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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 30 of 39

Records are Fun

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

30. Records are Fun

Lesson Info

Records are Fun

Keeping records of all kinds starts on page one o four and I love recordkeeping, as you can probably already tell it allows me to make a myriad of beautiful charts and graphs and all kinds of things that I can dio with paper and markers, so it makes me really happy. But I wanted to be pretty clear to you that your business doesn't grow all by itself. Your business grows because of people people are your best resource. If you don't have customers and you're trying to sell something, then your business is not going to do well. People are what grow your business people spread the word about what you make people help you tell the world what you d'oh people appreciate what you make people buy what you make people use what you make people grow your business and you need to keep take care of them and preferably keep track of them so they can help you grow, so you need to track your growth. A part of that is our staffs tracker from our social media segment. This is a way you can find out if pe...

ople are responding to you there if not, get rid of it if you don't like it same goes for the analytics that you might have on your website or your blogged I use google analytics and I also use us something called jet pack which is a free plug in from wordpress which tells me how many people visit my website each day what search terms do they use to get to my website? What do they do when they get there? My male chimp account allows me to track stats, which is the primary reason that I like to send newsletters because I get a lot of information back from that which I really enjoy more so than writing the actual newsletter I can tell how many people have opened at what link did they click on? Did they purchase what I was trying to sell them? Did it results in a sale? All of those statistics are available to me in my male chimp account and I'm not sure if that comes with free accounts or just paid accounts does anybody know free accounts? I'm sure you can definitely track how many people are opening what you're what you're open rate is um keeping records is fine it really allows you to decide what kind of decisions to make, where to go, what to try next. If you're really excited about making something and you had something that was similar or a pattern that just didn't fly or color that didn't fly for you to be able to narrow it down into wire why something was there wasn't successful you can find out about you can find a lot of that information and your numbers also, if you think your product is great force a father's day and you're doing a lot of marketing around selling your item for father's day and then it doesn't sell what would what would that tell you? Lesley, what would that tell you if you are making a necklace for dads and nobody was body buying it? Dads don't really like necklace, as are like necklaces, thanks, but so maybe that wouldn't be the right thing for you to do what you would be able to tell if you were watching the response that you were getting to putting that idea out there. So these numbers and these facts and figures can help you determine what to do next. What can you track and record your social media efforts? We've talked about that quite a bit. We're going to spend our whole next segment just talking about tracking social media efforts that's a joke because we've already talked about that a bunch of times you can talk, you can track your sales, you can track your followers, this is a really interesting thing that I like doing it are my social media efforts worth it? I can tell if people are responding, so I do keep track of my followers what makes them go up or down? If I put out a new book, do I get a lot of new followers? If I write a block post and say I don't like something to a lot of people leave, you know, I tried to trace it back, tio, what makes people stay or what makes people go? Definitely track and recorder time. You could learn a lot about that. I learned a lot of sad things about myself when I tracked how I track or when I want to check how I spend my time. I find a lot of things that make me I want to be a much, much better person, so well, that is a tough thing to be honest about. It is really important, and it can really they have a big impact on how you run your business. If you are very strong and filled with much willpower, you can track your blogged topics. What have you written about what got a big response? What did people really like? If you were to put a pin article about how to hang up your artwork and it was pin twenty nine times, you would know that your person really wanted to know more about how tio display what you make in their home, and you could sort of direct your efforts that way if you write a block post about how to best hang up your artwork and nobody cares at all, they're silent, you can just I think my customer knows exactly where they're going to hang up their artwork and they don't need me to tell them so you can learn a lot that will make other aspects of your job easier if you pay attention to the response that you're getting from people so the more you are looking to streamline and spend making and less time marketing and promoting the this information can help you figure out how to do that your social proof this is something that is really good to track and these air compliments that people pay you online this is good feedback you get this is somebody saying I gave kathy's monogram embroidery as a wedding gift tio my sister and she loved it it was so well received that is social proof that is something that you want to keep track of that is like a testimonial if somebody responds back and says I love your choice of colors now you can say people really respond to the colors I use in my work so you can use the social proof to help with your your writing efforts about yourself you khun glean good information for your about pages you can put these testimonials up on your website so I'm sure somebody is about to ask what do you do about websites if somebody it says something about you online can you just put it on your own website or do you need to ask their permission you can ask their permission. It's a great way to say hey, thanks for saying that nice thing about me and sharing that link and interacting with me that way. I really appreciate it. Would you mind if I put that on my website? I would like to say rosalie, gail, thanks, cary tape. It is the most special girl in the world of rose legal. I want to put that on my website. I have your permission to do that. Rosalie. I'd love to link back to your shop on my testimonials, and rosalie can then either say yes or