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Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Lesson 4 of 12

Marketing That Stands Out: Your Sparkle

Tara Swiger

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

4. Marketing That Stands Out: Your Sparkle

Lesson Info

Marketing That Stands Out: Your Sparkle

So the heart of marketing is really three things your message what what it is you're saying your people who you're talking teo and then how to speak directly to them, how to find them and talk to them and also you though using language that works for them that's what we're going to go through in the rest of these three segments and the first one is what's your message and super simply your message is I sell this thing fill in the blank and it does this for these people by the end of the segment and by the end of the day I want to be able tio say that sentence about your thing very clearly so that's our goal here today because the thing is no matter what your website looks like matter what you do on twitter if you don't clearly have this message, none of it works nobody knows what it is you're saying I'm sure you've all had the experience of seeing somebody with a huge amount of twitter followers and you go to their page and can't figure out what did it or you go to somebody's web site ...

and this is especially troops and crafty websites and you don't know that they saw something you think maybe they just post tutorials there just have a personal blawg so you want to be very clear about your message so that you can share it everywhere but simply just saying I sell this thing is much there's actually tell it in the wrong order. S o the first one, your message is that the heart I saw this thing to make it work better. You want to be able to say you saw this thing, and it does this for these people, so that's, what we're heading towards is to be able to be really specific. This is a much better message, it's, much clearer. Oh, see, that came in all the wrong order. A much better message is the more specific one, because at the heart of this is what your thing does for your right people, and that is all about what makes it different, because you need to be communicating that you do something on ly you could dio now, we all know where special snowflakes and everyone is unique, but actually communicating that can be really tricky on part of what makes it so hard is because, like we talked about earlier, it feel self emotional, it feels too much like we're talking about ourselves. It can just be really awkward, but when you're crafting work from your own hands and your mind, you are your biggest asset, you are the thing that makes your thing special, you are the person who is talking and communicating, knowing that, and what makes you specifically do what you do different than what everybody else does. We'll make your marketing that much more effective because if you make the message, I just I just sell yarn. People aren't gonna understand why that's different from everybody else who sells yarn. But when you have something really specific, like you said in the first segment that you help knitters become the knitters, they want to be that's, super specific, other netware designers aren't doing that that really speaks to both what matters to you, you and what matters to them says where we want to get so clear first about you, even though you might be uncomfortable with that. Now, just hearing that you should be yourself is, you know, not that helpful and kind of frustrating on actually the advice that I got doing this today, everyone's, that'd be yourself. Well, that's really hard to figure out. I mean, being yourself is, like, very vague, and it takes people their entire lives to figure out who they are. So we're gonna break it down and get a little more tactical on how you just be yourself. Because that advice, it can be frustrating. So the first thing is that you have to actually believe that what you do is unique. And you have to stop comparing it to what other people dio so before we can even focus on what you do that special. You have to get over this idea of competition and comparison. Because you are the heart of what makes your business special by infusing you and what you do what's special about you into everything. The competition isn't even going to matter. It's not going to be that people compare your thing to what they can get at wal mart. Because your thing is so clearly yours. Like your photo jewelry is so clearly yours and mentioned earlier it's nothing like the pandora jewelry it's so specifically what only you, khun dio and your bridal stuff is so you and your vision and your pictures and everything nobody's even going to look at other things. Because if they want yours, they want just yours. So if you flip to page nine and your workbook, we are going to get really clear on you. And what I call your sparkle and with that I mean is just the thing that sticks out. Um, everyone else. So you know, when something sitting there and it's sparkling and its glittering it catches your eye and that's going to be what your marketing does, because that's what you and your product to do naturally you just maybe need some help in bringing that out and showing people that sparkle and polishing it up a little bit so that people can see what makes it special so you can start to filling out the questions on page nine and page ten um because we're really going to dig in tow what makes your thing special? I want to talk about it a little bit as you're filling in the workbook um so the qualities that are going to specify in this work but in this worksheets will help you craft your core message because that's going to affect every other part of communication you d'oh when we get clear on what this message is, you will be able to communicate it across the board. When you're thinking about what to say on twitter, you'll come back to your message. When you thinking about what kind of photos to take on instagram you come back to this message when you think about your block post will come back to this message so this will impact everything else we do it from here on out and this is how you rise above the noise, the internet a very noisy place and I think all of us have online businesses even if you go to an in person craft show it's very noisy there's so many different things people can see so the only way you stand out is by doing the thing that only you khun d'oh so what I was talking a little bit about comparison we're going to get into this a little more here while you fill out your workbook and the pictures my dog and my friends dogs you can see they both have the same coloring but they're totally different dogs now bow compared himself to say he'd be miserable because she's like cute adorable and he's a big lug um my friend actually picked out this picture is the example because I love it so the thing is is comparison kills the sparkle by making you dr self because that you get really busy looking at what they're doing great and what they're doing amazingly and you just think oh I could not do that or they already have so many sales I'll never get to that point so before we can think about and you couldn't get