Berwyn Makers

Local support and resources for turning your craft or art into a business


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Berwyn Makers is on Meetup!

Find us on MeetUp, here:

http://www.meetup.com/Berwyn-Makers-Meetup

We’ve added Meetup to our bag of getting-the-word-out tricks to help even more people find our awesome, supportive group!

While to date Berwyn Makers has been totally free! Meetup is sadly not free. We’ve instituted the extremely modest annual dues of $12.00 to be a member of Berwyn Makers. We’ll be using that money to cover the Meetup fees!

Once you join us at Meetup, you have 30 days to pay the dues, so you’ll have an opportunity to visit us at a meeting and make a decision.

Sound like a plan? Join us! Here’s that link again:

http://www.meetup.com/Berwyn-Makers-Meetup


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March Meeting: Taxes, no Death, with Guest Speaker Janet Ecklebarger

Janet Ecklebarger

It’s all about the Schedule C, the tax form for freelancers and small business owners. Janet Ecklebarger will guide us through it. What do you need to know about reporting income and expenses?

We’re all sure to learn something new!

Meetings take place at Unity Lutheran Church, on 31st Street in Berwyn, one block east of Oak Park Avenue. 7:30 pm

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February Meeting is Feb. 12! Topic: Maintaining Motivation

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We’re all about being open to new things here at Berwyn Makers and we’re trying a new thing at this month’s meeting! We’ll be listening to a (short) podcast and then discussing it.

The topic of the podcast is Maintaining Motivation for your handcrafted business.

See you there! As always, we meet the second Thursday of the month:

February 12th, 7:30 pm at Unity Lutheran Church on 31st St. in Berwyn

There’s no charge and you’re welcome to bring a friend and a snack or a drink to share!

P.S. In March we’ll tackle taxes with help from a guest speaker.


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January Meeting! Participatory Meeting: Reflect Back on 2014

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Members and guests support and learn from each other at every meeting at Berwyn Makers.

In January, we reflect. What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently if you could? It’s 2014 in review at the January meeting of Berwyn Makers!

Did you make progress? Put everything on hold? Boldly try something new? How did it go?

Come share in one of our popular participatory meetings! It’s a great way to learn from each other!

Need help getting started on your year in review? Here’s a super helpful blog post from Alyson Stanfield at the Art Biz Blog:
http://www.artbizblog.com/2014/12/2014-review.html

See you there! As always, we meet the second Thursday of the month:

January 8th, 7:30 pm at Unity Lutheran Church on 31st St. in Berwyn

There’s no charge and you’re welcome to bring a friend and a snack or a drink to share!

Mark Your Calendars for February 12th for the next meeting.

While you wait for the next meeting to come around, here are some good readings:

From Alyson Stanfield, via twitter today:
7 Ways to Establish That Your Art Has Value
http://www.artbizblog.com/2011/03/art-has-value.html

A pdf from Chris Gilbeau, that globe-trotting writer. In this piece he writes about working on a big project, he calls it a legacy project:
http://chrisguillebeau.com/the-tower-manifesto

For those who make wearables or accessories, Jane Hamill of Fashion Brain Academy has a wonderful podcast and blog, find them both here:
http://fashionbrainacademy.com/diary-of-a-designer


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Dec. 11 Meeting: Access and Improve Your Sales and Exhibition Opportunities

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Members and guests support and learn from each other at every meeting in our series from the Art Biz Coach.

In December, we discuss how to access and improve your sales opportunities, something we all want!

See you there! As always, we meet the second Thursday of the month:

Thursday, December 11, 7:30 pm at Unity Lutheran Church on 31st St. in Berwyn

There’s no charge and you’re welcome to bring a friend and a snack or a drink to share!


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Nov. 13 Meeting: Describe Your Collectors

Abstract Dress Graphic

This month we continue our Art Biz Coach Salon Series with Session 5 – Describe Your Collectors. If collectors doesn’t work for your biz, just think customers.

Next month we talk about increasing sales and exhibition opportunities. In order to sell more, we need to know who we’re selling to. Who’s our ideal customer? How do we figure that out?

See you there! As always, we meet the second Thursday of the month:

Thursday, November 13, 7:30 pm at Unity Lutheran Church on 31st St. in Berwyn

There’s no charge and you’re welcome to bring a friend and a snack or a drink to share!

Image via Constantina Dirica at freeimages.com


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October Meeting: 10/8, Art Marketing Salon Continues!

Marketing business sales

We began the Art Marketing Salon series from the Art Biz Coach last month and we continue the facilitated discussion this month*, Thursday, October 9th, 7:30 pm at Unity Lutheran Church on 31st St. in Berwyn.

