Tips & Talk 68 – 7 Business Best Practices You Should Know

A few weeks back I was at a podcasting conference called Podfest. Seriously one of the best events I’ve ever attended in terms of learning timely and relevant new things and meeting the most incredible people.

How does this apply to you? You’re not a podcaster (most likely) but, I see applications that most definitely apply as a handmade product maker. If you aren’t doing them already, adding them in will strengthen your business and thereby improve your results. Hold out for the last one – it’s a doosy and one I didn’t know before.

Be part of the newest Gift Biz Opportunity!

The Gift Biz Bash offers you the chance to get added visibility for your business – for free. Who can’t use that?! But seats are limited. To see the dates and times and to grab your spot, go through the link above.

Join our community of handmade product makers

Gift Biz Breeze is an active and inspiring group of creators at all levels of business development. Ask questions, see what others are working on, learn new things, it’s all there and we’re waiting for you to join us!

Finally, would you please leave a review? Thanks!

It helps other makers like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: Rate This Podcast

Transcript
Speaker:

Hi there.

Speaker:

It's Sue.

Speaker:

And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

Speaker:

These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

Speaker:

things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

Speaker:

If you'd like to submit a topic,

Speaker:

DME, over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

Speaker:

A few weeks ago,

Speaker:

I was at a podcasting conference called pod Fest.

Speaker:

Seriously, one of the best events I've ever attended in terms

Speaker:

of learning timely and relevant new things and meeting the most

Speaker:

incredible people.

Speaker:

Now you may ask,

Speaker:

how does this apply to you?

Speaker:

You're not a podcaster most likely,

Speaker:

but I see application in seven areas that we can apply

Speaker:

as handmade product makers.

Speaker:

And that's what we'll go over today.

Speaker:

First, I want to point out that the reason I got

Speaker:

so much out of this conference is that I went in

Speaker:

with three goals in mind,

Speaker:

three things that if I walked out with the answers or

Speaker:

solutions, my time spent there would be a success.

Speaker:

This is how I approach every conference because it's super easy

Speaker:

to become overwhelmed by all the bright,

Speaker:

shiny things and lose track of why I'm there and let's

Speaker:

face it.

Speaker:

It's energizing to get away for a bit,

Speaker:

meet up with friends and connect with new people.

Speaker:

But if I'm not advancing in my business,

Speaker:

I can consider it more,

Speaker:

a vacation than business travel,

Speaker:

something to consider.

Speaker:

As you head off to your next business event,

Speaker:

identify three things you want to address that will move you

Speaker:

forward and make sure you walk away with those checked off.

Speaker:

I'm happy to tell you that I met all my goals.

Speaker:

I also bought a super cool new mic.

Speaker:

So you might hear the quality improve as we go forward

Speaker:

for the guest episodes.

Speaker:

That is these tips and talk shows I do from another

Speaker:

location. Anyway,

Speaker:

getting off the topic here,

Speaker:

back to what applies to you.

Speaker:

Here are the seven points that I want to present.

Speaker:

Remind and reinforce that will strengthen your business and thereby improve

Speaker:

your results.

Speaker:

Hold out for this last one.

Speaker:

It's a doozy.

Speaker:

And one,

Speaker:

I didn't know before first up play to your strengths.

Speaker:

Sometimes we try to increase our skill or knowledge in some

Speaker:

area where we feel less capable while it's important as the

Speaker:

business owner,

Speaker:

to have a working knowledge in all areas of your business.

Speaker:

If it's not naturally your interest or a task that comes

Speaker:

easily to you,

Speaker:

it's better to pass that one on to someone else,

Speaker:

working against the grain to obtain detailed training and do those

Speaker:

projects. The ones where you feel resistance will not get you

Speaker:

as far as you'll be.

Speaker:

If you lean into what comes naturally to you,

Speaker:

things like doing your own financials versus hiring a bookkeeper to

Speaker:

tend to the numbers.

Speaker:

That's one for me or forcing yourself to go live on

Speaker:

social. When in-person events are where you shine,

Speaker:

doing more of what you're strong at and back filling the

Speaker:

rest will advance you further.

Speaker:

Now I know when you start out,

Speaker:

you're doing all the things.

Speaker:

This is advice as you grow and start spinning things off.

Speaker:

Number two,

Speaker:

keep your eye on the customer.

Speaker:

Now this one on the podcast inside is about how valuable

Speaker:

well-known guests are for our listeners.

