Thursday, January 7, 2016

Independant Fashion Business & The Power of Google Plus

Having been in the fashion industry for nearly a decade managing and running notable brands , I took some time off to have a baby and during that time I was able to focus on my art and designs. I have been designing and painting for as long as I can remember. It has been a passion a driving force in my life. Having my son was some much needed motivation and courage to go ahead dive in take the scary plunge of running my own business. The Odd Portrait was born of a desire and lack of my own odd fashion sense and not seeing or not being able to afford my style. During my pregnancy and being couch ridden for months I got some inspiration from  post apocalyptic films, music and a anti mainstream little streak of rebellion running through my veins. I started out doing a lot of day of the dead jewelry to go with my paintings then slowly evolved it into a little more bold edgy rocker style. It has been a long road of evolution for me as a person and a designer.
I started out as most do and did the whole Etsy thing which for me was not all that successful. So I started over took everything down and decided to focus on building my social media. I was listing on Etsy daily, and had some really great unique products, but it just didn't seem to be reaching anybody. Then I did like probably most all of you do, and research a little bit on how to get some traffic. It seems that every article I read either had ten different lists of advice, or just a re-shuffled version of the last one. In fact it clicked with me, that they were getting clicks by telling people how to get clicks. But what does that really mean though if you are following the same 10 step guideline that millions of others are doing. You are not really moviing forward out of the pack, instead just dragging your feet into a new position or place along with everybody else. So staying with the pack is good, instead of falling behind, but not great. With Etsy you can pay to re-list all of your products every single day , or you used to, to stay ahead in the search traffic, which was one method, among a few others that required paying. But when starting out who has the cash flow to spend double what your product costs on marketing when nobody might buy it? The hole you are digging just gets deeper it seems.
First I started with Instagram. It has been a very good platform and a needed one for my business and exposure as an emerging designer and artist although I have been at it for over 12 years. I am a late bloomer what can I say. Then it all grew from there with my designs ready and website built we launched. You would think that was good right o nooo . There is o much more to it. The things one has to learn to be an e-commerce shop. It is really nearly enough to make one want to quit the ins the outs it is a lot. My modest instagram account was by no way any where near close to being any significant means to my online site nor was myfacebook or my pinterest or my twitter and tumblr even flicker ! I was becoming overwhelmed with how many pieces to the puzzle of online traffic. I need a clone just to manage and post on all of these accounts. After all social media marketing is the best free way to reach people, customers, and clients, right? But then I have to engage, follow back, respond, ensure I dont have duplicate content, oops, I posted that picture already accidentally, damnit.
We will save SEO and all that other stuff for another time. This is one key or pieces to my business puzzle I over looked. I had a google plus account of course because it is run by google I built it up not by much by far this has been the toughest one to do but after I started making some headway as in like 40 followers or so I neglected the fact that it was not a google plus business page my bad. Google plus business page ranking is a determining factor in making sure your business gets seen. After all Google being the giant of search engine traffic that they are, why would it not make sense to start with the easiest and free service they offer. They have to reward those who use their service over another's correct?
Where Google My Business is a great place to start where it really shines is when you have a physical location ( ie : suite number, brick and mortar, physical address ) Google will send you a postcard in the mail. I think they say something like 5-7 business days, but I have always seen them come out much sooner. You enter the code to verify your address and there you go, plugged right in. This helps with locator services, maps, and will really boost your local traffic. Adding in a phone number, hours of operation, and gaining page ranking are all beneficial factors.
By Ariana Deats
Designer Owner of The Odd Portrait