LAB News & Notes:

Project-365

With the freshly revamped Project ICANDOIT365 about to launch on the 20th, I thought I would share with you one of the best success stories so far. It’s so ironic that it comes from Rori Harrington. Rori teamed up with me and created a special notebook just for the project. Here what Rori told me about her endeavor to add regular blogging to her handmade business model.

1. What affect has regular blogging had on your business?

2012 was a great year for my shop and my personal life. I found out early in 2012 that I earned a spot on the Etsy Dallas team, a group I have long admired and hoped to join. Accomplishing that goal was huge. A few days later, I found out I was pregnant. What a year! Miles was born on Halloween, right before the holiday rush. He has been such a good baby. I’m so grateful that I was able to keep up with the shop without sacrificing precious time with my son. That was possible, in large part, thanks to my incredible support system. Here are the stats:

  • My sales increased 156% YOY in 2012.
  • My shop’s listing views increased 238% YOY in 2012.
  • My shop’s general views increased 235% YOY in 2012.

2. How hard/easy has it been?

My doctors put me on bed rest at the end of May (we lost twins in 2011 – they were born nine days too early). So I spent a LOT of time online and reading this summer. When you approached me about Project #icandoit365, I knew I wanted to try it out. I also knew it was bound to be a challenge. I started blogging daily July 1. I don’t force myself to follow a strict calendar or posting schedule. The goal is simply to post every day. As my due date approached, I began searching for a simple way to keep up with the blog post baby.

I found Fat Mum Slim’s blog and fell in love with her monthly photo a day project. I’ve been photoblogging since then. I make it easier on myself by using my smartphone to take the photos and create the posts. There are plenty of free apps out there for photo editing and my WordPress app has always been reliable for me. The great thing about photoblogging is it can be as planned or unplanned as I need it to be. I don’t obsess over perfection. My goal is to connect with my audience as genuinely as possible and to keep building connections, whether that happens through a photo I posted of my dog or a book review.

3. What advice would you give to fellow handmakers?

Do what you love and act like you love it. There are many ways to show your love. Whenever possible, package your item like it’s a gift to a friend. Add a little bonus item or special note. It doesn’t have to be fancy — a postcard is a lovely little extra to send. Blog regularly. People want to see you’re a real person. You don’t have to blog daily. That may not work for everyone. Be present on social media.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a daily thing. I believe the people who love to buy from indie shoppers also love to get to know the artists. It also gives you a chance to get to know your customers, which can be a huge value to you as a maker. And you’ll inevitably connect with other artists, which is always awesome.

4. Why should they take the #ICANDOIT365 challenge?

As far as the business-y reason you should take the challenge, my stats speak for themselves. It also grows your community and connections. This doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but it’s a beautiful progression.

Project-365-Symbols

You can have this kind of success too. Why not join us for Project ICANDOIT365? Learn more here.

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