Coming up with the right name for your business can be tough. Especially this day and age where it seems like everyone is trying to throw up an ecommerce site & every name you have thought of seems to be taken. Here are 6 helpful tips on what NOT to do when you are coming up with a name for your new business and some tips to help you out.
#1.) Do not name your business after a current trend. Businesses with a current trend or fad in their name will be left scrambling when that trend goes out; and they all eventually go out.
#2.) Do not put a random number in your business name. Here's the scenario: You have your heart set on a particular business name, you find out it's already been taken, you figure, "Well, I'll just do 'MyCompanyName21'". NO. It looks extremely unprofessional, it sounds unprofessional, and people are less likely to take your business seriously. It sounds like you couldn't come up with anything else so you just threw a number on the end, which is essentially what you did. Instead, get back to the drawing board and figure something else out. There are creative ways to incorporate numbers into your business name, this is just not one of them.
#3.) K's & Z's. For the love! Don't do this! When I see a company replace a C with a K or an S with a Z, I devalue them immediately. It may not be right, but it's been proven that people instinctively do this. Case in point: Kreations or Creationz, or even worse Kreationz. It screams, "this is my hobby business", not, "this is going to be a business that's around for the next 50+ years".
4.) Which brings me to my next point, do not put "creations" in your business name if you expect to be a business that establishes itself and is around for the duration. The word "creations" says "craft business" to buyers. The word "designs" is also outdated and saturated. Of course, so is "designZ"! (See how I did that?)
The other big factor with this is return customers. "Quick! What's the name of that shop we bought that t shirt from? 'XYZ Creations'?" Customer goes to Google that and finds nothing. Why? Because you've spelled it wrong in your name.
5.) Do not make your business name too long. Giving your business a long name leaves too much room for error. It makes you less searchable because people do not want to type a long name into a browser and are also more likely to spell it wrong. Stick with something short and sweet, but do not use abbreviations unless they are you are normal abbreviations like, "Co." for company or "Inc." for incorporated.
6.) Do not use your name or another person's name unless it is easy to spell and easy to remember. Like RuthRyanJewelry of Etsy did when selecting her business name. It is short and easy to remember. If you have a name that people could confuse the spelling, I would avoid using it in your business name. For instance, Lainie can be spelled "Lanie", "Laney", & "Lanee" or Megan can be spelled, "Meagan", "Meaghan", "Meghan", & more!
So now you're probably asking yourself, "How DO I name my business?" Here are a few pointers:
● Think outside the box. For instance, I was in Clearwater, FL 2 years ago and we stopped to eat breakfast and walk the strip. I saw the cutest, vacant building that said, "For Lease". It had a red door. I said, "If I lived here and started a business, I'd rent out that space and call it "The Red Door". It's short, sweet, & obvious.
● If you're going to use numbers in your business name, do it creatively. For instance, Vintage618. I took that from simply adding a local area code to the word Vintage, but it's unique, creative, and easy.
● If you can do it creatively, adding what you make/do in your business name is helpful for your searchability where optimization is concerned. For instance, RuthRyanJewelry on Etsy. She incorporated her name which is short & easy to remember, along with what she makes, jewelry. Here is one of my favorite pieces from her shop:
I can only imagine there are people reading this that are saying, "I put 'creations' in my business name and I'm doing great!" I understand that, but how great? "I'm going to be a million dollar company" type of great or "I am a stay at home Mom that can pay all of my bills & then some" with my business type of great (which is awesome), but what companies that have struck it big have any of these in their names? ZERO. That is my point.
I'll wrap it up with this: Think 30 years down the road and you hand your business off to one of your children or a family member; does the name you've chosen withstand time? Tell us your business name and how you chose it in the comments below!
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Keywords: How to name my business, What should I name my business, Small business, Etsy, Online business, Handmade, How to be a successful small business, Ideas to name my business
**EDIT: Due to all the emails I've been receiving regarding the bodysuit in the photo and the headband. The "Glitter is my signature color" bodysuit can be found HERE. The headband in the photo can be found HERE.
I hear it all the time, "Facebook likes on boosted posts are fake. They are ghost accounts that Facebook has in place just to suck your money out of you."
This is FALSE.
You can go to my page HERE and look at the comments in my photo threads. They are completely legit. I respond to people, they respond back. They message me to order or go to my website. There's nothing fake about it. You'll hear that from people that don't know what they're doing. You have to really know your target market and not be afraid to narrow it down & exclude the groups that aren't most likely to buy from you and yes, you have to run them with frequency. You've got to boost the post as it's "taking off", so to speak. You have to spend money to make money.
You also have to gear those ads to your target audience. See "How To Define Your Target Audience" HERE. Most people select to gear their ads towards the people that like their page only. Why do that when you can land your ad in front of people that you know WANT to see it? Facebook Ads are part of an algorithm, like a song, if you will. While it's playing everyone is dancing. When it stops, people stop dancing, but if you play another song directly afterwards, they'll keep dancing. You keep the rhythm going. You have to keep the rhythm going on your page. You cannot expect to boost 1 post and see a drastic change.
I like to test my waters with which ads will work the best. When I see a post taking off I like to boost it for $5 for 3 days to see how it goes. If it takes off, I edit the boost for longer and for more money. If it doesn't go as well as I like, I move on to the next.
