Here at Darn Good Yarn, we are all about supporting others out there starting and running their own small businesses. Whether it's by offering artists awesome pricing through our Wholesale site, (check out more about that here) sharing your work on Facebook or telling folks all about your work on this blog, we want to get behind you and cheer you on. Toward that end, we are starting a new blog series, "Darn Good Business Advice" with pearls of wisdom from Nicole, Darn Good Founder and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire, along with other successful business types we collaborate with!
Hopefully, we'll be just what you need. :)
To start off, I wanted to feature some great tips from Nicole gleaned from a recent interview she did for an upcoming book on internet businesses.
She was asked, "If you had to share exactly 3-5 keys to building a successful online business, what would they be in order of priority?"
1. Define your customer segment.
Knowing who your customer is and starting a dialogue, even a personal relationship with them is the most important thing you can do. Knowing your customer helps you know where to best advertise to reach them, what products they will like and what pricing you can offer. Having a great relationship with your customers is at the root of everything.
2. Figuring out what channel you are going to use to reach your customer.
Do you have a brick and mortar store? Then maybe advertisements in local papers or radio is your best bet. Attending lots of Art & Craft fairs in the area? Maybe taking email addresses and starting a newsletter, or advertising on popular local blogs for the area would work for you. For almost any business, Social Media marketing is going to be a great way to reach out. Make sure whichever way you choose is the absolute best way to reach your particular customers.
3. Perfecting those marketing channels – in my case, making darngoodyarn.com the best website I can.
If you've got an ad in the paper, make sure it is eye-catching and informative. If you connect to your customer through social media, make sure you put up interesting and informative posts your readers will want to share. Take crisp, clear, well-lit pictures of your work. Make sure to respond quickly to questions and comments. Make sure websites are easy to navigate and customers have an easy way to contact you. As a whole, make sure your marketing channel reflects well on your business and communicates exactly what you need to get across.
4. Create a strategic marketing plan to target your customer segment.
Figuring out how much money you can spend on marketing can be tricky. Make sure your dollars are being spent as effectively as possible. A great way to help visualize what you have and what you need is a "Business Model Canvas". Read all about those here. There are many great online resources to help you fill out your Canvas as well.
5. Continuing to revise all of those steps as you learn more – it's all about the customer.
Don't get stuck in a rut and only rely on your first evaluation! Keep learning more about your customer. You may discover a segment you didn't think you would appeal to loves your work! As you update your definition of who your customer is, update each of the next steps as well. You will evolve along with your fans!
I hope that information helps! Feel free to comment with tips and strategies that have worked for you in your business. And it doesn't end here! Stay tuned for more blog posts all about succeeding in your business.
Happy Crafting (and business building!),