Are you practicing the 3 R’s?
What are the 3 R’s, you ask?
Recycle, reuse, repurpose – all part of reinventing your business everyday.
How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new?
We see it all the time in other markets.
Disney is a prime example. They put movies in a seven-year “vault” and then re-released some of them each year. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales.
How can you do this as a creative arts professional? Here are some ideas:
Update your designs
If you are a pattern designer, go back to some of your older designs and remake them using different fabrics. Try a really traditional design in contemporary fabrics. Sometimes a fresh or modern look is all that is needed. Re-issue and promote the pattern as a special or anniversary edition.
Update your classes
If you are a teacher, take a look at the classes you have been teaching. Do you need brighter samples to post with the descriptions? Could the class titles be jazzed up a bit? Do you have some faster methods you are now using?
The new class, with the jazzed-up title, is now Completely Revised or Now With Speed Sewing Techniques or Includes Three Optional Framing Options.
This reminds me of food or soap manufacturers with the “new, improved” signs on their products. If it works for them, it will work for you.
Update your samples
If you are a longarm quilter, look at your samples? Are they dated?
Try making a set of sample strips using some of those new threads you purchased. You can add them to existing samples, making it all look new again.
If you aren’t a longarmer, do your samples look worn and dated? Your customers notice this. It could be time for an update.
Switch around your stock
If you are a shop owner, repurposing is easy. It may be something you are doing on a regular basis.
If not, consider when the last time was that you redid your displays to give a new look to your shop? Just moving your existing displays can make a difference.
Spiff up your vending space
If you exhibit at trade, retail, or craft shows, you can easily apply this concept. Make it a practice to switch up your set-up so it looks fresh to your buyers. You have repeat buyers and they will see things with new eyes.
Consider how your booth looks even at a short duration show. I know some fabric dyers who switch up the look of the booth every day. The same people visit, and it always looks new to them.
Update your products
If you make and sell a product or notion, what can you do to update it?
For example, if you sell hand-dyed fabrics, perhaps you can tweak the formula just a bit, and add a new color in a limited edition. Or take an existing color and rename it.
If you are a jeweler, you could try a newer packaging.
If you sell finished art and it’s not moving, you may be able to reframe it.
This may be more appealing to today’s buyer.
Expand your product line
Think about how your one product could be turned into more products using the same design.
For example, if you are a quilter or a painter, could you create bookmarks or gift cards showcasing your design? Could you have giclées printed?
Your customers have all different budgets. If you can get them hooked as fans at a lower price point, as they have more disposable income, they’ll likely buy from you.
Share your content in other platforms
You should already have a content marketing plan. And as you create content think of ways you can repurpose it.
You can share one piece of content in your newsletter, on your blog, on Facebook (your profile and business page), on Instagram, and on Pinterest. For those of us who write and share our work through our newsletters, we can reuse it by posting it on our blogs or on Facebook or other social media.
You can also take current content and package it with other content to create a digital or physical book.
It’s your turn!
What is your favorite way to recycle, reuse, or repurpose your existing product line?