Coupons make sales. Even if it means you make less profit, sometimes it’s worth it. Be good to your customers and they will be good to you.
I’m trying to step up my game and be more active in promoting my shop and what I can do. I want to grow and learn. My next goal is to get to 1 Sale per month in my Etsy Shop. To do it, I’m paying for promoted posts, listings, and an ad campaign to get people to notice my accounts. I also am going to more actively make sure potential customers get coupon codes for favoriting my listings or shop. I think being more active is the biggest thing.
I’m starting to work with Upwork again. I made a fair bit of money last year, but I let it slide when I found a day job I really like. That’s not a good excuse, so I’m back at it. I have a talent for logos and design. I should be leveraging every asset. I could make more if I “went it alone” to find clients, but that would require a lot of accounting and have zero protection. I’m willing to get paid a little less if it means I’m protected from non-paying clients and having to track down the money on my own. I don’t need that additional stress in my life right now.
Finally, I vow, once again, to post more often, more regularly here. It’s good for me, and I hope interesting to other entrepreneurs.
I hope all of you, my dear readers, are having a great early 2019!
Remember I sdetailed my plans to use Redbubble.com as an outlet for some of my designs? It turns out the one piece that sells there is a watercolor piece of the Tybee Lighthouse outside of Savannah, GA. It’s beautiful, but not what I’d thought would be my best seller. I guess I need to refocus what I use for Redbubble!
The piece has sold twice as a sticker, which is also not what I expected. I should stop having any expectations like this! I obviously do not know anything about what might sell. That’s why you always put out everything you have until you find your niche! I will have to remember this…
It’s ok to be on a path different from the one you start out taking. My experience in the last 2 years has underscored just how unpredictable life is. While I still love design work, The exact type of work I do has shifted.
I recently started a 50 Day Logo Challenge. By subscribing to an email list, I received 50 prompts to design logos. The challenge has made he think differently about what’s good or not because I had to work with so many ideas but only for a single day at a time. I’ve been enjoying it and considering taking the idea a step further. I want to take those prompts and make a series of logos for each. I want each concept to have about 5 different choices, just like I’d show to a client.
I have largely stopped using Upwork, but not because it isn’t a useful resource. I just had to decide how to spend my time. I want to freelance more with logo design. I still think I have talent to offer the field. With this challenge I’ve noticed my execution improving!
My Etsy Shop is helping me out too. I’ve made sales of SVG files, and I’m going to continue to put out listings there. I think it could take off and if it does then I’ll focus on that and leave other freelancing aside. I just have to get there first, so until then, just keep trying all paths until one becomes disentangled from the others.
It’s a fantastic story told from the point of view of a woman who isn’t perfect and has a lot of social/bonding problems – I can relate, lady. She, along with two children, is trying to get to safety down a river after very strange paranormal incidents cause people to commit suicide.
This review is going to be as spoiler free as I make it. Most of my thoughts are not going to be about the story’s details, but about the quality and foundations of the movie: life, the universe, and everything kind of stuff.
For all those reading this in the future: Bird Box is a Netflix Original movie produced by Susan Beir and Sandra Bullock, staring Sandra herself. John Malkavich makes an appearance too. A few of the other actors looked familiar to me, but I don’t know their names off the top of my head. Just know that this isn’t some B-movie piece of crap Netflix put out to fluff their repertoire. It has real acting chops and storytelling.
This is not a straight-up horror flick. Yes, it has psychological horror in it, to be sure. I would call it science/speculative fiction more than horror, however, as it focuses on the human interaction way more than horrific elements of the experience the people are going through on-screen. Science fiction has always been a great vehicle for social commentary. Bird Box is definitely, at heart, a movie about societal-level problems. How do humans bond with one another? What if I’m not a good enough mother? How do you decide if someone is worth saving in a crisis? Do you keep hope alive in times of strife, or give up and live fatalistically, uncaring about anything, even yourself? Is surviving the same as living?
