Updated: May 30
I typically don't post how much money I actually make and I am a little weirded out by people that show off paychecks or revenue, so I am only going to show you my Etsy page and share a testimony for the sake of encouragement and inspiration. This is not a braggadocious post by any means. The last few months have been weird for us all, but as a homebody that works from home, schools my children from home (even before the pandemic), and does absolutely everything from home, the new times from home have given us an advantage. We are a web-based business so almost all of our revenue from our businesses are initiated online. Due to more people being at home, and having time to shop and browse online sites, we have doubled our revenue in online sales. The months of April and May have been very good to us. I saw the surge happening and readjusted my plans and products to benefit from the new demand even further. Masks were in high demand so we started creating masks. Then we started researching what masks people were buying more of and what they were interested in and started to create and sell more of those. We sent out samples to our biggest supporters looking for feedback so we could adjust our patterns and that itself turned into wholesale orders. Then, of course, all of this happened around tax time, which is a big season for us as wholesalers. Many people invest in their businesses around this time because they have the cash to do so. So we made sure to amp up the production of our top selling items, which are our bonnets, to make sure we could handle the demand of those items as well. Then to make sure that we are putting all of our hard work to good use, we made sure that we were tapping into markets that we're looking for all that we have to offer. As well as making sure that once they came across our brand that we left a good enough of an impression that they stuck around to want to know more about us and what we sell.
To all of my crafty sistas/brothas that have a little more time on their hands; and to my current business owners that aren't utilizing all of their resources -stop focusing on the people that are around you, and start selling to those that are already shopping for what you are selling. It may be time to level up your brand. Your professionalism, how you look, how you respond, how you post, and how you promote all matters. Let's line all of these details up and break them down so they are easy to follow. ⬇︎⬇︎⬇︎
Good graphics matter! Looking great with quality graphics shows the shopper that you aren't just another "entrepreneur" out here trying to sell something. It shows that you have invested in your business and that you are serious about your business.
Good pictures matter! Good pictures put you in line with the competitors that are selling and successful. If your pictures are in a line up with someone with quality pictures and yours are not up to par, you will be passed up before they even see what you have to offer. Their first impression of you is a direct comparison to someone that is on top of their appearance. Even if your products and customer service is better, they will never know it because they never clicked on the representation of you. If you were to hire a real estate agent to sell homes for you, would you hire the well-dressed representative or the homely-looking person without shoes to represent you? Your pictures work the same way. You would send the ungathered person on their way before even speaking to them even though they may have more experience and better sales tactics. So yes, appearance matters.
Good descriptions matter! Tell your potential customers everything they need to know about your products while they are interested. Visibility and transparency are key to many online businesses. You are not physically there to close the sale. You can't walk up to them and sell them the item as you would if you were on a showroom floor. So, allow the listing to do that. The images and graphics brought them in, now let the details close the sale. Put yourself in the customers' shoes and make sure to answer any question they can have. Stop with the, "inbox me for pricing" and the "dm me for more information." That will cause many people to just swipe your post away. Introverts like myself don't want to have to speak to anyone to shop. So post your prices, post the inclusions or exclusions, inform them of your process and fulfillment times, and then don't forget to leave add a call-to-action so people can buy without even having to contact you!
Good directions matter! The worst thing you can do is create the perfect post or listing with all the bells and whistles to draw buyers in, and then not leave them a link, a way to buy, or a way to engage. Direct them to a booking option, payment option, or both. Let's not do all that work for nothing, guys/gals! Leave great images, great descriptions, and links to buy and/or engage. That way people can shop around without assistance, then buy and they never have to even let you know they are there. I just love shopping in peace. Don't you? That is the best way to shop and now that is the best way to sell!
I love waking up to emails saying "You have an order!" I check my emails before I hop on any social site in the morning. I receive orders from people I don't know and from all over the country. I have even made a few international sales. I have no clue where they came from before checking my analytics or asking them how they found me, and many of them I have never even spoken to all because I leave them all the information that they need on my sites or posts. (Most, typically find me on Google or YouTube thanks to Search Engine Optimization. We'll talk about SEO on another post. SEO allows my business to be seen in Google searches. At the time of this post, I average as the 7th spot on Google when you search 'bonnet wholesale'. Out of all of the bonnet wholesale stores in the entire USA, I am listed as the 7th result on the first page of that search and out of that 7 I am the first site listed that is an independent site, and not a store on a selling platform like Etsy, Amazon, AliExpress, or similar. So no other immediate competition once on my site. That is major! Also, when you search my name, Minovet, I dominate the first 3 pages of that Google search. So if someone hears my name but doesn’t know exactly how to find me and chooses to look me up, they have no choice but to see me and not someone with a similar name. Unless they are 4 pages deep in that Google search. I did this all on my own with a little research and I did not have to pay anyone to do this for me. What I have done isn't perfect but it helps until I can afford an SEO professional to take over. Again, we’ll come back to this). But back to my original topic, when people get in my inbox and ask questions it's usually because they haven't read my posts or listings. After all, all information is available online because I set my business up that way. Save yourself the step of explaining how your shop works or what your products consist of and let them buy without your immediate guidance. Start waking up to money.
