Craft a thriving business. Do what matters. Crush Distractions. Get the Kit:

Month: July 2014

Be Yourself

Be Yourself. Here's how, on TaraSwiger.com

Play

The number one piece of advice I received before doing the (scariest project of my life) CreativeLIVE class? “Be Myself”
Which is ironic, since that's exactly the advice I give to crafters who are struggling to talk about their business and work. In fact, a whole section of my workshop includes pages of questions for you to figure out what that really means, for you. But how do you do it? How do you “be yourself” in your business?

In today's episode, I'll share how the heck I figured out how to Be Myself, and how it totally changed the way I think about things.

How to Be Yourself (Even when you're a nervous wreck.)

  1. Get clear on what you love.
  2. Show up and be present.
  3. Decide connection matters.

How are you being yourself in your business (and life?) How are you hiding yourself?

Links mentioned in today's podcast:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • 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.

 

 

 

4 steps to make your dream more do-able

(If you're reading via email, click through to watch the video)

Whenever I talk to makers about their goals, I hear the same frustration over and over:

I'm great at setting goals…but never seem to succeed with STICKING with them.”

In my CreativeLIVE class, we spent the whole third day translating your marketing and your dreams into a do-able plan, that will take you towards your true goals (and not just what you think you should do.

In the above video snippet, I share 4 actionable tips for making your goals more do-able. 
1. Get Super Specific
2. Recognize the support you have + the support you need
3. Keep it in line with your North Star
4. Be Flexible


If you want to get clear on your marketing and how they shape your dreams, you can buy the entire class (and watch a few more sneak peeks), right here: http://cr8.lv/taraswigerclyt

An Introvert’s Guide to Travel {Podcast}

Introvert's Guide to Travel

Play

Travel, and especially FLYING can be really exhausting, especially if you're an introvert who gets worn out by being surrounded by people, bright lights and load noises. Today I'm flying to San Francisco to teach this live 3 day class, so I'm recording my personal Survival Guide to Flying, from the airport at 4 am.

We'll talk about how you can: 

  1. Give yourself plenty of time.
  2. Let go of your plans. Just go with it.
  3. Make yourself comfortable.
  4. Remember your humanity.

Links to items I mentioned in this episode:

Do you have a travel tip for Introverts? Share it in the comments!

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • 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.

 


CreativeLIVE classLove the podcast + blog? I'm teaching for three whole days, FREE on how to craft a marketing plan that works for your craft business. Starts tomorrow and is free to watch live. Join me here!

 

Marketing for Crafters

How to Market your Crafts, on CreativeLIVE with Tara Swiger

Eep! It's nearly here and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

 

This week I'm teaching a FREE three-day class on all aspects of marketing your handmade business. From your Right People, to clarifying your message, to crafting a Customer Path that effectively connects with your people, to deciding what (of the hundreds) of tools to use, to crafting a plan you'll actually stick with…we're going to cover it all, in detail. And best yet: We're going to apply it to your business, exactly where you are right now.

Awesome, right?

In the last few weeks I've gotten a few questions more than once, so in case you have them too, I wanted to share them with you. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments, and I'll get to them as fast as I can (while flying across the country!)

How does this work?

Go here and click “RSVP”. You'll get both the syllabus and the workbook right away, so you'll be ready to start class Thursday morning. At 9am PST (Noon EST) on Thursday, July 17th, class will begin! You'll get a reminder email to log on and when you do you'll see me teaching, in real time! There's a chat room for you to ask your questions (the hosts will be lobbing your questions at me on the regular) and a hashtag (#swigerlive) so you can connect with your fellow students. Each morning you'll get a reminder email so you don't miss anything!

What's the schedule?

July 17, 2014
Goal for today: You will end class with the language you can use to talk directly to your customer (and you'll know exactly who that customer is)

9:00am – What Marketing is (and isn’t)
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 – Crafting Your Message: Spot Your Sparkle
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45 – 2:15 – Your Right People (who they are, where to find them)
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 –  Translate your message into your Right People's language.

 

July 18, 2014
Goal for the day: You will understand how customers find you, fall in love with you, and buy from you – so that you can take focused, results-driven action.

