6. Know Your Worth as a Craft Artist. How to Understand Your Value?

Understanding Your Value. Don't Let Opportunities Pass You By - Act Now!

Sara walked into the café wearing a long gray sleeveless coat and a gold beetle pinned to her chest. It looked just like a real beetle! I couldn’t help but admire it and gently touched the little bug made of beads and sequins.

“Hi! What a cool beetle! Did you make it yourself?” I asked, unable to take my eyes off the beautiful decoration.
“Yes, I finished it last night,” Sara replied.
“It’s wonderful! How did you even create something like that?” I asked, intrigued.

Sara sighed and said, “These kits are not for sale. You can only make them at master classes, which are quite challenging. I’m on my feet all day, and I come home exhausted. I need to find a way to make money to pay my rent and my son’s tuition. His father hasn’t been much help since the divorce.”

As I continued to admire the beetle, an idea struck me. “Why don’t you make brooches like this on a custom order basis?”

“How much do you spend on materials, and how long does it take to make one?”

“Well, the materials cost around ten dollars, and it takes me about five hours to complete one,” Sara explained.

“There would be people interested in buying them. They look classy and unique, standing out from the rest. We should research how much similar brooches sell for, analyze the competition, and try it,” I suggested, getting excited at the thought of a collection of brightly colored beetles.

“I have more work at home – a dragonfly, another bug, a crown, and a heart. I have around 7-8 pieces in total,” Sara shared.

“Great! Here’s what we can do,” I said, grabbing a napkin and a pen. “First, gather all your available work. Then, let’s post them on Instagram and reach out to ten bloggers daily, offering them a barter arrangement.”
Sara seemed surprised but interested.

“Do you think it would work? I’m shy about reaching out to people. What will they think of me?”

“Don’t worry; you can do it! Let’s give it a week. If you reach out to ten bloggers every day, you’ll have 70 contacts by the end of the week. From those, at least two will respond, giving you 14 potential opportunities. Aim to secure at least five barter arrangements,” I encouraged her.

Sara’s eyes showed a mix of shock and excitement. “Are you serious?”
“Yes, absolutely! Let’s make sure you have no excuses not to do it. If you don’t have at least five agreements by the end of the week, you’ll have to sing out loud in the subway during rush hour on Monday,” I said, laughing.

Sara laughed, too, slightly nervously. “Are you kidding, or is that a serious consequence?”

“It’s serious! It’s just to motivate you and keep you focused. You have a week, and I believe in you,” I reassured her.

With determination, Sara squeezed my hand and said confidently, “Alright, I’ll do it!”

We left the café with a positive vibe and aromatic coffee lingering. Sara got into her car, clutching the napkin with the three-point plan. It seemed like three simple steps, but they held so much potential and meaning.

As Sara drove home, she thought about the tasks ahead. “Okay, let’s take it step by step. Today is Monday. First, I’ll go home and take photos of my work for the profile. I think five hours should be enough. In the evening, I’ll reach out to ten bloggers. It’s scary, but it has to be done. I don’t want to sing in the subway car.”

Sara was particularly uncomfortable being the center of attention, especially in front of strangers. The thought of the “punishment” filled her with dread. She started surfing Instagram immediately to speed things up, searching for bloggers interested in her brooches.

The following days were a mix of rejections and occasional responses. Sara was initially discouraged, fearing rude and disrespectful words from bloggers. But she slowly grew resilient and realized that not everyone would be interested in her offer. She pressed on, adjusting her approach.

After three days of testing, Sara made some changes. She rewrote her message to bloggers and increased the number of daily outreach attempts from ten to twenty. She became more creative with her pitch, focusing on the allure of her brooches.

To her surprise, the following day, Sara discovered several unread messages. Excitement mixed with caution as she opened each one. Out of the twenty bloggers she reached out to, two said yes!

“Before, it felt unrealistic, but now I’m making progress!” Sara thought to herself, smiling with a sense of accomplishment.

By the end of the week, she had successfully arranged barter agreements with ten bloggers. Sara had to embroider ten brooches and send them out quickly. She couldn’t believe how things had turned around.

“I can’t believe it! Am I going to start making money just from embroidery? It’s unbelievable!” Sara exclaimed, feeling a surge of joy and confidence.

With a newfound belief in herself, Sara embarked on her entrepreneurial journey, ready to create beautiful brooches and make a name for herself in the world of jewelry design.

Understanding Your Value. Don't Let Opportunities Pass You By - Act Now!

Importance of Knowing Your Intrinsic Value

As a handmade artist, you must recognize and understand your worth to establish a successful artistic career. Appreciating the value of your work not only allows you to charge fair prices for your products and services and boosts your self-worth and confidence as a creator. This article will explore various aspects that can help you determine your worth as an artist and effectively communicate it to potential buyers and the market.

