Skip to main content

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Lesson 10 of 12

Speaking Your Customer's Language

Tara Swiger

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Tara Swiger

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

10. Speaking Your Customer's Language

Lesson Info

Speaking Your Customer's Language

So now that you know what makes your work special and you know who needs it? The problem is is that you are still talking about it in the way that you are used to talking about it that's good, because we had to get you really clear on that, but the next step is communicating in a way that she and I she I mean, you're right person will understand we're going to translate it into her language. So that's a solution? Translate your message into her language, and you will learn how to speak your customers language in this section and then differentiate between features and benefits. A lot of the things we've been talking about so far are the features of your work, but we're going to talk about how you can translate that into the benefit it actually brings into her life, and we're going to write the actual words that you're going to be able to use in all of your marketing. So whether this is your profile on twitter or you're about page on your web site, we're going to come up with specific w...

ords that you can use wherever you need to use them. And now so here's the thing you as a maker, when you talk about your work, you talk about the tools, the materials, the techniques, you are the technician, so you knew all of those pieces and they probably excite you a lot, but you're right person don't care she is not a technician, she does not s o nit crow shea the things that you do that make your work special she doesn't do them so she doesn't care about them she doesn't care what technique you used, she cares about how that affects her and her experience of your work. This is a difference between features and benefits features what you what is actually on the thing that my ipad is square or rectangular the benefits is how that improves my life and we're going to dig into your features and benefits right away on page twenty at the top of the page you're going to write down your products because you're going to need to do this for each of your products each of your distinct different products you need to figure out the features and benefits, but it can be tricky to think about ok, so the feature of this bag is that the strap is adjustable but what are the benefits? So I like this little thing I found in this book called right to sell and this is one of the books in the bibliography that you get when you purchase the class and that's stating about your fab asked like because it's fun to say what's your fab um s so you take your feature and then you look at the advantages that feature gives you and you come up with your benefits for your right persons so let's talk about some examples one of the things as I sometimes by handmade bags for my purse and something that I read on the website where about it is that it was double stitched now I don't know what that means I don't so bags I have no idea but the advantage of it is that it makes the bag stronger and so the benefit is that it fits into my life I can throw all of my library books and they're taking to the library have no worries about it breaking right in the adjustable strap thing that's a feature its tells me nothing about why I want it I don't care that hasn't adjustment strap until you tell me the advantages you can change the way you wear it you can wear it across your body or hanging long s o the benefit is it goes with any outfit it goes when you're traveling there's all kinds of different benefits they're going to be related to the person who's using those benefits so that's why it's so important that first we discovered who your person wass because she's going to have different benefits than someone else so you know we were talking about like the teen girl the benefits she cares about are different than her mom who's buying it for her her mom probably wanted to be long lasting and while made where the teen girl wants to be fashionable and fashion forward or totally unique. So when you're looking for benefits and you can actually start on page twenty I want you two on the left hand side or you have to do is right on the features of one of your products you're right the product at the top of the page where is a product and then on the left side start listing its features what does it have? You know so with your pdf patterns it has five charts, it has written instructions, it has four pictures like do patterns I don't have to do like each individual pattern no and that's a great question, so if you have many different variations of one product so you have a scarf in ten colors that scarf is one product you don't have to specify each different color if you make yarn and you have different urine bases, each one's gonna have different features, so you need to do a different one for each page and again. If you're downloading this on the web site, you can print as many of these pages as you need to do for each one of your products, so one of the things when you're looking at benefits well, first let me let you write down your features are there any questions about the features of your thing or you need help coming up with your list of features yeah, so for work on paper and what's that's just my product right? So what do you mean work on it like it's a painting is a painting a painting so and this art it's tricky here but so that features are maybe the size of it you know, a lot of artists offered different sizes I would go with one size the features are what? What is the material you used acrylic paints. Okay, um the future could be the technique the feature is definitely it includes a word can be archival quality that's, right? Yeah, so that would be a benefit or that would be an advantage and then the benefit would mean what that actually means for the person. So any other questions about the features of your item? Yeah, I'm not really sure what the features okay, so