So You Want To Grow Your Small Business And Work With Brands:
There are so many types of small businesses’ these days. We love seeing people taking their passion projects and turning them into their own businesses. You can sell product, experiences or even just content. Whatever you’re thinking of doing if you’re going to start a business make sure you’re doing something you love! (Because it’s a lot of work!) Partnering with brands change all the time. The great news is – they want to work with actual people and makers. The bad news is – everything is a bit saturated and it can be hard to get noticed. But we have some tips and tricks if you’re feeling a bit stuck.
In this blog post we’re going to talk about our past experiences and what we’ve learned along the way with our own business. If you’re starting a small business and wondering how you can monetize and create connections in your business this will definitely help you out!
We met on the National Tour of Fiddler On The Roof in 2010 and started our little blog in 2012. Crafting was total hobby that spiraled into our full time career. A lot of it was being at the right place at the right time with the changes of social media and looking back we would do it all soooo much differently, but there are a lot of things we’ve learned along the way and want to share with you! We’ve been lucky enough to have long term relationships with a handful of brands- Fiskars, HGTV, Cricut, Worx Tools, Michaels and more…!
5 Things To Consider When Starting An Online Small Business:
- Have a plan- Think about what you want to do and pin point it. This isn’t an easy task (we still struggle with it, because we want to do everything) but hone in and start small and strong.
- Find your community- Find those like people who share the same interests and grab their attention. Having an audience is important.
- Size doesn’t always matter- It’s better to have a handful of true followers than to have hundreds of uninterested one. Numbers with social media change all the time, don’t stress about it!
- Stick to who you are- When finding paid opportunities make sure they fit your brand and who you are. Dennis and I are both vegan, we would never do a campaign involving meat or dairy.
- Show yourself- In a world where everything is an ad and everyone is a business the one thing that you really have that’s different from anyone else is yourself. Put yourself out there and allow people to get to know you! It can feel very uncomfortable, but trust us it gets easier. You don’t have to be perfectly spoken, just be yourself!
How To Get Paid Opportunities:
There are now a handful of sites you can join and apply for certain opportunities, some are paid and some are just for products. That is a great place to start and find companies who suit you. These sites make it easier for you to find brands and brands to find you!
Stalk Stalk Stalk:
Don’t be creepy about it, but definitely be following the brands you want to work with and engage with them!
Reach Out To Companies:
We’re sure there are companies out there where you’re thinking to yourself “I would love to work with them!!!” It’s definitely achievable! We always like to follow a company, like and comment on their Instagram posts and try and make ourselves a bit seen. If you use a product from a company you want to work with, tag them in the content you’re making with the product. Show them you’re already a good fit!
Our number one tip to working with a company is reach out and be specific. Have an idea of how you would like to work with them and tell them! Sell yourself and your idea. They are most likely bombarded with emails and DMs so make yourself stand out and take away the hassle of the back and forth.
We have had relationships with some of our favorite companies for several years now. A lot of them started off with free products for us to review or just share on our page and then it evolved into paid opportunities.
Be True To You:
When you land a gig, be true to you, companies will want to work with your for a reason. Don’t shift your view or aesthetic to fit theirs.
Let’s Get Crafty!
Leave a personalized touch:
Ok here’s a little craft. It’s important if you’re selling product to add a little personalized touch. Those are the things that take your product over the top and keep them memorable. Here’s a really cute way to make a thank you type card to stick into your product! We made these with products from one of our favorite brands to work with, Fiskars. Hey hey Fiskars!!
- Fiskars Paper Trimmer
- Fiskars Orange Handled Scissors
- Fiskars Hand Punch
- Fiskars Confetti Star Punch
- Fiskars Corner Punch
- Black and White Cardstock
- Embossing Stamp Pad
- Embossing Powder
- Anti-Static Bag
- String or Twine
- Using the paper cutter, cut down your black and white cardstock into tag size pieces.
- Punch off the two top corners using the corner punch! This small detail really takes it over the top. If you don’t have a corner punch you could always use a pair of scissors or the paper trimmer.
- Punch out a hole in the top for your thread.
- Use a punch on the bottom of the tag. This will add a fun peek-a-boo element!
- Wipe the anti-static bag over the front of the white cardstock. This will prevent stray embossing powder from sticking.
- Press the stamp onto the stamp pad and press it onto the cardstock with moderate pressure.
- Sprinkle the embossing powder of the the inked areas.
- Shake off excess powder.
- Holding the heat gun like a pencil, wave it over the powder in a constant waving motion until you see the powder change color or get glossy. Tip: Keep the heat gun moving and don’t get too close to the paper or it will start to burn away the powder.
- Place the black cardstock under the white cardstock and thread a piece of string through the punched hole.
Embossing is a easy way to add a professional detailed handmade touch!
Hope we helped give you a little insight into what we know about being a small business and working with brands! Please let us know if you have any questions! Or even better, we did a live virtual class with Fiskars and Michaels talking all about working with brands and answering lots of great questions!