You Have a Small Business, Now What?
You have a small business or have the idea about starting one, but are struggling with the idea on how to market yourself. Your inner voice may tell you the market is saturated and you are thinking about how you can set yourself apart from the rest.
I have been selling custom made phone cases and accessories on my website and Etsy for the last year and a half. If you operate on the premise that every customer deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, in return you will operate in a professional and organized manner.
My passion from crafting started when I began to make custom Converse shoes for my friends and family for different events years ago. After little convincing from my husband and friends (I didn’t need much, LOL), I decided to venture into creating custom phone cases.
I strive to set myself apart from the hundreds of crafters in the world and focus on the core foundation that I live by and help set me apart from the competition.
Be Professional –When you start an online shop or a brick and mortar you should have a have a name, an image or logo, a thorough description and refund policies in place. You may be small but your shop should reflect a true business that a customer can rely on. Ensure your items are photographed well and your descriptions accurately reflect what the product is. When you receive an order respond and ship in the timeframe you outlined on your website.
If you can’t meet the deadline, ensure you establish a line of communication with your customer. Package your items neatly and safely, and also include your business card. These may sound simple, but a smooth and professional transaction will keep your customers coming back and they will talk about you to their family and friends.
Be Organized – Not only should you have an organized shop online, but try and keep your supplies organized. I have been in a spot where I thought I had the supplies for a custom order and didn’t realize I was out of stock until I processed the order. Now, I know right away when I need to restock. I use bins and labels to keep track of my supplies and orders.
Be Creative – You are already pretty creative, you have a product and a shop! Search for your items and see what kind of competition you have. Then figure out how you can creatively set yourself apart. Is it your customer service?
I have tweaked my products to help them stand out from the crowd and they consistently sell. To keep my customers coming back, I make sure my packaging is pretty and professional, and always include a business card with every order. I always ask my customers for feedback and to share photos of their products in action.
Build Brand Awareness – No matter how excellent your products are, if your customers don’t know you exist, you will not be in business long. Social media marketing is one of the easiest ways to gain visibility for your business. You need to find out where your customers hang out at.
Get Social – It may be on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now you have TikTok. You need to choose two platforms to focus on and strategize from there.
Making sure you are creating and sharing content that educate your customers is one of the most effective strategies you can use to build brand awareness.
Own Your Expertise – You may just be starting out and don’t think you qualify as an expert. However, consider your life’s work, your education, your training, your commitment, and your dedication to serving and help others.
Own your expertise with pride-You should aim to serve your clients with the knowledge you’ve accumulated over the years and you’ll find it easier to call yourself an expert. Truth moment here: As long as you have a solid knowledge base about a particular industry or niche , you will always be ahead of the rest of your peers.
Be Known For One Thing – You need to be expert for something specific. In other words, define your niche. You can’t be everything to everyone. If you try to cater to a wide range of clients, your marketing message will be diluted, vague and generic, and therefore ineffective.
Think about this: Would you want to be known for the car dealership that sell every car under the sun, or the car dealership that sells Mercedes or BMW. They narrowed their niche down and know everything there is to know about the different models.
“Your Riches are in the Niches” is the key to standing out from the crowd.Tweet
Share Your Knowledge – Sharing your knowledge and delivering valuable content to your target audience is one of the best ways to show your expertise. Share generously. Don’t hold back. You may be asking yourself “How will that help me with my business?” Well let me tell you! When you share your expertise on a topic, it pulls people toward you and your message.
Knowledge is Power – You don’t have to chase after people to pay attention to you. Those who are drawn to your content will naturally gravitate toward you. What’s more, when you share generously, and people like what you share, they will come to trust you. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to establishing yourself as an expert in your niche.
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