Skip to main content

Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 34 of 39

Venues for Press

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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

34. Venues for Press

Lesson Info

Venues for Press

What I have next and this is part of what you did in your media kit and I just wanted to highlight that cnn has site because they do it so well and I know you probably gone over, but this is their about page that has their company's story in their mission statement and love that they have a video of that really gives me the feel of who they are, what their company is, it shows their studio, so I think that's a really great thing to have both on your website and in your media kit is photos of you in your studio photo or if you can include a video if you've a digital media can't then great because it's just going to give that reporter a stronger sense of who you are and also one thing that I find a lot of newspapers do. The san francisco chronicle does it all the time is ill feature the homes and studios of local crafters and makers. So that's, another angle on def, you have those images out there it's really easy for them to find and logs do that I mean that's a that's a regular thing a...

lot of places do now because we all like to see where we work, right? Yep, and it comes back to images, visual imagery and photographs to yep, people really respond to that I think really pulling out what makes you unique I know kerry has talked about this but it's such a great hook for the media so for betsy anna this is from their fake use page and it talks about their name and how I is betsy's big sister and it's what she used her chi is what oh no that's his big sister called her iowa anyway so I just love that hook when I was a hello lucky everyone would ask where our name came from and that could be a great story it was the founders mother's mother was very into function way and lucky things and she had this red door that she painted their front door red and it was this lucky door and then our are like signature color for hello lucky was lucky red so like there's things like that that that makes a great story too so always think about you know it doesn't have to be about you product it can be about you know who you are, how you started, what you know those fun little quirks about your company agreed so again just product info that cnn has a look book for their most recent line and this is also making it really easy for the press to pull those images having really clear more product images and this is their chamber wearing some of my dream in this I'm like a super fan meteo on dh then this is their press page and what I like when people do and again this is something you could have in your media kit if it's you can have a digital media kit and if you could link through so that when I click on you know parade it takes me to the story about you because again I've had editors who will read other interviews about you know and then pull something out and want to make a bigger story of that so you always want to share that press I have all of that on my one sheets okay? So instead of having talked about when she instead of having always having a media kid especially if I'm in between products or projects or something new is about to come out for instance before the second edition of the handmade marketplace came out I didn't want to spend a lot of time trying to get people to buy the first edition of the handmade marketplace so I changed my media kid a little bit and I was in the process of getting a new website but I have a one sheet that I give to people if they're interested in hiring me or that I share with the media and it has my picture on it it has my social proof so all of my numbers that are available for people to see how many people follow me and where so that they think I'm a good investment if I say I'm written up on this blogger in this magazine, and then I let all these other people know they know that I'm going to share the work that they d'oh, but then I list all the logo's of the books I've been featured in magazines I've done bigger radio stations I've done for radio tours, any news shows that I've been on any big conferences that I've keynoted at or big events that people would be familiar with, where I've been a speaker or teacher, I have all of those low goes up, and then I also share blog's and websites to of people that I think are important, even if they're not known on a national scale. If somebody has done a really great feature on my books or written or even a really great log post about one of my books that has nothing to do with me being interviewed or a picture of me what they write a really great post saying, you know, this book really changed my life and these air the amazing things I've done, I include that in my press, because that's good for people to know that people like what I dio so then more people want to hire me. In an ideal saying I was going to say, I have a picture of myself and I have a picture of my book covers and then how to get in contact with me and I have actually just used this as a resume before when people want tio hire me to do something and they asked for more information, and I just say I am here is cnn it's okay, if you don't have all that amazing press it's way, start out with nothing. So I'm saying nothing at all, but but you can have all the other elements to so but when you get that press yes, at that on mercer yeah, I mean, it's made it a lot easier for me and other makers that I know to get more press once they have that when somebody gives it to you once, then you can always be like, oh, yeah, that time I was in the portland mercury now, when people are like, oh, well, maybe you should be in the or go and, you know, it's like it's, just the snowball effect like way said earlier. So one other thing I wanted to talk about was places where you could submit your work and get pressed for yourself, so there's crafts cocker, do you guys know about craft a cocker? S so it is the screen shot up here so it's a site where people will upload their d I y projects so this is another angle for youto work and most of you are crafters and it's off and probably have blog's where you have the allies the allies are such a great way tio get