9:00 – 10:30 – How to build (and improve) your Home Base
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 –  Hi! How people find you.
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45-2:15 – Come Closer! Enticing a buyer into your world
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 – Buy! That magic moment (and what comes next)

 

July 19th, 2014
Goal for the day: Create a concrete plan that aligns with your goals, and learn how to filter out everything that doesn't.

9:00-10:30 -The power of knowing what you want.
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 – Choose your tools: from Instagram to craft shows
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45 – 2:15 – How to hold an experiment (and learn what really works for you)
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 – Make your own map: Create a do-able plan to get things done.

Keep in mind the times are approximate. Each segment might go over or under a smidge.(You can download this with a description of each segment here)

What if I can't watch live?

Watching live is free, but you can purchase anytime access. You can get the whole class here for $59 (the price will go up after class, so jump on it!) or you can buy each day separately (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). Each Day's page tells you what we'll cover on that day, so you can pick the one that's right for you.

Whether you can watch live or not, you may want to purchase the class to get some amazing bonuses: 

  • Anytime access to the videos (so you can refresh yourself!)
  • Free access to Craft an Effective Blog
  • Free access to Automagical Email Series
  • $100 off the Solo Mission

Should I  take this class if I bought the book?

YES. Although I'll hit on some book bits in Day 1 (specifically, Right People and Your Message), I've updated it all based on the last two years of working with designers, makers, and artists. I now know more about what really works in businesses just like yours, since I wrote the book over 2 years ago. Also: Day 1's first segment is entirely new material (not taught in any class), and Day 2 and Day 3 aren't in the book anywhere.

Should I take this class if I took the Customer Path class?

YES! We'll cover the Customer Path in Day 2, but we'll also hit on the big piece we couldn't get to: How to build an effective Home Base (so your Customer Path leads people to someplace great). Plus, Day 1 and Day 3 will be totally new to you.

I'm bummed I missed the Customer Path class, where can I get it?

Well, you're in luck! The Customer Path material is no longer available anywhere other than the Starship or in this class! (Day 2, Segment 2-4).

I don't have a business yet, I just have ideas.

Ready for some tough love? If you are still just “playing around” with “some ideas”, but you really REALLY want a business (and not a hobby) – step away from the internet. Stop taking classes, stop reading books, and stop looking at what other people are doing. Go into your creation cave and create your best work. Make 5-10 of them (whether this is products, designs, artwork, whatever). Ask yourself if you enjoy this enough to make 50 more. Then, take some pictures and make it available for sale (either online or in a craft show).
THEN, you are ready to start thinking about marketing your work.
In other words, this class is going to be most useful to you if you know what you make and it's available for people to buy, somewhere. If you're not sure how to move from Idea to Business, check out Kari Chapin's class on getting started.

 

Got a question? Ask and I'll answer (in between traveling). Hope to see you in the class! 

The Power of Practice {podcast}

Power of Practice
“How do I get comfortable talking about my work?”
A client asked me this a few weeks ago and my answer surprised her. In order to get comfortable sharing your handmade business – you practice! Don't worry if you don't sound natural and comfortable yet, you'll get there with practice.
In this episode I talk about how I practice – before a craft show and before a class (it's kind of embarrassing), and we talk about the three things you MUST be doing in your handmade business.
To figure out WHAT to say when you talk about your work and find the most effective actions in building a business you'll love, join me in my (free!) class with CreativeLIVE here.

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • 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.

 

 

What I’m reading: July 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.
What I'm reading this month! Full list on Taraswiger.com/blog

What I read

  • Foodist, by Darya Rose – a good primer for anyone wanting to feel better about food
  • Mindset, by Carol Dweck – a LOT of research showing how your mindset (do you think people are capable of change?) matters in…everything.

I didn't get a lot of reading in this month, because I spent most of my time writing and editing my new class materials. This month I'm flying, so I hope to get more in!

What I’m reading

My new bookish obsession

About a  month ago (right when my workload was ramping up), I got obsessed with the idea of reading the Great Books – you know, the books that have formed the foundation of our culture, that teach us something about ourselves…those books that everyone else read in high school and college that I missed. (As a French Lit major I read MANY “classics”…in French. But I seemed to miss many of the English/American classics.) I scoured many Great Books list, and added the ones that seemed to show up the most (and that seem “great” to me). You can see my list of 102 Great Books here (some of which I've read, thank goodness!), but I'd love to hear from you – what are the most important books to how YOU see the world? Whether the Western Canon thinks they're “great” or not, what would be on your own Great Book list?

