[87] Enticing People to Join – and Stay On – Your Mailing List

Have you got a mailing list for your business?

If you don’t – you should! A mailing list is the most direct and intimate form of communication with your customer. It’s a must-have for marketing.

BUT – how do you encourage people to sign up? And to stay subscribed?

In short – people will opt-in if you give them a compelling enough enticement; and they will hang around if you give them value.

In this episode I talk about how to entice people to subscribe to your mailing list and importantly, how to keep them there.




Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Why would people sign up in the first place? What enticements are in place?
  • Free shipping is a common offer and this needs to be decided on the basis of your products.
  • Be clear on limitations is the offer for the first order, a month or a year?
  • Dollar amount discounts are also a great way to entice people to sign up.
  • Whatever it is that you can offer you need to make sure it is enticing enough for people to want it.
  • So what about e-products?
  • Content freebies like patterns, a workshop or an e-book are fantastic.
  • Any content that is relevant and useful can be given away to your new subscriber.
  • ‘It has to be something to do with your business and something that people want.’ {Jess}
  • Use your mailing list to build a relationship by educating your customers about your product.
  • Then what? How do you keep them? There has to be a reason for your customer to stay subscribed.
  • Give them something of value for the life of the subscription.
  • Specials, discounts, information, VIP – there are lots of different things depending on your business.
  • Think about why you would want to subscribe to your mailing list. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer.
  • Experiment – find out what works through trial and error until you find what is growing your email list and keeping them engaged.


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How to Run a Successful Craft Facebook Page that Grows Genuine Likes Daily




This is a guest post by Jackie from Craft My Success.

I have a confession. In the early days of my creative business, I was absolutely fixated with the number of likes my page had.

I would actually feel a flutter in my tummy when a new like popped up from “gasp” a stranger! The idea that someone had come across my page, and clicked on the glorious blue button to keep up to date with my business would warm my South London cockney soul.

Because as creative ones, we are doubtful of our talents far too much and, for me, every little hike in my “new likes this week” graph was a level of validation for my business. Someone liked my work!!! Crack open the champers and the chocolates!



Well, I soon discovered that there are likes…..and then there are LOVES.

And that my success depended on focussing on the latter. By “loves” I mean growing a fanbase of genuine potential buyers who love what I create.

Too often I see crafters where their 400 likes are mostly made up of nosey work colleagues, supportive family and friends and other crafters. Some of them could cross over and your sister and her friends could be your ideal customers….but to truly have success selling your craft you need to build a network of groupies that do not share the same gene pool.

Those are the kinds of likes you desire and screw being fixated on a fake number that doesn’t really mean anything!


So how do you spend your online marketing time focussed on growing genuine likes? 

Every step below is based around the simple premise of eliminating those that are bystanders and reeling in those who are buyers.

The piece of cake “genuine likes” recipe:




Aesthetics and Branding of the Page

This one is at the top of the list as it is the quickest fix and so often overlooked.

When new visitors land on your biz page you want to be able to grab them from the first millisecond.

To do this you need to be super clear with your brand and who your business is for. Do not be afraid to be obvious here. This is the first time many visitors will have seen/heard of you so you want to start your Facebook relationship off on the right foot.

Open up your Facebook biz page and try and look at it as an outsider. Or even better, ask someone these questions, who doesn’t currently like your page.


  • Does it clearly show what your page is about and who it is for?
  • Does your cover image show your products?
  • Do you have a tagline that highlights key points to your ideal customer? (what’s important to them – make it known that you tick those boxes)
  • Is your logo simple and easy to read? (I see too many swirly fonts which are loved by creatives – you have such a small space, use it wisely and don’t make it hard for people to read your biz name)
  • Does your brand speak to your ideal audience? (You might like certain colours or styles, but unless your ideal customers have exactly the same taste as you, then you need to focus your page on being alluring them, not yourself.)
  • Can visitors clearly identify you from your competitors? Have you studied the branding of your competitors – what can you do to stand out? How can you be memorable with your visuals?
  • Is your about page exciting/funny/engaging/memorable? (You can use this space to showcase your mission, or your why, or who you serve. Do not simply use it as a place to state the obvious such as “Hi I’m Jackie and I make scented candles”.)
  • Is your branding/voice consistent? Are you using the same branding colours in your product photos? (Use ideas such as a “work in progress Wednesday photos” every week to stand out and use as a subtle sales post)


Here are 3 examples of craft Facebook biz pages that are dripping like a ice cream in my four year old’s hands with their branding and voice.

