Saturday , 20 December 2014
31 Days to Build a Creative Business: Where to Start {Day 1}

31 Days to Build a Creative Business: Where to Start {Day 1}

31 days to build a creative business

31 Days to Build a Creative Business: Where to Start {Day 1}

You can find all the 31 Days articles HERE.

Are you ready to turn your hobby into an income-earning side business? Want to sell on Etsy? Are you interested in turning your passions into profit? Would you like to get paid for doing something you already love to do?

I’m Lisa Jacobs, owner of Energy Shop Jewelry: a spirited little spot where I sell gemstone jewelry and Feng Shui supplies.  In that, I turned $100 worth of supplies into work-at-home freedom. When I opened the Energy Shop, I soon realized that I loved the business side of my shop as much as I loved making the products that I sell. I devoured marketing strategy, and I turned my hobby into a successful small business.

Together with Tim here on Handmadeology, I’m going to spend the next 31 days sharing tips on how you can achieve the same.

Where to start

Here on Day 1 of the series, I want to talk about where to start. Oftentimes, a creative spirit with a lot of great ideas gets caught up in the logistics of the future business they want to open. In fact, sometimes the uncertainty and unknown details are so overwhelming that these people walk away from their dreams altogether!

I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. I dream of a world fueled by creativity, where people lead glorious lives overflowing with passion and purpose. You can absolutely be one of them.

So to start, I’d like you to identify what is that you love to do. Name a talent or hobby that you would gladly do for free, and that you could not imagine yourself ever tiring of. That’s the spirit you have to bring to a successful creative business: a willingness to do what you love, even if it feels like you’re the only one who will ever experience it.

For now, don’t worry about profit. Don’t worry about the market. Don’t worry about the details. Simply name your passion, and we’ll have a starting point that’s pregnant with possibilities. Over the next 30 posts in this series, we’ll develop those possibilities into the real potential for success. Tim and I can hardly wait to get down to business. I hope you’ll join us!

We want to hear from you, and we would love to see your websites and shop… so in the comments below post your links, and let us know if you are ready to build a thriving creative business!!!

P.S. Tim and I mean business when it comes to helping you build yours.  In fact, we’re launching a course to help you do just that: Build a Better Creative Business. Join us in this live classroom where proven experts in the field will show you how to organize your business plan and create your own success! Click here to find out more.

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123 comments

  1. You can find all the 31 Days articles HERE….This link does not work.

  2. Let’s get this party started! 31 Days of Creative Business! Who could resist?!

  3. I would love to see this article in printed copy but don’t see a place to print. My business is slowly growing but I would like to see even better results.

    • Hi Judy,
      I was able to get my computer to print the article by going to “File” while I was using the internet browser and clicking on “Print.” It comes up as 12 pages (showing all the ads, graphics, comments, etc.), but you can print pages 2-3 if you want it in front of you.

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of the next 30 days!

      • Let’s all keep it green and use our amazing technology to *not* print long articles :)

        Looking forward to following along and hopefully also using this series to encourage my mother to follow in my footsteps with her own creative business.

  4. Can’t wait to get underway! What a great idea.

  5. I can’t wait! I would love nothing more than turn Mystic Summer into a profitable business. I am so tired of spending 8 hours a day behind. Computer working for someone else.

  6. Thank you all for the buzz you’ve generated just a few hours after publishing this post, and on only {Day 1} of the series!!

    We’re so grateful you’re here! I look forward to spending the next 30 days talking shop with you :)

  7. Excited for the next 30 days. :-)

  8. Can’t wait toread the whole 31 days :)
    Ihave a small papercraft business and really hope to improve it and i think your articles will help me do that
    Please visit my store and let me know your opinion and your feedback
    Rhank you
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/NoahScraps

  9. This is super! Yay! Just what I need to boost Cocoa Cherry into a thriving small business! Can’t wait for the next 30 days… Thanks Lisa and Tim!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m really looking forward to the next month. :D

  11. I have an Etsy store and have done a lot of reading and doing about marketing. I’ve managed to increase my daily views but still have few sales. My prints sell really well in Galleries so I know my work is good. Is the Etsy market over saturated with art or do I just have to wait for the Christmas shopping season? Maybe I should just print my art on fabric and turn it into pillows. Please HELP before I give up completely! https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneWilcoxsonStudios?ref=si_shop

  12. 31 day link is still not working

  13. cool! Can’t wait to read the rest of the 31 days!

