Tuesdays are for RAP (Random Acts of Patterns)! http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/friends-of-knitpurlgurl/2319615/1-25#24 Please join in!! #knitting #crochet
Although I didn’t quite catch the marketing implications of random patterns until after I had gifted nearly 20 copies of my designs, Random Acts of Patterns is just brilliant on so many levels. Here’s why…
The premiss is along the same lines of Random acts of Kindness, but in this case the idea is to find a neat pattern and buy it for another Ravelry.com user using the “send as gift” function that’s part of the check-out process.
There are 2 functions of this process that are very intriguing to me. First, it’s a way to help generate income for independent designers. The second is that it’s a great way to advertise your own designs by sending them out to random knitters.
From a strictly business standpoint, when I buy ad placements, I take a chance that I won’t have enough sales to break even. For example, I purchased Ravelry ads a few months in a row. The fist run I did better than break even on the cost of the ads by also making enough money to cover the cost of the materials used in the pattern. In the second run, I didn’t do quite as well, but broke even on the ads. The 3rd and 4th times were a bust putting me in a position where I needed more pattern sales to break even on all of the expenses.
There are many reasons why the same ads didn’t do well over time. Summer months aren’t always considered as Knitting months. People may have been tired of seeing the ads. Or any number of things. While it is possible to hone in on the winning combination the idea of Random Acts of Patterns presents a whole new twist on marketing.
The main consideration with #RAPatterns, for the indie designer, is that patterns, once created, don’t represent revenue until someone buys them. The next consideration is although you might be running at a loss with materials and time put into the design, giving away promo, electronic copies, doesn’t create additional expenses. I always say that word of mouth has to start somewhere and this is a great way to kick it off.
The bonus of Tuesday’s being for #RAPatterns are the limits designed into the practice. Coupons, door busters, annual sales and all the rest are just ways companies train customers not to pay full price, for anything. But a random pattern given only on Tuesday is more along the lines of winning a prize. There is no expectation that waiting will result in a discount so people buy when they’re ready to.
By participating in Random Acts of Patterns on Tuesdays you have a great way to get some patterns out in the wild where they might generate some buzz for your work all while keeping people guessing about your next move. It also doesn’t hurt to be seen as generous either.
The next question is how this process can be adapted for other business models. Are there businesses this wouldn’t work with? Why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment, below.
PS, don’t forget to thank Kerrie for this amazing idea. Click either knitter to visit her site.