Have you thought about turning your hobby into a profitable small business? This podcast shows you how to do just that. Whether you want a side gig for some extra cash or to get out of your 9-5, the handmade products you make for fun can hold the key! In each episode you'll hear steps and actions to take to start and grow a profitable business. It's created specifically for the handmade product business entrepreneur; a group I lovingly call Gifters, Bakers, Crafters, and Makers. You're a fabulous unique creative person and I'm here to help you get on the right path to making your vision a reality. There's a lot out there about building a service based business, some about building a product business, but handmade is different. There are specific nuances to handmade that we cover here. Have you thought about starting a business but not sure what the first steps should be and you're afraid to do it "wrong?" Have you started your business but it's not progressing as you had envisioned? Are you confused about Etsy, Amazon Handmade and Shopify platforms? What about email marketing and Facebook or Instagram ads for attracting sales? There is so much to know it can be overwhelming and confusing. I'm your host, Sue Monhait, and I interview business owners who have been where you are. This is combined with over 30 years of experience consulting hundreds of boutique and big brands along with opening two profitable product based business of my own, I'm here to help you realize your dream. At the end of each episode, you'll walk away with new ideas, tools, or processes that you can apply immediately to get results. Decide on your business. Learn how to get started. Hear what others do to get customers and increase their sales. A great first step is to subscribe to the show, then you'll automatically get each new episode on Monday morning - ready and waiting for you when it's convenient to listen. I want you to know that you don't have to do this alone. Find more free resources over at GiftBizUnwrapped.com and if you're looking for a community of handmade makers just like you, join us over in my private Facebook Group - Gift Biz Breeze.
Tips & Talk 40 – Make Your Customer the Star!
9:57Making a customer feel special is where it’s at. Think about your experience from the customer end. Most of the time when you buy something, in a retail shop for sure but also online, it’s a one and done transaction. You make the purchase, get a thank you or a confirmation of the order being received … and that’s it. No further communication and if there is any – it’s probably a bounceback discount to place another order. Don’t get me wrong that additional discount is great – but it’s very sterile and transaction oriented. There’s no connection being formed between you and that business. Any sales after that are going to be initiated by you (the customer) IF you feel so great about the product that you want more, or you remember that company name when it’s time to buy a gift. Think now of yourself as a business owner - that’s leaving a lot up to chance. What if, you could control this interaction in a better way? How about changing the sale from being solely a business transaction into a warm friendly interaction that could lead down the road to a mutually supportive relationship? This is what you do when you make your customer the star. When you add an emotional layer to your customer interactions that make them feel seen, special and important. By prompting these feelings, your customers will move from purchasers to supporters and this leads to long term growth for your business. Let’s talk about how to do this. Join my https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community) where you’ll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you’d like to do me a huge favor – please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast)
347 – Start a Business Selling Printables and Digital Downloads with Julie Berninger of Gold City Ventures
43:48Have you ever wondered how to start an Etsy printables shop? Wonder no more because in this episode we're diving into how to create a new revenue stream for your business with digital downloads. https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/thesellingstaircase (Selling) printables and digital downloads is one business model that is very compatible with the life of a busy mom or fitting in a side gig. If you haven’t started your business yet, or are looking to expand on what you’re currently selling but not add to your backend shipping tasks, this may be the perfect option for you. It’s enticing, that’s for sure. Julie’s Etsy shop, The Swag Element, started as a side hustle and now earns her $1,000+ per month selling printable products for bachelorette parties, useful templates, and other digital downloads. Success speaks volumes and these Etsy results prompted another opportunity. While on maternity leave, Julie co-founded Gold City Ventures, which is a company that helps women start side hustles like hers selling printables and digital downloads on Etsy. Over 3,000 students have taken Julie’s E-Printables course with her top student earning over $150,000 on Etsy after starting the shop from scratch. How To Start An Etsy Printables Shop A digital download or printable is a digital file you make on your computer and your customer can download from Etsy without further action from you. If you use Canva’s graphics or fonts, make sure you only