  14. This sounds like a great series! Can’t wait to read them all and see what I can implement on my own little business.

  15. So excited! I’m ready to grow!

  16. I did not realize this was a new post. I kept looking for days 2-31 until finally I checked the date and realized today is day 1! Needless to say, I have subscribed by email and looking forward to the rest!

  17. This is a great idea. I will take time for this because I am interested in getting exposure/sales to my Etsy shop, and open to critiques. I will also be working on my own personal website. So much to do!

  18. This sounds great, I have Fluturi (www.Fluturi.etsy.com) and I really need some help to learn how to better promote my products which I just love to sew and create ;)

  19. I can’t wait to learn how to inprove my shop – looking forward to the rest of the series :)

  20. I’ve been working at my lampwork bead and jewellery business for about three years now. my online presence is slow and taking up a lot of my “creation time”. I have had success in galleries, parties and shows but need to start getting a return on my website business.

  21. Thanks for this
    I’ve grown my business single handedly for the last couple of years and have to admit to being nearly worn out by it.I don’t want to be…I lovedoing it and love the buisness side of it equally, but I have no formal understanding of marketing or what it is that I need to plan to do, it’s all just gut instinct and I want to learn!..I need this …a fresh look and a reenergising injection of what you guys have to offer
    (www.taxiride.net.au)

    • I know exactly what you mean, Fi. We’re going to be addressing these very type of phases, and hopefully we’ll provide that energizing injection you’re looking for! Thanks for your comment.

  22. This is exactly what I’ve been needing…thank so much for the series! I feel like I’m just on the brink of something big and want to keep this momentum moving forward… My ETSY shop is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ginnytaylor designs. And my Website is: http://www.ginnytaylordesigns.indiemade.com.

    I will gladly welcome feedback and constructive suggestions and ideas… Thanks Ginny

  23. Hi,

    I’m looking forward to your mails! My facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/bead.socialenterprise

    Thanks.

    Manjul

  24. Hi, I’m a few days behind on my email but just picked this series up and can’t wait to read the rest!!! I have been running my Etsy shop (www.bramalfiebeadsetc.etsy.com) seriously for the last year and I’m seeing month on month improvements but I’m still not where I want to be!! Hoping to pick up some valuable tips from this series.

  25. This is awesome! Thank you so much.
    I’m looking forward to your tips to implement on my shop which sells handmade African Inspirrd Fashion accessories:
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/accessoriesbyabiye

  26. So looking forward to this series of articles. Thank you for doing this.

    I have an IndieMade site (http://www.crookedcreekstudio.com) and and Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrookedCreekStudio1). I can retire from my “non-creative” job in 2.5 years and am looking forward to selling my pottery online full time once I retire.

    • That sounds like a nice & realistic plan, Sharon. I think you’ll get a lot of the series we’ve got here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and learning more about your business! Thanks for your comment.

  27. What a fab series!!!
    It’s so interesting to look back and see what you were drawn to as a child too …. I spent way too long being sensible and following an academic path, and found my passions and interests and, now I look back, I can see clues from way back!!

  28. I am looking forward to reading every post, and hopefully, your webinars will be scheduled at a time when I can attend or I can at least listen to a recording.
    I’ve been an Etsy Seller since April of 2007 (ByCoco is my shop name). As I approach 60, I’m hoping to spend less time on other commitments and spend more time in my studio creating.

  29. Always looking for new ideas on my making my business work. It’s a hobby that has grown.
    @etsy.sweetrelishstyle.com
    On Facebook @ sweetrelishstyle

  30. This sounds like a great idea!

  31. Yes!! Very excited for this venture. It’s come at a prefect time for me as I’m just starting up my online Etsy shop, ‘French Vintage Me’, as we speak. Love to know more about Product Photography :) – My etsy shop is FrenchVintageMe!

  32. I’m a little late to the party, but am looking forward to catching up and learning how to sell more of my handcrafted items! I started my Etsy shop almost 2 years ago and really love the fact of creating and selling my own things. I will be doing lots of reading in
    between my creating! Thank you for this series!

  33. I am sooo looking forward to these posts! I’m a bit late to the party, just finding out about this series today…but I so needed this! While my etsy shop gets lots of views/favorites, sales are few and far between…any advice in turning this around would be greatly appreciated!

    Here’s the link to my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueDiamondAromas

    Thank you so much!

  34. I am an artist selling on Etsy and I am really looking forward to learning and improving my business. I sell my original artwork in my Etsy shop
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/KamaraLarryStudio

  35. Hi, we just opened our Etsy shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheShedio. We’ve had some views and are looking forward to building this aspect of our business. Thanks!
    Martha

  36. Just started reading the posts and am excited to read more. I have a website and shop at http://www.shopubbu.com. I make pendants and wine charms from scrabble game pieces. Come visit us, would love to hear what you think.

