It all started with a pretty little notebook. And a dream.

The first time I did an art show about 8 years ago, I decided to put a pretty little notebook out on one of the tables with a hand-written note asking folks to leave their name and email address. I knew a little bit about marketing a business, having started a photography business with my husband a few years earlier, but I wasn't really sure what I would do with the names and email addresses once I had them.

And then it hit me! I could send them a snazzy newsletter crafted in Publisher that would tell them where I would be next, what sort of fresh fused glass goodness I was creating and if and when I would be teaching fused glass classes. (It is still hard for me to believe that folks have been asking me to teach them how to create their own fused glass goodness since my very first art show, but it is true, and it makes me smile.)

From my humble beginnings, I have upgraded my information delivery system to MailChimp and my pretty notebook to a sheet of paper on a clipboard. While I consider MailChimp a major upgrade, in all honesty the notebook was a lot prettier than the clipboard. Maybe it's time for a change! But my point here is that over the last 8 years, technology and information delivery have evolved in ways that make it super easy to keep in contact with people who like your work or want to know more about you. For one thing, you can have multiple mailing lists for different kinds of information, like a newsletter just for sales or when you will be teaching classes.

So, for the last eight years I have been telling my fellow artists, creatives and crafters to put out a pretty little notebook or dull, boring clipboard and collect up all this valuable data, but they don't. Well, most of them don't and the few that do, don't really do anything with the valuable data even though it could help them grow their business, which is what lead me to write this post. Let me know if you find this information helpful or if you have some ways you'd like to add to the list, I'd be glad to share them!

1. Treat your subscribers like the gold they really are!
Make sure everyone who subscribes to your newsletter either at an art show or craft fair, or online via your website or Facebook, knows they are special. Don't hammer them with too many newsletters. Make sure the content is useful or important to them. This is where different lists for different types of customers comes in handy. Maybe some folks want to know where you will be set up next and other may want to know what new soaps you will be offering for the holidays. Set expectations and follow through! If you promise a newsletter once a month, deliver on it. If you say it will be sporadic, don't suddenly start sending a newsletter once a week. Never give people a reason to hit 'unsubscribe'!

2. Give people a compelling reason to sign up for your newsletter!
Sometimes it is easy enough to just put out that pretty notebook or dull clipboard and ask folks to leave their name and email address, other times you might need to give them some incentive. If you are collecting your names and email addresses at events, then you will have to enter them into MailChimp (or whatever mail program you decide to use) and you probably won't be able to autogenerate a message with a nice thank you discount or special offer, but don't despair! I find it is very easy, using MailChimp, to send a specific message to anyone who has been added to my list after a certain date. Again, set expectations and follow through! If you promise a discount when they sign up, deliver on it.

3. Make the content count!
Content is important no matter what the delivery method. If you are blogging, content is important. If you are posting on Facebook, content is important. If you are putting up images on Instagram, you guessed it, content is important. Great content is probably the best way to grow your creative business with a newsletter because if your subscribers love your content, they will share it. Even better, you can encourage them to share it without seeming pushy. For example, if your newsletter features several different types of information such as a calendar of events, new products and upcoming, you can encourage subscribers to share the newsletter with anyone they think may be interested in this information, AND...be sure to encourage them to have their friends subscribe. When your subscribers pass along the information they are endorsing you, so their friends will be more likely to hit 'subscribe'!

Since I am such a huge fan of newsletters I will be doing a more in-depth post soon, with some of my best tried and true examples of how my creative business has grown with newsletters, so be sure to check back with me!

Share your tips for suggestions for using a newsletter to grow your creative business in the comments or tweet them to me at @PinkSparkCr8ive and I will share them! Spreading the love!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
It's true. Image matters. You know it's important to have a great photograph of yourself on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc. profiles, but do you realize the importance of all the other images, in particular, the photographs, that populate the white space on your social media sites, blog and website. As a professional photographer and a creative business owner, I know exactly how important great images are to your image and I'm going to give you five ways to brand your creative business with photographs.

1. Use photographs consistent with your branding
Photographs that convey the overall look, feel and color scheme of your business will easily showcase your brand across your website and social media platforms. Develop a style guide to ensure consistency. Of course, if you have yet to develop your branding, this first step is a great place to start. Photographs are extremely important in today's online world, so think about the types of photos you have access to (paid or royalty-free, never steal photos!) or can create on your own.

