'Rock Your Shop: A Guide to Building, Branding, and Rocking Etsy' is a one-stop guidebook for both newbie and veteran Etsians alike. From creating your shop all the way down to branding and SEO, Shai Ford pulls from 8.5 years of selling on Etsy and 4 years of social media marketing and branding, along with interviews, tips, and examples from successful sellers, to walk you step-by-step through creating, branding, and marketing your own shop.
As a creative, running a business isn’t easy. Being a mom, quite often, turns that task into an obstacle course style marathon, smattered with carpools, invoices, Post Office trips, emails, and digging Play-Doh out of the carpet.
While I didn’t include any mommy tips in my book, Rock Your Shop: Building, Branding, and Rocking Etsy, I wrote it with the multi-tasking WAHM in mind.
As a WAHM, I completely understand what it’s like to barely have time to make our products, much less photograph them. Researching how to take those stunning photographs you see in high-profile Etsy shops? Forget about it! Having time to sit down and figure out what SEO stands for and maybe, possible, how to use it to generate more sales? Not so much. So I’m here, today, to share some of my favorite tips to being a multi-tasking WAHM:
Write down a list of things you need to do or focus on every day.
Prioritize, not by importance, the size of the task, or the time it will take, but by how profitable that task is. Then, focus on the top few and work your way down the list. The next day? Don’t pick up where you left off! Start back at the top, with the most profitable. With profit you can continue to grow your business!
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
I personally am such a perfectionist that I almost never do this and, I promise you, it has come back to bite me in the tush on more than one occasion. Every holiday season, however, I am so slammed that I have no choice but to pay, barter, and/or bake my way into the hearts of my dear friends and have them help me out with my shop. Have a Bloody Mary Sunday (if you drink - Shirley Temples if you don’t!), and invite all of your closest girlfriends over to talk, sip, and put together your packaging. Kids love to help out with the family business when they’re young - what can you hand over to them? My daughter loves oxidizing the pieces after I stamp them.
Trade babysitting services with girlfriends, mom groups, or relatives!
This isn’t something you have to do often. However, when you do set something up, try to plan for a specific period of time and tackle one large task that you can’t do with the kids around. Buckle down and turn off all distractions, except maybe some motivating music, and focus only on sewing/designing/packaging and getting as much done as you can in a small amount of time.
Use little chunks of time as you can.
Baby down for a nap? Take a few minutes to print labels. Cooking dinner? Whip out your phone and respond to customer emails. You actually get more done if you work in short bursts, anyway. Set a timer for 10-15-20 minutes and work until the timer goes off. I know my daughter takes 20 minute showers. Water bill withstanding, I know I can also use that time to get the last of my noisy projects slammed out before she goes to bed.
Running a business with kids isn’t a cake-walk. It is, however, worth it. Once you get you and your family on enough of a schedule that you can get things done and stay productive, you can start allocating that time to grow your business and further support your little ones with your amazing handmade products!
Shai Ford is a 29-year-old mom, social media campaign manager, and Etsy veteran. She currently runs her own Etsy shop as well as ShaiFord.com, and offers one-on-one business coaching for Etsians and other small business folks, targeting everything from product creation to social media marketing. As an artist, and a peace and social justice rights activist, Shai loves helping and watching 'the little man' succeed and reach their dreams.
You can follow Shai on twitter, facebook, and find her at her etsy shop, blog or on her facebook group.