There’s a lot of elements that have to come together in a systemized way when you're selling patterns and products.
To build a profitable pattern design business you have to understand the first law of entrepreneurship:
You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you consistently deliver to the marketplace.
The two words that are emphasized in any profitable business are Delivery and Value. But first, let’s get clear on what money really means and how it works when it comes to business.
Money is a universal symbol that represents and measures the value of goods and services that are exchanged between a buyer and seller. This means that the price of a pattern is based on what the designer can get for it. A crafter has to believe that the value is greater than the price before they'll make a purchase.
Before a crafter considers making a purchase she must perceive your pattern to be valuable. You, as a designer, have the ability to influence the perceived value of your pattern by listing the features and benefits your target customer will get when they purchase and create the garment.
Knowing who your customer is and what they value helps you can speak directly to them. This is the reason behind creating a target audience for your business. It helps you talk to and sell directly to your customer.
When you offer a pattern, you’re not really selling a pattern. You’re selling and experience. You're selling the joy of creating. You're selling relaxation, community and the ability to create beautiful handcrafted garments.
- Knitters and Crocheters don't buy a pattern; they buy an experience.
- Crafters don’t buy yarn; they buy the potential to create something beautiful.
Sometimes the value is there but getting the right message to the right people can be a confusing process.
Spreading the word about the value you’re offering is part of your marketing strategy. Your strategy helps you tell the right people (target audience) about your product or service. This means you must be able to communicate the features and benefits that your audience values in words they understand.
Your target audience needs to be exposed to your product message between five to seven times before it can make any kind of impact and up to 11 times before any type of action is taken. This means you need to diligently and continuously spread your message to encourage your target audience’s buying process.
There are two other elements that affect value. They are:
Supply and Demand:
The value of a product goes up or down based on the demand for that product. In other words; the more free patterns available in the marketplace, the less likely knitters and crocheters are willing to pay for them. If you want to make money doing what you love, stop giving your work away for free.
There’s a lot of creative people out there with wonderful ideas. They have sincere intentions to produce something great but either they never plan and execute their idea, or the idea isn’t considered valuable to the marketplace. The only way you will know is to get that idea out there.
The concept of delivery is simple: If you don’t deliver a lot of products, you don’t get paid a lot. You must be a prolific designer to be profitable in today’s market.
- Act on your ideas,
- Market your value (features and benefits)
- Deliver your products to your audience consistently
I created a FREE 7-page workbook to help you target your patterns and communicate its features and benefits. Download yours below.
Why Crafters Buy
Crafters buy for reasons they don’t even understand because making a craft related purchase isn’t a rational process. Crafters buy to meet an underlying desire that may not be known to them because buying is an emotional experience. Jay Conrad Levinson in his book ‘Guerrilla Marketing Excellence’ gives a lot of reasons why people buy. Here’s a few.
- People buy a completed project, not just a pattern. Crafters buy patterns to complete them, not collect them.
- People buy your skill and credibility. If they don’t trust you or your talent, they won’t buy.
- People buy how your project makes them feel. Copywriting is important because it creates an emotional connection to your project.
- People buy your success. People are drawn to businesses that look like they know what they’re doing and are successful at it. Having a professional looking website and cohesive branding elements are important to the perception of your business.
People buy for a variety of reasons including because you’ve convinced them that you can create what they want and deliver what you promised. When promoting your patterns, products and services, be sure to list their features but focus on how they will benefit your crafty customers.
Features and Benefits
A feature is a list of characteristics, facts about or the qualities your product has. Features are logical.
A Feature is what something IS
Benefits are the positive outcomes your customer will experience after using your product. Benefits are emotional. A Benefit is what something DOES
Ultimately, the true value of your pattern is based on your target audience's perception of what you created. Your job as a designer is to communicate the benefits and features of your projects in such a way that attracts your ideal customer and they find value in it.
There are ways that you can increase the perceived value of your projects. Here are a few:
- Highlight customer praise and reviews about your work.
- Promote the value of YOU! Make sure you list your experience and qualifications on your website about page.
- Show some of your behind-the-scenes processes. Demonstrate the effort and care that goes into your projects.
- Be consistent in your business. This includes blogging, sending newsletters, engaging on social media and creating value-packed products.
Being in business isn’t easy and it takes clear vision, planning, organization and plenty of value-driven projects that appeal to your target audience. Put the law of entrepreneurship squarely in your favor by always creating and delivering the value-packed projects your ideal customer can’t resist.
Download your FREE Value Planning Workbook that will help you:
- Select a target customer
- Outline features and Benefits
- Promote your product
- and write compelling sales copy
Sticks & String,