If it doesn't do anything you aren't doing it right. Do you run boosted posts several times a week? It is not a once in a while type of thing. There's a flow called an algorithm. You have to keep up with the pace of it. When one post does well, you should boost it (within whatever your budget is) and keep going from there, boosting something new every couple of days to stimulate post engagement. Once you do, you'll notice a higher number of organic engagement on other posts that are not boosted as well. This is because Facebook has picked up on the "flow" of your page. Not running any ads is kind of like having a dead page, in Facebook's eyes. They move right over you to the people that are paying.
You can run ads on any budget. To be in business, you must have an advertising budget for yourself. Spending more doesn't mean you're going to get more. You don't just boost any post. You boost the ones that seem to be getting more traffic than others (Facebook will kindly let you know which ones are doing better than others. See photo below.), then you run a boost from there. On top of having consistent, awesome sales, my business page also went from 5k likes to 9k in a week and a half from 1 single picture. People see that picture, then go like you're page, etc. It starts a chain reaction. Soon after that, you'll notice likes on older posts as newcomers come to your feed to see what you're all about.
Some have asked, "Ya, but what did you have to pay for that ad?", sarcastically. I paid $5 for that ad when I originally boosted it after seeing it take off. I've spent a total of $14 on it and it's around 26k and still climbing. I attribute that completely, to knowing my target audience.
To start on Facebook & not having any paid ads, but expect to grow is a dead end. It is possible for very few people & even if it happened, you'll never get big that way. By big, I mean $6,000- $12,000/ month profits or more. You'll only reach a small fraction of people that have liked your page & it is a very long and exhausting climb. Why do that when you can pay a very small fee for such an amazing service? I hear people all the time that blow Facebook Ads off and say, "I am not going to pay to advertise my page" in a huff and puff sort of way. Here's my response to that: Just 20 years ago you'd have had to go door to door handing out flyers & calling people all day, hoping to stumble upon someone that is interested in your product. Now you can pay Facebook to put the data they work hard to collect, to work, and land yourself directly in front of your target audience ALL OVER THE WORLD. You've got to expect to spend money to make money and you've got to allow that into your budget. Set a monthly advertising budget, plan out how much you can spend per week, base your ads and ad cost around that. For instance, if you want to boost a post every other day for $5 on Facebook and you want each one to run for 3 days, you need to budget $15-$20/ week, choose your photos/posts & the dates you want to boost them and plan accordingly.
Well, that's all I've got for today! Check out our other small business posts HERE for tips to running your small business effectively.
How do you boost your posts? What works best for you? Tell us in the comments below!
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Looking for the "Glitter is my signature color" bodysuit and shirt? Click HERE. Looking for the headband? Click HERE.
Keywords: Facebook, Advertising on Facebook, How to Advertise on Facebook, Small business, Etsy, Online business, Handmade, How to be a successful small business, Defining your target audience, Knowing your target market, advertising, marketing, Liv & Co.
13 Copyrighted/ Trademarked/Patented Words/Slogans/Designs That You Should Stop Using NOW & A Consumer Guide for Alternate Search Terms When Seeking These Particular Items by Liv & Co.
Unfortunately, artists & small time business Mom's are getting flagged and shut down all over Etsy & other selling sites due to copyright and trademark infringement. Not only Etsy, but with the Internet as big as it is right now for small businesses and the Handmade/ Shop Small Movement on the rise, Facebook pages and groups as well as craft fairs are being policed by trademark & copyright holders now more than ever because, in order to hold a trademark or copyright, you have to police it or you lose it.
Normally I'd say if you are a legitimate small business that wants to make it in the long run you should have your shop examined by an attorney specializing in copyright, BUT these days there are words and phrases that, in my opinion (and the opinion of the majority of others) are so general they should never be allowed to be protected. Sadly, money talks, and things you and I have been saying or doing for years can be trademarked or copyrighted right out from underneath us if a big corporation is willing to shell out the big bucks. Therefore, I've compiled a list of words/phrases and/or designs that are copyright/trademark/patent that you may be unknowingly using that you need to stop using now.
The sad part is, you cannot possibly research and cross reference EVERY SINGLE WORD in conjunction with another word. No one can. As soon as a trademark/ copyright holder flags your listing to Etsy, Etsy removes your listing and after having to remove too many listings due to infringement, Etsy will shut down your shop. In fact, so many shops have been shut down, and now that the word is getting around, more and more small businesses are flocking to their own independent websites in fear of using Etsy for this very reason.
My theory to any selling platform website is this: Trademark and copyright holders should be required to deal with each shop they take issue with on an individual basis OR if selling sites are going to get involved- they need to be all IN & review each listing before it is posted to that platform. For instance, I create a listing on Etsy--> Etsy has a legal team that reviews the listing to make sure there is not any infringement involved --> Listing goes live. Easy enough, right? OR selling sites need to get all OUT and allow the trademark and copyright holders to handle their issues with the business owner.
Let's get started!
#1: Onesie. Onesie is actually trademarked by Gerber. Anything confusingly similar is not allowed either, so "onsie", "onezie", "1Z", or anything else you can come up with that would be confusingly similar is out also. The recommended terms to use for a baby one piece snapsuit are: bodysuit, diaper shirt, one piece, snapsuit, & baby jumpsuit. Trust me, I found out the hard way along with 100's of THOUSANDS of other small shops.
