A business podcast just for crochet business owners where we learn how to grow your crochet business and set it up for success!
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Inside this Episode
Below is a breakdown of each section in this episode. Feel free to skip ahead to the parts that interest you most. Each section has the timestamp beside it so you know exactly when the subject starts and ends.
Welcome [0:00- 0:16]
What things can we do or prepare for Christmas shoppers in our shops? [0:17- 2:11]
Do you have any regrets when it comes to your business? [2:12- 3:29]
I just launched my second business for my finished pieces, any tips for getting exposure? [3:30- 6:03]
How would you set up a Pinterest Pin for a physical item? [6:04- 8:40]
Do you recommend on Etsy to sell a beanie with a pom option or have a new listing? [8:41- 10:05]
Can you explain the shipping profile on Etsy? [10:06- 11:45]
Would you suggest keeping a crochet design shop/ Instagram separate from a finished product shop? [11:46- 15:02]
International Shipping info [15:03- 16:14]
Tips for color branding [16:15- 18:10]
Why did you switch yarns for Wild Grace? How do you pick which yarn brand you want to use? [18:11- 22:11]
How to find trends and get ahead of them to make your shop more appealing? [22:12- 24:11]
Tips to get consistent sales [24:12- 29:59]
For email list, what topics do you recommend emailing about? [30:00- 31:53]
Can you explain linktre and how to create that? [31:54- 32:53]
Do you use a light box for pictures? [32:54- 36:56]
Awin (Etsy Affiliate Site)
Hi friends! How is everyone doing today? Welcome to another Tuesday Talks, this is my second Tuesday Talks here on Instagram and I am loving it!
What things can we do or prepare for Christmas shoppers in our shops?
My tips would be set your cut off date as soon as possible, and make it very clear that you are only taking orders up to this date. So everybody who wants to buy Christmas presents needs to order immediately. (For those with an Etsy Shop!)
I would also be making some of your bestsellers, if you don’t have any orders. For me that would be linen Claire Bun Beanies. So if things were really slow I would start making linen Claire Bun Beanies in adult size just to have them, because I sell a ton of those every single year. We have 6 open orders right now and I think 4 of them are linen Claire Bun Beanies.
If you have any down time and your don’t have any open orders right now or you are waiting for them to roll in, start making some of your best sellers. Then you will be able to get orders out faster, and maybe be able to extend your Christmas deadline. Or even pleasantly surprise some people, if the deadline has already passed and someone orders something you already have made, you can be like hey guess what I already had this made so you will get it before Christmas!
Those would be my two main tips I would suggest to do for Etsy. Also you could get little cute to put in your orders. I like to put a tiny little candy cane. It should fine because those are individually wrapped, or a festive thank you card. Something like that, I like to do in my shop. You can use red tissue paper, something just a little bit more festive than I would normally use.
Do you have any regrets when it comes to your business?
Nothing that is so regretful that it comes to the top of my head right now. I like to learn from all my mistakes. I think if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough to step out of your comfort zone. So I like to think whatever mistakes I have made have paid off in the long run and helped me down the road.
Off the top of my head of other peoples regrets that I have heard is not picking a niche soon enough. Not monetizing their blogs soon enough. Not hustling hard enough, like stepping out of your comfort zone, thinking outside of the box trying to grow your business on a daily basis.
Hustle, get it done, grow your shop! Do some crazy off the wall things, and see what works. If I was still selling finished pieces that is something I would be doing right now.
I just launched my second business for my finished pieces, any tips for getting exposure?
Depends on your goal. Are you trying to make it straight up a business that is getting regular income or is this just your side gig where you like to make what you want to make and then sell random one off pieces? My advise would be different for each.
If you want to do random one off pieces I would focus really hard on search engine optimization within your Etsy shop so you can try to reach as many people as possible with your keywords and tags.
If you are focusing on growing a sustainable business that you are going to have long term I would focus on niching down, choosing a product line that serves your ideal customer specifically with a specific pain point. Each product that you sell makes the life of one ideal customer life better in some way.
Definitely start posting on Pinterest if you are not already. Pinterest is the biggest traffic lead sender to different websites and Etsy shops. Be sure to pin all of your things if you aren’t already. You can make pretty pins on Canva. If you want to do some research on how to make pins I would search Youtube. Go to Canva’s template section and type in Pinterest and see what you can come up with from there. You definitely want to start pinning your things on Pinterest.
