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Getting My Day Organised – Marketing Calendar Show And Tell

 

 

 

 

As part of my organisation series, I told you at the beginning of the week that I was getting a Marketing Calendar in place to help me with my bigger picture planning.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to critique it by the end of the week since it’s an annual calendar but I did promise you a peek of my own marketing calendar!

I found a beautiful Leunig quote which, while not perfect (!!), made me feel a little better about the big messy mess I had made while figuring out my plan. Art is messy and while we’re also in business, we’re in the business of making art too. So it should be messy and fun and filled with the great and happy mistakes which we learn and grow from.

 

I’ve been finding these organisation and planning techniques completely eye-opening and helpful in my business and everyday life.

It really has helped me to ‘come to my senses’ about a few things.

  1. I am not ever going to get ‘everything’ done. This is a good thing because it means my business is growing, moving, evolving and not stagnating. I am always able to find ‘more’ to make it better and to make me more productive.

  2. I can be more productive with less time. Thinking I have to get everything done hasn’t worked in the past and it just made me stressed and disorganised. The process of distilling tasks down to their elements and turning them into manageable tasks has taken away the ‘overwhelmed’ feeling I sometimes get when thinking about my business.

  3. I’m doing enough. I can always do more, but right now, I’m definitely doing as much as I can without tying myself up in knots and – that is enough.

So without further adieu, my Marketing Calendar.

Not perfect, definitely rough around the edges and needs more work but it’s started and I feel like I’ve got my business on a great track for even greater success this year.

I’m going to tease it all out into definite jobs, more of a Marketing Plan and will probably use Trello to help me. I might even do an organisation post about Trello as an organisational platform soon. It’s an amazing tool which helps you to break tasks down and then action them one at a time and on a schedule and all online. You can invite others to see your ‘boards’ and assign them tasks too.

Trello is how I organise all three of my roles as business owner of Handmade High Street, as Assistant Editor here at Create & Thrive and my part-time job as a Community Development Worker in my suburb. It’s also particularly useful if you have more than one person in your organisation or business and you want to achieve some goals independently and some in collaboration.

How did you go this week? Did you start a Marketing Calendar or have any exciting ideas for making your own?

Kath xx

P.S. You can download your own version of this calendar here.

Getting My Day Organised – Marketing Calendar

 

 

Wow! I am feeling so good about the plans and actions I have already put in place to organise my day better and to feel like I’m accomplishing my tasks by the time I close my laptop in the early evening.

I have put into practice the Morning Brain Dump and a Daily Schedule which have made more of the time I have without the need to work late into the night or get everything done in one day.

I feel better, I honestly do, now that I have some balance in my day. And no, it’s not the 9 – 5 kinda framework you get from a regular job.

I have made my own structured day and it suits my lifestyle and my vision for my workday.

Now that I’ve got the day to day stuff down, I wanted to have a little look at the bigger picture tasks which have been bothering me. My path to marketing has sometimes been a bit of a ‘scatter gun’ approach which has occasionally really paid off but often misses the mark too. I want to start getting some things clear in my mind about where my business is heading so I can really make headway on growing my following, sales and online presence.

I’ve read about how to make a really basic marketing calendar at our good friend and guest poster, Lisa’s blog at Market Your Creativity here and I thought it would be the perfect place to start to get my head around things.

This is not your boring old Marketing Plan that you find on a government website!

That might be something which will help you in the future if you grow your business but for now, Lisa has the best idea with a simple and easy-to-follow plan which anyone can action.

 

First things first – time off.

Yes, seriously! I am always feeling like I’m paddling like mad and I honestly don’t even consider down-time.

This is where I’ve been a bit remiss in the past and have not realised the effect the lack of ‘time off’ has had on my health and productivity.

I am blocking out four chunks of time which will allow me to spend time with my husband, pottering in my home and on a bit of a holiday.

 

Use your blocked out ‘time off’ to figure out the rest of your plan.

Now it’s time to really start thinking about what I have been wanting to achieve with my business. What big picture things have I had on the boil but have not been able to get underway?

For instance I have always wanted to release a Christmas line of candles and soaps but here’s the thing. I only remember when it’s too late to launch the line! Now I’m going to slot it into my calendar to make sure I get that plan underway in time and with purpose.

