make the product what makes that special how do I describe something like that well, they know more than I do what makes us special because there's got to be some story about why they do this or you can tell the story of why the customer wants it so maybe it's that the blanket pattern is I'm just going to use blankets next probably give your knitting or crushing a blanket for a baby. What makes it special is that wrapping the baby in the blanket that moment of the new mother knew grandmother embracing the new baby with this blanket so you're being a part of their memory um often nick crow shade things reflect warmth and comfort and family so so what makes it unique is a that you're doing it and you have a vision of the world you are, you know, looking through your lens at how you see things and you're a personal aesthetic hopefully when you take custom orders, you stick within a specific style so I would refrain from doing just any order that comes your way and instead doing what you're best at doing that's very intricate lace or if that's a very chunky fast blankets anything in between there, whatever it is that you're you're really good it both doing and seeing a vision for maybe your thing is piecing the right color with the right pattern um one of the uh the women I work with it so's like bags she takes custom orders but what she's really good at is matching the fabrics together to make it look stylish and we what she had to learn to do is when people would say oh I'm one ship with this pink stripe with this zebra print and she knew it wouldn't look good she started telling them actually my experience is that it's going to look better if it's this so she was saying no I'm not going to do that for you and so even if she is someone else's pattern she's definitely using someone else's designed fabric she was making it her own bike by how she was fitting it together so that is something that's unique to you but also the experience that you're giving that person that it's really easy to when you khun put a pattern and fabric together to assume that everyone can do that but really it's the bringing together of the pieces the pieces that that person is providing absolutely and that is such a skill I do you know like pickup on patterns or something and I try to add something different to it I give credit to the original pattern design but like my head bands there's a scallop designed that I learned from a pattern off of etc that inspired me to add feathers and beads to it and make it unique so even if you add an extra stitch or you you know skip a stitch, you're doing something different, you can give that person credit for the pattern, but tell them what you're doing different that would make it more unique than if they bought it from somebody doing the exact pattern. Absolutely and the other piece of that is that you didn't just bring together maybe all the different pieces, but you listen to what that customer wanted and you were able to give it to them because that is a huge skill toe like see what somebody wants, perhaps they say in this room I really need something to tie this together and then you go out and you find the pattern, the fabric or yarn and then you make it for them. That kind of customization is super valuable because the person couldn't do it, they're like, I don't even know what I want and what I find when when I knit things for people is that they have no idea even where to start and then I take what I know about them, their personality, their whatever and I lead them, you know, I think you like this or this, like when I just had a dress sewn up by karen, who we talked to earlier on the chat, she she led me to the patterns that she knew would go with my style already I picked out the fabric because I was already familiar with the fabric I liked but I would have never been able to pick out a dress pattern so her doing that even though she didn't write that pattern her leading me to the right one was a huge service and in the selling of it which I could never do so that in itself is valuable that she's able to make something I couldn't do we had some other people charming in about the qualities of their brand berry says the quality of my brand include warm, timeless, colorful and sentimental and then curious kerry says I think the qualities of my brand are useful simple, easy to use so we have lots of people now we're kind of doing these exercises coming up with answers for their own personal brand so keep those coming and keep sharing with those as you do them absolutely this will just just help you with everything else we have coming up and knowing how you want to describe your work going to be how you actually describe your work so the last question I had for you is what have you learned about so so this segment in particular we talked about things you would in theory already know you know who you are you know what you sell, you know your experiences but by entering the questions what have you learned about your vision, your aesthetic, your brand, your products what is struck you as new and unknown before you did this process? Because a lot of times what stands out to you is it is a new direction you need to start adding into what you're currently doing. So something that came up in a lot of my writing is that my things fit, um, which I know, but and they fit over I I designed them to fit a variety of body types of somebody can pick it up, and it will fit. Um and I don't really talk about the right on this goes back to your experience as a in fashion, uh, you know, uh, how did do you think the average knitter wouldn't be able to do on her own if you just sat on and wanted to knit? No, I'll just make my own sweater. She wouldn't know all those aspects of fit, and you've built that right into your patterns on the difference for me