like I mean I have hand make is that that's that's a feat you know that's a future yes also like it's beated. Okay, um it's like your necklace I'm just looking at it like multi stranded it's hits you I don't are their words for the links that hits you like mid chest oh that's custom right next you were goingto so that to feature so another feature is that it use your photographs okay and another feature is if they have their choice of length they have the choice of maybe metal is their metal that goes around it it's all glass pete's ok I mean around the actual photo itself no okay so whatever is your process for doing that is a present or something got to feature okay so every aspect of your thing if we were going to just write the words of your thing as faras like scarf with like yarn crash a lace um hand sound like is there anything else that you can go into on in depth on features for the sure so like if you were if you're lace was vintage lace or of your yarn was william or it's washable yarn okay so because that's going to affect the person who's using it what about because I do when I crow shea um I use a larger hook size and I used to spills of yaden at the same time so would that be considered that's absolutely a future okay so you want to think about what I don't want to process right right I guess that goes into it and like we said earlier the tools the sea supplies and the techniques ok those are all features and then actually when I look at it like how would you just describe it to me you know but gets its length as part of its how long is a scarf or is it a tube? Are there questions about features in the chat room? Yeah, we have. I know this came up earlier when talking about books dnf says what sort of features is a book? Have I have story as a future or were to be something as e book versus print book now it would be andi think she writes fiction that would be the genre. Ok, so one of the features is it's fantasy or it has dragons or a future would also maybe be your market that you're shooting it out because books are so much about who's going to read it definitely e book versus print. That is one feature. And you want to be able to talk about the advantages of both it's like when he talked about my book and he said you could get it from my web site on one of the features is that a tan side? The benefit is that you get your book signed by the author. So a lot of times these benefits are very obviously in the feature. Um, I mean, actually, the feature is that I ship it out of my own house, so one of the benefits could be that I sign it, since I'm already putting it in the envelope, um any more questions about features the things about novels or took a little different, you know, marketing the book is a little different than marketing your craft, but a lot of these same things overlap would you include shipping material and the features like if you use ego friendly stuff? Yes, absolutely because that has some benefit, at least in the feeling of the buyer you know how they're going to feel about it and maybe the choices are going to make so the next step is to take these features and think about what is the advantage of this? What makes this better? And you can think better than other people's or you can just think better than if it didn't have it so a double stitch bag is better than a single stitch don't know if that's what you call it, but because it's stronger so that's the advantage we're still not yet to the benefit to me the benefit to me is that it's not going to break on me, but the but the advantage is what? Why is that better? Why do I care? Okay, so you can take the techniques like crashing with two strands of yarn is your you're in two different colors no it's ok, so maybe it's the thickness that's the advantage is that why you're doing it with two strains of your own? Because I was using a larger hook size when you do that you just end up with like huge holes but it also makes the scarf to where it's you know when you think of like a regular cruciate blanket it's very stiff yes, because they're small stitches I use a larger hook to do larger stitches so it's more loose fitting and it's not see now you're making you like want to write e remember it um and it's not so stiff is more comfortable to wear so so I will repeat that back to you so you can write it out yes the advantages is that it's looser and it's not stiff and then the benefit to me as that it's more comfortable around my neck and another thing you might say is it's not your granny's scratchy blanket right like it people have a feeling about what crow shade things were going to feel like and you were changing that up. So as a buyer I might not care about how you kirsch ate it but I will care that it's softer they yeah that you know what you were doing and you mean it softer for me? Yeah, I'm trying to stay away from the hole grandma e your grandma and I guess my grandma taught me how to cook shape but right graham is not crushing it right well and we were talking earlier about how you break up your flowers and then re stitch them back together that's a feature and the advantage is in none of the forward look the same my father is going to look different than everybody else and then that's advantage slash benefit you know, because that's what I care about is we talked about she wants to look beautiful and also she wants toe have something that's one of a kind for her wedding day and so that's kind of how that translates across included like the the felt lining would be s feature and then like it's for its softer and for more comfortable where absolutely and another benefit of that is you could wear it longer you know most the rights and I know their veils come off almost right away because they're those like painful combs in your hair that like poke you or they're really sharpens that are poking you or those a lot of crowns just are uncomfortable right? So you're gonna wear it longer like during your special day because it's more comfortable so you're going to have all of your pictures taken in this gorgeous crown and like he said, people wear it again and again yeah