It is so obvious who they are serving from only just these images.



Start Hanging Out where your Ideal Customers Hang Out

Facebook has groups for every single pocket of society.

Every desire, hobby, stage of life, problem and trend has a corner of the Facebook world which is all about them.

So what is your ideal customer into? What excites them? What hobbies do they have? What are they passionate about?

Try and think outside the box. For example, if I sold scented candles, my ideal customer might be a yoga teacher. So rather than the obvious and finding huge yoga groups to hang out in, I might focus my energy on smaller more intimate pockets such as mindfulness or meditation groups. Big groups move fast and group members do not spend all day in these catching up on what’s been said.

Smaller groups will give you an opportunity to really build solid relationships, give great value and be a big fish in a smaller pond.




Provide Value

This applies to both your own biz page and posting in groups.

Sing with me…..“Imagine all the group posts. It’s easy if you try. Crafters posting their ma-aa-kes, no one engaging, why?”

I see this so often. Crafters find their little pockets, excitedly join the groups and immediately start posting photos of makes trying desperately to make a sale. Our survey says……..X

To grow your fan base people want connection.

They don’t want to be sold to! They want to get to know you.

They want to find it out sort of by accident in that kind of “Hey girlfriend, I didn’t know you made gorgeous silver earrings on the side!” way.

Get involved in the conversation, start your own posts which are nothing about your makes, provide genuine value.

People are nosy by nature and they will check out your personal page (as you will be posting from that) and if you’ve linked it to your business page – hey presto – you’ve found a genuine like!

If you can genuinely provide a solution or a suggestion based around your product and you have been engaging prior to that – then go for it!

To really maximise Facebook groups, I’d concentrate on a small number to really immerse yourself into and give them at least a month before you exit.

If you’re not seeing much from these groups, then move on and test out others. It will take time but 5 mins here and there really builds up. Little and often little and often.

Here’s one tip straight from Jackie’s school of “fitting in my business around my family, job and chocolate addiction”: Rather than scanning my own news feed whilst I’m waiting to pick my son up from school, I jump in the groups and see if I can tag along on a conversation.

I’ve found from my own experience, by spending time in smaller groups, I have been tagged in posts by strangers when a post has been made around my solution! It is a huge thrill when that happens!

3 ideas for how to contribute genuinely:
  • Discuss current events / trends / new finds
  • Empathise, empathise, empathise.
  • Talk about a win you’ve had to do with your business – how your product solved a problem for someone just like them


Solve Problems

Crafter, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that your product does not solve a problem.

Of course it does!!!

Your hand knitted kid’s ponchos keep kids warm, whilst having their hands free for play, and solving the “I don’t want to wear a coat” battle most mums have.

Your ideal customers need to hear about your features….not your benefits.

They don’t really want to know how you made the poncho or where you sourced the wool. Instead they want to know that it will stop them chasing their child around the park hollering “put your coaaaat oooon!!!”.

Dig deep when thinking about what problems your products solve and WHY that’s important to your ideal customer. Sometimes it’s as simple as prestige or owning something unique or bespoke. Sometimes it’s knowing that the product is sustainably made and sourced. Once you find the hook it’s sooooo easy to talk to them online and reel them in to your web of seduction.

So crafter, I hope this has been helpful for you – go forth and grow your likes in a genuine fashion! I’d love to hear in the comments below what you’re going to action first!


[54] 5 Ways to Increase Your Profits

Ep 54 - Create & Thrive Podcast

You could be eating away at your profits without even realising it. However, there are lots of ways you can make little tweaks to your handmade business in order to increase your profit margin.

I ran a week-long free course a few years back on this topic, and I thought it was time to bring these ideas to you in the podcast.

By following these five steps you will be able to cut out wasted time, reduce your expenses, and therefore increase your profit margin.

For more detail on each point, the links to the course lessons are in the show notes below.

If you have any other ideas for ways that we as makers can cut expenses and increase our profit margins – while still maintaining the integrity of our business – please share them below!