Another good way to get exposure is to collaborate with another business or brand that has the same ideal customer as you. In Wild Grace I sell boho baby girl things, so it would make sense for me to collab with a baby boutique that has a lot of follower and a big engaged audience. Or even a baby influencer that has a following of other baby moms. That is something you can do to grow really fast.
Also, this isn’t really for exposure this is for long term growth and more sales down the road- start an email list! I have a 4 part Youtube series talking about building an email list, why it’s important, and what to send to your people.
How would you set up a Pinterest Pin for a physical item?
If I was going to sell a Claire Bun Beanie, I would make a pin image of a Claire Bun Beanie and write “Messy Bun Beanie”, you can also put the price on there. You could write “The hottest trend this fall”- I am not good with words you guys. My friend Carrie Shook is a copywriter and she is good with words. But it’s okay to pin products on Pinterest.
Go to Pinterest as a user, and look at how other brands pin their outfits. There are all kinds of pins for outfits, hats, and shoes- so just look at how other people are doing it and replicate and put your own twist on it.
For my Wild Grace stuff I would just say “Baby Bib” or “Boho Baby Bib 100% Cotton”. Something that is a benefit to my ideal customer like “Boho Baby Bib! Trendy & Functional!” Something like that to let them know hey this is going to be really cute on your baby and they can actually use it as a bib.
I would speak to their pain points in your Pinterest images and descriptions, and link to your Etsy listing so they can go buy it from you. Also I would do videos! Videos are really popular on Pinterest, and every other platform! Etsy allows you to have a video now, so take one video of your product and use it on your Etsy listing, on your Instagram, use it on your Pinterest, on your Youtube. Use everything at least 3 times! Make a video for every single one of your listings. Next time you finish one of your pieces, video it before you send it out! If it’s an amigurumi video you playing with it’s arms, and flipping it over. If it’s a hat, maybe you put it on a mannequin head and spin the mannequin head and get a close up of the details. Maybe you are putting together an outfit of the day and the hat is your cherry on top type of situation. Videos are a great way to get exposure.
Do you recommend on Etsy to sell a beanie with a pom option or have a new listing?
It depends on your shop. How many beanies do you have listed? Do you have 15 different styles and 66 different colors with 10 different pom colors? Or do you have 4 beanies with 1 pom color?
If you offer 1 style in a small number of colors with 1 pom color, you can put it as a variation. Where they can choose the color and choose if they want the pom or not. You get 2 variations on Etsy. The first one could say “color” and then they can pick which color they want and then the other can say “With or Without pom”. With or without pom would change the price of the listing, the color will not.
You want to limit the options that you give your people, maximum of 2 options. If you can do less than 2 options and only give them 1 question to answer before they buy, your sales rate will probably be higher. People do not want to have to think about it. They are not coming to your Etsy shop to curate most of the time. They are looking to you as the expert and they want you to put together the most beautiful color combos and poms for them to just choose which one they like best. They are not coming to be the artist behind the beanie, if that makes sense.
Can you explain the shipping profile on Etsy?
I can try! Say I sell a hat in my Etsy shop. I set up a shipping profile and I am going to call it “Addi Hat”. I can’t think of all the sections off the top of my head but I think it’s turnaround time, weight, and size.
So I would package the entire hat, then weight it on my little scale, then put all the numbers in. Say it’s 4 ounces, it is 7 inches by 5 inches and 1 inch thick. My shipping turnaround time is 3-5 days. That will be your shipping profile for Addi hats. So the next time I list a different color of Addi hat I can choose that shipping profile and it will already be saved for the weight, the 3-5 day turnaround time. I do calculated shipping, so if someone ordered 2 beanies it would automatically add them up. So if they are both 4 ounces it would add it up to 8 ounces and adjust the price accordingly.
I hope that was helpful. It is really hard to do without going on to my computer and showing you guys step by step.
Would you suggest keeping a crochet design shop/ Instagram separate from a finished product shop?
Yes I would and let me tell you why. Some people will tell you no, some people will tell you yes. There is no right or wrong, I can just tell you what I would do and why I would do it this way.
I would split it up because you want to be able to speak to your ideal customer in everything that you do. A crocheter is different than someone who buys finished pieces. This is for if you are trying to make both of them a successful business. If this is just a hobby for you and you are just making a little bit of fun money on the side and you are not trying to turn it into full time income or anything like that, then don’t worry about this. This information is if you are wanting to have a lifelong business that you build from the ground up and leave to your children if necessary.
Two accounts because you are going to have two ideal customers and you are going to want to serve them both really well on each of the different platforms.
