craft entrepreneur marketing case study
Gemma Winter is the founder of It started with a stitch - a company that creates embroidery and hosts creative workshops. Three months ago she signed up to a BuzzRamp account. Since then she's:
- sold out a record number of workshops
- been selected by Etsy to take part in their made local event
- grown her instagram following to 2000+ followers
In the post below we're going to take you through how she did it
STEP 1: FOCUSING GEMMA'S APPROACH
A common mistake we see with craft entrepreneurs when they first start working with us is that they are trying to do 5 or 6 different kinds of marketing at once. They feel pressured to build facebook, instagram and twitter accounts, as well as putting press releases out and writing blogs - all whilst trying to keep their business running.
If that sounds like you, just stop!
The truth is even a full time marketing team would struggle to do all of these things well (and they must be done really well to cut through all the noise online).
"I was struggling to know which information regarding marketing for my business was actually relevant and valuable to me. I was spending a crazy amount of time trying to cover all bases, with so much conflicting information out there about how and when it should be done."
THE SOLUTION: CONCENTRATE ON WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS
Going through the process of setting up BuzzRamp encourages our users to really think about what kind of marketing they most want to do, but more importantly what kind of marketing will appeal to their ideal clients.
As a craft entrepreneur you will have a limited time to spend on marketing. So it's important that you focus that time on one or two types of marketing that your ideal client is likely to respond to, and make them brilliant.
Each type of marketing you decide to do - whether it's blogging, making videos, instagram, or pinterest - should take roughly four hours work a week to do to a high standard. So choose the type of marketing that will resonate best with your audience in the time you've got.
Gemma had 8 hours a week to spend on marketing. So she decided to spend it on instagram and blogging, as her customers told her they liked reading blogs and their preferred social platform was instagram.
"Since working with BuzzRamp, I've slimmed down the platforms I'm targeting which in turn has given me more time to make, along with making the time that I do spend on marketing so much more productive."
Takeaway: Even if you haven't got 4 hours a week - any kind of consistency with marketing will make a difference - even if it's an hour a week.
STEP 2: IMPROVING GEMMA'S INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Before working with BuzzRamp, Gemma's instagram account was inconsistent in tone and irregular in terms of the frequency of the posts she made. As a result she was struggling to attract many followers and was unable to have they type of meaningful conversations on instagram that start the process of turning a stranger into a client.
By following our tutorials and chatting with our experts on coaching calls Gemma was able make the following improvements in her instagram profile
MAIN FEED - Before working with BuzzRamp Gemma's images were inconsistent. There were images of her personal life, images of quotes, images of other people's work, comedy pictures, and images of her own work. Now Gemma consistently just posts images of her work so it's obvious what she does when you first land on her profile. Also Gemma's followers - who will only on average see 1 in 6 of her posts - also get a consistent message of what Gemma and it started with a stitch is all about.
Takeaway: It's good to treat your instagram main feed as your 'shop window'. So make it beautiful, on brand and harmonious.
STORIES - As a result of working with BuzzRamp Gemma has shifted a lot of activity to instagram stories . Stories is overtaking the main feed as the best way to reach an audience on instagram - especially in terms of getting through to younger people. Treat the main feed as a portfolio and your stories as the place for everything else.
Takeaway: Check out our full post on instagram stories for inspiration on what to post here - but behind the scenes content can work really well. Just remember to only post directly promotional stories (i.e. 'buy this' , ' download this' , 'read this') 20% of the time. The other 80% should all be about letting people know what you're up to and helping to promote others.
PROFILE - Gemma rewrote her bio to make it clearer what she did. She also created a set of highlights to allow people to view her latest products, reviews and find out more about her. This makes it more likely that someone is going to spend more time on her account page, and that means they are more likely to buy.
Takeaway: Ask someone who doesn't know your business to look at your instagram profile and tell you what they think you do. If they accurately describe your business, you have a good bio. If they don't, rewrite it!
