10 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FOR ETSY SELLERS & SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

My phrase for 2018 is peaceful productivity.

Not the running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off kind of productivity. Not the oh-crap-is-that-deadline-really-tomorrow-guess-I’ll-pull-an-all-nighter kind of productivity. And definitely not the sorry-I-don’t-have-time-to-hang-out-with-you-because-I’m-so-dang-busy kind of productivity.

Because those kinds of productivity are draining and unfulfilling. And because we can always make better use of our days. If you’re ready to ditch the crazy-busy and float into peaceful productivity with me, read on for 10 methods I’ll personally be putting into practice this year.

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1. Keep a clear workspace

When your workspace is clear and you know exactly where everything is, you can stop wasting time looking for that lost piece of paper or stressing out about the humongous piles of junk all around you. File away any papers or receipts you don’t need and get rid of any knick-knacks that are collecting dust. If you hoard pens and markers like it’s your job (I sure do!), test them all out and get rid of the ones that don’t work.

2. Clear out digital clutter

Just like your physical workspace, a messy digital workspace can be super stressful, too. Try to keep only relevant files and folders on your desktop, and make sure everything is easy to find and in its rightful place. If there are files you want to keep, but don’t need regularly, I recommend Dropbox for a great cloud storage solution.

3. Braindump regularly

If you’re like me, you have about a million thoughts running through your brain at once, so it’s important to get them out so they’re not taking up mental space. Keep a running list of everything you want/need to do, either on paper, in a planner/notebook, your phone (notes app or voice memo), or a word doc. Nothing is too big or too small - maybe it’s something as simple as needing to text a friend or respond to an email, or maybe it’s as complex as an idea for a new product launch.

4. Prioritize your braindump

There’s a difference between something you want to do six months from now and something that needs to be done by tomorrow at noon. Take a look through your braindump and prioritize the most important things. I like to also make a more organized list that breaks down my tasks by day, week, and month. It helps keep me on track and ensures I don’t let things fall through the cracks.

5. Turn off notifications while you’re working

Ideally, you should put your phone in a different room while you’re working. If you can’t stand to do that, or you need your phone to accomplish something on your list, put it on airplane mode, do not disturb, or at the very least.. silent. If you’re picking up your phone every time it dings, you’re interrupting your natural workflow and you’re more likely to get sucked into something else while you have it open.

6. Batch your tasks

If you have multiple similar things on your to-do list, try to batch them together. Instead of hopping around from one thing to the next, your work will flow more smoothly, and you’ll get less distracted. Write out captions and hashtags for an entire week’s worth of Instagram posts at once instead of stopping to do it once a day. (I love the Planoly app for this!) Have a bunch of new products to list on Etsy? Take all your photos at once, then edit, then write descriptions/titles/tags instead of going through the steps for each one separately.

7. Create a list of canned responses

Do you feel like you’re responding to the same questions over and over again ALL DAY LONG? Instead of typing out a new response every time, create a list of canned responses so you can copy/paste in way less time. I typically keep mine in a Google Doc so they’re easily accessible no matter where I am.

8. Say no to things you’re not super excited about

If something doesn’t excite you, DON’T DO IT. If someone has requested a custom item and you don’t have the time or desire to do it, just say no. If you must say yes, for the love of all things good in this world, PLEASE at least charge what you’d be excited about making off of the sale. If there’s no amount of money that would make you happy, politely decline and move on.

9. Check in regularly with your prioritized goals

Take a look back at those prioritized goals from all your braindumps. How are they coming? Are there smaller tasks you need to finish before you can make one of those priorities a reality? If so, break it down into manageable pieces, write them all out, and work towards one big goal at a time.

10. Reward yourself when you reach a big milestone

Whether it’s a sales number or a monetary amount, you deserve to celebrate when you reach a big milestone or hit a goal. Take a day off, go get your nails done, pamper yourself with a massage, buy yourself something you’ve been wanting, or go out to a fancy dinner with friends! (Heck.. do ALL of those things!) When you reward yourself after working your butt off, you’re more likely to work even harder just so you can reward yourself more!