And also – what the heck should I do with this list now? Read through it in a year? Read one a month? Where would you begin?

 

My most-recommended books for your small business or life:

I've collected my most-recommended books in a list of 28 books in the Bibliography of my new course. This list is my answer to the question: Where do I start? And: How did you learn to..? I'm entirely self-taught via books, and these are the ones that have had the biggest impact in my own business business and life. You'll get the full bibliography when you purchase the course here.

 

 

How to pick your goal

Set your goals for the rest of 2014 with the Explore Your Enthusiasm podcast, on TaraSwiger.com

Play

Happy Middle of the Year!

How's your 2014 going? Have you come closer to your goals for the year? Or have you forgotten all about them?
Either way, this is a great time to reset your intentions for the rest of the year and make a new map.

But where are you going?

In this episode you'll hear my favorite ways to set a good, clear goal that will bring you to a business you really want. I also share an embarrassing story about getting lost, and the importance of not just setting your destination, but paying attention the entire way there (with regular review!)

Links mentioned:

 

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • 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.

 

 

 

 

Stop calling it “self-promotion”

This week I'm deep in my writing cave finishing materials for my (free!) three day class with CreativeLIVE. To keep writing AND keep you exploring,  I'm revisiting and refreshing one of the most popular posts I've written from 2012. 

Don't worry about feeling gross "self-promoting" all over the Internet. Instead, put the 4 Ps of Marketing to work for you and YOUR business, with this free guide from Tara Swiger.

I'm allergic to the term “self-promotion.”

Lots of crafters call the process of getting their work in front of other people “self-promotion”, and it's not just a malapropism; it's dangerous! It  distracts you from what you should be doing.

Self-promotion sounds gross. In fact, just promoting yourself, telling everyone how great you are, is kinda gross. No one wants to be around the girl who can't stop talking about how great she can sing. (You know the girl.)

But calling it self-promotion is dangerous.

If “promotion” is the only way you're thinking of marketing, you're avoiding it. And that's dangerous, because you're probably avoiding all the other aspects of marketing, too.

(Or you're the other kind of creative, that just accepts the gross aspect of self-promotion and fills your twitter stream with “just listed [link to shop]”…but I'm pretty sure that's not you.)

Marketing, however, is the process of communicating with your people, about your product, your business and how it can help them.

Promotion is only (a small) part of the marketing equation.

It might help to know that traditional marketing (as defined in my past-life, MBA marketing classes), Promotion is just one of the 4 P's of Marketing.
In other words, it's only one quarter of all the marketing you do for your business. In creative businesses, I have a theory that it's even less than 1/4, but we'll get into that in a bit.

The 4 P's of Marketing is a framework for thinking about your marketing mix (all the things you do to communicate with your people). Inherent in the concept of a marketing mix is the belief that Promotion isn't everything; that your focus should not only be on telling people about your work.

The other P's:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place

Product

It all starts with what you're selling – Is it something people want? If so, what about it do people want? Is that clear? Is there a new product you can add (or delete) from your line to reach a new market?
Read more about marketing with Product here.

Price

We already know that pricing is not a benefit…but it is a tool for marketing. Not just special pricing (a sale or discount), but the overall pricing strategy: Do you have a range of prices? Do your prices appeal to one market over another? What does your price say about the quality of your product?
Read more about marketing with Price here.

Place

Where your product is sold directly effects the market it reaches. Is your product where it's people can find it? If you only have an online store, do you know your Right People shop online? When you pick a craft show, do you make sure your people will be there? How do you pick a shop to carry your goods? Where does news of your business show up? Is that really where your buyers are?
Read more about marketing with Place here.

 

See, there's lots of marketing to do that doesn't involve promotion.

What Ps do you use in your marketing mix?
Is there one you want to explore?

Want to learn more about your marketing?

Check out my new (free!) 3 day class with CreativeLIVE. It's going to cover EVERY aspect of your marketing, from finding your Right People to how to write content that connects to making a plan to get your marketing done. Enroll here.

Or, enter your e-mail below and get my FREE Guide to the 4 Ps of Marketing!