Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 790: How Do I Monetize My Niche Skills?—A Pat Flynn Coaching Call with Sarah Dawn

Putting ourselves out there online can be scary for many of us. This is especially true when we first start creating videos. But here’s the thing: your personality might be the unique selling proposition that takes your brand to the next level.

So, how do you begin to share more of who you are to stand out in your space?

Find out in today’s session with Sarah Dawn, a knit and crochet designer and an incredible member of our SPI Pro community!

Just like in episode 778, we’re bringing back some of the AskPat 2.0 energy I’ve been missing. Listen in on this coaching call to hear me help Sarah uncover new ways to monetize her skills and grow her business. We explore workshops, niche relationship building, YouTube, time management, and more.

Sarah’s personality shines throughout this interview, so you’ll understand why I always stress the importance of putting yourself out there. This has always been the key to audience building but is becoming even more essential in the age of AI-generated content.

Tune in and enjoy!

SPI 790: How Do I Monetize My Niche Skills?—A Pat Flynn Coaching Call with Sarah Dawn

Sarah Dawn: I love the work. It’s great. But, it doesn’t pay well. That is the curse of this industry. Now, I got into this because I’ve been doing this since I was four, so that was literally the brainchild of what eventually became this business. But it is a situation where like most people in this field do not make remotely anything near a living wage.

Pat Flynn: Hey, let’s talk about Sarah, Sarah Dawn. She is an incredible member of our community and probably has the highest attendance rate in our office hours. And she’s just a kind person and such a great soul. And I wanted to bring her on today to do a little coaching with her. As you might remember, we had a person who I coached on not too long ago, and this was a result of a survey that we sent out.

Many of you had replied to that survey. That was extremely helpful. Thank you again. But we selected a few people to bring on the show here to coach like I used to do on AskPat, and I couldn’t be more excited about having Sarah Dawn here. Sarah from Sarah Dawn’s Designs. She does knitting, crocheting, and the world of knitting and crocheting, that niche inside the online space is really interesting and dare I say intricate.

Anyway, I’m sorry. I just like to stitch dad jokes together. Sometimes like that very meta. That was two and one. There you go, everybody. Sorry, I’ll keep going here, but there’s some things inside of the industry that make it more difficult to monetize. So you’ll hear me explore by asking a lot of questions in the beginning about monetization and going over different opportunities, and we discover a few that are of interest to Sarah and are great opportunities for her. So let’s dive in. This is Sarah Dawn from

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he was able to get his kids to type faster by hosting words per minute challenges at home, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Sarah, welcome to SPI. Thank you so much for coming on. I’m so glad you’re here. And you know, I see you almost every week in office hours. I just want to thank you here publicly for all the support and all the help that not just you’ve offered me in support and showing up, but even to the other people who are in office hours, I always see you communicating with everybody. You’re just such a integral part of the community in there. So thank you so much.

Sarah Dawn: We know you’re going to make me blush.

Pat Flynn: Nobody can see it, but I can attest to it. And I’m excited because I’m going to dive a little bit into what you have going on. And I’d love for you to maybe introduce What it is that you have going on, on your end, the things you’ve tried and the kind of things that you’re interested in, Sarah.

Sarah Dawn: Oh, well, hi. So for those who don’t know me, my name is Sarah Dawn of Sarah Dawn’s Designs. I am a knit and crochet designer. And for everyone who’s going, wait, what’s that? I am the person who writes the patterns that go in the knit and crochet books you might see at a bookstore or a craft shop. Also magazines, that kind of thing.

I love the work. It’s great. But, and this is where, but one of the things I’m always stumbling over, it doesn’t pay well. That is the curse of this industry. Well, a fashion across the spectrum. I mean, it’s, it’s the reason. I could go on a tangent about like spot shop labor, but it’s the same unfortunate ideal that a lot of the textile industry is not well paid.

Now, I got into this because I’ve been doing this since I was four, so it’s like, I can do this. And when I was like, I am need my own job, okay, what can I do? Oh, I can knit things. That was literally the brainchild of what eventually became this business. But it is a situation where like most people in this field do not make remotely anything near a living wage.

Pat Flynn: So what are we talking about in terms of revenue opportunities? So you say these patterns, where are they being sold? For how much, essentially?

Sarah Dawn: So I’m selling patterns for between 6 to $8. The $6 ones are ones that are going to update, like I’m gonna bring all my patterns up to seven minimum. So as I go through and like add patterns, like fix dead links and you know, update typos, I bring the price up.

