5 Tips to Grow Your Kids Crafting Business During COVID-19

 

There are some things in life that go together perfectly. 

Like neon watercolor and paper, wine and cheese and PJs and lockdown.

But WORKING FROM HOME and KIDS… *cue horror movie sounds*... not so much!!

In fact the two are poles apart.

As you may know, in the Creative Crafting Club we teach women how to start and grow their own kids crafting clubs.

Over the last few weeks we’ve received a lot of questions from our community on the topic, including this one:

”How can I start/ grow my kids crafting club in the middle of a global pandemic?”

We are living in a crazy time and things are moving fast.

As a kids crafting club business owner, it's important to adapt in order to continue serving your customers. 

I’m in awe of how our members have been able to do so. 

If you are a creative who works with children, you need to know that your business makes a significant, positive impact on families and is sooo important right now.

Now is the time to think outside the box, dream big and find your own silver linings.

Now more than ever, your customers need you. Showing up to bring creativity to your students is the very best thing that you can do right now.

Ask yourself this: what is the one thing that your customers need right now that you can help with?

There are a few beliefs about doing business during the pandemic that are floating around...

  • It’s insensitive to try and sell something right now
  • Now is not the time to start a new business
  • Nobody will spend money right now

I would like to tell you today that these beliefs are absolutely not true.

In fact, the results of a recent research study shows that the opposite is true. The survey, commissioned by Lottoland asked 2,000 British residents about their quarantine plans. 

Here’s what they said:

  • 3 in 5 adults plan on self-improving during lockdown.
  • 80% of the respondents said they are determined to find some silver linings to their days spent inside.
  • 57% are planning to take part in activities that they won’t normally have time for.
  • 60% of them are encouraging their children to learn new skills.

Sitting and waiting for the crisis to pass is not good for your business, your livelihood, the economy or for your customers who are depending on you to bring creativity and happiness to them right now.

During this time of crisis, we are watching our members step up, pivot, and serve their customers in valuable ways. 

In this blog, I share five ways that you can shift and grow your business in light of this uncertainty.

 

1. Teach Online

Right now, millions of people are turning to the internet, looking for ideas to stimulate themselves and their children creatively.

Think of it like this: What do people want and need more than ever if they are confined to their homes and socially distanced from the rest of the world?

COMMUNITY!

It's a great time to launch an e-learning program!

Our members have been hosting a lot of live online crafting classes for kids around the world over the last few weeks and it's been so inspiring to see.

Kids and parents are engaged, they actively comment on the live videos and share ideas.

After the classes they share photos and videos of their crafts and get tons of  “likes”, “hearts” and cute and kind comments from the community.  

It's not just about providing a creative outlet for your students, it's about providing them with an opportunity to be part of a wonderful creative community of old friends, acquaintances and new virtual friends.

Remember to pick craft lessons that use a lot of recycled items and things that people will have at home to make it easy for anyone to join in.

Okay, let's get real for a second...

Going live on video the first time is pretty scary!

But we are living in a weird world at the moment and the truth is no one is expecting perfect right now!

Don't be scared to get scrappy and figure it out as you go along. 

We didn't get it right from the get go.  

To be exact, the first video we hosted we weren't aware that the camera on the phone had rotated and the entire class was hosted at 90 degrees. Literally!

This still makes me laugh! Our customers had to tilt their heads sideways to see the steps in the craft!

But like with everything in life, practice makes perfect! And more importantly, practice builds confidence!

I know technology can seem scary but you don’t need to do it perfectly from the get go, you just need to get it started.

Sounds fun right?

Click here to watch our episode on 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Online Class Videos.

But you may be thinking: ‘but I’m way too shy, I hate seeing myself on video, I hate the sound of my voice and and and...’

If you relate to this, here are a few things we shared with our members that you can consider: 

  • Practice makes perfect, do a few practice rounds with your family or a small group of friends before you open it up to your customers. 
  • Try to shift your mindset from 'I hate seeing myself on video' to 'It's not about me, it's about THEM'. Try to focus on the massive value you are offering your students and how much they need you right now and not on yourself. 
  • Smile when you talk. This feels very strange at first but it really helps you to feel more confident. I think this small but hugely effective trick sort of tricks your brain into thinking 'I've got this!'
  • Get your students to engage with you during the class. Their engagement and excitement will build your confidence. Encourage engagement by asking lots of questions during the class and talk to them using their names. 

As soon as you see the excitement and smiles on the kids’ faces when they create something beautiful and unique, from recycled items they've gathered at home, it will bring so much warmth to your heart! 

Here are a few snapshots of the happy faces who have been joining our online kids crafting classes and creating awesome crafts using everyday items at home:

 

2. Learn How to Work From Home

A study done by Stanford shows that working from home increases productivity by about 13%.

I read this and thought - ya right!?

Are you suddenly finding yourself working from home, with loads of distractions, trying to get things done in between vacuuming, supporting your kids in their school work, and having your husband home too?

