Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Month: October 2011

Podcast: Multiple Streams of Income

I'm super happy to be talking about growing your craftybiz with multiple stream of income over on the (new!) CraftyPod 2.0.

You can preview it below, or click “buy” to listen to the whole thing (it's free!)

Diane does a great job of getting to the heart of the issue: how do you fit it into your business?


If you're hoping to spice up your business with different kinds of income (ie, money!), here are a few other things I've written about it:


(the cupcakes don't really have anything to do with income…except that I'm obsessed with making them (3 batches in 2 days)…maybe if my frosting technique improved, I'd have another source of income?)

What’s unclear?

I'm deep in BOOK-mode, pouring all my focus into making sure I answer your questions.
I'm going back through my email folder of questions I've received (and answered!) over the past 3 years, to make sure the BOOK answers as many of those as makes sense.

But what else?

When you think of selling your thing, when you think of sharing it with others, when you look at your craftybiz and where you want it to go…what's still unclear?

Ask your question in the comments or privately through this form and I'll answer you right now AND in the BOOK

And nope, it doesn't matter if your business is real or a dream. It doesn't matter if it's brand-new or 10 years old.
What do you need to know to take you where you want to go?


Thanks for helping me make the BOOK exactly what the community needs!


Right Action

You might remember that last week I asked you for your questions (I answered them and recorded it for you here!).

I love doing this because it helps me see what it is you're thinking about your business and how you're feeling about the mass quantities of business-y advice out there.
And it always sparks at least a zillion blog posts, so that's a bonus.

Today I want to talk about a question I didn't get to answer on the call, because I got it after the call was over.

The asker asks:

What are some actionable steps I can take to reach new customers?I have a really great base of regular customers; they like me, they like my product, they come back for more. This is awesome. But I need more people like that, b/c the few great regulars I have aren't enough business on their own. How do I find more regulars?
I just don't know for sure what I can do, and I'm tired of reading stuff about infusing my business with my personality or using my blog properly, etc. I want actual steps I can take to find and get new customers, you know? I'm just not sure how else to get my product in front of the people who will buy it and love it and come back for more.

Emphasis mine

I love this because, as you know, I'm always talking about infusing your stuff with your you-ness and I can totally understand the frustration when that doesn't feel like action.

After getting this email (and responding to her with actual action steps!), I went back to my notes for the Right People class…
And I threw it all out.
I went to my BOOK draft and I found everything that is actionable…and that's going to be tomorrow's class.

I'm going to say very little about infusing your you-ness into everything you do because although that is the foundation  of everything, this is Right People 2.0.
This is for those of you who know what you make, you know a few of your Right People but you are ready to dig deeper, to get more, to stretch out and fill your capacity.

If you're ready for it, register here. The class is tomorrow, but if you can't make it, you'll get a recording if you register in time.

How Right People Changed my Business, revisited

In writing the chapter on Right People (for the BOOK!) and getting ready for the new class, I found this old post on Right People and I love it so much, I wanted to share it again (updated with what's changed)…

Last week we talked about what Right People are and how they can change your business.
Today I’d like to share what happened to Blonde Chicken Boutique when I started applying the concept of Right People to my work.

It started by Havi saying

Everyone has Right People


Your Right People are Right if they love what you do. That’s the only requirement.

And I wondered, what would this look like if I really believed it?

If these people love what I make, then I should make something truly ME.

Instead of worrying about the trends or what other yarnies were doing, I started focusing on yarn that I really love. Textures, colors, styles.  My love of my work grew and I created a line of yarns that really went together. I began to develop a look for Blonde Chicken Boutique.

If there are people who love what I make, then I should be talking to THEM.

Instead of spending money reaching tons of new people, I turned to my current people. How can I serve them better?
For starters, I ask them. I create products they want (the Learn To Knit Kit was inspired by people who loved my yarn but didn’t knit) and I keep them up-to-date (with a customers-only newsletter + a bi-weekly Yarn-Love Note)

My Right People love my thing, so why worry with those who don’t?

When I realized I don’t have to appeal to everyone or make everyone happy, I can focus on doing what I do best and serving the people who are already happy.

This means I could stop selling online, I can focus on my Monthly Yarn Mail customers and my yarn shops.

My happy, delighted Right People are the best advertising I could ever want.

If I make it easy for them to share my stuff, they can spread the more to more Right People.
Without doing anything, yarn shops have approached me. They have customers who asked them for my yarn, so now they carry it. ALL of my wholesale business (which is now 90% of my yarn business) has come from referrals!

The more I thought about Right People,  I realized I was actually thinking about Marketing.

But instead of asking “How do I tell people about my thing” (like many crafters do)
or “How do I tell my target market of 30 year old college graduates who make $40,000/year who knit about my thing” (like marketers do),
I’m asking “Who are my Right People already? What do they love? What could I do make them happier.

This changed every part of my marketing.
(and started attracting attention of people who needed marketing help, from companies who want my advice to publishers who want me to write books) 

The result?

My time is spent working with people I love, instead stressing over finding more people. My people are happy and tell their friends. My sales have greatly increased.
But best of all, I’m doing what I actually love.

A totally unexpected, non-yarny result?

When I started really listening to my people (not just my customers, but all those people who I liked and liked me, including other crafters, my online friends, other business owners), I realized they wanted something else.
They were asking me business-y questions; about marketing, about sales, about crafting a business AND a life.

So I started offering classes and tools.
Every single one of my classes (including this week’s class on Right People) have been sparked by specific questions I’ve been asked. I always answer the asker, but when the answer becomes huge,  I know I have a class.

The best part? 
I genuinely love teaching. I love talking about business. I love love love brainstorming for other people’s thing.
And the love is so obvious that last night Jay said, “Wow, I can see how happy this makes you. And it’s so perfect for you!” ).

Following my Right People? Led me to bliss.

What would change in your business if you focused on your Right People?

If you’d like to work with your adoring fans + find your Right People, check out the class!
Registrations close this Wednesday!

Got questions? Get ’em answered.

Oy. I just discovered that the free Q+A recordings that I used to give away for free were lost.

I'm bummed because I loved those recordings as time capsules of what it felt like 6 months and then 1 year after quitting my dayjob.

But instead of moping around about it, I just (10 seconds ago) decided to do a NEW, FREE Q+A session.

This Wednesday, October 5th.
4pm ET.
You can get the call-in details + recording by signing up here.

You can ask anything about having a craftybiz, quitting a dayjob, or having pink hair.

It will be fun, silly and to-the-point.
Get the details (and a chance to send in your questions), right here.
(If you can't make it, you'll get the recording)

I'm not selling anything, just answering your questions because it's fun and I like you.

Talk to you soon!