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Review of Tara Swiger’s Market Yourself—And a Giveaway! | Rope Knits

[This Giveaway is now closed]


$26.95 plus shipping

DIGITAL (PDF and ereader)

“…if you make something delightful but don’t have the people (or enough of them), then this book is for you.”

I was very excited last week when Cooperative Press sent me a review copy of Tara Swiger’s new book, Market Yourself. Not long ago, I took an on-line class with Tara and Diane Gilleland. Tara not only knows her stuff but is generous with ideas and encouragement. I’d made a note to look into her book when it became available—then there it was!

Market Yourself is oriented toward people who make and sell handmade objects (including, ahem, knitting patterns) but could be just as easily applied to boutique service companies or pro-bloggers looking for the right audience; pretty much any business with a small-to-non-existant marketing budget will find invaluable tips here.

Tara’s theme essentially is that your marketing should feel authentic to you and your business. Trying to force a marketing model on yourself that you aren’t comfortable with means that a) you probably won’t follow through with it and b) it probably won’t work all that well anyway. In her book she guides readers through the steps of understanding and describing what you sell, finding the “right people” for that product, then creating a business that reflects your brand in everything—from your website to your packaging—that you do. Each chapter comes with several worksheets designed to help you pinpoint your product descriptions and your perfect customers, eventually creating a real, live marketing plan that is tailored perfectly to your business.

The book is great—but it won’t work by itself. One thing—and I know this from personal experience—you have to actually fill out the work sheets. It’s not enough to skim them and answer the questions in your head. Print them out and find a pen; you’ll be surprised at how the answers may be more or less obvious than you thought and how the physical act of writing can lead to ideas that weren’t there before. (And this is one of the advantages to getting the book as a PDF— you can print out whichever pages you want whenever you want them.)

Then of course, you have to apply everything you’ve learned to your business and do it consistently. Marketing is not one of those things that you do once; it will continue to change and grow with your business. And Tara’s book will guide you every step of the way.

And yay! Thanks to Cooperative Press, I’m able to give away one PDF copy of the book.

To enter: Market yourself! Leave a comment below giving a little shout out to the business you have or would like to have. Enter before midnight (PST) on Saturday, May 12 and I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.


23 Responses to Review of Tara Swiger’s Market Yourself—And a Giveaway!

  1. Flitters says:

    I would like to one day run a second-hand/thrift store – both the brick-and-mortar type and online 🙂

  2. lindaran (on Rav) says:

    I’d love to win this book – not for me, but for my daughter. She’s in the throes of “what can I do with my life and how do I start doing it?”. I think something like this book may help give her concrete steps to follow to start focusing her choices. Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Anne Marie says:

    I have a very very small sewing business that I’m afraid to market for fear of having more than I can handle! How silly is that!

  4. Mary Ann says:

    I would LOVE to win ths! I am a new designer and just starting to market my patterns on Ravelry. (Mary Ann Hoth Designs) Thanks for chance to win!

  5. If I don’t win this, I will just have to buy it! I run a very small book/gift shop that has a little yarn corner that I would love to expand. Thansk for the great contest!

  6. rose says:

    I would love to sell yarn, that way I could sample all the goods first!

  7. Andria says:

    I’m just in the beginning stages of becoming a Partylite consultant. It’s not easy getting your foot in the door and to start building your “candle connections”, so this book would help tons!
    Thanks so much!

  8. jessicac says:

    I would love to have a small business of hand knit and printed items for babies… this book would be a good start.

  9. Teri says:

    I would love to run a yarn store and also make hand knits on the side. I would also like to start designing my own knitting patterns.

  10. KatherineR says:

    Oh you know, it would be for a little knit pattern business I’ve got going (somewhat.) 🙂

  11. Zabbers says:

    I dream of having a dye/spin/design business, if I can just motivate myself to give things a try.

  12. I just have my blog for now, but I hope to sell some handmade items in the future, maybe when my girls start kindergarten this fall! Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Scarlet says:

    My business, Huckleberry Knits, has grown by leaps and bounds since last year, when I quit my day job and went full-time with dyeing yarn and spinning fiber. My goal for this year is to become more methodical about growth and marketing–sounds like working through this book would be a great step in that direction.

    Sarah, welcome to the Pacific Northwest! If you’re going to Black Sheep Gathering next month, please stop by my booth and say hi!

    • Sarah/Rope says:

      Scarlet, BSG has been in the back of my mind—thanks for the reminder! Sounds like something the kids would enjoy. We’ll definitely try to get there. Hope to see you then!

  14. I run an Etsy shop selling mostly wedding items called Sweetcs. I could def. use some more self-marketing tips!

  15. Peggy says:

    I would like to start a Etsy store for my woodworking and also have a blog that will generate a small amount of revenue. Big dreams and little marketing knowledge.

  16. I’ve been looking forward to this book coming out, there’s been some rumblings over at the CP blog for a while. My deisgn business is small, but but it never hurts to start thinking about these things early!

  17. I would LOVE to have this! I have recently started a rejuvenation of my travel business in terms of a reinvention of the way I do business. Changing my marketing strategy has been a key to this and I am already seeing results but would love to take it even further! This book would be the perfect adjunct. I’ve been blogging about the journey. Check it out at http://thevacationarchitect.blogspot.com/

  18. It sounds like a great book, I would love to win a copy! I blog at http://www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/

  19. Rebecca says:

    I hope to sell some handmade paper craft items in the future…maybe knitting patterns in the far far future.

  20. Finding the right audience is not an easy task and I could certainly use some of Tara’s help in that area.
    I blog at http://www.RocajoStudio.blogspot.com and have a shop http://RocajoStudio.Etsy.com where I sell printable decorations for big and little celebrations.

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