so and on the base that I created with has like a built in wire kind of so it can actually like form to your head so you could like push it and or like pull it out that's avenger advantage benefit pressure is that it's formfitting so it will fit your head and the benefit is that it's going to be comfortable and I'm going to make sure that it doesn't fall off I don't have to worry about it on my day that would be my benefit yeah we have some people in the chat room who are wondering if you could clarify a little bit more the difference between advantages and benefits maybe another example or two that could help illustrate that so part of this you don't have to get tied up if you've got it exactly right as long as you get to the thing that the audience cares the audience the buyer cares about the benefits of it so something's it'll be such an easy translation from featured a benefits and if it's not then the advantage is it just a hope you figure out what that is so so let's do some more examples to somebody have ah specific product I could use my example way have ah question here this was from bloom box india and they said one of the main features of my head bands that they make are that they are in soft pastel shades there trying to style eyes their brand using color on they want to know what advantages could I associate with that okay so with with color it can be that the advantage is that I can if you offer a range of colors, I could choose the color that's best for me, and the benefit is I get something I really like in a hard to find color, maybe that's it if it's hard to find on dh not all of the features are necessarily going have benefit some of the features you're just things you care about that no one else cares about like that, that it's just part of how you do it, but it doesn't really change anything for the customer, so the color might be that, but it might be that your wide range of colors and I'm guessing here because I don't know if you have a wide range of colors the advantage is I get to pick my own and the benefit is that I get the color I really want uh, I hope that helps. Yes, I think the easy way to think about the benefit is for the user. Yes, exactly. And advantages. Just answering that question. How is this better? Okay, so in another example is it? My hand spun yarn was made from well, there was recycled from a mill like the milken use it so I bought it was seconds, but I was in great shape, so that's the feature is the supply that I used and the advantage really there's no one advantage for the knitter in that wall that will was just wallet was great. Well, but the advantage is that you kept it from going to landfill and the benefit is you could feel good about your purchase. So while you might have a different kind of urine like if it was merino wool which is extra soft, the advantage would be it's, not scratchy. The benefit would be. It'll feel great on your neck. You can wear longer, it will be snugly. It seems like the advantage is more of like why you chose up part particular detail as opposed to something else. Yes, exactly. Why's why did you make that decision? Why is it better? Why should what in some of these things are gonna have answers? Like why you did it, like on my website is bright pink there's no there's, no advantage of benefit to the viewer, it's just that I picked it because it's bright pink is that not everything has a benefit, so you don't necessarily need to talk about you don't necessarily need to use all of those features in your marketing. In your description, you'll definitely say this is the size this is the dimensions, but since it's made from, but that won't be in your description of why it's amazing if there's no clear benefit to the buyer so let's talk more about benefits too, because these could be tricky to discover this search some of the things that are benefits if it improves her life and I use her here for right person I'm sorry it's very sexist. So if improves your right person's life in some way like that, that bag that's not going to break on me, that makes my life easier, I can stop worrying about that if anything that just makes my life better and it also ah benefit could be it makes me feel insert this feeling here, which are really relates to it, having a specific feeling and making me feel a specific way that's a benefit if I feel suddenly like I have an epiphany or I feel really calm or what I feel beautiful any of that that's a benefit also, if it fills a need like we talked about in the last segment, the need that that fills that's a benefit so that's like an overall picture, there might not be a specific feature that lines up with the need that it fills, but that's definitely something you want to highlight, so don't get bogged down by just the features you can think of make sure that what you're really focused on is the benefits for the buyer the thing that makes them want it like it love it everything and we talk about improving your life this can meet he's like is of use time it saves me time it gives me time it's gonna be money maybe it's a really good value for what it is costs or going to save me money because of x y and z thiscause has to be love like feeling beautiful on your wedding day you know or it brings more love in your life it connects you with somebody else like your gift absolutely connects you with the person you give it teo and so that's improving my life because it's connecting me in that way oh, and I think I have another one on git performs its task well this goes back to the really technical details you made a choice to make your thing in a certain way to make it ah better version of what it does. So whether it's a stronger purse or it's an easier to read knitting pattern or is a bjarne that's really stable if it performs a task well that's a benefit and you want to tell me you want to tell me that you don't want me to just guess from the features so now it's your turn to tell me what is your fab? What feature have you turned into a benefit or do you have questions about how to turn your feature into a benefit. Everybody's writing. I love it. Other