The year is winding down but for small business owners, our hearts and heads are spinning with ideas of how to grow our business and what we want to bring to life in the new year. Creating an authentic and loyal following takes time. Knowing your brand, being focused and delivering high-quality goods of any form takes intentional decision making throughout the whole year. A large part of our business is walking beside other small business owners and helping them to use their gifts, focus their brand and to create a stronger and more sustainable business. There are three c’s that I know have helped our company to grow a stronger business and they are able to be implemented no matter the size of your business and what you are building.
These are my three C’s to building a stronger business:
Connect with your customers in a way that is natural for you and most importantly in a way where you can be consistent (more on that in a bit). Find the social media outlet that connects with your personality and brand and share your product. Share your product, share your packaging, share behind the scenes, connect with live video, share your business tips, share what you are learning etc. If you are an artist don’t just share your art. Share your favorite tools, share a short video of your brushstrokes, write a blog post about the stories behind your art, share creating outside of your studio etc. Share the human side of what you do and what you sell. Your customers don’t need to constantly feel they are being sold to and that you only are connecting with them to make a sale. Share all of those other parts of your business and then occasionally share what you are selling. Your customers will be so much more receptive to what you are selling if you have taken the time to authentically CONNECT in the in-between.
Move beyond social media platforms and build your customer base through blogging and a strong website. Give people a place to land to find out about you, your product and brand. A place to read more thoughtful posts and where they can connect with you online, in person or through your product. This is also the place where you can grow your newsletter through opt-ins that will encourage your customers to connect through your newsletter. When you have a customer that wants to hear more about what you are doing and gives you their name and email this is the biggest honor. You have an invitation to connect with them and unlike social media, you have a direct line to come into their homes (or inbox in this case) and share what you are doing. You do not have a strong business without a strong email list. All other platforms could be gone tomorrow or their analytics change tomorrow (which they do all of the time) but with an email list, you have control of what your customers see. Social media platforms are the icing but your email list is the cake. It is the foundation of how you can connect and grow.
Collaborating just makes me smile because we need each other so much in life and business and this can be often forgotten or overlooked. Building a Creatively Made Business takes hard work and dedication and it can rarely be done alone. Collaborating with other creatives allows you to grow your customer base, share the workload, expand your product line and more. Who do you admire and would love to see how your brands could work together? Who do you see starting off that would be a beautiful addition to your own brand? Who is expanding their business in a new and inventive way and you know your product or services would complement beautifully? Creating a diversified business that thrives through different seasons relies on a business that is open to beautiful collaborations.
So often we are asked how we have built our business and the number one answer is consistency. We have not done the same thing over the past twelve years but we have consistently done something each day. Our business is a twelve-year overnight success:-) We have consistently blogged, connected on social media, promoted, collaborated, put new content out into the world, corrected what wasn’t working, reinvented ourselves, done scary things, set big goals (and even reached many), made huge mistakes, taken large hits, dusted ourselves off, sacrificed, started over and shown up. We have consistently shown up in our business and we have consistently worked on building what we have today. We have done much of it when we were tired and worn out and other times when we were excited and full of ideas. Each day we have a list that we work towards based on where we are and what has to be completed and what we hope for and what we are working towards. We have a plan that has changed throughout the years but it is based on what we believe our calling is and the life we want as a family. We know how we want our life to look and feel and allow this to be our touchstone to also know when we are getting off track. How do YOU want your life to look and feel? Get crystal clear on that and make a plan that you consistently work towards to build it.
If you are looking for direction with your next idea, a kick in the pants to start or to have fresh inspiration breathed into your current business I hope you will join me a for an online business workshop that is all about connecting with your gifts, building your brand, launching it out into the world and nurturing what you have created.
We have built our creative business over the past 12 years. We started with a small Etsy shop, manufactured our own soft goods for many years, created an online network with art + lifestyle workshops (wait until you see our new site launching next month!), sell original art + prints, a keynote speaker at large business and women’s workshops around the US, teach live art workshops in the US and abroad, collaborate with artists from all over the world and my first art book for North Light Books was a best seller.
As a business consultant the past four years I have been able to help other creatives get their ideas off the ground, fine-tune an existing business or coach how to take their business to the next level. With our whole heart, we believe it is time to expand this part of our business to work beside more creatives as they building their own Creatively Made Business!
Registration is open for our brand new online business workshop.
If you have any question about the workshop or about my business consulting you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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