All posts by Andrea Wood Schmitz

How To Market A Creative Business Part 1

Transparency is bloggers gold.  At least that’s how I see it.  Let’s face it, if you are more afraid to let the competition peak in your playbook than you are of some public accountability, then you’re not likely going to go far with this blogging thing.  That’s why I’ve decided to expose my back-side and be accountable to myself and to you as I embark on re-launching this blog.

I’ll be full on sharing what’s working and what’s not working as 2018 progresses.

I started the prep in mid March, dusted off the digital display of the front page and blog pages, re-visited social media (twitter, IG and Pinterest) to assess which one would be my initial focus.

I decided for IG and have shared some of the details along the way inside the Market A Creative group (more on this group later).

Meanwhile my SEO continues to be the strongest pull towards my blog and I’m keenly looking forward to Pinterest launch in the summer.  Why?  Because colleagues in the creative realm are getting off-the-hook record results from their Pinterest efforts.  The only reason I’m not going with Pinterest out the gate is that I need time to get all previous posts pin-ready.  Rest assured, going forward, each blog post will come ready to go, though.

All things going well, on May 1st I start my content plan and May 15th I re-launch the blog.

As you can see, journals are going to be a strong emphasis – and this is why I’m creating my own hybrid bullet/journal (there are no bullets in my journal, lol) for keeping it all together.

It will give me visuals, my OWN visuals to use in my blogging, social media shares etc.

And I’ve specifically designed it to suit my exact needs throughout the year.

I’m a mom of six kids, I’m a co-ordinator of one of the fastest growing refugee integration projects in Germany and international speaker. I say that to emphasise how PLANNING and ACCOUNTABILITY are really big for me.

And yes, I’ll be “reporting” back to my blog monthly throughout the next 12 months because this is where I will document my successes, defeats and lessons learned.

All so that I can come out with a stronger brand in the end.

Key to Marketing & Growth:  Facts & Numbers

I am a firm believer in tracking and knowing what benefits are coming from all my effort.  Numbers allow me to measure speed, results, return on invested time and money.  They also allow me to adjust, learn strengths to exploit and struggles to either avoid or find solid support to improve.

I’ve decided, as a visually-laden producer and creative business owner, to create my own business journal which leans on bullet journal principles.  Only the booklet I am using doesn’t have bullets 😉 .

You’ll notice the trackers, which are key measurement factors – true.  But the momentum I can visualise as I colour in the elements will inspire and motivate me to push forward.  It’s a powerful image that gives testimony to my steadfast dedication to growing inkovator.

I desire and will work to meeting this goal: $2000/month with the blog minimum by year’s end.

I’ll reach that through royalties, affiliate and my own product sales (from the website).

Setting Priorities & Implementation

Each month I focus on THREE big goals. Each of those three big goals will be broken down into A, B, and C activities designed to push me toward reaching those three goals (so nine activities in total). I give myself an incentive monthly if I reach those goals. And I assess the effectiveness of my choice of activity to REACH those goals at the end of the month (not just getting the prize, but also the insights to improve upon in the next month).

That’s about it in a nutshell.

What you don’t see is my weekly and daily break-down sheets.

Those will take the monthly and yearly goals and break them down into weekly and daily tasks.

So: to have royalties to the tune of $500/month coming in, I need books on the market.

I’ve set myself the goal to get 250 more books out by Dec 31st.

Broken down to monthly that’s almost 32 books a month. And that’s just more than one book on the market a day.

But having published books is only half the battle.

You have to market them somehow.

So I’ll have daily social media and or blog tasks to push out to the target audience.

Now:

As you hyperventilate, I’ve got systems which keep me on track.

The Power of Systems

The Market a Creative Business Journal is a system.

  • I’ve got a system for blogging.
  • I’ve got a system for social media posting.
  • I’ve got a system for SEO.
  • I’ve got a system for publishing books.

All in all, on TOP OF ALL I DO on any given day as a mom to 6, heavily involved refugee integration program co-ordinator and international speaker, I will spend up to 2 hours 5 days a week on building my site and assets so that I can reach the $2000/month income level by Dec 31, 2018.

