I just finished reading Scoutie Girl’s Crafting a Life and it is loaded with valuable information for both your business and your life. It is a free eBook compilation of the best Scoutie Girl articles from 2010. It is well worth a full read and includes two worksheets at the end that I found very helpful. Here are the best bytes for your small business:
To create your best work, you have to shake off the veil of self-consciousness and become open to the world in a way that is fresh & new.
We tend to think that anyone could do what we do if they tried. We think that because what we create is often a luxury, that others won’t buy if the price tag is too high…What I realized, through the constant prodding of DailyWorth, is that my skills are rare, and that people are willing to pay for them. My skills are valuable—in terms of the time, peace of mind, and return on investment—to business owners.
Be who you are and don’t try to be anyone else.
Once I started to share, my value & influence grew by sharing the most interesting & helpful information I could find. That cultivates authority. As authority grows, my network – and my online identity – grows because of the value you provide to the community. Greater authority + larger network = more people exposed to the information I share.
I never thought for a moment that this wouldn’t work. I didn’t let my husband get me down, I didn’t let friends get me down, I didn’t let myself get me down. I knew could create success and I lived every day as if I was already successful (with a smaller budget, of course!).
Stop trying already. Kick the damn door down.
Crafters and artists must learn to speak for their goods in a way that communicates the benefits of using their product…Consumers buy things because they are beautiful, useful, communicate their personal style, hold a deeper meaning.
Handmade goods need to provide a choice. Not between higher & lower prices, not between commercial or handmade, not even between ecofriendly or not – the choice is about whether Product A is more beneficial to the consumer than Product B.
Craft won’t compete on price. It won’t compete on how-manys and how-fasts. Craft competes on you.
Talk to me, involve me, listen to me, guide me. Take me by the hand and explain what exactly it is that I’m buying when I buy your product. Tell me a story. Just don’t tell me what to buy.
When you pay for something – say $30 for a t-shirt instead of $10 – you are paying a real person, who lives in a community very much like yours, for their time and skill. You’re opting out of the system of poverty that allows corporations to pay so much less than a living wage (whether in America or abroad). You’re choosing to pay someone what you’d like to get paid for the same work.
You know that global recession we’ve just started coming out of? I am convinced that part of the problem is our unwillingness to recognize the true value of the stuff we consume…By choosing to pay more for better products, we help support job creation throughout the economy.
I seek to identify with the maker’s worldview. I seek to support the maker’s independent ideas. I seek to see a spark of the divine in the objects I buy, just as I see that spark in you.
I asked them to think about their ideal audience. Often, when I ask people this question, they just describe themselves. “Wrong!” I say. “You wouldn’t buy from you, you’d create it yourself.”
The new economy dares us to sell what we love to do and purchase what others love to do. If you want others to support you with their dollars, you have to support them with your dollars.
Well, there ya go. I hope a few of the above bytes struck a chord, inspired an idea, or resonated with you and your business in some way. If you would like to read the full version, you can either read the pdf online or save it for future reference.
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