Have you mastered any of these 10 tips already? Which ones will you be focusing on in 2018?


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ETSY SHOP TIPS: 3 WAYS TO EXPAND YOUR PRODUCT LINE

On Etsy, the more items you have for sale in your shop, the more chances you have to be found in search. That way, if you’ve positioned yourself correctly, shoppers will come across your items on multiple pages instead of just once or twice. I definitely don’t recommend overwhelming yourself or listing more than you can handle just for the sake of having lots of listings, but here are a few ways to expand your product line without any additional stress.

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1. Listen to your customers

What kinds of things are your customers requesting from you? I have had great success with this particular method inside happytatts, since buyers are constantly requesting custom tattoo designs. If they’re asking you to create something they don’t see in your shop, chances are they haven’t found it anywhere else either. Additionally, if they’re searching for it, other potential buyers probably are, too. Take some of your favorite custom requests and turn them into permanent listings inside your shop.

2. Make more variations of your best sellers

Do you have one particular listing that seems to be your best seller? Are you able to offer it in additional variations? Perhaps a new color, texture, pattern, or size? List each new variation as a brand new listing, or use listing variations inside your current listing to give your customers more options.

3. Divide out current listing variations

This actually ties in to #2 and is used as a method to create more listings from what you already have. Variations are a wonderful tool to combine all of your offerings into one listing and give your customers the ability to choose their own options at checkout, but it also takes away the opportunity for multiple listings. I suggest having one listing with variations included and multiple stand-alone listings of those same variations. This also allows you to play around with different keywords and phrases in each listing to get more eyes on your goodies.

So, what kinds of new products will you be adding to your Etsy shop in 2018? Let me know in the comments below!


Still think that dream Etsy biz is out of reach? Let me show you just how easy it can be to open up shop! Snag my FREE guide to start-up success below.

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WORK FROM HOME PLAYLIST - JANUARY 2018

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m all about having some tunes blaring while working from home (and taking breaks for sweatpants-dance-parties, of course)! Y’all seemed to really love the Christmas playlist I posted last month, so I’ve decided to make it a monthly thing.. 20-25 of my favorite songs of the moment, collected for you and your marathon work sessions.

Without further ado, here is your work-from-home playlist for January! Enjoy!


Still dreaming of that work-from-home-dance-around-in-your-sweatpants kind of life? Snag my FREE guide to opening up an Etsy shop in 3 simple steps!

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2018 BUSINESS (AND LIFE!) GOALS AND AFFIRMATIONS

New Years Resolutions.

Raise your hand if you make resolutions EVERY SINGLE YEAR and by mid-January, you’re right back where you started.

Yeah, same.

So this year, instead of “resolutions” per se, I’m focusing more on goals and affirmations for 2018. I’ve divided them up into Etsy biz goals (things I want to accomplish in both of my shops, letterhappy and happytatts), Etsy coaching (providing even more awesome content to help you grow your own Etsy biz), and life goals (centering mostly around healthy habits and mindfulness).

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ETSY BIZ

1. More printables inside letterhappy

Way back in 2009, I started my shop with greeting cards and 8x10 prints. At the time, art prints were a huge seller, but the landscape has changed a bit and these days, DIY printables are more in style. I’ve officially changed all of my old print listings over to printables, and I plan to offer many more in 2018. More passive income for me, less printing and packaging time for me, and faster delivery for my customers. Win-win..win!

2. Monthly product launches

I’ve always released products sporadically throughout the year. The scheduled plan for 2018 includes monthly product launches and dedicated creation time. No more designing in my “spare” time. (Psst.. this monthly product launch plan includes 1 new enamel pin each month, and a pin subscription, too!)

3. Trim the fat

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. It will definitely take some time, but by taking a look through my stats, I’ll be able to tell which listings aren’t performing as well as they should, and either see what I can do to improve them, or cut them loose. While checking my stats for non-performers, I can also identify my best-sellers and create more variations of those.

