Thursday, August 20, 2015

Balance... it's worth fighting for

I went to LinkdIn, started to read messages I'd received... then freaked out in an attack of overwhelmedness.  I can't handle another... thing.  I adore Facebook and tolerate Twitter.  I suck at Instagram... but I can't take on one more thing.

Kind of reminds me of the mythical all-curing vitamin/mineral/supplement.  You know the one.  There's an article or tv blurb or a new book about how this ONE supplement is all you need... it does everything...and if you don't take it you'll be tired, fat, and prone to disease.

"All you need is ______ (fill in the blank), every day; stop everything else you're doing and just take this product because it is the magical cure-all to everything that ails you."

The problem is, if 8000 different products are the only one you need... well, you see the problem right?

Same thing for exercise... "Just do this one thing and you can stop going to the gym."  But those same words are found in articles about yoga, meditation, push-ups, sit-ups, walking, running, jumping on a trampoline, etc.

Or diets... all you have to do is count calories... don't count calories, just eat meat, just eat vegetables.

I guess it works (the selling part, not the fixing our bodies part) because people are buying into it.  I think the marketing is much healthier than the population.

I'm guessing the marketing is playing on that fact that we all feel overwhelmed with no time, no money, and no patience... and we need a quick fix... NOW!

Oops, I think I got side-tracked.  Ha ha ha!  My point is that I read an article about how fabulous it is for your business to do Google+, and I read an article about how fabulous it is for your business to do Instagram... and then Facebook... and then Twitter... and then Blogger... and see... That's my point.

I can't do it all!!!  Every one of them is supposed to be THE ONE thing that's most helpful to my business but no one has time for all of it.

I know there are some services (like hootsuite) that will post something you write to several different social media outlets at various scheduled times.  Since I don't really want to say the same thing in 10 different places, I'm not sure that's for me... yet.  I haven't give it the "x" yet.

When I'm productive in the workshop, every statistic online goes down.  When I'm on the computer making sure my voice is heard, I get no jewelry made.

And so today's word is balance... which is kind of funny because there's a ring in the pickle pot as we speak whose secret message (stamped on the interior of the ring) is BALANCE.

Wonder if I can find a reason to keep it for myself.  :-)



16 comments:

  1. So well said, Laura...and they are my sentiments exactly! After taking some time off from jewelry and now trying to get back, I've spent more time on social media and SEO, and revising listings, and trying to learn the 'best' way to do everything...well, there's been no time for jewelry. I'm thinking it's an advanced skill to know what's worth participating in and what's not as far as social media goes. Because I'm rather undisciplined when it comes to all the computer beeps and burps which are waiting to be read....I'm going to pull the plug on the computer for the afternoon and work on jewelry...after I finish commenting on your post that is:)

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    1. Exactly! For me, the best thing is to figure out where I'm getting the most bang for my... time. Because nowadays, time is golden. Golden, I tell you!

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  2. Great post, Laura! I am currently fighting this battle. Overwhelmed makes me anxious and non-productive. I cannot do one more social thing lest I implode. I have to spend time in my studio learning, playing and producing. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. So glad to hear I'm not alone in the way I feel about it.

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  3. My recent foray into selling on etsy leaves me feeling that a huge portion of the the whole internet marketing biz is just dumb luck... being in the right venue at the right time and being seen by the right person... and that all those venues are good... for the right person at the right time in the right situation. Now, how to be *that* person? I have no idea. And how hard to 'work' the social media to try to become that person is a big question. As another overwhelmed person, I'd rather spend time in studio mesmerized by the turning mandrel or spinning wheel then sending tweets out into a world that's not paying attention. (If an artist tweets and no one reads did she really tweet at all? LOL) I agree there must be a balance point...

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    1. Linda... precisely!!! Whatever happened to: "If you build it, they will come"? I want THAT life. ROFLOL

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  4. Great post, I joined a group to help me learn marketing, and I am so overwhelmed now that I wonder who has time to make anything? I need to do things to sell stuff, make stuff, have people see my stuff... stuff is the word today... arg. Great Blog and thanks, may I share?

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    1. Yes... that's it! I too recently joined a thing to learn about social media marketing and I haven't had a single second to look over the material. D'oh! Thanks so much for the kind words on my blog post and I'd be SUPER honored to have you share it. Thanks!!!