Ep 54 quote - Jess


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1. Streamline and organise
  • Disorganisation will eat into your profits.
  • Decrease the time spent to make the same amount of money by being streamlined in your work practices.
  • This includes organisation of your digital life.
  • Work out what you can do today to become more streamlined and organised.
  • Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas to create a more organised space.
  • 2. Plan your packaging.
  • ‘Packaging can put a huge dent into your profits.’ {Jess}
  • You need to make sure you account for your packaging costs in the cost of your postage or the item itself.
  • Make sure you always have what you need on hand and try and buy in bulk.
  • Don’t forget to add in the time it takes to package the item.
  • 3. Do your calculations and price your work properly.
  • ‘You don’t want to be leaving money on the table.’ {Jess}
  • It is important to get realistic about how much it is costing you to make your products.
  • You need to cover the time you spend marketing and planning not just making.
  • 4. Can you make it reproducible?
  • This is especially important when selling work online.
  • Can you recreate your item?
  • If you can it will increase your production capacity saving time on each item.
  • These items can then become your bread and butter range.
  • Make sure you keep detailed notes so you can easily reproduce work.
  • Think about minimising materials used across your product range.
  • 5. Buy in wholesale or buy in bulk.
  • This will usually involve planning ahead.
  • Do your research, are there things you can cut out?
  • ‘We always have to place our creative and business integrity above our profit margins.’ {Jess}
  • Only you can decide where you can reduce expenses and save money.


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[53] Why You Need to Find Your Micro-Niche

Ep 53 - Create & Thrive Podcast

Your micro-niche is your super-speciality. It is the one product (or product line) that defines your business – and the one that makes you recognisable amongst your competitors.

We all begin creating because we love it – but taking that step from making for fun to making to sell changes the playing field completely.

We can’t make everything we want to all the time – we need to try and find a micro-niche. Something people want that you make really well. Something specific, that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Once you discover this micro-niche you, will find it much easier to run a profitable business.

If you are yet to find your micro-niche or are yet to consider this idea – take a listen to this podcast for ideas on how to find your own micro-niche.


Ep 53 quote - Jess

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • The key point here is the moment when you change from doing craft for fun to trying to sell it.
  • This ‘When parents find out their daughter makes jewelry‘ video made me laugh – I appreciate the satire, because as much as I value what I do (and what all artisans do) there is an element of truth in it.
  • ‘Growing a business is hard work, it will take a long time and you have to be patient.’ {Jess}
  • You need to get more specific with what you are making, you need to find your micro-niche.
  • ‘You want to be the master of one specific type of thing.’ {Jess}
  • Look to successful people and think about what they make. Do they have a micro-niche?
  • When you find your micro-niche you will be able to define your target market.
  • ‘Constraints are a beautiful thing when it comes to creativity.’ {Jess}
  • You are more likely to become successful with a small group of people than with everyone.
  • Remember that less is more.
  • You may have to give some stuff up – and that is ok.
  • Your micro-niche may be a theme rather than a product.
  • So, how do you figure out what your micro-niche is?
  • 1. Follow the market – what are your best sellers and why? Don’t be afraid to ask your community.
  • 2. Consider your niche market. Who are they?
  • 3. Do some research and see what your competitors are doing right and wrong.
  • ‘Your brand story is going to be incredibly powerful here.’ {Jess}
  • Finding your micro-niche may mean you need to change things, re-organise or drop products.
  • If you don’t have a micro-niche it will be incredibly hard to have a profitable business.
  • Finish this sentence: “I am the person who sells…”
  • ‘Be the one that people think of.’ {Jess}


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

Enter the C&T 5,000 Follower Giveaway on Instagram to Win Access to the New eCourse – Brand Your Craft

5000 follower giveaway


Create & Thrive has just passed the 5,000 followers mark on Instagram – so I decided to celebrate with a giveaway!


I’m giving away access to our NEW self-study eCourse – Brand Your Craft – which will be launching next week.

Brand Your Craft takes you through all the steps you need to take in order to create a compelling brand that speaks to your Ideal Customer, and which helps your handmade business stand out in your niche.

Sound good?

Head on over to the Create & Thrive Instagram account, and look for the image below to enter.


5000 follower giveaway entry image


Make sure to do BOTH of the entry steps on Instagram!


Competition Rules

  1. This contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram.
  2. You must complete both entry steps to be in the draw to win – liking the competition post on Instagram AND tagging at least 1 friend in the comments below the post.
  3. You can enter as many times as you like – but you must make a separate comment for each friend you tag. If you tag more than one person in one comment, that will only count as one entry.
  4. Winner will be chosen randomly from valid entries.
  5. Entries close Monday the 28th of March at 10am AEST.
  6. There will be three winners. They will be announced on Monday the 28th of March, and will gain access to the course when it is launched.

Good luck!