Skip to main content

craft & maker

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Lesson 3 of 12

Setting Your Intention for Your Craft Business

Tara Swiger

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Tara Swiger

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Setting Your Intention for Your Craft Business

Lesson Info

Setting Your Intention for Your Craft Business

On page eighty khun set an intention I just asked these questions in the workbook do we have somebody wanting to share? Well, we have more people kind of charming in about the work life balance right now. But I want take this time to everybody know out there that this is really beneficial. I think it's important for you to stop. Take that second right down the answers to these questions I know it can be tough sometimes to multi task could be following along and chatting and writing down these answers but now, it's really important to take the time to think about these answers you can share them in the chat room and a couple of minutes from now. But take the time to write down your answers to these questions right now, it's really going to benefit your business? You see everybody here? Yeah, way have the students here everybody's waiting in the notebook that I think is really helpful for all of them right now too. So what are s o the first question is with your north star in mind, what ...

do you want from your business? What are some of the answers? So I actually came up with something that was kind of not what I d'oh yeah, um here is like a breakthrough um so I wrote down that I wanted share my creative exploration and help knitters become the knitters they want to be on dh I've kind of always known that um but I don't think it was a cz clear as it was right then and I think part of my issue is that I'm not talking about my creative process because my assumption is that like really who cares way we're going to get into that later that people do care people want to hear that I think that this is right yeah like as if it were designers is helping people become the knitter they want to be is huge because when you buy a knitwear designed to knit you have some vision of yourself wearing this thing being the kind of person that can not only make it but could wear it and to have you help them become the kind of person who can make that that's we're going to talk about needs a little bit but that's a huge need your feeling for them because that's about their identity and what they're capable of doing and so by you in your marketing bringing them to that point then they can nature patterns and it all fits together I love it and buy you sharing your process you're going to empower those knitters to take the steps to feel like because your patterns are kind of intense and an intricate and so feeling like a powerful enough knitter to take on your pattern you have to get me there well and like I really want to share with people how many mistakes I make yes and how hard it is to come up with the finished product and that you know I'm like head slamming on my desk half the time like why didn't I think of that right? So you can imagine to that by you sharing that process it gives them the permission to make mistakes in their own netting or even tio be overwhelmed into it anyhow right like that that's good anybody else mine is to be comfortable talking about my business but have it not be about me kind of what you're saying it is about connecting with other people so it's just been comfortable doing that yeah we're going to get into that in the last segment today translating it so that you're talking to them about them verses you about you right? Because who cares really with former way right and that will make you exactly it will make you feel so much more comfortable because like we're saying it's not self promotion it's not about you it's about that right? Yeah, I like to be the go to person for a personalized piece of jewelry and replace pandora jewelry because that's not I mean it seems personal but it's really not I mean this is his personal as you can get and absolutely I would love tio being like oprah magazine or something. Yeah, you should be, eh? So, what is your I don't think I heard from you about your north star. You want to share it? Um, my north star is freedom, and I mean, I put fame, but I don't really want to be famous. I just want this to be, um, desirable. Yeah, sought out, yeah, like, but I saw that in oprah, and I have to have it right? Um, so it sounds like it's about being yeah, your thing being desired, people wanting people, knowing about it and and actively wanting it, right that the difference between desire and just I bought this because I was at a craft show and I was there is that people are, like, thinking about it and I really wanted yeah, so I've kind of a question about keeping the sustainable for you. You make each piece one by one as they come in. So do you have an upper production limit of how many you could? I mean, uh, boundaries of time and space say that you must I probably do, but I'm nowhere near that point right way can easily make a lot more bracelets than I d'oh, so you're in oprah, and you get a thousand orders. S so that no, I'm not putting you on the spot, but so that's something to think about teo as we seek out what it is that we want in our business may be another way to get that well, okay, let me say that I want to be this is going to sound so jerky but no eso where I could like say I'm sorry, but I'm already at my max so you're going to have to wait until whatever and they will willingly wait until I can make their bracelet, right? Yeah and that's a totally valid business structure and lots of businesses there set up