2. Create your own branded photographs
It can be difficult to find photographs that convey your brand, especially if you are looking for free or inexpensive images. A very reasonable solution is to take your own photos. Even if the only camera you own is the one on your smartphone, you can take great images. It just takes some planning. (Note: I'm working on a post on how to do that very thing, so be on the lookout!) If you have created a style guide, this should be fairly straightforward. Branded photographs are the images you will use on your website and social media platforms, not necessarily ones of your products.

3. Define a photographic style for your products
No matter what you sell, you need to have a photographic style. Think about how you want the items to look when customers visit your online shop or store. Is the look and feel of your brand light and airy? Dark and brooding? Vibrant and energetic? Your photographs can illustrate your branding in your product images by choosing how your photograph the items, the lighting, the background and your post-processing. Sometimes it is easier and less complicated to hire a professional photographer or even a friend with a great eye for light and composition. Consistency is key when creating images of your goods. 

4. Styled photographs will showcase your brand
One of the easiest and most fun ways to showcase your brand is with a styled photoshoot. It will help if you have developed a style guide for this one, but even if you haven't, don't let the formality of a guide stop you. You will; however, want to make a shot list of all the different images you want to create and take. Examples of these types of images are: your workspace, your desk, tools and materials of your trade, you creating or doing what you do, details and the "big picture". The primary use for these photos will be on your website or online shop, but can also be used in your blog posts. In addition to creating a list of all the different types of images you would like to create, think about where you will use them. This will help you determine if you need horizontal and vertical versions of the same or similar shot. Remember, Pinterest loves tall photos, but Facebook and Twitter cover images are horizontal. Consider leaving plenty of open space in some of the images so you can add text!

5. Put your best face forward
I know the quote is actually "put your best foot forward", but I don't want to see a photo of your foot on Facebook! I've saved the best for last when it comes to branding your creative business with photographs. Make sure the profile photos you are using across your social media platforms and on your website are also consistent with your branding. Incorporate your brand color scheme into your wardrobe or objects in the image to really pull it together. One of my clients spent a whole day choosing her wardrobe and settings for her headshots so her brand would be evident but not too obvious. Her signature color is hot pink and it could have been overdone, but her choices were spot on. Put some planning into your appearance and wardrobe before taking new headshot photos. Remember, as a small creative business owner, you are your brand!

Need some photography?
I am available for headshots, and to coordinate and photograph styled shoots as well as photograph your fabulous products anywhere in the US, so contact me if you would like to find out details. If you have several fellow creative business owners in your area who could benefit from a photo shoot, we can work out some group pricing.

Share your tips for suggestions for branding your creative business in the comments or tweet them to me at @PinkSparkCr8ive and I will share them! Spreading the love!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
The other day I came across a print out of an email I had sent to a writer at the local newspaper titled, "Lisa's Top 5 Tips for Marketing Your Creative Business With Little or No Money". It was these five tips that I would share with other artists, creatives, and makers who were complaining that they weren't selling much of their work. The date on the email is October 15, 2009; nearly six years ago, and the really cool thing is that all of these tips are still relevant and, in some cases, can be expanded upon. I thought I would take a few moments and retype (because all I found was the printed email) these tips to share with you today. These tips were a catalyst of sorts for the launch of Pink Spark Creative, so they are very special to me!

Please let me know if you were able to use any of these tips to market your creative business and share them with others who may find them useful. I encourage you to pin this post on Pinterest, tweet it on Twitter and post it to Facebook because these are easy and inexpensive tips that anyone can do! And did I mention that are wallet-friendly!

Here we go!

1. Get some inexpensive or free business cards. There are many places to order cards, like VistaPrint, MOO and Overnight Prints, with your business name or Etsy shop name and some information about what you create along with an image or two. Putting a photo of yourself or what you create on your business card will give people something to identify with when they look at it again.

2. Set up a shop on Etsy. It's free to open a shop and the costs are low to list and sell. Etsy is the place anyone looking to buy handmade will visit and you have a good chance of being found through searches. Take advantage of all the helpful information Etsy has to offer and be sure to use all your available keywords as well as give your items search-friendly descriptions and titles. Get on the forums and learn from other sellers!