clear talking about it you have to totally get rid of this so this is how we're gonna compact comparison which we talked about in the last night you were going to define success for yourself so you don't get distracted by what everyone else is doing so we talked a little bit about knowing your limits and how much time you wanted to put into it once you get really clear on that you will stop paying attention to people who are doing other things, hopefully you stop comparing yourself to people's businesses who have totally different goals. So if your north star is sustainability and yours this fame that they're going to lead you to have a totally different kinds of businesses, and if you were to compare them constantly, you would both feel lacking well, she's doing this well, she is doing this, so by getting really clear about what matters to you, you'll be able tio totally cut out comparison. Hopefully it doesn't want to focus relentlessly on your own sparkle. Now, this could be really hard, but you want to keep your eye on what you're doing well and spend all of your energy making it show up more in the world, making it clearer on your website, making it clearer and your conversations with people, because when you do that, you're too busy to look what everybody else is doing, and when you look at what everybody else is doing, you can no longer see about what makes sure thing special. So I thought I had another point there. How is filling out the workbooks going? Are you getting some clarification about your own sparkle and actually even example to share, um, about someone who got really sidetracked by comparison in her business? This was a client I worked with your shara name names remain nameless, she was an artist, and she was fucking on what another artist had done become successful, she'd used a very specific tool to build her following. Now that my client had tried that and hated it, she was never active there, she never did anything, and so we're talking and I said, well, if you hate that, you should just not use it anymore, right? Just focus instead on what you want to dio she me all these reasons, she didn't want to do it, so we talk more. We talk about her marketing play and we start to come up with something, and she brings up another three times this other tool that she thought she should be using the but you already said you used it and you hated it, but so and so built a huge audience on there. So he's been an entire conversation going back to the point, but you don't like it, so you don't have to use it and that I was overwhelmed because artists, it is amazing. Her work is well known, she's been published, and yet she couldn't get her eye off what someone else said dot do, too. Built her business and focus on what she could dio because that tool she kept going back to wanting to use it but she already knew she she didn't like it she wasn't going to she said, oh every time I tried to use it I just became overwhelmed and then I would put it off and then I would just like procrastinate on my other work because I felt so bad so cut it out like it sounds obvious just stop doing it like ignore it, go away from it don't be doing it any more so what I took away from that experience though is to be encouraged that even someone who seems like they got it all figured out can still be so easily sidetracked. So it's why we keep focusing on your north stars your intentions and then in this work sheet on what makes your specific thing special and you'll notice that what I asked you to do here is to list things that make you happy things you say all the time colors that show up in your work because this is all an indication of the thing that makes your work different from anybody else is so even to yarn makers you know, I started out making urine and I have a friend who's a yarn maker as well and our colors couldn't be more different she is very earth tones very uh like elegant kind of and mine was all bright and loud and colorful because that's that's more who I am, so by getting clear on what made our work different, we would also talk about it in a different way she would talk about hers is being elegant and refined and perfect for lace projects and mine was like crazy and I like bright hat s and bright shawls and we'll talk totally differently we're talking to two totally different people even though you think you're in lovers or urine lovers people want different things from their yarn and we would use totally different words to describe it so that's why you first want to get clear on the colors, the tones, the kind of vision of your work so you can communicate that everybody else so I would like to hear from you guys, what are you discovering in the workbook that stands out? What part of your sparkle is particularly standing out to you here today? Or do you have questions as you fill it out? Oh you guys, they're all working a comment coming in here quick one that I want to read from kris with a k and they say finding your sparkle is so good but so hard I feel like I need a focus group of my friends, family clients to help me find my sparkle maybe someone you agree with that same thing they were trying to write it down, it's like I'm trying to talk to that person right now until somebody so it's yeah, it's hard. So maybe you don't think about someone else looking at it. Think about how you think about it. We're going to translate it into their language in segment three or for so you just how do you talk about it? One of the things you love about it, what are so what? What? What point? Find that workbook are you at that you feel stuck like I'm jumping around, like, put a little bit because once I answer a little bit of one question, it will kind of help me answer a little bit more because I've never released that there and dug into why I do it. I just it inspires me and I just do it like I've never had to x explain that or known how to explain it. So it's like it's a step by step process, I think it is. It is so good and that's actually. What I find is that most people haven't taken the time to think. Why do I make this? What I love about it because it's so obvious and especially if you were just a hobbyist first and just a crafter first you didn't need to a clinic anybody was just your passion and now to talk about it is so hard because you've never had to in the past, you know, but and that's why? I asked you first a lot of questions about yourself, like what makes you happy? Why do you love it? Because that is going to influence how you talk about it. But it's really? About right now? Just you. Yeah. So if one of the things that kind of surprised me about what I what makes me happy is that finding you like my best friends who understand like tough, tough things and just laughing at darkness just like a big understand that and you could just let you know it's to me that's I like me with a laugh it absurd, painful times I love that. But that says live that has a lot about the cup personality that your brand can have you know what I mean? Because you khun b you can poke fun at darkness on and be kind of have like a black sense of humor about things and stand out for that because so many people are chinese and glossy and you