Help & Suggestions

Prompt explanations for March 2021

It goes without saying that some prompts are pretty easy and an idea may instantly spring to mind! But there are also those which are a little more difficult to interpret! Some of these prompts are deliberately kept vague so that you can interpret them as you wish and so it allows for a wider variety of posts! This page is to help you find your way with those prompts that are a little more difficult. Listed below you'll find the full list of prompts and a brief explanation of my thinking behind them and a few suggestions on ways that you can use them. These are just ideas and I'm not saying you should follow these! I'd like you to interpret them in your own way! Just think of this as a little help if you are a bit stuck! If you're still really stuck, feel free to join the help group on Facebook by clicking here!

1. Brand introduction - introduce your brand! Think of this prompt as your elevator pitch! What is your brand about? What do you do? What do you make? How would you describe it? Do you have a logo? What is it? What makes your brand you? What is your USP? What do you sell? Think about that time when someone asked you what you do and you got awkward and just summed it up in a couple words and brushed it under the carpet... now is the time to polish up that speech so you can be ready for next time!

2. Style - do you have a particular style? Perhaps it's the way you draw something? The way you carve something? A limited set of colours or a specific font you use? Perhaps you're known for fabric choice, or style of character. Do you do something in a particular way that makes it unique to you? What is your particular style? Or perhaps another way to look at it could be what different styles of product do you have? Do you have X style for this kind of person and a why Y style for another kind of customer?

3. Beliefs & values - do you have a set of beliefs and values that you use to guide you in your day to day running of your handmade business? What is important to you? For some it might be recycling materials and reducing the use of plastics. For others, community could be at the heart of everything they do. Or perhaps happiness and fun is a really important part of your business? Do you have a particular brand message you try to work to?

4. On your desk - what do you have on your desk today? This week? As a permanent feature? Where is your desk? Do you work from a dedicated space, the kitchen table or perhaps from the sofa? What is on your desk? Do you have a laptop? A sewing machine? Pots and pots of pretty pens? Your latest project? Something you're working on? Or perhaps your desk isn't actually a desk in the traditional sense. Perhaps it's a potters wheel, or a worktop covered in icing?

5. Newest Make - what is your most recent make? It could be something that you've recently added to your etsy shop. A custom commission, or something you've simply made for yourself as a personal project! With Mother's Day approaching (in the UK) it's a good time to show off gifting ideas for those looking for Mother's day gifts as well as general makes.

6. Free - anything marked as 'free' are the weekends! It's entirely up to you if you want to post on these days! You could use them to post about things that aren't included in the challenge, or as time to catch up on days you've missed. Or, if you're like me and just need a break from social media every now and then, it's a good chance to just relax and spend some time in the real world!

7. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

8. Work in progress - What have you been working on behind the scenes? Do you have something that is almost ready that you can show a sneaky peek of? What is on your making pile right now? Or perhaps you're in the middle of making an order and can show part of the working process? Are you in the middle of cutting lots of shapes out of fabric, clay, paper etc? Or perhaps you're waiting for some paint to dry on your latest batch of products? Or maybe you've got a pile of products waiting for their finishing touches, final checks or waiting patiently to be put online or photographed? There's lots of variety for this one!

9. Learning curve - What has been your biggest learning curve or challenge that you have had to over come? Perhaps you're still in the middle of it? Are things how you thought they would be? What have you learnt from it? What you say to anyone else going through the same thing? It doesn't have to be anything big, perhaps you've had to learn a whole new skill set? Perhaps you've had to learn a new piece of software and it wasn't as easy as you expected? Or maybe you've had to shift your whole business in a new direction after 2020 brought about a lot of change. Or perhaps there has been something in your personal life which has made finding time to be creative difficult. It's all valid not matter how big or seemingly small.

10. Small detail - are there any details on your products that deserve a mention or that are easily over looked? Are there any small added extras you put into orders that people don't know about? Stickers? Postcards? Do you offer optional gift wrap for gifts going direct? Perhaps a close up of one of your products? What is the texture like? Small personal touches such as hand written messages to the customer. Is there a detail you really like adding to a product? Perhaps it's a label, a stamp, or a hidden message. Or maybe a character singled out from an illustration. Focus on something that could be over looked or something that you particularly like or is special. 

11. Portrait - Tell the world about the maker behind the makes. Who are you? Is it just you? Do you have a team? Introduce yourself. What do you like? Where are you based? Do you have any fun facts? What makes you, you? Take a selfie or draw a portrait. As difficult as it can be to show our true selves at times, people do love to see the maker behind the magic and get to know you better. If you're not ready for a full on selfie, could you find other ways to show who you are? Perhaps it could be you working so you're distracted and not looking directly into the camera. Perhaps if you're an illustrator you could draw yourself. Or if you have a favourite photograph of yourself could you style it amongst your products so it's not necessarily the main focus? Either way, we all look forward to getting to know you!

12. In use - This is a good opportunity to share customer photos of your work out in the wild! Or, show your item in use. How do you use it? Can you wear it? Perhaps model it yourself! Does it store something? Does it perform a specific function? What is that function? What does it do? How would a customer use it? Does it have more than one use? If you kept one for yourself, what would you do with it? It's a good chance to show the potential of one of your makes!

13. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

14. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

15. Focus & priorities - what is your main focus at the moment? What are you prioritising above the rest? We've all got to do lists that we'll never reach the the bottom of so what you are working on right now? What is the most important job to you? Are you working towards a particular goal? What is it? How much further do you have to go? Has your focus shifted recently? If so, to what? Why are you focusing on that one thing in particular? Do you have deadlines?