use the ones that are okay for commercial use. <-- Pro tip! Find avenues to drive traffic to your https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/sell-on-etsy (Etsy shop). If printable fits with your existing business, it can be a https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/how-to-find-a-profitable-niche (profitable niche). Make stuff people want to buy. You can make something beautiful but if it's not popular it won’t sell. You don't need to be a great designer to create products that will sell. Invest your time in a product that's going to be worth it. Use tools to help you see what's trending and get ideas of what to make for your target audience. Try these: <-- Pro tip! https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US (Google Trends) https://trends.pinterest.com/ (Pinterest Trends) https://erank.com/ (eRank) (Etsy tool) https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ (Ubersuggest) (keyword research) You can buy premade templates for commercial use, customize them and then sell them. This can be a quick and easy way to get some products up in your shop. Rather than using the same free clip art everyone else has, buy clip art from other websites to make your stuff more unique. Listen to the full conversation for all the tips & tricks on how to start an Etsy printables shop for your business! Resources Mentioned FREE eBook - https://c.goldcityventures.com/seasonal-products-secret-ebook?affiliate=snowyflake19 (The Seasonal Products Secret) https://giftbizunwrapped.com/inspired/ (Inspired! Daily Planner) - Save 40% with coupon code SALE for a limited time! Julie's Contact Links https://goldcityventures.com/ (Website) | https://www.facebook.com/goldcityventures (Facebook) | https://www.instagram.com/goldcityventures/ (Instagram) Join Our FREE Gift Biz Breeze Facebook Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (Become a Member of Gift Biz Breeze) If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gift-biz-unwrapped/id986323267 (Apple Podcasts) |...
Tips & Talk 39 – Grab My Personal Holiday Gift Planner (FREE)
9:27Little did I know then but 12 years old, I created my first process. It was a system to run through each and every holiday season to ensure all gifts were purchased, wrapped and ready. This was prompted due to a disaster I share in the podcast. Over the years, it’s been perfected to include the more “adult” elements of gift giving and holiday planning. And it’s been a life-saver that I’d like to share it with you today. You may not think this is very business-related – as are most of the topics we cover here on the podcast … but it really is. I’m sure you’ve heard about the value of having processes and systems in your business so things run smoothly. Even if you haven’t, I bet you have them set up without even knowing it. When you make your products, you follow a certain step by step process. Same with filling orders and a number of other tasks you do that are necessary for your business to function properly. You may just not have them formalized and written down. When you have a structured process, projects become so much easier because you don’t have to rethink the steps, you only have to follow them. I have processes for lots of things in the business, from order processing, to blog writing and promoting, podcast creation and production, and of course, social media posting. So, you’re probably not surprised now when I tell you I have a process for holiday gift planning. And guess what? I want to share with you the https://s3.amazonaws.com/giftbiz.downloads/Holiday+Gifting+Worksheet+-+Personal.pdf (Holiday Gifting Worksheet) I created and use every year. It keeps me organized and sane when it comes to holiday presents. It’s totally free – my gift to you - and you can download your https://s3.amazonaws.com/giftbiz.downloads/Holiday+Gifting+Worksheet+-+Personal.pdf (worksheet right here). No opt in or anything. The link sends you directly to the worksheet. Join my https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community) where you’ll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you’d like to do me a huge favor – please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast)
346 – Why You Want a Micro-Weird Business with Denise Blasevick of S3 Agency
49:32You've heard of branding and marketing and sales. But have you heard of micro-weirding? Well, buckle up because that's what we're diving into today. Have you ever stopped to think about how you decide where you’re going to spend your money? Yes, a special eye-catching graphic or creative reel may lead you to discover a new brand. But more than likely, this weekend you’re checking out the deals from companies you already know and support. How did that happen? How did they get on your favorite list? And even more importantly, how can you get on other people’s favorite list? It happens through a strategy called Micro-weirding. Spoiler alert – it is like concocting a potion that magnetically attracts sales. Yep – you definitely want to make your business Micro-Weird. Denise is CEO and co-founder of The S3 Agency, a creative agency specializing in Brand Elevation. She’s worked with clients like BMW of North America and Eight O'Clock Coffee. A self-proclaimed "battler of boring branding," Denise believes that differentiated brand positioning is critical to sustainable sales growth – because when marketing is rooted in this positioning, customers