Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time Managment - One Approach

Chocolates Daily Planner by edesse designs

If you've read any of my blogs on promotion techniques then you know that there are a LOT of things that you could be doing, right now, to promote your on-line business. Actually, you don't have to have read any of my blogs, your probably well aware with out them! Each of these promotions techniques has positives and negatives associated with them, but the one thing they all have in common is that they take TIME.  Time is precious. We only have so many hours in the day and in this internet world it's real easy to look up at the clock and realize an entire afternoon (or night!) has gone by with out realizing it!  So what's a business-savvy artist to do? Or maybe more importantly, what's an ARTIST to do? We're not always known for being the most business-minded people, after all, we're right brain thinkers! We're known for our intuitive leaps, impulsiveness, and above all, creativity. Unfortunately the reality of trying to make money off your art is that, well, sometimes we have to anchor our right brain thinking a little and venture into the world of the left brain people. I hope the following ideas help you to do that :)

The credit for this idea goes entirely to my friend Jenny of GoGoKioko :) About a week and a half ago I started a thread in the etsy forums discussing different promotion techniques. I had done my first blog post on the topic and wanted more input! So the research began.

Jenny was one of the very first people to reply and she shared with us that she has an actual promotions schedule! I LOVE the idea :) Here's what Jenny's looks like:

"I am working on not promoting willy nilly. I have a promotion schedule-
Monday- Flickr, blog, entrecard
Tues- Indypublic, Deviantart, Project Wonderful
Wed- Blog, research new promoting opportunities, entrecard
Thurs-Deviantart, Project Wonderful, update Craigslist
Fri- Blog, Flickr, entrecard, research new

I also Twitter and post on the forums (though I don't really consider either promoting, just enjoyable!)"

I'm working on figuring out my promotions schedule. I'm thinking that it's going to take awhile for me to really get it cemented, but I'm going to work on it! As I continue to update in my promotions series I'll occasionally revisit this topic and let you guys know how my schedule is developing :) Right now my schedule looks like this:

Daily activities: Responding to e-mail and messages, keeping up with my various team forum threads, Entrecard drops, post to my treasury blog, post in this blog, create, and list when I have new items! I also respond to any thing quick on project wonderful, I don't really do daily management, but if I have an ad pending I pop over quick enough to respond to it.  I also twitter through out the day, but that's kind of for fun and I only keep up with the tweets when I have time.  More info on these daily activities will be forth coming in my promotion series :)

Non-Daily Activities:
Monday: Manage Project Wonderful ads.
Friday: Post artist interview in this blog, e-mail next weeks interviewee, set up article to also post to Skwiggazine. Read Skwiggazine :P Run promo thread for teambdc.
Saturday: Update Flickr. Talk in the Etsy Forums.
Sunday: Talk in the Etsy Forums.

Right now my activities are weekend heavy because the week itself is pretty full with the rest of life. Plus I'm adding activities in as I have a chance to research them :P I tend take the time talk in the forums mostly on the weekends because that's when there seems to be the most activity and when I seem to find the threads that are the most interesting :P Technically I'm always in them with the team threads though...

Ok, so by now you may be thinking "that's fantastic for you and Jenny, but what about me?" Good question! Remember how I said yesterday that each person is different? That concept is highly applicable here! I know Jenny manages her business around being the Mom of two wonderful, active, boys. I don't have kids to worry about, and I don't have an out of the home job like many people either. What works for her, or for me, may not work for you with your full time job, or fussy little baby. Here's some ideas to get you started on tweaking your OWN daily schedule :)

1. Write down a list of everything that you currently do to promote your shop. Having troubles thinking of what your doing? Check out this post for a list of ideas :)

2. Break up your list. Separate it into items that you think are important to do daily and items that you can do maybe only a few times a week.  Carefully evaluate each item on your list as you do so.  Some of them you may be able kind of split up. A good example of that would be how I manage my project wonderful advertising. I'll go to the site to respond to any e-mail notifications of ads pending on a daily basis, but I only actually go fiddle with my ads and campaigns once a week. 

3. Don't forget the rest of your life! Your not just an artist and etsy shop , your a mom/wife/daughter/husband/son/employee/whatever! Make a list of the REST of the things in your life that you need to get done.  Both daily and things that are done weekly.

4. Compare your promotions list and your "life" list.

5. Meld the two. Don't forget to leave time to actual create and time to relax and have fun!

6. Keep the list somewhere that works for you. One idea would be to post the daily items next to your computer or work area so your daily reminded of them, and then put the "day dependent" items down in your planner.

Whew - anyone else tired? Me too! Don't worry - only one more step to go!

7. Above all, be flexible! Go back and re-evaluate your plan periodically. What's working for you? What's NOT working for you? Add things, cross things out, don't be afraid to try a new plan!

Oh yes - and I mention planners? Planners are a great thing to keep but they don't work for everyone! I use my planner for keeping track of dates and dead-lines and then use to-do lists to break down each day a little farther. Speaking of which - tomorrow's topic is on to-do lists! You didn't think I was going to go off on that tangent today did you? I could, but I think I've probably given you more than enough to think about for one day ;)


uniquecommodities said...

Most excellent information! Keep it coming!

penguinsplunder said...

Oh fabulous! I'm so glad you put this up.

jenscloset said...

What a fantastic article! Thank you so much!

MagdaleneJewels said...

I prefer your article to the Storque! I do try to be organized, but life just doesn't work that way for me; but some of the ideas on your blog got me thinking. I guess one has to make priorities!
Thanks for the article and look forward to more.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Thanks you guys :)

TiLT said...

isgreat...looking forward to more!

pumpkinhaus said...

There is some great information here... I would love to incorporate some of these ideas into my time management process.

Buttons said...

now this I like; step-by-step advice. thanks Ruthie!

BeadedTail said...

Great information! The wheels are turnin' on how I can apply this info to my schedule. Thanks for putting all this together!

Candy Stick Lane said...

This post is rock out fabulous! Super read and now Im on it! Ill make lists this weekend!!!!!

storybeader said...

Ruthie - this is a great idea! I'm going to write down all the promotional things I do currently. Then write down my "life" activities, like going to the gym and visiting with my DH! Can't schedule my artistic spirts, but I can do things to get prepared, like sorting beads.