Speaker:

That's you.

Speaker:

Of course,

Speaker:

if I had a celebrity or a big name on the

Speaker:

show, it gives me bragging rights.

Speaker:

But if it's not someone related to growing your business,

Speaker:

how valuable is it for you?

Speaker:

Apart from the entertainment I've actually heard from many of you.

Speaker:

And I see it in my analytics that the most popular

Speaker:

guest shows are ones where I'm talking with a maker that

Speaker:

you can relate to,

Speaker:

not some big brand that feels so unachievable or unrelatable to

Speaker:

you on your side.

Speaker:

This could apply to how you post on social media.

Speaker:

Are you mixing in personal things that don't relate in any

Speaker:

way to your business and feels totally disconnected from your customers

Speaker:

on your Instagram feed.

Speaker:

As an example,

Speaker:

you sell handmade,

Speaker:

pottery and randomly images pop up showing your horses or your

Speaker:

son pitching at his last softball game.

Speaker:

If you can relate this back to your product or business

Speaker:

in some way,

Speaker:

that's fine,

Speaker:

but completely unconnected content like that holds no value for your

Speaker:

follower. Otherwise,

Speaker:

similarly, your message should be valuable to your customer.

Speaker:

Not for the purpose of impressing your competition.

Speaker:

If you want to point out that you've reached 500 Facebook

Speaker:

page followers,

Speaker:

great, but position it not as a look at me post,

Speaker:

but thank your followers for helping you achieve this milestone.

Speaker:

See the difference.

Speaker:

This leads to my third point,

Speaker:

consistency as a listener to this show,

Speaker:

you expect to see new episodes arrive early morning,

Speaker:

every Saturday and Wednesday.

Speaker:

What if I put them up on all different days and

Speaker:

times and some weeks,

Speaker:

not at all,

Speaker:

I'd lose my spot in your listening flow.

Speaker:

You may even unsubscribe don't underestimate keeping to a schedule.

Speaker:

This applies to showing up regularly on your social media platforms.

Speaker:

And when sending emails,

Speaker:

have you ever gotten an email from someone who you interacted

Speaker:

with years ago,

Speaker:

and then all of a sudden they're popping into your inbox

Speaker:

now to my way of thinking,

Speaker:

that's email abuse and I hit unsubscribe show up or be

Speaker:

forgotten and erased next up,

Speaker:

number four,

Speaker:

be visible as an authority.

Speaker:

You may not think since you make products to sell that

Speaker:

you're an authority,

Speaker:

but in reality,

Speaker:

you are,

Speaker:

you're an authority on the production end for sure.

Speaker:

The tools you use,

Speaker:

the methods and techniques you've found along the way,

Speaker:

these things even lead some makers to create classes,

Speaker:

to share what they know.

Speaker:

Maybe you've done this already too,

Speaker:

and it can go further.

Speaker:

If you're a baker,

Speaker:

there may be health benefits to some of the ingredients you

Speaker:

use. If you work with essential oils,

Speaker:

you can talk about emotions provoked by various sense and on

Speaker:

and on the topics can be used for social posts or

Speaker:

even better in blogs,

Speaker:

to get more information about blogging,

Speaker:

reference back to tips and talk number 67,

Speaker:

sharing this information positions you as an authority.

Speaker:

And this tips,

Speaker:

the scale in your favor when a purchase is being considered,

Speaker:

we all want to buy from a specialist and expert.

Speaker:

It's perceived that products are higher quality and value.

Speaker:

So position yourself as the expert tip number five is don't

Speaker:

be the same as others.

Speaker:

There's a natural tendency to look at your competition and copy

Speaker:

exactly what they're doing.

Speaker:

What that creates is only more of the same and that's

Speaker:

boring. There's no problem looking at what's already available in your

Speaker:

industry to create a baseline,

Speaker:

but then setting yourself apart and making what you do.

Speaker:

Different allows you to stand out.

Speaker:

It's so important in your business that I dedicate an entire

Speaker:

module of my makers MBA program on how to do this,

Speaker:

by the way,

Speaker:

maker's MBA.

Speaker:

If you've been interested in it in the past is now

Speaker:

always open,

Speaker:

no more waiting months and sitting on a waiting list to

Speaker:

get in.

Speaker:

If you're interested,

Speaker:

of course,

Speaker:

you can go over to the website,

Speaker:

look under courses and check out maker's MBA back to not

Speaker:

being the same as others.