like right that's awesome though that's going to stand out, did you I have no problem being myself I actually have to rein it in a lot of times and chris with the k sparkle so she shouldn't even say that everybody knows she sparkles do we have something from the chat room about people wanting to share what they're learning from this worksheet yeah we have a few more people who are sharing some of their their spark sparkle this one comes from pinks and says my tagline refers to celebrating the sparkling you so this topic really speaks to me the funny thing is that I never really have applied that to myself my sparkle is that moment when I have created something and knowing that it will be part of someone's day collection or a gift etcetera yeah that's a great way to explain it yeah I think a lot of makers start out for that joy of creating something that goes and lives in someone's life like that is the reason why it's so easy for us to give it away and some of them so hard to not giving away is because we want someone else to like experience that you know way specifically make it for someone else to be enjoying it so this will probably be no surprised tio so I actually do what I do just because I have teo and it didn't ever really occur to me that I had to sell it or make other people like it and so that's my struggle is because right I just I would do it if I was locked in a room by myself so I guess I'm not driven by the marketing but I need to market excitement to pace for doing it right and in this segment just focus on that just focus on that drive because that sets you apart too as a knitwear designer there are a lot of other network designers who do it because they see other people doing it or because they just want to recreate something on their own but you are compelled in a different way I think that feeling compelled is part of what makes your work special because we talked about well but before your work is intense and it requires commitment on the new nurse part and that kind of passion is such an overused word but I like he's weird obsession that makes you stand apart because you that's going to affect the work you make but that also helps you communicate with your buyer because they're obsessed to in order to buy and make one of your most intricately shawls they have to be obsessive about it I mean they don't have to be but that's part of the brand you know I mean that's part of what you d'oh that makes sense yeah so I think go with that go without obsession and feeling compelled and remember to answer the questions through page ten because what we're going to do after you and the reason why I say don't worry about how you're going to communicate this yet just focus on you and what you like is because once you finish going all the way through page ten, you're going to go back and circle the word it's that show up again and again because these are words that you want to use to impact your brand. What I mean by your brand is like what people see when they look at your work, you are your word usage in your descriptions, the photos you take the things you share on social media, these were the words that you are going to kind of guide you in those things, but for now just answer the questions and then circle the ones that stand out to you even if you don't like him if they stand out because you don't like them and you want to find a synonym or you hate them, that is all very good information. And if you're thinking what I need to answer these questions about myself, I know all this. The fact is you do know all this but putting it into words it's a first step of you being able to put it into the words to the rest of the world because, like we're talking about, you don't often have to talk about your own work before you have your business so getting started doing it can be tricky so this is going to just get you started talking about what you love another question the people can people share well, we have one that question that came up a little bit earlier it's sort of a general question but I think it applies the sparkle and this comes from taylor stone illustration and they say what is the difference between what you do and what you make now with your sparkle kind of be changing as what you make changes well so when I asked that question in the workbook I often ask the same question a couple different ways because people will perceive it in different ways so it doesn't really have to be any distinction sometimes when I asked what you d'oh people say I'm an illustrator what do you make? Oh I make custom illustrations for kids is bedroom malls so that those you want to just get specific about both and really it's fine of the same answers both like I monitor and I make knitwear you know um did that yeah, you got covers that I think that covers that absolutely okay so once you get clear and are there any more questions about filling this out anything that feels sketchy or not sure about this is crazy because I have so many words I cannot think of any words or phrases that I used right and I can like crack out five hundred words less than ten minutes yeah yeah well maybe and maybe it's because of the intel you do it right this minute so maybe in the break if you're struggling to come up with the words in the break go off by yourself don't visit with your friends and and answered these that's actually going to your homework after the segment why have lunch is tio finish filling these out because it does take time and thought and you might not be able to do it under the bright lights because it's okay if it takes a while especially if you're trying to keep up with a chat room and social media as you're trying to think about yourself what I found tio is that this is uh it you have to go internal, you have to really think and maybe be by yourself and so if you're paying attention to the chap and you're paying attention a lot of other people are doing it could be distracting just like we're talking about with comparison, you have to get away from all that. What I often talk clients is to go off line at least for an hour and fill this out without any input because we're so used to input and be hard to think about what you do that special when you're looking at what five hundred other shiny or people are doing will this be, like the basis like for the next segments coming up so we can always like later on after today's, go back and do this tonight and then we'll just always come back to it because it seems like it's really important that's going to get warm, everything else? Yeah, yeah, and we'll make sure we have time during lunch. Frito finish it because it's going to inform just even that I was second. All right, it is, and this is something. I'm glad you asked that because you can come back to this again and again in your business. I found that, um, as a business has grown, a that I've changed in my life situation has changed. These answers changed, too. So this isn't like you're answering it for all time. You're answering it for today and what you want today and what you want to make today. So if you started a new business or you change things or you wanted to start a new product, you could go back and ask these questions.

