Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Month: January 2010

In which I gush about how much I love you…

Last week I listened to the BEST podcast I've ever heard about sharing-your-crafty-thing. It was Sister Diane's CraftyPod show about Engagement Marketing.

If you sell your crafty thing (patterns, yarns, purses, whatever!) you really need to listen to this.

What's Engagement Marketing?

Diane gives a great definition and explains why you'd want to use it, but I can't resist putting it in my own words.
It's sharing your thing by connecting. By making relationships, by talking to your customers one-by-one. It's what we (you and I) do here on the blog in the comments. It's chatting on Twitter. It's leaving comments on Flickr.

Ignore the word Marketing.

Because it's so much more than that.
(and I don't like the word marketing)

It's not just sharing my passion with you, even though that's always fun.

In all of this connecting, sharing, chatting; I've gotten to know you.
You share your yarn-ideas with me, you help me crochet, you review my class.
You challenge me, encourage me and inspire me.

For that, I thank you.

Enough with the gushing.

If this all sounds like utopian love-fest, it sort of is.
It makes my working life so much better, that I get to share it with such fabulously brilliant people.

But it's also REAL. And useful.
Useful in sharing my thing and useful in making my business sustainable.

And it's accessible to anyone. Really!

Want some of this gushy-ness?

To feel this good and gushy about the people involved in your business, start by listening to Diane's podcast.

And if after you've listened, you're looking for some concrete ways of applying it, check out my Share Your Thing class (which is now available for homestudy).


In the local paper!

I can't believe it's taken me 4 days to share this (blame on being snowed in!) but last Sunday, my yarn shop (A Novel Yarn) was featured in the biggest local paper – The Johnson City Press!

That's me on the left (with the pink hair) and my business partner (and mom) on the left. We're hugging a shelf full of Jen Hintz's yarn (the photographer made us do it).

As you can see, the article took up the whole front page of the Temp (ie. Lifestyle) section, with my picture of Shera, along with more of Jen's yarn and my mom's hands knitting.

The article was all about our “philosophy” of handmade yarn and living curiously (about where stuff comes from, if we can make it, how it's made, etc).

The article also briefly mentioned my first business (and true love), Blonde Chicken Boutique, so if you're here from the paper – hi!

So many of you have asked, but it doesn't appear to be online.

Helping Yarnies Share Your Thing

My work A Novel Yarn (you know, my real-life yarn store!) has put me into contact with hundreds of independant yarnies.
I've read their blogs, poured over their online shops, signed up for newsletters.
I have observed.

And all this observing (combined with my own yarnie-experiences) taught me a few things:

  1. Everyone really has their own style of yarny-ness
  2. That own-style-thing means that everyone has something different to offer
  3. A lot of yarnies aren't highlighting their own, unique, awesomeness on their website, blog, twitter…in other words, on their public face
  4. Many of these yarnies have scattershot marketing, if any at all.

These problems are so overwhelmingly universal (with a few exceptions like ColorBOMB) in the handmade world – this is so NOT limited to yarnies.

And this is a shame,  because there are so many awesome makers of awesome things that are toiling in virtual obscurity because they don't know how to share their thing.

All this observing has ignited a passion inside me.
What was once just a vague thought (I'd really like to somehow, someday  help other handmade businesses) has turned into a solid plan.

I want to help handmade businesses reach their right people in a non-icky, super simple way.

I don't have all the answers, but I've studied a lot and I've done a LOT of trial & error (& error & error).

I've put together systems that have worked really well for me (newspaper & magazine articles, showing up in books, etc) and that can be applied to ANY crafty business.

And as part of my Sharing-It Pledge, I'm ready to share this aspect of my business in a 3-week online class.

You can read all about the class here and the subjects we'll cover, but the short version is this:

  • You want to share your thing with the world
  • You have something unique to offer
  • Together we'll discover the best places for you to share your thing, a system for doing it consistently AND ways to highlight your you-ness.

If this seems like something you might like, you can learn more and register for it here.

Have any questions or comments? Leave them below!