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  5. Love the post, it SO parallels my current situation as well! I find myself in the same boat as you and the artists posting the other comments. A club we all hold a membership to. I remember back before blog was a word, and Ebay was just beginning, and social media was, well, I guess social media 'wasn't' at that point, that I bemoaned the fact that I spent more time writing a newsletter and website post (now called a blog post), photographing my work and writing descriptions, and shipping to customers than I did actually did making lampwork beads.Now? The word 'impossible' passes through my lips more times than I care to admit and my head is continually sore from banging it against that imaginary brick wall. The social media marketing explosion appears to be yet another way that cottage artisans struggle to compete with mass producers/importers. Sigh.

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    1. Well dang... we all feel the same... no wonder drugs and therapy are having a heyday. I had to laugh in reading your comment because you hit the nail on the head... I totally remember when our lamenting was just about the "photographing and listing" part of the process. Ha ha ha! Boy, if only we could go back there. Like that saying: "I wish I was as fat as I was when I was 20 and thought i was fat."

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  6. Balance is that elusive thing we're all on a journey to find. I have this goal, that each day I do something creative, some marketing, and some housekeeping, so that nothing is to the point of overwhelming. But it seems once I start in one department, the work never ends. I need to learn to find that point when it's time to walk away from the task I'm on.

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    1. That was sounding pretty good until you mentioned how hard it is to find an ending point. :-) I wonder if using a timer would help. I may try that. Thanks!

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  7. The thing is, to pick the two or three venues with which you are most comfortable and simply refuse to get sucked into adding any others. If, after sufficient time has passed one of those venues isn't working, then drop it and try another. My clientele tends to be over 30, and if you look at Instagram and Snap Chat most of those users are younger, in some cases a lot younger. If your market is jewelry for teens, tweens and college aged folks, then go with the social media sites that have the younger demographic. FB for example has very few young people as the youngsters who fell in love with FB age and their children find other venues. (mostly where their parents aren't...grin)

    No one can do it all, without a staff. If you aren't making, then you could lose your passion for your art. I don't do a blog anymore. I didn't have fun doing it, and it isn't something at which I excel. So, no blog. I maintain a presence on FB, Pinterest, Flickr and one other site. FB is the primary. The others get less attention.

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    1. You are so right! Excellent advice. Not only "don't spread yourself too thin" but pick venues where your ideal customer is more likely to be. Now I don't feel so bad about not "getting" Instagram... most of my customers are over 30. And Pinterest... thanks for the reminder. I get a lot of interest from Pinterest (ha ha ha!), so I'd like to keep up with that one.

      Just now, someone tweeted about my earrings that were on Cedar Cove last week. I don't even understand what to do to capitalize on that. Do I favorite it, do I retweet it, do I respond to it??? (These are all rhetorical questions, btw)

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  8. Saw that this post existed a few days ago, finally had time (ha!) to actually read and reply...

    I was at a local guild meeting this morning, and there was some discussion of ways to answer (or divert) the question of "How long did it take you to make that?" How long did it take to make that very piece: how long to learn the techniques, source the materials, do various inventory tasks, either [make up tags, apply to shows and/or galleries, pack and haul everything around], or [do all the photography and editing for an online shop], (or both), promote whatever outlets one uses, ....., all on top of the actual making time, plus the clearing one's brain of things that don't inspire while opening it to things that do, and..., and...?!! 'Twas great to spend the morning swapping (mostly marketing) ideas with artists but, in my mind, those were two "work hours" this week (three, including travel time).

    My printer died several months ago. I finally bought a new one a month ago, on sale just before I headed off to a workshop. Yesterday, finally, I spent an entire afternoon setting it up. The Quick Start that came with it sent me to three different websites for instructions, none of which existed (well, one was a "help forum" where I found some troubleshooting, but nothing on set-up). I finally found the bits I needed through online searches, so I can now copy and print from all sorts of devices. Scanning still isn't working. Maybe next week!

    Could I start a new line: art that customers take home to finish themselves?! 'Twas fun to contemplate until I realized, given all the "other stuff" involved, that it wouldn't really save me all that much time....

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    1. Oh my gosh, you are so right. The answer to that question would just be "full time job and then some". The making involves so many things.

      I love your idea for a new line. :-) But you're right... even when I sell "kits", its 95% of the work already done.

      Hope you're doing well. Always love hearing from you!

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