attention to you because I just find so many people cover them and, you know want to feature people love tutorials yeah, they love tutorials in fact, I think that I read interestingly enough that tutorials were one of the most pinned items on pinterest ever leave people looking for photo tutorials of how to do things so even if you don't want to show people what you make of course showing people how to use what you make showing people how to make something else or something that complements something you make it could be wedding related style you know and that is in if it goes crazy on pinches and then comes back to you that is press that's how you get noticed for aircraft gawker anyone can set up an account and upload a photo they are really picky with their photos so I did this when I was a hello lucky two we had, you know, fairly professional photos, but they're really picky with lighting so again it's about mastering those photos and having the great because again then so I would go to craft soccer when I was writing round up. So did the hello lucky block too. So if I did a valentine's day around up I would go here and look for craft projects that I could include in a round up of ten great valentine's day die wise and a lot of bloggers do that because they need content and when I love about this site is that it's a big range? So it's not just the big name blogger so I'm discovering new sites as well because I can just go to the same ten blocks I always go to but you know you want you want to look for other stuff too a little craft spice yeah, on and then craft gas up is another one where you can submit and if you go you know, if you find sites like this to you goto suggested tip or send us a link and in that here they have do you want to tell us about your work so that's another great way to just and then once you get on cafta goes up that's a press mention, right? Like if they cover something you've done you put out on your block and I was covered in crap gaza and no one has to know that you did that yourself um yeah that's what I and we can keep going with questions yeah so what are what are questions people have about you know, we've taken a lot from the studio audience which of course we can take more but is there anyone online that we can help absolutely and in fact I'm like I said I'm a huge fan of the new not new for me crowdsourcing so I would love I was just about to send a tweet I would love to find out other places where people go teo to get publicity as well so you guys out there our else do you submit your d iowa yeah so we're gonna have them let us know great what do you think I think that's a great idea yeah ok let's find that's a good question for how about you guys it's been years ago but I submitted some well actually I did some advertising one of the floral magazine's national magazines and they did a big photo shoot at them and requested samples that maybe they could do you know what what they're florist they have these features and what the florist could do with that it was basis of the time so uh that's one idea maybe craft magazines felt um it felt cos I mean people itself felt might want to know how they felt being used I mean one of their block as you if you buy your supplies from somewhere in particular and they're like us smaller company in your country, you can absolutely send them photos of your work and say, hey, I use your products, and this is what I do in this sort of science back into a question we had earlier on advertising, you know? But I I use your products, and this is what I make with it, just like I like seeing people sending me photographs of people reading my books. Everybody likes to know they're doing a good job, so if you use somebody's product or supply to make your product or supply, but the no chances dollar, they'll retweet it, they'll posted to their facebook. So, you know, mention you and thank you for doing that, and that sends more people your way. It's pretty easy. It could be something as simple a spray paint I used to a spray paint company, and they saw and they said, well, can we can we post this d I y that you used our spray paint for on our on our website? Sure, yeah. So, yes, that's a great one. And then there's a mod mod podge flaws. And I know that home, amy anderson does that block, and she will take projects where people have use much pot, so, you know, and that's another great way, that just get exposure so she'll talk about who you are what your bloggers and there you are out in the world and that's still press like and then you know that you can get that link to your actual product that you're selling as well there's also dollar store crafts like there's tons of places that I know look for ideas and you can either give them a d I y or give them a tip again that's a great way to get in there you could also sign up for services that are looking for experts like help a reporter out I mean you're going to get a lot of e mails and it's a commitment to go through it but if you sign up for a free service like help a reporter out you can tell them and it's so it's haro h a r o I think you can tell them what you're really good at so you're really good at crass for kids or you make stuff that's for new moms you know you would give them who do you think your ideal client is and then when a reporter needs a quote or a source or a photo or information about something like that they're writing an article about ten relaxing you know I pillows for new moms and you happen to make that make eye pillows with lavender that you grow in your garden and you're signed up on haro will contact you and then you're you know, in lots of times I've been quoted in syndicated articles that have gone out across the whole country and it's just come from an email where somebody all right to me and say do people like getting handmade guest for christmas and I just have to write back and be like yes and then the article say carrie chapman says people love getting presents at the holiday time good news so with haro teo you concise signed up as a publicist so I would see all of the calls so I'll get the reporter's queries so then if there's a lifestyle one I would l washington and as someone like you know so it's you can also see the pitches and I think it helps too to see what kind of helps with story