I've been doing some 'research', and by this I mean primarily learning by example, looking at what others do, and trying to apply this to my business. (A very kind lady sent me her book, 'Business for Superheroes', and if you're trying to do the same as me, in whatever industry / field/ service, I recommend strongly that you get it, available here. ) It's got soooooo many ideas in it about how to actively improve your business, I've only managed the first 3 chapters, and have to keep going back because I remembered something I haven't done, or at least written on my 'Do' list!).
But, it's really hard.....! To see yourself objectively, I mean, in order to promote yourself. And I have to keep detaching my head from my heart, and re-applying it to my bizniz.... I know am good at what I do, definitely better than a lot, more varied in my abilities than most, and loads of other positive stuff, but not enough people know about me and my attributes, and are prepared to pay a better fee for a better designer / pattern cutter / maker, or a better teacher of fashion related skills. (That's me, folks).
BUT, I am on the road to writing about the 'I'm worth it' stuff, (or should I say 'WHY I'm worth it', so much more difficult than I ever imagined). It's about 80% there - one more go should do it, and then I will be on to 'WHY' again - why I do what I do, apart from the obvious, 'to earn a living'. To connect with you out there in another way, in other words, so that you can get to know me, what motivates me, and therefore know that I am the right person to design and make your wedding dress/outfit, or the right one to teach you fantastic skills in a way you feel comfortable with. ( I have never liked too much formality, and like to laugh, but am nevertheless very focussed on the job in hand, and am, though I say it myself, 'picky'. You will not get away with a blunt old pencil in a pattern cutting class, or pins with bobbles on the ends, unless it's mesh or lace! Ask any student I've ever taught :-D)
All this sounds a bit like that American business of 'just believe in yourself, and you'll succeed' crap, but there is no doubting the truth that one has to lay things, (including oneself!) on a plate. You have to let people know what you do, and how well you do it. It's not bragging, so much as just 'informing with conviction', and most people will not discover your amazing talents and abilities, or how nice a person you are by osmosis or magic. I imagined that having made two (or three, if you count the revamp) websites, three blogs, 4 facebook pages, various email groups, Google+, pinterest, tumblr and twitter accounts, most primarily to help my business, that I would naturally be successful, or be discovered. Well, it ain't happened yet, and things won't improve quickly enough if I just sit back and hope, and meanwhile the bills have to be paid!
So, if you receive 'informative' emails from me, (!) please give then a read - you never know, you might need my services at some point.....weddings, funerals, Bar mitzvah's etc.....and if you're not on my mailing list, but would like to be, please join in here.
I am pretty determined to finally make a reasonable, if not HUGE success of this little business I run - the bespoke designing and making, and the teaching in my studio, AND to be reasonably paid for my skills. At the moment, I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of marketing ideas, sparked off by Vicky Fraser, (thanks Vicky!), and nearly drowning, but not quite. (I will, I will, I will do it....).
Here's a picture I love, cos I imagine it's me when I was about 4 (??) and I did have a sewing machine like that, and I've always been as determined as she looks....