When I first made the leap from designing sweaters for Nacho to match whatever I was making for myself at the time to actually designing dog sweaters for the purpose of releasing them so other people could make them for their dogs, I thought my biggest challenge was going to be the actual designing part. That has not been the case.
I thought the biggest challenge for me has been juggling all the fun ideas I want to get out into the world with the tech editing, the testing groups, fighting with the PDF formatting in Canva (omg the formatting) and keeping track of all the graphics. So I’ve taken to using Notion for pretty much everything, and I’ve got my Discord server all set up for testing groups so I can run multiple at once without it getting confusing. So that’s what I thought was my biggest challenge, but honestly that’s pretty well under control. This week is actually a really excited week for me because it’s the first time I have released a pattern on the same day that a test group started and in the same week that I am putting out a testing call! Exciting, right? Buuuuuut…
….I am putting a whole lot of effort into designing, testing, editing, revising and releasing and that’s kind of where my productivity cycle was starting over. See the missing element? How is anyone going to know about these fun patterns I’ve dreamed up and brought to life if I don’t get them out there in more ways than an Instagram post and maybe a pin or two on Pinterest? That’s my actual biggest challenge. What I really need to focus on is getting these patterns out there into the hands of knitters who will knit them for their dogs and get asked about them on the street and then say, ‘Oh this? I made that myself!’ How fun is that?! It’s interesting and kind of weird to think about promotion because on one hand I think a lot of people look at promotion as something icky and at the same time when you see fun patterns that people are promoting, you don’t react to it like it’s icky! Most of the time I’ll click on the link to go check it out, add it to my faves or my queue on Ravelry if I really like it – or just keep scrolling if it doesn’t strike my fancy and that’s it. So I really need to focus on getting things out there more because I swear some of these dog sweaters I’ve designed recently are so cute I can’t wait for the weather to turn so Nacho can wear them every. single. day.
If you’re a designer, or indie maker of any kind, I’d love, love, love to know your thoughts on self promotion and how you make it work. Alternatively, as knitters, I’d love to know your thoughts on the kinds of promotions you think are fun and interesting, because it’s not like it has to be boring!
I actually stepped back from YouTube when I started designing because I didn’t really see a way to make videos about knitting, aside from tutorials that were specific to my patterns, but after a little brainstorm session this afternoon, I’ve come up with some fun ideas that I’m going to work on. I think the shift from food blogging to knitwear design, and knitwear design specifically for dogs at that, has been a little bumpier than I anticipated it would be! 😅