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abby glassenberg

Abby Glassenberg on Email Marketing for Crafters

AbbyG

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Abby Glassenberg has built a thriving sewing pattern company, she is the podcaster behind the popular interview show, While She Naps, and the writer of my favorite blog. I was happy to get to talk to her about her own experience with creating a (massive!) email list with content I look forward to and how she helps makers do the same.

 Links we mention

 

How to listen

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

#tbt to one of my most-favorite pictures of us, just a few weeks ago at Carissa's wedding.
And #vegan pizza! Soo good! Thanks for the recommendation @onegirlcircus!
My favorite photo of the wedding: the first dance! #Lovelove
You sure are pretty, Oregon!
You certainly are, coffee.   Had the full Grants Pass experience with @dutchbros & Jelly Donut.
Traffic jam on the way to the airport. #taralovesadventure

I am so grateful for…

  • A great brunch with Blair, in Seattle
  • Smooth and (relatively) stress-less travel
  • Support and encouragement from my students
  • Enthusiasm + productivity with my next project. I've been working on it non-stop + it's coming soon!

The Finds:

 Lots to share, but one thing is time sensitive:

I’m reading:

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

Be a professional

Be a Professional

Last week I read several great posts about professionalism in our craft world. Abby wrote about the changes to the professional organization CHA to include bloggers and in reply Kim wrote about the importance of being a professional in this industry. It might seem unrelated, but I found Diane's post answering if it's “worth it” to write a craft book and Abby's post about what fabric designers earn really seem to me to be even more proof of the importance of treating this, your career as a craftsperson, as a professional. Let's discuss what this means for you.

First, there's an important distinction in this conversation about bloggers and the trade organizations, between Professional Bloggers and Professionals Who Blog.

  • Professional Bloggers make their money from their blog, they sell the eyeballs (views) of their blog to advertisers.
  • Professionals who Blog make their money from either a service or product that they sell, and their blog is one part of the Customer Path for their buyers – it helps them connect in a deeper way with the people who buy what they sell.

I work exclusively with people who sell something (whether they blog or not!); my people sell their writing to magazines, their dresses to buyers, their yarn to knitters.

Now, these people (you!) don't always think of themselves as “professionals.” In fact, many of you came to your business first as a hobby and then started selling some stuff and that's where you are now. Some people don't care to go beyond this, and it's a fun hobby and gives them some extra spending money. That's perfectly fine. I work with people who very much want to go beyond this – makers who want to build their craft into a sustainable business that supports their creativity. In other words, they want to have a career in this field. They want to become a professional.

I've found, by working with people as they make this transition from hobby to career, that there is a moment where it happens. But it's not where you might expect it. The moment is not when they make their first or fiftieth sale. It's not when they make a certain dollar amount. It's not when their work is featured in a magazine.

This moment happens the instant their thinking changes. When they go from “I make some stuff” to “I'm building a business.” From “I hope this works” to “I'm going to make this work.” From “I‘d like to be as awesome as XX {Insert current rock star in their craft}” to “I specifically want to make $XX and spend X amount of time and focus my energy on X project.

The moment you flip from hobbyist to Professional is the moment that you decide to. The moment you commit to doing the work, to making the plan, to learning what you don't yet know.

If you've made this flip, you know it. It might be the first time you made a map, or held an experiment, or just committed: “I'm actually going to do this.
If you feel fuzzy and you're one of the hundred of people who email me asking “Could this be a  business?! Can I do this?!“, that's OK! Spend some time thinking about your life and what you want from it and go with your gut (not with what looks awesome).

Once you've made this flip, it changes your decision-making process. Instead of wanting to write books or design fabric because it seems professional, you'll need to research what that will actually mean for you and your goals. (That's why I love posts like Abby's and Diane's that draw back the curtain.) Instead of saying yes to every opportunity, a Professional gets clear on what she really wants and then pursues a path that will get her there.

