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Girl-Preneur Power #4: Doing Business Online

The following is a transcript for Girl-Preneur Power, episode 4. For the video and more resources, visit http://girlpreneurpower.com.


Welcome to Girl-Preneur Power, a short series that teaches you how to run your own kid-business!

I'm Stacia Guzzo and in this episode, we're going to be talking about getting your business online.

In the first episode of this series, we talked about the benefits and the challenges of running a kid-business. And in the second episode, we talked about how to price your products. In last week's episode, we talked about ways to get the word out about your new business.

And if you missed any of them, you can check them out at http://www.girlpreneurpower.com.

Today, I'm excited to share some information with you about ways to get the word out about your product online and maybe even create a shop online to sell it.

One very important thing to note: According to the Child Online Privacy Protection Act, if you're under 13 years old, your parents need to be in charge of posting anything online on your behalf. But if you're a minor, it's probably a good idea to have your parents involved somehow in this process.

Now, let's talk about why it's important for your business to have some sort of online presence. Virtually all businesses these days are online somehow. But it's up to you how much you want to manage and what you want to do for your business to get that word out online.

For example, you might notice that I'm not in my studio today. I'm actually at my parents' house which is three hours away from the studio where we normally film these episodes of Girl-Preneur Power.

The reason that I'm here is because this weekend we're doing a show for my business, Handcrafted HoneyBee. But I don't have to shut down my business. In fact, nobody even really needs to know that I'm away from my studio. Business is still going on as usual. Why? Because my business has a presence online.

Option 1: Create a Simple Webpage

The first option you have in getting the word out about your business online is just to create a simple webpage.

You can have a webpage that tells different things about your business:

  • about you
  • about your processes
  • pictures of your product
  • events you'll be at so that people know where they can find you and where they can purchase your products next

My recommendation for a simple service like this is a program called Weebly. You can find it at http://weebly.com

Weebly can create a simple website for you. In fact, I've used it several times and I've been very happy with it.

It creates beautiful templates, and you can just drag-and-drop information. It's free. And they'll even give you a domain name that you can use so don't have to buy a new domain name for your business. To use Weebly, you need to be 13 years old.

Option 2: Create a Blog

Another option that's available to help you get the word out about your business online is to create a blog.

Now a blog can be a really fun way to get the word out about your business because it gives people real-time updates about what's going on behind the scenes.

You can:

  • talk about new products that you're working on
  • talk about things that have been happening in your business
  • talk about where you're going to be next
  • post new pictures of the business in action
  • post pictures of you making your products

Blogs give you a lot of liberty, a lot of freedom to be able to communicate with people and give people insights of what's going on behind the scenes.

Now one option is that you can add a blog straight to your Weebly site. That's super easy.

But if you're looking for a different type of blog host there are a ton of options out there as well. And we'll have them in a list on the girlpreneurpower.com website under the "Episode 4" tab.

A few options out there include:

  • Wix
  • SquareSpace
  • Tumblr
  • Medium
  • Blogger

All of them have a little bit of a different feel. So my suggestion would be that you should shop around and see which one fits you and the way that you work the best.

Option 3: Selling Online

A third option is to sell your products online. It's a great way to sell your products without actually having to be there in person.

To sell your products online, I suggest opening an Etsy shop to start.

Etsy is a fantastic platform and it's easy to use for the beginning seller. To use Etsy, you need to be at least 18 years old, so if you're under 18, you might need the help of a parent or guardian.

You'll also need a bank account to transfer the money you make. This might mean opening your own bank account for your business specifically. And that's something that also might be a good idea to have a little bit of involvement from your parents.

Setting up an Etsy shop is simple. In fact, we just did this with our 5 year-old. He decided that he wanted to sell handmade capes to celebrate kids' talents & gifts. So we set up the shop, we took the pictures and uploaded the products, and we set up a bank account with him.

You can easily set up your own Etsy shop as well. Each product costs 20 cents to list, and then Etsy takes a small transaction fee for each purchase that people make, as part of the value of providing a platform for you to sell.

One thing that's really important when you're selling online is to upload quality pictures. That's something that I want you to keep in mind when you're setting up your website. Your pictures should be clear and bright, but it's also something you can have a lot of fun with.

Look at some of the other sellers that you find online and check out the pictures that speak most to you. Why do they resonate with you? See if you can duplicate those types of pictures with your own product photography.

Another thing that you should think about is the descriptions that you put for your products. How do you describe your products in a way that will help people imagine what they're like in person?

For the lip balm business that we were talking about in the previous episodes, we have ice cream flavors for each of the lip balms. What adjectives would we use for those lip balms to help people understand exactly how good they smell and how sweet they taste?

These are the sorts of things I'd like you to think about when describing your products in the written word online.

A Little Note About Social Media

Virtually every business out there has some sort of social media presence. But I'm going to suggest that before you grab those social media handles, you dip your toe in the water a little bit by posting to a blog for a month.

See if you can do it continuously. See if you enjoy uploading the pictures, posting about the process, communicating with people who are interested. If you are, then creating those social media handles on whatever social media platform you feel most comfortable with might be a good idea.

The benefits of having a social media presence are the same as the benefits of having a blog or a website. It helps people know what you sell and where to find you.

But wherever you decide to post about your products, I recommend that you have a parent or a trusted adult as a co-administrator. The reason being that, if you get into any sort of online situation that makes you uncomfortable, you have an advocate that's there to help.

Now the rules for your social media posts are the same as for your product descriptions. Use clear, well-lit pictures and use descriptive posts. You can also include posts about your processes, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and upcoming events that you'll be taking part in.

But remember: for your business page, stick to business. No posts about your latest meal. And no posts about your cat, no matter how cute she is.

In the next episode, I'm going to be talking about smart ways to use that awesome profit you've been making.

For notes from this episode, plus a free downloadable PDF that will talk you through all of your online options, head on over to http://www.girlpreneurpower.com We'll see you there, and we'll see you next time!

 

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