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Month: May 2014

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

The view

I stopped to smell the roses (literally) and found a tiny nest in the rose bush! #foundwhilerunning

I was awoken by this face burrowing into my armpit. #taralovesmornings
Today is a two-cups of coffee, two-screens day. Holding a (surprise! bonus!) Q&A for Customer Path students...and the classroom software is totally down.
These 2 are unconcerned with the swinging weight above their heads. #totaltrust #fitstagram

Beau knows there's *something* here...(see the bunny at the far top, center?)

I am so grateful for…

  • Jessica! My Number One makes the endless amount of worksheets + class material I create possible + pretty + error-free.
  • Your sweet replies to this week's lesson! So many Thank Yous, made my whole week.
  • A great conversation with Mei, which you'll hear on the podcast in 2 weeks.
  • Patience when my classroom stopped working for an entire day. I very nearly lost my head. And then I didn't. So I'm grateful for that tiny bit of progress accepting Things I Can't Control.

The Finds:

I'm reading

I'm eating

What adventures did you have this week?

Navigating an art career, with Claudine Hellmuth {PODCAST}

Claudine Hellmuth Interview on Tara Swiger's podcast

 

Yay! Today I'm thrilled to have my very first podcast guest: Claudine Hellmuth!

Claudine's an author, illustrator and designer, who's been featured in The New York Times, The Martha Stewart Show, HSN, HGTV and more! I first picked up her first book waaay back, 10 years ago! I was delighted to talk to (and learn from!) someone who's navigated many opportunities and options(licensing, publishing, etsy shop)  in her art career and how she gets it all done.

 

Play

We talk about: 

  • The path to her first book deal
  • The truth of licensing deals
  • The importance of celebration in your art career
  • The difference between making for committee and making what you love
  • “People buy your joy”
  • How Claudine spends her days (and the productivity “rule” she breaks)
  • Being the World's Best Boss
  • What we're enthusiastic about! (It may surprise you!)

Links we discussed: 

 

You can find more about Claudine, her work, and her blog at CollageArtist.com.

(Don't forget – if you love the show, leave a review on iTunes and Instagram or tweet what you do while you listen and tag it with #exploreyourenthusiasm)

Listening to an interview with Claudine Hellmuth at TaraSwiger.com

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review! This helps it spread!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

These peonies slay me. #nofilter #foundwhilerunningGrowth. #foundwhilerunning
The Watauga Arts Council in Boone, NC is lovely, with smart & clever artists!  Had a great workshop!
Celebratory solo dinner, at the first place I ever had Thai. #yum
Second strawberry-based meal of the day. #nofilter #strawberrycrazy #whatveganseat #taralovesmornings

I am so grateful for…

  • Strawberries! I could eat them (and I maybe have eaten them) every day, in every meal.
  • A lovely workshop at a great Arts Council.
  • I'm happiest when I'm creating usefulness + this week I've received piles of confirmation that I'm truly helping. So grateful to feel like I'm doing my best work!

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

My newest class, with includes a super-rare live Q+A call closes TODAY. Join us!

 

What adventures have you had?

Fear + Marketing {PODCAST}

Fear + Marketing - A podcast episode on TaraSwiger.com

Play

What's keeping you from sharing your work with the people who will love it?

Fear that:

  • It takes too much time?
  • It might not work?
  • You'll look bad?
  • Everyone will hate it (you?!)?

In this week's episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm, I share my own fear around marketing (it ain't pretty) and share three tools for getting past the fear and communicating with the people who will love your work.

Links I mention:

 

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

What have you been avoiding? What wonderful things could it bring into your life?

 

 

 

Know what to say

Know what say in your marketing, on TaraSwiger.com
Last week we talked about the struggle to know what to DO with your marketing, so today let's handle it's twin: what to SAY when marketing your business.

Do you remember when you first joined Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and you wondered: What do I write? What do I put on here? If you're using the tools for your personal life, it's simple – you share what you want to share, with the people you want to share it with.

But if you're using social media as a tool for your business, the issue requires a bit more thought and planning. You'll still say what you want…but what DO you want to say? What do you want these specific people (your followers) to know about your work or about you? What do they need to know? 

Everything you share online builds a relationship with the reader and it establishes who you are, as a business and a human (in the same way that everything you say in real life to someone builds a relationship and communicates who you are.)
It's easy to get stuck in a swirl over this (what should I saaaaay?) or to avoid the question all together and just default to the easiest thing (tweeting your Etsy listings with no personality). It bums me out when I see creatives with amazing work doing either, because it's not too hard find the solution.

Start with these two questions:

  • What is my message and how do I communicate that here?
  • Where is this reader on my Customer Path and what would she need to know to move forward (closer to buying or connecting)?

What is my message?

You'll learn exactly how to craft your message (and convert it to all possible situations)  in my book, but you can start by asking yourself:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What do I provide to my customer? (ie, it's more than art or jewlery – it's beauty, belonging, joy, etc)

Now, how can you communicate that on this particular tool? What would you share to bring more of that quality into your reader's lives?

Where is the reader on my Customer Path?

You see, what you say depends on who you're saying it to. Is she following you on Twitter because she wants to remember to buy in the future? Does she love your writing and want to keep up to date? Or is she just discovering you via someone else's retweet?
This might seem overwhelming, but it helps to put it in a framework: everyone who is reading, following, “liking” you on your blog, newsletter, social media is connecting with you – and over time, they're coming closer and closer. In other words, they're on a Customer Path.
What you say moves them down the path, and the more you understand their needs at each point at the path, the easier time you'll have figuring out what to say.