I'm absolutely fascinated by what happens after the flip. The systems you build, the decisions you make, the work you have to do. That's why I make tools and classes for the post-flip journey (which lasts the rest of your life). I'm working on a new thing to support those immediately post-flip, who are ready to go from “I have a shop” to “I have a business.” I'm opening it first to email subscribers on Nov 20th (and everyone who joins early will get a free Holiday Sanity class!) and then to the whole world on December 2nd. It will begin January 1. If it sounds interesting, sign up here to be the first to find out (and have lots of pre-holiday time to think about it).

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

Yay! Fall! #yayfall
For the first time in years I knit an actual swatch. In 2 different needles. I even washed and blocked it! For my #bluesandcardigan out of Flannel Plucky Primo. #plucktember
Yay! I am holding @mercedesknits's book in my hands and it is GREAT! Happy birthday, friend and congrats on a job well done!  I am so thrilled to have been able to see the amazing stuff you've made over the years! Love you!
A VERY good Saturday morning. #taralovesmornings   (More on my (crazy) #greatbooksproject on the FB page. Link in profile. Join me?)
I so love this mossy little bridge over a tiny creek, in the middle of a totally normal neighborhood. #foundwhilerunning in #easttennessee    #taralovesmornings
My knitting matches the nebula in Wrath of Khan. #geekySaturday

I am so grateful for…

  • Getting to play a small part in the successes of Starship Captains (and getting to share their celebrations!)
  • Hours spent reading + my new reading project.
  • New obsessions.

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

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

Yay! Magnolia trees! #foundwhilerunning
Note to Future Self: you are happier when you put in random receipts every month. (I skipped it in Q2. Sigh.)  Today = very last step of taxes - finalizing my expense category totals. #smallbizglamour #keepinitreal
Flowering trees! Yay! (What is it, cherry?) A VERY warm 3 mi today.  #foundwhilerunning
Special dinner for The Walking Dead: #vegan manicotti. (Recipe from @vegangela_food.)
Best $2 buy. #yayspring

I am so grateful for…

  • The support and generosity of the Starship Captains. They've been blowing my mind with their vulnerability and kindness to each other this week.
  • $2 tulips
  • Finishing + filing my taxes!
  • Flowering trees! Every corner brings a new smile.

The Finds:

I'm reading:

I'm listening to: 

I'm cooking: 

  • These gluten-free, vegan, protein-rich cookies are actually super tasty!
  • Manicotti! Cheese-stuffed manicotti was the first special meal I made for Jay and for years it was our anniversary dinner. Since going vegan I kinda forgot about it. But this recipe brought it back!

I'm teaching locally:  

In case you missed it: 

Note!
My website's getting a spring cleaning this weekend! It may be offline for around 24 hours from Saturday afternoon – Sunday. So don't fret! We'll be back on Monday with a new site, a new shop and a brand new class! (Sign up here to be the first to know!)

What were your adventures this week?  

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

Too good to wait. #taralovesmornings
Gorgeous day, and art. #motherdaughterfun
Picking fabrics for my Cat Lady quilt. You, @pennyshima?
Beau isn't sure about this layout... #yearofmaking

I am so grateful for…

  • A lovely weekend with my mom
  • The  opportunity to use my doable-plan-creating superpowers for two dear friends, and being witness to the resulting awesomeness they've crafted.
  • The return of my quilt-making mojo. (I started this quilt. I am officially a Cat Lady.)
  • Dude. The thank you emails from Pay Yourself students, and  their epiphanies in the discussion space are THRILLING. And humbling. I've had other teachers/superstars email me to say their students are telling them how much they love it. I was proud of this material, but I am so much more fulfilled knowing that it's being applied and is useful. My heart has grown three times.

I can't say enough how overwhelmingly grateful I am to be doing this work + to be helping gorgeous, generous business ladies rock their own art. Group hug!

 

The Finds:

Read this:  

Listen to this:

What were your adventures this week?