Social Businesses – Home Based Businesses that Made it Big with Social Media Vol.2

Amy’s Fancy Faces

Amy Kulak runs a home based business out of her home in McKinney, Texas, though her artwork can be found as far away as Ohio. Amy is a talented painter and her business is built on her skills with a brush and paint. Amy's Fancy Faces 2- sign

Amy is often asked to paint signs, murals and of course, the task that her business is named for, face painting. She is often called upon to create original signs, wedding and baby shower gifts. Amy painting faces2

Amy used to have her own website, but decided for her purposes, a Facebook page did what she needed as far as marketing and her own page was no longer necessary, as she was not heavily e-commerce. She just used the site to market her skills, and in the end Facebook was faster, more efficient and easier to update herself.  Screenshot, amy's Fancy facesIn  the future, if Amy decided to grow her business in an e-com direction, it would be a great idea to set up an e-commerce site, but for the scope of what she does now, she has been able to utilize social media and gain all the business she can handle.

I asked Amy a few questions about how she promotes her business using social media:

“Currently I am only using Facebook to promote my business.
I previously had my own website and have seen a significant increase since switching to Facebook. Odds are almost everyone I know or have done work for are already on Facebook everyday so by me simply posting pics of what I am currently working on it keeps me on their newsfeed and in the forefront of their minds when they need to order their next baby shower, wedding or special occasion sign. It’s perfect for me and best of all, it’s free! Also, when people order signs it gives me the opportunity (if they are local) to talk to them on delivery or pick up about bigger jobs such as murals.
Social media is perfect for me because I am a busy mom who homeschools and I don’t really have the extra time to put into marketing. Facebook allows others to see my work, comment on it and order easily with little or no effort on my part. It allows me to be a business owner and a full time mom and still manage to catch a few hours of sleep every night. I am a “one man band” for the business so the name of the game is to reach as many people as possible, keep costs low and do it in the most timely fashion as to not take away time from the actual painting/making the product or the family!”

Kari’s Kitchen karis cookies

Kari Willoughby is a TKGer, or that is, the wife of our esteemed PW – VP of Operations around here. Kari is famous in this area (and around the country, too – it seems she is always shipping her delicious cookies somewhere!) for her scrumptious sugar cookies, made using her Grandma Hulda’s recipe.

Kari has a lovely site where you can order cookies, take a look at what she has done in the past, and drool a little bit. But, a lot of her orders come right from social media. She has done a fantastic job promoting her business on Facebook and more recently, Instagram, which of course is perfectly suited to a business which puts out photos of such delicious treats, it makes you want to place an order! Kari's Kitchen FB pageI recently sat down (virtually) Kari and asked her how social media has impacted Kari’s Kitchen and how she leverages it to promote her business.

1. What social media platforms are you currently using to promote your business? My Kari’s Kitchen website and my KK’s facebook page; I also joined Instagram but I don’t have too many followers at this point.

2. A. Do you feel that these platforms have increased your business’ scope? Oh my yes! A HUGE yes!!!! 

Kari's cookiesB.Do you feel as though you are getting more jobs due to using social media to promote your business? Yes, yes, yes! Facebook seems to be the new “word of mouth”.

3. If you are using more than Facebook, which platform do you feel has the greatest reach for your business? I would love to try Pinterest for the business but I think that would overwhelm me at this point. Not sure if Instagram will grow my business like FB has…too early to tell.

4. Have you been featured in any traditional media? (newspaper, radio, etc.) Yes, in the newspaper.  (Kari was featured in the Canton Repository several years ago, and her business got a good boost from the article.)

5. Have you been featured on a blog of any sort? If so, do you have a link to that post? No blog at this point, and have not been featured on anyone else’s.

6.Why do you think social media is a good fit for your business? It’s a huge fit for my business- I’ve had friends with other businesses recommend me on their FB pages as well; since my business is a consumable product people run out and need more. It helps when friends comment and then it’s automatically shared with friends of friends and the list goes on and on….

7.How much time do you spend in a week promoting your business on various social media platforms? Depends on my cookie week- if I have many orders during one week, I’ll try to take a photo and promote that order. If it hasn’t been too busy, I’ll try and find a cookie quote or funny cookie story to put on the page. On average just a few hours per week. And just being a business of one, I can’t have too much business or I’ll go nuts!

8.Or, are you purely an organic user – you allow social media to do the ‘talking” for you (as it should be to a certain extent) – do you just allow others to post and comment on your work, or do you actively promote? I think I was doing the “self promoting” in the past- but the business has grown BIG TIME in the past 6 months and my customers are doing all the “cheer-leading” for me. It’s such a blessing to say that in my ENTIRE KK business career, I’ve never had to go out and get the business- it’s all come my way and that is such a blessing from God! I don’t know of any business that is able to say that!!!

As you can see from my “chat” with Kari, her business has grown by “word of mouth” or Facebook post, as the case may be. Both Kari and Amy have as much work as they are able to do on their own, mainly due to promoting their businesses on social media platforms. It doesn’t hurt that both of these ladies are incredibly talented and have so much to offer their clients. Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy and similar sites have allowed a lot of home based business owners to start, run, promote and grow their businesses with very little or no cost in marketing or promotion. “Back in the day”  a lot of women ran home based businesses, and they were often successful, spreading the word through neighbors, church and other “social platforms”. Social media has changed the way we spread the word though. It is faster, more efficient and I think often these home based businesses grow faster than the owner was expecting.

Do you have a home based business? If so, what methods are you using to promote it?

 

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