Welcome to “Ask Ashley”!
Catch the lives every Tuesday at 6 pm EST for the whole month of January.
Each month the day & time will change due to my family’s schedule.
If you are signed up for my emails, you will get an email at the beginning of each month with that month’s lives schedule. They will also be scheduled on YouTube so you can see them in advance and click the “Notify me” button.
Click the link below to sign up for The Crafty Newsletter so you will stay in the loop with all things “Ask Ashley”. You will get the 2023 content calendar for free just for signing up.
As the name implies, “Ask Ashley” is a live Q and A session where you can ask me all the things.
You can ask me about my business. You can ask me about Crochet Boss Academy. You can ask me about your business, crochet questions, things about my patterns, or anything that you have in your mind!
I will answer it for you as truthfully and as transparently as possible. If I can’t, I will send you in the right direction to somebody who can!
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission, at NO ADDITIONAL cost to you, from purchases made using the links provided.
Funny Reel: All the things I made while my husband was pooping
Jasmine Star’s “Social Curator Course”
Pattern 101 Design Course by Sierra & Taylor
Let’s jump into the questions!
What can we do for “Get to know your customer day” What questions should we ask?
“Get to know your customer day” is a fun social media holiday.
What you post is going to depend on who your ideal customer is and what you sell!
Let’s use my “Wild Grace” brand as an example. This is a boho accessory brand for millennial girl moms, with daughters ages 1-3 years old.
Based on that info for the brand I could ask:
- What is your favorite 90’s Song?
- Team Backstreet Boys or Team NYSNC?
The question doesn’t have to be about your products, though those types of questions would be even better! Every now and then it’s good to sprinkle in posts like this, which will help build relationships with your ideal customer.
Anytime you can engage with them on an emotional level they are going to see you as an actual human. They are going to build a relationship with you, and they are going to want to shop with you because they care about YOU!
You can ask more ideal customer-specific questions too. If Wild Grace sold room decor for kids, I could ask my customers what’s the color of their kids’ room, or how is the room decorated?
Then in the comments, if someone says “It’s decorated in Cactus” you can reply back letting them know you sell cactus pillows that they should check out.
How do you track your yarn for tax purposes?
The answer is- I do not. Taylor might- she would be a great person to ask!
For write-offs for yarn, I turn in the info to my tax guy and say this was for yarn. I am not a tax professional, and I can not give tax advice, this is just my experience.
Hire a CPA!
I have a CPA, his name is Steve, and I love him dearly!
At the end of the year, I download my entire bank statement and use “Numbers” on my mac (which is like excel for PC) and use a tool called Conditional Formatting to organize all my business purchases.
Once everything is added up, I give it all over to Steve my CPA.
Is there a way to add a heart for Valentine’s Day to a Claire Cozy?
Yes, there is! There are all kinds of heart patterns that you can crochet, and sew onto a cozy!
We have a Valentine’s Day Round-Up that features a cup cozy pattern that has a heart. You could take that heart pattern and add it to a Claire Cozy!
You could also get Heart Felties! Taylor has a ton of really cute Valentine’s Day Felties in her shop right now!
Can you have multiple ideal customers?
The quick and easy answer is no, you can not.
If you have two ideal customers, you have two businesses, and the sooner you separate the two businesses the easier it’s going to be for you!
I highly recommend just starting with one. Try and choose one and give it all you got!
When I first started my business, my ideal customer was people with money. I was learning as I went, and I started selling crochet patterns along with my finished pieces. So I had two ideal customers, and it was very difficult to juggle both.
Doing both would mean I would need to create two social media accounts, two email lists, two of EVERYTHING!
If you don’t split them up and post everything on one account, half of your content is not going to resonate with half of your audience.
If I posted “Reasons why you should buy a Bitty Boho Bib” to my crochet pattern audience, that would not resonate with them. They would make their own bib, which would not create a personal connection.
Another reason we do not want to post both businesses in one place is, your customer will not view you as an expert in your field if you are doing both things.
This is why it is best practice to find one ideal customer, one business, and build it up!
When I tried to do both patterns and finished pieces in one Etsy shop, and I wanted to go on vacation I could not put my Etsy shop on vacation mode.
If I put it on vacation mode I would miss out on digital sales. So I ended up having to change my turnaround time for all my finished pieces and it was a disaster.
You want to make it as easy as possible on yourself and easy as possible for your customer to say “Yes I need to buy that thing!”
What is your top tip for starting out and growing your social media?
My top tip is to find your ideal customer, and speak directly to her in every single post!
Speak to her passions, to her emotions. Use sensory words when talking about your products. Words like:
You need to resonate with your ideal customer in all the things that you say. Post content that she can relate to, things she would find funny.
For my millennial mom example, I could use trendy reel sounds, posts about raising kids, talk about silly husbands. All these types of posts are things my ideal customer could relate to.
The other day I shared a Reel on my Instagram showing “All the things I made while my husband was pooping” and that reel blew up!
It did so well because most of my audience is women, and most of them are married. That is who my ideal customer is!
Everything you do in your business is going to attract a certain type of person. If they do not like your content and it pushes them away, that is actually good- that means they are NOT your ideal customer! There are TONS of people who will be attracted to your content and they ARE your ideal customer!!
Those people need you to post very niche content, so they can find you and support your business regularly 🙂
My next tip would be to show up until you blow up! I learned this tip from Jasmine Star’s “Social Curator Course”.
This means- to keep being consistent on social media, and the people will come.
The last tip is to give the type of engagement you want to get!
If you want people to engage with your posts via liking, sharing, commenting, and bookmarking- if you want that you need to do those things to others in your ideal customer community!