3. Take advantage of social media! Facebook and Twitter are great places to start. (Since writing this list in 2009, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ among others have come onto the social media scene, so there are lots of other platforms to use!) Get on Facebook and set up a Page for your business. It is easy and it gives you the opportunity to get information out to the people who 'like' your Page quickly and most importantly, regularly. Set up a Twitter account and start following other creative business owners to get ideas and see how they are utilizing Twitter to market their business. Tweet about what you are creating, listing on Etsy and communicate virtually with the people you would like to have as your customers. Don't tweet about what you ate for lunch unless it was personally prepared by Emeril. Don't tweet only your Etsy listings. Sprinkle in some non-sales generating tweets or folks will unfollow you for being boring or too salesy. Less IS more with social media. Social media is all about growing a following of people who like you and the what you create. Most importantly, be yourself on-line.

4. Start blogging. Set up a blog at Blogger or WordPress and start writing about your business. Write posts about what you are doing, what you have created, your ideas for new work or even other artists and craftspeople whose work you admire. Let the people you write about know so they can post a link to your post on their blog or website. Follow the blogs of other creative people and learn. It's also nice to comment on someone else's blog when you have found their post informative, fun or if you shared it on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. A great blog can take the place of a website especially if you don't have the time, money or skill to maintain a website. Blogs are free and you can post photos and information instantly. Another reason blogs are great is because you can share links to your posts across your social media platforms for even more free marketing reach! 

5. Send out newsletters via the Interwebz. Newsletters sent to the recipient's email address are an effective low-cost method for reaching your customers. Get the name and email address of each and every customer (and potential customer) that you can. Mailchimp is a great free tool to use while you are growing your list as it is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Place a clipboard and sign-up sheet at art shows and craft fairs, put a suggestion for people to email you their contact information on your blog and ask each Etsy seller to sign up for your blog. You may also want to consider adding a link to your newsletter sign-up on your blog and on your Etsy shop page. Before you know it you will have a large mailing list of people who are genuinely interested in your and your art or craft. Send a newsletter on a regular basis, but not too often. Content is important so be sure that you have something newsworthy to share in each newsletter such as a special or promotion, a new design or collection, art shows or craft fairs where you will be exhibiting, or business milestones. Keep the newsletter short, easy to read and includes lots of visuals like photos.

So, there you have five easy to follow tips for marketing your creative business that won't empty your wallet! Since writing this list in 2009, I have taught several workshops and courses on utilizing the various social media platforms to spread the word about your creative business and I would love to teach you if you need help in this area of your creative business marketing. I'm also working on a post with five tips on using photographs to brand your creative business, so be looking out for more low-cost ways to grow your biz in that post and future posts too.

Share your low-cost and free tips for marketing in the comments or tweet them to me at @PinkSparkCr8ive and I will share them! Spreading the love!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
I've been burning my candle at both ends lately so I thought I would take 5, literally, and give you 5 quick tips for taking time for you. Taking a little time for yourself can be a challenge when you love your business and want it to grow, but if you don't give yourself some love, then you're likely to burn out. And burn out means your business is going to suffer, or worse, your creativity.

So, do as I say and not as I always do and follow these tips.

1. Take short breaks throughout the day to get up and move around or sit down and relax, depending on how you've been spending your time. Most often you hear people say you need to get up from your desk and walk around every 30 minutes or so, but what if your works has you standing and bending over a work table? This is when you should just do the opposite of what you've been doing for the last 30 minutes. Just changing things up will reinvigorate your brain and body and get things flowing.

2. Get plently of sleep. I know this can be a difficult one for lots of creatives especially if they are working a full-time job and getting their side hustle up to speed. You work a 8 to 10 hour day and come home to work some more. It's good for your business and for your entrepreneurial spirit, but it's terrible for your body and well-being. Get at least 6 hours of sleep and more if you can. You'll feel so much better and have more focus.

3. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise. Even if you have a rather physical job, you can find 30 minutes for some cardio and/or weight training exercises each day. It can be challenging at first, but soon you will find yourself in a rythm and it will become a habit. Don't be surprised if you feel like it becomes an addiction. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel good. Who does like to feel good?! 