Over the past two or three years, I have talked to many masters and discovered a pattern that indicates successful masters from unsuccessful ones.

In-demand masters know their intrinsic value and how to talk about it intelligently. And talented artisans who earn a pittance usually do not value themselves and do not appreciate their work.

How to Know Your Worth As An Artist?

  • Embrace Your Artistic Skill and Passion: Craft handmade art is a unique blend of skill, creativity, and passion. Recognize the craftsmanship you bring to each artwork you create. Understand that your talent and dedication make your creations valuable and worthy of recognition.
  • Evaluate Your Work: Originality sets your handmade pieces apart from mass-produced items. Each of your creations carries a touch of your artistic identity, making them one-of-a-kind. This originality enhances the value of your work and makes it desirable to art enthusiasts and consumers seeking something distinctive.
  • Consider the Amount of Time and Effort Invested: Creating art requires time, effort, and meticulous attention to detail. Consider the amount of time you invest in each piece and the level of craftsmanship involved. Acknowledging your dedication to your work helps you determine a fair price that reflects the value of your efforts.
  • Research the Market and Understand the Demand: To determine your worth as a craft handmade artist, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the market and understand the demand for your specialty. Research similar products and their price ranges, considering factors such as materials used, intricacy, and overall quality. This knowledge will allow you to set competitive prices while recognizing the value of your own work.
  • Build a Supportive Network: Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow artists, mentors, and friends who understand the challenges and rewards of being a handmade artist. Engage in workshops, attend events, and seek recognition in art communities or magazines. Such support and recognition contribute to your artwork’s self-worth and perceived value.
  • Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms: In today’s digital age, social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your art, reach a wider audience, and connect with potential buyers. Utilize these platforms to display your unique creations, share your creative process, and engage with art enthusiasts. Effective online presence and engagement can significantly increase the recognition and value of your work.
  • Don’t Sell Yourself Short: It can be tempting to undercharge for your work, especially when starting or feeling unsure of your worth. However, consistently undervaluing your products can harm your self-worth and hinder your progress as a successful handmade artist. Remember that your time, skill, and creativity deserve fair compensation. Have confidence in the value you bring to the marketplace.

Understanding Your Value as an Artist

Your value as an artist lies in the following:

  • The value of your product or service
  • Your intrinsic value as a person

For some reason, when building their personal creative brand, many people focus on the first point and forget about the second, thinking that it is unimportant.

But in the age of personalization and personal communication with the project’s owner, the emphasis on the person’s value becomes much more critical.

The Value of Your Product or Service

Formulate in five or ten words who you are and what your project’s value is! Not in the abstract, not in a streamlined way, but in concrete categories. Test this phrase on a hundred people! And ask them to rate your description on a 10-point scale.

Example. My name is Sara. I rock creative stars and run a blog. I help creative people monetize their talent by creating and scaling an innovative brand.

Bad example: I create unique jewelry for beauty and femininity to highlight each girl’s individuality (boring, boring).

A good example: I am a creative jewelry designer. I surprise you with my ideas. (Immediately, you want to know what ideas you’ve already surprised with.)

Bad example: I sew formal dresses for little princesses for any occasion. (An ordinary bouffant dress, of which there are about 100500, and there is no interest in knowing what kind of dresses they are).

Good example: I know the trends in children’s fashion and create dresses for girls with unusual hit prints. (I want to ask what prints are trendy right now?)

Bad example: I love embroidery and can embroider anything that can be embroidered.

Good example: Passionate about embroidery, and especially 3D techniques. (I want to know what 3D embroidery is?)

Can you feel the difference?

The Power of Positioning Yourself as an Expert

This is your positioning as an expert in your field, an artist or designer, not just someone who performs something on demand (sewing, knitting, embroidery). Just with this phrase, you should arouse interest in yourself! Involve people in your creative world. And it doesn’t matter – online or offline!

People tend to believe what they hear about you; the brighter your presentation, the more they will remember you and your image. Try to come up with such a vivid, exciting description!

Assignment 9. It is a straightforward exercise that will help you (maybe not immediately) decide on your idea.

Answer the questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What are people willing to pay me for?
  • What kind of work brings me positive emotions?

You can choose an idea to test at the intersection of these answers. Describe in five to ten words the essence of your idea. Try to select a vivid, memorable description.

6. Know Your Worth as a Craft Artist. How to Understand Your Value? - Jana Toys

Assignment 10. Make a list of bloggers/projects to which you will offer collaboration. Write a text about the partnership. Reflect in the text on the benefits that the partners will receive.

List of accounts/companies/bloggers to collaborate with

6. Know Your Worth as a Craft Artist. How to Understand Your Value? - Jana Toys

Your offer of collaboration

6. Know Your Worth as a Craft Artist. How to Understand Your Value? - Jana Toys