December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Kelly "Rags" Ragland is owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to custom- ized apparel. Read his blog at | | | | Internet Strategies BY KELLY "RAGS" RAGLAND H appy holidays, Printwear readers. I hope you find loads of success during this busy season and have scheduled time to relax after the rush. Don't take too much time, though, as the new year means preparing for adventures and challenges ahead. Many challenges will be fresh as trends shake up our industry and Internet consum- ers change searching and shopping habits. However, many challenges will remain the same, and if we can address them now rather than later, valuable hours throughout the year for much-needed rest or extra-effort fuel can be secured. TIME SAVERS I tried something this past year that allowed me to stay focused on business, kept my target audience engaged, and afforded me some time off during the summer. The process was sim- ple and well worth it, and I plan to repeat this strategy for years to come. To start, I confess to being a terrible creature of habit. Every Monday, I arrive at my local sports bar at 7:30 p.m. to perform my tournament director duties for a dart competition, an activity I've enjoyed for more than 10 years. On Tuesday evening, I watch a handful of shows on my DVR, and Thursdays are when I take some time to call friends and family to touch base. It's like clockwork. I don't perform these habits by alarms or reminders; they just happen repeatedly week in and week out. Looking at an Internet marketing calendar to plan the year ahead is a chore, best started right as January is underway. Additions and modifications can be made as needed. This past year, I decided to knock out several tasks during that calendar review by putting timers on premeditated email marketing blasts, social media posts, and sales and promotions announcements. We already know when major holidays land, when to launch back-to-school cam- paigns, and when to broadcast reminders to our target audience. Why not get ahead on those tasks prior to their date of arrival? I found myself writing and storing content all the way through January 2015, which translated into extra time on my hands for work and play in the follow- ing months. New Year Time Management 2 8 | PRINTWEAR D EC E M B E R 20 1 4 continued on page 111

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