Running a creative business can be hard work, especially when it is not your full time job or you have a family and a home to look after. Everyone gets busy in their life and your creative business can suffer as a result of it. I have been thinking a lot about small things that can make a big difference to Butterfly Crafts and how I can be a little more organised and fit more in to my day. Basically I need to learn to juggle!
I think everyone can be guilty of “researching” on Pinterest, browsing Instagram or getting sucked in to Twitter and then before you know it an hour has passed by. So what could you do in a short amount of time, even 5 or 15 minutes that could potentially make a big difference to your business? Having given it a lot of thought, here are ten ideas of small things you could implement.
- Schedule social media posts – I use Buffer and I have the app on my iphone, it is linked to both my Facebook and Twitter. It’s great to spend a few minutes scheduling links to blog posts, Pinterest boards or other articles you like so that when things do get busy, you are maintaining a social media presence – just remember to log in to engage with your followers too.
- Update your social media profiles – You may very well have profiles on the main social media channels but how up to date is your bio or profile text? It is always worth having a quick review of these. On Instagram you can only have one link in your bio, why not temporarily change it from your main website link to a specific blog post or a product that you are promoting in your latest posts?
- Manage your emails – It can be overwhelming to have a crammed inbox, but spending a few minutes responding to emails, reorganising into files, or even deleting them, can be a great mental relief, and it’s always best to respond to enquiries promptly.
- Write a blog post – This is something I am guilty of, but it is important to try and keep your blog up to date. If you don’t have much time to sit in one go and write (and schedule) lots of posts, spend ten minutes creating draft posts with just blog titles, that way if you get stuck for ideas you have some already on the go that you just need to pad out with text and images.
- List a new product for sale – You can’t sell products unless your audience and customers can see them! Spend a few minutes getting a new product online whether you sell on your own website or though a market place like Etsy, then once you have a product live, maybe schedule a tweet to tell the world about it!
- Take or Edit photos – Having a creative business is very visual, you might need photos for products in your shop or for social media or your blog. Good photos can be reliant on good weather for natural light so it can be great to bulk take photos for products or social media when the light is good, and then spend a little time each day editing photos ready for those product listings or scheduling social media. PicMonkey can be great for photo editing, and it’s free, or the phone app PicTapGo.
- Send out an e-newsletter – Sending out an e-newsletter can be a great way to communicate with your audience, share with them those new products you have listed or what your latest blog post is about, maybe you have a special offer on at the moment, let them know! I use MailChimp as my e-newsletter programme, want to receive it? Sign up here.
- Tidy Up – I can’t stand working in a mess, if my studio table is messy then I struggle to be creative, or if I have lots of filing to do. Spending a few minutes putting things away can clear your brain and enable you to be crafty again (it can also mean you rediscover supplies you forgot you had!). Or if you are one of those many people who do their accounting and tax return at the last minute, spend a little time organising your receipts and sale records to make it a bit easier for yourself when the time comes.
- Get some fresh air -You might think this sounds odd as a way to be more productive, but actually getting away from your work space and out into the fresh air can be fantastic for you. Not only is the fresh air good for our health, I personally find that short amount of time having a walk or cycle helps me to mill over a new blog post or a business plan problem I might be having. Getting out an about is also a really beneficial way to get away from screen time and give your eyes a rest.
- Brainstorm – Have too many ideas running around in your head but you can’t get on with any of them? Make a cup of tea and sit down quietly with a nice notebook (any excuse for stationery shopping!) and have a brain storm of blog titles or product development, that way when you have free time you can look at your list, get focused and be productive. Brainstorming is something that I think is key because it’s always good to regularly spend a little time thinking and contemplating what direction you want to take your business and what plans you have. And a good brainstorm is a great excuse for a pretty notebook, and how lovely is the ‘Little Book of Big Ideas’ Notebook by OhNoRachio?
If you only have ten minutes or so, what would you do to help your business? I’d love to hear your tips so please do comment or come and share with me on Twitter.