The systems help.

And the journal will help me keep my focus on task.

I hope you might be inspired by one or more aspects of this plan to push your own creative business forward with purpose and intent.

It’s the culmination of the daily small, yet continuous effort that will have us all looking back after a year and saying: DANG, look at that!

Market A Creative Business Journal

Title Page

Because it’s a creative business and I like things pretty 🙂

Social Media Tracker

How can you measure success if you don’t know your numbers? This is my visual tracker to show to myself that my effort is paying off in equity. Ultimately I will see results on my bank statement, yet at the same time, clues are dropped by how the market reacts to the message I send.

Monthly Goals

I focus on THREE big goals each month. Each is broken down in three big tasks or priorities per goal, making my monthly focus NINE things. I make those things measurable and tangible action items to push through no matter what. These take priority over everything else in my business for the month.

Yearly Targets

My monthly goals serve ONE purpose: To get me closer to my year end goals. The whole journal is set up to push activity to reach these targets. Monthly, weekly and even daily spreads all point to growing specific areas of my business.

Systems in Action:  May Spread – Goals

Here‘s my May schedule filled in.

For the month I set three top activities which are designed to push me fastest to my year end goal.

YEAR END GOALS: $2000/month income on autopilot, 10K IG fans, 5 K Pinterest fans and 5 K FB fanpage fans. And 250 new books published.

Month one: 32 books, IG efforts emphasis, pillar posts, lead magnets and guest posts.

From here I break my big three up into weekly tasks and then daily tasks to reach it all.

Once month is done, I rate myself. That’s the review part.

Imp is for implementation – did I do the thing?

Res is for the results – did I do it well, did it arrive well?

10 is full points, 1 is lousy.

If I get 126 or more?

I get the prize (still must decide what that will be).
Then make a resume of the results:. What worked? What needs improvement?

This analysis flows over to the next month.

Do you run a creative business online?

Then consider joining our small insider circle where we share in greater detail what’s working and what we’re testing in our marketing.


Adult Coloring Groups & Clubs

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Hi, I'm Andrea from Inkovator and you are the reason I'm here! My team and I set our daily goal[...]

Sketch Diary from Hahnemühle is Fun and Useful! #hahnemühle_usa #hahnemühle #sketchdiary

Have you ever come back to a project and thought:  Dang, just how did I create this effect or get that look?

Well, this doesn't happen to Alice.

She keeps a sketch diary and we think it's fantastic!

In her diary she notes stuff like paper weight, mediums used such as paints but also brushes.  And of course extras, like salt.

Because the Hahnemühle is ring bound as well as lined left side yet unlined right side paper, she's discovered that it's really a perfect sketch diary.  

I tend to agree.

I invite you to go see how Alice has it all set up –> Read More Here –>

Oxide Lift with Colored Pencils + Brand NEW Gina K Designs!

Here’s a fantastic video tutorial by Gina showing you how to create amazing effects using Oxide Lift with Colored Pencils.

In case you don’t know Gina – she’s the creative brain behind Gina K. Designs and StampTV.  So you are in for a real treat with this tutorial.

Don’t you agree, the colors and effects she teaches are simply divine?

Ready for the video?  Hop over to Simon Says Stamp Oxide Tutorial Video by Gina.

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink January 2018

Like potato chips, these too are addicting!!!

Neat & Tangled Guest: Medallion Flower Builder

Have you ever wondered how to get fantastic illustrations for your bullet journal or home-made cards?

Betsy Veldman (of Paper, Scissors & Superheroes) shows you how over on her guest post for Neat & Tangled blog.  She did a little project using their beautiful Medallion Flower Builder set.  Here’s a peek at Betsy’s project…
Hop over to Betsy’s and grab coupon code before you click on over to the Neat & Tangled Blog for more info on this card.
Read More Here –>

Medallion Flower Builder

Misti Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented

This is what customers of Misti have to say about this stamping tool:


"This is the BEST TOOL EVER for stamping!! I seriously sucked at stamping until I got this, and believe me, I've tried everything! If you're a beginner crafter, this is one of the first tools you should buy! If you're a seasoned professional, you should already have a Misti! "

How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide

One thing I catch myself telling my 17 year old is this:

Dude, you are my people. We‘re both lazy. And it‘s the most glorious way of life. It‘s true!

