How To Get Organized By Making A Mess

Today I gathered all of my Journals, Planners and Notebooks. I have great things in each one of them. But when I reach to look up one of those Ideas I can’t remember which book it was written in. Then I spend minutes, if not an hour or more, looking through all the books only to get distracted and move onto something new.

Getting organized starts with making a mess

I have a funny way of getting organized. I first make a mess. It might sound a bit backwards but that is how I work. I pull everything out and start going through each item. Some I keep, others get recycled. My reason for making a mess is a lot like the way I pack up my house for our many military moves. After a few days of packing, things tend to not look any better than they did when you start, so you begin to really purge. Getting rid of that maybe pile and breaking down the must haves to really truly MUST HAVES.

  • Create a mess
  • Keep the truly good stuff
  • Let the other things get recycled, literally and figuratively

Ideas are only great if you can find them and share them. {retweet that}

When you organize how do you go about it?


How To Edit Your Etsy Listings To Sell More

Have you been revamping your shop? Working on editing pictures and getting great item descriptions to pull it all together? Good! GREAT! One more thing… Making sure your shop looks amazing on Etsy, next to other shops in treasuries or during searches, can be as simple as the click of a button. Have you seen this new little addition to Etsy’s editing section in your shop?

edit your etsy shop listing thumbnail

adjust your thumbnail photo

As you are about to publish your listing, in the preview, this nice side note appears. Guess what happens if you click on the button perfectly titled “adjust photo”? Yep you guessed it, you can move your already awesome picture to make sure others see exactly how great it truly is even before they read your description. Cause truly, what do you notice first, the title or the picture? So, start clicking on that adjust photo button and get to cropping your shop into the Treasury Happening maybe even Front Page glory you deserve.

Crop and adjust your listing photos & thumbnails to ensure you get seen.

How To Get Into More Treasuries On Etsy

Building treasuries on Etsy is really the best way to get your self into others treasuries. But simply building the treasury isn’t were the job ends. You should also send a message with a link of the treasury to every person included. This isn’t something you have to do, most shops will notice that an item has been included in a treasury if they go to their “activity” feed section when they are logged in. But you want to give everyone a chance to come over to the treasury, click, favorite and comment on the collection.

Great collection by Bocko Check out the entire treasury HERE

The nice part about creating a treasury, you find some wonderful shops, amazing items, get to create something beautiful and then the pay off of others including you the next go around. Now this isn’t guaranteed, why not? You must have great things in your shop to look at. One way to see if your photos are up to par with others… create a treasury and add one of your items. Does your picture look like all the others that you are attracted too? If not, start tweaking your product images, crop, edit and repost your items. Then take that treasury you started and put something amazing in the place of your item.

Show off your recent treasuries on the fanpage or the comments below.

How To Dump The Blues and Get Back To Creating Success

Am I failing? Things have slowed down in my online shop. Ideas are flowing but my focus is gone. I feel all over the place and I don’t know how to get back on track.

Any of that sound like you this week?

A dandelion out my window. Prompted a visit to my yard. Closing my computer.

I am a creator with a ton going on in my head. All day everyday. Sometimes those thoughts get the best of me, they slow me down, make me feel paralyzed. Other times I am on it ready to create and conquer every task that hits my desk. I wish I could give you the scientifically tested formula for battling the “am I failing” blues. All I have to offer is what seems to work for me.

Making a list of things you have accomplished over the past few weeks can help boost your morale. {retweet it}

This coming week I am going to focus in on three things. Writing more Content (that’s a constant) Listing more items in my Shop and allowing myself time to breathe. You can eat – sleep – drink your business, take great pictures and write amazing content but if you don’t take time to breathe, amongst other things, you aren’t living and if you aren’t living just a little then your business will suffer. Take a breather, look out the window, sit in the sun, take a class. No matter what it is make it something unrelated to your computer or work. In the process of stepping out of your business bubble you may meet or see something that breaks that blue feeling.  Stepping out of my bubble I found a patch of dandelions that needed my cameras attention.