no if I don't know how to get in touch with rosalie or I don't know how to ask her that letting this happens for me a lot with amazon reviews, I just put their initials, so I will say, I love the spoke it's the best book, it changed my life. Um, rg and that helps me out a little bit because that information is out there for me to take and use and you too. But if I can't have a conversation with that person to write to them, to say thank you for leaving this five star review, because that is the amount of stars I prefer on my amazon page, can I put that? As a testimonial, I just simply take their initials and go with it that way, or you could just say from a reader or anything like that, the important thing is not to misrepresent what people say. You can also ask people for social proof directly if you have a repeat customer, somebody who's buying from you often and you know that they really in kathy, you have several of these because I saw them in your feedback where people were saying wonderful work again, kathy knocks it out of the park this time also, I mean, people were obviously you have built some repeat customers and you have some some good business that comes back to again and again there those are the kind of people that you want to ask for testimonials and social proof from, and you could just write to them and say, I'm adding some quotes to my sales page, and I really appreciate how you're so thoughtful, so leave me this feedback all the time. This is what I would like to say x y z and that's pulled from information that they have already given you. Would this be okay with you? Or if you want people to write in their own words, you can sort of direct where they go because it's really hard for people to sit down and write a whole paragraph, they don't not because they don't know how to do it, but just because now all of a sudden, when they really want to do a good job for you, they really want to say something great for you. They want to be the best recommend er ever, so they will usually struggle with that a little bit. So you can say, heather, you were a member of my subscription community and you've read all of my books that I'm trying tio express to people that I, um I'm really approachable. I'm trying tio spread the word that I'm easy to talk. Tio, could you talk about your experiences with working with me and how friendly I am unless you think I'm not friendly in that case, I don't want you to write a testimony, so you know, you can give people some direction and they will give you back what they want, and you can always say to them, I'm going to edit it a little bit, but I'll show it to you before I posted because then people, it takes away a little bit of the fear they might have if they're self conscious about their writing. I have had people say before, have you ever do vocal testimonials? I'm happy to say something, and I think I'm never gonna have that an advanced of a website, so I need you to say it out loud and then write it down. But asking people for help again is one surefire way to guarantee that you're going to get help, but if you don't ask for it or ask people for what you want, it's most likely not going to happen or certainly isn't gonna happen on the timeline that you wanted to. So why do you want to track all this stuff? Because you want to know where having the biggest impact you want to save yourself time you want to make your work easier, you want to spend more time creating you don't really want to mess with this stuff all the time, but you know it's important. So do yourself a favor, get organized about it starting today and make the u of two months from now so much happier when you have so much more free time. It's, great to know what people are buying and when this is a really good a thing to think about that, I think we often don't forget about when are people buying christmas presents. When are people, you know? Buying warm things when do they start it's winter right now in australia new zealand you know this might be a great time to try to market some old stock or something that you have to them that would be harder to sell where you live right now are people buying things at night or in the morning when are people coming to your shop and when are they paying attention to what you have and when are they buying do you have more sales on sundays? You know, I think I read some ebay statistics once that said it was best to have your auction if you're putting something up for sale on ebay and between like seven in ten p m at night on a sunday because people were at the end of their weekend and they were just like oh yeah I just bite now by down right now whatever they wanted to just get things out of the way or they wanted to squeeze some last minute fund into their weekend so knowing when people are buying and why is really important you want to connect all the dots of your business to save time, energy and effort I said it a lot and I'm going to continue to say it but owning a businesses work it's a job if you could make it easier on you herself by all means dio social proof we were just talking about this so oh, yeah. Just wondering if I can break in one of the great comet slash question. Yes, s o this is from spin foolish. I love people's spins in english commenting kerry, it's, it's really easy to create a free forum on google. And then you can frame the question in the best way to get the type of answers that you can use and last testimonials and set it up so that they know if they answer the forum, they might be quoted online. Have you ever done anything like that? Are going to find out how these guys collect? I have I am up until last week, in fact, used to send out a survey when people subscribe to my newsletter. So many of you out there might have actually sent in that survey, and I got great results. I used to really fund serve a company that had great backgrounds, and I said to people, what would you like me to write about? Who would you like me to interview? Do you have any? Do you have a picture of yourself holding one of my books that I can put on my website? Would you like to give me a quote that links back to your business? That's a trade that you know, says says how you feel about something that I've written or done. Who would you like to meet? Can I introduce you to anybody that I know so what I did with that survey was I got my newsletter beaters toe hold me figure out what work I needed to d'oh they told me who they wanted to be in my creative collectives they told me who they wanted to read about on my website they told me what they wanted me to write about they told me how they felt about my books they sent me pictures of themselves with my books because I asked them tio and they also gave me great lunch ideas because one of the questions was if I come to your house for lunch what will you make