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I would very much like to constantly let everyone know what's going on with their commissions so when I post personal drawings and open for more commissions, it doesn't look like nothing is getting done. I have a rather large queue you see, but I am constantly work on it, but also give myself enough time for breaks and such. I essentially work myself like it were a job with 8 hour shifts. Monday-Thursday; giving myself Friday-Sunday off.
Granted, most of what people will have is word of mouth, but I also keep this updated at all times: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2070488/ So what you see there is very much up to date. However, I know not everyone reads. And I personally would like to NOT message everyone individually.
Do you think mass emailing people instead would help? Like every few weeks I can message people to let them know what's up? Do you think that would be better?

I am open for suggestions.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
eski
Dec. 2nd, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
I have a significant queue as well, some people have been waiting for a VERY long time. I find that personal contact matters quite a lot, so I email every single person on the list once every three weeks with a mass check-in update. Even if there are no updates to give, I want everyone to feel like I'm paying attention, have not forgotten them, and will listen to their concerns. I settled on every three weeks to avoid sending too many messages too frequently, but also to avoid having too much time pass between updates. So far it works well!

I also have a Trello queue that has all the info everyone will need; my contact information, my work schedule on a week-to-week basis, every commission on the list, which ones I'm working on, etc... So that even between the check-in emails every three weeks, people can look there and see if there has been any movement.

Despite that, some people (rightfully so) sometimes loose interest or patience during the long wait. Which is why in each check-in email I remind folks I will always give a full refund if no work has been done on their piece. No need to offer an explanation on their end, it's always there for them if they want it.

Additionally, I find streaming to validate my work very helpful! People can stop in most days of the week to see me working, and know I'm not goofing off. I keep a similar schedule as you do; Monday-Friday, minimum six hours on actual drawing/painting each day usually more), and give myself the weekend.

Hope this helps!
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Dec. 2nd, 2014 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
eski
Dec. 2nd, 2014 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh, I've never heard of Mailchimp! I'll have to look into it, good tip. =)
sbneko
Dec. 2nd, 2014 03:53 am (UTC)
You could try what I do maybe? Here's my Queue: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AmuOlKZc32WHdHZoS3F0cHdRNy1CVWVSN1dGelFVTlE&output=html

This way people can clearly see how much of the images are done, and see it's being progressed on.

Check in emails like suggested are a super awesome thing to do and people worry much less. Just a general update once in a while.
leahtaur
Dec. 2nd, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
These have all been good suggestions - I tend to just keep a very up to date queue and inform the customer upon payment that turnaround time is roughly a month. I stick to that (I think I've had to go over once or twice by a week or so, but that's out of dozens of commissions, so overall it works well.) The customer knows when their piece is coming, and a month is within Paypal's dispute window if things were to go south, so most seem pretty happy with the timeframe.

Honestly if you're able to do a 32 hour week your customers probably don't have to wait long anyway, I bet you've got a good turnaround. :) My wrist has deteriorated to the point where I can't do more than a few hours a day, hence the month estimate even on tiny icons and things. Don't be like me, make sure you give yourself time to recuperate!
likeshine
Dec. 2nd, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC)

same as Wolf Nymph here - I prefer to speak to everyone individually. I think it makes them feel like a valued patron, rather than just a number. However, when i'm going out of town or leaving for a significant amount of time for a holiday or trip, I will send a mass update to my entire current queue. Then I answer individual questions if people have them.
growly
Dec. 2nd, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
I think what I'd do if I had that many commissions going on is to set a deadline for progress check-ins, like for instance, "You will get to approve the sketch by Dec 15th, so keep an eye on your email around then!" And then of course rigidly stick to your self-imposed deadlines. That would engender a lot of trust between you and your clients.
ramthedragon
Dec. 4th, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC)
I use Trello, it is very nice to code and have checklists, progress bars, labels. You can even upload WIPs to show where you are in the process. It's a cool thing for people to check periodically as long as you update it!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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