Consumers: Please keep this in mind when you are shopping for baby clothing of this type. Search the above mentioned alternative terms if you are in search of a decorated, embellished, baby one piece because if you are searching "onesie" the only items that you should find will be Gerber products.
#2: Taggies. The company not only owns the word, they have a patent on the design for looped ribbons edging blankets. Along with "Taggies", anything confusingly similar is also prohibited, like "tagged baby blanket".
Consumers: When searching for a baby blanket of this nature without purchasing directly from the company can be tricky because even if a small shop is not using the term "taggies" or "tagged blanket", they would also be infringing on the patent. The best alternative search term I have found is "sensory blanket". Since Taggies began fiercely policing this trademark, several creative sellers set out to put their own spin on a new type of sensory blanket that doesn't violate Taggies protected version & you can find several of them on Etsy. This one from TheFairyFeltMother on Etsy is one of my favorites, and by far one of the most creative.
#3: Koozie. Of course, anything confusingly similar is also prohibited.
Consumers: A few suggested terms & keywords to use to find those thingy's that keep your canned beverage cold are: "can coolers", "beer cooler", "drink cooler", and "can hugger".
#4: NFL, MLB, & any other major league sports team logo. This seems like a very obvious one to me, but somehow people are still using them & Etsy shop's are getting flagged and at times, even removed over it. One person I know of was actually sued over it and forced to pay a fine from his small business earnings from its prior 3 years of business. It's not worth losing your business, so just don't do it.
Consumers: When searching for darling little outfits to dress your tots in or décor for your home for Monday Night Football, Playoff's, Superbowl - whatever- there are plenty of shops that make ADORABLE sport themed item's that do not infringe.
#5: John Deere. You're probably thinking, "Duh. Of course John Deere is copyright." What you may not know is that John Deere also holds the patent on any green tractor with yellow wheels.
Consumers: If you're searching for tractor themed items, but are not looking to purchase John Deere, simply search terms like, "tractor baby outfit", "farm equipment décor", etc.
#6: Rock Me Mama & Hey Mama Rock Me. In fact, here is a piece of information from LegalZoom.com regarding song lyrics and their protection: "Copyright protects all aspects of an artistic work, as long as the work is original and has been reduced to a tangible medium. Song lyrics, for example, are protected as soon as they are recorded, whether in audio or written form. Although you don't need to register your song lyrics with the U.S. Copyright office to enjoy copyright protection, registration makes it easier to prove you wrote the lyrics before they infringer did and allows you to collect damages without proving economic harm."
#7: Any Other Small Businesses! As clearly mentioned in #6, one does not need to register their work to be protected. The artist is protected by copyright the instant they design their piece. Though some may not be a large corporation with endless money to chase down everyone that attempts to infringe on their work doesn't mean you should think it's o.k. to steal their work & profit from it .
Consumers: When you find a unique item, the right thing to do is to purchase from that person. If you want to support a local seller or someone you know, the right thing to do is to view item's they've already made to see if they have something similar to or in the category of what you need & if not, to ask them to design something for you themselves that does not infringe on another small business owners hard work.
#8: Anything Disney. I cannot even believe I actually have to include this in here. As if this isn't something that should just be a matter of common sense, but sadly, it isn't. There are people ripping Disney off EVERYWHERE and getting caught up in legal troubles as well as having their shops shut down. I don't know about you, but my shop is my main source of earning a living and I cannot afford astronomical infringement fines and/ or being shutdown.
Consumers: When you are shopping for your children, keep this in mind. There are plenty of awesome sellers that offer extremely unique items that you can build your child's birthday party around without asking a seller to risk their business by infringing on a copyright/ trademark. The Lil' Man Mustache theme shown below is always adorable for boys and you can do a Princess, Mermaid, or any other theme without infringing on a Disney product. Sometimes it just takes thinking outside the box and a great designer and small business owner will be able to guide you towards something personalized that will be UNIQUE since it is designed especially for you.
#9: Crossfit. Yep. It's trademarked.
Consumers: If you are looking for fun fitness items- search just that, "fitness items", "fitness shirt", "fitness tank", "gym shirt", etc. Crossfit is taken.
#10: Shabby Chic. Quick! What is that antique, distressed candle holder?! It's so shabby chic, right? NO. Because shabby chic is trademarked apparently.
Consumers: If you are searching for item's that you think would fall in this category, please also search terms like, "distressed", "rustic", "antique", etc.
#11 Country Boy AND Country Girl. There are several registered marks for these terms (surprisingly enough). Remember up top how I mentioned words and phrases so common that no one could possibly cross reference every single word in conjunction with another one? This would be a fine example. I have no idea how it was done & particularly how it was done by so many, but this term is locked down. I learned the hard way. You see, I used the term "country girl t shirt" as a descriptive term to describe a western design I made for one of my shirts & my listing was flagged and removed by an apparel company that trademarked "country boy" and "country girl". I was so taken aback because I would never have thought to search that phrase (who would?). But keep in mind, the more flags for removal you get, the more likely you are to get shut down. This is exactly why businesses that are sincere about establishing themselves should have an attorney go through their shops with a fine toothed comb.