and what should I bring and people really really like that and I know now I could be all over the world and it would be delicious and I really most people said I didn't have to bring anything so I did use a form to directly ask people for the information that I wanted and it totally works has anyone else done anything like that asked for testimonials or reviews thank you notes I'll say if you'd like to share your pictures with me you know to post on ah bob I'd love tear for you yeah that's great and have you ever thought about running a contest like that like that seeing well did with their stories they have e I wish I had thought to take a picture of it, but they have these little snippets about that that cnn eberle on their website in front of, you know, near the jewelry, so it'll say stuff like, um twelve margaritas and danced all night until the sun came up in our life was never the same and that it's like selling a pair of earrings, they had a great contest, ones where they asked people to write those short stories for them, and then they chose winners or they will give away styling parties at their boutique, you know, take a picture of yourself or your favorite that cnn uh, post it and you know, there will be some sort of role ward for their customers for doing things like that that it's a great way tio expander region have your customers do that marketing and sharing for you that's why I love the hashtag carry live I mean, I won't lie to you right now, it's really good for my business because we're talking about this course. So I'm going to be able to help so many more people than if I was just talking to the twenty thousand people or whatever that I have on social media through all of my various platforms, I can you know, you guys are liking the course and you guys are sharing your work, and you guys are talking to each other, and that means I can help more people, which is my main intention. The thing I most want to do is help people feel better about their businesses is so there's more options for all of us? I like doing that work, and being able to spread the word through social media or by asking you to do it with me is really effective. Is there any more questions from online at the moment? Because we're going to hop into a new topic if there's not well, we've had questions kind of that have gone back through all all these segments because we really cruise through the content and gotten through a lot, so I don't know if you if you want to know, we could take questions for a couple three minutes, three minutes that I am on. I'm honest, I'm scared you are all right well, question had come in from ashley calder, who wanted to know what's a reasonable amount of time to give the stats and are what's a reasonable amount of time when you're looking at your stats and your numbers before moving on to another product say, do you look at trends over a week or a month or six months? I guess you know, we're collecting all this data to make our products better, and if you have something that just people aren't responding to v any of these channels, how do you what do you do? Do you want to get into that? Sure. Okay, I would say to track something for a least three months before you make any really big decision that I would say tweak along the way when you're writing newsletters with your, uh, like through mail champ there's, a service that's called a b testing, where you can put two different subject lines in the same newsletter and that's, you're giving the same information, but tracking what people open mohr off so sometimes that's. Why I've never gotten newsletters that say stuff like get a new roof now before tornado season, maybe not in seattle, but that's like fear marketing that's a fear tactic, and so somebody uses that information, and they're probably getting a decent open rate or a lot of information when they send out that newsletter. But a b testing can be used in a modified way for most of what we do. So while I would say we're definitely not get up on something, if it has a bad week or even a bad month, I will start experimenting as soon as possible to see if I could change those stats. Haven't effect on them make them a little bit different before I decided to get rid of it or I would try to compare why is it doing better in some places than it is in other places? What's the difference is my ideal customer somewhere else more often um I doing the right times of day there's always room to experiment on what you're doing before you decide to make a very bigger drastic change but I only review my numbers once a month so I keep track of them but a nun so I do know what they are every week sometimes I have weak legals sometimes I have daily goals where I wantto look at my numbers across every single day sometimes I just want to record them on sundays and when it comes to my sales I generally just record them once a month because if I knew what I was selling on a daily basis like that would just be too much too much room there for me so like either get depressed or for me to get like really overconfident. So I let myself not have those numbers except for about once a month, so even when I record them I don't analyze them every time I report them all right, maybe another quick question and we may have already gone over three minutes okay quick sisterhood of the traveling stamps that's a great name, isn't it asked what about collecting sales tax? And I just wanted to acknowledge that question but I imagine the syrians or is it depends on where you live, but what should people look for to find out if they should collect people need to call their local officials and find out what they're required to d'oh if you some some in some places you're allowed to add the sales tech in attacks into your price and then to say like this is five dollars and you know that it is really four dollars in thirty two cents but that the rest of that money is the sales tax on dh some people really respond to buying that way they don't want their items to say this is five dollars and then when they get out five dollars you say just joking five seventy three there's tax so there's there's different ways to go if you live in oregon and new hampshire, you don't have to you know don't worry about that, but what you need to do is call your start with your city or town call where you live and ask what the laws and the rules are in colorado, for instance, when I used to do craft shows, we had to put a big sign up in our booth that said I am charging sales tax and that was a part of the law, but I haven't seen that all over the country. So people really need to check with their local authorities to figure out what they're responsible for doing. If collecting sales, texas the law. Then I advise you to do it because I am not a lawyer.

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.