Hi everyone,

The Newsletter Is Online – if you’d like a printable version simply click this link.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 10.18.00 AMThis week we focus on how to tell your story – and I offer a special invitation to have your story included in my next book. I sincerely hope you take me up on the offer – that would be fun!

Ps. If you want to go deeper on this topic, we have a whole chapter with 10 steps to beefing up your brand in Craft Business Power. As it happens Amazon is running a promotion for that book right now – you can snag an ebook copy for .99 cents today – it goes up in price tomorrow. If you don’t have a Kindle you can still read it via the Kindle App for PC, MAC, Tablets, and Smartsphones.

Here is the full text as a blog post:

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The Art Of Telling Your Story

In last week’s newsletter we looked at the work of David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising methods. This week we’ll zero-in on one of his most compelling ideas and figure out how to apply it to a craft business. He said, (with a bit of tweaking from me so it applies to our industry),

“There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of …cake mixes, whiskey, detergents, or doll clothes… The doll clothes maker who dedicates her advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for her brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.”

 Your Story Well Told

So the question that comes to mind is how exactly do you create a “sharply defined personality” for your brand?

One of the simplest ways to infuse your brand with personality is to identify, clarify, and frequently communicate YOUR personal story.

When people bond with you – they bond with your brand

As craft sellers trying to stand out there are two tracks you can create that prospects can follow. Track one is your personal story. Track two is your businesses story or personality. If you’re just starting out – be sure to get your personal story documented properly. Get it well developed and treat it like the cornerstone of your brand.

Crafting your story can be a real struggle. You’ll feel unsure of yourself, uneasy about how you word things, question your motives, reconsider your phrases, and rework your drafts over and over. That’s okay. Keep at it. Continue to refine and clarify your story. Document it consistently in all the online sites you occupy.

2 Types Of Descriptor Statements

One way to do this is to have a powerful descriptor statement. That’s a statement that describes who you are and what you’re all about.

You want a short version of the statement, (4 or 5 sentences long) for use in situations that call for a brief statement.

You also want a longer descriptor statement (as long as you’d like) for use on your “About Me” pages and situations that call for a longer amount of content.

A descriptor statement is how people find out who you are, what you’re all about, and whether they can relate to you or not. Let’s look at our example of Cinnamon’s short descriptor statement.

Example: Cinnamon’s Short Story

Here is what we say about her on our websites:

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 8.19.03 AM

4 Types Of Credibility Indicators

When you tell your story you want to include your best credibility indicators. A credibility indicator is any type of fact that implies you are a credible expert or recognized seller in your field. There are lots of ways to get and then use credibility indicators. Creatively look for them as you work to build your personal brand.

One caution, saying, “I’ve sewn for 40 years” doesn’t convey credibility – yet lots of online seamstresses like that phrase. Lots of people sew badly their entire lives, so it’s not a good phrase to use.

#1 – Who You Learned From

Did you learn from someone special, or did someone special inspire you? Even including a phrase like, “I was inspired originally by the work of Bob Mackie” can have a powerful impact.

#2 – Who You Work For

Do you have a customer base made up of credible people? Even saying a phrase like, “I design for and sell to the doll collector community of Indianapolis” is a powerful statement because it provides context.

#3 – Who You Associate With

Cinnamon became the brand ambassador for Bernina because we entered her in a contest (that only had three other entrants) and she won. Sometimes good credibility indicators come along in very ordinary ways.

#4 – Who’s Featured Your Work

Has your work been featured by a prominent magazine, website, book, or TV Show? These are natural credibility indicators. Want that opportunity? …

Be Featured In My Next Book

In my next book, Internet Marketing Power, I’m going to feature work-from-home entrepreneurs. If you’d like to write your short descriptor statement (4 or 5 sentences long) and send it to me I’ll include it in the book. Or you can simply leave it as a comment on this blog post and indicate that you want to be included. The deadline to participate is June 15, 2014. After the book comes out you can begin saying, “I’ve been featured in the bestselling book, Internet Marketing Power”as one of your credibility indicators. Cool right?!

Tell Us What You Think!

What’s your opinion on this topic? Have you seen it done well, (or poorly), and want to share that example? Tell us what you think!

Jason & Cinnamon

 

 

10 Comments on Tell Your Story In My Next Book

  1. Hi Jason & Cinnamon,

    Here’s mine. Do feel free to include it in the new book if you see fit. Thanks for all you do!

    Jodie

    Hatched a different kind of chick, Jodie Davis’s inner muse tested this world this way and that, but she didn’t quite fit in anywhere — until a boyfriend’s intended insult became a gift of clarity. For him, “You live in a rubber duckie world,” was a put down, for Jodie it was the crystallizing moment.
    She booted the boyfriend and set about letting her rubber duckie muse call the shots, to create her own world, her “It’s Rubber Duckie World!”
    Thirty-five books later – her best seller, Rubber Duckie, sold 230,000 copies — and has become a top TV host in the crating world shepherding an online network for quilters, QNNTV.com, which was birthed in the early days of online TV. Her journey has brought her to demonstrating products on HSN, guest co-hosting the most-seen crafts show on PBS, and producing and hosting long-running monthly series including Quilt Out Loud!, an off-the-wall lifestyle quilting show she created with Mark Lipinski. But now it’s time for Duckies…

  2. Jason, I know this far exceeds the three or four sentences that you requested but here is my story in its entirety. Truthfully I think I wrote it more for me than for you. Sometimes I need to see in writing how far I’ve come in my creative life.

