WOW social media marketing strategies that you can do from Raleigh small business owner, Jill Markijohn.
To learn something new, you need to ask questions and be unafraid of making mistakes. When I was a teacher, this is what I hoped to instill in my students so they could learn – and love to learn. This is what I did as a student and as a new teacher. When I left my teaching position and had my daughter, I asked (and still do) questions to other mamas. Why when I ventured into taking my jewelry making hobby into a business did I think it would be any different!
I opened my Etsy shop in February 2012. I signed up for the Etsy Success newsletters and read every single one. While these newsletters were informative, I needed specific help (though I didn’t even realize what I needed to know so I didn’t have exact questions to ask). One day after an Etsy online lab, I came across an Etsy shop that I fell in love with. I noticed this shop seemed pretty successful sale wise so I watched for a few days. Not only did this shop have a good amount of sales, they had an incredible amount of DAILY sales. I emailed the shop owner explaining that I was new to Etsy and asked for any advice. I had no idea if this shop owner would even read my email, let alone respond, but what I did know was if I didn’t send it, I definitely wouldn’t be getting advice (in the end, she did respond and shared MANY wonderful tips and gave me a confidence that I hadn’t yet had in my business – exactly what you need, especially when just starting out).
One day while trying to gain some Facebook fans, I came across a page that made rings similar to one of my styles (that was not a seller for me). While looking at her page, I noticed she had MANY fans and those fans LOVED her work. I checked out her webstore, she charged far more than I did. She had celebrity names associated with many of her rings. What was she doing different and how could I have that same success?? There was only one thing I knew to do… ask. I was amazed when this woman also took the time to respond to my email – especially after I explained that I made a similar style and that is what drew me to her page. I wondered how could her success become my success. After giving it some thought, I discontinued that ring from my shop and asked her if she wanted to cross promote each other. She loved the idea of offering matching hearts for her rings!
The decision to discontinue one of my items in order to team up with a successful “momprenuer” instead of trying to increase my sales of that item turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. Some of my most frequent customers came from her! I reflected on everything and realized I put myself out there without fear of what she might think of my asking.
If you look at my Facebook page, I now have celebrities associated with some of my JILLry. Some of the big names (Tori Spelling, Holly Madison, Melissa Rycroft Strickland) came with the help of Black Diamond Celebrity Gift Giving. Some of the others (Holly Durst Julian, Erica Rose, Jennifer Elise Cox – known as Jan Brady) came from simply asking. At times I tweeted or emailed these celebrities on my own and they responded, other times I would respond to a tweet where mentioning my JILLry was appropriate. Mark Cuban (from the Shark Tank) recently retweeted one of my hearts to his million plus followers. I had tweeted him a photo of a heart I made for the Dallas Mavericks. I didn’t know what he’d think of it, but I tweeted him anyway and he sent it to everyone.who.follows.him! My JILLry has been on My Carolina Today and I have a photo of the host Volanda wearing it. I got it there by mentioning in an email to the hosts that I make JILLry and would be honored to send a piece for them to wear and possibly mention on their show. Someone at My Carolina Today a photo of my breast cancer heart on their own and mentioned it on the show and Volanda in return emailed me stating she would love to wear something.
My best business advice is ask. Let go of any fear of what someone may think – what’s the worst that can happen…. You get no response, so you move on! What’s the best that can happen – maybe you get some advice that can help you grow your business!