And then, so my small stuff like hats, mits, and scars, those are seven. And my big stuff like this monster, this is a almost six foot square lace monstrosity. Mm-hmm. .

Pat Flynn: It looks cool.

Sarah Dawn: Can actually put this on with my headphones. I didn’t think this through. Anyway, this is almost six feet square of lace and like any of the big patterns.

So this couple of garment patterns that are going to be coming out, they’re going to be eight or even nine depending on how complex they are. But that is about the upper area of what the market will do because traditionally knitting patterns have been free. The concept of buying them individually is still comparatively new and really only thanks to the internet.

Pat Flynn: Are you selling them on Etsy? Is that where they’re being sold?

Sarah Dawn: I have them on Etsy and I have them in my own web shop which is being run through Payamp. I did have them on Ravelry which is a knitting and crochet marketplace but they were shenanigans and most of my patterns, unless there’s a contractual reason, are no longer there.

Which by the way highlights the whole make sure your patterns, like make sure anything you’re selling you have a backup because oh no.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, you know it’s interesting my wife and my daughter both are now crocheting quite a bit. And I still have to, and this will take us into a tangent. So we probably won’t go there, but I don’t even know the difference between knitting and crocheting.

And I’m sure you perhaps have a better definition.

Sarah Dawn: Everyone gets it wrong.

Pat Flynn: I’m sure.

Sarah Dawn: Simple knitting is two or more pointy sticks. Crochet is a hook.

Pat Flynn: Got it. That’s the clearest answer I’ve, I’ve heard so far. So thank you for that. So yes, my, my daughter and my wife are using the hooks. So they are crocheting.

And they are finding a lot of patterns online that are for free. My wife has picked up a few books that have specific sort of niche type of crochet patterns. And my daughter had come up to me the other day and asked me for a pattern that she saw for sale on Etsy. And it was going for about 6 to 8 for the pattern itself.

Do people who generate revenue through patterns like you do also sell finished products as well. Is that a thing or is that it’s a rare thing?

Sarah Dawn: So some people do, but the catch is that’s two different markets. Cause the people are going to buy the patterns aren’t likely to buy the finished thing. So it is different, two different markets.

And other, if you’re going to make even a minimum wage for your crochet or knitting stuff, you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars. A sweater is depending on your sizing and your fiber could be a thousand dollars. Most people look at that because they just don’t have that money. Yeah. Yeah. So you’ll have the odd client who appreciates something hand knit or hand crocheted, and they’ll do it.

But most people, putting aside everything else, who has 400 to drop on a sweater? There are people out there, sure, but not a lot of them.

Pat Flynn: That makes sense. Are there specific people in the industry of pattern creation and pattern selling that are just crushing it, like, at the top? And if so, what kinds of things are they doing that’s special, it seems?

Sarah Dawn: There are, and I haven’t figured out what they’re doing to mimic yet.

Pat Flynn: Okay.

Sarah Dawn: Like, I look at what they’re doing.

Pat Flynn: So they just, perhaps, just have the audience already?

Sarah Dawn: I, some of them have also been around for like 25 years or so, so they’re like big names. So if you, it’s like, oh yeah, I know so and so, they do this.

I think that’s part of their kind of household name in the knitting and crochet community. Others, it’s, it’s again, they obviously have a team that’s backing them. And I also know that for some of them, they’ve got a spouse or a partner or something where that person is bringing in the income and so then they can take some of that income and put it into like buying the things they need so they’ve got that additional income stream that helps them do the things like pay somebody or pay for software or whatever they need to do.

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

Sarah Dawn: And that’s unfortunately not a luxury I have.

Pat Flynn: That makes sense. Okay, we’re just brainstorming together about different revenue streams. What could a person do to in person or sort of like course creation? Have you thought about any of that, teaching other people how to do the actual things?

Sarah Dawn: So I do offer in person classes.

And of course, that got completely nerfed by the pandemic, and it’s only slowly coming back. I’ve taught at a couple festivals as well, but that’s a very difficult in. So like, once you’re in on a festival and they’re like, oh, we like you, then they’ll usually ask you to come back. But it’s getting, because they only can have so many people, and they get a lot of people coming in going, hey, we want to, I want to teach XYZ thing.

