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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unique's Jewelry

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dare to Share – Time Management tips from Brandi of Caties Blue

-- What activities are important to you?
Creating, photographing, listing, in that order. Then, once I've got photos on the computer, I'll post them in Flickr and maybe do a blog post, too, depending on time.

-- How often to you list?
Not often enough! But when I was regularly listing, it was at least 3 times a week. I try not to go more than four days without listing, but that doesn't always work.

-- Do you re-list items for increased exposure?
Nope. Jewelry is so saturated that it doesn't seem to make a difference, really. I do relist in my destash shop, but those supplies sell faster than finished jewelry.
-- Do you blog? If so, how often?

Yes. I used to blog pretty regularly, every other day or so, on two blogs, but time is limited these days, so that's gone by the wayside.

-- Do you ACTIVELY participate in any groups, such as this one? If so, how, and how often?
I only have one street team, this one, and yeah, I'm pretty active on these Google pages. I hardly go onto the Etsy fora anymore, so my participation here involves the Google group, the Team blog, team meetings, and mentoring. Besides etsyBEAD, I am a member of a couple other jewelry making groups off Etsy, so I post occasionally on those.

-- How do you support others so they support you?
I have a blog called ThisRocksMySocks solely devoted to featuring others, via interviews or other posts. But I'm probably going to have to give it up (no time!). I also exchange blog links with people, make contacts through Flickr, and try to be as open and supportive as I can with my fellow etsyBEADers.

-- Do you pay to advertise your Etsy shop? If so, in what venue?
I'm really bad at self-promotion (one of the things I'd like to work on this year), but I have used Project Wonderful. I didn't see a big increase in views or sales, but I have a feeling I didn't put enough effort into it.

-- If you were to recommend just THREE networking activities, what would they be?
Flickr, a street team, and joining a blog ring.

-- And maybe most importantly, what have you eliminated because it just didn't seem to be beneficial?
Besides housework, lol, I'm cutting back on the time I spend online. I have profiles on a lot of different sites, like Indiepublic, We Love Etsy (which I deleted after a while), TalentDatabase, DaWanda, but I don't do anything with them and I rarely check them. Without advanced shop statistics, it's hard to tell where people have found me, but when I was active on every single site, I didn't see any increase in views or sales, really, so I don't put a lot of effort into them anymore.

-- If you dare to REALLY share, how about providing a glimpse into your weekly schedule (basics) and any tips or tricks for time management you have learned along the way.
I do create full-time, but I don't really have a set schedule since my life is kind of hectic and I need to be flexible. But I start my days the same way; get up, turn the computer on, go through my emails and convos, read replies to posts, respond if needed. Then, I'll do a mail run, eat something, and get going on whatever tasks I have planned for that day. While I don't have a set schedule, I do have what I call "Photography Day", "Creation Day", etc. Those are days where I first focus my attention on getting things made or photographed, and those days can change based on what my personal schedule is at any give time.

Basically, I try to group doing a bunch of similar things at once, and I'll wait till I have a bunch of pieces made before I photograph. Once those pieces that have been photographed, I'll sit and work on pricing and bookkeeping for all those pieces at one time. So, ideally, I'll photograph once a week (Photo Day) for the upcoming week(s), and I'll plan out when I list my finished jewelry. When I go to list, everything is already done (from the price to the description and measurements, etc,), so that cuts down on my listing time. I find that's the best time management thing that's worked for me; rather than spend half an hour photographing every day, I'll group it together so it'll maybe take just an hour once a week instead since I only have to set up the camera and arrange everything once.

Creation Days are days when I just ignore everything else and make pieces. I do create whenever I can, but it helps me to have specific days where I don't let anything interrupt me. I'm also really patient with myself, so if a particular piece isn't working, I'll start a new piece or do something different altogether and let it sit.
When I take a break

from doing whatever I'm doing, I'll pop online and check everything again. Once the day is done, I'll go through and print any orders, get those packaged and ready to ship in the morning. I'm a night owl, so chances are I'll work some more at night before I go to bed.

-- Any tips or tricks you have learned?:
Go slow when signing up for things, and make sure you've got time for them. You do need to be visible for people to find you, but you still need to find what works for you balance-wise. Time is precious, so price your work accordingly.