Your personality spills into everything you do, that’s no secret. From the clothes you wear, to the food you eat, to the people you hang out with, to the place you go. So it must spill into your business, too, right? Have you noticed this with other businesses you follow? Someone with a big personality probably has evidence of this in their vibrant branding, their confident messaging, and even in the ways they choose to promote their products + services. Likewise, someone who is more reserved probably has a softer brand, more neutral messaging, and promotes themselves in more subtle ways. Some may call this introversion and extroversion, but we’ll get to that later… wink wink.
Small business owners these days wear a lot of hats. We tend to be our own assistants, accountants, advisors, marketers, copywriters, and now even our own designers. When it comes to designing for your business, you’ve probably quickly learned that there are... 1 — there are tons of things that need designing within your business, and, 2 — there are tons of software options to make those designs.
Automation. It’s the buzz word being slung around the Interwebs as of late. It’s that thing everyone is striving for, it seems like, to make their business totally automated and hands-off. But… what if that might not actually be the best thing for our customers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a convenient app as much as the next gal (or guy! hey fellas.), but I’m afraid if we go so far down the automation rabbit hole, our businesses will end up looking and sounding like robots. Cold, hard, emotionless robots.
Today is a big day for me, guys. Five months ago I started work on a project that would keep me up to ungodly hours. It would involve hours upon hours of planning, creating, writing, designing, strategizing, and more strategizing, and a little more designing, and then some more writing, and writing again. It’s been such a wild ride that had my mind racing with non-stop ideas since the beginning. And then the last two weeks, I hit a wall. I’ve prepped as much as I can prep, quadruple checked that everything’s ready, and I think it’s all catching up to me now. I’m tired, unmotivated, and would rather take a nap than write one more email campaign.
I was just telling my friend Jamie the other day: you can take the girl out of the stationery, but you can’t take the stationery out of the girl :) This is my premise for using gift packages to promote launches or projects I’m working on – I LOVE giving gifts. I love curating the perfect collection of items that I think the recipient will love, especially when it’s centered around a specific theme or for an event – like a launch! Since I scrapped my physical product line earlier this year, I was itching to work something physical back into my business and sending these launch packets has been the perfect solution.
As a branding designer, it’s been a bit of a backwards journey as I’ve developed aesthetic and elements that make up the Paper + Oats brand. I never imagined it would grow into a multi-faceted business that provides products, services, resources, and even a blog. This week I’m celebrating my official two year business birthday, so I thought it would be a great time to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the Paper + Oats brand has developed into what it is today, and you can develop the different facets of your own brand to work cohesively.
There’s no question Etsy is a powerful platform to sell handmade products to a hungry audience. Setting up a shop can be done in an afternoon, and you can hear the “cha-ching” go off on your phone by dinner time. Etsy is where Paper + Oats started in 2011, and I definitely wouldn’t be able to work full-time for myself if it weren’t for this platform. But with all the bad rap Etsy has been getting lately since they’ve revised some of their policies, many shop owners are looking to build their brands elsewhere. I had a light-bulb moment last year after nearly 3 years of being exclusively on Etsy. As my brand began to gain momentum, I realized that I was building my entire business on rented property.
If you’ve been following Paper + Oats anytime in the last month or so, you’ve probably heard of Batch Day – it’s a quick little idea I had to create community around productivity. In a nutshell, Batch Day is a one-day productivity challenge for creative entrepreneurs. Here's the plan: you’ll dedicate an entire day's work to one topic, eliminating all distractions so you can make the most of this hyper-focused time. Hold yourself accountable, learn from your peers, and get a healthy dose of motivation throughout the day with other creative business owners using #POBatchDay on social media.