Speaker:

You're seeing it at work right now with this podcast instituting

Speaker:

the gift biz bash is new and unlike what others are

Speaker:

doing in the podcast realm,

Speaker:

and I have more fun,

Speaker:

new things on the way two or three things in the

Speaker:

works that most important,

Speaker:

allow me to be of additional service to you,

Speaker:

but also set my show apart from others.

Speaker:

I can't wait to bring them to you and they're right

Speaker:

around the corner.

Speaker:

And when I do,

Speaker:

I will ask for feedback.

Speaker:

This is 0.6,

Speaker:

similar to validating your product in the beginning.

Speaker:

When you start your business,

Speaker:

including your customers in some of your other decisions and asking

Speaker:

for feedback keeps you in tune with their needs and how

Speaker:

well you're fulfilling them.

Speaker:

It's easy to create things in a vacuum with the assumption

Speaker:

that people want,

Speaker:

what you're making.

Speaker:

Then you do a surprise reveal many times with disappointing results.

Speaker:

You could be entirely off the mark because you're just too

Speaker:

close to the plan.

Speaker:

Getting customer input prevents this from happening and subtly walks your

Speaker:

customers into quote unquote,

Speaker:

buying into the plan.

Speaker:

They begin to feel invested in what you're doing because they've

Speaker:

had a part of its conception,

Speaker:

asking for feedback is a powerful,

Speaker:

but very under utilized activity.

Speaker:

Finally, even though all those points are important,

Speaker:

this last one is the most important of all.

Speaker:

And one I didn't know about,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

all that legalees that you just click and accept when you

Speaker:

sign up for your email provider.

Speaker:

I know whoever reads that anyway,

Speaker:

that's why the type is so small.

Speaker:

Nobody does,

Speaker:

but did you know,

Speaker:

hidden in that language is wording about how they can change

Speaker:

their rules at any time and that they can shut down

Speaker:

your email account to O M G seriously,

Speaker:

did you know that could happen?

Speaker:

I didn't,

Speaker:

this is 0.7,

Speaker:

protect against email censorship.

Speaker:

The person at pod Fest who talked about this had it

Speaker:

happened to her.

Speaker:

So it is real.

Speaker:

An email list of tens of thousands was blocked.

Speaker:

We covered this before for social media that you don't own

Speaker:

access to any of your followers,

Speaker:

but the solution and action we always talk about is getting

Speaker:

their email because as long as you've captured the email information

Speaker:

in the proper way,

Speaker:

they've agreed to be included on your list.

Speaker:

You own the ability to be able to communicate with them

Speaker:

through their email,

Speaker:

to have ownership of your email list while this is still

Speaker:

true. You are at risk.

Speaker:

If randomly your provider decides to sensor your business,

Speaker:

email the solution,

Speaker:

backup your email list on a regular basis,

Speaker:

weekly or monthly,

Speaker:

depending on how active it is with new subscribers or unsubscribes.

Speaker:

It's easy.

Speaker:

Just download a CSV file to your computer or better yet

Speaker:

a Dropbox folder.

Speaker:

And then you're covered.

Speaker:

This was a heart stopping learning for sure.

Speaker:

So I specifically want to share it with you.

Speaker:

Take heed,

Speaker:

although it seems rare.

Speaker:

It could be an email and business disaster.

Speaker:

Here are these seven points.

Speaker:

Again, one play to your strengths to always keep your eye

Speaker:

on the customer.

Speaker:

Three, be consistent,

Speaker:

four, be visible as an authority.

Speaker:

Five, don't be the same as all the others.

Speaker:

Six ask for feedback and seven protect against email censorship here's

Speaker:

to keeping your handmade product business protected,

Speaker:

strong, and growing.

Speaker:

I've been interjecting within these points,

Speaker:

how I applied them to my business.

Speaker:

And now I'm going to demonstrate number six,

Speaker:

by asking for your input,

Speaker:

which of these hit home for you?

Speaker:

The most DME on Instagram at gift biz on wrapped and

Speaker:

let me know and stay tuned.

Speaker:

As I mentioned,

Speaker:

there are new and exciting things coming your way.

Speaker:

Bye for now That's a wrap.

Speaker:

I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

Speaker:

And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

Speaker:

sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

Speaker:

of yours.

Speaker:

Share your handmade products with us.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.