When Kenneth Cole launched his shoe business in the 1980s, he knew he had some kickass shoes. But the shoes were useless if he didn’t get them in front of the right audience. He developed a bold plan that involved selling shoes out of a 40 FOOT LONG truck parked in midtown Manhattan (the logistics for this must have been a nightmare). That plan launched him on a path to create a $500M brand. Now what’s my point in saying this? How the heck does this relate to crocheting & knitting? My point is, you can have the most amazing patterns in the world, but properly marketing your designs is the difference between success and failure. I’ll say it again… Marketing your knit & crochet business is the difference between success and failure.
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A knit & crochet business course with statistics to back it!
Have you ever released a pattern only to be met with crickets? I know I have! That’s why I decided to take the risk and join the “Marketing your Crochet & Knit Designs” course from Kalley of Kneedles & Life. Kalley designs both knit & crochet patterns, and last year she made over $25,000 selling PDF patterns (WOW)! She created this course to share all her crafty business tips and tricks. This way you can launch patterns that are destined for success! I chose this course because it is targeted towards my niche as a knit & crochet business. Also, it has a great price point compared to some other online business courses I’ve seen.
Rather than just rambling on about why I enjoyed this course, I thought I’d give you concrete statistics on how it affected different facets of my business (What can I say, I’m a scientist who loves data!). Follow along for a comparison on a pattern I released prior to taking this course (the Snow Day Sweater) and one where I implemented everything I learned from the course (the Autumn Sunrise Cardigan)!
Leading up to releasing a pattern, designers typically employ the use of Pattern Testers to test out their pattern. This helps them detect errors in the pattern and then they get to see the design in different sizes to make sure all the math is correct (check out my blog post on Pattern Testing and Tips to be a Pattern Tester if you want more info!). One of the biggest problems I have had with Pattern Testing is ghosting. This is when a pattern tester never completes the pattern or sends in notes for the pattern, and just straight-up never responds again. Very unprofessional behavior. However, Kalley gives some excellent tips to attract quality pattern testers that will complete the pattern.
During the Snow Day Sweater pattern test (before the course), half of my pattern testers ghosted me. However, after the course, during the Autumn Sunrise Cardigan pattern test, only 1 out of 13 dropped out. Doing a Fisher’s Exact Test (basically a fancy statistical test to see if there is a difference between these 2 groups), I obtained a p-value of 0.0302. This implies there is a statistically significant difference! This means the course has significantly improved my pattern testing! WOOHOO!
Pattern Release Week
Following the release of both the Autumn Sunrise Cardigan and the Snow Day sweater, I did an analysis on the reason for all of this: the pattern sales (this is a business after all!). I ended up with 50% more pattern sales for the Autumn Sunrise Cardigan in the 5 days following pattern release. More pattern sales = more money = more yarn! Another win for the course!
Pinterest is one of the BEST tools to market your designs, if not the best. It’s a visual search engine with 454 million active users per month worldwide. This gives you the opportunity to get your designs in front of a huge amount of people to drive pattern sales. Kalley truly thought of everything when she began this course, because she made a group board on Pinterest. This is where members of her course can be contributors. As you share your pins within the group, other members are required to share them too. This creates a collaborative environment where everyone helps build each other’s businesses up.
So far, the group board has 810 followers and the board is growing (46 people followed the group within the last 7 days!). That means every time you share a pin to the group board, there are 810 people that see it! I have shared 9 pins within the group board so far, and this led to 24 repins. This means one (or many!) of my pins was shared by someone and shown to their audience. Pinterest can snowball traffic because if one person repins my pin, and then someone in their audience repins it, then someone in their audience repins it, and so on and so on.
Importance of Email Marketing
If you have an online business, you NEED an email list. An email list will be the only thing you own. Instagram and Pinterest are fun and fabulous marketing tools, but you don’t own them. They could disappear in an instant and that’s why you need an email list. It’s basically a list of your “super-followers” that are dedicated to your business. Kalley does a great job of walking you through how to start an email list, an email marketing list service provider (hello Flodesk, I love you so much!), and the steps needed to create a freebie to incentivize people to join your list. This is great for people either beginning their email list or for those who want to take their list to the next level.
Say goodbye to winging it, and say hello to marketing your knit & crochet business with confidence!
Overall, Kalley’s course is filled with valuable information that even the most experienced crochet & knit designer will find useful. It will be key to bringing your designs to the next level and is packed with concrete steps for a successful pattern release. Not only is the information great, but it also connects you with Kalley (who is around to answer all your pattern release questions!) and a community of other designers.
If you’re interested in elevating your knit & crochet business, Kalley has very generously offered a discount code for all of you. Find the course here and use JESSICA10 at checkout for $10 off your purchase!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE seeing your makes! If you make any Herr Stitches patterns, then tag me and then I’ll share them!
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