So they tend to stick with the people who they know, because what happens is the festival then like, the classes are usually separate from festival admission, so it’s like, you know, you’re paying, I don’t know, five bucks to enter the festival, but then it’s like, here’s, you know, thirty bucks for this class or forty bucks for this class.

So the festival people want to know that they can basically have, I guess a little bit of star power or interest power, so people will go buy the classes. I have taught at some festivals, I loved it, but it’s kind of getting into that roster because, you know, they only have, let’s say, 10 class slots or 15 class slots or something.

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

Sarah Dawn: So that’s on the radar, I’ve done it once, I loved it, but it is, you know, noodling my way into, into more.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, I think there’s definitely an opportunity there, especially if you enjoy doing that and you have such a bubbly personality. I think that could be a big strength for you. And I think a lot of it has to do with, and you’ve heard me teach this before, it’s about relationship building in those arenas and knowing who the decision makers are and helping them out and serving first and then building a relationship such that you could potentially continue to get invited or even recommended to, to other events and things like that.

That’s obviously not super scalable, but it is sounding like that there is an opportunity there for, for some development.

Sarah Dawn: A little bit of story time with that one actually. So one of the shawls I did, I worked with a dyer here in Canada, in Ontario, and I just bought her yarn. Like I didn’t like work with her.

It wasn’t just, I bought her yarn. I’m like, Oh, this would be perfect. So, you know, then I’ve had, she’s actually the one, because most of the people in this industry wear multiple hats and work in multiple things. She was the one who was for this festival, like doing all the wrangling for like, Oh, I’m the contact point for all the teachers coming in.

So, you know, you know, we were going into her classroom, yada, yada. She’s like, I know you. And I’m like, I know you. And it was this moment of like.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, you bought her yarn.

Sarah Dawn: I bought, well, not only that, but like, she’s seen me put that shawl up and then be like, it’s a sort of courtesy in the knitting and crochet world that if you don’t, you tag the yarn or the dyer, you know, it’s like, this is, this person’s got your yarn, you know?

And so she’s like, I know you. Oh yeah, I know you.

Pat Flynn: That’s how it is, you know? And that’s. That’s really cool. Have you followed up with that person?

Sarah Dawn: I have, and there’s tentative thoughts that I might be back for next year. They just have to finalize everything. So, hopefully.

Pat Flynn: Okay, well those are events, and that’s nice.

Have you ever explored teaching some of your workshops in an online fashion, whether in a paid thing or even for free on a platform like YouTube or something like that?

Sarah Dawn: So I am getting into the world of making YouTube tutorials because I actually got asked to do so. I have learned that video editing and foot and recording is not my strong point.

So we’re going to see how this goes.

Pat Flynn: It’s not a lot of people’s strong points, that’s for sure. And it does hold a lot of people back.

Sarah Dawn: What I’m looking at though is I’m looking at actually doing, and this is like a longer term project because I have to film all the tutorials, which takes time because it takes a while to knit the thing because I have to knit through it.

I’m looking at doing a socks class. And I have all the brainstorming like all the Module’s worked out, now it’s literally I just need to be like, Okay, I’m gonna need to go through and just film the making of the sample. Not quite start to finish, but all the steps. And then I’m thinking I’ll have it do Dual Purpose, I’ll have it on YouTube, and then I’ll have it in the course with much more structure to be like, okay, here’s the tutorial on how to knit a sock cuff, but if you want the full course, go here.

And then I’ll bundle the pattern I’m using just right into the course as well.

Pat Flynn: I love that idea a lot. Actually, what, what’s stopping you from, from doing that?

Sarah Dawn: Time. Because I have 15 bazillion magazine samples that I have to knit. And just recording it all and getting it. Because then I have to do all the recording.

And it takes about a week to do the socks, if I, pair of socks. If I do nothing else, there’s always a something else. So it’s just, it’s just the process of doing it. And there’s unfortunately, Like I said, I’ve got three magazine samples and a sponsored knitting on the needles right now. So I’m going like, I don’t know, hi, yeah, no, that’s not happening right now.

Pat Flynn: And those are obviously important, there’s revenue in that and you want to keep those relationships too. Yeah. If you were to potentially chip away at this, however, what might that look like in your life to slowly but surely kind of make progress, even weekly, on this somehow? What might that look like?

Sarah Dawn: Well, that’s actually what I’ve been doing. And the first step is one that I finished just late 23, which was getting the actual pattern done. Like that, the pattern I want to use in the course is now you can go buy it on Etsy and end up in my shop. That’s what I wanted to do because that means that I know that’s done and I know what the course will actually look like because I know what all the steps for that pattern are.

