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podcast

What you “should” have done. {PODCAST}

How to get perspective when you're frustrated by slow growth...or just not being where you "should" be. Podcast on TaraSwiger.com | Explore Your Enthusiasm

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Inspired by your response to last week's email, let's talk about how to deal with the frustration of what you “should” have done already – the business you should have, the progress you should have made, where you should be. The best way to deal with this frustration: Perspective. In today's episode, I'll share a few ways to get perspective:

  • The truth about how long it takes for other people.
  • A birthday-inspired list of what you've done.
  • Review your own goals.
  • Dedicate yourself to taking action. (Make a map, if you don't know what to do.)

 

Links mentioned

How to listen

Your Turn!

What have you accomplished this year? How has this shifted your perspective? 

 

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.

 

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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.

 

Fear + Marketing {PODCAST}

Fear + Marketing - A podcast episode on TaraSwiger.com

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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?

 

 

 

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?

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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:

 

 

Reframe it: A Podcast

Reframe: a podcast

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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.

Podcast: Enthusiasm – your business needs it

Why your business needs your enthusiasm, on TaraSwiger.com

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Welcome to the second episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm! 

This week we're talking about ENTHUSIASM. It's right there in the name of the podcast + it's a vital tool in a sustainable business. We'll cover why it matters, what to do when you don't have any, how you can learn from your craft, and how to make even the most boring tasks more fun. I also share a bit about my own crafting funks, some burn-out horror stories and what I've learned when I follow the enthusiasm in my own business.

Links mentioned in the podcasts

How to listen

Your turn!

How do you follow your enthusiasm in your business? What have you learned?
If you're feeling burned out or bored, how are you going to start experimenting with your enthusiasm?

 

 

How to launch a podcast in one week

How to launch a podcast in one week, on TaraSwiger.com


 

I mentioned yesterday that I love podcasts and that I've long wanted to start my own. The truth is, I started working on one THREE years ago. In 2011, I took a great class with Diane, that taught me everything I needed to know about starting a podcast. I bought a travel mic. I sent a million emails to friends about what I wanted the podcast to be. When I went to Chicago on a trip for a client, I interviewed two of my long-time fave crafters (their interviews will eventually be on the podcast).

But then..the idea withered. I know myself: I failed to follow my enthusiasm and just make it, so I got bogged down in the details and never moved forward.

When the idea hit me again I sat right down and wrote out all the reasons I shouldn't do it (that's a short list). And then I wrote all the reasons I should do it. I wrote what the podcast would be about. I wrote a rough outline of my first podcast. And I sent an email to Heather asking if I had the different steps of it right.

The next Monday, I decided: Yes, I'm going to do this project. I recorded the audio, recorded an intro, edited it together and by Thursday had it all uploaded and ready to launch. The day after I got everything set up, Elise wrote this great post about how to launch a podcast on a Mac. I use a slightly different workflow and set of tools, so I wanted to share that with you.

This is rather long, so instead of reading it all and getting overwhelmed, I strongly recommend that you save it (maybe pin it?) and open it back up when you're ready to start your podcast. 

Here's an overview of how each episode moves from your brain into your listener's devices:

  • You record it, edit it + send it to where it will live on the web (where iTunes will “read” it from).
  • You write the summary + title, then publish the episode on that platform (or you schedule it for the future).
  • When it goes live, iTunes (+ all other podcast readers) will “catch” the feed and post it on their site with the information.
  • Subscribers will magically have the episode!

How to launch a podcast in a week.

