Friday, May 11, 2012

Guest blogger: Alyson B. Stanfield with 9 Time-Saving Tips for Your Art Business

As a new feature on the Boston Handmade blog we are hosting guest bloggers from time to time, and this month we are honored to be able to share with you some wisdom on running an arts business from esteemed business coach Alyson B. Stanfield.

Image: ©Janice McDonald, Time Flies. Collage, 12 x 12 x 1 inch. Used with permission.
9 Time-Saving Tips for Your Art Business
by guest blogger: Alyson B. Stanfield

The number one complaint I hear from artists is that they don't have enough time.
Sometimes it's not so much a complaint, but a fear‚ a fear that they'll be overwhelmed if they have to add one more business or marketing task to their list of things to do.

We all have the same amount of time, but some of us have learned strategies to be more efficient. See if implementing one or more of these ideas can buy you some sanity.

1. Chunk it.
Schedule your errands together and work on like-minded tasks at the same time. For example, it's usually easier to write a number of blog posts in one sitting than it is to write one a day.

2. Post-date it.
If you write blog posts ahead of time, post-date them to appear throughout the week or month. You can do the same with Twitter and Facebook status updates using platforms such as TweetDeck, Seesmic, or HootSuite.

3. Guard it.
Reserve your peak productivity time for making art, writing blog posts, and completing other tasks that demand creative energy.

4. Learn it.
Getting comfortable with new technology can be overwhelming, but delaying the learning process can cost you the precious time that a new technology can save. Learn the ropes in order to save time in the long run.

5. Automate it.
You'll never miss an important transaction when you automate bill payments, employee wages, and more.

6. Hire it.
If you're so busy that you can't finish projects, it's time to get help. Look to your kids or college students to help you with mailings, update your database, and make labels for your exhibit. Think about a virtual assistant to respond to email requests, configure your blog, or update your website.

7. Ignore it (for now).
Turn off all notifications for your email and social media accounts. You don't need to be interrupted every time someone "pushes" a message your way. Instead, "pull" the messages during your "Chunk it" time when you're ready to do something with them.

8. Process it.
Don't check your email, process it. Answer it, delete it, or file it, but don't leave it to be acted upon later. Do the same with your regular mail. If you look at something multiple times, you have to re-learn it each time. This wastes valuable energy.

9. Finish it.
Follow your tasks through to completion. It's easy to get distracted, but creating a mantra for these situations might help you avoid multi-tasking and distraction. The mantra I repeat to myself: "I do one thing at a time to completion." Try it!

About Alyson:

Alyson Stanfield is the author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion and the founder of Art Biz Coach and the Art Biz Blog.

Boston Handmade readers might be interested in Alyson's new Retail & Wholesale audio programs with Carolyn Edlund. They're available as instant downloads here.


  1. Thanks, Kerry. I hope something here is helpful. We all need to conserve our energy for the big stuff.


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