Don’t let Covid-19 slow you or your business down! For my creatives that normally sale your products at vending events, social distancing due to Coronavirus has currently shut down in-person sales. However, you can still reach your target audience other ways. One avenue is hosting a virtual pop-up shop! Let’s discuss the steps you need to take to make this happen.
Select an online platform. When selecting a platform, especially “free” ones, research and make sure you’re not violating any platform guidelines by selling on platform.
Create a script. In the script you need to highlight your product’s sweet spots. A sweet spot is what makes your brand unique and stand out from the rest. Be sure to share how your product solves or relieves problems for your potential customer.
Partner with someone. If possible, collaborate with another business that serves your niche! Working with someone will broaden your audience. You both can tag team potential customers and offer bundles. Click Love Duo for example of an online collaboration.
Set up a system. Make it easy for customers to order your products and make payments. If you’re not directing folks to an online shop for purchases, be sure to collect mailing addresses so you’ll know where to send orders.
I hope these steps are helpful and inspire you to go virtual! During this season we have to be innovative and think outside the box. Be encouraged; you can still get those coins during The Rona!
Tonya Cross – Workshop Facilitator of The Vine Events
The winner of our Salisbury-Rowan Black Business Pitch Contest was Kari Johnson of K’s Kicks! Our winner received a monetary, service, and media package that was provided by local black owned businesses and organizations. Because of our community’s generosity, we were able to provide a service package for all contestants! Our other contestants were Sierra Watkins of SieBration Bar and Destiny Stone and Daniel King of The Music House Inc..
Kari is a lover of all things creative. Music, writing, and art are passions of hers. She is a 2007 graduate of Livingstone College with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She hopes to continue growing her business K’s Kicks as well as writing her Children’s book series Dallas Does based on her 6 year old daughter.
Kari began K’s Kicks in 2018 after personal projects she shared online were praised and people began to inquire about her work. She realized that everyone has a pair of shoes they aren’t ready to part with that she is able to bring back to life. Over the course of a year through social media and word of mouth, a buzz has began in the Rowan community as well as other places about her work. Her ultimate goal is to be able to focus 100% on her business and partner with schools in the community to provide shoes to students each year.
Tonya Cross – Visionary of The Vine Event Planning
Black Business Pitch Contestants – SieBrations Bar, K’s Kicks, and The Music House
Back in the 90’s I started hosting monthly bible studies in my home for the mothers with young children in my neighborhood. At the time, I had two young daughters under the age of five. It was an opportunity to meet other women in my new neighborhood and have adult engagement and conversation. I truly enjoyed the bonding experience with other mothers. The conversations expanded beyond our faith; we shared our hopes, dreams and desires in the small intimate setting of my living room.
Needless to say, the word got out to other women outside my neighborhood. Some of them decided they wanted to host similar monthly meetings in their community too. I began creating monthly lesson plans for us that were relevant and life applicable. The interest and participating women grew to the point where we were able to host our first retreat at a local conference center. All along I’m getting hands on experience with creating curriculums, facilitating discussions, and developing event planning skills.
God laid on my heart to make our community meeting groups official. I took the necessary steps and met the requirements to become a women’s organization. Over the years my organization has evolved and shifted focus, but my purpose to educate, encourage, and enlighten has always remained the same.
A small meeting of mothers in my living room many years ago was instrumental in who I have become today.
From Bible Studies to Digital Marketing…
In 2013, I launched my brand Accented Glory. Accented Glory is a handcrafted women’s fashion accessory brand. My specialty is natural hair accessory and Afrocentric jewelry designs. In the beginning, I had no knowledge of managing an e-commerce brand or digital marketing. But what I did know was that if I was going to have any level of success with my brand, I needed to learn about both fast. E-commerce and digital marketing is a world that’s constantly changing. With that being said; I’m always learning!
I also had friends who decided to pursue their passions after forty and weren’t too tech savvy either. So, I created a community for us where I basically share my experiences and lessons learned on my brand building journey. I share tips, advice, and resources that helps me manage my brand’s digital marketing. I also facilitate workshops for small business owners related to branding and marketing.
The online community that I manage is Digital Marketing On A Budget (DMOB). It’s a Facebook group that primarily consist of forty plus aged female entrepreneurs. We’re learning together how to navigate digital marketing and promoting our brands. In the group we have topic discussions and group challenges. I chronicle the steps I’m taking to market Accented Glory and invite my group members to join me and do the same. I show members how to utilize free and low cost marketing resources to promote their brands or organizations.