  1. Decide what you want to talk about.
    Make a big list of possible topics. Figure out who you're making this for and what you want to say. (You could use Craft an Effective Blog to generate topic ideas!) Now, summarize all that for your first episode. Listen to a few of your favorite podcasts to get a feel for the organization of it all. What do they say at the beginning? The end? Write down a general outline of what you want to say (be as scripted or as free-flowing as you like).
  2.  Pick a name.
    This took me forever, but don't stress about it. If your blog has a name, go with that. If your Etsy shop has a name, go with that. (I'm just “Tara Swiger” everywhere, so I had to find something new.)
  3. Make a cover image.
    It needs to be 1400×1400 and still look good at 150×150. If you're totally new to image design, hire someone. (This should be pretty inexpensive. You can find lots of designers here.) Or just put the name of your podcast on a colored background. Really.
  4. Set up your recording + editing + feed.
    -Set up an account on Libsyn (I went with the cheapest: $5/mo). Put the name of your podcast and the summary in there.
    -Set up an account on Auphonic (free!) then download the Auphonic phone app.
    -Go to the “services” page on Auphonic and add your Libsyn account. This will send all of your episode to Libsyn. (This makes everything so super easy.)
    -Also set it up to send recordings to your Dropbox/fttp/computer (wherever you wanna save your files).
  5. Record your first episode.
    -Open the Auphonic app and click the big Record button and start talking.  I recorded the first episode ON MY PHONE.
    -Save the recording + name it.
    -If you want an intro and outro to be the same on every episode, record each of those and save them.
    – After you're done recording, click “Start Production” on your episode file. (You can do this on your phone, or on the web app.) If you recorded an intro and outro, put those in the intro and outro section. On this production page, you'll name the episode, write a summary, etc. Be sure you've selected Libsyn in the outgoing file, so it's sent automatically.
    -Click “Start Production” at the bottom of this page. Your file will be edited + sent to Libsyn. Yay! You're all done creating the audio file!
  6. Your episode will soon be in your Libsyn account.
    If you need to, edit the title, summary, etc and publish it (or schedule it).
  7. Submit your feed to iTunes!
    Libsyn creates the feed with all the details you've already put in,  so you just need to copy + paste the feed onto iTunes. (Your feed will look something like taraswiger.libsyn.com/feed).
  8. Wait anxiously for their approval.
  9. Share it with your friends + customers!

This list may seem long, but none of the technical things will take any more than 10-15 minutes each.

Once you've done this the first time, you only need to do Step #5 + #6 for all future episodes. Two steps!

What takes the longest: YOU – deciding on what you want to say, what you want to call it and how you want to describe it!

Here's how it worked for me, in a normal work week where I did a zillion other things, including proposing and landing a new contract for a teaching opportunity.

Monday: Decided on a whim what it would be all about (after three years of thinking about it on and off).

Tuesday: Set up all accounts, made image (with a name I decided to change), recorded intro (with the wrong name), recorded first episode.

Wednesday: Did lots of other work. On my breaks, turned my YouTube videos into podcast episodes.*

Thursday: Asked Twitter what to name it. Decided on something else entirely. Redid the image with the new name. Rerecorded intro. Re-edited first episode (I just sent the original file back through Auphonic, attaching the new intro + outro files) – all from my phone. Edited the feed page with a longer description. Submitted the feed to iTunes.

Friday: Waited! When I got the “you've been approved” email, I sent the link to two friends to test. Tested it on Jay's phone with the Podcasts app. Tested in on my phone with Downcast. Wrote the introductory blog post. Danced around!

*This took me some research, so let me tell you how I did it.

How to turn your own YouTube video into an audio podcast:

  1. From your Video Manager page on YouTube, download your video as an MP4.
  2. In Auphonic, add the MP4 as your audio file. Fill out the details (summary, description, intro, outro). Make sure it's set to send it to Libsyn.
  3. Click “Start Production.”
  4. Bam! That's it! Now it'll be on Libsyn just like any other podcast and you can schedule it for whenever you want!

Your turn?

Ready to start your own podcast? If you do, I'd love to hear it! And if this tutorial helps you create yours, PLEASE leave a comment with a link to your show!

 

 

 

 

Introducing my new podcast – Explore Your Enthusiasm

Explore Your Enthusiasm, with Tara Swiger - The Podcast!

Like I said yesterday, I've been falling in love with podcasts (and their hosts) since 2005. Podcasts introduced me to some of my favorite friends-in-person people: Guido of It's a Purl Man (he took me on a tour of his neighborhood when I taught at Gather Here); Diane of CraftyPod, now real-life friend + collaborator; Abby of While She Naps (she totally won me over with her straight-talk about money over a chai in Wellesley).
All along, I wanted to jump in and join the fun. In my real life, I talk…a lot. I love leading live explorations (ie, workshops) and I live for long conversations with creative women + biz explorers. Writing just can't communicate the easy flow that comes when I'm teaching a class or having a great conversation.

When the idea hit me again two weeks ago, I wrote all the reasons I shouldn't do it. Then I wrote the reasons I should. And after reading over what I wrote, I added one more line:
FOLLOW YOUR ENTHUSIASM. DO IT.

(I'll talk more about how I launched a podcast tomorrow).

So here it is, my brand new, weekly podcast, Explore Your Enthusiasm.

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In the inaugural episode, I share what I hope to do with the podcast, and what I hope it does for you. I want a casual space to talk about the more complex issues that I write about: motivation, profitability, and map-making. I want to introduce you to crafters that are doing their own thing, experimenting and following their enthusiasm, and making it work. I want you to know you're not alone, in whatever it is that feels like a struggle in your creative business: making money, finding motivation, being consistent.

