Outreach, reaching out, and building community are hard things. It is easy to want to do them, but more difficult to know what to do, and even harder to implement.
Outreach to Jill Wolcott Knits®
I’m often surprised when I do some outreach at the response I get—and also that I don’t get. You just never know what is going to work. I go through all the marketing concepts, do the work, and then I don’t know how to make sure what I’m doing is going to be effective. I am never at a shortage of ideas, or things I think will be winners!
I daily get outreach via email or through my website telling me that my websites could be so much better, and they are particularly qualified to fix it for me. I stifle the impulse to explain to them that their approach might not be incredibly effective; most of us are not going to respond really well when the message is so negative. Just as often I get compliments from website visitors, so I’m not going to revamp my website because of some unsolicited outreach email.
On the other hand, I love the emails I get from readers of the Jill Wolcott Knits® blog or newsletter!
Reaching Out via Jill Wolcott Knits®
There are always things that I want to be better on my website, but it is so time-consuming that it often falls to the bottom of my list of things I need/want to do. Also, there are so many steps. I think “Oh, I’ll just change that”—and hours later, I’m still working on the dominos connected to “that”.
Over the past few days I did get a couple of things updated, so you might like to check them out.
First, I updated the document explaining what is Inside a Jill Wolcott Knits® pattern. You can also find it on this newly updated page, located under the Learning tab. I hope this is a helpful bit of reaching out, with an explanation of Jill Wolcott Knits® patterns and why they are a little more expensive than others—there is a lot of content you don’t normally find.
Second, I added a new techniques page for German short rows. Sadly about 90% of the photos I took need to be redone, so it currently only has one photo. I have lots of techniques available for searching on my website. Inside each pattern I am now linking techniques within the pattern to the written description in the pattern, or to my website description
Here is an Action chart for German short rows as it would appear in a Jill Wolcott Knits® pattern. Note that an Action chart shows the rows as they appear in the knitting. I also group like stitches [i.e., p4, k4 (5) (8)] so that you don’t have to count boxes. I think these charts are easier to knit from.
For German short rows I created k1-GSR and p1-GSR to describe the action to take at the turning point when working German short rows, and Gtog to describe the closing of that turning point on the subsequent row. I also created symbols to use in Action charts. The general key here has more variations of the symbols than are in the chart shown.
Building Knitting Community via Outreach
I also did some hidden stuff for Local Yarn Shops. I’m hoping that I can find some that are looking for outreach or ways for building knitting community. These things, which end up being really cool, very useful, and much needed, also take tons of time. I’m writing this after spending about six hours doing the simple things outlined above.
Some of this was done because I was asked to do a review of Paperless Post. I have used Paperless Post for personal things, and once before for a business promotion, but I had been thinking of trying something that might receive more notice by shops than my emails do. So I signed on, created a card, and sent it out to 40 shops. I think my open and click-through rate are much better. Enough better that I am going to do another Paperless Post to a larger number of shops. Want to do one for yourself? This link will earn me 5 points! I also tried ordering physical stationary from an online company this week. I have not figured out how to complete that order.
Outreach & Reaching Out
Paperless Post is fairly straightforward to use. There is not a lot of explanation, but also not a great deal of danger of accidentally sending before you want to. There are lots of pre-designed things to use, for a variety of occasions and styles. I always like to upload my own artwork, so I created my own, which was easy. Paperless Post is the next best thing to snail mail—everyone loves something in an envelope, even in our email inbox. It is also a great tool when electronic addresses are all you have. We’ve all be receiving tons of emails from companies because of GDPR, so this is a nice way to make sure your reaching out is a little different.
I send post cards (I just bought some more today) when I travel and to friends who need them. I like buying the cards, finding a post office to buy stamps (London, quite easy; Italy, a bit more of a challenge!), and sending them off. We all get so little unique mail now this is a great way to make something special. I like to do party invitations, so I have a personal account with Paperless Post for doing that.
Paperless Post is the next best thing to a card in your mailbox. It does cost a bit more than an email, but it costs much less than mail. Try it for business or for personal use. Recipients can reply right there, so there is a bit more immediacy and satisfaction.
Building Knitting Community
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