ideas when you see I'm doing a story on the best summer project you know it gives you an idea, teo and if you're wondering how to discover or figure out what your hook is, take note of articles that you are already reading or seeking out about other makers and crafters and look for the hook you can give yourself a little bit of homework here by figuring out what is the story behind the story why are they talking about this and why is that important? And do I have anything similar going on in my world? That is my book because we all have them but it is it can be hard to teach them out and find them for ourselves so this is also a great exercise to do with a close friend who's familiar with you and your business what do you you know do you think I have any stories about this and somebody might come back and say yes your mom is a great part of that story rosalie the day you were bored in the showers and interesting story there's you know we all have hooks and sometimes we just need help finding them but you can find them easier if you're noticing them another story so read for two intense you know to find to eat something interesting and to find out what the hook is and then just keep a little list of course it's another great list you can start and maintain of possible hooks that you have yes captain I have two ideas for media coverage I have a guest blogged for other block that's what a great one very very popular for paper and stitch she's tio uh have guest bloggers so I did a tutorial and felt flowers right and she told what she put it in her newsletter that it was one of the top two tweeted tutorial that's so I got a lot of traffic from that that's when I was I was scared about doing that because I make felt flowers but I don't know she said it was you know, good to share that craft but it was nobody's going to make him as good as you so they're going to get that be like we had kathy's they're so much better if you just give her sixty five dollars the second idea was when etc etc blogged they sometimes have a call for like packaging or ideas and they put it into their etc blawg post so I've been featured enough etc blogged post on packaging so be on the lookout for those yeah those opportunities that's great I love being a guest blogger and again that's also being a part of the community because you all have friends I'm sure who blocked so even if you just do an exchange where you guess bog and you guys can use the community that we're building right now to make that happen if you want to guess flog and you want to find someplace to guess blawg make a connection right now on twitter or in the facebook group or in the chat rooms and say I'm I can write a d I y tutorial at this do you have one that you can offer me and guess what start guest hosting for each other right now and tag creative because we will share that I know are so thanks press and then you're getting in front of thousands and thousands of people right now you know we can definitely make this work carry live will change the world, get in there and do it we actually have a pro bowls to the class on blogging and a group of her students both online and in the studio just arranged a block tour and there's about twenty six of them and it is so cool and we're so excited about it because again it is showing the community and we just can't wait to share that so that's a great way to use your network and absolutely so find someone right now and they could happen made that let us know so questions from online, so a lot of people in the chat rooms are asking about the mission statement and perhaps wanting to get some more tips that they're seeing that it's an important thing. But for the press, exactly how do you further come about writing? And one specific one from elizabeth is I read that your mission statement should answer what problem do you solve, which is great for a service business? But if your product is a nice tohave a luxury item, not a need to have our problem solving how how might you go about that? Well, I'll I'll start with you, okay? Just because your your product is a luxury item or it's something that you might buy us a treat doesn't mean that it's not solving a problem we all want to feel good, we all want to own beautiful things we all nobody despise things that are necessary you are helping somebody do something in their life affair buying what you make so all of the value doesn't come from our products just because they can, like potentially save the world more like often do we buy things? Because, yeah, it makes us feel better homes prettier makes art, you know? Think about how your product makes people happy so you're changing people's environments by offering them something beautiful for their home. You're making them feel more relaxed, you're lifting their spirits, there's a lot of things that your work can do. I mean, as I think it was saying yesterday, it feels like sometimes the headband is just a head band like, why do I have to find somebody's paying point toe like, figure out how to sell them? I had been and you don't always always have to do that because sometimes just the beauty is in what you make and that's just a cz important it's helping somebody somewhere do something, whether changing their environment, lifting their mood, making them smell better, these air hole things we don't need but that we like to have yeah, right, exactly making people happy is important, making people happy is important, making people feel good about the spaces they inhabit, the places that they have to go and the things that they have todo, you know, that's that can't be understated, that how important that is. Another question l a b jewelry said, do you find it profitable to pay for a sponsored post about your brand on a popular blogger or website? Many blocks these days won't feature work unless they're compensated. And then trish and curious kerry had similar questions about paying for pierre. I think that is not a bad way to go if you have a budget for it, I've done it before with clients and cos I've worked for, I think, and in some bloggers you have to pay for it on by think that's, ok, and I think it can be worth it. I think you should really make sure before you do that, that you know that's the right spot for you to be, and that your audience is really