  37. I’ve been so busy raising a 3 year old that I’m even behind in reading the first posts you sent out. I will try to catch up on all the days. I started a jewelry business almost 3 years ago but I haven’t been able to dedicate time to it. I now have my son in preschool 3 days a week and I’m ready to get serious about my business. I m excited about this post and the knowledge you are willing to share. I think it came at just the right time in my life! I got my web page and now I need to set it up and get the ball rolling. Not to mention I will have time to spend designing and creating jewelry now. Here is to looking forward toward success and not backward to past mistakes and failures!

  38. I would like to work smarter not harder. With all of the things competing for your attention it possible to be making thing are marketing 24/7. I want be able to pick the most effective strategies to grow my business and make the best of my time https://www.etsy.com/shop/AldanaArt

    • Hi Melissa,
      Your comment really hits home for me because I’m also in the process of streamlining my business to operate as smartly as possible! Thanks for joining us!

  39. Love this! I’m a little bit behind, but look
    Forward to reading and getting inspired! I’ve recently felt overwhelmed and walked away from my business dreams, so I’m hoping this will get me back on track.

  40. I keep hoping something is going to be the thing that sticks and gets my shop moving. It has been a slog but I am making steady improvement and this is TRULY my passion so I don’t want to give up! Here’s my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mamapicturethis

  41. Look forward to the course! I’m revamping my business! Thank you for all of the advice. http://www.deniseclason.com

  42. Being new to etsy I am so thankful to have found this advice. I am so looking forward to reading everything you have to offer.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelrybyJeneidaRae

  43. Thank you for the article, I’m always interested in finding good information on business improvement, new ideas, working smart etc. Have a happy, productive day! Peace, Harmony and Happiness

    Joanne – Jacy Design

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/JacyDesign

    http://home.comcast.net/~jacydesign

    https://www.facebook.com/JacyDesignArt?ref=hl

  44. Just started on day 1, so excited to complete all 31 days. Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to learn how to improve my small business.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/CCsSoapinaPouch

  45. I was just pointed to this series today. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can boost my online presence. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. My shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/LKPhipps my website is LKPhipps.com

  46. Heer we go, day one. Lets do it.

  47. Hi ^^
    First of all, thank you so much for writting this articles and to spend time thinking about others and trying to help us out. I have a store, I make recycled wallets and although I don’t get lots of sales I still have the passion and the will to keep making my ReWallets. Maybe one day they’ll get all adopted and we’ll finally have a worldwide recycled fever!

  48. I just found this, but I’m starting on Day 1 and going to read one post each day! Thank you for this! My shop is a little crazy right now, because I’m spreading my talent across a few different platforms.

    They are all listed under my shop at DajonSmiles.com. Thank you again and have a beautiful day! <3

  49. I’m soo going to read all, but not before thanking you to help me and others persuit our dreams. My store link is: http://www.frnchsk.etsy.com

  50. I was too thinking about how to convert hobby into business. And in initial stages we do feel giving it all up because of the uncertainties associated with creative business. Your website is truly inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

    I am from India and I have an online shop on http://www.craftsvilla.com

    Below is the link of my shop
    http://www.craftsvilla.com/Snehascraftyideas/

  51. Thanks for this opportunity to build my etsy shop. Here is my shop link http://www.etsy.com/shop/dashingcrafts

  52. You article is very encouraging. I already open a shop the day before yesterday.And I decide to follow your footprint to achieve success. Your shop and mine have a lot in common,which means your way to run business can be applied to my shop very well.
    It will be highly appreciated if you are willing to pay a visit to my shop and give me some useful advice.I know it’s a lot to ask. But I long for success so much.
    The link below is my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pearlpalace

  53. Just started reading this series although I’ve had an Etsy shop for four months now. I’ve had one sale so far and would really like to improve on this, especially for Christmas. My shop is http://etsy.com/uk/shop/Merryflowers

  54. Thank you so much for all of these great tips! I am looking forward to reading the rest of your articles! I have two shops on Etsy currently and haven’t gotten a ton of business from either one, and I need all the help I can get.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrinsCharming?ref=si_shop
    and
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/howdear?ref=ss_profile

  55. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Elliesweddings is what I have so far…I really LOVE making these and sold one (the $35 one) and get views each day, but I don’t have much for a budget nor do I have time all day to follow up with my site (I work 60 hours per week and have 3 kids). I would love some serious critiquing and input…even if it’s not what I want to hear. Thanks!

