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Make It Work – Professional Development Programme

February 9 @ 10:00 am - April 15 @ 12:30 pm



A new professional development programme created especially for London Potters by The Design Trust

We are really excited to announce that we have a new partnership with The Design Trust to provide a specially created online professional development programme for spring 2024. Patricia van den Akker, the Director of The Design Trust and an award-winning creative business adviser, trainer and coach who has worked with 1,000s of creatives in the last 25 years has created a special programme for us. ‘Make It Work’ consists of 5 online workshops, each between 2-2.5 hours long, covering all aspects of starting & growing a ceramics business. From business planning and goal setting to kickstart the year, to marketing, branding, improving your website, and how to cost & price your ceramics and to make more money in 2024. You can join one workshop, or if you book all 5 sessions then you will pay even less.

This online course is especially created for London Potter members and is aimed at both emerging and established craftspeople, artists & designers, and Patricia will provide specialist advice for different products and services, incl. commissions and teaching workshops.


Workshop 1: ‘Create a business plan for 2024’ 9 February 10am – 12Noon

Workshop 2: ‘Marketing fundamentals for ceramicists’ 24 February 10am – 12.30pm

Workshop 3: ‘Create a brand & a better website to stand out’ 15 March 10am – 12.30pm

Workshop 4: ‘Get more online sales’ 25 March 10am – 12.30pm

Workshop 5: ‘Making money – how to create a profitable ceramic or craft business’ 15 April 10am – 12.30pm




As this is created for London Potters (but the course is open to all including non members), we have a special discount for our members as follow:

  1. The individual online workshops are £39,- each but as a London Potter member you will get 1/3 off and only pay £26,- per session.
  2. The entire package of 5 online workshops is £150,- but as a London Potter member you only pay £100,- in total (incl. VAT).

To find the discount code, please log onto the London Potters website and go to members’ hub. https://www.londonpotters.com/members-news/make-it-work-a-new-professional-development-programme-created-especially-for-london-potters-by-the-design-trust


You can find all the details about the Make It Work professional development programme here: https://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/online-course/london-potters-making-it-work-spring-2024/



Patricia has been a creative business adviser, trainer and coach for over 25 years. She has run the Professional Development course for final year Ceramic Students at Central St Martins for the last 7 years, and used to be the Studio Manager at Studio Levien. She regularly teaches at the Royal College of Arts and at other art schools across the UK, and works with many studio providers and craft fairs too.

All the sessions will be recorded and you will have access to them till 1 October 2024.






Do you find it difficult to juggle all the different parts of your business? Are you not really sure what to focus on when it comes to marketing or making your business more profitable? Do you never have time to work on the important tasks in your business? Do you want to get back in control of your business by focusing more on the important goals and creating project plans that will make your life and business easier to run?

In this first online morning workshop you will create your own visual business plan for 2024, setting juicy goals for yourself, your creative practice & production, marketing & finance (incl. a financial forecast). It’s the perfect start to the new year!

Patricia will advise you on which specific actions will improve your finances and marketing and how to make the most of the quiet and busy times in your seasonal ceramic or craft business.

You will finish this session by looking into time management and how to minimise overwhelm and procrastination.

This is a very practical and interactive online workshop. Throughout this online workshop you will be working on creating a one-page visual business plan for 2024 with specific goals incl. finance, marketing and looking at your creative work, identifying strategic projects to focus on to move your business forward, and specific business, marketing and organisational actions to do in 2024.


24 FEBRUARY 10AM – 12.30PM (UK TIME)

Would you like to do more marketing in your business but aren’t really sure what works or what to do? Do you really know who your ideal clients are? Do you want to get more online sales, event sales, better commissions, and orders from galleries or interior designers? Of course you do!

In this practical but strategic marketing workshop, we will dive into the fundamentals of marketing. This is a great session for both emerging and established ceramicists and other designer makers, who want to improve their marketing skills and knowledge, and get more confident and creative with their marketing.

Even if you have been in business for a while it’s always good to return to the fundamentals some time!

We will start this online workshop with an introduction to marketing: What is marketing? What are the marketing myths? What stops you from marketing yourself better? (You are not the only creative who finds this difficult …!)

We then move on to what do you create & sell specifically as a ceramicist or designer maker (incl. functional ceramics, design or art, but we will also look briefly at commissions, licensing or workshops) and connect that with who are your ideal clients? How can you identify specific client groups and get to know your ideal clients better? Patricia will share some really great creative exercises and questions to help you get to know your ideal clients at a deeper psychological level.

“People only buy from people they know, like & trust”. This is our marketing mantra, central to all our own marketing strategies and activities, but also what our marketing teaching is based on. Before you can get any sales, orders or commissions you will need to build your profile, credibility & trust. But how exactly will you do that? Patricia will give you loads of ideas and actions for you to do after this practical marketing workshop!

