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Your questions answered: email list growth, self-publishing and what I’d do differently

Get YOUR questions answered: self-publishing a book, growing your email list, and advice on building your crafty biz!

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Today I'm answering questions from my Instagram followers (to get your questions answered, be sure you're following me!). In fact, I received so many questions, I split them into two podcasts!  You can find the first Q&A post here.   Today we'll cover:

  • Email List Growth
  • Self-Publishing
  • What I'd do differently

 

Resources:

Check out these awesome handmade businesses:

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.

When everything is awful

When everything is awful

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Let's be honest: Sometimes, everything is awful. (On the other hand, sometimes everything is awesome and you find yourself singing this song.) When things are awful, it helps if you have a list ready to go, to help you get through it (without giving up). In this episode I'll share the list of things I do when everything is awful and the tricks that work best for my clients.

How to listen to the podcast:

  • 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.

 

 

The simplest marketing tool: Listening

simplest marketing tool listening

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The key to making your marketing effective: Talking directly to your people, about what they care about. But how do you know what they value and what will speak to them? It's super simple: Listen in. 

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How I listened to create my best-selling product
  • How you can listen in (without being a creep)
  • What to listen for

Listening to you, my dear listeners (!), led me to create the Starship, which is now open, just until this Friday. Beam up here.

How to listen to the podcast:

 

 

The simplest business tool

the simplest business tool

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Not everything requires a complex solution. Sometimes, you need to make a decision but you feel stuck. You're not sure what you should do and your head is all swirly. It's time to pull out my favorite business tool: a conversation.

The Starship opens next Monday for only 5 days. Get on the list here to be notified first.

 

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

 

How to use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in your creative business

How to use Facebook Instagram and Pinterest in your Creative Biz

 

 

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I get asked about this all the time, so it's time I answer your questions about how to use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in your creative business. You'll learn about the pros and cons of each and how each one can help you reach your specific business goal.

In this episode:

  • The three things you need to before  you start using a tool.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the platforms I get asked about most,
  • The most effective ways to use these tools

Couldn't scribble notes fast enough? Get a transcript of this podcast episode when you sign up here

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!).

 

What works (and what doesn’t): Lessons from 4 years aboard the Starship

What Works (And What Doesn't)

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In four years of leading the Starship, I have had an inside look at dozens of creative businesses. I've seen what works (and what keeps them stuck).  I've watched captains grow their business until they could quit their day job, captains start their business from scratch, and captains totally change directions. I've noticed some things are true of all the captains who have met their goals, and I'd like to share them with you today.

In today's episode I'll share: 

  • What the most successful captains have in common
  • What stops businesses (and people) from growing
  • What it really takes to be a successful knitwear designer (Since the Starship is about 30% knitwear designers, I've learned a lot by watching what works for them.)

The Starship is an online community for makers, artists and writers with a library full of classes, a forum to ask and answer questions, and a weekly live chat with me, where everyone checks in on what's going well, what they're working on, and how we can help.  It is open this week (it closes on Oct 1); join 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.

Want to beam aboard the Starship or sign up to learn when it's open? Click here!

 

How to start a business if you don’t have any money {PODCAST}

How to start a business if you don't have any money

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This week, with the re-release of Pricing 101, we're talking about money. Today let's talk about that perennial question: How can you start (and grow) a business with very little money? What are your options when you can't spend money on advertising or staff?

In this episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm, we'll talk about:

  • How I started my yarn business with no money
  • How you can start (and grow) a business with very little investment
  • What to do if you're on the edge

 Get Pricing 101 free with Pay Yourself!

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.

 

 

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 did it! I finished the sweater I started in 2010!! I kept putting it away worried it wasn't working...but IT FITS!!  Featherweight cardigan in Malabrigo. I'll give you a better look at it soon.
Untitled
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup = my new obsession.  #yaysummer  (syrup =  blueberries microwaved with maybe 1/2 tsp maple syrup)  #blueberries #100happytaradays #vegan

I am so grateful for…

  •  A lovely hike in the Appalachians this weekend.
  • Making a new friend, a real friend that totally gets my crafty obsessions and propensity to talk too fast.
  • Blueberries! Basil! Local summer tastiness.
  • This fabulous surprise on the Rock + Purl podcast!

The Finds:

I’m finding:

I’m eating: 

  • More blueberry crumb bars. Don't judge. (From this book)
  • More pesto from my home-grown basil over gnocchi.
  • Ancho Lentil burritos.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

Be Yourself

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

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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.

 

 

 

Why your business needs community

Community
Ever since I started my business, I've struggled with this dichotomy: I'm an introvert that spends (and prefers to spend!) 8-10 hours a day alone, making or writing, working in my own head and hands… AND I know that community and connection is absolutely the most powerful tool for business growth.
Luckily, I live in an age where I can connect to millions, while still working physically alone everyday. I've been blessed to be part of supportive communities, from the first time I wandered into the then-brand-new Etsy in 2005, all the way to building my own community aboard the Starship. (I'll be sharing more about my personal history with communities and how they've changed my business in tomorrow's podcast.)
But as easy as the internet makes “connecting” –  I know I'm not alone in having a hard time finding real friends and connections, both online and off. For starters, it's easy to think of connecting as just wasting time (even when studies prove that the more we maintain connections, the more successful we'll be.) Or to actually waste time and title it “connecting”. (Refreshing Twitter does NOT equal building relationships.)

On top of the whole time issue, it's really hard to find people who get it, who are not just creative and dedicated to building a business, in the same way we are (with gentleness, curiosity, and sustainability.)

But no matter how hard it is, you DO need community.

Even the most driven among us (and I was raised by two Marines, so yeah, I’m pretty internally-motivated), can’t keep up the sustained, long-term work that a business takes, in a vacuum.
When you don't have support, it often presents as laziness – a lack of focus, or lack of commitment – but beating yourself up is NOT the answer.
The saner (and more sustainable!) solution is to find a support network, to “outsource” some of the accountability to your community.

People to who will check in (kindly!) with you.
People who will give you honest (gentle) feedback.
People who will remind you to celebrate your success!

Whether you find these people on Twitter, Facebook, in a forum or even at your local coffeeshop – knowing that you're not the only one that cares about your business, is mightily powerful. It will motivate you to stay focused, to keep working (even when you want to quit), and to try just a little harder. When you spend time with other businesses, you'll begin to believe that more is possible, and you'll get more and more clear on what the path to your success is.

If you're having a hard time finding a community that will keep you accountable (gently!) and spark your motivation, check out the Starship. It was built for crafters, makers, artists, and writers, who need a bit of support, as they work hard on their own business + dreams (and it closes this Friday!) 

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