  56. I don’t have a website at this time, but I do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Longbow-Leather/248910538559223?ref=hl

    and an etsy page
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/LongbowLeather?ref=search_shop_redirect

    I am just learning about teams and treasuries and am still a little confused on them. I love tooling leather and can’t wait to do more, learn more, sell more and get better at what I do. Thanks for the articles.

  57. I’m in! (I assume this is rerunning, since the above comments are from last year)

    I have a small (now, as I am listing less there) Etsy shop, a full shop on Zibbet, and have just set up my dotcom!
    I’m ready to really get rolling!

    http://theamethystdragonfly.com/
    http://www.zibbet.com/TheAmethystDragonfly
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheAmethystDragonfly

  58. My fiancé and I have been selling on Etsy now for about a year and a half. Sometimes we do really well, and other times we sell only a few items a month. I know our product is awesome and it just seems like you have to pay extra to get your product to show up higher in the search. I want so badly to make this turn into full time pay and not just a hobby. Hopefully you can help! http://www.etsy.com/shop/JeffWelshGlassworks

  59. This is so awesome! I can’t wait to see what you both have to say! I have an Etsy shop: LetMamaMakeIt and my blog: http://www.onadailybasis1.wordpress.com. I’m a stay at home mother and enjoy sewing and writing, but would like it to turn into a small business! My goal is to one day own my own small business! Thanks for all the input!

  60. I’ve been helping my mother run her Etsy shop for almost 2 yrs now, https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristinesKnitandSew, and my hubby & I just opened our OWN shop yesterday! So far only 6 sales, but hey, not bad for the first 18 hrs! We’re excited, slightly impatient, but it took a bit for my mothers shop to get going. So hang in there! I can’t WAIT to learn about “smarter” ways to get sales!! Thanks so much for all your hard work!

  61. I would love some help making my business thrive. Please let me know if I can still get help

  62. This sounds all to good to be true. I’m excited to follow the rest of this article, hoping to get some really great ideas how to kick start my business. I have been making and selling things for kids for about 1 year now, but have been through hard times where I was close to giving up. I LOVE my sewing part of the job, but I guess I totally underestimated how hard it is to make some sales. Everyone always responds to my products, saying they are cute, well made or whatever – but that doesn’t bring the money in. So I played around with lots of different ideas now to see if that helps in any way. My views have increased and I do get sales every now and then, but it’s far from what I would like it to be. So… I’m ready for this challenge and would appreciate any advise, seriously!!! Have a look at my shop and share your thoughts with me. I can handle critique very well: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CheekyStitches
    Thanks
    Hanka

  63. Hi ! I opened my shop back in Dec once I was off maternity leave & I’m a stay at home Mum =] I too would love to see my business thrive – the extra cash sure wouldn’t hurt either =] Can’t wait for the 31 days of info !! JoyofLittleCreations.etsy.com

  64. Hi, just joined in, my web site is under construction. I have Etsy shop and Folsky shop with few items.
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CinziaCJewellery

    I have been making and design jewellery for many years but with a gat of 3 years and now i am back into it !

    Cinzia

  65. Things are starting to pick up a little. I’m getting more views and favorites. I can not afford professional photography. I do everything related to the shop by myself.

  66. Thank you so much guys!! So far this is a wonderful tool to get me started!!

    Here is my link:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/silverboutiquecrafts?ref=si_shop

    I cannot wait to devour each article.
    ~kelly

  67. I’ve had my shop open for 18 months and slowly things are picking up b ut would LOVE to make this a full time venture!

  68. I started a photography business about a year ago. I sell my photography on mixed medias including wood, metal, and canvas. I also sell greeting cards. I live in Boulder, CO and my photography does well around town but my etsy shop, not so much. Finding the time to load products and descriptions is one of my downfalls. I would like the online sales to increase, obviously. Check out my sites

    http://www.megiordanophotography.com
    http://www.facebook.com/megiordanophoto
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/megiordanophoto

  69. Hello,

    This is just what i need…some help & advice. I have very recently started a business selling packaging & paper goods. I plan to sell to stores as well as develop an online business. I live in the UK and am not sure how big the Etsy market is here. There has been a fair bit of traffic to my Etsy site but this is not converting to sales!!! Would appreciate some feedback.

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TwoandEightTheShop
    http://2andeight.com

    Thanks

  70. I want to make necklaces and be a freelance graphic designer

  71. Just stumbled onto homemadeology yesterday and I’m reading as fast as I can! Devouring is more like it! Thank you for all this info – can’t wait to read all 31 days!

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