make decisions based on differentiation vs. lowest price. Denise is an inductee in the Advertising Hall of Fame of New Jersey and has won hundreds of awards for her creativity. Beyond agency life, she spends as much time traveling and experiencing the world with her husband and teenage son as possible. How To Use Micro-Weirding Give people a reason to give you their https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/email-marketing-process (email). Get that valuable connection through the value of what you offer. Customers want a personal connection with the person behind the brand. Have a pillar of authenticity that’s relevant to your audience. Don't always define yourself by price. https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/emotional-branding-for-small-business (Branding) isn't what you tell people. It's how you change their minds about what you sell. Creating a differentiated brand will attract people willing to pay more and give you a competitive advantage. If you don't have a brand you're just a commodity (examples: Starbucks, Apple). Communicate to people why you're different and better. Find many ways to connect with your audience that are differentiating and meaningful for your sales. If you make something many others make, differentiate by going ALL IN on something different and unexpected. It can be whatever you want as long as you're consistent with it. <-- Pro tip! Tune in for the full conversation on this! There are so many ways to connect that aren't obvious but can be differentiating and meaningful. Whatever your differentiation is, find as many ways to use it as possible. (example: the way you name your sizes or whatever). Have one thing that people remember you for. Make the https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/knack (brand experience) more meaningful. ARE: A - How are you authentically differentiating yourself? R - How is that relevant to your target market? E - How can you execute on that? Dig around on these 3 elements (ask your customers, etc.) to nail them down to identify your brand. How do you execute on your differentiation? Look at the entire experience you create. Consider every single touchpoint. What can you do beyond product, sale, next? Makers have an enormous opportunity right now. People want to support https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/what-is-your-brand-story (small businesses) right now rather than buy from big chains. A brand is not a business. Getting a new logo won't do anything to transform your business. Price your products based on what they are worth, not just what it cost you to make it. Your brand is a big part of that. Make yourself more than a soap, more than a coffee, more than a sock. Any kind of...
Welcome to the Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast
1:17Welcome to Gift Biz Unwrapped, the twice weekly show that brings you inspiration and direction on how to start and grow your handmade product business. I’m your host, Sue Monhait, CEO of Gift Biz Unwrapped where we offer all sorts of support materials over on the website of the same name. On Saturdays, I feature a guest who shares their experience and insights as a handmade product creator who is now monetizing their craft. Or I bring on a service provider who gives tips and strategies based on their area of expertise. I follow this up on Wednesday with a solo episode to cover topics you’re telling me are important in the world of handmade. I’m excited for you to join me in listening to these episodes and remember to tell your friends who would be interested in small product business development that they too can listen, for free in any podcast app including Apple Podcasts, Spotify … even ask Alexa! You can also access the show on your computer from the website or our YouTube channel. Now go dive in and know that I’m here to support you in your handmade business journey.
Tips & Talk 38 – What About All the Social Media Changes ?!?
10:02Way back in 1997, this new arena called social media arrived on the digital landscape. Since that time, social media has been a fast and active playground with new platforms emerging, others dying and still others growing and morphing into versions that barely look like their original selves. They rise and fall in popularity and target audiences change too. Think of what happened with Facebook - once being for the younger generations who have mostly now abandoned ship for Instagram. And still other social media formats get outright copied like Reels which of course rivals Tic Tok. And that’s not all. IG offers new features but only to certain accounts FB changes it’s page layout causing confusion that requires us to relearn the app Privacy issues are forcing significant changes Facebook and IG go dark for 6 hours – everyone panics Social media is pretty much synomyous with change. That’s a great thing for people who teach us how to use all the various platforms, but not so great when we’re trying to plan for our business visibility, promotional posts or when we want to run ads. So what’s the answer? Just give up – abandon social media entirely? My answer to this may surprise you. Join my https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community) where you'll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast)
345 – A Pro Speaks Up about Networking, Mentorship and Publicity for Gift Business Growth with Lisa Paden of The Personal Gift Basket Co.
