Skip to main content

Marketing for Crafters: Talk About Your Work

Lesson 5 of 12

Spotting Your Marketing Sparkle

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

5. Spotting Your Marketing Sparkle

Lesson Info

Spotting Your Marketing Sparkle

So now that you're starting to think about what makes you special and it's ok, if you haven't got there yet, then we're going to think about your product so there's a difference between you and your product it's like what we talked about with the self promotion is what makes you special will impact the products you make better product is a separate of you even if you're selling a service it's aimed at the marketplace it's four people so there is a difference between just you knitting alone at home and the pattern you're putting out you know you've had a tech edited you've made it beautiful, you've laid it out so there is a difference between your obsession and the product to make you will find questions about your product on page twelve and since these air also really thinking questions you can start to fill them out as we go over it a little bit and the thing is of course you know what you make but it's really important for you to put it into words because almost all the marketing you...

're going to do online is in words even if it was only in photographs you stuff to give art direction to someone you have to use words at some point and starting to put it into words will help you find those words later when you really need them and that's the struggle for most of us is somebody asked us to describe what we dio and we just come up completely blank we just don't even know. So starting to write this out, we'll get those words in your head. We'll make it easier to dio going forward, especially on etsy, too, because I think so many people procrastinate to put on new pieces police for myself because you don't want to sit there and write that super long description that's going to sell your product because you can't think of the words to say to describe and sell that product, absolutely writing the descriptions of something that stops almost everybody I talked tio, they get so overwhelmed by it, and actually, by the end of the day, we're going to have those words in a in a kind of message you can use that you can expand on for your descriptions. It's a big piece of that is not waiting until you're sitting down doing it, but actually having a plan beforehand. Yeah, so I'm if you find, like, a template that you can use like you, you talk about this year and you talk about this year and make sitting down and writing at a lot easier. And so it's my hope that all these words will be fresh in your mind and you will have them somewhere you can go back to them again and again. So which each new description, you're not trying to pull it out of your head from somewhere, but you actually have it? Yeah, yeah, because writing descriptions can be hard, but having a plan for it will make it a lot easier. Um, I mean, that's, actually that's actually, when I was scheduled to say next is that having a plane for it also helps when you're just like in the coffee shop, and somebody asked what you make. I've had so many experiences, I live in a tiny little town, only one coffee shop and people ask me what I d'oh, and I'm awful at explaining it, even though I teach this, I also need to learn it. And when I do clearly communicated a little like, I don't know five times out of seven, the personal be like, oh, my wife, senator, or oh, my wife just started a handmade business, she would love your book, and then I give them my carter something always forget my cards, I tell them my website and they go and they become either client, a student, a reader so even if what you sell is super weird, which for you, none of it is you will find people everywhere who want it, and so being able to talk about it when the priest says, oh, did you make that scarf? And you can be like, yeah, actually, and it's, blah, blah, blah, that will make you more likely to a actually tell her, because it's, so easy to just be like, I ok, we'll make you more likely to talk about it comfortably, and you might find new people that which is just all marketing it's just talking about your work with people who want to hear it. So one thing I have to say about what makes your work special, though, is handmade is not enough. Invariably this works. What you're doing here is one that I have clients fill out before we work in a marketing plan, and they will put that their thing is handmade as that's what's special about it not that is super special and it's amazing that you guys had make your work, but there are now millions of handmade items in the marketplace for people to buy, and there are thousands of other crafters who are starting businesses, and their main point is that it's handmade, so you have to find a differentiator other than that, so it's great that the product is handmade. It's not that you should never say that. Especially when you're talking to somebody outside the handmade world like your barista or someone who comes up to you at the craft show should definitely let them know that it's handmade but you have to have something beyond that that makes it special, especially in a situation like etc. We're so much of it is hand made. You have to specify what makes it special. And you even did a little bit with your jewelry. Is that it's about the memories of the people it's about having something that's so personal? Yes, you hand make it, but