Because it’s like, what trails do I need? And now that that’s done, now it’s going in and trying to figure out even where I’m going to host this course. Looking at either Teachable or Payhip has, which is a service I use for my shop, they have a course thing, but it’s not as robust because it’s a Swiss Army knife rather than dedicated.

Right. So I have to play around with it. But on the other side, if I go to Teachable I have to pay for the Teachable subscription, whereas it’s already covered on Payhip, so money.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, Payhip might be just, you know, if it were simple, what would it look like? You’ve heard me ask that before. It might just be on the platform that you’re already familiar with, and people who purchase the patterns, you can go, hey, by the way, here’s the course on how to actually do this pattern.

And that’s a great experiment. I would see what we could do to get to that point so that we can begin to see, okay, does this actually work and do I like it? And then you can take parts of that and put it onto YouTube and use a lot of the strategies that we talk about with regards to YouTube in terms of a really nice thumbnail.

I think a lot of, and I’ve seen it cause my daughter has been looking it up. A lot of the well performing videos on YouTube have really good photos of the thing that’s being created. Right. But you also have the benefit of it being very sometimes cute, sometimes colorful, sometimes very pattern driven, and that captures a person’s eye.

So I definitely think there’s an advantage to your industry. And of course, having needles or hooks in there, it just adding these lines in these thumbnails really help it stand out. I do think there’s an opportunity there, which could then help bring not just more people to buy your patterns, but also more people to see these courses that you have on top of these patterns.

Cause they saw you on YouTube, they like the style, they like the vibe, and they want to get more of you. And then if that works, then okay, we can maybe take one less magazine thing this month to put more time into this thing this next month. You know, you can kind of go from there and take it by steps, but I think that’s the first big milestone, is to see what you can do to put that up and see if we can get that rock and rolling.

Sarah Dawn: The year unfortunately you’re also hitting on the fact that my own photography skills are also not the greatest. There’s a reason I pay somebody to do the product photography because it is not my skill. So it’s like, Oh, okay.

Now I’ve started into YouTube because people are specifically asking me for some stitched oils, especially for some of the weirder ones. But it’s, it takes a I’m still in the era of, oh, editing takes forever because I’m just not used to it. I will say I feel like I’m getting better, but I’m still in the, like, I’m still learning what the keyboard shortcuts are.

I’m still learning the, like, hacks of, like, the thing about where you delete the claps or the clicks. That’s made a huge, that’s sped up my editing, but like, I’m still at the stage of, how do I like make this not take forever?

Pat Flynn: I mean, that is the question. And, and I think that’s a question that all of us need to ask with regards to whatever it is that we continually do and repeat over and over again.

I mean, tell me your process for filming, for example. Like a lesson now, like what does that look like?

Sarah Dawn: So if I’m filming, like if I’m playing a lesson in person, I’ll do it in Zoom and I have a top down camera that they can see my hands and I have a, I tell them I need to be able to see their hands and we just talk back and forth as we go.

Pat Flynn: Oh, that’s cool.

Sarah Dawn: If I’m filming for YouTube, I’ll like clip something either out of a YouTube live stream or just I’ll be like, okay, I know I’m going to need to record this tutorial for this pattern. So then I just record it. Then I have to go through and like edit it all because I find I record way too much and then I do complete voiceover.

So I don’t, whatever audio is going on, I just cut that right out.

Pat Flynn: That’s it. Going to make the final product much better and much tighter, for sure.

Sarah Dawn: And like I said, I do a voiceover because the advantage there is I actually read from a script. Because you can probably see I am very distractible. And if I don’t read from a script, I will go off on the random direction of, Oh, wait, now we’re over here.

So I found that I have to stick to a script because when I live stream, I Which apparently, I’m told, is part of the charm, but also, oh no, not what you want.

Pat Flynn: I was gonna say that too, Sarah. What if we just left it as it was, and we just got full Sarah, full distraction, full personality, full bubbly, and that’s gonna be your unique selling proposition, right?

If you chopped it up and made it like all these other tutorials, then it’s just gonna blend in, right? And Yes, some people are going to see those and go, wow, this person talks really fast and is not my style and that’s good. They’ll move on to somebody else, but then you’ll have other people who are saying what you’re already hearing, which is your charming bubbly personality.

