With a craft business, many people assume you do nothing but create all day long. Wouldn't that be nice? The truth is another matter entirely!
Serious craft bloggers realize that the most crucial business activities are not in the stamp room, but in the home office.
There is a balance between spending the necessary time doing what you love to do, and doing what must be done in order to be able to afford to continue doing what you love.
Business-minded demonstrators know that a blog post is only worth it's marketing. No matter how awesome your content is, if it is not advertised, promoted, pushed out there, it's virtually worthless within a week. It will garner results only based on who happened to see it before it slipped off the first page of your blog or who happens to stumble upon it months or even years later.
No one wants to think of their work as wasted, no matter what their industry. So what can we do to make sure each post gets out there, promptly, in front of the eyes of those we want to view it?
Savvy business people use a creating to marketing time ratio of at LEAST 1:1. In layman's terms, that means they spend at least the same amount of time marketing, sharing, promoting and advertising their project as the time it took them to create it.
Think back to the last project you created.
What did you do when it was finished?
How did you market it so it would bring in results?
How did you ensure that it would continue to be promoted/seen in the future?
How did you ensure that not just your existing customers, but also future customers, would see it?
What would you say your ratio of crafting to marketing was?
Highly-successful demonstrators use a ratio closer to 2:1. If your answer was anything less than 1:1, you can be certain you are leaving money on the table and hurting the long-term sustainability of your business.
Side note: many craft bloggers fall into the trap of thinking that blogging a project is the same thing as marketing it. While a blog post IS a marketing device, it's also a project in and of itself. And as a project, it also requires the same amount of marketing in order to be successful.
We bust our backsides to produce top-quality blog content--and then sit back and wait for people to come to us, instead of going to them.
It can be discouraging to think of all the many past hours spent creating cards and then creating blog content, hours which we see now were too often left un-maximized by lack of marketing after creation. However, let me encourage you with this saying: "Know better, do better." You have learned an important lesson today; let it inform your actions going forward.
Does this seem like a daunting task?
Can I share a secret that will help?
The secret is to find as much joy and creativity in the marketing part as you do in the crafting part.
Learn to delight in new-found social media skills instead of dreading them as an unavoidable chore. Take pleasure in a well-crafted turn of phrase and in staging a great photo. Draw strength from realizing you are spending your precious time in a smart manner that will pay off far into the future. Turn some of that God-given creativity into the business realm and enjoy learning new skills.
Much about direct sales has changed in the last ten years. This is one thing that has not, although the forms of marketing available to the common man have proliferated almost beyond imagination. The people you see at the top of the company are not necessarily the best stampers. But they are definitely those who have learned the lesson that advertising is EVERYTHING.
What could change in the next year, if you started today and worked towards a 1:1 ratio?
Where would you be if you started today and put all your energies towards a 2:1 ratio?
Let's find out, shall we?