17 Free Ways to Build a Better Business
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Building a business in the yarn arts is not an easy road. It’s not an easy road to any business actually. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It takes a special kind of dedication and perseverance to start and stick with a business of your own. But, you did it and now you’re feeling a little bit stuck along the road. I’ve been there more often than I’d like to recall, but those are the times I want you to come back to this post and re-read what I’m about to share. There are tons of ways to go about building a business, but I’m going to give you a few here today that I hope will help get you energized and the creative business juices flowing.
1) Know your audience – Don’t make anything for everybody, make something for somebody. In other words, make items with one specific person in mind and you’re more likely to attract that type, than if you make things to try and attract everybody. Here’s an article that sums it up well: How to Create Crochet That Sells
2) Know your product – If you want your business to really succeed then learn your product completely. Knowing your audience will make this easy because you’ll be making pieces that your audience will love!
3) Spread the love– When a customer comes to you with a request for something you don’t typically make, or don’t want to make, send them to someone who DOES make those items. Your customer will be so grateful that you sent them to someone competent. Your fellow craftsperson will be very thankful for the referral and you’ll have fostered goodwill all around. No, you won’t lose a customer because the next time, they’ll still come to you first trusting that you’ll make it or steer them in the right direction.
4) Create & USE a Facebook Page – Yes, I said the “F” word! Use it properly before you decide it’s not going to work for you. Facebook is one of the best platforms for engaging your audience, however, it will take time to gain the trust and momentum you’d like. Don’t let it sit dormant for several days then post one thing (for sale no less) and expect people to flock to your page. Use it to connect and enjoy your audience, there are other places to sell. Here’s an article that can help: 17 Ways to Gain More Facebook Followers Without Paying
5) Build a Mailing List – If you aren’t building a mailing list of some kind, you are not building a business. Get people on your list then engage them with a newsletter, V.I.P. Specials etc. Build a list.
6) Treat your current customers royally – Don’t forget to take great care of those who have started with you and are still around. Treat your current customers like royalty and they’ll help spread the word about what you do.
7) Blog – Blogging gives people a reason to visit you every time you post. Create a blogging schedule then stick with it. You’ll start to see your engagement on other platforms increase as you boost your blogging.
8) Create & USE a Pinterest Business Account – What you do is visual so take great photographs, edit them with PicMonkey for pennies a day then get them on Pinterest! Make them compelling and eye-catching and see the pinning and referrals begin. Pinterest is POWERFUL! Need to get started with Pinterest, here’s an article 5 Tips For Using Pinterest For Your Crochet Business
9) Join Pinterest group boards – Group boards on Pinterest are one of the best ways to get your content to go viral. Search and find group boards that relate to your business or target audience or niche then request to be able to pin. Then remember those amazing photos you created in PicMonkey, Pin them to your group boards.
10) Price properly – Pricing too low for the audience you’re trying to reach is just as bad as charging too high. Know your audience (#1 on this list). If you know your target audience, you’ll know where to price your items taking into consideration that you’ve done the preliminary work of figuring out your price. Two resources you may find helpful: Have you Found Your Target Audience Yet? and Pricing Crochet Fairly for Maximum Profit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that no one is buying because your prices are too high because it very well may be that your prices are too low.
11) Go the extra mile – Whatever you do in your business, take it the extra mile especially for those you are actually doing business with. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but “under promise and over deliver” works wonders to building and growing your business and reputation.
12) Read tons of books – Read books about everything and anything. Make sure to put in some business building books but reading will help keep your creativity flowing and that will help you develop new ways of looking at your business. Reading business books will give you ideas but always be true to what your business is meant to be. Here are two lists that I think you’ll enjoy: 20 Books to Build Your Crochet Business and Recommended Crochet Books.
13) Contact yarn companies – Contact them to see if a design you may be working on will fit into their pattern library. You can also contact them to see if they’d like to sponsor a pattern you’re releasing using their yarn giving them exclusive mention on the pattern. If you never ask, the answer will always be no, so ask and see what happens.
14) Contact yarn magazines – Submitting articles or patterns to publications is a great way to get your name and brand in front of a potential audience. This is of course if your audience is made up of yarn artists. If not, contact other magazines in the areas where your target audience will be looking and pitch them an article that will connect with their audience and one that you’re hoping to reach.
16) Collaborate – Is there someone you know doing something that compliments what you do? Find out if you can work together. If they say yes then you’ll introduce your audience to them and they’ll introduce their audience to you and how much better could it be? Working with others so you can both build business is one of the best things you can do for your business so look around, who would you love to work with?
17) Create relationships with local shops / suppliers – Do you have a favorite yarn shop in your area? Why not work with them to do a collaborative sale, or meetup or yarn tasting party? Is there a boutique in your area that you absolutely love and you think their customers would love your stuff? Talk to them and see if maybe you can host a “cocktail hour” or a private showing. Creating relationships in your area will help build your reputation right at home and it will also give you the opportunity to hear about opportunities for wholesale selling. Get out and meet!
That’s it. . . for now! I know everything on this list may not be for everyone, but pick two and decide that you’re going to try them today. If your business is just going along but not growing, it can’t hurt. Sometimes you just need to look at things from a different perspective so that you can get back on the road to building and growth.
What are some ideas you’ve used to get your business growing? I’d love to hear some of what’s worked for you.