that's not its only differentiator. For example, if you hand eye yarn, many other people also hand iron that used to be a differentiator like ten years ago, because hand idea it was, may be harder to get. And there wasn't etc full of it. But now you have to have something more than that. The colors you use the title is you give it the photographs you take so as you guys air filling that out and I think you need to go through page thirteen um, if you guys would like to share a little bit about your product, I would like to hear it um for example, you can talk you can answer some of the questions on page twelve or thirteen you guys are all still writing. Do you have questions in the chat room right now I think people are pretty good. We have people just kind of sharing more about their sparkle now marine shaughnessy says my sparkle is being connected to nature helping others connect to nature, including kids and therefore have a more balanced, centered, meaningful life. But yeah, people just kind of sharing what there have been learning so far not a lot of questions just yet, but keep those coming in if you do have them. We are here to answer them, but let's hear from our our students here as well he is you guys already told me what it is which make but have you identified someone the things that make it special some the things that make it stand out from what other people make and I've used you as an example already witham crushing. I had made a scarf or a blogger and I was trying to make it a double layer scarf and I had made it too short so I had picked up some extra lace that I had laying around time make it a double layer because it was too long to be a single and it was way too short to be a double so I had a lace to it and that opened up like a whole new world for me and I love adding lace and sparkle to the scarf so it's not just crowe shea you actually have a big chunk of it where it has hand sewed lease to it that just adds more to your outfit like you can have it towards just grow shade or you could have dust delay scarf so like I thought that was something that was really unique but it was like such an act resident I think have made is like yeah I think that's like such a unique thing with handmade like a lot of things become accidents and then you find what actually is unique yeah in your pieces I loves accidents I love that and that so you've totally hit on that's what you should highlight yes when we're talking about spotting a sparkle like that's the sparkly bit of what you make it's how different it is that it's a mix of textures and then to use lace and we'll talk about specifically how to talk about it but knowing that that's the thing to keep your focus on so the focus is in the ditch crow shade it said it's crucial and lace and your appreciates carbs and you mentioned earlier in the day that their summer accessories doesn't you can do for the somebody like I make both like I do headbands and I don'tjust crowe shea that had been I add beads and feathers to it and young circuit wire and, you know, try to hide that. So I don't I try to add so much to what's just throw shade so it's almost like mixed media. Yeah, using a bunch of different kinds of media that's great. And that is what's going to make it stand out from everybody else because no one else is doing that. Yeah. So what someone else like to share? Yeah, my pieces I used, I think what's different governments over rubberstamp. So I use words, but I reversed and quotes on my source the quotes so that's kind of a different thing I tried to, you know, really make sure it's a legitimate quote if I'm using those words but it's, it's, mixed media and it's a lot of understands that each so each letter is hand stamped however the words yeah, so much prefer hand stamped to rubber stamp which I think feels like yeah, the words using an invaluable his hands, what you're doing. Yeah, when you se reverence name that sounds like you might have the whole quote and just know, uh, so if you say hands damn okay, yeah. But what is that your question? Did you have a question that I missed it? We'll just show you howto just in general talking about its young tough yeah, so I think that you want to say that it's hand stamped uh huh and and that are the quotes inspirational you also mentioned having a dark sense of humor so I wonder if they're also kind of well there um yeah inspirational, but I really like that word right now. We didn't come up with something it's kind of could be a little bit jarring and it's like a path to find like hope and like you're not alone in this been there to write, so it also has qualities of being reassuring and comforting or conversation like starting yeah, but if he dies, right? But it's just say maybe give a pause to if somebody is thinking about certain concept and turning it on its head, maybe yeah, you write all this down on and then we'll come off with synonyms that you really like better than that if you don't like this word because you said jarring short that down and it makes me think like shaking things up yeah, yeah, food for thought, provocative, provocative there's the word with someone else like e think like for example, like my floral crowns, it seems like like you look at it and it may just look like a bunch of flowers glued together or something when in reality, like a lot of petals are taken from, like three different flowers and, like hand sewn together and like the pearls and the beads, they're all like him, stitch and carefully