The effervescence is attracting. And so why leave that out? And what’s your response to that?

Sarah Dawn: The live streams, I do go all over the place. But I found the tutorials, it just, for one thing, there’s others that are practical. For some reason, the Google and YouTube captions, they hate me. And it does not understand the new terminology.

I got to the point where I actually got in trouble because I was talking about the physics of the, of Silk Yarn. And it thought I was talking about, something adult related is what we’ll go with. Oh, and I was like, oh, no, no, no. So I actually got like a warning for that. And I’ve learned it does not handle knitting shorthand at all.

So when I script, I can then take the script that I’m writing off of and copy paste it into the YouTube text box thing. And it saves me so much time cleaning up all the captions, which is the thing for me.

Pat Flynn: I see.

Sarah Dawn: Because one of the things that I do is I specifically my, kind of my target audience is knitters and crocheters with disabilities because I’ve got a lot of background in adaptive design and universal design and I’ve taught students with disabilities.

So it’s like, Oh, I know this stuff. I know how to adapt and like what tools you might need. You know, I can help work you through that. So I better have captions if I’m saying, Hey, my content is accessible.

Pat Flynn: Well, I love that take on being the one who makes knitting and crocheting more accessible to people who wouldn’t normally be able to do that. That in and of itself is an incredible, unique selling proposition.

Sarah Dawn: And personal frustration because wait, what do you mean your yarn shop doesn’t have a wheelchair ramp?

Announcer: Yeah.

Sarah Dawn: Cause yeah, for a while I was using a wheelchair. Now I’ve just used a cane to get around. But when I was using a wheelchair, there were a bunch of festivals and places I just could not go. And I just got kind of, well, I’m gonna have to fix this, aren’t I?

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Well, I love that. And I, and, and so it makes sense to spend a little extra time to make sure that those who will need it will have what’s available to them in the captions and, and such.

But I always think there’s a way to shave at least 20 to 25% of that working effort to create something. A part of that will happen just naturally the more you do it. Right. So the just, you know, your process will be more refined the more reps you put in, just like crocheting and knitting, right, pieces that kind of fit together.

And then all of a sudden at the end, you’re super proud of this thing, right? If you maybe approached your YouTube videos as if it were a crochet project and you are just kind of getting through these patterns and coming up with these systems and shorthands, like, like you said, eventually you could probably get to the point where you’re moving pretty quickly

Sarah Dawn: Or I would just completely leave it in the back of a dark closet for a year because that’s where some of them ended up.

Pat Flynn: That’s probably true. But I think that you again are not able to reach the people that you could if you, if you didn’t more regularly publish on YouTube. And like I said, you have this incredible personality and you have the ability to on YouTube, you know, reach people who you wouldn’t be able to normally reach.

How are you getting people to your website currently? Like what’s the, what are the stats like there?

Sarah Dawn: So the number one traffic point is actually that the Ravelry marketplace, which is a specialized social media forum for thing for knitters and crocheters. It’s a cool website. There is one major downside with it, which is that they did a website redesign that causes seizures.

Pat Flynn: That’s not good.

Sarah Dawn: No, it’s not. And I won’t go into too much of the drama, but let’s just say the staff response was not polite about it. So will the people there in those communities, or like the wonderful people, the staff, were not. And so I am on there pretty minimally, but it’s still sort of an industry standard site for things like, cause it’s a database.

So if you publish a pattern and you can say like, it’s in this magazine or it’s in this point. So I still get a lot of traffic from Ravelry cause it’s got an incredible search function. Like, cause you can go in and you can say, I want this type of yarn. I want this darn thickness. I want this type of pattern.

I want a sweater. I want a shawl. I want a hat, whatever. You can filter it even for like, I have X amount of yarn. What can I make? And so Ravelry search is absolutely probably the best I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I, like, as a business person, I don’t feel comfortable, like, if I link to Ravelry, going like, Yeah, no, I’m linking to a site that I know causes seizures.

No, I’m not cool with that.

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

Sarah Dawn: So, that’s my number one traffic source still.

Pat Flynn: Is there, like, a workaround on the mobile version?

Sarah Dawn: Mobile’s even worse. For me, personally, I run a CSS style sheet. That eliminates the problematic parts of it, so that I don’t get my horrible blending headaches. But, also it’s still like, do I really want to give these people money?

