I thought I would expand upon the post I wrote yesterday and fill in some necessary blanks.
There are many more professional aspects to the “crochet industry” than design and pattern writing, we tend to just talk about designers and I think that really does the industry a disservice. I think it’s important to the discussion of independent versus corporate, because for many in this industry they have to pull many gigs and play many roles to make a living wage.
A designer may also be a technical editor, pattern tester, contract crocheter, photographer, teacher, layout and book designer, and copy editor. Yes, one person could indeed fill all of those roles as part of their business. A maker of things for sale is a different kind of crochet professional, they make things to sell in wholesale and retail markets, they may also be many of the a fore mentioned professionals to help supplement their income..
Diversity in our professional lives keeps revenue flowing, it can be exhausting to do it all, so most people choose to do what they do best and offer a range of services. If they are not fulfilling those roles as a paid employee of a large company, then they are independent contractors and own small businesses. It is conceivable for a small indie designer with their own line to suplement their income by technical editing or pattern testing, doing web design or teaching for larger companies. It doesn’t make you a sell out, it really doesn’t, it makes you someone that can pay the bills. Unless you have a no compete agreement that bans you from designing (and that would be a dumb move if you want to have your own line of patterns), then nothing will stop you from having and MARKETING your own line.
Why do some people get more well known than others? Why are some people best kept secrets and others seem to rocket out of no where?
Well, first of all there is no such thing as an over night success. A best kept secret in this industry is probably some one who is very perfectionistic about their craft, they are probably excellent teachers, they probably write great patterns that are clear and concise, but maybe they lack the marketing flair that makes them sell-able. That’s easily fixed with a PR make-over.
For those that seemingly become over night successes, what you have not seen is the hours, days, weeks and years of study into business and marketing, presentation, and how to pitch proposals professionally. They have put in their time, but maybe in a different way. They are also probably good at asking for help, finding mentors, and listening very carefully.
In the next few weeks I will be running a series of articles just for our Indie-Pro and Indie-Pro Plus members that are designed to help those business people better define their businesses, what roles their business play in the crochet industry, what marketing strategies and audiences they may wish to employ and some ideas for getting their name to the top of the lists.