Class Description

You are the expert on your products and your story. Learn how to turn that story into a marketing message that communicates the value of your handcrafted products in a compelling and memorable way.

In Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work, Tara Swiger will guide you through the process of creating a marketing message that feels authentic to you and resonates with buyers. Tara will help you identify the right audience for your brand and coach you on crafting products that meet your customers’ needs. You’ll also learn about sharing your marketing message in a relatable and trustworthy way.

Buyers of handmade goods love to hear the story behind their purchases; learn how to find them and confidently tell yours.  

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Resource Guide for Marketing for Crafters

Marketing for Crafters Bibliography

Marketing for Crafters Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I enjoyed this course and Tara made it easy to figure out our target market without stressing. For the first time I feel like I got it down. I couldn't quite figure out how to describe my buyers, but Tara helps you narrow it down with her word lists and questions. I also feel good knowing it can change as my business does. There is another similar course by Lisa Jacobs and it was frustrating and I just couldn't get it- she wouldn't even be helpful off line- But Tara sends out loads of inspirational ideas and tips. Plus she tries to help you personally with kindness and patience- unlike Lisa! To some this course may seem slow moving- but if you need step by step confirmation of how to get there- this is your course. I don't get some things easily- and expressing what I make and why was my biggest hurdle so I needed details on how to get there. Tara is easy to listen to, and understand and so is the workbook- you don't need to print a million pages either! She's confident but not cocky. Like I said- this is the first of a dozen courses I have followed trying to pin down my target audience and expressing to others- what is so special about what I make, and she made it effortless to get there. I enjoy Tara's emails, blogs and course- I don't feel like I have more questions to ask when she communicates- for me, she makes things pretty clear.

Amy Lamp

This course really helped me clarify the thoughts swirling around in my head about what I make, the language I use to describe it, and how different scenarios call for different language. Now that I know about focusing on my Right People, I don't have to worry about trying to make my work or marketing for everyone. Tara did such a great job of creating a workbook that walks through the thought process step by step -- it was enlightening to see that the "spotting my sparkle" words are the same qualities that describe my work! That made me feel like I'm headed in a direction that's a good fit for me and how to stay true to my vision rather than jumping all over the place. Tara is smart, thoughtful, focused, and calming. Learning from her makes the daunting task of marketing a small business doable, and even something to look forward to.

Nessa Jay

This is hands down the best marketing course aimed at crafters and creatives I have ever taken. Tara is knowledgeable, passionate and gets down into the nitty-gritty details so many other courses gloss over. Seriously: no ridiculous promises and absolutely NO 'one-size-fits-all' teachings. Tara breaks the subject down into SPECIFIC and thought provoking steps/questions that will make you take a good look at what you do, why you do it and who it's for. The workbook and videos are easy to follow and very insightful. Come prepared to dig deep! I'm in the middle of a transition period in my business and before taking this course I felt confused on how exactly to verbalize my new take on my work. I walked away from the course with a clear understanding of my Right People, what I do to fulfill their needs and what language I should be using to speak to them. I highly recommend this course.