questions in the chat room about it let's see, people are starting to share some of theirs. I mean, we did have more questions. Come in. We touched on this a little bit, but maybe just to clarify this is a question about what is the advantage and benefit of items that are one of a kind like original artwork. Now is just being original. Is that enough of a benefit? Um, it can be if you phrase it to fill those needs that we talked about, that you're going to have something on your wall that nobody else has. It's a way for you to express your creativity in a way that no one else can. You are showing your own one of a kindness by having this piece, and especially if something's custom made that's often the benefit is you're gonna have something no one else has and it's made especially for you. You're helping me design it that for non designer, non painter, non sewer is really that's a benefit I want to make have a hand in making something I could make on my own. Yeah, and painting was like fine art in general is kind of heard about this. But like we talked about this size like that's a feature and the benefit it's going to fit in a certain space it's going toe you know if it's huge is going to get above your couch of its tiny you can get a bunch of them and put it together and have a collection so you want to kind of think about what benefits really ask you to do is to think about your right person's life how is she living what is she wanting and that's in the last segment all this questions asking where she is and what she does and how she's feeling and your benefits went to speak to her right then they want to say oh you're feeling this way here's how this solves this and that way you don't have to do any convincing if you have a problem and I say here's how I will solve that problem then I don't have to convince you you're like ok I want it or no that's not for me but you know the decision in front of you and it's very clear and you will feel so much more comfortable talking about your work when you conseco these were the benefit this is how I know it makes your life better this is how I know it's really going to work because I've thought of you in your life in your problems and here is a solution that I have for you now we have one example that came in from kris with a k. They say they're feature lots of connections through copy creation, the advantage really collaborative and connected to the clients message. And the benefit is that they feel like it's really their story in their voice. I like that that's really good that's definitely awesome. Anybody else sharing their fab and the thing we could do one more? Well, we have people who are starting to think about it. Taylor stone illustration says that size could be a feature for me in my little paper plants. So I guess the fact and make their plants at a specific size ends up being a feature there. Absolutely. So then you want to think, how does that affect the person's life? How does that fit in, teo? How she's going to use this and how she's going to think about it and how she's feeling and how does that benefit? Or in some way, that would be not having the water it way water. So once you have at your benefits and mind, you are so close to being able to write and talk about your work a lot easier. Because the key to being really effective with marketing so so far we've been talking about just what marketing is and how to start getting there, but you wantto spend your time doing stuff that's effective so that you're not spending all this time just throwing stuff out there and not being sure what works and the way to make it really effective is to speak directly to her. This is why I had you get so specific about your right person because when you write something, I want you to be writing to that person with her firmly in your mind and then you want to use the words she uses and we've mentioned this we've glanced on this a couple times, but we're going to dig deeper into this if you're speaking directly to her, you need to use the words that means something to her because we all have our own personal lexicons and words mean different things to different people. Oh, so sparkly to me might mean something different than someone who's cat's name is sparkle, so you want to use the words of that person understands and then you want to talk about what she cares about and that's what those benefits are there the things that matter to her even though it matters to you that you did this massively technical interesting thing if it doesn't change her life at all, she that's not what she should be talking about. You should be talking about what impacts her because that's, how it's going to be effective that's how it's going to make a difference and that's how it's going tio really reach out and say, this is for you? And when she sees herself reflected in that way, she's going to know immediately like this has all of the benefits that I need in this thing, I definitely want to buy it and that's again, my marketing isn't about convincing it's about making your case really clearly in ways that will improve someone's life, because that what's what we're all trying to do is add some of those qualities to this person's life, and we just need to let them know how we're doing it. So we're going to use their words. Excuse me, and there are a couple different ways to do this. So talking about it features advantages, benefits that's like let's, like the one o one lesson when you actually use their word that they care about that's like marketing to a one that's taking it to the next level. So not only are you able to talk about what they care about, but we're going to describe it in any exactly the way that they describe it, the easiest way to do this is to actually capture their words when they tell you like she used the word I think he said intricate and a piece of feedback she's telling you that's what matters to her and that word trigger something it might not be where you would have thought of but it it means something to your customer and now you know, you can't know that the same words mean the same thing to every person but