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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

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Is it time for pruning?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

 

A few years back at our home on the Chesapeake Bay I replaced five KnockOut® rose bushes. For years they had been beautiful bushes, full of continuous color, and tall enough to provide a barrier between our patio and our neighbor’s. Best of all, this rose variety was supposed to be disease resistant and did not need spraying. I am not one for heavy garden maintenance, so it was wonderful to have inherited these easy-care varieties with our home purchase.

The problem was that a couple years earlier we noticed these bright, thick red shoots. Our landscaper suggested pruning and that is what we did with the hope that we could get rid of the rose rosette disease, as it is known.

Unfortunately, the virus spread to the whole plant and we ended up having to pull up all five plants and start over. This time, we choose not to plant the roses.

So, what does this have to do with business? Just like with roses in your garden, your business can use a good pruning if you want it to bloom and prosper. And, you want to do the pruning before it becomes necessary to take more drastic action.

Here are some random thoughts on pruning in your business. Many of these were gleaned from a walk through my yard.

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Create a successful advertising plan

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Today you are competing for business in a noisy world. Just look at all your options for connecting via social media. Every time you sign onto Instagram or Facebook, you’ve got the choice of stories or your feed. Not to mention the rabbit hole of Pinterest. Plus new social media platforms crop up that add to that noise.

How can you get the word out about your business in all that noise? If you are caught up in that noise, so is your customer. One effective way is with advertising.

Advertising is used to persuade an audience (your potential or current customers/clients) to take action with respect to your product or service. And if that action is purchasing your product, the results are not always immediate.

I have read numerous studies that it can take anywhere from 13-17 times for someone to see your print ad before they purchase. I’ve seen numbers as low as 7 with regard to television advertising. And, the range for online advertising varies as much. Maybe with changing algorithms, it varies even more. 

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Who are your peeps?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

 

As you start to build your creative arts business and continue to grow it, one of the keys is getting clear on who your ideal client is. It is pretty important to know about the person who is buying your product or service. If you get right down to it, money comes from people, so it helps to know who they are if you want to ask them to invest with you.

When many people start out, they want to serve everyone, and I mean everyone. I can remember a student, Carol, who was in my “Craft Business Success From Your Creative Passion” class at International Quilt Festival in Chicago one year. The students went through an exercise to help them identify who their ideal customer was. Carol insisted that the entire quilting universe, and perhaps the whole non-quilting universe, was her customer. She was an appliqué artist and was making it her mission to teach appliqué to any and all quilters. It did not matter if the person was not interested in appliqué or already had a specialty, such as painting fabric, Carol was going to turn everyone into a lover of doing appliqué.

What is wrong with this picture of wanting everyone to love appliqué as much as Carol did? It is charming, yet it is unrealistic. It also holds Carol back from making a difference to those people on whom she could really have an impact. She is expending so much energy trying to reach everyone, that she is not able to reach those who could use her brilliance.

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6 ways to add revenue to your creative arts business

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

If you are in business, your goal should be to make money. Sure you have other goals that revolve around making a difference or sharing your art or building a legacy. I know that I do. Problem is that you can’t make as much of a difference if you aren’t making a profit in your business.

Making a profit is tied to increasing your revenue or decreasing your expenses or both. In truth you can only increase your revenue in three ways.

First, you can raise your prices.

Second, you can sell more to your current customers.

Third, you can find new customers.

This post focuses on six ways that you can increase your revenue. Some you may already be doing. Some you may have thought of and not tried yet. Some may be new to you.

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7 steps to build your creative arts business

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

 

Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of creatives. Some were private coaching clients, some came to my Creative Arts Business Summit, some belong to our ICAP Members’ Studio, some attended my classes and lectures, some learned from the magazines I published, and some learned from what I shared in this blog and online.

Regardless of how someone has learned from me, they were introduced to one or more elements of my CREATE! system. This system is how I grew my creative arts business. I go back to it again and again as my business changes.

C = Clarity

What’s clarity got to do with it? Clarity sets the foundation for your business. If you are not clear about where you want to go, what you want to make, who you are trying to serve, etc., you will just not be as successful as you could be. You don’t have to wait until you’re clear on everything to get started, just that as you become clearer and clearer your path becomes easier.

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How will you celebrate?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Do you regularly celebrate your accomplishments? I am not surprised if you don’t. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on what is next that they do not take the time to appreciate what they have accomplished. That is why most of my clients and students take time weekly to look at what they accomplished and celebrate that. It is part of their weekly Success and Strategies Summit.

The process

What exactly is the Success and Strategies Summit and how do you have one? It’s a process where you look back at your week, plan the next week, and celebrate your accomplishments.

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It starts with clarity

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

 

We recently welcomed a new group into our Members’ Studio. We have lots of resources all geared to help you build the creative business of your dreams.

I know that too many options can be overwhelming. What’s needed is clarity. It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the options. What if I do this? Or that?

Ever been there?

What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that’s our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life. And, once you get clear, it doesn’t mean you always stay clear, unfortunately. I think it’s a continual path as you and your business grow.

You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

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Let’s take 15!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

 

Do you ever look at what others have accomplished and think you can’t possibly do that? We all have that comparison gremlin to contend with. Do you then fall back on your standard excuse? I just don’t have time!

I’m going to challenge you on that.

I wrote about “you management” as opposed to “time management” a few weeks back. Today I want to share a simple concept that might make a difference in your day.

Let’s call it Take 15.

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Discover your why

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Over in our Creative Passion to Profit Facebook Group we are hosting a challenge to help creatives increase their visibility and grow their businesses. On the first day I asked the members two questions. Why Do You Create? Why Did You Start Your Creative Business?

You’ll find a great deal of variety of answers. Some people were raised with creative parents; some were not. Some expressed their creativity from childhood; some put it on hold and it re-emerged as adults. Some started their businesses with purpose; some started accidentally. You will probably resonate with something someone wrote. You can read the responses or join in here.

Have you ever thought about what your why is? You know, why you do what you do? Why you are in the business you are? Why art or creativity chose you? And why you chose to make it important enough that it is your business?

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