like that. I mean, if you even think about cupcake shops right, they make x amount of cupcake on them, they sell out and then the too bad writers the pie shop in knoxville that is, if you don't get there, you just don't get it that's what I want to be like, right? Okay, well, put me on the waiting list cause I got to be the next person I have that bracelet and part of the reason why I brought up your upper production limit is because as we get into talking about what makes your special um, communicating that well will help drive people to make a decision versus waiting oh, and it's not a false scarcity it's you have only two hands. Yeah, you can only make so many and so by being clear on that, you can help your customers see it, and I will help me, then make the decision. All right, especially since that's one of your goals, some people don't want to get to that point. That point terrifies them. So knowing that you do want to get there, it's really great. I love that growth. I want growth, but I want it at a balance where I can balance home life and I can have my daughter and I don't have to worry about putting her in a daycare because the reason I do this is because I want to stay home with her and I want to do something for myself this ng time. So I want to find that growth, but I want a limit and I haven't found my marquee s o I haven't found the people that like my pieces and want my pieces, so I don't know what my level of growth would be and how teo, you know, limited, right? I have to find the market first and then decide what my limit is. That makes sense on I would keep in mind maybe not your limit on production but your limit on the time you're willing to spend on it and build your business around that so that might mean that you increase your prices because you can only make so many or might mean the market to a very small segment or maybe you did something like wholesaling two shops because that's a one order a bunch of things and then you don't work on it anymore, you know? So you might want to look at different ways of setting up your business but it's hard to find that market that actually wants it you have to know who wants it and how ready but they want right before you can really find that yeah limit on it but keep in mind just as we're going be thinking about maybe during the break about how many hours she would want to spend on it because even though I know right now that seems crazy because because nobody's demanding your time knowing it will also what I found is that people hold themselves back from growth if they get scared that it's going to take off from them if they oftentimes this is uh we don't even know we're doing it way don't even know that we're not putting our work out there because we're afraid of what will happen when we do put our work out there so by getting really clear about what you're comfortable with ahead of time it's almost like you're giving yourself permission to go up into that point and so it will take away some of the things that are stopping you from getting to that point because it's like right now you're thinking, well, I just I don't know who my market is maybe nobody wants it that all kind of self doubt can can put a damper on growth. And so by getting clear first on the time you're going to spend, you can then spend up to that, you know, you're not going to let it get past that point, and I think a lot of this is about how we talk to ourselves about what's going to happen because it's really easy to see successful sellers who burn themselves out and that kind of puts than that in your head too. We can also see successful sellers who just seem like they're doing amazing and they spend all their time with their children. They don't spend any hours working and yet they're making a zillion dollars. So by defining it really clearly I want to spend this many hours and I'm willing to do this and I'm not willing to do this like maybe you're not willing to travel because you don't want to go sit in a craft show you'd rather be home with your kids knowing all that wouldn't help you make those decisions that may help yeah good did you want to share? You don't have to, teo well, I could share a lot of things but do you want me sure on the specific questions you can about uh your starting line first a question um like what I want out of the business um you know, about a year ago a few years ago you know, I was in nursing school and I had made the decision it was a very hard decision but I made the decision to leave nursing school and really pursue this passion that was like eating at me like once I had to stay out of my craft room because I was studies a study I was like this longing like a needle in there. So I left and I really want to be able to take that and show my son or, you know, anyone for that matter that you can really pursue your passion and not just, you know, follow the money or like what society says that you have to do and yes, it's hard it's really hard and there's a lot to figure out, but if you're really passionate and driven about something I to be able to do that and say like I tried no matter what happens I tried all the sudden huge that's what I want to at least pass on to my son as he grows up and figures out what he wants to dio yeah, and it sounds like the confidence is instilling the confidence in yourself that you can do this hard, scary thing and it no matter what, you're going to be fine like what you just said, whether it works or not, like you tried and you did it, and I was just talking to someone last night about foreign travel and it's all really about knowing you'll take care of yourself no matter what situation get in and a lot of business is having the confidence