Things that I’m going to focus on:

  1. Instagram plan – I want to really set out some guidelines on when I post (based on my stats) and making sure I have buttons/images which help me to achieve my goals

  2. Blogging – I would love to start blogging regularly again and I’m going to tie this in with some seasonal launches of products and other plans I have swirling around. I am going to get a great calendar going with ideas which can help me to figure it out.

  3. Seasonal items and promotions – I will be planning out the seasons/holidays and which items I have that might suit those events (if any) and when I would need to be making, promoting and planning my cut-off dates for online orders.

 

There are SO MANY other things which I could also add but I want to keep it simple this next year to see how much I can achieve with just these few goals.

Here’s just a few I found on the original post and which I brainstormed:

  1. Discussion topics around themes for promotions
  2. Social media plans
  3. Big projects – breaking them down into manageable tasks
  4. Advertising
  5. Making marketing tools to assist with consistency (e.g. style guide, pinnable images etc)
  6. Contacting blogs for PR
  7. Launching your new range
  8. Seasonal products

 

This is just a very rough annual guide so I am also going to be instigating a Google Calendar for my marketing plan which will have breakdowns of deadlines, reminders and (of course) my ‘time off’ plugged into it to help me remember and stay focussed.

 

This exercise is definitely another one which you can do at home along with me but my critique for this technique will not be at the end of this week as usual since I will need a year to implement the plan.

Instead, at the end of the week, I’m going to show you my calendar in all it’s scribbled, crossed-out and messy glory so you can see what I’m planning and then have a go for yourself if it looks useful to you.

I’ve popped the printable below – I highly recommend getting it printed A3 so you have lots of room to write.

Marketing Calender

Alternatively, sit down with some butchers paper and just map it all out yourself and really get into the nitty gritty stuff with bright pens, stickers, post-its – whatever helps YOU to plan your year.

Have you done a marketing calendar before? If you are planning on starting one, what do you think will be your main areas of focus? Can you think of anything else you might add into your marketing plan that I haven’t listed above?

Getting My Day Organised – Daily Schedule Critique

 

 

 

At the beginning of this week, I decided to try two time management tools together and used my Morning Brain Dump and Daily Schedule sheet to get my tasks out of my head and down on paper.

I added the scheduling sheet as, even though I loved the brain dump sheet idea, I felt a bit frustrated at seeing all my tasks laid out in front of me and not getting everything on the list done on that day. You can read more about my first week using the Morning Brain Dump here with a short critique here.

Working from home can often mean than hours run together and you can become bogged down in the many tasks which can eat through your time which may be better spent elsewhere.

My theory for adding the Daily Schedule sheet was to take important and time sensitive tasks which I had written down and make time for them in my day as well as adding fun and exciting jobs which I would usually have done first at the expense of what really ‘needed’ to be done.

I also write in large chunks of ‘Play’ time to ensure I ate lunch, went for a walk and saw other people.

I found this practice to be liberating and mostly I felt more in control of my day which freed up my brain for more creative pursuits.

If I have written down on a piece of paper that I need to go for a walk at lunch time and pop out to the shops for 2 hours, then I follow my own directions and do so. This encourages my brain to breathe a little, have some space to think about my business (and other aspects of my life) and has generally made me more productive and a little happier.

It also means I know I haven’t forgotten anything. It’s all written down ready for me to return to my desk for the next work ‘block’.

I have found time and again that I am a happier person and I get more done with regular breaks. The trouble is, when you love what you do, it’s hard to tell yourself to take a break. Sometimes you think you’ll get out of the ‘zone’ and you won’t be able to get back into it.

While the sheet is super useful, I think having it electronically might be more useful for some others. I have been using my Google Calender to input the exact same data and I like that it’s available on my phone and computer so I can check in with tomorrow’s tasks before the end of the current day so I know everything is all in line and I can sit back and relax for the evening.

I’ve heard a number of very successful creative entrepreneurs talk about the importance of downtime.

It’s something we all need yet rarely take the opportunity when it’s presented to us. Instead of taking a day off to lounge on the couch, we would see it as an opportunity to spend it networking on social media or cleaning up our website.

These tasks are important but not as important as our own solace and mental health.

All in all, I would highly recommend working with both the Morning Brain Dump and Daily Schedule sheets (or an online calender system). I feel more organised and in better control of my day now and I’ve even helped friends and family to add it to their own day in a traditional workplace or even as a full time parent!

Here’s a copy of both of these sheets again for you to use as you wish.

Morning Brain Dump

Daily Schedule

Please leave a comment below if you’ve used these sheets (or something like them) and how it has helped you in your own life.

