Are you ready to do a little time travel with me? HA! I wish (but also kind of don’t). But I want to take you back to my days when I had a stationery business.
I’m 10 years into my business now and while I’ve had some major wins over the years, there are 3 things that come to mind that I wish I would’ve done sooner. While I don’t believe it’s worthwhile to look back with regrets, I do think it’s healthy to reflect on lessons learned!
3 Things I Wish I’d Done Sooner in My Stationery Business
1. Develop email response templates to save time
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re not already doing this…start today. After about two years into working with custom stationery clients, I started realizing that I was receiving the same types of emails and questions with every client: There’s the initial stage of asking for pricing, general timeline questions and how to proceed, then it gets more involved per client with the asking for paper samples, needing information about how to provide feedback or wording, etc. and it was the same overall process for each job that I was sucking up so much valuable time that I could be spending designing or expanding my business!
Trust me, take an hour or two one day and type out templates that you can save either in your Gmail or in notes somewhere so you can just copy + paste and customize where needed for each client email. Sounds simple, but that extra time you save can be used reaching potential customers or designing a different job, eating lunch, WHATEVER!
2. Take email marketing more seriously
WHAAAT?! I thought email was dead??! Nah. Email is the #1 tool I use for conversions in my business now. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve always had an email list, but had I intentionally spent time trying to grow the list since day ONE, man…I don’t even want to think about it. An email list is the place to nurture and develop long-term relationships with your audience and customers. It’s where you show these dedicated people that YOU are the expert in whatever it is you do, so any time you decide to pivot and come out with classes, or products, etc. they are ready to buy because you’ve proven to them that you know your stuff.
Related: An Overview of Email Marketing
3. Develop a Pinterest Strategy
This is a biggie! I’ve always used Pinterest, and even used it to pin my work and products from the very beginning. But I had no clue what I was doing with this platform and definitely missed out on some big potential opportunities.
Here’s the deal: Pinterest is a search engine.
So many people think of this app as another social media platform. Pins are searchable content and you need to treat yours like it! To this day, Pinterest continues to drive 2million+ views per month to my website and WEEKLY I receive emails that start with “I discovered you on Pinterest…”. Yes, it’s huge! Especially in the wedding industry. Those brides are on there pinning the CRAP out of wedding inspiration and YOU want your products and/or services to be in front of her eyes! It became the main way I would target my ideal customer and fill up my calendar with custom stationery jobs.
…Did you expect those to be the top 3 things?!
If you’re surprised, then I’m really excited for you! Once I started implementing these 3 systems, I was able to take a deep breath, and FOCUS on creating. There’s nothing like freeing up some time to use more doing what you love! With these tools, I went from spending all of my time grinding to find and book that next client to painting more, designing more, and growing my business.
Because that’s the goal right?!
We don’t start businesses so we can spend all of our days and nights working do we? We start businesses because we desire freedom! Yes, I love what I do, but I don’t want to do it 60+ hours a week…do you?