Market Yourself – a review, a shared experience

I was *very* happy indeed when I got my review copy of Market Yourself, the new book by Tara Swiger published under Cooperative Press.

As a self-employed designer of something that not everyone finds appealing, I’ve read a lot of marketing books. Crappy marketing. Metric marketing. SEO. Keywords. Absolutely useless marketing. Find your voice. The genie inside. The Secret. Blah.

I knew this would be different – I have been following Tara for a long time on Twitter and I was joyous when she got her publishing deal with Cooperative Press. Not only does she write in an engaging way that *makes sense* but I’ve a soft spot for Cooperative Press, since my buddy Shannon is behind it and there’s no doubt they publish quality stuff. I just KNEW this would be different.

A lot has been written about craft marketing, but let me tell you one thing, not a lot of those books/ebooks have made me look at myself differently before. I’ve been told I do good marketing. But I never knew why. I just look at my product, I look at my customers or those consumers I hope to turn into customers and I talk your ear off. I speak to you like I speak to my friends, my family… and I hope it sticks.

Reading Market Yourself I noticed my ocd makes for good branding (cohesive colours across my site and marketing materials), that my lack of knowledge on “Sale Pitching” turns into a good voice (personal touch that ensures your customers know they’re dealing with a real person!) and how my knowledge of what I do and the tidbits I share with you show off my expertise in my field.

Tara teaches us not only how to develop the YOU in your brand, but also how to find who our Right People are, and what they do for us. What do you write in your About page?

I sure know I’m going to change mine now, since I want it to be more compelling – and Market Yourself teaches you how to do that with Worksheets. There’s worksheets left right and centre in each chapter, that will make you analyze what you’re doing and see what you need to be doing.

One point in the book I just love is the Listening Station. It’s a simple equation, really. If you don’t know what people want, you will never know how your product can satisfy that desire. Tara shows you how and where to listen, where to open your mind and seek inspiration (hint: it’s not in the obvious places)

Let me just tell you – this book is HEAVY. It’s full of advice, full of theories and ways to practice them. Full of material to follow – from friendly to professional, from personal to business. This book doesn’t have tons of drawings, tons of diagrams or lots of colours. It’s straight to the point.

And I’m about to implement a lot of it. Let’s just start this thing off with a mistake.

My marketing mistake!!

I’m off with the fairies a bit too often. Market Yourself talks about setting goals and checkpoints in your research, yet when I’m trying to do research I end up looking up what movie featured a particular actor in a holiday sweater. I need to channel the research, plan what I need, when I need it by and stop the distraction. It took me 6 months (yes, SIX) to find… buttons. I was SO obsessed with finding the right type of buttons I may have lost sales in doing so.

Do you want to WIN a copy of Market Yourself by Tara Swiger?

Of course you do, because you want to rock your business the way it was meant to.

So, there are 2 ways you can win:

– Tell me YOUR marketing mistake. The big faux-pas. The thing you wish you knew how to fix. Funny or sad, let us know.


– Give me YOUR question, your doubt, your query, the fork in the road you can’t pick from…

Tara will be visiting me soon to answer some of you, so this is your CHANCE to get the answer, draft up a plan and get into action.

She will also pick a winner who can benefit from her book!

What are you waiting for? Share your story with us!!

If you can’t wait to win the copy and just want the book, go get it from the awesome peeps at Cooperative Press here!

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  1. not so granny   •  

    I think I need this book as the marketing side of the business is the hardest for me. I find standard sales techniques and hard sellers so cringey that I feel embarrassed to even suggest that someone should buy my stuff. Its not that I don’t believe in it, I do, its great, but I feel embarrassed about selling.

  2. Rachelerin   •  

    I have finally really figured out my distinctive thing, and I have a pretty good picture of who my Right Knitter is….but I don’t know where they are. I know a few in real life, and I know there must be more, or more knitters about to turn into them, but I don’t know where to look.

    My biggest mistake has definitely been using “free” in a way that didn’t build community, friendship, or encourage people to sample my work, but just set them up to wait around for the next “free” thing… I have nothing against “free” at all, but for me it has to somehow build up my business, not fight against it. 

  3. Marsha 1Geek   •  

    I’ve been looking forward to this book coming out for a while now. I’m always worried that I am crossing the fine line between being engaging and being a shill for my product. I always want to avoid the buy this…look at what I’m selling…buy this form of interaction and feel I might be more reticent than necessary. I can never guess which extreme is worse. 

  4. Sheila OKeefe   •  

    I’m introverted so I struggle with all the social media stuff I know I ought to be doing. I just can’t think of anything interesting to say on twitter or g+, I’ve never joined facebook. I interact some on Ravelry, but nothing like some people do. So how do I overcome the feeling that the things I might say are of no interest to anyone? Or worse yet, avoid posting the things that really are of no interest to anyone?

  5. Rebecca   •  

    I had the notion that I wanted to review DVDs and books on my blog. The first (and only) one I did was an instructional DVD review. I had good things to say as well as some complaints, which I think I wrote about with diplomacy and tact. Still, after I published it, I reconsidered and removed it after a week. I have since stopped blogging and taken down the blog altogether (for other reasons) but I fear the review was seen by the person who starred in the DVD. I love and respect her work and regret complaining publicly in any way. I don’t want to market myself as a complainer!

  6. Natalie   •  

    My biggest mistake? 
    Not setting up a separate Twitter account for non-work, non-business tweeting. 
    My Twitter feed is a mixture of sewing, knitting, discussions about the best Yorkshire Pudding recipe, my hens going broody and how to fix it, what kind of soup to make for lunch and politics. Yes, it’s my business account, and I talk politics.
    And yet I sometimes ask my followers if they would prefer my feed to be more focussed, less scattered, less political. I ask if they would prefer a separation between work and life, between yarn and Parliament.
    And always, ALWAYS they say no. 
    So I keep tweeting, and discussing the issues of the day (along with asking about knitting patterns and issuing Shop Update information) with people of every political persuasion, and none, and I listen and learn. I break the “business rules” and yet I am stubborn and I don’t want to change, and in the back of my mind I worry, just a little bit, that I am not doing things the way the books say you should do it. 

  7. Pingback: Even more giveaways « Tara Swiger

  8. Gege A la Gomme   •  

    I’ve been designing knitting patterns for about 2 years and up till now I’ve been focusing my energies on creating new patterns. So one of my biggest mistake is that I have been neglecting the marketing part of the business.
    I also think that having zero free pattern in my store makes people who don’t know my patterns shy to try them.

  9. Adri H   •  

    Ah marketing… I studied design and illustration, and find that marketing is still that grey area where I hope I’m doing things right, but have no idea.

    My big questions seem huge and insurmountable to me and I suspect they have a lot to do with self-doubt: should I dedicate 100% of my time to xyz design or abc design?  How do I market myself as multifaceted rather than flaky or inconsistent? 

  10. Jennifer Crowley   •  

    I worry that I dilute myself by going in different directions, or if that is what sets me apart from other people. I also struggle to target myself to the right customers

  11. Claire Young   •  

    Just starting out with the Crafters Barn I am finding I need to market to a group that is outside my “niche”  I can talk knitting til the cows come home, but now I need to market to all craft groups…… I could do with tips on how to overcome my natural fear of moving outside my comfort zone, even tho’ I know my business idea is a good one!

  12. Pingback: Video: Discussing Tara Swiger’s book, Market Yourself « CraftyPod

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