Do you feel like you’ve been circling the drain of mediocrity for an unnecessarily long time? Are you ready to take your business out of the normal column and insert yourself SMACK DAB in the middle of everything that’s awesome? (Without spending a fortune?)
Related Post: How to Scale your Etsy Business: A survival guide to going viral!
Ah, being stuck in the middle. It’s a shitty place to be: you’re making enough money to be STUPID busy all the freakin’ time, but you’re not making enough to hire the 500 minions you desperately need to help you get your shit in ORDER.
So what the hell are you supposed to do? Suffer in silence? Miraculously clone yourself? Enslave your entire family while you rule with an iron fist?
Instead of enslaving your loved ones, let’s talk about how we can free you from the crushing weight of an entire business on your shoulders:
FREE TOOLS FOR ETSY SELLERS
THESE FREE PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS HAVE SAVED ME COUNTLESS HOURS
Have you automated your social media yet?
If not, it’s time to get this moving asap. Once per month, you should login to each tool and schedule your posts for the upcoming month. Then just walk away and forget about it for the next 30 days.
- Automate Pinterest with Tailwind*
- Automate Instagram with Later
- Automate Facebook, Twitter and all the rest with Postcron*, Hootsuite, or Buffer.
- Use Twitter Fu to automatically post one Etsy product per day to your twitter feed.
- Use IFTTT to recycle your (aforementioned) twitter posts and add them to your other networks.
(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link, you can claim a free trial of this item if you click the link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission).
You need a big-girl time management solution.
That horrible corporate job I used to have did teach me one thing: there are some kickass FREE productivity tools out there that are also great tools for etsy sellers. You can use them now as a soloprenuer and keep right on using them when you grow and need a team.
My personal favorite is called Asana. It’s free for individuals and small teams, and it allows you to map out your projects, tasks, and to-do calendar with a handful of easy to use tools. Watch some quick tutorials here.
I use Asana to plan my social media calendar, do a 30-Day review, a monthly financial checkup, and execute my 90-Day goals. I also use it day-to-day to schedule a power hour. I set aside at least 1 hour each day to accomplish one single task that will grow my business and make me money (eventually)!
Identify the things that you wake up stressed about.
About three months ago, I realized I was waking up with a start every morning. Sometimes in the middle of the night I’d sit up abruptly gasping for air… What was going on? Why couldn’t I let go of the stress that comes with my normal workday?
I thought about it for a while and realized I was waking up stressed because
- PROBLEM: I was fearful of what I’d wake up to in the morning. I silence my phone at 11pm, and after that I just ignore it. It means I’ve woken up to huge messes that need to be cleaned up immediately.
- SOLUTION: There’s NOTHING you can’t fix in your business. Everything seems scary at first. But after a year, you’ve seen it all. Check your email and notifications TWICE per day max (seriously. Don’t just SAY you’ll do it. ACTUALLY do it. This changed my life overnight). Mute your phone the rest of the time. The best treatment for notification phobia is to realize it doesn’t need your attention the moment it happens. Take the power away from your notifications and give it back to yourself.
- PROBLEM: I was stressed about fulfilling orders the next day. The longer it takes, the less time I can spend on my blog and building my business.
- SOLUTION: I started setting myself up to fulfil orders the night before. I look through all my orders, create any tattoo designs and save them in illustrator. I create artwork for custom products if needed. I place all my orders through my fulfillment service before I go to bed so I can wake up with a clean slate.
When you think about what’s causing you stress and address it HEAD ON, you’ll wake up 1000lbs lighter the next day. Figure out what’s wrong and solve it. After all, you built a business. You can solve one or two small problems.
BUY BACK SOME OF YOUR TIME
Hire a Cleaner.
No seriously. You need one. Let me see if I can predict exactly what you’re dealing with right now: Your spouse assumes that YOU are working from home, SO it’s your job to clean, cook, and generally be the housewife you’re too f*cking smart to waste your time being.
Screw that. If you’re working at home, you’re still AT WORK. You need to FOCUS, not go down an endless spiral of daily cleaning and organizing that winds up wasting hours of your time.
Your time is currently making you money. So you need to use that time to make more money, create more of your mouth-watering products, and generally kick ass at your business. No one’s paying you to clean a toilet. And quite frankly, it’s a waste of your time right now.
So hire someone to do it for you. The week I got a cleaner, my entire business CHANGED. Suddenly, I didn’t feel responsible for running a household AND a business every single day. It was someone elses’ problem.
And you know what? I found my cleaner through an online directory like this one, and she’s super affordable. She cleans the entire house, deals with my laundry, and she even empties the cat litter for me. That’s 4-5 hours a week she just saved me in ONE visit. Totally worth it.
Get a Virtual Assistant.
Sounds expensive, right? Think of it this way: for every hour of day-to-day admin you get your assistant to do, you have an hour for your business. Use that hour to MAKE BACK THE MONEY you paid for your assistant.
I mean, you could hire tons of contractors. I’m talking accountants, graphic designers, social media and marketing specialists…but a Virtual Assistant is like all those things rolled into ONE (way less expensive) package.
TOOLS FOR ETSY SELLERS THAT AUTOMATE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY
Fix your shipping with Stamps.com.
Connect your Etsy account and watch those labels print effortlessly as soon as your orders come in! Stamps.com even marks your orders as dispatched and adds a tracking number every time you print a label. This is one of the best tools for busy etsy sellers!
Completely outsource order fulfillment.
If you’re selling common products that can be printed (mugs, t-shirts, pillows, totes, phone cases, water bottles, glassware, art prints, posters, the list goes on…) then it might be time to outsource your daily order fulfillment to a print on demand company.
Print on Demand (POD) is a great way to scale your business up without having to pay for more inventory or equipment. And it has the added benefit of letting you claim your house back: no more house full of boxes! It’s free to get started, and you only pay when someone orders something. Your POD company will charge a base price to create, pack, and ship your item (all with your branding) and all you have to is adjust your prices on Etsy so you still make a profit.
All POD companies are different. Some sync with Etsy to automatically fulfill orders with no effort on your part. Others require you to login and submit the order and an artwork file.
Here are some companies that do POD:
Can’t outsource fulfillment? Outsource your shipping instead.
Here’s how it works: you create the item you’re selling, then you send it to a company who can pack, ship, and send it for you. Best part: they send your items with tracked shipping so you’ll always know where it is (and so will your customer). They also replace lost or broken items for free. If that’s not enough, they have warehouses all over the world so your international customers get their items sooner!
This process is called “drop shipping”, and it just became legal on Etsy in January 2016. Other online platforms like Amazon will let you drop ship as well.
You’ll want to do some research on whether this is for you, but my favorite fulfilment company is Shipwire.
Get the Traffic Your Shop Deserves
Hey Guess What? Before I quit my job to sell on Etsy, I was an SEO Consultant for a Fortune 500 Company. I used Etsy tags to get my first 500 sales in less than 6 months. Wanna steal my tricks? Try SEO Bootcamp:
Thanks for Reading!
Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
Find out what went down here.
Hey guess what? The exact tricks that got me 6-figures sales are waiting for you in the Ultimate Guide to Etsy. This is a 40-page, step-by-step MEGA tutorial that will help you strategize your way to more sales.
I’m Ready to get focused!
Already have a product online but need to sell more of it to make rent? Figure out what’s clogging up your sales with a FREE Shop Critique, waiting for you on the other side of ⇣ this ⇣ button!