cut and make sure that like no strings and no glue like nothing like there's, a lot of editing that also goes into its not just that's, right, throwing it all together, right? And, like adding lining on the inside so it's actually like comfortable toe where we should definitely talk about that. Did you write that down? You're right that the lining is huge because of the comfortable ity and then what you said about it all being hint stitched makes me think that you want tio talk about it being what is it called when you like, uh, fancy fashion, his hand stitched couture? Yeah, in the sense that you are like him, obviously people could just put flowers and that would be handmade, but you're going the step beyond that. Um, peace is to like when you go and you look at floral grounds, they don't pop up like you'll see somebody else's picture and you can tell it was just the same flowers that you get it the same floral, you know, dragons michael store but hers she'll have three different flowers or pedals sewn together and I think that's why most brides go to your pieces because you can see the different details yeah, and so do you want to highlight that with your photography and your descriptions you want to say I hand so the petals so your pedals are not to be found anywhere else for your pedals, right? Right? So you might also say that they're mean sturdy isn't very in a very feminine word, but something like their long lasting or that there built to last but then the lining and the comfort is huge. I get a lot of people even like for engagements and they'll get something and then for their wedding they'll wear it or like their maturity shoot afterwards they so they like, keep it with them it's not just but the heirloom yeah or tradition like start a new tradition or something around that airlines kind of a stuffy word, but we can come up with a new one are there people sharing it? I want to hear about a question that came in from emma ruth jones jewelry and they say my worry about getting so specific with what I do is that I'm limiting myself what if I want to change my designs so it doesn't apply won't I then have to start again with this process yes, yes, you have to start again. But that's, the thing is that we're talking about what you make right now. What makes it special if you wait? Are you pick something very general it's not going to stand out and it's going to seem like everybody else who makes that thing by getting super specific? You're right that the exact same descriptive words might not apply if you change your style. But what's not going to change is you. You are going to be the same person with the same aesthetic, in general aesthetics, the same choices, the same north stars, and so that will impact everything make so if you start by thinking about it, why you love it and what makes it unique for you to make it you that will be the through line through everything you d'oh and a lot of people ask questions who have a bunch of different product lines, like I make stuffed animals, and I so pillows and I make purses say so that person's vision, though, is the same throughout their aesthetic. The way they see the world, the way they're going to help their customer present themselves to the world is going to remain the same if your if your work is really true to who you are to your vision, if you're making something that super you then that'll stay the same no matter how different your products are, no matter how many different businesses you start our product line do you start saving clear on that can help you next time that you will absolutely have to go back? And for most people, I tell them every new product line to do a spot, your sparkle for that product, because when you sit down to write the description that you talked to somebody a craft, a booth, you'll have the words ready for you because you can't do any other part of marketing. I'm even started twitter account, an instagram account, but you can't talk about your work until you know these things you can't talk about it effectively, your message won't be clear and people won't really get it. So so don't be afraid to do this again and again that's a little bit of work, but for a you know, the next six months to a year of being able to talk about your work it's totally worth it use other words like so many people can write a description and say my product is unique, how you dig into unique is it is different is unique, but how do you explain it without saying my work is unique, right? So unique is like one of those words I can made you shouldn't even yeah obviously it's unique, but I can't make it stop writing it I like every time I see him like I road no one that one thing that I do is that highlight the word and I go teo just google search synonyms for this word, but but I think the problem there is that what you're focusing on is that its unique when instead focus on what makes it unique so it's not that do you mean that nobody else make something like it? Or do you mean that each one is one of behind like nobody else makes anything like it like ok, you can add people at least two scarves, but they're not crashing and sewing a scarf at the same time normally if you see cruciate or net it's a simple cro shaker knit scarf there's not fabric added to it right and and that's. The other problem with the word unique, though, is that what you're doing is assuming a little that other people have seen other options and that they're comparing them when in reality, if I