But beware of being lazy and stupid!  Cause this will be your downfall and cost you more effort than you ever wanted to muster!

That‘s why I love The Lazy Genius Collective.  Because it‘s all about optimizing my lazy so that I avoid the gotchas and dangnabits and coast along in my day-by-day.

Today I have to tell you about the Absolute Ultimate Bullet Journal Guide.  It‘s the perfect planner system for procratinators who ain‘t got no time for couch-potato-annonymous.

Do these sections get you excited?

  • The Bullet Journal is like a potato
  • The Bullet Journal is better than your online system
  • The Bullet Journal can be set up in the next five minutes
  • The Bullet Journal doesn’t have to dress for the Oscars
  • The Bullet Journal is the Meryl Streep of organization; it can take on any role you need it to. But it doesn’t have to
  • The Bullet Journal might change your life; you just have to give it a try

Eh?  Eh?

Each point is laid out in simple detail and I have to say, compelling it is!

I’m Kendra, and I’m here to help you be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t. Welcome to your people. The January air smells like organization. You can’t fight it, so let’s lean into it with lazy genius attitude.

Read full article

Boho Berry Challenge | March 2018

This.  All of this.

Ok, I have a girl crush on Kara.  Can I say that?  I just did!

She calls out her Boho Berry Challenge and I’m getting nothing done at home.  It’s like I’m attached to my cell all. day. long.

In a good way, of course.

What I really appreciate, other than seeing what everyone else makes of it, is the prompts.  I can work ahead, catch up – that’s not a problem.  I always know where I’m going and that satisfies me deeply.

Here are my favorites – you so should follow everything immediately –> #BohoBerryChallenge

Tell me:  which one is your favorite?

And of course, it all started with the list:

Alright.

I just had to show you the lovelies Kara puts out on twitter.

Ammiright?

Dang.  Love me some BohoBerry!

7 Reasons Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental, Emotional and Intellectual Health

When HuffPost’s Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC writes up about the benefits of adult coloring, we sit up tall and perk our ears!

This wee list of seven reasons are more than you’ll need to grasp the pure and innocent benefits of coloring even and especially as an adult.

What are the benefits you appreciate the most?

There are many times when I suggest adult coloring books to patients, and they look at me like perhaps we should be switching seats. However, time and again, they come back to me and tell me how beneficial they find them to be.

Read full article

A recent trip to the botanical gardens - we took our sketch pads and the watercolor pencils from Staedtler.  What a wonderful way to spend the day!

Yoga for the brain: The popularity of a drawing method is causing anxiety among its practitioners

Adult coloring isn’t all happiness and stress relief. Well, that’s what some are trying to warn you about.

Especially zentangle, a copywrited method, has come into the cross-fire and suspiscion of causing more harm than good.

But what lies behind the accusations?

Manjiri Vivek Sabnis, a trained electrical engineer settled in Bangalore, began practicing Zentangling two years ago. Like many others, she got hooked to the copyrighted drawing method by its claim of being brain yoga, a serene way to develop mindfulness and spiritualism.

Read full article

Why grown-ups love coloring books too

TED’s writer Tom pulled together a wee piece about adult coloring.  So you know it’s a thing.  Or at least you can now point those sceptics to an authoritative third party validating your need to color.

Just what is the adult coloring book craze all about, anyhow? Anyone who has appreciated a meditative mental drift while knitting or mowing a lawn knows that there is something calming about engaging in a familiar, low-impact activity that requires minimal thought and bestows a clear sense of progress. That goes at least some of the way toward explaining the immense appeal of adult coloring books, which now…

Read the whole glorious piece …

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