If I am selling my crochet pattern or promoting a free one and I am like hey I just finished this new pattern it’s the Claire Bun Beanie, you can check it out- link in bio. Then everybody who doesn’t crochet is going to hit unfollow, why am I following this person? Like I don’t crochet why would that even show up on my feed. Especially if they are niched down in who they are a human being and all they follow is like influencers and boutiques and they mostly just go to instagram for accessories and clothes inspiration- and I sell beanies and messy bun beanies and that is what they follow me for but then they are seeing pictures of my yarn and hooks and I am posting “new pattern” stuff. They are going to think “that doesn’t speak to me at all why am I following this person?” Then the next time I post about a new beanie I have for sale they are going to be like “oh yeah that’s the girl that sells crochet patterns”. They are not going to think of you as the person who makes stellar beanies. Their brain is going to split you down the middle.
It’s also a lot harder to write every single instagram caption to appease two different people. When it comes to your Etsy shop you could put your finished piece shop on vacation mode and keep your digital products shop going when you need a break, but you wouldn’t be able to do that when they are both in the same shop. That was the biggest issue that I had when I was selling both. When I was doing it all it was difficult because I couldn’t put my shop on vacation mode unless I individually deactivated each listing, and I don’t think that is a good idea for SEO purposes so I wouldn’t recommend doing that.
The main thing is you can not easily serve two ideal customers at the same time. Somebody is going to feel left out, or both of them are going to feel left out. Neither of them are going to be served well and neither of them are going to look at you as the expert, professional, or go to gal for either of the two things that you are doing.
International Shipping Info
On Etsy I have my shop set on worldwide shipping and calculated shipping. It does everything for me. I put in my weight, put in the size, the customer fills in their address then Etsy figures it all out of where it needs to go and how much it is going to cost.
When the shipping label prints out of my printer it will be horizontal instead of vertical and it will have the customs information already on there that it pulled from the listing itself, and I will sign and date it myself with my ink pen and stick it to the package.
I do have a spot in my policies that says we are open to world wide shipping but if there are any customs fees when you get your package that is on you. We are not responsible for that. I am not 100% on how it all works but I put that in there to cover all my bases.
It’s really not as hard as you would think. I had my shop open for a year before I opened it up to international shipping, and it is very simple.
Tips for color branding
If you are talking about your brand colors vs. your color palette (the color of the items you sell.) I like to choose 10 colors to have for my finished pieces then choose 3-4 of those colors to be in my logo. That is what I did for Wild Grace.
If you sell amigurumi and you need to use all of the colors, maybe stick to a color family like brights, pastels, or neutrals. Something like that.
There is not a right or wrong you just have to choose whats right for you, your business and your ideal customer.
If your ideal customer is a minimalist and you sell hats that are gray on one side and white on the other all in one hat so you don’t need two because you are a minimalist one hat is all you need for the whole winter, and that is how your person lives and they have like no furniture in their house and one plant- that is very minimalist. They are not going to be attracted to 15 color branding situation. That brand would not speak to your ideal customer.
Teresa of @debrosse_nyc her branding and products are very minimal. So keep your ideal customer in mind. Think about who is buying your pieces, why they are buying your pieces and set your brand to be something that will draw them in, but also something that you really enjoy because you are going to be around your brand more than anybody else.
Why did you switch yarns for Wild Grace? How do you pick which yarn brand you want to use?
This made me loose sleep! So originally I wanted to use the Brava yarns. I am a WeCrochet ambassador so the more I use their yarn the better it looks from the ambassador side of things. I get 10% commission on sales, so when Julie my helper was buying it 10% of the commission would come back to me on the price of the yarn that she is using in my shop, so that seemed like a good smart thing to do.
I made all my hats in the Brava yarn and I was really super excited about it, but the price point that I had (also Brava raised their prices 50 cents) and when I had calculated it all out it was $1.99 per skien and now it is $2.49 per skien and that changed things drastically. There was just a small window of profit margin anyway. I have to be particular because I pay Julie 50% of the retail price. So I have to make sure that my prices are set high enough for me to still make profit to make it worth my time and energy to run the business side things, even though I am not the one making the finished piece on a regular basis. I still make some! Also my price point for these beanies inside Wild Grace for the Adult size it will be $34 for 1 beanie. That is with a handmade pom, the custom suede tag, and the Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek yarn. Which is a low-pill so it is less fuzzy so it’s a little bit more expensive.