see what you make, I'm not also looking at other knit scarves with lace on it I don't know what's out there and scarves I mean, unless I'm like just a big scar fire, I am not comparing it to anything else. So you want to focus on what just makes it special? Not what not I do this, but other people do this and that's what the word unique kind of like says, you know, I'm doing something other people aren't doing versus describing what you're doing, what you just said it's crow shade with hand sewn lace used that phrase instead the word unique. So this scarf is, you know, crow shade with this kind of your own hand sewn lace in the laces, like, if it's been to julie sorts white laser, you know, some descriptive words around that, and then you don't need to say the word unique because people are going to see it, and they were going to know I've never seen anything like that, so you don't have to tell them to recognize that you don't have to say, you won't see anything else like this just by being descriptive enough and of course, your photos being, you know, clear enough and by being consistently like that and in all of your listings explaining what you d'oh yeah, well, I think mixed media scarves makes them sound unique right off the bat, and I've never heard gas scarf described that way, and that would make me want to look at it, yeah. So the other thing is to find descriptive words that other people aren't using in relation to their scarves. So, like, you know, you want to stay warm, willie, you know, you want to talk about what it's made out of, but not just use the same words everybody else uses, which is why I we talked about comparison in this section because that's, where comparison rears its head, is when you start to think about your product so easy to see all of the other products people making scarves. But you are a scarf maker and researcher, so, you know, way more about what's out there than I do. So I want you to just tell me what you d'oh and I want you to describe it in a way that I can see what's different. And like I said, in the next segment, we're going toe mohr about your right person. So you are describing it for what she wants, but for now, just focus on just discovering that about your scarves. I didn't know that earlier on that you hands on the lace. So now you've found the thing to like, focus on, okay? What are people saying about their products? I want to hear about other products we're talking a lot about finding those descriptive words like we were just talking about trixie d says I like to refer to the dictionary and thesaurus and fashion magazines for great words or descript descriptive words to use and then chris with cases having a message is huge my tagline is have you found your voice yet? Because my whole message is that I want to let the voice of my client's show no matter if I'm teaching them to write their own stuff or writing it for them so everyone's kind of sharing their own way that they kind of come up with this messaging and whether it's looking through magazines or the saurus whatever it takes to find that perfect word for your brand absolutely and the first step to even knowing what words to look for is to know what about it makes it different so like so like we identified you don't really want a different word for unique you want to describe what makes it unique and so a lot of times it's not even about finding the right word it's about focusing on the right aspect of it, you know? Yeah, and so one of the things that I learned when I did this with my yarn of course I didn't have my own work sheep and when I started to focus on on what made my work different I realized that I use really bright colors I like really bright colors and as part of like what I like to see in the world and I put them together in a different way and by focusing on that I could stop there so many hands but yearns out there and there are so many people who do it at such a professional level they look like it's mill spot like they look like a machine made it it's so perfect well I'm never going to be my style my stylist in perfect and colorful and when I stopped fighting inside and I embraced it first thing that happened as I started making better products I focused in on that and I stopped trying to do what I'm not going to doing and then the second thing is I was able to actually talk about it with people because when you just say to a knitter who knows yarn I may can spun yarn that gives them no picture in their head but when you say I'm a colorful happy imperfectly along be hand spun yarn then bam you like you know what you're you're seeing so that's part of finding these words is right now you don't have to have the perfect word you just have to know that the things about it that are unique, the things about it that are specifically you and knowing you first. Then you can apply that to the yarn. Like when I realized that I was colorful and slightly weird, I was able to recognize that in my product, you know, like what you said about having the dark sense of humor, you can see, then how your work challenges people, or makes them question things or pokes fun, you know? Or maybe, I mean, and this can also impact what you make. The person who asked about wanting to make wanting their description to fit everything like you can use what you discover here to actually make something new to impact to the next product you make, or to make your thing even more unique.

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.