So, since it is New Years Eve I thought I would talk about some things that can help you build your brand and make 2015 the best craft year to date! This past year I have tried a variety of things to grow my brand, some have worked and some not so much. Here’s what I tried, just because they haven’t worked for me (yet) doesn’t mean they won’t work for you!
Join a Club
One Wednesday night I went to Panera for dinner with a friend. There were a group of women next to us that I didn’t pay much attention to at first. All of a sudden you I see skeins and skeins of yarn floating around. I still didn’t get too excited. I figured it was just a yarn swap among friends and I thought that was a great idea!
Then, a couple weeks later my friend and I went to Panera again (I may be a little addicted to Panera…) and the same group of women were there, knitting! While I was waiting for my soup I went up to the women and asked what they were doing. It seems they have a knitting club that meets once a week and they just chat and knit and eat or drink coffee. How perfect is that?! I told them about how I knit and crochet and when my schedule permits I join these fabulous women. It’s great, I learn a lot of different techniques, we share advice, and I’m even teaching some people to Crochet!
If you don’t know where to look for a club, you can start your own! Make some flyers and post them at convenient locations such as coffee shops, bakeries, the library. If your town has a Facebook page I would post there too! It’s a great way to get involved with other crafters in your area.
Become an Affiliate
As many of you know I am a Craftsy affiliate. Basically what that means is if I promote certain courses or products that are offered on their site they’ll give me a small percentage of the classes or products that are bought. This is not for everyone.
First of all, as an affiliate for 6 months I haven’t seen much profit from the program, so if you’re looking for something lucrative this may take a lot of work on your part. While I don’t see this working for me, I plan to stick with the program because I really like Craftsy, I have taken a lot of classes and bought products and patterns from there. It’s a great site and tool for any level crafter!
There are a lot of affiliate programs, I haven’t tried them all but I know one thing, if you’re looking to become an affiliate for a brand, make sure you know and love the brand!
Get To Work
Teach a class. Go to your local yarn shop and see if they have a program of knitting or crochet classes. If they do, maybe you can offer to sub a class or teach a specialty course. If they don’t, offer your services! Don’t expect to get paid right away, or have a full house but know that your effort and work will pay off!
I have recently reached out to all the yarn shops in my area within 40 minutes of driving. I have sent e-mails to all of them but most importantly gone into each store and asked to speak to the manager. If you want to see something happen, you have to go in for yourself. I brought some swatches, various projects and patterns with me to show the variety in my work. For the places that offered classes, I asked for information on how to become a teacher, and for the ones that didn’t have any classes I asked if this was something they would be interested in having. For those stores I got a lot of “we’ll see” but I did get a couple of call backs from the stores with knitting and crochet classes.
Make sure you prepare your lessons thoroughly. Practice on your friends. You’ll have students from different levels and you need to know how to adjust your explanations for each level. If you don’t have a local yarn store or can’t commit to driving 40 minutes for a class you could work at a Michael’s store, however they require a certification.
Everyone knows that social media is important to create a sense of stability and presence. I Tweet, I have an Instagram and I now have a Facebook page. I have talked to some great people and gotten advice from a lot of different bloggers. I like seeing what people on Instagram are working on and I love to read what people are talking about on twitter.
It takes a lot of work to stay relevant, so plan for it. I tweet and follow new people at least once a day. My Instagram game is still kind of weak, I just always forget to take a picture ! This is probably the most important thing for me to work on in 2015. If you’re just starting to build your brand, I would suggest spending the most time here first!
So, I hope this advice helps some of you! Let me know what works for your and your brand, I’d love to hear !