I switched not only because of the price difference and quality of the yarn but the colors that Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek has to offer really speaks to my Wild Grace ideal customer.
The Brava yarn doesn’t have a mustard color so I wouldn’t have had a mustard. The Brava colors are a little bit more bright and the Wild Grace brand is more boho, so like dark colors. I was really debating between tobacco or mustard or should I do both. I kept thinking about it, and decided to get rid of the mustard and just keep the tobacco because it speaks to my ideal customer more. I feel like the boho trendy millennial baby girl mom would like the tobacco colored beanie more than the mustard colored one. The mustard one is just a little bit brighter and summery and I feel like my ideal customer is more of the darker shades of colors and Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek has very muted deep dark colors that are very Wild Grace. So that is why I switched.
Good question! I struggled so bad with this! I wanted to choose the right yarn. Soon as I was certain and I was switching to Yarn Bee I felt a lot better about it. I asked a couple of my friends that are my ideal customer for Wild Grace and they always picked the Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek when I put the two colors next to each other.
How to find trends and get ahead of them to make your shop more appealing?
First you want to make sure the items that you are selling are for your ideal customer, not just trying to get sales if you are trying to grow a sustainable long term business. If you are trying sell random things here and there on Etsy for fun that is a different story. My advise would be different for the type of shop you are trying to build.
You can sign up for Etsy’s newsletter for Etsy Sellers. They have a newsletter and they send us stuff all the time. I am also an affiliate for Etsy through Awin, and they send me emails with trend ideas because they want their affiliate promoting the type of products that people are going to buy. So the Etsy affiliate sends me trends and what to expect in like July or whatever the next month is. When they send those to me I make them crochet specific and send them out to you guys! Like if they are talking about home decor I give you some ideas for crochet home decor that you could use in your shops. But I haven’t been getting them recently, once COVID hit all their statistic went out the window.
Also I think Buzzfeed has a lot of whats going on. I haven’t looked there myself but when I was doing SEO research that was one of the websites they suggested to look for what is trending in the blog world.
Tips to get consistent sales
The only thing that I know that will do this is serving your ideal customer really well!
List products that are going to benefit her, and that are seasonally appropriate for her. Tell her the benefit on a regular basis. Serve her in other ways than just what your product has. Sneak in your products kind of. So for Wild Grace, millennial boho baby girl moms is who my ideal customer so I know she is on Instagram. I know that she has a really cute home, a farmhouse home with the shiplap and the plants, and her nursery is stellar! She always has cute pictures of her home decor and cute pictures of her baby in really cute outfits. So I would promote the rainbow rattle to her and be like “How cute is this?! It works as a rattle toy for your baby but it doubles as room decor because it’s really super cute to have it sitting out on your changing table or your bookshelf instead of like red blue and yellow blocks.”
That would be my first tip for consistent sales is to serve the pants right off your ideal customer every single day in everything that you do- in your social media, in your products, all of the things.
Give stellar customer service! If someone says they lost my package it didn’t come to me, and you turn around and say that’s okay I will make you another one. That is going to stand out in your persons mind and they are going to leave you 5 star reviews, they are going to jump on their Facebook and tell all their friends. The next time they are at a baby shower and they open your gift they are going to say “You have to check out their Etsy shop!” They are going to appreciate you and they are going to tell everybody about you and that one mistake where you had to send an extra rainbow rattle or something is going to turn into 10 or even more sales down the road.
Server your person and great customer services on a regular basis. If someone sends you a hateful email, collect yourself before you respond. Think about the response you will give as an investment in your business. You being hateful back to them is only hurting your business. So have like an out of body experience and respond to this person with kindness every single time. Make your brand known as somebody who cares about the people that it serves.
Thirdly, get yourself an email list. I can not say that enough times. Email lists are so important especially in 2020 yall. If you do not have an email list you need to start on that like yesterday!
Now they are censoring different things that you post. We don’t own instagram, we don’t own facebook. We don’t know what they are going to do tomorrow. Tomorrow they could say okay you are a business you have to pay $25 a month to be on instagram and we are like no we are out of here- like I am not even making $25 a month off of my business yet. It’s a brand new business! If you don’t have an email list, you have no way to contact your people. So get an email list together immediately and start sending regular emails. It doesn’t have to be every day, twice a month whatever. You get to choose what regular looks like to you, but be consistent, do it on a regular basis and let your person know what they can expect of you. If you send out an email on the first of the month and you give them a happy October here is what is going on inside A Crafty Concept. Use your email list like you would your social media. Send them resources, say hey this boutique is having a sale on Christmas clothes and I wanted to send this to you as a fellow boho girl mom. I get nothing from that email but once I saw those cute clothes and those amazing deals I had to share it with you. That’s me being her friend, and that is building trust and relationships with my people and that is going to turn her into a long term fan of my brand. Then she will tell all her friends, and tag me in all her pictures because she is going to remember my name because I talk to her all the time and I serve her really well.
