There’s no getting around the fact that this is a crazy time to be alive… things have gotten nowhere near “back to normal” yet we all still have bills to pay and jobs to do/businesses to run. It’s time to sit down and spend time thinking creatively about the future. We have a unique opportunity to turn this time of struggle into growth by looking at our businesses and lives through a critical lens, finding weaknesses and reprioritizing. Maybe we can learn something new, sharpen our existing skills or focus on new ways to serve our clients & bring value to our audience.

1. Understand Your Costs (and Cut Some!)

The future is uncertain, no denying that. With in-person events being postponed & stores closed or operating at reduced hours, you may have lost main revenue streams. It’s crucial to review your overhead costs and identify any and all unnecessary expenses. We need our businesses to be as lean as possible and if you don’t have a financial strategy, now it’s a great time to get specific and make a plan! I’ve always been super frugal, repourposing packages from Ebay & Amazon for shipping my products, and using yarn scraps to embellish the packaging a bit. You should see me a christmas… I will seek out ALL the paper that’s salvageable before it hits the garbage bags, fold it up neatly and use it to package up my sales throughout the year! Same goes for boxes, bubble wrap, etc. I have a Tupperware box full of packaging materials that I didn’t pay a cent for! Finding simple ways to cut costs can be a game changer when things get tough.

2. Be a Good Human and focus on CONNECTIONS

Our customers need us now more than ever, just in new and different ways. Now is a great opportunity for you to focus on social media and on strengthening your relationship with existing clients & supporters! SHOW UP on social media, use video to connect, whether it’s going live on Instagram or recording videos of your process, touring your studio or workspace, creating a “craft along”, etc! Get creative! Ask questions in your posts and when responding to comments, work to keep conversations going by asking additional questions. INTERACT! Don’t “just” post photos on social media and figure it’s enough. Be proactive. Reach out to your loyal or long time customers & supporters to see how they’re doing and just check in on them. Show their feeds some love, comment on some of their latest posts, this will keep you visible and show them you care enough to check in & show support.

3. Try Out New Marketing Tactics That Focus On Community

Consider starting up a newsletter, filming a video series or writing a how to guide, starting a blog, coming up with a fun activity or social media challenge, or starting a Facebook group. This is the time to pivot, adapt, get creative, try new things and focus on community. Get people involved and interacting with you and with each other!

4. Focus on the Details

What are some things you haven’t had time for in the past? Is it time to clean up/organize your workspace? Is it time to focus on updating and refreshing product photography? What about gathering emails to finally start that email newsletter you’ve always wanted to design and start sending out? Maybe you’ve been wanting to upgrade your website, start a brand new website, switch to a new online sales platform, or pursue wholesale options? Make a list of things you’d love to do if time wasn’t a factor. Prioritize this list and then set yourself some solid goals and GO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

5. Collaborate with Other Creatives

Whether it’s getting advice or putting together a giveaway, now is a GREAT time to connect with your fellow creatives! Brainstorm new ways to support others in your creative community and strengthen that network. Think of ways you could get involved with other people projects or get them involved with yours. Consider guest blogging or asking someone to be a guest writer for your blog. Explore things like sticker trades, pattern trades or other trades that would allow you to cross promote with other brands. It’s all about community over competition these days so don’t be afraid to reach out, start conversations, collaborate and get involved with others in your creative sphere!!

Above all, show grace for yourself & others, be focused and motivated when you can but listen to your body when you realize you need rest, ask for help when you need it, and KEEP MOVING FORWARD (one step at a time). We are all learning and growing right now. By staying positive and sharing our common experiences, we will get through this together!!!

Want to chat more about marketing & get your hands on more free resources & education and join a community of creative people like you?? Be sure to join my Facebook group: Marketing for Creatives & Makers where I’ve shared links to lots of free resources, guides and more!! I can’t wait to connect with you on Facebook!!

Remember, you can always connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! I love making new social media friends!!!

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