Guest Post: Why Makers Need to Think Like Magazine Editors

{Editor’s note: This post comes to us from Megan of Create Hype and Studio MME, and I just love it! There’s no better time to plan ahead than an upcoming holiday season and New Year! Enjoy the article!}

Why makers need to think like magazine editors

In yoga, we are told to live in the moment, to be present, but as a maker running our own business, it’s important to live a little bit in the future. Or at the very least, to plan into the future. Magazine editors and fashion designers are infamous for living six months ahead of the rest of us. Their spring lines come out in the fall and they have Christmas on the brain when most of us are celebrating the fact that our shorts have come out of the closet.

However, living a little bit in the future is extremely beneficial to business owners for several big reasons:

  • You need to know when your big launches will be throughout the year. Generally it’s smart to have 3 or 4 big launches scheduled into your calendar, usually quarterly, and knowing when these are coming up enables you to launch successfully. The best launch campaigns take 1-2 months of build-up so if you don’t know when you’re putting out a new product until the week before, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  • You need to plan your vacations. Creativity, whether we like it or not (and whether we admit it or not) is cyclical. We’ll have huge bursts of genius and then need to lie fallow and do nothing for a week or so. That’s the perfect time to take a vacation. It’s best to plan a vacation right after a really stressful month (like December) or after a big summer show or launch. Knowing when these events are going to happen enables you to make the most of your creative dormancy so you can recharge without feeling guilty for not working. Also, if your vacation is on your calendar, you not only ensure that you take it but you have something to look forward to as you’re battling the preceding stress.
  • If you want to be in a print magazine or gift guide, you need to be pitching 6 months out. Yep, you read that right. Now is the time to be pitching for the holidays and the holidays is the time to be pitching for summer sales. If you don’t put this task onto your calendar, you’re likely to think of it in October and by then it’s too late for any printed media.
  • You stay on track with multiple projects at once. It’s really easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and get absolutely nothing done in terms of moving your business forward. Knowing what you need to get done by a certain date means you’ll keeping making small, daily steps toward that goal to ensure you launch on time. This has been the best mindset shift for me personally when it comes to writing a more productive to-do list because I used to go to bed each night feeling that I hadn’t drawn anything new but had simply answered emails, blogged about nothing, and been sucked into Facebook all day.

While your friends and family will probably think you’re a bit crazy planning out your business six months to a year in advance, it will take a lot of weight off of your shoulders and push your business forward at an alarming rate. You’re ensuring that you stay on top of things and that your launches aren’t last-minute flops.

One important thing to keep in mind is that your plans can always change. Things can be added, others moved or deleted entirely. Nothing is written in stone but the simple fact that it’s written down and you’re considering it will make a big difference in how you run your business.

Megan Eckman of Create HypeMegan Eckman is the community coordinator for She loves meeting new creative entrepreneurs and sharing their knowledge with others. She also runs her illustration business, Studio MME, which helps people rekindle their wonder.


A Note from Lisa

Thank you so much for the inspiration, Megan! As I was formatting this post, I got out my Planner and went to work! What are you planning for the upcoming season? Share a snapshot of your planner with me on Instagram! Tag me @iamlisajacobs and use hashtag #marketingcreativity … I can’t wait to see your schedule!

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  • I have started an Excel planner per the advise of @Andreaa Ayers and it’s pretty easy to follow, except I plan things maybe a little close together.

    Thanks for sharing this post, it’s so important.

  • Pingback: Link Hype 8-16-13
    • A large desk calendar may be ideal for you (the kind that lays flat) … hard to forget when it’s in your way every morning 🙂

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