Consumers: If you are seeking some country type apparel please be sure to search alternates like, "western apparel", "western t shirts", etc.
#12: Roll Tide. Just a fun slogan to chant at a Crimson Tide football game, right? What a great idea to put on a coffee mug or a shirt, right? NO. It is an "official slogan" and is protected. Crazy.
Consumers: I've got nothing for you on this one. HAHA.
#13: Tiffany Blue. The color of the Tiffany & Co. jewelry box/ bag, etc. Ever use it to describe the color of one of your products? Well, don't. Apparently the mint/aqua- ish color is protected if you can believe that one!
Consumers: When you are looking for products of this color please use search terms such as "mint" and "aqua".
Please click HERE to view all my other Small Business Blog Posts!
If you are view this post as a consumer: What do you view a "onesie" as? What is that thingy that keeps your canned beverage cold? Is "shabby chic" a brand or a descriptive term to you?
If you're viewing this as a business owner were you surprised by any of these? Do you have any you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!
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Defining your target audience can be one of the most difficult things to do when you're building your business, but it can also be the most detrimental thing to your business if you don't. One of the most common mistakes new business owners make is not knowing who their target audience is or the fear of excluding people. I promise you, you will work twice as hard at what you do & come up with lesser results if you do not narrow down your target audience & gear your marketing & advertising strategies towards them. I am going to outline some pointers you will need to know on how to define whom your target audience is.
WHO? Ask yourself, "Who is my ideal customer?" Put yourself inside their head. If you were searching for your product, what would you be looking for? What words would you use to search for what you make/provide (this is also a good rule of thumb for SEO)? What would your interests be? What would make you buy your product? What is your ideal customers average income? Do they shop high end? Retail? Department store?
WHERE? Where does your ideal customer live? Are they in a particular city, state, country, countries, or can you cater to them worldwide? Do they live in upscale areas or is your item/ service something more for money saving middle classer's on a budget? Do you offer extremely discounted items that would help with the lesser fortunate? If so, where are they located geographically? Define your WHERE.
AGE? How old is your target audience? This one is probably the trickiest one. I'm guilty of this when I first started out. I wanted to appeal to everyone, BUT you're not going to, so realize that now. If you have a unique product & you market it right- you don't have to appeal to everyone to be successful. Just stay focused. Take myself, for example. Sure there are 17-21 year olds having babies and going to baby showers, but do they have jobs or are they still in school? Are they more likely to buy my unique, handmade (in the USA) product or are they more likely to run by the nearest Wal-Mart & grab a cheap-o pack of baby bodysuits, most likely made in a sweatshop in China? You probably guessed Wal-Mart & for most you're probably right. Therefore, my target audience starts at 23.
My business is an online based business so I rely on customers that are savvy with the internet. Sure, there are many 50?'s and up that are amazing with their internet navigation & may even be more social media literate than myself, BUT chances are, where my baby and maternity items are concerned, my target audience cuts off at around 50. My crop top & tank top apparel probably cuts off around age 40.
GENDER? This one can be super easy for some & some not. Take jewelry, for example. As a person that doesn't make/sell jewelry I would automatically assume that the target audience were female - and IT IS. Where business owners get lost is thinking they should appeal to men as well because, "What if they're shopping for a gift for their wife or girlfriend?" We aren't talking "what ifs" in defining your target audience, we are talking "most likelys". Chances are if a female wants a certain ring, necklace, bracelet, etc.- she's already got it picked out for herself & she'll send her guy in that direction. I had a hard time with this because I do make Men's t shirts as well, but after tracking my analytics & stats, I was able to see that women are most likely to buy for their men than men were to actually be searching.
Remember: LESS>MORE. Less is more & it couldn't be truer in defining your target audience and figuring out where to gear your advertisements. Being in front of 5 of the right people is better than being in front of 100 of the wrong people.
How did you define your target audience? Tell us in the comments below!
Want to advertise your small business on the right column of the Liv & Co. blog? Click HERE.
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Keywords: Small business, Etsy, Online business, Handmade, How to be a successful small business, Defining your target audience, Knowing your target market, advertising, marketing, Liv & Co.
Yes, these are my very own Etsy statistics. Why am I showing them to you, you ask? Simple: To show you the power that Pinterest has to drive your small business & show you how to use it to your advantage!
As you can see, Pinterest is ranked 3rd in my traffic sources! That is ahead of Google, Facebook, & every other source! Clearly you can see Pinterest is a platform you NEED for your business!
Here I'm going to highlight 4 tips for making your pins go viral and being successful on Pinterest.
Join group boards. Why? A.) Because your products will be seen by a much larger audience. B.) You can pin daily without worry of spamming people. Group boards expect you to pin everyday or a couple times a week. Just don't pin repetitively with the same items over & over. Keep it fresh. C.) Because you are pinning in a community that supports you. People on these group boards are in for the same reason as you. Therefore, most of us want to help each other & re-pin each others items. Join my Small Business group boards here: I OWN A SMALL BUSINESS & ADVERTISE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS HERE . Make sure to follow the instructions at the top of each board. Most group boards will require instructions on how to be invited.
Hashtag your pins. Don't go overboard, though. I suggest 2-4 tags. 1-3 on words that pertain to your business/niche & hashtag your business name. I do this so I can find all of my pins easily. All I have to do is put #LivAndCo in the Pinterest search bar & boom! There I am! All of my pins.
