Drum roll please…today, Holly Goodman of Sablewood Paper Co. is joining me (Elisabeth) for Q & Cake! Holly has so kindly agreed to step in to co-host while Cami is on maternity leave, spending time with her adorable new edition! In this episode, Holly and I are tackling several questions from listeners regarding influencer marketing, wholesale pricing, rush fees, and our favorite educational resources for creatives. Plus, we’re digging into the mindset side of things and sharing our best tips for navigating tough seasons in life and business.
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Regarding partnerships with influencers, do you pay for product placement? If so, what’s an average investment? What does the long-term relationship look like, and are there contracts involved? Any tips on getting started and reaching out to influencers?
[5:22] Those things are going to be set upfront going into the relationship and it never hurts to at least reach out to them and ask them if they’re taking on brand partnerships or what that looks like. Because certain influencers probably have different ways that they process some of that, I know some influencers have agencies now and stuff too. You never know the appropriate avenue of conversation until you can at least touch base whether it’s the email button in their profile or whatever it might be to reach out and at least start that conversation … I think the most important thing is finding people who jive with your brand.
[7:50] I think it’s fair to say, to expect like to be paying a few hundred, if not more. I would say $500 and more per post depending on who you’re planning on working with. I mean, even thousands potentially. That’s what’s so crazy. Like a $1,000 per post. So I feel like that’s something you need to be sure of, for sure.
How much of a profit margin would you suggest having for product sales – for both direct sales to customers as well as for wholesale? Is there a percentage that you would recommend to make production viable and profitable?
[18:25] So if we go back to the $15 example that you gave, and half of that is what we’re selling it for wholesale, so $15, so then it’s $7.50, so how much of that do we want to be taking home as profit. Do we want to be spending $2 to produce the product, $3? Do we want to be taking home more than 50% of that cost? … You don’t want to be taking home 25 cents per product when you’re wholesaling it, you have to sell so many of those for that to be viable.
[22:30] You could say to yourself upfront ‘I want to make X amount, this is what I want to retail this for,’ and then you could divide that in half for your wholesale, and divide it in half again potentially for like what you would want to spend on it to produce it at the most.
How do you navigate through tough times in your personal life? How do you keep your business ship sailing when things feel overwhelming in your personal life?
[25:06] I think we both can relate.
Yes, deeply. I think any business owner eventually will get to that point where it’s overwhelming and it’s a struggle and it’s hard to get through every day in your business …
I [sic] just get into a different headspace … Just let my brain have the moment that it needed. Just kind of drink more water, just those little things I did a 10-minute meditation last night, to just like have a moment, be still and be at peace.
A total self-care way of approaching. [28:55] I definitely had depression for a few years off and on, and it did spill all over when I started my business and went full time. And it’s really difficult to get out of bed sometimes and it’s really difficult to be positive about your business and really just move day to day, through that time of your life. So I totally understand. But I just don’t know that there’s like, one way that fixes all of it, especially if you are in the middle of the season of anxiety and depression … but I think that identifying the thing that’s giving you the most anxiety will help so much.
I have a hard time saying no to people. I recently had someone ask for me to complete their painting faster, and offer to pay extra. What are your thoughts on this?
[36:43] Everybody has a hard time saying no to people I feel like, except recently, I feel like I’ve gotten so much better at that, and it’s liberating.
[38:12] I feel like I have differing thoughts on this in terms of where my instincts lie. There’s half of me thinking maybe there’s some sort of pricing issue that needs to be addressed? If somebody’s offering you to pay you more to do it faster, is this indicative that you do need to raise your prices if you’re filling up this quickly during the holiday seasons, so I think that’s something that needs to be addressed or thought about. In terms of letting people cut the line, that makes me, that would make me feel uncomfortable and weird. But because people are wanting to cut the line and get it faster and are willing to pay to have it, that to me is like the catalyst where you should tell them “no” in this season and then consider raising your prices.
Do you have any recommendations for educational resources? Free or paid, cheap or very expensive, as long as they’re worth it.
[45:50] I will tell you about my favorite favorite favorite resource, besides obviously the Biz Birthday Bash resources, because I do love all of them, shameless promotion, I will get to that in a second, but Skillshare is honestly my favorite thing in the whole world. I have been a member of Skillshare off and on for like 4 or 5 years ever since I started, and I’ve learned so many different disciplines to painting, digital art, even brush calligraphy, I kind of brushed up on my skillset, no pun intended, by watching all of these tutorials and videos and stuff, and it’s really great because Skillshare is so concise. You can watch a 20-minute video or you can watch an entire course that’s like hours long, and you can interact with the teachers. I know that Skillshare is very well known, but it has gotten so much bigger in the last couple years, it’s just exploded with all of these great resources and artists and designers, and you can learn anything, literally anything from product styling to creating a product line to how to use InDesign, and painting and art and all of these things. It’s a cool way to dip your toes in the water, of stationary or learning a new discipline without investing in a big, expensive course. It’s on the cheap side, not super expensive, but it’s amazing. Highly recommend.
[48:53] So the first one is the InDesign Field Guide by Kelsey Baldwin of Paper and Oats. That one was just really great for me to have a very comprehensive understanding of InDesign, because Photoshop and Illustrator are pretty much self-taught, for the most part, but I didn’t know a lick about InDesign and so I invested in that a few years back now. I have these in this one place because I need to go through it, like actually watch these courses again. Then Surface Pattern Design by Bonnie Christine, so good. Okay, and also just the knowledge, my Illustrator knowledge got so much better by taking that. And I’m not a surface pattern designer but the Illustrator part alone was worth the cost of that course. That one is almost $1,000 I think, that was a big one. The Summer Writing Intensive with Hannah Brencher, I just took for a fun writing course. The Convertkit Course by Spruce Rd, I think it’s still available if I remember correctly, but that was when I was really diving into ConvertKit at the beginning and just needed to understand and have a format and the email template in ConvertKit. This is so funny because now everyone uses Flowdesk. Flowdesk didn’t exist when I bought that course, that’s what’s crazy. Learn Font Making with Every-Tuesday…so her font-making course was really fun, that’s still something that I want to do at some point, is design and create a font. Pin Progress with Vanessa Kynes was one that I have also bought years ago now at this point…and the last one was really for funsies, I was like this is really cool and I need it, it’s The Pigment Lab with Emily Jeffords where she teaches how to make paint from scratch…So those are the investments I’ve personally made for courses.