One of the best things about getting exercise, for me personally, is it is often time for me to be alone OR with friends depending on the activity and whether I am feeling intro/extroverted that day.

4. Do something you love each day that isn't part of your creative business. Do it for only 5 minutes if that's all the time you have, but make sure you do it. Maybe you love to cook or have a favorite TV show you like. Maybe you can do two of your activities to make time for you at the same time. I watch a TV show on Netflix while I am getting my cardio in. Sometimes I put it on when I am cooking. Doing something that you love to do that's outside of the work realm is refreshing and will make you happy.

5. The last tip for making time for you is to actually put it only calendar. If you take the time to plan out the next day at the end each day, then you can schedule in your YOU time. Just like an appointment! Making time for you is a challenge when you are working for yourself or toward that goal, but if you don't make time for you, nobody else will. Trust me on this. 

So what are you waiting for? Put your YOU time on your calendar right now!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram

 
 
I love Twitter.

No, really I do. Why? There are so many reasons. I've met tweeps on Twitter who have become true friends. I've connected with tweeps who become customers or clients of my creative endeavors. I've used Twitter to share and receive business-related information. And I've used Twitter to connect with tweeps who like the same things I do, like bicycling, creating and social media. It's pretty much like being at a huge social gathering without all the stress of feeling awkward, wearing shoes and nobody laughing at your jokes.

So you are probably wondering how being at a huge social gathering is beneficial to you and your business. Well, I'm going to share my top five favorite reasons you should be on Twitter and a little homework assignment for each one too. And by 'on Twitter', I don't just mean you have a Twitter handle and log in once every six months. By 'on', I mean you are actively engaging on the platform. And you will need to be following more than 10 or 20 tweeps to get the kind of engagement you really need. One of the first things I recommend you do is find 50 new people to follow on Twitter. And if you are concerned you can't find 50 people to follow, you aren't thinking or looking hard enough. Think about who inspires you creatively, fascinates you in the business world, has the same or similar hobbies, or seems like a really cool person you would like to know. If you are still stumped, you can follow me @AllThingsSassy! Are you ready? Here we go!

Reason #1: Learn new stuff.

Check out what your 50+ tweeps are sharing and read some of the blogs, articles and what not they are sharing. I find at least 5 fascinating things this way every day. Once you find something that you like, you can share (retweet) it to your Twitter followers. I like to include a short reason why I'm RTing if there are enough character spaces left. Oftentimes, I will see a RT from someone I follow which leads me to a new tweep to follow. I think that sort of connection is really cool! I love meeting new people and sharing the love on Twitter.

Homework: Get on Twitter. Follow 50 new tweeps. RT a tweet or two to your followers.

Reason #2: Meet cool tweeps.

As I mentioned above, you might get led down a little side street on Twitter to a new tweep you might like to follow. Or you might find a great new blog and decide to follow them on Twitter. Either way, you will be meeting new tweeps. I have met lots of people through Twitter, who I then met in real life. Lots of people think that Twitter means you are only making an on-line connection with someone and it isn't real. I think that is wrong. Some of my best friends and favorite people in the world are folks I met on Twitter. Just ask my awesome tweep Amanda aka @Driftermama. We met on Twitter and then met in real life over dinner with our significant others a couple of months later. We've been friends now for about five years. Crazy, right? I've also connected in real life with tweeps at conventions and seminars. It's nice to have something to talk about when you introduce yourself. Just think of a tweet they posted, mention it and you've broken the ice!

I've also made some strong business-related connections, like when Natalie MacNeil was first launching She Takes On The World and she asked if she could feature me on her blog, In Her Heels. Natalie now has a successful business with a huge following and that feature brought me to the attention of a lot of people. And I will be honest, I've tweeted a few folks I think are awesome and some of them may or may not be famous. But you can do that with Twitter. It sort of levels the playing field, so to speak, and you never know who might tweet back. Just don't be that guy that awkwardly asks for a RT. Ever.

Homework: Tweet one of your 50 new tweeps. Ask them a question that they can answer as an expert (business or about fashion, whatever). Thank them via Twitter. 