Try to stay at or under 200 characters with your pins. Anymore & research shows that people aren't as likely to re-pin. Too many words overwhelm people & they tend to get lost in them. Keep it simple.
Pin at the right time of day. I bet you didn't see that one coming! You're probably asking yourself, "How will I know what times of day to pin?" First you can pin 2-4 pins at the same time, once per day, for 7 days a week. See which pins take off. You can hashtag them with different names in order to find which ones you've pinned for each day for tracking!
Second, much research has been performed to gauge when Pinterest is most used. Think about your target audience. Who are they? Men? Women? What age group are they? Are they in school? Do they work? Do they have kids? Ask yourself all of these questions & then ask-what time would this person be on Pinterest? For me, my target audience is working women & Mothers of age to purchase my baby bodysuits, kids t shirts, women's apparel, & accessories. So I ask myself, "When would that person be online? How can I put myself in front of that person?"
First, she is probably up sometime between 5-7 a.m. sipping a cup of coffee before work, scrolling her phone. She probably has a lunch break from whatever type of occupation so she is probably hanging out & scrolling her phone while eating between 11:30 & 1:00 p.m. She probably works until 4 or 5. She might go to the gym afterwards, pick the kids up from daycare, or run errands. She'll come home and most likely cook/prepare a dinner of sorts, & hang out with her kiddo(s) until bedtime which will most likely be between 8-9 p.m. She'll have herself in bed between 8:30-10 p.m. so she's probably going to scroll her phone one more time to see if there's anything fun going on.
If your target audience is a college student, for instance, putting yourself in front of them on Pinterest during the day is probably not a good idea. They are probably in class or sleeping. They are most likely going to be your late night/early morning pinners. Find your target audience & pin accordingly.
Lastly, the most popular days to pin to Pinterest (according to research studies) are Mondays & Thursdays. You're welcome ;)
How has Pinterest served your business? Tell us in the comments below!
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Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, but seriously, where have Facebook scheduled posts been my whole life?! I'm usually very business savvy & when it comes to all of the latest trending topics, I'm one of the first to be in-the-know. Not. this. time.
I figured since my Instagram account was linked to my Twitter, Tumblr, & Facebook fan page that would suffice for my photo uploads. DON'T FIGURE THAT. Do both. I re-arranged my Monday mornings to schedule my Facebook fan page posts for the entire week & it only takes me 10 minutes! This makes life so much easier than fumbling through my phone photos to find an old product to make relevant again. Now I just go straight to my photo album on my computer, select the photos I want relevant for the week & voila!
My advice: Schedule your posts for totally random times throughout the week for the first couple weeks & see what times receive the most interaction & keep scheduling for those times. For instance, one of my best times to schedule a post is Monday morning at 6 a.m. since so many hard working parent's (because that is my target market being that I design/make/sell baby, toddler, kid, & adult clothing & accessories) in the United States (my largest market) are normally scrolling their feed over a cup of coffee at this time.
My products are also extremely popular in Australia (Sydney being in my top 10 cities that most view & purchase from my shops), Canada, & the UK, so I schedule posts according to their time zones as well. Once you have your target audience narrowed down it should be very easy to figure out their Facebook habits & schedule away! It's SO easy!
HOW TO DO IT:
1.) Start creating your post at the top of your Page's Timeline.
2.) Click next to Publish.
3.) Select Schedule Post.
4.) Choose the date and time you want the post to be published.
5.) Click Schedule.
Do you use the Facebook "schedule post" feature? How is it working for you? If you don't use it, will you now? What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below.
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Why You May Not Be Getting Any Etsy Sales Part 2: PUTTING MONEY INTO YOUR FACEBOOK FAN PAGE (Great Info For All Small Businesses!)
Hi! Welcome to Liv & Co. If you've been following me then you already know that I run a very successful, small, handmade business.
I have spent the ladder of the past 3 years researching how to make my Bodysuits, T Shirt's, & Accessories business a success. I spent way too many 16 hour days researching Search Engine Optimization, how to be successful on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, & all other social media platforms, keyword relevancy & placement, how to create ads with Google & Facebook directed towards my target audience & more. (We will cover how to find your target audience in another post). To sum things up- I pretty much call myself an expert & so do those that I teach.
13,000+ sales later....
Yesterday I covered the first part of this series; how to take click worthy PHOTO'S. Click HERE to see that post. Today we are going to discuss putting money into your business; more importantly your Facebook fan page, & why you should. This will be lengthy, but stick with it - you're going to learn A LOT! If you don't have time to read this all now, you're going to want to PIN, TWEET, BLOG, EMAIL, OR SHARE this to your social media & go back to reference it when you have time. Please click "register" at the top of this page to follow me!
You're probably saying to yourself, "Why should I put money into something I just started? What if it doesn't work out?" First of all, if you believe in yourself & your business, questioning whether it will work out or not is the last thing you should be asking yourself. You are setting yourself up for failure if that is your mentality. Your mindset should be, "I know I'm going to be successful so what are the best tools to utilize to get me there?"
