I recently had the honor of meeting Bill Tamminga on twitter! After chatting for a bit he asked if I would be up for an interview…SURE I was up for an interview! How cool is that! We had a great chat and here is the interview which is featured on his blog at A Crafty Lil Momma. Enjoy and please go and give Bill some love on his blog and on twitter @BillTamminga
February 24th, 2009 | Published in Marketing News and Tips
Jen Harris, CraftyLilMomma.com
One of the great things about blogging is that you get to interview all kinds of people and highlight some of the good that people are doing. Tonight I have the opportunity to shine a light on a friend and small business owner, Jen Harris. Jen started her business, Crafty Lil Momma, a couple years ago and it has grown steadily. She is a classic example of how a lot of people start a small business. Following is a portion of a the interview I was able to have with Jen today.
BT: Tell us a little bit about your business. What do you do? How long have you been doing it?
JH: I guess you could say my title is freelance designer. It all started when I was pregnant with my second son and I was making his birth announcements and I said outloud to myself “you’re one crafty little momma”… I giggled… the name stuck… and craftylilmomma was born! I do everything from birth announcements, to high-end wedding ensembles, to logos and business identity materials. I’ve been doing it for almost 3 years now and going strong!
BT: How much of your business comes from social media (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging efforts) in all? And what percentage comes from each of those individual sources?
JH: Most of my business comes from social media. I would say that at least 95% of my clients I met through MySpace, Twitter, or blogging. Before I got on twitter and started my blog, about 90% of my clients were from MySpace. I am also a member of two mommy networks (www.mompack.com and www.momsunitedinbusiness.com) and I get some business from there as well.
BT: Tell me more about how you conduct your marketing. Do you do any traditional marketing? Direct mail, newspaper/magazine ads, etc?
JH: I don’t do any “traditional” marketing. I have never put an ad in the paper or anything like that. I have a mailing list that I send Christmas cards out to. Sometimes I’ll add a coupon but that is rare. All of my advertising is on the internet or via word of mouth. I tend to let my work speak for me. And because I am a stay-at-home-mom and that is my priority over anything else, I honestly don’t want that much business just yet. Maybe when my children are in school I will have the time and resources to make it a full time business but right now my boys are very young and I need to spend as much time with them as possible. So it’s working well for me. I have built a wonderful client base and I stay as busy as I want to without cutting into my time with my family. I have been told many times that if I advertised more I would blow up and I wouldn’t be able to stop the orders from coming in. That’s a good thing for the future.
BT: Can you leave us with a few tips or best practices for online/social media marketing?
JH: The best thing I can say is that it will not happen overnight. It took me a long time to build up my list and get my name out there. I worked with businesses that complimented mine (in my case it was boutiques, photographers, wedding planners, etc.) to build my network. I don’t spam anyone. I make a point to showcase my talent on my sites.
I am open and honest with everyone and I believe that if you build an honest relationship with people they will trust you to do your job. A lot of my clients are moms just like me. I do my best to give my clients exactly what they want. For me it’s not about the money. I do it because I love it. I could quit tomorrow and it wouldn’t hurt us at all financially. I do it because I am passionate about design, I am proud of the finished product, and I love making people happy. I think my clients realize that and that’s why I have done so well on MySpace…I’m real, I’m passionate, and I honestly want to help them any way I can. That’s why I believe if social media advertising is done correctly, it is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Social media allows the client to see who you are and get to know aspects of your life that you can’t tell by going to a company website. The communication flows easier and its a friendlier than your typical business emails. It makes it feel more like you are doing a favor for a friend than conducting business…which to me is a huge plus.
BT: Thanks so much Jenny. You have done a great job laying the foundation for your business. This is solid information for anyone aspiring to venture out on their own.
JH: Thank you for having me.
There you have it. Jenny represents a huge percentage of business owners and I hope her information was helpful. Does she “get” social media? Does she know how to find early innovators? I would say that if 90% of your clients come from online networking, you’re probably doing something right with your small business. She’s poised to grow when the time is right.