by paying attention to the words you hear again and again this is going to shape your brand around what your customers most care about so kind of goes back to that whole right people can transform your business this thing you want to use their words to transform your words because you might be thinking you're communicating really clearly say that your knitting patterns provided great fit but if I would use a different word to describe that, then I might not get it when you say it until you use the words I would use so for this you don't have to stalk anybody you don't have to hunt them down, you just have to pay attention when they give it to you s o I have included this in the workbook page twenty one we're going to start using their words but the easiest way is to let people tell you themselves and of course, in order to do this, you have to have some sales, but when you do have sales in captured these in a few different ways, I make an email folder uh, that I just call it praise or love or something like that, and when people say nice things, I save it there on what I do before I saw a new thing as I go back through and I skin and I just look for the same words that come up again and again, and then you also captured you ask them actually like you was so great that you asked her what it is she liked about your work, you can have that set tio go out automatically after the person is purchased as he does this, I think automatically when they ask you for feedback, so by asking them, you don't have to say, what do you like about my work? You can just say you should have received your shipment by now. I'd love to hear what you think, and that just invites them to reply back with some of their own words about your stuff, and you can also end emails with an invitation to reply when you send out email lesson newsletters or blood posts or even tweets you can just say, hit reply and tell me whatever it is you want to hear eso in your with you email news letter you sent out I often in mind with kit reply and tell me something that I talked about in it if say you were announcing a new product line you could say hit reply and tell me your favorite color hit reply and tell me your favorite piece of jewelry do you wear more bracelets and necklaces and they will answer the question you asked but they also use a bunch of other words in there and they'll say, oh, I always like bracelets that are bang glee or you know that make noise or are something that will clue you into the things they really care about so then the next thing is keep a notebook candy a craft shows if any situation you're in where somebody is talking to you about your work like take notes because you're not going to remember it later and people will give you the best feedback they want to be careful with this because everybody has horror stories of people coming in your craft show booth and going theo on so do not write down ill write down when people come into oh my goodness, I can't believe this is just so amazing in colorful and I could never blah blah, blah right ever write that down I mean maybe wait till they leave so you don't look like a stalker you like yes, tell me more no, no, really, tell me more, but keeping up a candy and scan and save keywords for reviews on amazon, on etc. All these places ask for feedback for you do not get bogged down in the particulars, but go through in scan and see if you can't find words that jump out again and again. You can even use, like the find function on your browser to put in a word that one person uses and see how many times it shows up. If you're looking at a full page of reviews that's one thing I do to see this like a fluke word or is this a big word that people love to use? So some examples of this is with my really bright yard. What I found is people kept describing it to me and email that's happy I got your box of their enemies so happy or admit a hat or my little five year old and it's just so happy. So I started using that in my tagline, ah, happy yearn for colorful people instead of describing my anger and it's colorful it's happy it's gives you the feeling that I want youto have, but I wouldn't have thought of my art is happy I mean, it was, but you know, someone else had to say it to me. And this goes back to what we've been saying it's so hard to see it for yourself so if you let your customers tell you they'll tell you the words they want to use and what that triggered when people see happier and for colorful people is a kind of people who would call it happy then knew it was for that and so that's why we go on and on about using other people's words is because it will trigger that's exactly what I'm looking for I'm looking for a spotter that fits that phrase that's exactly what I'm looking for so there I want to buy it so fill out page twenty one about their words if you've made themselves and you've talked to some people, you will have heard them say some things so you want to write down and I know I've asked you so many questions today so it's okay if you can't come up with the answers right away because in the second half of the page I ask you to create a plan for how you're going to say what they tell you and this can be easy like I'm gonna make an email folder I'm going to go in once a month and scan my etc reviews, but my making a plan for how you're going to capture this you can come back to this workbook and you have more words to add in and when you go home tonight, you can flip through your last few reviews or e mails you got and look for any word that shows up more than once, even if it seems like it's. I mean, other than like and of me, any other word that seems like what? I don't really know what that means. It will give you some kind of information, especially when you see it down next to all the other words people are using. And I like this because it's a sneaky way of finding the right language without you having to have a whole dictionary in your head. It's, letting other people tell you what appeals to them.

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.  



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.