This week in SWATCH Studio, as we are welcoming in new enrollments for the course, students are already asking some very good questions:
I'm wondering if a website is essential or can you make a biz work through using social media? I feel like I know more about how to use social media than making a website and I couldn't afford to pay someone to make one for me. If it is essential can you recommend any resources to help make a diy website?
As someone who is just getting started in designing and wanting to get a business going, what are the must haves I should start with? Something techy? A certain number of patterns? Separate accounts for things? Help a newb out
I wonder about how to grow my "following" and getting my patterns noticed. I know I can't convert every pattern view but more views couldn't hurt. I'd love to hear more ways to market myself and my work without being spammy.
One of my problems so far is finding test knitters. I've posted in a few places but haven't gotten any bites yet. How can you find reliable test knitters that are willing to actually test knit your patterns when you're just starting out and don't have any following yet?
As I was reading through these, I realized that the answer to all of them was very much the same:
A website is not essential when you’re just starting out, (although it’s useful to have down the line), because you can certainly make it work on social media. What you really need to complement your social media presence is a landing page for your email list. Note: A landing page is a one-page website that is used to collect email addresses.
To get a business going, when you are starting out, it is crucial to have an audience for your work! So, a must is to have an irresistible freebie that you will promote on your landing page, enticing people to sign up for your email list. People who are willing to sign up for your list, in order to get the freebie, are already interested in what you provide, or they wouldn’t have signed up at all!
Growing your following and getting noticed: email lists. A good way to grow your email list is to present any new pattern releases, to your list, possibly with a special subscriber discount—you have to give extra benefits to your followers!
As for finding reliable test knitters, I have a special list on my website. I have a sign-up form for those who are interested in being a test knitter for me. This helps when I have a pattern that I want to have tested. I just send an email to them, and I know my call will be answered, because those on that list signed up specifically for this purpose.
So why are email lists so essential?
It’s still the best way to build an engaged audience, sell a product online, or create hype around your next big event or service project. When people signup to be on your list, they are interested in what you do and want to stay in the loop. They want you to let them know when you have a new pattern release, an upcoming KAL, or any other cool event.
That’s why I’m teaching my students in SWATCH Studio, this semester, how to set up, build and grow their email list AND Facebook Group, through a FREE and LIVE 6-week workshop. (Why FB groups too? Because it’s a great way to foster daily engagement and relationship building, and to see what your audience wants from you!) This is the only time I will be doing this workshop, along with the SWATCH Studio course, as I will be offering this workshop as a separate course in the future.
Enrollment for SWATCH Studio closes October 10th. If you want to discover your magic as a knitwear designer, so you can kick start your design career AND learn my secrets behind building my audience, click here to enroll now!