Friday, April 9, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: How to Stay Sane, Promote, and Still Have Time for Crafting - Part 3

Here's the last part of the series on staying sane while promoting and crafting.  As promised, I'm going to reveal what I think is the most important thing I've used since I started crafting as a business to keep my head on straight:

The #1 tool you need to utilize is...(drumroll please)...

A schedule!  Seems simple right?  Scheduling your time allows you more freedom than you may realize.

Take a look at my original schedule:

Whew, I feel like I'm revealing trade secrets.  Seriously though, you need to go ahead and write it out.  I've since changed my schedule to fit my lifestyle and to make it easier for me to create more often, but this schedule was essential for me to get started.  You have to make a schedule first in order to see what works and what doesn't.

I'm very flexible with my time but this is essentially what mine looks like now:


Sunday - Evaluation of advertising strategies and budget, beginning craft show preparations if one the following weekend

Monday - Guild/Team participation, anything else I feel like doing

Tuesday - Post a Weekly Treasures post if possible, anything else I feel like doing

Wednesday - Forums, Etsy chat, occasionally a special blog post

Thursday - Etsy labs, write EB Hotlist post

Friday - finish EB Hotlist, post it, promote it

Saturday - update Facebook, use MyTweeple, anything else I feel like doing

Once a week try to: post a Weekly Treasures post, post a Hotlist post, update Facebook, post once in each forum, tweet, participate in Guild/Teams, and view one Etsy Lab

I live alone and eat dinner alone, so a lot of times I'll use that time to get my promotion in.  Then I have the rest of the night to create something new.


Monday - Friday: Make something new.
Saturday - Sunday: Work on larger projects that may take more than one night to complete.

During Etsy labs, chats, and tweeting, I usually have something in my hands that I'm sewing, beading, gluing, or glazing.  I also craft during my favorite TV shows.

Your schedule may be more or less intense than mine depending on how many hours you have each day to devote to your work.  I have a day job so I spend about 4 hours each evening and then whatever I decide on the weekends.  I never beat myself up for not following my schedule exactly as it's there as a framework and not a burden.  There's enough built-in flexibility for me to skip a day if I need to or switch days around if it's more convenient to do so.

One thing I want you to keep in mind is that the reason you're doing this whole dance is because you love your craft and you want to share it with others.  Never forget to make time for what you enjoy doing, because you don't want the business side of things to swallow up your passion.  Besides, all the promoting in the world won't do you any good if you only have, say, 12 items to sell.  12 items means up to 12 potential customers, 144 items means up to 12 x 12 potential customers - so you need to continue to craft.  That's just an example, but you get the picture.  Don't allow yourself to be overwhelmed and you'll be surprised how much time you have to do what you care about.

Have any tips to share?  Leave them in the comments!

Until next time,


Plantress said...

well! I can't believe that you have a day job with that schedule you showed us. Good Lord you are a super human. I like to blog and I like to create but I don't think I could do all that. I find that my day job makes me lazy with my shop/promotion

Elle said...

It's really not so bad. :) I do spend all of my free time except on the weekends working on business and crafting though.

If blogging is what you like to do, I would just focus on doing that really well and not worry about the other things. Realistically, not every form of promotion is going to work for every business and it's more likely to work for you if you actually enjoy it.