tml Advice for WAHM (Work At Home Moms) and Small Businesses Growing Your Crowd; 5 Things You Can Do Today!! – Mama Banana's Adventures

Advice for WAHM (Work At Home Moms) and Small Businesses Growing Your Crowd; 5 Things You Can Do Today!!

     I regularly come across WAHMs and Small Businesses with great products that could use a boost! There are basic things every business can do – today – to boost their customer base and improve presence. When it comes to WAHM products, people may be able to purchase something similar/factory made for a fraction of what you’re selling it for, or around the same price. What makes WAHM products worth the price difference? Hand-made beautifulness, uniqueness and the ability to support a Mom (or Dad) and their brood!!
     Small Businesses face a similar struggle when competing with large companies; While big companies have a PR person dedicated to running social media campaigns, small businesses often run them on their own and often slack on interacting with customers. Bottom line is, if you’re not posting to FB, tweeting, instagramming or sharing online…you’re not going to reach anyone. How can you make your interactions count? Unlike a big company, you are 100% of your business! You’re not a PR person hired to chit chat with potential and your words matter more. So…Let’s get to it!
1. Photographs
      Take them. If you think you’re goofy looking, or are always prancing around in pajamas (cough cough) then just take your product! Share your workspace, your process and show people what they’re buying! It makes each piece feel special and emphasizes individualness.
     Photograph your product with good natural lighting and a decent background. Natural lighting is full-spectrum and will make your products look their best. Many indoor light bulbs are not full-spectrum colors and can cast a yellow, green, or pink hue onto your product. When taking a photo, make sure light is facing your product or to the side, but not behind…..or your item will look like a shadow.
     Time and time again I see hand-sewn beautifulness photographed on someone’s living room floor (on carpet that needs replacing!) or kitchen table. There’s no need for this. You can make an inexpensive little photo studio to take shots that showcase your product in a way that makes others want to purchase them! Think catalog.
     A photo studio consists of a background, foreground and lighting. You can make one using a trifold presentation board (under $3 at Target) and a piece of fabric, below I used a scarf. These photos were taken with an Ipad, and not even my for-real camera!


     See how the diaper in this picture looks sloppy on the initial take? I reposition it and edit photos in Picasa (free editing software) for the result below. You can download Picasa, or use editing software already available on your computer. It also lets you WATERMARK your photos! See how I wrote MamaBananasAdventures on these? Should they get pinned or find themselves way way way across the web, people will know where to search and find the original.


2. Create a Product-Specific Social Media Fanbase
     
     If you’re trying to reach customers….you need to get on social media. You will need accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and may want to be active on Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube and others as well. Instagram wcan be downloaded to your mobile device or Ipad from the app store (if you’re using apple). The others can be completed over the web from a standard computer if desired.
     Facebook is not the business maven it once was. New protocols are limiting business posts in member feeds. What that means is…if your fans aren’t actively commenting and liking your posts, your activity will disappear from their news feed. Boo right?! That’s why being active on other social media as well is so important. 
     Link media accounts together to multitask. Make Instagram post to other social media, and facebook post to twitter! 1-post = 3 posts! Make sure the name on all accounts MATCHES! As best as possible. It’s easiest for customers to find you if they can search for your business name. Keep personal life OFF of your business page (s). I cringe when I see WAHM’s complaining about their personal life, about products not selling or about anything in general. Keep it positive!
    Don’t have the time to post constantly to social media?!! Get an assistant! You can hire a part time social media manager to work as needed. My preference is for Programs Like Sendible which will allow you to schedule months worth of posts and manage multiple social media accounts all on one screen. I’ve tried other programs, trust me, this is the best. Please use my referral code 154374 with friends to get 10% off Sendible.

Example:
Company name: Awesome Diapers
Twitter www.twitter.com/AwesomeDiapers
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AwesomeDiapers
Instagram: Instagram.com/awesomediapers
Facebook BST Group: These are becoming more and more popular. Facebook continues to limit how many of your posts it will show to your fans. Someone who belongs to a BST group will simply get group notifications. Many WAHMs are using this method to increase traffic. Be interactive, ask questions and answer comments.