Kath xx

Set Up Shop Registration Open Now!

 

 

Yes, it’s time… the first class of Set Up Shop for 2015 is now open for registration!

I’ve had the honour of guiding over 400 creatives through this course over the past two years, and I’m looking forward to helping you turn your online shop into something that you can both be proud of, AND that sets you up to actually bring in sales and grow your business. In this course, I’m coming from a place of hard-won experience – I’ve done what I’m teaching you, and I have a successful online craft business that supports me and my little family (and employs both me and my husband).

I have (and am still) ‘walking the walk’ of running an online handmade business.  I’m right there in the trenches with you, every single day. This is not something I theoretically know how to do – it’s something I’ve done, and continue to work on.

I know the system I teach in Set Up Shop works. Both because my students tell me so, and because I used what I teach here to get my own business up and running.

I created this course because I’m passionate about sharing what I learn, AND helping others to realise their dream of having a successful craft business – because I want you to enjoy the freedom, joy, and fulfilment that comes from doing just that.

Registration is open now, and will close midday Sunday the 22nd of March AEST (that’s Australian Eastern Standard Time!).

Class begins Monday the 23rd of March, and runs for 30 days.

To find out exactly how the course works, the options you have for Membership, and what we’ll be covering, head on over to the course page here.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford this course, because you’ve seen all the super-expensive courses that are out there – don’t be.

The entry level Membership to Set Up Shop is just $85* – because I want every single person who needs this course to be able to afford it.

I want YOU to be able to invest in this course and experience the huge positive changes it can help you make in your life and business.

Set Up Shop Alumni Carolyn Grill says this of her experience:

It has been eye-opening and inspiring and I can say, wholeheartedly, if you are thinking of opening up an online shop this course will save you so much time and frustration.  Plus, you’ll meet a host of other talented, helpful creative types.  Money so very well spent!

If you have any questions, please just leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap.

I hope you can join us and get your shop up and running in 2015!

Register Now

Jess x

 


 

(*price in AUD, and GST applies to Aussies)

Getting My Day Organised – Daily Schedule

 

 

 

 

After my success last week with the Morning Brain Dump scheduling exercise, I felt like I’d really started to get my day under control and achievable in the timeframe I had to work within.

I mentioned in my critique of this technique that the only downfall of the brain dump was that I like to get everything ticked off my ‘to do’ list each day and I felt with the sheet sitting on my desk with all the Shoulds, Coulds and Want Tos on it, I wasn’t achieving everything on my list.

So to add another layer on to this already very useful system, I read more on the subject and found this interesting article about a Daily Schedule here.

This is a technique used by arguably one of the world’s most productive men, Benjamin Franklin, and you can read about his own personal schedule on that post.

Basically, the idea is to use your Morning Brain Dump to feed information into a daily schedule and then put your dump sheet away until tomorrow. Then you can focus on the work – and rest time – you need for the day to get everything done and feel like you have finished all your tasks.

When you pick up your dump sheet the following day, you might find things which you thought were important yesterday can either be upgraded to a Must or downgraded for the day since you’ve had a chance to sleep on it.

I will plan my day a little like the below schedule and then slot all my tasks from my Morning Brain Dump into the Work Block spaces, making sure I consider how much time each job might take.

You can see that I’ve got a good balance between work and play.

There’s a few reasons for this:

  1. When I left my job, it was because I didn’t want to work a traditional 9 – 5 workday. I wanted freedom to live my life the way I wanted and to choose when I work and when I play.

  2. I also think that working solidly for 8 hours with a half hour lunch CAN work but also taxes the worker if this is what every work day looks like.

  3. The outcome on your health of working 9 – 5 or in a large work block has been likened to the equivalent of having jet lag and can leave you feeling exhausted and disconnected with the world. Read more about that here. I know I don’t want to feel jetlagged all the time!

My goal this week is to stick to my Morning Brain Dump exercise then feed it into my Daily Schedule and keep to the plan each day. With this in mind, there will always be tasks which ‘crop up’ during the day, so I may need to view my dump sheet to add it and decide if it needs to go on the daily task list.

I’ve popped a printable copy of it below so you can follow along too.

Daily Schedule

The idea is that you set times of the day that work for YOU! Work it in around your kids, your other job, brunch dates you’ve made etc.

I’ll be giving this one a critique at the end of the week so I would love to see how you fared and if there’s anything you would change or another technique you would like to try!

Kath xx

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