Reader Orit asking:
Shalom, my name is Orit Gutmacher Levy, and I’m a 38 year old freckled Country Girl <3 I live in a magical farm town in the Galilee, Israel.
I believe in following my heart <3 I’m following my dream to create smart, simple, natural and beautiful children’s games & unique home décor Judaica for their moms. I’m a big nature lover and I have a feel for natural materials such as wood and cotton fabrics. Creativity, eco-friendly materials, quality, good energy and integrity are in my spirit.
One of the most important things for me is to inspire women to follow their dreams and to help them believe in themselves. I love to work with creative women artists from the Galilee where I was born. Making new friendships along with new crispy business collaborations makes me feel warm inside.
Every new product is a dream come true, and I’m thankful for each one of them. My mind is always busy thinking about the next new sparkling idea and I’m grateful for working with natural born artists. Together we put our emphasis on perfection, uniqueness, and small limited edition series with a Judaic twist. <3
My Target Audience is Jewish American Moms. Do you have any marketing tips for me? Thank you so much :)
Peace & Love,
Orit Gutmacher Levy Owner & Designer of ZEBRA smart & friendly toys
Orit is basically asking for tips on marketing a small business so she can add or expand fruitful channels of extra visitors. Here at R.E we’re big fans of online businesses, big and small, and it’s our duty to be giving advice when needed. Plus Orit is from my homeland, can’t get any better.
Orit operates an online shop where she sells her handmade home decor Judaica, educational children games and Jewish jewellery. Through the lines you can easily smell her sense of pride and passion in her small business, something we highly recommend to posses when choosing your business niche.
If you’re too lazy to click the link and enter her website, this is the kind of stuff she crafts:
Now, I usually don’t answer each email so thoroughly but her inquiry is so common that it applies to many of our readers who operate any kind of a small business or website. So soak up the material and make sure you leave no stone unturned and use it for your business’ advantage.
Small Business Marketing Ideas and Tips
I won’t state obvious things like setting up a website here, this is all common sense now. However, I’m not gonna state any complicated advanced stuff too. The point here is to lay down the most simple and basic marketing tips that country-girls like Orit can implement without too much time and effort, but with big returns nonetheless. Traditional 80/20 in action.
A small internet business, like the one Orit operates – handmade stuff marketed and sold online internationally – usually has the realistic potential of driving up sales in the range of a few thousands to a few tens of thousands dollars a month, depending on how big the niche is.
You can definitely make zero (if you didn’t do your homework and didn’t verify demand, or if your marketing sucks badly), and you can make millions (if you expand over time) – but those basic numbers above are a good rule of thumb.
But alas with the jibba-jabba, here are some great small business marketing tips.
Target Keywords and Bring More Visitors
You can’t overstate the importance of that.
Brainstorming keywords and targeting them in your textual posts or product pages will cast your ‘marketing-net’ much wider and help you fish lots of highly-targeted Google-searchers who you can convert (directly or indirectly) to solid cash.
This is one of the most important marketing-switches to flip if you own any kind of internet business. Without it, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table.
Now, you’d have to do some work to rank highly for big-keywords, but even if you don’t – the sole practice of targeting keywords at first place will give you a much better predisposition to landing potential customers and will overtime pull ‘long-tail’ keywords to your sales pages.
If none of that makes sense, or if you’d like a better grasp of those concepts – go read my guide to making money online and scroll down to the section about keywords if you have a short attention span. It’s a pretty long read but should give you a solid basic understanding of how keywords and search engines work together.
Looking at your site, Orit – I see a HUGE room for improvement. I’d change the title of the site from “ZEBRA smart & friendly toys” to something with the potential of pulling a lot more traffic. I suggest reading my guide and brainstorming a new set of profitable keywords.
You might end up with something like “ZEBRA Jewish Home Decor & Educational Toys”. Anyway – make sure there are plenty of monthly Google searches (thousands to tens of thousands) to the terms you find suitable. Use this practice for any photo or product page on your site and on your Etsy site, and you shall reap rewards.
Send Free Stuff to Influential People and Use The Law of Reciprocity
Some call it Karma, but I like to view it as an integral part of human’s evolutinarily-hardwired tendency to give-and-return favours for group-cohesiveness and survival of the group. Did you ever notice how powerful the ‘pull’ to return a favour is when somebody does something good for you?