is that anyone can know the sweater, but if unit one of my sweaters, you can actually wear it. Yes, e trouble people months making these things and then it's life. No, not really what I thought was right, but that is so huge, and that is something you could talk about both through. You saying that in the description like end up with a sweater that fits but you also talk about through talking about your own experience what has led you to the point of being able to design like that so money netware designers don't have any background in it your background shapes that and then also you can talk about it by sharing customer stories and examples is and you know I would be a great case study because I have yet to knit a sweater that fits like I wanted to so I know one of your patterns and then it fit I would like to tell the world yeah no and it's because people don't know anymore right you know so I'm doing I always say I thought about it so you don't have tio yes that's cute yeah but first I have to find somebody well first you have to get clear so that the person who wants that is going to come to you because you so I'm a person who has not knit sweaters that fit right so when I'm reading through pattern descriptions one of the things I want them to tell me is that it's going to fit right and with knitting of course you can look on revelry to see people's other projects that they've made and so I do that a lot like I like to look at a whole variety of body types and see did it actually that them right, which kind of impossible to tell because people often pose those photos so that it looks better than it actually would hang on them. So you telling me that makes me makes me know I'm one of your people and so instead of waiting to find the people who that matters to you wantto first put that really clear, so when they come across you, they're like yes, finally, you know, and that's usually the response I get from people when they find me they're like right didn't know you exist? Yeah, we're going to talk about this a little bit later, but one of the things I want to highlight here is once you clear on your your brand qualities and your sparkle you can then look for other people reinforcing that and ask them to share their story. So if your crown made them have the most romantic day, you want to share their story of them saying that if your pattern it made the sweater print that perfectly, you want to share their story because that will reinforce your brand of reinforces it to you, which is always really useful when you're feeling sketchy about it but also reinforces that tire of their customers and then you don't have to say it fits you have ten stories of people who say this fits and that's a lot more powerful yeah, I know that I've like actually wrote things down and it's kind of like made me discover certain things with the holy scarf. It was a mistake that had turned into something beautiful, and something I've struggled with is you can get a scarf, a purse, a headband or anything that's, crow, shade or even most of etc handmade items at a regular store, and you can normally get it at a cheaper price and it's hard to argue your value in your worth to, you know, target or wal mart, and I've learned that those little mistakes are what makes it different than something that's made by a machine. Yeah, I made a mistake, and I decided to advice to it and that's what made it like so unique that you can't get it at a store? Absolutely so it was kind of need to know that it was a mistake. I never looked at it as a mistake, but writing it down, I realized it was it was just a mistake that turned into something beautiful, and that adds so much to your story. When you're sharing it, you can talk about that about how that it was a total fluke, and then it end up in this awesome thing and that is appealing to people age like to know you made mistakes like we talked about earlier to realize other people are making mistakes but also because then it's not something that like somebody created in a lab to be perfect and you know it's so much more personal that way and that's why I say the handmade is not enough thing is to remind you that there's something beyond that you make it by hand it's that you made a mistake and then he added this thing and now you've got something totally new I was thinking about a conversation if you have a blogged like what mistakes what seemed like a mistake for you that really wasn't and then so engaging other people to tell their stories like right about and get in depth about yeah yeah because I've wrote about mistakes as a mom or mistakes is you know, a wife but I've never like really gone in depth on what a mistake like because you don't want to talk about you don't want people to think that you make mistakes all the time in your prada and that is not perfect but that's what makes it different? You're getting something that you can't pick off the shelf designed and created and something this manufactured and, you know, even something this manufactured has gone through a lot of process to make sure there are no mistakes you know, there have been whole art movements around getting away from manufactured and I'm just blanking on the one macintosh uh, prairie style. All of that kind of no, but kind of around that time where there was so much manufactured product that creators said, we want to go back tio truly unmade, keeping things in the u. S right like a huge thing. Yeah, just yeah, and so when you talk about that, you just want to go, what beyond that steps? So that you mentioned that for sure, like someone was just telling me she was at a craftsman, people kept saying, we are these handmade or these manufactured because they're made so well, so she definitely needs to say that they're handmade, and then give them something beyond that.