All of us have a different set of "tools", so to speak. Some people really WORK their Facebook fan page, but I choose not to go that route & here's why: I don't have time to focus on that. I didn't have time even when I wasn't uber busy with orders, but I definitely don't have time now. I have other social media to tend to & I have to keep creating. If I'm stuck on Facebook waiting all day, that hinders me from coming up with fun, new, fresh items for my rock'in customers. I seriously saw someone in a Facebook group I'm a part of say, "I'm not paying to advertise on Facebook. Why should I have to pay?" Ummm....
Facebook has a very nifty advertising tool. They've collected a lot of data & have a lot of employees working round the clock to bring you a tool that other platforms do not offer right now & virtually everyone who is shopping online is going to have a Facebook page. That's not going to come free & it shouldn't. Why work hard when you can work smart? Facebook has an unrivaled ad setup, in my opinion. They have come such a long way from when I first started advertising with them.
Once you have your target audience narrowed down, Facebook has their Ads Manager setup so that you can gear your ad toward only your target market.
Why is this better than working your page 24/7? Because Facebook will work it for you for a very small fee if you're doing it right. This frees you up to work on your craft, your other social media sites, or spend precious time with your family- which is priceless. While you are at the park enjoying a picnic with your kiddo's your Facebook ads are hard at work putting impressions of your business in front of your target audience instead of people that may have only liked your page because they are already your friend, or because of a giveaway you were hosting.
You can set your ad up for any age bracket. You can set it up for one particular city, state, country, or multiple countries. You can choose whether your ad shows up on desktop or mobile device or both. Why wouldn't you want both? Because if you get more traffic from people that are clicking from their mobile device, for instance, you don't want to waste impressions on mobile users that aren't likely to click. Get it?
You can set your ad up for clicks to your website, to get likes on your Facebook fan page, to boost your posts, & more! You can narrow down the demographics by your customers purchase habits, residential status, interests, marital status, gender, parental/family status, & MORE.
You're probably thinking this sounds really expensive, right? Wrong. If you're familiar at all, you've probably clicked "Boost Post" from your fan page before & it gave you a $5 minimum & you may have said, "To heck with that!". That is an entirely different tool that I'm referencing. The advertising I'm referencing starts from your Facebook homepage where you'll click 'Ads Manager' on the left column as shown in the photo below. Once you are in your Ads Manager, Facebook will walk you through, pretty much step by step, on creating your ad. There are also several YouTube tutorials to help you with this, but none of them will matter if you do not know your target audience ;) .
For me, I started out with a $1.25/ day budget. That's all & that's not a lot. That is $37.50 in about a month (30 days). That is dirt cheap advertising for not having to babysit your Facebook fan page all day. That is why Facebook advertising is worth the cost. I now have 4 ads running. One for "likes" on my page and 3 others geared towards website clicks on 3 different categories of my shop.
Of course, you may always snag some advertising space for dirt cheap here on my right column & be seen by my all of my awesome, loyal followers by contacting me HERE for rates. Click HERE to join us on my "I Own A Small Business" Facebook GROUP for buyers & sellers!
What advertising tool do you utilize that works best for you & why?! Tell us in the comments below!
Click HERE to shop Liv & Co.
Keywords: Making money online, How to advertise on Facebook, Is Facebook advertising worth it, Ways to advertise my small business, How to be successful on Etsy, Storenvy, BigCartel, Artfire, IndieMade, and Shopify , How to sell on Facebook, How to get traffic to your Facebook fan page, How to use Facebook for your business
I hear it every day, "I'm not getting any Etsy sales! What am I doing wrong?"
If you've been following my blog you know that I have been studying how to become a successful small business for approximately 3 years. I've spent 16 hour days with, what felt like permanent blood- shot eyes, for the better part of 3 years researching, teaching myself about SEO, taking eye catching pictures, how to work social media to the fullest, & every other aspect you can imagine, to grow my own successful small, handmade business, & now I teach others.
This is part one of a series I'm going to address so if you'd like to follow along, please register yourself at the top of this page where it says "LOGIN/REGISTER". You may also click the "Small Business Blog Posts" listed under "Categories" to the right of this post.----->>
Let's start with pictures because they truly are the most important asset to your business. You can have everything else going for you, but if your pictures suck-no one is even going to see your content because they aren't going to click on your product. I look at people commenting on threads on Facebook, Twitter, & other social media sites that complain about not having any sales, then I click on their product photo's on Etsy & I think to myself, "Do they really not know?"
I sit in amazement that some photo's are literally so horrible & wonder how a person truly cannot know. I look at my photo's, then I look at photo's of my competition & I can tell that mine look awesome, but when I first started out I could tell exactly where I needed to improve.
I've never seen this done before so I'm going to try to go about helping you with this by posting some photo's of a bracelet I purchased from The Jeweled Feather, a shop that pays meticulously close attention to detail in their photo's. I'm going to examine a bad picture vs. a good picture with you.
If you aren't having sales- the first thing you need to examine is your pictures. Request honest opinions from people & make sure you have thick enough skin to handle it. Don't get offended. These people will be trying to help you with your business. Sometimes it's not always sugarcoat-able. I'm so straight forward when giving advice about photographs. If you want a no B.S. assessment on your shop photo's, post a link to your shop in comments & I'll briefly check them out for you and let you know if I think they rock or not.