Find people in your niche to engage with, and leave genuine comments and messages!
We do talk about Social Media inside Crochet Boss Academy. There are 6 modules and one of them is dedicated to social media!
How do you handle spam bots on Instagram?
Block. Mute. Ignore. Report.
Not only for spam bots but do this for any negative people!
I am a 7 on the enneagram so negativity hurts me physically! I will mute people if I do not want to unfollow them.
If it is a spam account block them, delete messages from your DM’s, and report the account.
I report accounts all day long! If I see spam accounts commenting on anyone’s posts I will report it!
If you have products that don’t fit your “theme”, do you still bother to post them on your Etsy? Or save them to sell elsewhere?
If you have items already made, you can still sell them, just be sure that they are not items that will push away your ideal customer.
If the goal is to simply get rid of these items, you can post them letting your audience know they are in your shop. Apply a discount if possible to help them sell out, and let them know you will not be restocking these items.
There are two ways to have a successful Etsy shop. You can have a shop that is built to serve you, the business owner. Or you can set it up just to do well on Etsy.
Inside Crochet Boss Academy, I teach how to set up your shop as a tool that will help you serve your ideal customer.
The other option would be to list anything you could imagine and use really good keywords. This is not ideal customer-specific, so that is not the type of business model I follow or teach.
If you set your shop up just to do well on Etsy, that will bring you one-time sales. If you use your Etsy as a tool, your ideal customers will become repeat buyers.
The goal is to turn Etsy customers into true fans of your brand. People who will follow you on social media, subscribe to your email list and buy something from you every time they need what you sell.
We want to work smarter, not harder!
Where do I start as far as pattern writing goes? Best resources to start or most helpful tips to see if this is something I can even do.
I personally do not teach pattern design, or how to sell patterns. I teach finished pieces only. A lot of the business tips and things I talk about would overlap with pattern design.
I would look for a mentor who does teach pattern design.
Sierra, my Virtual Assistant, offers a Pattern Design Course she created with Taylor of Taylor Lynn Crochet.
You can use coupon code “Crafty10” to get 10% off the course!
I want to send you to the best people, who can serve you in the best way!
I’ve been an Etsy seller since 2014. I sell patterns and finished products and I have done craft shows for over 10 years. What advice would you give me to start YouTube, so I can teach my craft?
My advice is to just start! It is so much fun!! You can think of YouTube videos as really long reels.
I would start ASAP! The best way to learn is by trying, and jumping over hurdles as they come, or by buying a course that teaches you how to start a YouTube Channel!
I never bought a course for YouTube, I learned by trial and error. My biggest tip is to keep your channel ideal-specific. I wouldn’t try to serve your finished piece buyers and your crochet pattern buyers on the same channel.
If you do both, half of your audience half of the time will feel like they are on the outside looking in, and that is a horrible feeling.
Can you talk a little more about Crochet Boss Academy? You talk about modules, is it self-paced? When does it start?
We are out of time, so I will share one exciting piece of Crochet Boss Academy with you!
We will have a Masterclass this year! This is the first time I have ever done it.
It is free and open to everyone! You can access it on February 27th, 2023. The day the doors open for Crochet Boss Academy.
The Masterclass is called “5 Steps to Building a Successful Crochet Business” and there will be a Q & A at the end!
How do you figure out what price point to sell your items?
This is probably the most asked question!
The best advice I can give you is to think of your ideal customer. Where is she in her season of life? Is she a college student or is she an empty nester? Is she a first-time grandparent or is she a new mom with kids under the age of 5? Is she in a family of one income or two?
This type of information will differentiate her price point.
If you sell crop tops for college girls, they are not going to buy $150 crop tops because they can not afford them. So if your ideal customer is in college, your prices would need to be at a lower price point.
That would mean you need cheaper materials and patterns that work up quickly so you can sell your items at the price point your ideal customer can afford.
So you need to think about your ideal customer, and also what is fair to you! Make sure you are in the green and not the red. If it cost you $20 in yarn, you need to make more than that to keep going forward.
It is okay to set your prices lower when starting out, while you are building your business and your community. Once you get your name out there more, you will create supply and demand!
When I first started selling Claire Bun Beanies they were $15. They are now currently $30 a piece! It’s okay to start off lower and raise your prices as you go.
Put on your blinders, and don’t let anyone try and intimidate you and tell you things like, selling your items at a lower price point devalues people who sell at a higher price. That is not true!
Your prices are set for YOUR ideal customer.
My personal example of this is a friend of mine who posted this really pretty eyeshadow palette online. I clicked the link to buy the eyeshadow because I thought it was pretty, and it was $85! I would not pay $85 for eyeshadow, therefore I am NOT their ideal customer.
For me, in my life, I would not pay $85 for eyeshadow. I might spend that amount on skin care, or gorgeous hand-dyed yarn, but not on eyeshadow.
That doesn’t mean their eyeshadow is overpriced. It does not mean eyeshadow from the drugstore, that is $5, is taking money from a company selling eyeshadow for $85. The people who only want to pay $5 for eyeshadow are NOT going to spend $85 on eyeshadow.
You can’t take something from someone, that they never had.
Just because I would not buy the $85 eyeshadow, does not mean anything bad or negative about me, it just means I am not their ideal customer.
If the drugstores stopped selling the $5 eyeshadow because the $85 companies said they have to stop because they are devaluing their product, then people like me wouldn’t be able to buy eyeshadow!
That is all for tonight! Thank you so much for being here!
Be sure to subscribe to our channel on Youtube so you don’t miss the next live!