In the final part of this marketing workshop, you will start to create your own mini-marketing plan for the next 6 – 12 months. You will identify a specific marketing/sales goal for your professional ceramic practice or craft business, with specific marketing projects to work on to make you feel more professional and confident (What’s missing right now?), and we will focus on specific marketing/sales channels too (e.g. online, events).

Best of all … Patricia will share exactly what marketing activities to focus on if you want to a) get more online sales, b) sales at selling events such as Ceramic Art London or PotFest, c) orders from wholesale & trade (incl. galleries & licensing), d) commissions & higher end sales, and e) workshop bookings! This will be super helpful so that you can focus on those marketing activities that actually work! Yes, there is a lot more to marketing than doing social media …

Throughout this intensive Saturday morning workshop, you will be working on your own mini-marketing plan to promote yourself and your work to the right people in the right way for the next few months. This session will focus especially on what ceramicists can create & sell and who your ideal clients are for these types of products or services. Patricia will share really practical homework exercises and creative examples so that you can make the most of your new marketing knowledge and implement it in your own business afterwards.


15 MARCH 10AM – 12.30PM (UK TIME)

Is your website as good as it could be? Does it clearly show what you are *really* selling and make you stand out from the competition? Is it easy to navigate and buy from you online? Are your images showing your work at its best and doing the hard work of selling for you? Do you have a professional brand (no need to pay loads!) that makes you stand out and attract your ideal clients?

Having a professional website and recognisable brand is essential if you want to run a small successful ceramic or craft business. It will help you to stand out and attract your ideal clients (and frankly put the wrong ones off!), educate your audience about what you do and what you can do for them. Your website is the best and most creative (!) place to get to know you and your work, and of course it’s the best place to get sales, retail orders, and commissions.

This online workshop is especially aimed at ceramicists and other craftspeople who want to rebrand or improve their existing website or Etsy shop. It’s NOT suitable for ceramicists or makers who do not have a website or who only have a social media presence.

This will be a very visual workshop with loads of craft/ceramic examples to inspire you & with very specific advice on improving your creative brand and website. We highly recommend that you sign up to all 3 marketing & sales workshops.

We will start this workshop with some great creative exercises to identify your brand values AKA what do you want to be known for? Patricia will then show you how to turn your unique brand values into a more consistent brand (on a shoe string budget!), incl. your website design, photography & film, social media, packaging, display at events etc.

We will then focus on improving your website to get more online sales with better design and images, by creating better collections, improving navigation and categories, and building your profile, credibility and trust online with a better home page, about me pages, blogs and videos.

Throughout this workshop you will create your own action plan to improve your brand and existing website. We recommend that you spend between 7 – 21 hours after this session to implement these improvements.


25 MARCH 10AM – 12.30PM (UK TIME)

Do you want to get more sales, wholesale orders, commissions or workshop bookings from your website or Etsy shop?

Once you have improved your website (we highly recommend you join the previous workshop) then it’s time to start driving traffic to your updated & rebranded website, and turn those new extra visitors into buyers!

We will start this session with what sells especially well online and what doesn’t. You will get homework to check your own online best sellers and find out more about your visitor numbers and your conversion rate.

We will then look at the 4 main ways to drive traffic to your website:

  • SEO and keywords to help your site get found: Including how to identify the right keywords and use them in your website. Learn how to write better product titles and descriptions using them.
  • Email marketing: Why this is such a powerful tool for small creative businesses. How to get more signups and write beautiful & timely emails.
  • Social media: How to make it work better, with inspiring creative examples.
  • Traditional marketing: Including local and event marketing

We will finish this in-depth session with a quick introduction on how to turn visitors into buyers and what stops people buying from your website.

Throughout this workshop you will create your own action plan to get more online sales. We recommend that you reserve some time to make these changes happen from April – June to make the most of this workshop.

Please note: This workshop is aimed at ceramicists and other crafts people who have got a website or Etsy shop. It’s not suitable if you do not have a website yet.


Do you find it hard to make a living from your ceramic or craft practice? Do you put in a lot of effort but don’t really generate enough money to pay yourself? Functional ceramics are indeed one of the hardest craft areas to price!

In this final workshop, we will focus on costing and pricing and making your ceramic or craft business profitable. This is a very practical but strategic and thought-provoking workshop!

We will start with costing & pricing. Patricia will explain how to calculate the cost price, wholesale & retail price of your products, and your daily rate as a ceramicist or maker. Patricia will share the most common pricing strategies for ceramicists and other craftspeople, with specific tips for pricing your products, workshops, commissions and licensing better.

We will then move on to making your business viable and profitable, and what to do if your numbers don’t stack up. Patricia will share her specialist expertise to change your prices or price points (without losing any clients!). Functional ceramics are hard to price, aren’t they?!

During this session you will start to work on creating a financial forecast for the next 2 years to make your craft business viable and ultimately profitable, with a specific financial goal, different income streams and price points.

And of course we will be working on how to become more comfortable & confident around charging what you are worth!






February 9 @ 10:00 am
April 15 @ 12:30 pm