HASHTAGS - Using BuzzRamp's tutorial Gemma re-evaluated the hashtags she was using. It's important that you identify 30 instagram hashtags that will give you more exposure to your ideal audience, and then use them in every post.
Takeaway: But make sure you don't post them in the actual instagram post, put them in the first reply to the post.
STEP 3: GETTING 'RAMP READY'
Having a great instagram feed is a huge asset for any business. But it won't get you consistent sales and success. In fact it's only 1 step of a 4 step journey that your customers need to take in order to buy from you.
Here's where things get a tiny bit technical. But stay with me. It's important!
I'm referring to a journey that every customer goes through from never having heard of you (a prospect) to the point where they are happy to make a purchase from you (a customer). In marketing theory we talk about that journey going through four stages called awareness, interest, evaluation, and trial.
As our product is called BuzzRamp, we've expressed this journey as a ramp (see the video below).
Each of the four stages needs its own special bit of marketing content created by you in order for the journey to flow smoothly, and for you to start making sales on a regular basis.
The first stage of the buyer journey - the awareness stage - requires content that can be consumed in a few seconds - such as Social Media. Gemma, like most people, had this bit covered with her instagram feed.
However Gemma was falling into the same trap that most people running their own business make; i.e. jumping straight from awareness to sale without allowing their prospects to go through the interest, evaluation and trial stages.
Still following me? If not watching the video below really helps to explain this!
THE SOLUTION: ADDING CONTENT FOR THE OTHER 3 STAGES
INTEREST STAGE: The interest stage is usually content that can be consumed in a few minutes - like a short video or a blog. Gemma likes to write, so we made sure she started blogging regularly about her workshops. Previously she was blogging, but usually about off topic subjects like holidays or overcoming her fear of flying.
Takeaway: make regular blogs, videos or newsletters that are useful for your ideal customers
EVALUATION STAGE: The evaluation stage is a longer piece of content that allows someone who is interested in a product to really investigate whether it's for them or not. In Gemma's case this meant creating pages on her site featuring a full run down of what her most popular workshops entailed and photos and videos of what people can expect to learn when they attend a workshop.
Takeaway: make sure you answer the main questions someone might have about your product before you ask them to buy it
TRIAL STAGE: The trial stage is a chance to experience the product before you buy it (or, if you're selling a physical product, as close to that experience as you can create online). In Gemma's case this was to make sure that her workshops had a guarantee attached that if someone didn't enjoy them they could get their money back - making the purchase of a ticket completely risk-free.
Takeaway: through multiple photos/videos on your sales page, sending samples, or 100% money back guarantees you must offer some kind of 'try before you buy' experience.
STEP 4: STAYING CONSISTENT
It is really difficult to keep grinding out social media content and other marketing materials day-after-day, week-after-week. But this repetitive work is the most sure-fire way to get more followers, traffic and revenue.
We estimate that it takes 6 months of consistent activity (i.e. the 4 hours a week of activity we mentioned above) to breakthrough with any type of marketing social media. It's really hard to keep that going. Like most people, Gemma was struggling to fit it all in.
BuzzRamp's email reminders that praise or tell our users off, depending on their performance, and the way we've 'gamified' marketing with our BuzzRamp score, have helped Gemma stay on track.
If you don't have a BuzzRamp account, setting reminders for yourself on your phone, or putting reminder notes in prominent places around your workspace can be really helpful to keep yourself on track.
Using a free social media planning tool, like Later, can also help get a lot of the work done at once. So you're not having to post every single day.
Gemma credits the consistency with social media as the thing that secured her a place in Lincoln’s first ever Etsy Made Local event - where she was given free retail space in Etsy's professionally dressed pop-up shop. One of the criteria Etsy was looking for from the many hundreds of applicants was a nice consistent social media profile (as they know those are people who are likely to sell well). Gemma's consistency on instagram impressed them, just like it's impressed her growing number of followers.
Takeaway: If you miss a day here or there it's important not to give yourself too much of a hard time. Just make sure you get back on the wagon the very next day.