Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In pursuit of etsyness...

Cyan Blue Valentine's Kids Cuff by TactileQuality

Hello darlings! My name is Marianne Bland of Trucdart on Etsy. I joined Sac Etsy fairly recently, but previously I managed the SactoMetro Etsy Team (now defunct in favor of local solidarity) for about two years. I've had a shop on Etsy for about 2.5 years. In my past professional life, I worked in sales with e-commerce business owners, enabling me to snag tidbits of internet marketing knowledge over the years. So I've volunteered to contribute here, and I'll be publishing bi-weekly blog posts on our team blog with tips & tricks on how to run your shop & craft business better! If there are any topics you'd like to see in upcoming posts, feel free to convo me. I'll also be doing my best to use images from active team member listings in my posts, so be sure to use the "Sac Etsy Team" tag to be found by me and others using that search method for team treasuries.

Time Flies Funky Chain & Cluster Necklace by PennysLane
Today's post is about BALANCE. One of the biggest challenges small business owners like us face is finding a happy balance between work & play. An additional trick for crafters is balancing "making" time with marketing time. It amazes me how I can sit down at the computer to start editing photos for Etsy listings, and suddenly hours have disappeared. It leaves me feeling frustrated and as if I've wasted time. While I will be evaluating some shortcuts (Etsy Hacks/Apps) in the future to see if I can save some time with listings, today I'd like to recommend embracing the power of deadlines.

Last year, I completed a daily art project. Giving myself the requirement to create and post a new piece of art every day on my blog forced me to set aside time for making and marketing every day. Granted, I should have included putting the item for sale in my Etsy shop in that routine and I wouldn't have a pile of un-posted artwork in my guest room right now, but nobody's perfect. :) This helped me get into the pattern of productivity.

Book Bag by Stitchuation
Since completing the project December 31st, I feel sort of aimless and out of sorts since I have plenty of to-do's swirling around in my head. To combat this, I've decided to plan out my week & allot for 20 hours of marketing and 20 hours of artmaking. But even that general plan isn't helping me adhere to a schedule- so I've decided to plot it out daily. I'm 2 hours in to an 8 hour shift of web-work today and so far I'm feeling much better about things.

If you're not at full speed yet this year, consider a bit of organization and time-blocking to get yourself on track! Try a new schedule for a few weeks and review your results. Behind on making things? Rev things up with a daily art challenge! Whether you opt for a week, two weeks or a month, any solid chunk of regular creating is sure to get you on track for a great 2011! Got some great tips for the rest of us? Share them in the comments! See you again in 2 weeks!


Pure Palette Soybean Candles & Scents said...

Hi Marianne, Thank you for your contribution for making this blog up and running again. And it is a very nice story, always nice to know what other team members are doing..Cheers, Usa from purepalette soycandles

Sparkling Sisters Jewelry said...

Great article, Marianne! I look forward to more!

Annette - Dazzling Dogz said...

I'm glad I'll be reading a blog by you again. I really like your writing style. This might be obvious, but recently I realized I had to stop and get my supplies more organized. I use fabric and trims for my scrunchies. I now have a ton of trims. I had them organized by color in some plastic drawers, but I had built up such an inventory that I noticed I was still wasting time even if I was just looking in the "pink" drawer. An idea came to me. I took some foam board and cut off little tiny swatches of each trim and pinned them to the foam board with push pins. I did them in color groupings on the board. Now when I'm trying to decide what trim to use with a fabric, I can just look at the foam board and not waste time rummaging through a drawer.


Deb said...

Thanks for the great ideas Marianne! I work a 8-5 and have to manage all my research, new product development, testing, package design, and marketing/etsy on the weekends. I'm going to try your scheduling trick (and maybe train my 13yr old to take pics for me!).

Georgie Gilmore said...

Good read :) thanks