When you are going to have a photo represent your product- it needs to be a 10/10. Bottom line. People cannot touch your product or see it close up so the visual has to be spot on. If you think you lack the "eye" for a good photo then it is wise to invest in a photographer for your business, especially if it's something you can make and sell over & over again. If it isn't, I strongly recommend investing in a photography class or seminar of sorts if you are serious about selling and taking your business to serious levels.
I've had seller's argue with me that they don't photo shop their pictures because they think it takes away from or makes the item look different than it actually appears in person. Out of over 13,000 sales in the past 2 1/2 years, I have not had someone tell me that my products do not look the same in person as they did in the photo except MAYBE a time or 2 where they thought the bodysuit was a different color, which depending on pixilation and computer screens-colors can vary slightly, which I mention several times throughout all of my shop's and make sure to note in all of my policy sections.
To show you how different taking a picture can be I am going to show you several different photo's of this bracelet I bought from The Jeweled Feather. I've taken photo's with flash & without on 2 different backgrounds. I'm going to show you a good picture from a bad picture. Please let me know in comments which photo's you thought were honestly acceptable.
<<<--------This is photo C. Taken on a hardwood background (very popular background for a lot of sellers) without flash & without being photo shopped. This photo does not represent any of the detail in this bracelet. It is very dull and lifeless.
This is photo D. ----------->>>>
Taken on the same hardwood as photo C, but taken with flash on. Do you see the glare on the table? Do you see how dark the photo looks? Two no-no's right there. Are you starting to see how enhancing your photo is necessary? It does not mean you are altering the item itself or making it look different, you are simply removing the "clutter" from your photo's.
<<<------- We'll call this photo E. Photo E was taken on a white table with flash. Though, the detail of the bracelet is better shown here, the background is too dark. It will not attract buyers.
This is photo F. ---->>
Photo F was taken on the same white table & right after photo E except photo F (this one) was taken without the flash on. See how photo's can vary drastically simply by the flash alone? This photo does not contain the same details of the bracelet as photo E, but it is brighter. That's where you need to learn to make the photo brighter while keeping the detail and removing any shadows, speckles, & imperfections in the background.
<<<------Photo G. Photo G is getting there. It is definitely more acceptable than the others & will probably render you several more sales than any of the other photos. This is the EXACT same photo as photo E. Looks a lot brighter, doesn't it? All while still keeping, and even slightly enhancing the detail to the product. It was rotated, cropped, and both the brightness & contrast were adjusted. I can personally tell you since I purchased this bracelet and currently have it on my wrist right now, that this is the closest photo to representing the product in person so far.
Photo H. Last, but obviously not least since this is the photo that captured my eye and secured me as a buyer! This is the original photo of the infamous bracelet. Now, hopefully you can see how different pictures can look & why it IS so important to capture the right look for your product!
I bet you're asking yourself, "How did she take these pictures?" or you're telling yourself, "She must've had a big, fancy camera to take these photo's". WRONG. These photo's were taken with my cell phone & photo shopped with an app!
After examining the photo's above, please give your honest opinion, in the comments below, on which photo's you thought best represented the bracelet & why. If your thoughts were that it doesn't really matter because you liked the bracelet in every photo- I want to know that too & why!
If you'd like honest opinions on the photo's in your shop or for your small business, include a link to your shop in the comments below & I'll do my best to respond to you all with honest assessments!
Get more traffic to your small, handmade business. Liv & Co. advertises for small businesses all the time on this very site! If you want to advertise your business on Liv & Co. contact us HERE for bi-weekly & monthly pricing.
Keywords: Etsy, Etsy Seller Guide, How To Be Successful On Etsy, How To Take Good Photo's For My Handmade Business, Crafts, Handmade, Liv & Co., Liv And Company, Promote My Handmade Business
Some of these may sound like they have A LOT, but in comparison, they do not. They also do not revolve as quickly as just using #Etsy, leaving your product photo to linger a bit longer in front of those searching that tag. The Etsy hashtag alone currently has 4,012,296 posts it is tagged in. While you should most definitely always use it when posting your Etsy items, you should include some of the smaller time tags as well.
Of course, if you love my posts & love my products make sure you're following Liv & Co. on Instagram by clicking HERE to keep up with the latest news!
To shop Liv & Co. click HERE
To advertise on Liv & Co.'s website contact us HERE
What hashtags do you use on Instagram? How has Instagram helped to build your Etsy business? Tell us in the comments below!
Let's talk hashtags. Many of us know what they are, some of us are clueless. Hashtags have become so important in today's society in easily locating things that are trending, things that are for sale, and much more. Today we will focus on the "things that are for sale" aspect & more particularly, hash tags you should be using on Instagram if you have an Etsy shop.
Instagram is a HUGE tool for your business. Why? Because it is photo based & it is free (as of right now). People are using Instagram more & more as a shopping site, which is why if you don't have an account- you need to get one & if you do have an account you need to understand the importance of hashtagging.
I'm sure most of you know to #Etsy , but it's a fast moving tag so photo's tend to get lost quickly in the feed. Below are 11 hashtags you should totally be using on your Instagram account when you are uploading your Etsy items. I've even included a few that are linked to big time Etsy promotional accounts that love to love your stuff even if they don't feature it. (They are ran by independent people that love to support Etsy. They are not run by Etsy, nor are they affiliated with Etsy.)