Because they were pretty rude about the fallout of this. It’s like, hmm, do I really want to give you, because the way they work is they take a percentage of your pattern sales. And I’m like, hmm, do I really want to be selling patterns for you? Cause like, I don’t, I don’t know, like, hmm.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, that’s really unfortunate and that’s sad because, you know, they should be, I mean, they’re obviously aware of it, but they’re choosing not to do anything about it.

And there’s the boycotting kind of position of it, like, I’m just not going to use it and it’s just my belief and people can get behind you on that. Or there’s the more proactive sort of protest kind of approach that one could take, but then you end up becoming, you know, David versus Goliath and in a situation like that sometimes.

And it’s, might be better worth just like hopefully waiting, they redo the website or something or just have enough people speak up, right? You can be one of several who says something enough to finally and you know, I don’t even know if there are, I’m sure there are some sort of accessibility laws on websites.

I know there are for some things I don’t know specifically about seizure driven things, but. Wow, there’s a lot of layers there.

Sarah Dawn: This was actually a bit ago. And so what’s happened is what I personally decided to do is I don’t, unless there’s a contractual reason, I don’t sell my patterns through them anymore.

There’s a couple that are because contracts and such, but because it’s a database, I can edit it and say, Hey, the primary purchase link is now my webshop.

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

Sarah Dawn: And that’s basically what I’ve done.

Pat Flynn: That’s true. We do that with Switchpod too. Instead of sending people to Amazon, we send people directly to our website and then we don’t have to share any of the revenue with, with Amazon as well.

Sarah Dawn: So that, that’s perfectly fine there. It’s a little bit less traffic because people like having the patterns available through there. But. And I’m still in the search results, and people click the pattern, they’re like, Oh, and it’s one more click, and it seems like people are willing to do it. I don’t have great data on that, but like, that seems to be okay.

And then I have my patterns in Etsy, and I do very little with that, beyond occasionally going, Hi, I have it in Etsy. Because Etsy search actually is surprisingly efficient. I don’t get a lot of purchases on Etsy, but I have never had a single purchase through my own, like, social media links. What I’m getting is either through Etsy’s off site ads program, which is where Etsy puts an ad up on Google and then someone comes through, or where someone was looking for a pattern on Etsy and bought mine.

So Etsy is very secondary, but it pays for itself. So I’m happy.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s good. And you know, this is what a part of the reason why I think building an audience on YouTube and a more public forum, it would allow you to share some of these things more openly. Like, Hey, I would link here, but they do this and I just don’t believe that.

So come to my website instead. Might spark a conversation. You have now a team of people, community behind what it is that you’re doing. You know, many people, especially once they get to know you and get to connect with you will go, you know what, I am going to take those extra two clicks to make sure you get rewarded for that.

And that’s where building the audience and putting your personality and yourself out there can really favor you, especially long term. I’m curious, what is working best for you right now in the world of crocheting and knitting for the work that you’re doing?

Sarah Dawn: Oh, weirdly enough, I actually would say some of the yarn companies and magazines.

For example, I have a, I can’t talk about it too much, but I’ve got a garment pattern coming out. And the way those usually work is it’s basically, the company will ask for like anywhere, depending on the contract, it’s six months or a year or whatever, they distribute the pattern. And then after that, the rights come back to me and I can republish it, put it in my style guide and toss it up onto the internets at various places.

But the thing is, they do a huge simplicity push. And usually there’s some backlinks and stuff for that, but also if the, if the company’s doing it, I don’t pay a tech editor, I usually don’t pay a photographer. I can get around a lot of the expenses for this, and I get a lot of like, again, you know, I get the links up because they’ll be like, oh yeah, it’s designed by this person on Instagram.

And I see the uptick and like follows on Instagram when, when a magazine says like, hey, I found a story. Oh, that’s neat. The downside is they don’t pay well. I don’t want to be throwing magazines in the bus, because most of them, are not, they’re not doing that to be jerks, they’re doing that because they can’t pay themselves.

Right, I was gonna say. Like, I was listening to a podcast, they were interviewing the editor for Making Stories magazine, and she was talking about how they were running this successful knitting magazine and she couldn’t afford to pay herself.

Pat Flynn: I mean, that’s common.

Sarah Dawn: So, like, I can’t fault the fact that, like, they’re doing this.