Tell us in the comments how you break your “Am I failing” blues and get back to creating?

Freebies & Tips: How to Take Great Product Photography of Your Creations

Yesterday I spent time editing product photos and it went by pretty smooth. I have fine tuned my photo shoots by getting organized with everything I will need on a table beside me. I also limit myself to 5 pictures total. Any more than that seems to be a waste of time. Also if you are organized and know the shots you need then you shouldn’t need to take 100 pictures of something. Planning out your product shoots means less time spent taking pictures and even less time spent editing.

Details pendant with ruler

1 full view picture

1 close up detail

1 different angle/view

1 showing options or item being worn

1 bonus just in case picture.

I am not a photographer in the sense of ‘I went to photography school and now I am a photographer’. But I am a photographer in the sense that I take pictures, great pictures, with a cheap point and shoot camera. I like to tease my husband (who has a fancy camera) that it’s not the equipment but the operator that makes a great picture AWESOME! We joke, it’s fun.

Bright color mix 100% cotton Cowl

Pictures can sell your item without saying or in this case typing a word. For me I find the details very important. I use white backgrounds and take pictures of most my items from the side. Rather then from the front which can make your items, especially clothing, look flat if they aren’t on a living human or pet.

Show different Options in you product photos

Always use indirect natural lighting when ever possible, NEVER USE YOUR FLASH, unless you have a professional set up. For us in the Pacific Northwest, using natural light, can mean a day that was supposed to be spent writing blog posts, quickly turns into “Holy Crap the SUN is out” on the fly photo shoot.

Show the buyer the DETAILS

I also make sure to get CLOSE. Really close and focus on a detail. If in your description you explain that something has a finished edge, then you should have a picture of it or what ever detail you are trying to point out. Etsy and most handmade selling sites give you 4 or more spots for photos. Use them ALL. And Finally, edit you pictures. I don’t use a fancy editing program. I adjust the contrast and light, I always crop to a 1000x1000pix Square. I have found that etsy photos at this size and cropped square, fit the screen of any browser best. When I view shops with large or longer photos, I have to scroll down to see the entire item, slightly annoying, to myself and others if they are in a viewing/browsing hurry. Think of your customer and how fast we lose attention, if they have to scroll they might click away from your item. Give your customers all the info in one picture so they won’t have to move a finger.

In a Snap Shot:

Plan you photo shoot * Take ONLY 5 different pictures of each item * Edit your photos * Get the details * Use NATURAL light.

Freebies & Pointers: design your FanPage

Screen shop of the create a page button

You have a creative  business. You want to get the word out, share pictures, blog posts, new items you create and the latest Sale happening in your shop. You need a Fanpage on Facebook. Click on my fanpage icon Photobucket and look up to the far right corner of the screen. There you will see the words “create a page” Click on it. Choose the category that best describes you and fill in the blanks.

When picking your name, think long and hard. A lot of what facebook offers is great, but can change over time and what might be allowed today in the way of a future name change or URL name can be taken away without notice. So think about it. However if you already have a blog – shop – business cards made, why confuse anyone, just go with what you have created.

Now you have a page! You need a profile picture and a Cover picture. Choose what speaks to you for both. A personal photo of your smiling face is always a great choice for Facebook.

One huge pointer…

HAVE CONSISTENCY in your profile images on social media sites.

#Creativeentrepreneur (ReTweet That)

This will make it easier to find you and give your followers peace of mind that they are in fact following you.

For your Fanpage cover photo. To make the cover photo fit properly, without distorting it or having to drag it, change the size in a photo editing program. Cover Images work best when sized to about 851 x 315 pixels. Make this picture an item you sell or large version of your Logo. And If you do choose to have words on the Cover Image make sure they sit low on the image. Take note of where the cover photo actually starts when you come across other fanpages, you won’t see the entire image on your screen, so place words midway done on the image.

Once you have your fanpage worked out you need a “Button” on you blog that links to it. Like Cultivating Creative Entrepreneurs fanpage Photobucket and subscribe to this blog to see upcoming Freebies & Pointers.