Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Make Your Craft Pay

Making a living from your craft should be simple. You are talented and skilled at making beautiful and unique objects. You toil, sweat and pour your heart into them. Your hand-crafted objects should return the favor. They should provide you with the basic comforts of a good life. They should pay all your bills, your retirement and health benefits and future investments, travel and college funds for your kids. Is this too much to ask? Most definitely not.

Your craft can pay you, but you must do two things. First, you must make a simple plan. Second, you must adopt a simple daily practice.

There are three elements to the daily practice. The first is to work on connecting with your people everyday – whether it’s sending a handwritten note, working on a mailing or posting on Facebook. The second element is to seek new opportunities. You will take about 15 minutes each day to look for something that will enhance, change or grow your business. The third and final element of the daily practice will happen weekly- you will take about 1 hour to review your numbers and your plan.

This daily practice eases you into a habit. Instead of waiting for that “one big call or email” you are making things happen for you. You are nurturing collaborations – whether they become fans, resources, or customers. You will need people to support your business. You are also seeking opportunities that fit your plan. If you like staying home and enjoy being on your own– you will look for opportunities that help you do exactly that. Finally, you are carefully tracking your numbers- which will turn your plan into real life experiences.  

After nearly 10 years as full-time crafters Ben and I have developed some effective habits. We’ve made many mistakes over the years – but these habits have kept us on track. Our consistent effort to plan, keep in touch and always look for new opportunities is what has kept us growing our business year after year. I have no doubt that you can do it too.

How will you make a consistent effort to stay connected? What opportunities will you seek today?
 If you’re interested in reading more about how to make your craft pay, consider my new ebook called, “All Craft. A Recipe to Make it Pay.” You can read more about planning and developing your daily practice. My husband Ben and I make metal sculptures and furniture here in Pennsylvania. I am a certified Etsy Educator & a member of the Full Time Etsy Crafters Team. Our Etsy shop is The Steel Fork. 

This post first appeared on Handmade in Pennsylvania.

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