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When I first started selling my jewelry, each sale had me doing a little happy dance. Every time someone decided to spend their money on one of my creations, it was a validation! I was making things that other people loved and wanted to buy.
But in order to make enough money, I needed to build momentum in my business. I had to work for more orders and return customers, because just selling one or two pieces here and there wasn’t going to pay the bills! I needed continuous support and more customers to build the momentum that would turn my handmade jewelry into the business I needed it to be.
I teach a lot about finding your perfect customer because I feel it’s one of the cornerstones of having a successful small business online.
As much as you wish it could be true, your products are not for everyone.
By finding and focusing on your Perfect Customer, you will be talking directly to the people who are most likely to want to purchase your creations. In turn, this will result in more sales with less effort. Instead of trying to convince everyone that your items are for them, you are honing in on the people who are mostly likely to agree with you.
I’ve got more articles about your Perfect Customer, if you’d like to read them:
Trying to grow sales, increase customers, AND boost profitability all at the same time is a recipe for burn out and late nights crying with a bucket of ice cream.
Instead, pick one area of your business to focus on momentum. It will be a lot easier to track your progress and see results.
Most likely, an increase in one part of your business metrics will automatically cause the other ones to also increase. If you're focused on growing sales, that will probably also increase your customer base and boost your profitability anyway!
Online shoppers are savvy and don’t have the patience for messy, complicated transactions.
If your website is super slow or glitchy, they’ll leave. If you have a process that requires multiple emails and communication back and forth, they’ll leave.
Try to make the transaction as smooth as possible for your customers. Include all the important information and details they need in the product description. If you have your own website, make sure to check it often and see if there are any hiccups during the process of trying to place an order.
Anything you can do to make their experience the best it can be will go a long way toward creating fanatical customers who will not only come back, but will recommend your business to everyone they know.
Sure, it’s great that your mom loves what you make and thinks everyone in the world should have one. But Mom isn’t going to be able to help you with all your business needs. Start to develop relationships with others in your business niche.
If you have your own website, you might want to find someone who can help you with all the tech issues you may run into. Having a trusted tech support is so important. Anytime there's something wonky with your website, you won't need to panic because you know you have an expert you can turn to.
Another great source of support is a mentor. Having a mentor is huge for building momentum in your business. You simply will not know everything! This is one reason why I created my free Facebook group - so you can find other people who are also building their handmade businesses, and bounce ideas off each other.
If you meet someone who is further along in their business process and you seem like a good fit, ask them to create a mentorship relationship with you. You can even find mastermind groups for business owners that are incredibly helpful if you don't know anyone yet.
Feeling like you have support makes such a huge difference. Not only can they help you with issues and problems, but just knowing you have someone in your corner can give you the confidence you need to work through those rough patches that ALL business owners go through.
Look, I know it’s hard to get negative feedback. We sell things that we make with our hands and minds; getting any sort of criticism can feel very personal.
If you want to sell your creations and continue to build your business, you must listen to your customers.
Now, I’m not saying to make a change every time one disgruntled person feels the color pink was too yellowy or that the hat you made was the wrong shape for their particular head.
But if you’re hearing the same feedback from a few different customers, then it’s worth exploring and seeing how you can make things better.
“Listen to the majority” is a good way of handling the feedback you receive.
As you decide where you would like to focus building momentum in your business, create a list of goals. SMART goals stand for:
Specific - goals that are clearly defined.
Measurable - can you measure your progress?
Attainable - make sure it’s a goal you can actually attain.
Relevant - make sure that your goal is aligned with your vision for your company and what you want to accomplish.
Time based - give yourself a set period of time for the goal to be achieved.
Self Made Success describes recurring goals as goals that change but stay the same. I know you’re asking how can that be? Here’s an example. Maybe you have a goal of posting on Instagram 5 days a week (to increase your customer base), but those posts are all going to be different. So while the act of posting 5 days a week is the same, the actual posts will change. This is what they mean by recurring goals.
You can set goals, you can find your perfect customer and create a streamlined customer experience, but if you have a negative mindset, you will never gain momentum.
I truly believe that your mindset is the biggest obstacle or the biggest positive influence to your business’ success.
A negative mindset will create obstacles that will block your business’ growth. You will always see things that are failing, options that don’t work, and will get frustrated and discouraged.
But a positive mindset will allow you to create solutions to problems, to see setbacks as learning opportunities and will create the momentum in your business that you are seeking.
So how can you develop a positive mindset? You can read books, take classes, or create groups with like minded friends for support. Do whatever you need to create a mindset of abundance and possibility.
You may think that it's dictated by chance, but there are tangible steps you can take to build momentum in your business. If you make a conscious effort to seek this growth, and follow the steps I’ve outlined above, you will be rewarded with a business that fills your needs and grows to support your plans and dreams!
If you are looking to bring your craft or handmade business online, I have a downloadable PDF guide that will help you transform your “hobby” into a thriving business.