It's hard to resist smiling after browsing Robin "Birdy" Brown's Etsy store. The Milwaukee artist's collection of pop-inspired prints and illustrations are clever, whimsical and the perfect fit to brighten up your home.
But as she was looking to grow her business, Brown ran into a problem. How could she proactively let her customers know about her upcoming events as well as continue to grow her online presence? As she explained, "I can only provide my customers with so much information on Etsy."
Fortunately, she found the perfect solution with Weebly. Below are some tips and advice from Brown on how she used Weebly to bring BIRRDDY to life in professional way.
Drag and Drop Keeps Things Simple
For Brown, it was important to have a platform that was customizable and easy to use. "I had worked with a developer in the past and even had a site custom coded for me," Brown says, "and while I loved the unique customization of that, I needed something I could easily have access to."
The intuitive drag and drop functionality of Weebly lets her make simple changes very quickly, while also allowing the flexibility to do custom coding if needed. An added benefit of having her own online store is its native eCommerce capabilities, which Brown eventually plans to use as she transitions away from Etsy for direct sales.
Content is Key
In addition to general information about her products, Brown's website features a blog called Makers Gonna Make, which is all about maker culture and features interviews with other artists and entrepreneurs.
For Brown, having a blog is not only personally fulfilling, but an important part of her overall content marketing strategy. As she explains, "Content is key. Make sure you have a compelling story and relevant information for your customers to find on your website. Simply having the site live isn't enough to generate sales, gain customers or build your email following. Devote time to creating valuable, unique content for your followers."
The blog is also valuable for supporting Brown's SEO and social media marketing. "I link to my website via social media and often promote my blog posts via Instagram and Facebook to drive traffic back to the site, and by extension to my store."
Consider the Customer
When Brown was first considering a new website, she was concerned that there wouldn't be enough content to justify having a separate website from her Etsy store and social channels. But as she looked at the limitations of her existing online presence, she realized there was a lot of value in having a website, if only because it gave her another opportunity to connect with her customers.
Brown knew that not every customer is going to actively visit her store or follow her on social media, so "having another way for customers to get into contact with me and stay in touch, via my email newsletter sign-up is invaluable."
Pull the Trigger
While Brown was a little nervous about building her own website, she ultimately decided the benefits far outweighed any potential risk. As she simply states, "the knowledge that I could build more brand awareness and drive views to my Etsy page made me finally take the jump."
With eCommerce services like Weebly available, there are almost no barriers to getting started with a great website. As long as you know that your first website won't be perfect and are prepared to make adjustments as needed, you'll be fine.