Pat Flynn: But it’s not direct income to you, it’s, it’s potential Indirect from people following you, people getting to know you. And, and again, getting to gel with your personality and the kinds of styles of, of crochet and knitting patterns. And so there’s definitely benefit to continue that. I would imagine that if you were to scale that or do more or get onto larger platforms like that, that would trickle down and ultimately help you in your business, right?

Sarah Dawn: That’s exactly it. I’ve seen it very slowly trickle down. It’s just, it’s a very slow trickle down. From talking to people in the industry, it runs between 10 to 12 years. If you’re going to start making any like, serious income on this, and most of the people who do this, they have the bazillion hats. You know, they’re on Patreon, they’re on Etsy, they teach, they’re at festivals, they’re doing this, that, and everything else.

They publish books or whatever. Yeah, the warning I got is it’s usually 10 12 years, and I have not been here that long, so it does track.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Well, you’re putting in the work, you’re putting in the time, building, I think, again, you could speed up that 10 12 year process with, you know, A building your audience and becoming known for for certain things and also be the relationships that you build.

I mean, there’s always going to be an average amount of time that something is required to take, but that’s just the average. You could take longer or you could find the shortcuts to take the shorter route. And I think that you have all the puzzle pieces in place to do that. It’s just like we were talking about earlier, the time and getting the reps in.

Sarah Dawn: Time. What is that?

Pat Flynn: Yes. I know there’s knitting machines, but there’s no such thing as a crocheting machine.

Sarah Dawn: All of that’s handwork. And even knitting machine, it goes either back and forth, or just in a round, like in a tube. But if you want to do anything like this, if it’s a singular repeated pattern, you can still program it in.

But let’s say, do I have You could not do this piece on a knitting machine. You couldn’t do it. Because there’s a whole bunch of increase and decrease stitches.

Pat Flynn: Just the loops.

Sarah Dawn: And, well, the loops it can do, but what happens is all the shaping that makes it the crescent, you have to still, like, you can stop the knitting machine, manipulate the stitches by hand, then run the machine.

Then stop the machine, manipulate the stitches by hand, run the machine. So you can do it, but it’s not nearly as effective as If you’re just knitting something like a flat piece, then yeah, the machines go quickly, that’s fine. The problem with that, of course, is that any shaping that is not very simple, it’s you have to have someone go in there and, like, futz about with the stitches to make it go faster.

And also, I’ve tried a knitting machine, and I just did a lot of swearing because it was not it’s not for me. The yarn tangled, it it jammed, it it was that would be a good video. I do not own said knitting machine anymore because it was that swear inducing. So, but yeah, like, I did have one when I was younger, and it was just why this machine is annoying. No.

Pat Flynn: The last thing I’ll say here as we wrap up, and this has been such a great conversation to get an inside look at, and I’ve just enjoyed this personally because to see you in office hours every week, I’ve now gotten to know you on a much deeper level, you know, I do feel like there’s an opportunity for, we had talked about a lot of the things with the magazines and, you know, I feel like there’s always an opportunity for, for creators like us to take a relationship with a company one step further, to go into the not a partnership, but even a collaboration.

How might I become a spokesperson for this particular company or their magazine? Or, you know, again, even if it’s not for a paid thing, it’s, it’s more exposure. So might there, or does that spark any ideas for you in terms of, are there any companies, potentially relationships that you’ve started that you could take to the next level?

You know how I’ve become an advisor for a number of different companies, I’m sure there may be an equivalent, not advisor cause it’s not tech startup type stuff. But as far as like a brand representative who has an audience who can then speak highly and also use and even experiment, test new products and become the sort of go to brand partner, if you will.

For, for a certain company, I feel like, especially in your space, there’s probably a lot of people who are doing a lot of similar things to you working with these magazines, working as creators, but just not thinking on that next level with these partners. I do think there might be an opportunity there if you were to either meet them at an event or connect with them in a much deeper capacity.

What do you think about that?

Sarah Dawn: I think some of the smaller magazines just wouldn’t have that in the budget, but some of the larger companies, I’m not sure how to start that. I have an affiliate link with some of the larger companies, and I’ve worked with them. Specifically, I’ve worked with both WeCrochet and KnitPix, which are under the Crafts Americana.

Big. And they’re, actually, I’ve loved working with them. They’re great. And, further, they even have a patterned royalty system, so I get paid even after this stuff, even when you buy stuff on their website, too, which is great.

Pat Flynn: Oh, that’s cool.

Sarah Dawn: But, like, so I’ve talked with them, but I don’t know if they, Do anything, like I’ve made some subtle hints, but I don’t really go past anything of a, like.

