Everywhere you look on the internet, someone is telling you that you have to give things away in order to attract potential buyers. It’s good business. As a good businesswoman, I made sure that I was offering free crochet patterns that other crocheters would enjoy. Every week I watched as those crochet patterns have been downloaded (tens of thousands of times now), and how little my paid crochet patterns were being purchased. What the crap? Am I doing something wrong? Are my paid designs bad? Is there a secret We Hate Knot By Gran’ma Club that I’m not aware of? (I hope someone would tell me if there was.) I couldn’t figure this part out. Something is not working, and everyone on the internet can’t be wrong. Can they?
Yes and no. I do think you have to give things away. I also think you have to get SOMETHING in return… an email address, a pledge of support; something. You have to be smart about it. That is the key part that has been missing all of these years. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my free crochet patterns are sabotaging my crochet pattern business. This was spurred on full force by my post on quitting a few weeks ago. This is one of those things that isn’t working, and needs to be changed. I’m good at changing things.
I have decided to stop offering my free crochet patterns to everyone. What? You can’t do that? Yes, I can. This isn’t a hobby, and I have to get smarter about how I share my talents. It’s like my business model has been backwards. What good is giving away potential income, when you aren’t covering your costs? No good comes from driving yourself out of business. It’s not good business. If supporting my family wasn’t an option, then I would give them all away for free. I would. Knot By Gran’ma is not there yet.
The compromise in all of this is a free crochet pattern may not cost you money, but it will cost you some interaction. The true supporters of Knot By Gran’ma get that perk… and then continuous little perks to keep them around. Great pattern design alone won’t do it. (That’s the part of business that I still don’t understand, but learning is a lifelong endeavor.)
The plan is to get rid of the free crochet patterns on April 1st, 2017. It will coincide with the KBG Spring Cleaning. The plan from there is to get those crochet patterns listed and earning their keep. Go, patterns, go! In the meanwhile, the newsletter and Patreon folks will still have access to free crochet patterns through Knot By Gran’ma… just not all at once. I have a little bit of figuring to do to make all of this work, and a little under a week to do it. It will be awesome. I promise.
Do your free crochet patterns affect your business? Do they affect the way you purchase crochet patterns. Share your ideas and opinions below in the comments section.