by Lisa Jacobs
Here are ten business-boosting goals to try out on your Etsy shop to make this your best-selling year yet.
Goal #1: Build a mailing list.
If you don’t already have an email host, I highly recommend Mail Chimp (sign up for free) or google “email marketing services” for a longer list of options. The benefits of using a service are countless: they provide email templates, tracking information, website forms, and web pages where your customers can join, and they handle “unsubscribes” that comply with SPAM laws.
Once you have your mailing list, help people find the sign-up form! I include a link in my shop announcement on Etsy, in my autoresponder “thank you for your order” email, connect it to a tab on my Facebook fan page account, and publish the link to the sign-up form on Facebook and Twitter just before a big sale with an announcement: “Exclusive sale going out to the mailing list this Thursday! If you haven’t yet signed up, now’s your chance!”
Goal #2: Create an editorial calendar.
Success doesn’t just happen to people! Imagine building your dream house without blueprints – you show up every day and lay bricks where you think they might go without a plan. Do you think you would be content with the end result after years of free-form building?
No! Yet that’s how the majority of us run our creative businesses! We chase emails, get lost in creating, and spend way more time “researching” on Pinterest than we ought to. An editorial calendar ensures that the tasks that add to your bottom line get done first.
Goal #3: Build a marketing plan.
This goes hand in hand with number 2, as it will make your year easier to schedule and more productive. Plan your sales and promotions in advance, and this will help a lot of other strategies fall into place, such as: when to order supplies, when to post on social media, what to blog about, etc.
Goal #4: Feng Shui your workspace.
I love Feng Shui for the home. If you’re not familiar, Feng Shui is a “Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment.” (Wikipedia.) Feng Shui is the practice of improving the gentle flow of energy in your space.
To improve the energy flow in your workspace, refer to this simple guide I wrote on Feng Shui for the Home Office.
Goal #5: Revamp what’s gone stale in your shop.
Simply ask: What would make me feel good and excited about my shop again? Maybe it’s a new product line, maybe it’s finding 100 new customers, or learning a new skill.
To rekindle the flame in business, do a mini-review session. Ask: Where would I like to take things in the next three months? What’s the progress I want to see? And what can I do to achieve it?
Goal #6: Blog regularly.
I love blogging; I wish everyone would do it. Blogging forces you to sit down and ask: What do I want to say to the world? And once you start sharing that message, it only gets better.
For creative businesses, blogging reinforces your brand and your online persona. It is an ongoing conversation between you and your customers, allowing them to get to know you better.
Goal #7: Create a multi-faceted business.
The phrase “multiple streams of income” is music to my ears. My online storefront is only half of the work I do. I also earn income from business coaching, courses and programs, my blog, and a part-time editing position.
The steady flow of cash that is provided by these multiple sources equals one calm creative business owner. I’m able to think clearly about new projects because my working hours are free of desperation, high pressure or anxiety.
Goal #8: Track your working hours.
This is a new practice for me, and I’m seeing amazing results with it. In 2014, I decided I was going to reduce my working hours and keep a progress log of how I spent them. I then publish my results each month. The transparency felt so wonderful, that I’ve even decided to share how much I make with my creative business each month as well!
Goal #9: Collaborate with other artists.
Some of the biggest leaps in my career have come from community partnerships. For example, Timothy Adam (editor of Handmadeology) and I co-host the Build a Better Creative Business course for online sellers. Tim loves to do all of the things I dislike about launching an e-course (the technical side of things), and likewise, I love to do all the things that Tim dislikes (writing and organizing).
By working together, we eliminated stalls we would have encountered had either of us taken the challenge on our own.
Goal #10: Apply the WRAP Technique to your new ideas and lofty goals.
This is a simple, 4-step process I created to help you bust your ruts in business. If you’ve been contemplating the next level of business but find yourself overwhelmed, ask the following questions in this order: (1.) Why not? (2.) How so? (3.) For what result? (4.) Is it worth it to try? Click here to check out some of my own personal examples, and the amazing results I’ve seen.
Finally, for whatever goals you set out to accomplish, be sure to assign them a deadline. This will motivate you to stay on task and work your projects through to completion. Best of luck!