On Sunday I had the pleasure of joining a group of other women for a Creative Business Seminar run by the lovely Stacie Swift and Emma Block and I thought it would be nice to share my review of the afternoon.
Both Stacie and Emma are illustrators running well established businesses and so they know a thing or two about setting up a creative business and how much information there is out there to wade through. Its a very savvy idea of theirs to run seminars such as these to share their knowledge and allow people chance to ask questions in a non threatening environment which some seminars can be, especially for those of us like me who get rather intimidated.
So at for just over two hours on Sunday we were gathered in the Shop at Forty in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, listening to very informative information covering topics such as social media, branding, pricing, selling online, selling in person, wholesaling, finances and funding and other snippets of information thrown in for good measure. After over two hours and time for questions we stopped for drinks and cake and then were sent on our merry way.
I was quite nervous attending the seminar because I am still making the mental adjustment that Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium is a business now, but I left the seminar with my head brimming with information and buzzing with ideas and one key point sticking in the front of my mind that Stacie said – to make your business a success you have to treat it like a business.
I checked with Stacie after the seminar and she kindly agreed that I could share with you my top pieces of information that I picked up. So here are my top 5:
- Show your personality when you write your About Page, it doesn’t need to be long but let customers see the person behind the screen and the business.
- Be cohesive and consistent in your branding including packaging, product photos and paperwork.
- It’s far better to have fewer products at a high quality than a huge quantity of products at poor quality.
- Customer service is key – respond to emails promptly and don’t shy away from problems if they crop up.
- Value your work when it comes to pricing your products, don’t under charge just to try and get a quick sale as your customers will come to expect your products at a cheaper price – you are running a business after all.
If you are either in the early stages of a creative business or are thinking of setting one up, I would highly recommend attending one of Stacie and Emma’s seminars. They were both extremely friendly, genuine and approachable and no question was too silly. With out sounding too gushy, for me it was actually inspiring to see two “normal” people running businesses doing what they love to do and making it a success, there’s hope for me yet!