16. From the archive - this is a chance to show something that you don't usually talk about. Is there a make that you sell but always forget to show on the grid? Or a colour way or pattern that doesn't get as much love? Or maybe you could show how you have progressed over time, a before and after type of scenario. Or perhaps you want to show us your first ever make or sale? It's a good prompt to reflect just on how far you've come. You've come further than you give yourself credit for! If you haven't been running your business for long you could choose to show creations made prior to doing this? Or if you did creative courses, the outcomes from those. Or perhaps the moment you knew you wanted to do something creative.

17. Process - this could be a number of things! It could be how you make something, a part of the making process, or even part of the creative process. E.g idea generation, or inspiration. Are there any particular parts of the process that could be interesting to see? It could be how you print your fabrics, an overlocker zooming around fabric edges, pots waiting to dry, yarn being wound into balls, arranging artwork for print, etc. The possibilities are endless! Perhaps you have a special tool that you particularly like using? How does it fit into the making process? This is a good opportunity to post a reel, boomerang or hyperlapse video! It is also a good time to check out one of our giveaway hosts, Jumprope! Jumprope is a platform to learn how to do anything. Their free app makes it easy for anyone to create and share helpful craft projects, beginner skills, shopping guides, inspiring roundups, and more. 

18. Colour - are there any particular colours you are drawn to in your work? Do you have specific colours you stick to? Or are you more monotone? Or maybe you're a complete colour magpie and love the rainbow! Is there a specific way you incorporate the use of colour? Is it used as a hint or to highlight a specific area? Do you find yourself using the same colours without really thinking about? How many colour variations do you offer? Can people ask for a certain colour? Do you have a colourful workspace? How do you use it?

19. Silver linings - it's no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. It definitely threw us some curveballs that none of us expected! But for this prompt, let's talk about the good things that have come out of difficult times. What positives came from 2020? Think about milestones, ideas, new products, slowing down, new perspectives and realisations, light bulb moments and anything good! Today is a day for celebrating wins, no matter how big or small! It's a day to look for the positives.

20. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

21. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

22. Hands on - Show your hands mid make! What do they do? How hands on are your makes? Perhaps it's as simple as holding a pen or paint brush. Or perhaps they are dry from saw dust or are covered in clay from throwing pots. How do you use them? What do you put them through? This is another example of where Jumprope (one of our giveaway hosts!) could help! Check out the DIY section of their website for inspiration on how to videos, tutorials, and more! It could help inspire your own 'hands on' video!

23. Job/s - do you have a full time or part time job? Do you do this full time? It's important to normalise having day jobs alongside our creative businesses. Everyone is at a different stage of their creative journey and it doesn't make you any less of a creator for having another job! You've got to do what you've got to do! Alternatively, you could look at it from all the different jobs you have to do angle! As a creator, we don't spend all day making (wouldn't that be nice!) we're also book keepers, photographers, packaging ninjas, social media experts, list makers, procrastinators and errand runners to the local post box. There's a lot more to us other than 'makers'.

24. Wrapped & packaged - How do you pack up your orders? What do you use? Do you have branded stickers or stamps? How do you display your products? What do they come in? What materials do you use? Is it bright and colourful? Is it eco friendly? Perhaps you want some advice or feedback on yours? Or maybe you are looking for some ideas or want to source some new supplies?

25. Starting point - where do you start? When you're making something what is the first thing you do? Do you have a specific order things go in? What is number 1 on that list? Where do you start with ideas? Do you make notes? Do you doodle? Or do you jump straight in and make it as you go along as see where it takes you? Where do you find your ideas? Do you research? Do they come to you just before you fall asleep? 

26. Favourite - this is open to so many things! There is no right answer to this one! What is your favourite make? Colour? Material? Tool? Font? Design? Do you have a favourite shop? Favourite maker? What is your favourite thing about being a maker? Being creative? Doing this as your business or side hustle? Do you have a favourite side of your working space? Favourite way of doing something? Favourite photo? Favourite story? What is your favourite product to make? What do you enjoy making the most? Why is it your favourite? Is it the over all design, the process, the reaction from your customers or followers? Perhaps theres a back story? 

27. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

28. Free - post anything you like, catch up, or take a break!

29. Reel - please do not be scared of this one! It really is easier than you think, you don't have to talk and it can be 15 seconds long or even up to 30! You don't even have to set aside special time to make one! Think about what jobs you do throughout your making. Can you film one particular part of that? You could record a minute or two of footage and then speed it up! It looks super fun and is really interesting to watch! Or maybe you could show people how you pack their orders? Just be sure not to show any personal information! Maybe it's fabric cutting day? Or you're starting a new drawing? Or maybe how to use a particular tool or how you make marks or pour resin. If you're stuck for ideas see how other makers have utilised them on the hashtag or explore reels in the explore feed. It doesn't even have to be a 'how to' it could be your top 5 favourite products, tools or things you couldn't live without! Just remember to not overthink it, and you don't have to do any fancy transitions (unless you really want to of course!)

30. Range - Show us a product range (or even just a product) and tell us everything there is to know about it. Why did you make it? Why do you like it? Does it have a story? Who is it aimed at? What have people said about it? How long have you made these? Is it a new range? Perhaps it's your best seller. Either way, show off something you've made and sell it to us!

31. Looking forward - where do you see yourself in the future? In the next year? In the next 5 years? What are your plans and goals moving forward? Are you working to a timeline or are you just seeing where things go? Are you winging it and enjoying the journey? Or Is there something in particular that you're looking forward to in the next year or so?

And that's the end! I hope these gave you some good jumping points to help kick start your interpretations of these prompts! If you find you're still stuck, you could always reach out to other makers taking part or take a look at the hashtag to see how others have used that prompt within their business. Either way, don't over think it. You've got this and I can't wait to see what you post!

JOIN IN THE FUN

Tag your posts with #MarchMeetTheMaker

Follow the creator of the challenge @Joannehawker

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