What I suggest for you is to genuinely offer some of your products for free to bloggers of your target audience. For example – I’d advise you to send free toys and games and home decor stuff to Jewish-American blogging moms or other sites or blog owners who cater to this specific group.
You may then ask them politely to write about it and recommend to their readers if they liked it enough. The fact that you gave it for free will naturally make them like you and create a more positive outlook on you and your business.
It’s all about human-relationships really.
That way you spread the word about your product and also create natural valuable links back to your site which will overtime increase your rankings and bring you more traffic.
Follow Up With Your Customers
It’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than to a stranger.
I suggest collecting the email addresses of your customers and following up with them immediately after purchase. You can send them a friendly email thanking them for their business and how much you appreciate their support. You can even offer them a second time-limited offer they can purchase for a discount.
Direct-Marketing Tip: Always create some urgency and scarcity in your sales copy. It is a scientifically proven method of increasing conversion rate. If you’ll read the books I recommend you’ll stumble upon this principle frequently. “Only for the next 5 days!”, “Only 3 pieces left”, IT WORKS.
You might also want to mail a weekly or monthly newsletter to introduce new stuff and push other promotional material. It’s a great way to increase sales and keep contact with your customers. I know quite a few business owners who use their mailing list to ask their customers for feedback. That way you can improve quickly and create more stuff that they want.
Orit, building a mailing list can be a phenomenal way for you to get new artistic ideas directly from your customers. Engage with them and they’ll value your business even more.
I use and recommend AWeber to build your email marketing channel. They got great support, good prices and seem to be the gold-standard when it comes to actually delivering your mails and avoiding spam-filters.
Pay Per Click (PPC) – Google AdWords
Google Adwords is the quickest and most reliably measurable way to get highly-targeted potential customers to your business. With enough testing and patience you can create highly profitable and predictable campaigns that will take your business to a whole new level. It isn’t as simple as targeting keywords and there’s a little learning curve – but it is well worth the effort.
To get started, I recommend Perry Marshall’s bestseller Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. You can experiment with other PPC channels (like Facebook Ads or others) later on. I’ve had good success with Adwords.
Use Copywriting and Sales Techniques
I’d suggest anyone with a big drive for success to get decent at the art of the sales pitch.
Copywriting and sales skills are the secret glue that amplifies every marketing effort you’ll ever use. This valuable skillset will make you a more persuasive person and let you craft your posts, product pages, online newsletters and anything else in a way that converts more strangers to customers.
I still remember the first time I saw how powerful the effect of scientific copywriting is.
Few years ago, one of my sites was making about $500 a month, but I knew it can make a lot more. I bought a bunch of copywriting and sales books and used the principles to increase conversion rate – and within a few months the site was making more than $3000 a month (without any increase in traffic!)
This terrific change isn’t uncommon and you can safely assume that if you’ve never given too much thought to the textual copy and overall structure of your website (or newsletter ads or whatever marketing channels you use) – you are about to witness some serious improvement.
Take a look at businesses like the Xero Shoes.
Since I’ve been wearing them from their very early days, I had the chance of following their gradually-expanding business success. You might want to skim through their website to get ideas and a sense of a successful website structure – incorporating a variety of basic tested-and-proven sales techniques like socially-proofing testimonials, a badass guarantee and an overall high-converting design.
This is, in my opinion, the best possible investment you can make in your business knowledge. Read those books, highlight the important areas and create yourself a cheet-sheet you can use whenever you craft a sales page. Those principles are universal and apply to the salesmanship of a car, IKEA tables or the simple crafty home decor stuff that Orit makes.
And always keep testing what works and what doesn’t.
Always Strive to Improve Your Product
I said it once and i’ll say it again. Your product IS your marketing. After the initial marketing boost every business needs, what really ultimately matters is how awesome your product is. If it’s really that good – people are going to talk and recommend to others and continue this ever-expanding cycle. Organic word of mouth referral traffic is the strongest and highest-converting traffic there is.
If your product sucks badly – any marketing you’ll ever do will eventually fall flat when enough bad testimonials flood the internet. Avoid this ghastly future by building a solid product. All other small business marketing tips and ideas should come AFTER that.
At the core – it’s all about giving people the beauty of an experience share-worthy.
Good luck and may your business reflect the best of you.