#MakerBizChat No. 3: How to Add New Income Streams to Your Maker Business

On Wednesday evenings from 8 to 8:30pm ET, I host #MakerBizChat, an Instagram event to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs build a solid business foundation, increase your income, and use your business to create the life you love. Our topic last night was How to Add New Income Streams to Your Maker Business, and my guest was Cassie Boorn, founder of Maker Mentors.

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For the past 5 years, Cassie has been a writer and entrepreneur, and online marketing manager. Cassie is passionate about connecting the right people together, and helping them make amazing things happen. Here are some of the highlights from last night's event.

Q1: HOW CAN I INCREASE MY CREATIVE BUSINESS REVENUE?

1 – There are basically three ways a creative entrepreneur can increase their income. Sell new products to existing customers, sell existing products to new customers, or both. You have to think about what will work best for your particular business.

2 – To get products in front of new customers, you have options: send them to online influencers who reach your target market, display at craft fairs or trade shows, reach out to local retail shops, partner with local groups composed of your target audience, buy ads, etc.

3 – Every business can sell at least three types of products: actual products, coaching/teaching/training/freelance services, or information products (books, CD's training programs).

4 – Make a list of the types of products you could create in each category, and think of products your existing customers would probably want to buy. Those should be the first you try.

5 – If you have ever done this before, share what you did to expand your product line below!?

Q2: HOW DO I CREATE NEW PRODUCTS TO SELL?

1 – Every business can sell at least three types of products: actual products, coaching/teaching/training/freelance services, or information products (books, CD's training programs).

2 – Make a list of the types of products you could create in each category, and think of products your existing customers would probably want to buy. Those should be the first you try.

3 – If you have ever done this before, share what you did to expand your product line below!?

Q3: HOW DO I EXPAND MY EXISTING PRODUCT LINE?

1 – Once you decide what type(s) of products you can expand with, make sure you can product them at a cost that allows you to make a profit.

2 – Eliminate all products you cannot make money with, or drill down to eliminate any excess costs so you can produce the new products as inexpensively as possible.

3 – Conduct a survey or interview existing customers and fans to inquire about what their needs are to make sure that your new product will be well received by your target audience.

4 – You may also need to eliminate old products to make way for the new ones. It depends on your business.

Q4: HOW CAN I USE NEW PRODUCTS TO GET NEW CUSTOMERS?

Launching a new product can be a great way to get your business in front of new customers. The key is creating a plan for generating conversations and buzz around each new product launch. Here are some ways to do that.

1 – Email existing customers to announce your new product

2 – Offer a special deal if existing customers refer friends to your business

3 – Send your new product to editors and journalists who might want to feature you and the product

4 – Target new customers through paid Facebook advertising.

Q5: HOW DO I ACQUIRE THE MONEY NEEDED TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS?

Launching a new product can be expensive and time consuming. This makes it incredibly hard for creative entrepreneurs to launch new products. Here are three creative ways you can decrease the cost or time involved in launching new products.

1 – Consider Kickstarter – Announce your new product idea online and leverage your existing customers to raise money for launch.

2 – Sponsorships – Find a brand to sponsor the launch of your next product.

3 – Collaborations – Partner with an artist or other creative, so you can split the work and generate extra buzz.

Connect with Cassie Boorn:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

When Is The Next #MakerBizChat?

The next #MakerBizChat will be Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 8pm ET.

Our guest and topic will be announced shortly.

#MakerBizChat takes place here at MakerBizChat on Instagram. Be sure to follow so you can catch all of the questions and participate in the live and lively discussion.

Follow me on Instagram.

CHECK OUT THE INDIE BUSINESS PODCAST!

If you enjoyed #MakerBizChat, you may also like Indie Business Podcast! Hosted and produced by Donna Maria, Indie Business Podcast brings you interviews with successful and influential people in the Maker and Handmade Entreprenurial Community. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to episodes here at the blog.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.