that you'll be okay if say you do something really bigger, he started twitter account or you start a blogger or you share a scary story you share how many times you failed, you'll still be ok. I think it's better to fail is something than to not try extended be eating at you like what if? What if? What if what it exactly? I'm and by trying whether it works out like you wanted to or not feel of instilled confidence? A you are the kind of person who does that and that is huge all of the makers I talked to who want to start a business but haven't yet, mostly what's, stopping them as a confidence that they'll be fine and what I always tell them is like you will be fought nothing's going to happen your family's not gonna stop loving you you're not going to be kicked out live on the street on once you've done it then you know you could do something else so maybe we'll decide this business isn't for you and you move on to another one but you have the confidence that you had already done that I think it's huge congratulations on taking such a big step though scary scary because nursing school is one of those things probably everybody was like it's so great you're doing this it was it's I mean it was a passion of mine and I loved it but I became a mom in the middle of it and then my priorities changed and I realized that that really isn't I don't want to be in the hospital for twelve hours a day that's not inspiring well, at least not right of inspiring for me. So and you have such a clear vision like I've been stalking on instagram, you're I wish you could like flash a picture of her beautiful bridal stuff, but your photo shoots you've been doing have such a clear vision that it would be a shame for you I'm spending that kind of artistic vision on nursing and I'm sure you make a lovely nurse but you know it's clearly found a great all but thank you so how about in the chat room you want to talk about what people are hoping to learn or we have a lot of people in the chat room? We have questions, we have comments, all sorts of things here. I want to read this one first from dnf this is that what they want to learn from this course? They say ok, with my north star is being inspiration, development and adventure. I want this class to teach me how to inspire readers, to buy where to develop my online presence and how to plan my marketing adventure and twin set, jan says, can I steal that class objective? That's awesome because that's, exactly my objective for the class is exactly what I want them to learn. Excellent. We also do have a couple of questions that came in if you want to answer some of the time. Yeah, so right now, a lot of people, as I said, we're liking the work balanced discussion. We do have a lot of people in the chat who are stay at home moms work at home moms and clay girl says I love your term work at home so often people assume that you have all the time in the world to do things for them when you say you are stay at home mom being a maker working from home is a lifestyle choice do you have any advice on how to say no to people so they understand that your time at home is also business time such a good question actually just wrote a series on my block and podcast on how to say no so all kind of sum that up for you confined it atar spiker dot com because I jill asked me about this regularly several other women who have family obligations that get in your way or people just assume you're at home go to this for me just frustrating uh so I want to remember my points the first one is two I believe that you're allowed to say no you are the ruler of your world of your time of your life of your work versus helping people schedule and so you're allowed to decide what you want to prioritize and what you're allowed to dio that's you've got to start there, you've got to believe that you're allowed to say no to people so that you can say yes to what you want to do and that takes like a lot of work and thinking and talking to yourself about it it's really hard when somebody asked you to do a favor to just be like I don't want to, so you're not going to say that so we're going to talk about how to say it but the first thing is for you to know and trust your own, you know, in a voice that says, I don't want tio and I find that a lot of women actually just bulldoze over that they like don't even want to hear that so you got to listen to that you got to recognize if you want to or not and being really specific about what you are going to spend your time on and how much time you are going to spend will make it easier and easier if so, in someone you know, I have set working hours and when somebody asked me to do something even to have a phone conversation during those work hours, I can't do it I have to say no so that's the second point is to put up boundaries so that you can make it outside of your control. So you're saying, oh, you know, I would, but those are my work hours, so you have something to blame it's kind of outside of you um ah one one client who asked this question she had so things for friends and families, as many of us makers do when we first get started and then she started her business and people kept asking her oh, can you make me that bag? Can you make me that hair thing? I really want one of those and it is winning or work time, so I think for free for friends and family because they didn't get that the shift had happened that she internally made a shift from hobbyists to business owner and so they kept treating her like a hobbyist and so in that situation I told her tio blame the business say, well, you know there's available in my shop I'm focusing on the business right now so I only have time to do business sewing and then she's taken