Lastly, if you are a handmade entrepreneur, you may want to start considering wholesaling to the not so crafty business owners out there. Many businesses are constantly searching for small businesses and artisans to support. Yes, items from China are more affordable and may be ready sooner, but some of those items lack quality and care. Not all businesses are looking for fast and cheap. Many businesses like myself, do want to support your small business. I am constantly looking for small black businesses and other minority-owned businesses and I will patiently wait for quality and unique items. Typically, quality and unique means more time needed to create. Even if they cost a little bit more. If you look at my stats for my Etsy shop posted below, you will see that my last week has been very productive and has brought in a good amount of money, with only 7 orders. 2 of those 7 orders were over $400 because they were wholesale orders. I made less money with wholesale pricing, but I moved 55 items in only 2 sales took those orders on 2 days. 55 items in 2 days. Not too bad! The pay cut in revenue was worth it and I still made a good profit. I now have also made business connections that may lead to further ongoing purchases. If the products that were purchased from me sell well, they are very likely to come back and purchase more of those items and keep up with new products that I may add. The remaining 5 orders from the week averaged in $55 and varied from 1-5 items per order. The products varied from $10-35 per item. So very affordable items. My marketing budget for Etsy is at the minimum threshold of $30 a month, which I just stared doing this month to see if it was with it. And so far so good. After 2 weeks with the ad plan 4 of the 5 lower cost purchases and 1 of the wholesale purchases were initiated from ads. I can actually increase my budget at this point knowing it was worth it, but I typically do not increase my marketing until I am sure I can meet the needs of the increase in sales that comes along with it. Being handmade and the only one on my production like during this pandemic, I am limited on how much and how fast I can produce. Once I can produce more and produce efficiently, I will surely be increasing my budget. I made that $30 back and much more in just one week So I approve! Marketing my store to new and current Etsy shoppers that do not know of me or my business but are shopping for items that I sell and that ultimately buy or save and favorite my shop is a win in my book. These shoppers aren't searching for Minovet when they arrive on Etsy, but they are searching for items that I sell and Etsy send my shop off to the races for me since I pay for promotion. To ensure those shoppers find you and that you are being promoted properly you need to make sure you are using add relevant keywords in your listings. All of the catchy and creative names are cute, but if the listing doesn't identify what the item is, you are counting yourself out. So avoid the play on words and say what you are selling where it can easily be read.
Okay. Let's recap. Again, this is only my Etsy store which does connect to my square sales channel, but I do sell across many other channels that are not tied here. I have a full site where most of my sales are made, but that relies heavily on my push to get people on that site. Etsy already has tens if not hundreds of thousands of people shopping and ready to buy. I sell to both consumers as well as other entrepreneurs. I sell ready-to-ship as well as custom creations. I highly recommend that you invest in your brand to get the most benefit from these shopping platforms. Invest with time and invest with money when you can. Layout your shop and items before you post so when they find you, you are ready to sell. Grab them while they are interested. That would be your time factor. Then invest with money. Utilize the many marketing resources out there by the actual sites you are on, as well as social media, google, and other ad companies. If you aren't graphically skilled, invest in a graphic designer to upgrade your overall look. Set a monthly budget and push what you have worked so hard to create. Trust me. It is worth it. If you aren't selling enough to cover your marketing expenses, reevaluate your brand, your appearance, your products, and who you are marketing too. It is hard to sell to people that are not interested in what you are selling. If you are in the need of help with the appearance of your brand, we are here to help! Get in contact with us today! Allow us to strategically plan for your success. Book a strategy meeting with us now.
I do hope this gives many the light that they need to ignite what they have been wanting to do. There are many ways to sell and be successful, right from the comfort of your home. My stay-at-home business has replaced my income when I was working full-time and is on the verge of doubling up that same income. I create from home, I list from home, and then I sell from home. I know not all are crafters, but that does not keep you from selling from the comfort of your home and on your own time. Buying and reselling is still a skill that can be mastered by anyone. Support a small business today by purchasing your next top-selling item from them. Minovet can teach you how.
Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch our next vlog on specific ways to make a profit while dealing with adversity during these shutdowns.
Releasing on 5/30/2020
About the author:
Minovet Krissy A seamstress with a passion for fashion, natural hair, business development, community support, as well as mental health and self-care. I am the owner of Minovet LLC which is a handmade traveling boutique that specializes in natural hair care accessories and custom fashion wear for the entire family. Minovet LLC also provides business services that include business branding solutions and strategic business planning to new and upcoming businesses at an affordable rate. My satin bonnets have been seen on WCIU Chicagos The Jam thanks to an opportunity with The Look Chicago. I have been interviewed on The Russell Price Jr Show (Washinton, D.C.), Purposely Awakened Magazine (Los Angeles, CA), Scene Chicago (Chicago, IL), Que Radio (Chicago, IL), ESM Radio (Lisle, IL), and on Tell the Wold with Stephen Jahseed (Elgin, IL). I have also previously hosted BAB Radio with Scene Chicago powered by Urban Broadcast Media (Chicago, IL) and I am a current host of On The Scene (Chicago, IL). As a business owner that started with very limited resources but still managed to consistently move forward on my journey to success, I use my blog and platform to show others the way. I was able to find a path forward with limited funds, limited resources, and very little support all while struggling with chronic illnesses and financial misfortune due to my health conditions. I take my life experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly and share them with the work in hopes of inspiring others to also go for their dreams. In the face of adversity I am still a light, blessed, and highly favored! I #Inform, I #Impact, and I #Inspire. Inspired by all! Intimidated by none! The thoughts of me #NoThemeAttached... Mesmerizing InnovationsNaturally Outstanding #simplyMINO Follow me on Facebook
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