Anyone who sees this movie expecting a purely horror-focused experience will be utterly disappointed. The story runs deep. I suspect many people may mistake psychological depth for “touchy-feely crap” and dismiss it as hokey or cheap. Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely some of that touchy-feely stuff in there, but it’s not really the point of what’s going on. One big spoiler: you never get to see the monster or find out what’s “really going on.” That’s not what the movie is about. The elements of the movie are just a vehicle to get the viewer to question the meaning of:
After having my Cricut a couple of weeks, I’ve happily discovered that it’s the precise intersection between designing and making. I have an idea, I design it in Illustrator, and I test it with my Cricut. That workflow is very satisfying because I have the confidence that my files will work beautifully for everyone who buys them.
I don’t rely on anything from the Cricut Store. I want my designs to be sellable digitally. It’s a great resource if you are not a designer and just want to make items for personal use though! Thousands of designs are available for everything from sewing to card-making to home decor. It’s a resource that’s just not for me.
It’s been a strange turn of events in my design journey. It hasn’t gone how I thought it would. That isn’t a bad thing. I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses and stopped forcing myself into molds that aren’t a good fit. Sometimes I forget that I’ve been at this for about a year. It’s a very short amount of time in terms of a business start-up. I have to keep in mind that stories of indie game designers like Scott Cawthon – creator of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise – and even long-standing, great creators like Walt Disney are not as instant as they seem. Those successes are actually the result of years of work that we, the consumers, can’t fully understand in hind-sight.
It’s unlikely that this will be the status quo forever. It’s a stepping stone for a path with may branches, twists, and returns-to-start.
Today, I wanted to show off some of my latest work. Last week I revealed that I’d acquired a Cricut. Here are the images I currently have for sale that I will be testing soon:
I tested out some basic cardstock projects. Here’s the pumpkin I made:
I got some Super 77, Outdoor ModPodge glue/sealer, StickyNote adhesive (to re-stick my mat as needed), transfer tape, and of course tools for weeding and creating. In the future I’d like to get markers to play with as well since the Cricut is fantastic at following paths for both drawing images and writing.
I’ve been having some success with both Etsy and Redbubble lately. I’ve started to design files for use with die-cutting machines and posting them to Etsy. I’ve made a few sales! I’ve been selling the files for $.99 each. I figure it’s a good place to start and I can increase the cost as my talent and knowledge grows.
I’ve acquired a Cricut Explore Air 2 for my birthday. That is going to exponentially increase my knowledge of how to design files properly. Also, it means I can choose to sell stickers, decals, and other finished goods. One of the main reasons I never got into such items was because I had no way to trim them nicely. My only options were square or circular Avery stickers that are already pre-cut. However, I never liked how much room for error there was. They simply don’t produce a product that feels professional, or commercial. So, that brings me back to the Cricut. I can make non-standard stickers and have them all cut smoothly and professionally. I’m very excited and can’t wait until I have a free night to set it up and start using it.
I started a new job at a craft store. It’s minimum wage, but at the same time I’ve never been happier. This is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had in my life! I stock shelves, and help people buy craft items. I get to use my general knowledge of crafting along side my organizational skills. As a result, I have a lot more creative energy outside of work.
I started painting again. I chose watercolor because it’s a little less messy and doesn’t require heavy chemicals (terpenoid, for example, although I love oil paint too). It started after watching way too much Bob Ross on YouTube. I want to do oil painting too and try the Bob Ross technique, but maybe in the future. I bought some new paint and brushes. They are nothing fancy – value grade, somewhere between student and artist quality – but they let me be creative.
This creative journey I’ve been on for the past 11 months has been crazy, fun, and terrible all at once. I thought I wanted to be a designer. I think my biggest take away from this latest turn of events is this: don’t try so hard to make something happen since any kind of hard work I put in will be rewarded one way or another. I never know what to expect. I’m terrible at predicting my future. It’s better right now to let it flow.