47:49What are three strategies for business growth that many small businesses ignore? That's right - we're talking about networking, mentorship, and publicity. Today, I have the great fortune of talking with a proven professional in business development. You’re going to hear her story about starting the business as a side gig while working a 9-5 job and attending to four babies. So, for anyone out there who says it can’t be done … let’s rethink that! Lisa shares what her life was like then, how she grew and eventually left her corporate job, and how she continues to expand on her rock-solid gift business. Lisa is the Founder and CEO of The Personal Gift Basket Co., an artisan gifting business based in the St. Charles, MO area. Her company is recognized and praised for creating beautifully designed gifts for clients all over the world. Lisa’s been on several local https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/marlena (television) stations displaying her gift creations and speaking about the power and benefit of gifting. Her creative gift designs have also been featured in many local printed publications. Because of her passion and desire to see others in the gifting industry succeed, Lisa created The Gifting Coach that officially launched in the fall of 2019. Lisa lives in Wentzville Missouri with her amazing, supportive husband, she's the proud mama to four beautiful, grown children and one granddaughter, and her lovable chocolate labradoodle Milo. BUSINESS BUILDING INSIGHTS Work on your own business just as hard as you would work for someone else. https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/take-control-of-your-fear (Overcome your fears) as they can cripple the growth of your business. Don't be afraid to succeed. You have control of everything that you do. Do things in order and in a way that will help your business and not hinder it. Make sure your product is priced correctly and you're giving people a great product so they will come back and want again. Think about and plan for what you will need when your https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/upmyinfluence (business starts to grow) before you are actually there. <-- Pro tip! Tune in for more on this topic. Networking-Mentorship-Publicity Tips Network in your community more than anything. When you are out there people get to recognize you. Get comfortable being around people to share your story. Don't allow yourself to hide behind social media and not show your face. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help from someone who has been where you are. https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/linkedin (Consider using LinkedIn). It can be a great place to build connections for your business. Look for opportunities to be interviewed for TV or radio. It takes longer to set up your booth for a show than it does to be interviewed! Always bring a small gift or examples of your product to interviews. Listen to the full conversation for more networking, mentorship, and publicity tips and insights from Lisa! Resources Mentioned https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/global-supply-chain-crisis/ (Tips & Talk Ep 34 - Your Role in the Global Shipping Crisis) https://giftbizunwrapped.com/inspired/ (Inspired! Daily Planner) - save 40% off with code SALE for a limited time! Lisa's Contact Links https://thepersonalgiftbasket.com/ (Website) | https://www.facebook.com/thepersonalgiftbasket (Facebook) | https://www.instagram.com/thepersonalgiftbasket/ (Instagram) | https://twitter.com/TPGBC (Twitter )| https://www.linkedin.com/in/tpgb6/ (Linkedin) Join Our FREE Gift Biz Breeze Facebook Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (Become a Member of Gift Biz Breeze) If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do...