    For Linda life is a blank canvas that must be filled with beauty, fire, and passion. When introduced to the challenge of taking a length of fabric and creating with it something both beautiful and functional, she knew she had found a passion that would last a lifetime.

    She spend years sewing for herself and her children but that wasn’t enough. Always looking for a challenge, she developed a unique way of creating fiber art dolls dressed in amazing handcrafted Victorian clothing which was featured in the 2009 February/March issue of Art Doll Quarterly.

    From there she introduced a well received line of children’s clothing called Tea Party Fashions. Creative use of original appliqués and embellishments set her designs apart from the usual clothing available for children.

    However with the death of her son by suicide in January 2010 she dropped out of the public eye. For the next three years she redirected her creative energies to drawing and painting as a way to escape her devastating grief. She also began a blog called “a Journey, Death by Suicide, a Mother’s Story” which has been read by thousands and thousands of fellow survivors. Many of her blog posts have been reprinted in other publications, including the “Obelisk” produced by The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and in a book titled “Sisters of Sorrow” by Shari Skolow.

    The pull and passion for fiber art could not be long denied and in fall of 2012 when her granddaughter ask her to make some doll clothes for her American Girl doll, a new world opened to Linda. For the Christmas season of that year, she not only created these exciting little creations for her granddaughter but also for the local Foster Children’s Program. Believing passionately in the quote “Not everyone can be a foster parent but anyone can help a foster child.” she has continued to donate doll clothing to delighted foster children.

    She opened her Etsy shop, Rhinestones to Rubies, Doll Clothing for the Discriminating 18 inch Doll, in 2013. The name of the shop was her personal acknowledgment that from sorrow (rhinestones) a jewel (rubies) can be born. She uses all the skills she has learned through the years and incorporated them into her creation of unique, high-quality doll clothing. From her hand painted tee shirts to the more highly demanding Steampunk fashions for 18-inch dolls, like American Girl, her designs are in high demand and she has many requests for custom orders.

    Linda attributes a lot her success to the discovery of Liberty Jane patterns (now called Pixie Faire). From their patterns. she learned the basics of sewing and designing doll clothes. Her own designs evolved from there.

    From publications written by Jason Miles, she learned the art of advertising and selling online. Following his advise, she shop is beginning to take off. Her success at craft fairs and online is a testament to those that have guided her through the process of creating and selling in the competitive world of doll clothing.

  3. No idea if it’s any good but my best try at it:

    Colleen Lalonde founded Isabelle & Gwen in 2013 after discovering a love for 18 inch dolls with her 5 year old daughter. She won her first Liberty Jane patterns in an online contest that Christmas and it inspired her to become a Liberty Jane Partner.

    Isabelle & Gwen is named after her two grandmothers who taught her and inspired her love of sewing as a child. She has been sewing for nearly 25 years and fashioning her own doll clothes before even that.

  4. My turn to have a go.
    Olivia Power has been sewing for dolls since her mother taught her to sew, at the age of seven, on an antique treadle sewing machine. She took a break from doll clothes, sewing for people until she had daughters of her own. Olivia was influenced by Australian fashion designers Prue Acton and Carla Zampatti and has surprised her friends and customers with her skill. She has continued to hone her craft through the Liberty Jane Design Academy and has learned to knit to expand her skill set. Olivia is also a member of the New South Wales Knitter’s Guild.

  5. All I to say is WOW! These stories are so inspirational to me. I haven’t yet started to sell my Doll Clothes or Sewing. I have began to read a lot from Jason and Cinnamon Miles. I love the patterns and I love sewing them. I am ready to take it to the next level but am so nervous. Trying to figure out what is the best next step for me. I do sculpt dolls from wool that are whimsical characters “Original Minnesota Rock Heads”. I was brought back to my sewing this past Christmas when our grown son purchased our 2 younger girls their first AG dolls. I am also learning the lingo.
    Here is a brief of my story, I have sewn since I was 5 or 6. The story goes get married have children. We have 2 beautiful grown children now and 2 wonderful grandsons. We had adopted my niece and nephew years ago, they had an abusive background and my brother committed suicide when he found out. Our adopted son grew up and had 3 children. We now our raising our 3 beautiful grandchildren that we adopted on Oct. 2nd 2006. All with lifetime disabilities (FASD).
    That brings me back to my sewing an outlet and wonderful relaxing outlet and the kids love what I sew. Big bonus! Our one daughter is really trying to learn to sew too.
    Now it has came to where we could use a bit of an extra income and have fun with the kids and enjoy life. My husband and I both agreed on sewing, probably a good choice since my fabric stash is quite large over the years. Our one daughter functions at a higher level and she is 8. She has the ideas on fabric choices for the patterns from Pixie Faire, also how to do photo shoots. She processes information slow. We have found something that sparks her. I am determined to get over my fear of being overwhelmed. I am going to continue to read, ask questions, and hopefully get this business off the ground. The fun we will have. Our family together named our little business to be. “My Madara Handiworks” I did use my kids first names. Our kids and my Mom who lives with us all came up with the name. I rambled. Thank you all for your inspirations.

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