going to that block and reading that bug. So do your research first. Um, what do you think? I think that it is something to think about as your business is growing and getting bigger and bigger, I think that natural organic press is much more beneficial than paying for it. I also think that if you are going to pay for it that you need to have a really deep dig into your strategy, what is the result that you want from that? What is your intention for paying for that sponsorship for that, that kind of press? What are you hoping to get out of it? And are you prepared to make sure that you can deliver? So if you are trying to sell two hundred new things, do you have two hundred new things to sell? And are you going to be able tio market them correctly to make the advertising worth it in the sponsored advertisements? And if you do a sponsored posts, have your leg it's, like I had to tell them you're paying for it. So you can say this is how I want youto to write this, and this is the exact link I want you to have with the wording and think about your, you know, all blog's, even ones that take sponsored posts also cover stuff for free, so if if they're not going to take your pitch about a product, think about another way you could potentially get on there. I would also try to make friends with somebody who had ran a sponsored post on that website or block before and asked them if they were successful ask them if they really did get any results because just like being in a popular print publication. Sometimes it's easy to get lost on a popular web site even if you're paying for it and that I would ask somebody you know who has done it before if they found it to be worth while or reach out to someone called tio justine yeah just be honest and say hey, I was thinking about doing this seven hundred dollars is a big chunk of my my budget right now would you do it again and also take note are people doing it more than once? Yeah are people giving repeatedly paying for those sponsored posts because that's a pretty decent indication to you are they getting a lot of comments are urging people now to see sponsor in the you know, in the title of the post and then just click clicks you know, scroll on by that that's definitely something that our community is working out yeah at the moment I've got a quick, just really practical question from amy wing designs how do you compile the previous media that you have it's not digital for your media kit it's pretty isn't this print copies are you taking screenshots some other way? What is your sort of process we used to scan but feels old school we would scan print coverage we had and put it in our media kit on having him but you could probably take a photo of it and I still scan mine and amy wing designs is I'm so happy that she's here I know her jewelry. She makes gorgeous, gorgeous jewelry sexual. Very flattered that she's watching. But I absolutely scan and all of my print stuff. And then I say that in plastic sleeves, some of it I frame and hang it on the wall. Just getting that really is a joke. But when something is on line, I do screen captured. But I will sometimes said that actually away to the printer. Teo, have it come back because I need to make sure that it can get bigger and that I can manipulate it the way that I want tio and when? When I am in a magazine, I always get three. I get one too. Cut one to save and essentially oneto archive one if I need to give that away and one toe are cries when I used to have a paper media kit, you know, you needed a lot of copies of those things because eventually your photocopy would give out. So you keep trying to do the same thing over and over again. And it would just get worse and worse and worse quality. But I definitely save all of my stuff. In its physical form and online and if it's just a block post and I can get it printed out if it's something like that that I really want to save I will print it and save it as well a screen capture it I hope that helps you amy wing absolutely what will take maybe one more quick practical question from libby jewelry should you remove or add water marks when submitting photos and your pr kit and question um I would remove them because and you might have a different opinion here I would remove them because again you want to make it is easy as possible for someone to use it right away you could invent information in the link of the photo to that can let people know where it comes from that it won't show up on the photograph but if it is on your the media portion of your website and you're hoping people are going to reprint it, they're not going every printed it has a big water mark across it. So if that is a picture that you are known for or that you want to be known for, I think you just have to put a little trust yeah and in the process there yeah, these air photos that it's not there shouldn't be too much ownership of them you want them out in the world and you want your product out there and hope goodwill that people will give you credit for that actual product that being said some people do actually password protect the portion of their website where their media kit and where their press stuff lives and then they will request that you send your credentials to them and then they'll send you back a password that is definitely not making it the easiest for people but that is an option if you feel like here's all the information you want to know about me if you're interested in having access to my photos let me know so once again because you're the boss you get to control how you how you let that information get out there and there's lots of different options all right well fantastic we are almost out of time but I do have one more thing for christina I am someone let's say I'm someone who has done no pr what are your top three things to get started put me on the spot well one of the first three things I would suggest is do you have amazing photos can I find your story and about you on your website do you photos you've a website um do you have a great product I mean you need those things tio start that's what you need and that's why kerry's classes so awesome because she's showing you having those things but that's where I would start I can quote you on that yeah, ok

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.