My organization is known as The Vine Events. My tag line is “Empowering People With Knowledge” and hashtag is #JoinShareLearn. Below is why and how this mindset shapes everything I do.
Join – Over the years I’ve learned how to bring people together, whether it’s in-person or online. I believe collective efforts are more effective when we’re invested in each other’s success.
Share – I believe everyone has something of value that they can bring to the table. I encourage group members and workshop participants to share. You never know who you may inspire or encourage.
Learn – No one knows it all and we can learn from each other. I’m a forever learner and open to new views and ideas. I also believe experience is the best teacher; which is why hands on active learning is a key component of my teaching methods.
Love What I Do…
I enjoy assisting others in reaching their fullest potential; it does my heart good. Would you like to be a part of my online community for entrepreneurs? I invite you to join us on Facebook! Click entrepreneurs online community to join.
Do you also enjoy helping others? Please share and post in comments ways you assist!
WOW…Can you believe the holiday season is upon us? The year is flying by and as entrepreneurs it’s time to prep for the “Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”. This month discussion topic in our Facebook group Digital Marketing On A Budget is #HolidayPrep!
This week in the group, we’re brainstorming about holiday marketing ideas! This is the beginning of creating an amazing holiday campaign. Each week I’m sharing a single task to complete by the end of the week. Our group members who participate will have a completed campaign by the end of October! Check out some of my ideas in graphic below.
Most people are familiar with the “Got Milk?” campaign from the early 90’s. This successful marketing campaign from the dairy industry lasted almost two decades! This month in my entrepreneurs Facebook support group, Digital Marketing On A Budget (DMOB), I’m asking our group members “Got Questions?” As entrepreneurs, we should never assume that we know what a customer wants or needs! I think this is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make. The notion of “build it and they will come” is no longer a sound business practice.
The easiest way to find out what someone wants is to simply ask them. Some of you may be wondering the best way to do so. I’ve found surveys and polls to be very useful in gathering customer feedback. There are several digital platforms you can use to create a questionnaire. I have personally used Polldaddy and Typeform. Both are user friendly and have free options that allow you to try them out.
Social media platforms have also made it super easy to hear from your audience. Poll features have been incorporated into platforms like Instagram Stories, Twitter, and Facebook, allowing you to leverage your social media audience for feedback on your services/products.
This month, I’m hosting a group challenge for DMOB members to create a questionnaire to get answers they need for success! Participating in the challenge is an opportunity to identify your ideal customer’s wants and needs. The challenge will kick off on Monday, August 6th. Click DMOB to join the challenge and our Facebook group.
Wow, these months roll around fast! This month’s topic in my entrepreneurs’ Facebook group, Digital Marketing On A Budget, we’re discussing selling online. I’m doing things a little differently this month by broadcasting live in our Facebook group on Tuesdays at 9:30pm EST. During this time, I’ve been sharing advice and tips from my five years of experience, selling my handcrafted women’s fashion accessory brand, Accented Glory, online.
The first week we discussed the basic things you need to sale online.
1. A product or service.
2. A platform to sell on.
3. A way to get your product or service to customers.
The second week we discussed presentation. E-commerce is a very competitive and visual market. Because the customer can’t physically see or touch your product, it’s imperative to present your product or service with quality photos and/or graphics. Your photos should be reflective of your brand and business and allow the customer to visibly assess the value of your product/service.
The third week we discussed identifying your strategic sweet spot. It’s important to have an understanding of what separates you from your competitor and what customer needs your product meets. Your sweet spot is where both of these areas merge together!
This coming Tuesday we’re going to discuss copywriting. I’m going to share different types of written content you can create to promote your brand or small business. So, if this sounds like a topic you’re interested in learning more about, click here to join us!
Tonya – Visionary of Accented Glory and The Vine Events
We’re so proud of our sister brand Accented Glory! They now have a shop on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Accented Glory is a handcrafted women fashion accessory brand. Their specialty is natural hair accessory and jewelry designs. Accented Glory’s hair accessory designs are created with fabrics and materials that minimize damage to textured hair. Accented Glory’s top seller jewelry is their Afrocentric designs. Click on pictures below to check out their shops!
Accented Glory’s Etsy Shop
Accented Glory’s Amazon Handmade Shop
Are you a blogger, vblogger, or content curator? If you answered yes, check out Accented Glory’s Affiliate Toolbox here!
Tonya – Visionary of Accented Glory and The Vine Events