How awful is it when you get a package in the mail and three weeks later you post a picture of it because you are wearing the earrings you got and you forgot what shop it was from because you buy earrings from Etsy all the time. If you had a relationship with them and they knew you really well because you serve them so well and your customer service is through the roof, they are going to remember your name.
That is why branding is so important, the whole branding experience. I do have a branding 101 PDF you can get for free!
For email list, what topics do you recommend emailing about?
You just want to serve your person. We are doing this next month inside Crochet Boss Academy- you are going to want to think of ways that you can serve them through your business and brand. Think of seasonal things, if you are going to be at markets maybe send out an email letting them know about your market. Email if you are running a sale or have a coupon code for them, if you have a new product coming out- these are great things to send emails about.
You can send them freebies that would be applicable to their lives and solve a pain point for them. For my people I send out wrap labels on every single Wednesday. I have done that for almost 2 years now! I design a brand new sheet of labels and thank you cards, so it’s a 3 page PDF and I send it out every Wednesday. That is something I can do that serves my people well and keeps me at the front of their mind. Most times yall share them and I love that! That helps me build up my brand awareness to get my name out there and helps new people find me. You share them because you like them because they served you well- I didn’t ask you to share them. So if you do that through your audience as well, things will change for you. And you can do that through your email list.
You can do spotlight emails where once a week you send out a shop that you found that has the same ideal customer as you. Maybe you found a macrame basket shop and it’s very ideal customer specific to Wild Grace people and I could say look how cute rainbow rattles would look in these macrame baskets! I just thought I would pass that info along. You will then be seen as their friend and they are going to appreciate you.
Can you explain linktree and how to create that?
Linktree is a third party site that you can use to change in bio on instagram to be a home for multiple links. So if you wanted to link your Etsy shop, your blog, your pinterest, your email sign up all in your link in your bio you would need to either create your own landing page within your email provider (mailchimp) or use linktree. It’s easier, it’s faster and it’s free.
You just make an account and then copy/paste the links that you want. There is very little customization you can do, but there is a handful of colors you can pick from and last time I checked it was free.
Do you use a light box for pictures?
No I do not. I am using a ring light right now that I just got. Did you see the picture of my basket with the beanies laying on top of it? I took that picture in the dark, I turned off all of my lights, put the basket up by my one window and took the picture with my iphone 11 pro and it was beautiful! The iphone 11 pro’s have really good low light photography options and the brand new 12’s do too. The one window light source was enough to take a really good picture of my hats.
I like to use natural light. I like to use my ring light. I also have 3 soft box lights, the kind that stand up and they are the big white squares. I have used those a lot for like patterns and stuff. Before I had any of those I did all my photography outside in indirect sunlight- like the shade. So there are no weird shadows or blow outs of the colors. Also sometimes the shade can make your photo look a little blue. I think it depends on what is in the actual frame of the camera and what time of day. That is something you will have to play around with unfortunately. Maybe take some pictures in the morning, and in the evening of the same product and see which one turns out better.
If you are looking for an excuse to get a fancy phone, if you feel like it would be a selfish purchase so you don’t want to get it because you could get like toys for your kids or an apple watch for your husband- sometimes us moms do that and say no no I won’t buy that it’s too selfish- so if you are looking for an excuse to invest in a fancy phone I love my iphone 11 pro! I pay for it monthly because it was no interest- so why not! It’s like $36 a month or something, but it makes running this business 6 million times easier! I have the ability to make all of my photos look fabulous, I am crystal clear on my lives, and in my stories. I remember the day that I switched phones, I did a story saying “okay this is my last story with my old phone” and then did a story with my new phone and they were like night and day! You could see the difference between the two phones.
So if you are looking for an excuse it is a business investment, and it is a good one! Especially for online business owners! Almost everything we do has to been done through pictures or our homes so it’s worth the investment if you need it.
Okay friends I hope you have a wonderful evening! I will see you in your inbox Wednesday for Wrap Label Wednesday! Have a beautiful night, a beautiful week!
I love you guys so so much!!