Pat Flynn: How would you know for sure?

Sarah Dawn: Yeah, like that’s the thing, I’d, maybe there is, but I’ve also never seen anyone speaking on that. I’ve never seen them do YouTube sponsorships, I’ve never seen them do any kind of brand ambassador stuff, I’ve seen them, do affiliates that I’ve seen them like give stuff to influencers and to streamers, but I’ve never seen anyone say like, Hey, I’m sponsored by this company, even in, even in our industry.

Pat Flynn: How would you know if they actually would do that or not?

Sarah Dawn: I guess it has to figure who to ask. And that’s, that’s the thing I’m not.

Pat Flynn: Exactly. You just go and find it out. I mean, you know that there’s somebody there who is the decision maker. And I think, again, this is what will separate those who do get this opportunity and those who don’t is you step up and say, okay, I’m, I’m I’m going to I’m determined to figure out who this person is, and I’m going to show them that I can help them out and we’ll see if we can make something happen.

I would highly recommend listening to our good friend of SPI, Justin Moore from Creator Wizard, who is talking a lot about these company to brand partnership relationships and how to go about doing it in a way where everybody wins. And I do think that again, with your, with your personality, your brand, how long you’ve been in this space and kind of what you’re doing and the sort of business components that you are going to add on top of it, that it could be a really big win for you.

Sarah Dawn: Yes, I actually have been following along. I think you were actually the one who introduced me to Justin. I think that was, I think it was you who I found Creator Wizard through. I don’t actually remember. I just now know I’m subscribed and I’m pretty sure it came through you.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I’m glad because he’s, he’s, he’s a good guy.

He’s helping the smaller creators understand that they have a lot of leverage that just is not being used.

Sarah Dawn: I will say one of the things that I’ve taken away from what I’m learning from him is how to tweak the design calls. Because when a magazine or a brand company wants something, they go like, here’s our theme designed to the theme.

Then we choose what we want. And just. Some of what he said, it’s like, I can apply that to the calls these magazines put out for submissions. Hey, cool! Like, even little stuff like that. Yeah. I have to figure out how to make this YouTube thing happen, which is, I think, which I already knew, I just think I needed to kick in the butt.


Pat Flynn: And you got, I’ll give you permission to go into YouTube or, or that kick in the butt virtually if you need it. But anyway, Sarah, I look forward to seeing where you go from here. And obviously we’ll be able to keep in touch in office hours and such. If you could tell everybody who’s listening where they can go to see your knitting patterns and discover more about you, where would you like them to go?

Sarah Dawn: So the simple one is just That is me. It’s Sarah Dons with an S, it is the plural. There is a Sarah Dawn Designs, they’re a photographer. It gets confusing, I get their emails occasionally. Yeah, Sarah Dawn’s Designs. And that is me at the website, that’s most of the socials. And yeah, that’s pretty much it.

If you’ve got questions, you can reach me there. And thank you again for hosting this. This has been, I’m now less nervous, and this was a blast.

Pat Flynn: This was so much fun. Thank you so much, Sarah. I appreciate you.

Sarah Dawn: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: All right, I hope you enjoyed that coaching call. With Sarah Dawn, you can find her designs and crocheting and knitting patterns at And I hope the situation with the website that she was talking about gets situated because that’s just not cool. And I think accessibility is something that often is overlooked when it comes to websites and like a place, it is a place that people go and, and certain people can’t access them because of certain things that are on the website.

So, and I think we’ve talked about this before on the website. I think it’s another great reminder of that and hopefully something can be done. And again, Sarah, thank you so much for coming on and for your energy and your vulnerability today. We’ll have another coaching call next month. We have another person who I had the pleasure of interviewing.

In fact, she was a voice actress of a Dragon Ball Z character who is starting something up and we go over some coaching on how to do that as well. So that’ll come next month, not in the next episode or next week here, but make sure you subscribe. So you don’t miss that. It’ll be a lot of fun. I’m here to help you to serve and help you get things done for yourself.

You got this. Cheers, everybody.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

Share this post

Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

Weekly interviews, strategy, and advice for building your online business the smart way.

Get Unstuck in just 5 minutes, for free

Our weekly Unstuck newsletter helps online entrepreneurs break through mental blocks, blind spots, and skill gaps. It’s the best 5-minute read you’ll find in your inbox.

Free newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime.

Join 135k+