If you want to know what to say, and feel confident it's effective in connecting with potential customers, join me to Craft Your Customer Path. Registration closes Friday!

What are you saying? What are you communicating in your marketing?

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Mother's Day Brunch. #yum
The beginnings of brussels fried rice. (Via @isachandra) #sogood #vegan
My darling is fine! Waiting on biopsy results, but happy & clueless.
It's the MOST wonderful time! Of the yearrrr! Strawberry season! #yayspring #whatveganseat

I am so grateful for…

  • A safe procedure for Beau. (And being able to pay for it, because whoa.)
  • A lovely Mother's Day weekend!
  • My mother-in-law – today's her birthday! Happy birthday, Rhonda!
  • STRAWBERRIES
  • The smooth launch of the new class (even better – people are joining! yay!)
  • Massive inspiration – I wrote more than 3000 words in just a few hours!
 

The Finds:

I’m loving:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

The secret to turning readers into buyers

This week's podcast is live! Talking about my favorite question to your marketing floundering: Where does it fit on your Customer Path?

Play

How customers find you, fall in love, and choose to buy = your Customer Path.

In today's podcast episode, we talk about what it is, what you already have and how to start improving it.

A “Customer Path” is a framework to think about your marketing. Once you think through your message and your goals from your own point of view (like we do in the book), you need to shift and think about how this all fits together for your ideal customer. What do they come in contact with first? Where do they go next?

This is how you turn a casual reader (or random googler) into a customer, and then a raving fan.

This framework will help you know:

The good news: you already have a Customer Path! Your job, your responsibility is to make it as easy and effective as possible, both to boost your own sales AND to provide service to your customers (they want to know how to find out more!)

In the podcast I share some questions to get you started in your own Customer Path building and a list of 5 things to remember as you map out your own Customer Path.

If you'd like to build your Customer Path, increase it's effectiveness, and get clear on how you make sales, join the brand new class: From Hi to Buy: Craft a Customer Path.

Links I mention: 

How to listen

Your Turn!

What does your Customer Path look like right now? Are there gaps? Cliffs? Too many options? 

What are you going to do this week to make it clearer (and thus, more efficient)?

If you don't know the answer to that question, sign up for my FREE marketing e-course:

 

 

Do you know what you’re doing?

Know what you're doing in your marketing, on TaraSwiger.com

One of the comments I get most often from makers, when we chat about marketing, is that they just don't know what to DO.

Should I bother with a Facebook page?
How important is it to have an email list?
Am I blogging right?

This leads to scattershot marketing. They don't know what to do after they list a new product. They don't know what to tweet. They don't know if any of it is worth it. Each day is filled with frustrating not-knowing and doubt.

Knowing what to do is (or being able to figure it out) is a business-transforming skill.

It saves you time, energy and stress. It keeps you enthusiastic and moving along joyfully.
Getting stuck in a swirl of “What should I do?” is the ultimate momentum killer!

But there's no easy answer to what you should do.

When you work with me, I don't tell you. (And you should probably avoid any one-size-fits-all advice that purports to know exactly what everyone should do.)
Instead, it's a process of discovery.
Instead, we look not at this ONE thing (email list, social media, blog) but at the overall picture of your Customer Path.

I'm always asking clients: How does this fit on your Customer Path?

And it's that simple. Once you know your Customer Path, you know just what to do. Whether you're listing an item on Etsy, preparing for a craft show, or building your email list, your Customer Path will inform what you do.

What would change in your biz if you knew what to do in your marketing?

Want more?
You can read this and this to get you started. Then, check out the new class that will help you order your marketing into a cohesive Customer Path! 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I lovelove the PacNW. And my pals there.   And I'm totally delighted to be home to work & snuggle & eat home food. #boldlygo #andthenrestI had a lovely & inspiring lunch with @craftypod & K yesterday...but I didn't remember take a picture of anything except my pie from Random Order. Strawberry rhubarb. Delicious.The Redwoods were completely amazing. Thanks so much for all your sweet encouragement!This is the farthest away he's let me get all day. #missedme #homesweethome

I am so grateful for…

  • Hugging Kylie, Diane, Velma, college friends and family.
  • An easy and fun run – the longest of my life!
  • The flow of an easy trip. We were on the road a lot, and there's plenty that could have gone wrong (and a few things that did!), but I'm grateful for safety, friends, and flow.
  • Ongoing successes that I get to be a tiny part of – from Solo Mission-ers + book readers + students. Nothing is as cheering as getting an email from someone reaching their goal!

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

  • I made these amazing cookies for my mom for Mother's Day
  • Jay made great tempeh nuggets (he douses his in hot sauce) with mac + cheese
  • Lots of road food in the PacNW.

In case you missed it: 

 

What adventures have you had?

Reframe it: A Podcast

Reframe: a podcast

Play

One of my most-used tools with clients is the simple reframe. When you're feeling stuck or disappointed in your creative business, taking a moment to look at the situation from another point of view can help you see possibilities and opportunities.

As much as we'd like business to be a series of logical decisions, the fact is we get distracted, disappointed, and doubt creeps in. In order to stop ourselves from giving up too soon, or jumping around too much, we can take a moment to reframe the situation by asking one of these questions:

  • What else is true?*
  • Is there another way?

*Hat tip to Havi for teaching me this question.

Reframing the situation by asking these questions allows us to look at the situation from another perspective. From this perspective, we can find a solution or create a new plan. From there, you can take action.

How to listen

Your turn!

What is one situation in your business where you feel stuck?
Reframe it!
Now, what's one action you can take, from this new perspective? Leave a comment below sharing the action you'll take this week.

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