I am not a social media expert, but I am a bloody good sales person, its my job outside of Crochet, and I know that you have to give a little to get more back. Lets face it, we all dream of the day where we can give up work and crochet for a living right?
Mostly everything we sell nowadays (I sound old) revolves around social media. To sell anything on Social Media you need followers, lots of them, but how do you get them? Well…..
As designers we all need to make money from the time we give……………..eventually. I add ‘eventually’ because as designers we can sell our patterns, but we’ll never sell many without a lot of followers, and as designers selling patterns we can often look at other designers and question why they are ‘giving away’ their patterns, their time, skills and knowledge, but, you have to give a little to get something back!
Okay for example lets take my favourite designer Helen Shrimpton, from Crystals and Crochet. I came across Helen in 2015 when she designed and ‘gave away’ Mandala Madness, she must of spent well over a year of her time designing and crocheting this, but Mandala Madness was a big hit, and was shared and shared amongst thousands of crocheters, this gave Helen a rather nice 16,000 followers on facebook alone, at that time. After Mandala Madness Helen then designed a number of patterns, paid, Anastasia, Rosslyn, Wishful thinking, Diamond Geezer-ghan, Star of wonder, Dream Weaver and Rose of Avalon, she now has at this very moment in time 19,681 facebook followers. I have bought every single one of them, okay I haven’t crocheted them all but I will one day! If just 50% of her followers bought just 1 of her patterns a year thats a total of £59,000, and thats just one of her patterns, like I say I am one that has bought all of them. I think that £59,000 covers the cost of time, knowledge and materials spent on Mandala Madness. You have to speculate to accumulate as they say!
Another one of my favourite designers Janie Crow, Fridas flowers, free pattern, Lily pond free pattern, 24,573 facebook followers, need I say more?
Another example, Sue Pinner, Sue never sells her patterns, ever! However if you ask her why, she will tell you that to get to her patterns you have to go to her blog, and when you go to her blog she gets paid, and she makes a well deserved nice living from it.
So myself and Lynda, yes we have designed two cals, currently on our third, they take pretty much all of our free time to do, there are sleepless nights, and the odd tear, and yes you’re right, we haven’t made a penny on those designs, not 1 penny…..yet! However we have gained 3,700 followers so far, thats 3,700 people that might just eventually buy a paid pattern from us, if and when we release one, its 3,700 people that might just book a weekend at The Crochet Sanctuary.
However its not just selling patterns, its the other opportunities that come from your followers, for example, I follow Eleonora from Coastal Crochet, I love her designs, we’ve asked her to run a workshop at The Crochet Sanctuary, as Sue Pinner hosts workshops for the likes of Blacksheep wools, and don’t forget her fabulous books!
Its a long game, if you want it you’ve got to play it, like everyone else. So I won’t feel guilty about giving away my time, knowledge and expertise on patterns because eventually, in the long run, it’ll pay for itself.
Then I can give up work, buy my little alpaca farm and open my own 24/7 Crochet Sanctuary ha! Thats the plan!
I just thought I’d share that!
Happy Hooking! x