Then you probably had the same reaction I had when you saw that stat.

Take a deep breath, you are not alone!

The study was done back when things were ‘normal’.

But the question is, how do you work productively from home in the ‘new normal’?

The key is to set new expectations of yourself and what you can do during this time. 

You will NOT get as much done with your kids and spouse at home. Give yourself some grace. It is impossible to do it all right now.

Let me repeat that for emphasis.  

It is impossible to do it all right now!

Enjoy the time with your family at home and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

After working from home for the past couple of years, I’ve learned a few tricks of how to avoid the endless temptations to make another cup of coffee, do the washing or get sucked into an endless stream of cute dog videos on Instagram.  

Here are some of my working from home tips to keep making progress even when there’s chaos going on around me.  

  • Set up a designated workspace. This means you ONLY do work in that space and nothing else. Workspace = Work. Everywhere away from workspace = Play.
  • This will help you set boundaries for yourself and with your family as well. 
  • Set working hours and make sure your family is aware of them and respects them.
  • Remember that just because you’re at home, doesn't mean you need to work crazy hours all of a sudden. Your family needs time with you, as well. 
  • Switch off all distractions when you really want to get things done. Did you know it takes nearly 20 to 30 minutes to refocus after you get distractedSo every time you feel that urge to just quickly jump onto Facebook or check if you have any new Whatsapp messages it not only hurts your productivity, but research shows that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.
  • Plan out your day the night before. Pick 3 important things you want to accomplish the next day and focus on those 3 things only. This will make you feel in control and ensure you don’t set unrealistic goals. This way, once you’ve wrapped up your work, you can be fully present with your family to support them and have some fun together.
  • Get the kids involved! That is the beauty of running a kids crafting club, you get to practice hosting classes and create with your kids at home. Some of our members are even including their kids in their online classes. This is what I love the most about this job, what other career will allow for kids to be included in such a fun and creative way?! 

 

3. Use Your Time Productively

I know it’s easier said than done and it can get overwhelming to juggle work and everything else that's going on.

If you have an existing business, you might be asking yourself where you can cut the noise and focus your energy on the things that really matter and that will bring you the biggest return. 

If you are thinking about starting a business or taking your brick and mortar business online, you might be asking yourself, “what’s the fastest way I can get up and running and start seeing results?”. 

People need and want creative activities now more than ever. Now is the time to get it out there.

Focus on the things that drive your business forward, so that when this passes you come out stronger on the other side.

Here are some ideas of thing you can start doing today to drive your business forward:

  • Communicate with your customers. Your clients are people with emotions. Talk to them, share your feelings and emotions. Support them. Use the time to connect online with your clients during this time, you’ll create stronger customer relationships and community.
  • If you are planning to start a kids crafting club. Use the time to pick a name for your club, create a logo and set up a Facebook Business Page to start engaging potential customers.
  • Grow your social media engagement. More people than ever before are spending time online now, which makes it a great opportunity for you to grow your presence online. Share tips and craft ideas to do at home or post something that will brighten up their day. 
  • Get your crafting studio ready. If you host classes at home, you can take some time to reorganize your studio or create new decor items with your kids.
  • Get crafty with your kids at home. Practice your crafting lessons with your kids and just have some messy and creative fun! 

 

4. Sell and Serve With Heart

If you’re able to give back to your community right now, take the time to do so.

There are lots of creative ways you can do business with compassion and integrity during this time. 

You can donate a portion of your income made during the crisis or use strategies such as ‘Buy One, Give One’, Scholarships or Bonuses to help those in need.

The Buy One, Give One strategy - that is, for every class you sell, give one for free to someone in need - is simple and effective. You can keep your cash flow going while making an impact in someone's life.

You can provide scholarships or sponsorships to those who wouldn’t be able to invest in your online classes otherwise.

Add a bonus to what you are selling to sweeten the deal for your customers. For example, offering a free demo class is a great way to attract new customers.

It's important to take a long-term perspective on caring and serving your customers right now. If you treat people with love and generosity, they’ll remember it.

 

5. Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself

Like I said before and I want to dedicate the entire 5th tip to this topic because it's so important:

Give yourself some slack. It is impossible to do it all right now.

We all react differently and require different types of ways to manage through a crisis.

The absolute priority is your health and the health and safety of your loved ones.

During a crisis, some people may increase their productivity (like Sir Isaac Newton who discovered calculus in quarantine due to the plague) while others may just not be as motivated.

Both reactions are normal. Be kind to yourself!

Now I’d love to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below:

Which one of the 5 tips discussed spoke to you the most today, which one are you going to start working on today to best serve your students and community?

You’ve got this!

Stefanie

XO

P.S. If you would like to join our membership community to get new step-by-step lesson plans, practical business and teaching tips every month, add your name to the waiting list here to get a free Information Pack. We only open for enrollment a few times a year.

 
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