4. More consistent social media presence

2018 will include an editorial calendar, mainly focused on Instagram and Instagram Stories. It’s my favorite social media app, but more often than not, I find myself consuming content instead of creating it. My Instagram feed is highly curated, so I’m contrasting that with behind the scenes silliness and biz tips on Instagram Stories.

ETSY COACHING

1. Launch Etsy Empire: The Foundation

This is definitely the most exciting thing on the list for 2018! I’ve been working night and day on the most comprehensive Etsy start-up course out there, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all. (If you want to sign up to be the first to know when it launches, you can do that right here!)

2. Weekly Facebook lives

Little nuggets of Etsy biz goodness are coming your way, starting soon! Short and sweet action tips for you to take advantage of, because I know you’re a busy human who needs to get the info and get on with it! Follow my biz page here.

3. Outline and launch advanced Etsy SEO course

The next step to Etsy success is learning how to SEO. I’m already knee deep creating an advanced course as a companion for Etsy Empire: The Foundation. This will be for the serious seller who wants to up his/her game and get into the nooks and crannies of everything Etsy has to offer.

LIFE

1. Yoga 3-4 times per week

I started practicing yoga in June of last year and I was immediately hooked. I fell off the wagon during November and December (holidays, am I right?) so one of my number one priorities is to make time for it in my schedule no matter what. I go to a local studio less than 5 minutes away from my house, so there’s really no excuse.

2. Meditate 5-7 times per week

I played around with the free version of the Headspace app a little last year, and I can already say with full confidence that at least 10 minutes of meditation per day will do wonders for my mental health. I just recently upgraded to the paid plan, so I’m looking forward to an entire year of mindfulness.

3. Run a 5k and a 10k

I can’t say that I actually enjoy running, and to be honest, I have zero ambition to EVER run anything over a 10k. But I can definitely see (and feel!) the physical difference in my body when I do run regularly, so having a concrete goal to work towards should help keep me on track. I use the Runkeeper app (in conjunction with my Apple Watch) to track my runs.

5. Disney World 3-5x

I’m a proud annual passholder, and it’s no secret that I looooove me some Disney World. Plus, taking the kind of vacation that keeps me constantly moving forces me to unplug from work. (self love and Mickey Mouse for the win!) I’m already planning for 2 trips (one in February to cheer on my best friend as she runs a half marathon, and one in April to stand in another best friend’s wedding) so I’m halfway there!

6. Eat healthier, drink more water, limit Starbucks intake to 2x per week

Okay, this is definitely the most resolution-y of my “resolutions”. To be honest, I’m not generally an unhealthy eater, I really only drink water and coffee (no soft drinks for this girl!), and I’m not even an every-single-day Starbucks junkie. But I could stand to make healthier choices more often, drink way more water, and cut down on the $5 drinks. Not only will it be better for me, it will save a pretty good chunk of change.

Alright, y’all. Keep me accountable. Come hang out with me on Instagram or leave a comment below and let’s chat about YOUR resolutions, goals, and affirmations for 2018!


Is one of your 2018 goals to finally open up that dream Etsy biz? Snag my FREE guide to opening up an Etsy shop in 3 simple steps and let me help you make that happen!

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*Links to Headspace and Runkeeper are affiliate links, which means if you decide to click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. I have not been compensated for any opinions shared above, and will never share anything that I don't actually use myself or highly recommend.

Work from Home Christmas Playlist

Are you a have-to-have-silence person or a music-is-always-on person? I am most definitely the latter, especially during this time of year.

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You can always find me dancing around in the middle of order packaging marathons.. and it has just started to dawn on me that Christmas is only a week away, which means it won’t be acceptable to jam out to this goodness much longer! (I mean, let’s be honest though.. just because it’s not acceptable doesn’t mean I won’t do it.)

As my gift to you in this last week, I’ve created a Spotify playlist filled with all my faves.. it’s got everything from *NSYNC to Josh Groban to Trans-Siberian Orchestra to Elvis.. it’s an awesome mix, if I do say so myself!

Merry Christmas, friends! Enjoy!


Are you dreaming of the work-from-home-dance-around-in-your-sweatpants life? Snag my FREE guide to opening up an Etsy shop in 3 simple steps!

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