Don’t worry if you missed the first in the series, dive in anywhere, Berwyn Makers is a supportive, friendly community open to makers and creative entrepreneurs who are at any point in their journey.

Members have found the meetings very helpful to growing their businesses. Together, we all grow stronger!

And, there are snacks. Feel free to bring snacks or drinks to share.

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*Here’s that list of topics again, this month’s topics are in bold:

The 9 Sessions Of An Art Marketing Salon

1. Introduction
2. Set and Attain Goals
3. Define Your Art
4. Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition
October
5. Describe Your Collectors November
6. Assess and Improve Your Exhibition and Sales Opportunities December
7. Promote Yourself and Your Work January
8. Create Good Habits February
9. Follow Up March


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It’s Back to School Time for Berwyn Makers: New Series of Meetings Begins in September

We’re taking August off — even Makers need a break now and then, and nearly everyone is out of town anyway!

But then it’s back to work in September and we have something exciting and new for you!

We’ll be using the Art Biz Connection program — it’s free!  It’s from Alyson Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach.  Here’s a list of the topics we’ll cover:

The 9 Sessions Of An Art Marketing Salon

1. Introduction
2. Set and Attain Goals
3. Define Your Art
4. Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition
5. Describe Your Collectors
6. Assess and Improve Your Exhibition and Sales Opportunities
7. Promote Yourself and Your Work
8. Create Good Habits
9. Follow Up

Where Alyson says “art” just think whatever your product is.  Where she says “collectors” just think customers.  The marketing is the same!

Coincidentally, we’ve recently covered Describe Your Collectors, so we’ll likely skip that one.

Does this mean no more guest speakers?  Not at all!  If there’s a speaker we can have come in and address us on one of these topics, we will.  And we’ll occasionally break from the  program above to have a guest speaker on another topic.

We’ll cover the 8 meeting topics above, within a year, beginning in September.  Do you still have that feeling that every fall is like a fresh start?  It’s a feeling leftover from all those years of school, many of us feel that way, one person even said it’s like there are two New Years.

Join us Thursday, September 11 at our usual meeting place, Unity Lutheran on 31st in Berwyn, as we kick off the series!

 


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Identify Your Ideal Customer! July 10th

Who is she?  Is she a she?

We’ll work together to help each other figure out who our ideal customer is!

It might be helpful to bring some of your products so we can best understand what you make.

We’ll also talk about a super exciting meeting plan we have for the 9 months beginning in the fall.

As always, I have resources for you!

For an in-depth look at this topic, check out the book Why She Buys, which is amazing, and/or the author’s blog.

And the HubSpot offers this template: The Marketer’s Template for Creating Buyer Personas which is hopefully easy to find in their Library or with a quick search.

These resources are a bonus, you’re welcome to come to the meeting without reading the book or filling out the template, but I offer them in case it’s helpful.

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And congrats to Berwyn Makers Contributor Kim Koin for her awesome booth at the Berwyn Art Council art fair this weekend, congrats on taking that step!

 

 


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Powerful Questions that Lead to Progress

Guest Post by Alyson Stanfield

In reviewing the 20+ pages of notes from my business retreat last week, I was struck by how many questions I had written down.

Questions, when used in business planning, are more powerful than statements because they make us think and

 formulate our own answers. They encourage us to consider our situation, environment, abilities, and resources.

See if any of these serve you at the moment.

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Questions for Low Mojo

What do I need to do more of?
What do I need to do less of?
Where am I not making my best effort?

Questions for Mismanaged Self-Management

If I make this choice, how will it serve me 3 months from now? 1 year from now? 5 years from now?
What if I pass on this opportunity? What if I agree to it?
What’s the worst that could happen? The best? Which is easier to live with?
What 1 thing on my task list will have the biggest impact on my success?
What is my motive for doing this?
What’s the best use of my time at this moment?

Questions for Sluggish Marketing

Who needs to know about this event/exhibition/product?
Who haven’t I been in touch with lately?
Have I outgrown this space/exhibition/event?
Who needs to know about my art?

 Questions for Negative Mindset

Who can I send a Thank You card to today?
What are my blessings?
What do I need to do to fill the creative well?
What am I tolerating?
Who can I help today?

Questions for Challenging Actions

What obstacles will I need to overcome?
Where am I playing it too safe?
What makes me uncomfortable, and how might my business expand if I overcome that discomfort?
By when can I make that happen?
Where is there opportunity that I’m ignoring?
Am I all in?

Which questions can you use right now to revitalize a less-than-desirable situation?

 Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at ArtBizCoach.com. This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and read more articles like this at http://artbizcoach.com

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