Tips & Talk 37 – The Many Faces of Integrity for Personal and Business Growth
9:52People with high integrity are known as being trustworthy, dependable and someone you can rely on. Living with integrity is important because it can determine the depth of your relationships and the success of your business. When you start showing up as I describe in this episode, you build your integrity muscle. Along with that comes the feeling of achievement and a boost to your self confidence. Not only does the world look brighter and more interesting, YOU are proving to yourself that you have the power to make things happen. Let’s dive deeper into a part of what integrity is and how it can affect your personal life and business results. Join my https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community) where you'll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast)
344 – A Powerful Lesson We Can Take from Big Brand Strategies Maureen Mwangi of Startward Consulting
45:27Today we’re discussing emotional branding for small business. In the past, we’ve talked a lot about the visual aspect of your brand. The colors, your logo, signage - even your business name. Now, we’re approaching https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/your-brand (branding) from a different angle. I’m sure you’ve heard Maya Angelou's quote about it not being what you say or what you do but how you make someone feel. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou This softer branding characteristic is missed by many and can be the most powerful thing to get right to attract and retain - not just customers, but raving supportive fans. Maureen grew up in Kenya where entrepreneurship was not the norm. In fact, her mom and dad were the only entrepreneurs she knew. As a little girl, Maureen listened with fascination as they discussed their product strategies around the dinner table almost every night. As she got older, she became acutely aware of the financial freedom business ownership afforded her family, along with access to more opportunities. Maureen quickly learned that the secret to her parents’ business success was the reputable, trustworthy product-based brand they created. Armed with her Master’s Degree in Marketing, she quickly ascended to leadership and began to build some of America’s most beloved brands such as Lays, Chobani, and L’Oreal. Today, Maureen is the creator of Big Brand Academy, The Product Profit Lab, and Startward Consulting. She’s one of the most sought-after brand growth experts because of her unique track record for launching and scaling recognizable brands. BUSINESS BUILDING INSIGHTS Focus on the why behind the reason somebody is having your product. The best https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/marketing-for-small-business (marketing strategy) for any product-based business is word-of-mouth and referrals. Your business should provide the solution for your customers’ problems. Think bigger and have a vision of where your business should be in the next years. <-- Tune in for the full conversation on this! Photography is really important in the e-commerce space. That could be the actual product shot, the actual product shot, or ways how to use the product. Pick one https://suemonhait.lpages.co/content-for-makers/ (social media platform) and be an expert in that platform. Maximize the sales of that channel. Go where your target audience is. Emotional Branding For Small Business What is a brand: the emotional resonance your product and business provides to your customer. Be the voice of your customer. https://giftbizunwrapped.com/episodes/first-steps-to-creating-your-brand (Create a brand) that is centered around your target audience. Shift from a product mindset to a brand mindset. When you're building your business, build the brand first because branding is why people buy from you. Marketing is how people find you. Personalize your brand. Provide good customer service and respond to people on time to let people know you're present. Think about your customer. Who do you want to truly serve? How are you solving the problem they currently have? Create messaging that people can connect with. That messaging of emotional connection is what will lead them to buy. Create a community that is magnetized by your messaging. List three adjectives you want to be associated with your brand. <-- Pro Tip! Always show up as the face of your brand. People want to interact with a human being. Write descriptions in such a simple way that your customer will understand. Instead of thinking about how to 10x your sales, make sure to 10x your visibility first. Take Action Now: Get clear on who your customer is, what their problem is, and how you solve it. Write down 3 branding adjectives you
Tips & Talk 36 – Get Them to Buy Again
10:55The way to truly grow a business is through repeat customer sales. Think about it. If every single month you had to start fresh to find and convert new prospects into sales – you’d be exerting tremendous amounts of energy just to stay at the same monthly revenue level. By contrast, what if your business ran with this sales model. Month one you bring in 30 sales. The next month, let’s say 10% of your customers purchased again. You received the same number of new customer sales plus the 3 repeat sales … so now you have 33 sales for that month. If you repeat this over the course of a year you’d be bringing in 79 sales a month at the end of the year! And this would snowball and continue to grow over time. Of course your numbers will vary from this example. You may be bringing in more or less than 30 sales a month. And your repeat customer number depends on your product - so it can also be more or less than 10%. Plus there are months when you do shows or other promotional events that bring in more sales. But the theory still works regardless of your numbers. I’m sure you’ve heard the fact that it costs more (in time and money by the way) to convert a looker into a customer. 5x more for that matter! 5x!!! In addition to all these new customer acquisition efforts, to grow your business you should be building on the momentum you’ve started with your brand new customers too. Here’s how to do that. Join my https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftBizBreeze (FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community) where you'll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: https://ratethispodcast.com/giftbizunwrapped (Rate This Podcast) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gift-biz-unwrapped/id986323267 (Apple Podcasts) | https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5naWZ0Yml6dW53cmFwcGVkLmNvbS9mZWVkL3BvZGNhc3Q=&inf_contact_key=f00b9b282a6156da6dc2e642eb167c2f680f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1 (Google Podcasts) | https://open.spotify.com/show/380HmeoVquMHRzOepaoF0s (Spotify) Thank you so much! Sue Know someone who needs to hear this episode? Feel free to share!