the pressure off saying yes to that person who wants it and she's saying, you know, this is my business now and you can buy it there you don't want to work out the phrasing that you're most comfortable with, but if you get a lot of requests first free stuff it can help tio have a phrase already in mind that's kind of my third point is to write it down like make yourself some scripts so that you have a you have one ready can you can you take my picture and put it on a necklace for me because we're pals you know you say, well, I spent all of my voter crafting time on my business so there's fifteen dollars in my shopper four hundred whatever they are and you just lead them to where they can get it another way is to say I'm really busy filling customer orders so I don't have any time to do personal selling but of course only if that's true my favorite way though is to just say can I think about that and get back to you? This is the stalling technique and you don't ever I want to use that if you have no intention of getting back to them you should be honest and actually back them but what that space does is it takes you out of that situation where you feel really uncomfortable saying no or the person's really pressuring you for an answer and if you say let me get back to you then you can think about it think through if you want to do it not break yourself from scripts think about what you're going to say and go back to the situation to say no and so that can I get back to you is a huge one I use it all the time even when I'm gonna say yes to something this other thing if you get the people in your life used to you saying I have to think about that it will train them to know they can't just demand an answer you know the person you make things for that like so and so told me you could make me this or something and telling them oh it's in my shop like changing that aspect and like guiding them to your shop versus like, yeah, I can make that since you know so and so right yeah, especially if they're not your friend way, making three things from but to say, yeah, actually, you can find one just like she has in my shop. Or if that friend is like using it for gifts for another person, you know, it's huge tio be able to say yeah, to my shop, like right now, I don't have the time. I wish I good, like, make you these gifts and stuff like that. But, you know, right now I'm focusing on my business, so if you want to, you can, like head to my shop for those because it's so hard to tell family and friends that it's not a hobby anymore, right? It's a business, and what I found is that a lot of people get wrapped up in trying to explain that to family and friends. It's just assume that they're not going to be able toe understanding that way that you want them to. And so instead of spending all of your energy trying to convince them to understand it's really a business and what exactly, that means for you instead just redirect them. You know what I mean? Because you will get into and it will feel really uncomfortable to say, no, this is a business, and what that means is that I have to charge for it because this time I start valuing my time and I want to spend, you know, like, if you're explaining yourself, there's another point that I always make us don't explain yourself if you're going to say no, say no and no explanations, because when you give an explanation than they can argue with you, they can try to break down. Your logic is pretty jerky on their part, but, you know, they might think that what you're looking for is an excuse like, well, I would, but I can't do this, and then they'll try to, like, help you. Well, then you could, because, you know, right, exactly, exactly, do you get that? And so having some stock answers will really help, and and I have even found that when someone keeps pushing, if you say I need to think about that and they're like, well, no, I need to know right now I have the stock answer, I don't make any decisions like this right away, I'm going to need at least x amount of time to think it through and for the especially aggressive types that will really take them off and they won't they'll be upset about it, but if you do that regularly enough you become I'm the kind of person that always takes x amount of time to think about the decisions and and they might never respect that, but at least you have that own boundary and hopefully you'll train the people to stop demanding because I find that most people I talked to it's the same person or persons who are most over overstepping the boundaries and saying no it's just a huge business go but that I hope that helped her yeah absolutely covered it that was a great discussion now here's another question I think would be good for right now because we're talking all about having these intentions what we want to learn from this course sticking to our plans our guide the nestle even wants to know how can I really hold myself accountable two following through with my intentions some days it's just easier to give in to the do it later voice that's really huge? Um I think that this depends on you and how you would work best so they're like there's so many reasons that you could be putting it off, so the first step is to maybe look at why you're putting it off lots of times we put things off because we don't actually know what they entail, for example, when I talk to people and they say I really should do more marketing, but that's, that's all they've defined it's just marketing well, of course you're never going to be able to do more marketing because you don't know what that means, so getting really first, figuring out why you're not doing it and if it's because you don't know all the individual