 *You may need to create brand new accounts to do this. Converting a personal account into a business can be confusing and mix personal and business life… which can deter customers.

Link Facebook to twitter:  https://www.facebook.com/twitter/
     If you’re busy running your business, then you may not be posting to social media all the time. While some programs offer free services, like Hootsuite, it doesn’t schedule in bulk like Sendible does. However, if the $9 a month for Sendible is too much, you can always directly schedule on facebook (looks like a paper airplane) and dedicate time to scheduling in advance.
     Anyone can give away $100 to get people to ‘like’ their pages. However, these people may not be the type of people who will purchase your products. Use social media to find people who can relate to your product and want to be customers. Use hashtags, search hashtags and get to know others in the business niche you are growing.

3. Create Suspense and Excitement
     Getting in some new fabric? Only have a few of a certain product? Share share share! I see items like diapers, that have very similar quality to less expensive brands, auctioned off for hundreds of dollars! Why? The hands and brains behind that product know how to create desire in their customers. 
     Offering a one-of-a-kind product and auctioning it off, or opening ‘limited’ spots for purchasing products makes something unique. Let’s fact it, people want what others can’t have…and are willing to pay for it! Use catch words and phrases like ‘one of a kind’ ‘limited’ ‘only 10 available’ etc. Create a ‘limited edition’ or ‘seasonal’ product and let your audience know how special the product is. While offering 10 spots, or limited fabric can create excitement, make sure the rest of your customers don’t feel left our. You can offer an alternative, coupon or customs.
4. Bloggers and Giveaways
     Many bloggers are social media mavens. Let them do some work for you! Bloggers (like myself) enjoy testing out products and sharing their finds with others. They often have people following them who love to see what products they recommend.
     If you’re blogger shopping, search through previous articles and make sure you like their style. Things to look for: Are the photographs good? Is company information included? Or….does it look like something was thrown together and not much time or energy spent? Do they talk back with fans on their facebook page and get comments on articles?
     Find their Public-Relations document and see what you’re getting. Many times you can use smaller bloggers with great social media outreach to promote your product for the cost of Review product (sent to blogger) and Giveaway product (sent to a giveaway winner). Or join a group giveaway with a highly valued prize package, where just a giveaway item is needed. Bigger bloggers typically have a product minimum or fee for promotion. Why? They’re charging for sharing your product (over others) with a huge fan base. Someone with 35,000 visitors to their website monthly has a bigger fan reach then someone with 1,000…but chances are you’ll pay for it.
5. Hashtags
     Okay, so now you’re on social media, signed up with a blogger to do a giveaway, and are continuing to increase your outreach. Hashtags are a great way to reach product specific clients. Some include: #clothdiapers #babywearing #baby #parenting #attachmentparenting #giveaway #win and are also seasonal. Findout what’s trending and posted in other products like yours. This way when someone searches the hashtag #clothdiaper on Instagram, your post shows up!!!
     I must also include that keeping your posts general audience friendly is a must to keep your fans from unfollowing you. If you have very specific views about something and regularly voice it, or complain about the business (I see these 2 things often) you may scare fans off. People are coming to you for happiness in beautiful happy products.You may be anti-circumcision, anti-vaccine or had a customer who really pissed you off one day…don’t limit your customers by complaining or condemning certain topics (unless you feel strongly one way and only want people with that viewpoint). 
     I started a campaign for WAHM spoglight! Each month I feature a WAHM and we work together to create an article. See the one I created for Toosha’s here! If you have a blogger review done, make sure to share it on your pages! Mom-bloggers are quickly growing as a reliable and successful source of information to other Moms, and many shoppers look to reviews for information before they make a purchase. Good luck, congratulations on your business venture, and well wishes to you!

As always, thank you for stopping by! I always appreciate a ‘follow’ and love connecting with other Moms and bloggers!

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