2019 Christmas Survival Manual

And so it has begun. That moment of “Oh s**t, what date is it today?!“. The Christmas rush is upon us, which means 40% of the sales for the year will be happening in a very short amount of time. That’s worth paying attention to!

What do you need to do to survive (and thrive) through this time?

1. Do less things well (rather than more things poorly)

There are always too many things to do and not enough time, so you have to pick your battles and focus on the things that are actually useful. This might mean:

  • make larger numbers of a smaller range of products;
  • sell in less places and focus your promotion on that one channel;
  • block out time slots to do only one thing and do it really well
  • write a list of all the things you need to do, and then do the top three most important ones.

2. Pick a social media channel and double down on it

Some of us juggle several social media accounts and drop the ball on each one at different times, or get overwhelmed or busy and don’t do anything with them for weeks at a time. That’s not how social media works, and is essentially a waste of your time and effort. If you’re not going to be consistent then just stop right now and focus on other things. If you ARE going to use social media then pick one, and read this blog to do it properly. How do you choose which one to keep?

  • Which do you find easiest to use?
  • What type of content is most natural to you?
  • Which one do you most understand how it works?
  • Are the people who typically buy your product also the people who use that platform?

3. Be systematic

Systems are the single most underrated thing for saving time and hassle (in my immediately-summonable opinion. Good systems make it easy for you to take the most steps forward with the least effort and the smallest time input. What can they look like?

  • Set up a dedicated workspace and leave your tools/materials set up so that you can easily sit down for 5min and carry on where you left off
  • Make multiples of items, one step on each of them at a time (to minimise the time spent per item)
  • Write a checklist for your sales process so you don’t have to think and won’t miss anything
  • Bulk purchase packaging, parcel tape, postage stamps/bags/boxes in advance of needing them
  • Schedule social media posts in advance, and check in on a regular natural rhythm (e.g. over lunch)
  • Pre-wrap items that you can sell exactly as they are, ready to add an address and send

4. Use Felt to your advantage

If you’re selling household items then you are competing with every big box retailer on the planet. Be smart, and team up with the thousands of creative people like you who also sell through Felt. Promoting yourself as part of Felt means that you are more likely to benefit from the customers that other sellers have brought in, and converts more people into buying handmade every day instead of just for busy times or as gifts. Be an active part of the collective by tagging Felt in your social media posts, using the hashtags that we use, and commenting on our posts. Only by working together like this can we all vacuum up more customers from big box retailers into the artisan world! We have handy promotional resources that you can use at markets or with your posted items.

5. Walk the walk

Too many creative people bemoan a lack of sales, but never buy from other creative people themselves. Don’t be one of those people. Shop on Felt, attend and buy things at Craft Markets, forward links to items to people who you think will like them. Sales are the number one goal, referrals are the next best thing.

See also this 2018 post on how to keep on top of the Christmas workload.

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