Reason #3: Share your stuff.

This does not mean you only tweet about the awesome handmade items you create. You're going to be doing lots of tweeting if you do all your homework, right? So don't fill your Twitter feed with posts that just all about you and your stuff. Think about the total number of times you are planning to (or already are) tweeting every day and think about making your tweets about your stuff no more than a quarter or the total. There are lots of different ways to share your stuff. Trust me. When I first got on Twitter I shared too much of my stuff sometimes. And it cost me followers. And the opportunity for engagement with those who left me. 

One way you can share about your stuff is to share a link to your blog posts with a teaser indicating what the post is about. This gives your followers a little power in the decision-making process of whether or not they want to read the post. Sharing photos is one way to catch a follower's eye. And if your photos are awesome, your followers may begin to look forward to your tweets. Just don't share the same content over and over again. It's boring and doesn't encourage any engagement. Ask your followers to give you feedback on that new piece of art you created rather than just sharing the photo. It's even OK to ask your followers to RT your tweets every once in a while. Just don't do it and sound needy. Because you're not. You're awesome!

Use appropriate hashtags when needed. Don't over hashtag your tweets. Choose one or two that best fit your tweet. If you are unsure if the hashtag is appropriate, don't use it. Be cautious about using hashtags related to current events or celebrities. If your tweet isn't really related, it could make you look bad.

Homework: Tweet a link to one of your blog posts with a reason why your followers should read it- ask for feedback, tell them why it is beneficial to them. Tweet something else and ask your followers to RT it for you. Share a photo or video via Twitter and ask your followers to take an action- feedback, share, etc. Use appropriate hashtags.

Reason #4: Share your tweeps stuff.

Similarly to how I recommend sharing in #3, you can share stuff from the tweeps you follow. It's even better if you do it without being asked! Did you just click the link to a great blog post from a tweet? Share that tweet! See a fabulous new handmade scarf shared from a tweeps Etsy shop? RT that scarf! Wondering why this is so important? It's all about reach. What is reach? Reach is your audience.

If you RT a tweet to your 200 followers from someone who just tweeted it to their 200 followers, you've helped potentially increase the reach of their tweet to 400 people. It's like the Faberge Organics commercial from the 80's. I call this sharing the love. My Twitter followers are my love. I treat them with care and respect and would never share anything I didn't think the majority of them would be interested in. I also look at every photo and read every post I share just to be sure there isn't anything that might offend or upset anyone.

Homework: Find 5 tweets from the folks you follow who have stuff to share with your followers. Include a short reason why you think they will like it or find it beneficial. Remember, you are asking someone to take time to read it.

Reason #5: Let people get to know you.

This one isn't number five because it is the least important. It's probably the most important in my opinion. Actually all five of the reasons in this list are of equal importance, but this one is all about you. Be sure to let your personality shine on Twitter. You are the one tweeting. You are the one who wants folks to click the follow button. Don't be someone you aren't. If you are goofy, be goofy. Perhaps a professional level of goofy would be appropriate if your Twitter account is mainly for your business. 

That brings up another point. Don't be all business. Yes, you should have a Twitter account for your business, but you should share a bit about yourself. Share what you love even if it doesn't have anything to do with your business. This will give followers (and potential followers) the opportunity to get to know you. It's a bit like dating. Without all the awkwardness and not knowing what to wear. At least for me. Once you start or restart tweeting on a regular basis it will be second nature for your personality to come out. Trust me!

Homework: Think about your personality and then describe yourself in five words. Use these descriptors to help you define your identity on Twitter. Start tweeting as yourself!

PFor a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
Sometimes you have to change the environment in which you work. Sometimes it is because you want to. Sometimes it is because you have to.

Today was one of those have to's. I had to change my work environment because we are experiencing an ice storm in Knoxville, TN. It's meant that I have had to work in close proximity with my hubs. And the Maternal Unit. And the dog. And the bird. Yup, all of us are hanging out together. I am working on a TV tray and trying not to be distracted. It's been difficult. But I'm surviving, for the most part. It's been a little challenging sharing the bathroom all day since I'm used to working in my private office with my own bathroom. But the change has been good.

