STEP 7: HOW DO I GROW IT?
We're ready for step 7! The final (at least in this series) step! In the previous post (step six) we talked about the people who supported both me and the business as I launched Paper by JLee and now I'll outline what I've done to help grow the business since opening the shop. A lot of this has been covered in previous posts (like step 5 about marketing) so if you haven't had a chance yet, you can go back and read the previous posts to get caught up here.
Some of the basic tools I use are Instagram, Facebook, my Etsy storefront and this website. I regularly review each site and evaluate the content, appearance and what needs to be updated. One of my most recent updates included the revamp of this site's home page.
It went from this: A static page that forced visitors to click multiple links to start shopping and read the blog. It wasn't clear what I did or what products I offered. This page made people research to find my products. Yikes!
To this! The updated homepage now showcases the various products I offer, features specific items (that visitors can purchase with only 2 clicks!), and links to recent blog posts. All on one streamlined page!
In addition to updating my content, I've participated in some great events that have allowed me to meet other small business owners and gain some online exposure. You can read more about my experience at the Big Fake Wedding NYC and this geometric-inspired style shoot on the blog.
The blog itself is also a great way to grow the business. I can promote events that I'm part of or post the latest creation I just completed (take a look at some wedding invitations I've created here!). I can also post tutorials and share my creative process. I've found that the tutorials are the most popular posts and bring in the most activity to the website. I've recently started incorporating videos into my tutorial posts which helps communicate the painting process and provides another platform to show my work. See some videos below!
Pinterest also serves as a great way to attract visitors to my website and blog. The watercolor sunflower tutorial has been saved by others on Pinterest over 1,300 times! Are you on Pinterest? Follow me here!
Finally, I've also been fortunate enough to start selling wholesale. My first wholesale order came from Mary, co-owner of Chris + Mary, a wonderful boutique shop in Santa Monica, California. Mary and I were introduced through friends and immediately started working on a wholesale order of my stationery for her shop. You can read more about that process in the step six blog post, here.
My next steps include creating company pages on websites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Yelp. These websites will increase my exposure and (hopefully!) take my business to the next level. However, these things have admittedly been on my to-do list for a long time. This ever-growing list can be intimidating so I have to consciously remind myself that I can do this at my own pace and can take a break if needed. It's a balancing act and I'd rather take a break and come back refreshed than crank out work that is subpar.
What about you? How do you grow you business and take it to the next level? Share in the comments below!