steps list all the individual steps we're going to do this in session three towards the end of the day, because knowing exactly what to dio like exactly what the list of items are makes it a little easier if you know what the list of items are, and you're just putting them off. The question is, why are you procrastinating? Cause you actually need to get more sleep? Are you hungry? Is it that you really don't want to do this thing? And then there are a couple ways to get around that first take care of yourself here and like a good place you're well fed and rested. Don't just be like powering through because you want your best work, and then my favorite tip for accountability is to get a buddy this khun b on twitter, instagram, facebook, you guys smiled at each other, you must be buddies on dh to tell someone I am doing this this week and I am scared of this or I've been putting this off for six months and I'm going to do it an x amount of time and we do this in my online program all the time it's someone will say I need to contact six year in stores I've had the list, I know every step of it I've written everything I just won't hit send, so we're like you have an hour go do it, just do it just on having that accountable, knowing somebody else is waiting for you is a huge because if you work by yourself there's no one ever know if you did it, and even if you tell your spouse when they get home, what you did, they don't understand that it was a big deal or that I was not a big deal and so having someone else who gets it and you can do the super informally on twitter, I've just told general twitter before, I'm not going to do anything anti right my thousand words today and then you know, just just knowing that I've made that public, we can also ask somebody specifically like you're nobody's in this class, you can say, hey, I need to do this over the next hour can you just check in with me? And that is a you know, you're not really asking them to do anything. You're just letting them know your intention. I find that huge because the pressure that I'll say pressure of thinking someone's going to be disappointed is ah, I think that tells you a little bit about what motivates me in my life. You want to find the things that motivate you most and then let that person or thing no, you are going to do it. We have more questions. We have any other questions here from the students. We do have time. I think, for one more here that just came in. Now, this one says this is from dawn wade and she wants to know how do you prepare for growth when your day job is jeopardizing your time and creativity that you would like to be using on your crafting business? I think we mentioned a little bit. Now. What if you didn't get on oprah and you had that is coming in on a smaller scale? How do you prepare for that growth if you anticipated coming in? Okay, so there's a couple things at play here because there's there's the day job being where you have to spend x amount of hours, and so I think the first step, though, is to get clear about what you mean by growth. You hear me forced you guys to get clear on words all the time we get really specific about what it is that you want like if you if you're going to get oprah magazine you get some morning editors contact you and you know and so you would have some idea of what's going to happen I'm like that's gonna happen so uh if you get clear on much mean if in general you want to grow your business and you have a day job then you want to decide what is the point I want to grow too so not only what growth means an amount of time and products I make each month but also what's what's the thing I'm working towards if you're working towards getting rid of your day job then you want tio grow to the point where you're either making that much money or you've save that much money or you've paid off some debts those were all michael's before I quit my job is I wanted to have some you know our car paid off and I want to have so much in savings and I wanted a certain amount of sales to be coming in regularly each month and I wanted to impress so that I knew like press lined up so that I knew more sales would come in those were my um my things I wanted to all have had happened before I was willing to quit and so knowing that now lots of people love their day jobs actually work with a strange amount of like professors and teachers who love what they do during the day. This is just their side gig. So knowing that being clear, that that's what you want and knowing how much time you want to spend on and each weekend a night and what you want to d'oh next, uh, just getting clear on what you're willing to do and what you're not is huge and then prepare your life accordingly. Get get the things you need the products, the, the supplies, the time the baby sitter lined up and I get very specific. This is one thing we'll talk about a lot is getting super specific about what those numbers mean, knowing that say you want to make two thousand a month broken up by how many, how much you charge for products? How many products is that? How long does it take you to make x amount of products? So how many would you be making each day? That kind of super specificity will make it so that you can see the path towards gross growth, so that might be the end point that might be three years away, but you would know, ok, if at that point I'd be making twenty items a week, that's for a day, if I work five days a week, so right now I'm only making one a week. So have to scale up production and then have to scale up marketing to actually sell those things. I hope that that helps that question kind of a broad question.

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.