My creativity is flowing and I've been working on some website updates as well as a super fun blog post about my top five reasons you should be on Twitter that will be posted tomorrow. How does changing your environment affect your creativity and workflow? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know! This topic will probably spark a longer post in the near future.

Oftentimes, changing your environment can help spark your creativity. Other times it just means you have to wait in line to use the bathroom. Or tolerate hub's mountain biking videos all day. But you're creative. You'll adjust.

Check back next Monday for another post and don't forget multi-tasking is a myth!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
Do you ever feel like you've become stagnant? Like you've lost your mojo, your umph, your creative spark? I know I sure have. Sometimes it's just a little creativity blockage and if I whip out my pens and coloring book, it opens up the creative flow in a few minutes. But sometimes, I'd feel like my creative flow had run completely dry and nothing could fix it. But I did eventually figure out how to fix it. And it was easy!

What was this magical fix, you ask? Getting outside my comfort zone. Oh, it sounds simple, doesn't it? Just hop right out of that comfort zone and your creativity starts flowing like Niagra Falls, right? Not so fast! Here's how it might work for you too. The next time you have a blockage in your creative flow or you can't find just the right words for that blog post you were so excited about writing five minutes ago, try doing something you have never done before. And before you start thinking I am suggesting you give skydiving or swimming the English Channel a shot, think about a small thing that is outside of your comfort zone. Maybe try that yoga pose you've been thinking you couldn't do. Or work on that photography technique you read about the other day. Perhaps you could just try writing with your pen in the opposite hand.

Changing things up disrupts your brain. The disruption sort of jumpstarts it and gets things flowing again. So the next time you feel like you're losing your mojo, get outside your comfort zone and see what awesome things happen! If you want to keep your creative spark sparking, get outside of your comfort zone every day. Not only will you be continuously disrupting your brain, but perhaps you'll learn something new or discover a cool new technique or develop a fresh style.



For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
How do you keep track of your tasks, to-dos and crap that just got to get done?

I love my new Day Designer planner for a lot of reasons, and one of them is the fabulous section for daily tasks. I have found that making of the things that have to get done each day, and most importantly noting the top three, keeps me on track of my tasks. Here is a visual for you...
This is an example of how I use the task/todo list in my planner. Because it is so long, I have plenty of room to write down everything and even have a separate section for follow up/calls/emails/etc. We'll talk about time blocking next week, but in the meantime, think about how your task tracking is working for you now, and how you might improve it. Leave me a comment with your method!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram

 
 
Commitment.
Almost everyone has commitment issues. But if you are having commitment issues with the goals you made on January 1 this could signal a big problem, so I am sharing 5 easy ways to stick to your goals.

1. Manage your time
Sure, this sounds easy, but time management takes practice and the proper tools. As I mentioned in the post on Monday about productivity, having a good planner or calendar system can help you identify how you are using your time and help you find the best times to get different types of work done and block out time to work on your goal tasks.

2. Work in time blocks
Whether your goal is to create more or blog more, you will accomplish more if you schedule blocks of time to focus on your goal tasks. Many creatives make the goal of blogging every week, but they get caught up in their work creating and listing and shipping, and suddenly four weeks have gone by since the last blog post. Blocking out time each week or month to focus on writing blog posts and scheduling them, will ensure you meet this goal.

3. Make sure your goals are SMART
One reason folks don't stay committed to their goals is because the goals are not Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Time-Bound. If your goals are not SMART, then you may find yourself off-track and lost. Stay focused and committed by making your goals SMART.

4. Cut yourself some slack
If you have made sure our goals are SMART, be sure to cut yourself some slack if you miss your deadline by one day or your don't get exactly 100 new subscribers to your list. Being flexible with your goals will increase your level of commitment and often give you the extra boost you need to actually reach the goal. Remember, your goal must be reasonable!

5. Reward yourself
A reward doesn't have to be monetary! When you reach a goal, be sure to reward yourself with something meaningful to you. Maybe it's an afternoon off to go mountain biking. Perhaps you will close the lid on your laptop early on Friday to have cocktails with a friend. Whatever the reward, be sure it is something that excites you. My favorite rewards are to go to the thrift store and spend $5 or take a bicycle ride with my husband!

Let me know how you stay committed to your goals! Leave a comment with your suggestions!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

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