I also share a bit about my own story of becoming a full-time crafter and the real story behind how my yarn company started. (I don't think I've ever told this story!)

I'll be adding new episodes each Wednesday + sharing them with you here on the blog. There are already a few bonus episodes in iTunes – podcast versions of my most popular videos! These are shorter than normal episodes and will be added to the podcast feed whenever I make a new video lesson (about once a month).

How to listen

I'd love to know what you want to hear and who you want to hear from! You can leave a comment or email me privately. You could also give me some ideas by filling out this 5 question survey!

More than anything, I hope you like it. I hope this helps us connect in a new way and helps you feel supported, encouraged and part of this great community of amazing makers.

 

 

 

Five Podcasts I Listen to Every Week

5 podcasts

Podcasts have been by my side at every step in this creative journey, since 2006. From dyeing my first skeins, to spinning every night after my day job, to my first big craft show prep (spinning for 5 hours per day is booooring – ya need some entertainment), to my first days self-employed. I talk about the books I read every month, but I hardly ever talk about this super-influential medium and I'd like to fix that.

This week I'm honoring the medium with a kind of “podcast week” here on the blog. Today I'll share my favorites, tomorrow I'll introduce you to my podcast and on Thursday I'll tell you how I started a podcast in one week (after three years of thinking about it).

The whole process of creating my podcast has me thinking about my favorite podcasts and how much the “scene” has changed since Jay bought my very first iPod Shuffle in 2006, to listen to the very first podcasts I discovered: Cast-On + KnitCast (This episode of Cast-On influenced my entire business direction.) Soon I was mainlining CraftyPod and CraftSanity and This American Life and Stash + Burn.

I listen to  different podcasts today, but I love them just as much as ever. Before I share my own tomorrow, I wanted to talk about podcasts from a listener's perspective. The following shows are my inspiration – not just in podcasting, but in life. (True Story: When someone gets in your head with their voice, you carry them around with you.) I find it hard to describe what's great about a piece of media, so instead of telling you what it's about, I'll just tell you when I listen and if you're curious download an episode or two and try it for yourself!

5 podcasts I listen to every week:

Unmistakable Creative

Srini is my go-to running partner. (He doesn't know. In reality, he's only consented to the Oceanside Pier while discussing exceptionalism.) His interviews with creatives keep me company as I train for my upcoming 10k. The length is just right for keeping me from looking at my watch + I always have 100 new ideas to write in my journal the minute I end my run. Bonus points for interviewing as many women as men (there's a huge gender divide in the business podcast-world. It makes me crazy.)

Slate Podcasts

I started with the Political Gabfest and now subscribe to them all, via the “daily podcast” feed. I listen every week while sewing or washing dishes. Bonus points for being one Jay and I both like – perfect for road tripping.

Alton Browncast

You know I love a nerd, and Alton's a big food nerd. Lately he's been interviewing the most interesting food-people + it fits perfectly into cooking a bit-longer meal while cleaning up as I go.

Elise Gets Crafty

This one's brand-new but has already earned a spot in my weekly rotation, usually while I'm cooking dinner – it's the perfect length for a quick dinner!

Pop Culture Happy Hour

This one just makes me happy and is the perfect sewing companion. I'm pretty sure Linda Holmes and I would be friends.

3 more favorite podcasts:

I don't listen to these every week – but they're on heavy rotation:

Nerdist – I love the casual, conversational style of interview and Chris Hardwick hits all my nerdy buttons. Jay + I save up episodes and listen together during road trips. It's often pretty long, which is perfect when you're staring down a 4 hour drive.

While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg – I love Abby's honesty and authenticity when it comes to how she runs her business. She talks to a wide variety of people in the fiber art world…but of course I'm biased because she invited me on as a guest. 🙂

CraftLit – I dip in and out of Heather's amazing podcast, picking up specific books and following along. This is a totally genius solution if you: feel like you missed out on “getting” literature (or you just never read it), are learning English, are homeschooling, or just want to seem/feel smarter.

Your turn!

You'll notice I don't have any strictly-business or strictly-knitting podcasts (although there are a zillion of each.) The truth is, after being bored to tears the last time I looked for new ones (um..3 years ago?), I haven't even tried any new ones (unless people I already read start a podcast, like Elise + Abby.) I'd love to find some new ones – what do you listen to?
You can click here to tell me in a quick 5-question survey.

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?  

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