Etsy Hunter is an Instagram account that features Etsy shops. This tag is how they locate items that shop owners wish to have them feature. Plus, it's a popular hashtag that Etsy sellers search. With 61,710 current posts it makes this hashtag just popular enough, but not enough to get lost.
Etsy USA is another Instagram account that features Etsy shops. They have 13.6k current followers & are growing by an average of 300 followers per day. With 13,990 current posts you won't be drowning in the whirlpool of the "too broad" hashtags.
Etsy finds is another popular hashtag to locate great Etsy shops & products. Currently, there is a nice flow to this hashtag. 91,773 posts are tagged with it.
Hashtag EtsyForAll is an upcoming hashtag gaining popularity fast.
This one is pretty self explanatory, right?
You're an Etsy Seller so tag it!
Running a sale in your Etsy shop? Tell everone about it with this popular Etsy sale hashtag.
If you're looking for some extra lov'in on your Etsy product posts, tag Etsy love!
Now that you're here, feel free to shop our amazing, handmade apparel and accessories for babies, toddlers, and adults by clicking the photo below.
This hashtag is linked to the Instagram account @Etsypreneurs. They too love to feature fab Etsy products. They currently boast 5800 followers & growing so go follow them & get tagging.
This is a popular hashtag for people who want to, you guessed it, shop Etsy! This hashtag currently has 85,000 posts. Again, enough to be reputable, not enough to get lost in.
It's Better Handmade is not only a large Facebook group for Handmade Artists, but it is also a website that you may "submit" your handmade products to along with a link to where shopper's can find them, thus essentially making it another shopping platform for handmade sellers! This also creates backlinks for your site which also make your site more credible! It's Better Handmade also offers paid advertising spots on their site - which is ALWAYS a good idea! Click HERE to join their Facebook group of 40,000+ members. Click the photo to be taken to their website.
"I Own A Small Business" group board on Pinterest. This Pinterest Board is great for Etsy sellers, but ALL small businesses are welcome to pin! One of the fastest growing group boards on Pinterest, this board boasts 34k pins & 700 pinners to a ratio of 4,072 followers which means this board has a lot of followers that are most likely shoppers. The board instructions to be invited are as follows: 1.) Follow the board (because you have to to pin to it.) 2.) Email LivAndCompany@gmail.com with a click-able link to your Pinterest profile so they may invite you. The best part about group boards is that they are free advertisement. Rather than only being seen by your followers & seldom pinning your items as to not spam your viewers, you are actually expected to pin to group boards each day or a couple times a week to keep your items in rotation since they circulate so quickly. You are also seen by 100x more viewers than just your exclusive audience on your profile. Click HERE to be taken to the board.
Hello Love handmade. This is a paying site, but it's very straight forward & easy to deal with. A very small price to pay for a lot of exposure. Boasting a whopping 25.8k & counting followers on Instagram, you're sure to get more traffic to your item/website! To follow them on Instagram click HERE To head over to their website to apply, click the photo.
I Run A Small Business is a page on Facebook dedicated to featuring items from Small Businesses & holding weekly Facebook "events" that go for hours long where crafters & artisians post items by color theme, each hour a different color or hosting days like, "newbie Monday" to welcome all newcomers. With 52,000 followers, you are sure to be seen! Click HERE to follow.
Craftsposure is no joke. They are rocking 50.5k followers on Instagram & growing. They make it easy for a chance to be featured by having you hash tag: #craftsposure or tag @craftsposure on your posts . Even if they don't feature you, they're amazing at liking each post that they are tagged in. The best part is that Craftsposure is free as of right now. Bonus: If you click on their website from their bio they also offer an array of free tips for small businesses! How nice! Click HERE to follow on Instagram. Click the photo to head to their website.
Etsy USA is an Instagram account that features various unique Etsy products. It is easy peasy to be featured: hash tag #etsyusa or tag @etsyusa to your post. Click the link in their bio, for a $14 processing fee you will have a permanent feature if you are selected. If you aren't selected they will even email you with tips on how to become more feature worthy on their page! They currently have 13,000 followers and are growing at an approximate 300 followers per day. Click HERE to be taken to their website. Click the photo to follow on Instagram.
There are plenty of sites to assist small & handmade businesses, but these are my top 6 in reference to the ones I follow. As always, Liv & Co. offers easy, $10 slots to be advertised on our site for 2 weeks. To advertise at LivAndCo.com send an email to LivAndCompany@gmail.com with your PayPal email or email you would like to receive your invoice, a small blurb (2-3 sentences) about your business, a photo you would like to represent your business, & a link to your online store. All of those must be submitted to be featured. You will not receive an email until we are ready to feature you. When we put you up, you'll be up for 2 weeks. You can re-new as often as you'd like. All paid submissions are currently going on our blog pages because they drive the most traffic, aside from our shop. Meaning, on every blog we post, every time one of them is clicked on your advertisement will be located to their right. We constantly pin our blogs, tweet them, & share them to Facebook. They get a lot of traffic which = exposure for you.
If you'd like to shop Liv & Co. click HERE .
Do you have any sites that you favor that support handmade, small businesses? Tell us in the comments below!
Proud Mom of 3 beautiful children. Creator, designer, & owner of Liv & Co.
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