Bev Schweigert, owner of Blessed Be Boutique, initially began her e-commerce adventure as a way to fund her mission trips. Bev’s faith-centered online jewelry store has grown through her efforts to learn new skills and through a careful curation of products.
Bev had worked as an office manager for 15 years, and after her children grew up she quit her office job and started doing mission trips. However, she needed a way to pay for these trips aside from the occasional fundraiser– thus the creation of Blessed Be Boutique. She found a program that helped her start a website on Shopify and taught her the basics. She started with a few items then gradually added to it. On one of her trips to Peru she met a man, Freddy, who was selling small crosses that his grandfather and uncle had cut out of wood so she bought some (200 to be exact), and the rest is history.
In this episode we will be talking about:
- The need to get good traffic on your website
- How to reach your target audience
- Selling what you’re passionate about
What do you wish you’d known before starting?
Bev wishes she’d known that it doesn’t matter how perfect your website is if people aren’t seeing it. She learned the importance of advertising and drawing people to her website through social media. After people started viewing her website, she thought that out of every 100 visitor 90 of them would buy something. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case– and was a hard lesson for Bev to learn. She got disheartened, but didn’t give up. Bev didn’t realize when starting out that in e-commerce, the percentage of people who actually make a purchase once they’ve visited her website is quite low. This did not stop her though, and her continued efforts to bring more people to her website resulted in more sales.
What advice would you give someone trying to reach their target audience?
By putting herself out there on various platforms, Bev has been able to connect with her target audience wherever they are. The audiences she was trying to reach primarily include Christian groups, young moms, and older women. She made her presence known in these groups throughout Facebook and other platforms– but didn’t try to sell to them. Instead, Bev focused on letting them get to know her, and gradually she had followers begin to flow in. Bev found social media success by being authentically herself. Another way she accomplished this is one I’ve seen many people forgo: plugging her business on her personal account. This worked really well because as people got to know and connect with Bev, they could see her business. At that point they’re either genuinely interested in the business or interested in supporting Bev.
What is some advice you would give to someone before they get started?
Bev strongly encourages everyone– before starting their business– to find what they’re passionate about. In her case, she knew she wanted to sell something to make money for her mission trips, but didn’t know what. It wasn’t until she realized that she could wear jewelry to easily portray her faith, that she focused on selling jewelry. She also recommends interacting with customers on a personal basis. Making good relationships with your customers can make them more loyal to your business because of their personal connection.