For our foray into marketing we focused specifically on speakers who had found a way or growing their business or changing their practice by finding their "tribe" - people who are fans, people who love what you do and will come and find you and your work out.
One speaker we heard from Charlotte Clark of Charlotte Clark Designer Maker
Charlotte worked on identifying her business values - and in particular her core value of happiness. "Happiness is at the core of what I do. I look at every piece I make and ask "Does this make me happy", because if it doesn't I don't make it."
Charlotte doesn't' just sell home wear - mugs, crockery and cushions - she also aims to tell a story and make people think about things differently. And her work is strong - with anatomical images, sweary slogans and a strong aesthetic.
In recognition of the niche appeal of her products, she made "Not my cup of tea" - but on the upside she has discovered that if you find people who love what you do then" the stuff sells itself".
In order to engage more people and get a bigger following she chose key events - Comicon, tattoo conventions, Goth fair - her best one was Bart's hospital in London. While it was a huge stress to get there, it was full of science minded people who really got the context. Success there made her focus more on the right shows and try out what works - being more selective about shows.
"Find your people and find where they are and get them to tell their friends."
On pricing - Charlotte advocates looking at all the elements that you will have to cover - "Price confidently and you will eliminate some people but you'll get the people who really want your product. With selling online I need to factor things in like replacing items that get damaged in the post." A slightly higher price therefore means that she can offer a greater level of customer service and build reputation.
Charlotte also brought along her wonderful stacking tea set for us to look at. She is a wonderful illustration of how to develop an authentic voice in the marketplace that people can respond to.