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Blog + Business Tips,Productivity

How to Organize Your Shop or Boutique

Ready to get your shop or boutique organized? Click to read my three tips on how I keep track of inventory.

Jewelry displays. Signs. Table cloths. Inventory. Just a few of the many items to keep track of while running your shop or boutique. It can be hard to keep track of it all, but once you do — sweet salvation!

When I took over my cousin’s boutique at the end of last year, I found myself overwhelmed with clothing, accessories, wholesale accounts, social media posts and website updates. It can be hard to stay on top of it all, but after a few trial and errors, I found tips and tricks that work.

1. Determine A Storage Space That Works For You And Your Products

Determine how much inventory you have along with any materials that you use to make or ship your products. Once you have a general idea of that inventory, look at the space around you and see what you can already utilize. Figure out the best place to store your products — is at your house or apartment, a studio or co-working space or maybe you need to rent a nearby storage area. Make sure that wherever you end up storing your products, you can easily reach it when comes to fulfill orders.

Once you figure out where you can store your products, determine what is the best way to store them. Personally, for me, it’s with large storage containers. These contain my boutique’s products as well as shipping materials, signage and any other items I may need for my shop. However, maybe you need good set of drawers or racks or shelves for your products. It all depends on what you sell!

2. Stay On Top Of Your Space With Labels, Hangtags and Stickers

Labels are a saving grace! Especially if you can’t determine what products are where at first glance. I store my products in containers that aren’t see through, so it’s important to keep each container labeled properly.

When it comes to my actual products, I personally like to have my products pre-labeled with the regular price of the product. That way if a last minute sidewalk sale or vendor event pops up, my products are already labeled for a sale.

Search around for the best organization tools that work for you! That may mean labels or stickers, hangtags or signage.

3. Keep Track Of It All With A Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets have been a dream come true for me. You can use either Excel or Google Spreadsheets to create your own. I use Google Spreadsheets because it’s cloud base so I can access it wherever, whenever and don’t have to worry about always keeping the most recent copy in Dropbox.

I use a spreadsheet to not only keep track of my inventory, but to also keep track of my product names, descriptions, prices and more. Spreadsheets are super easy to use to keep track of everything in one place! Basically, once you have the basis of a spreadsheet, you can then customize it to fit your needs, which is what I did with the Ultimate Inventory Tracker.

Keeping your shop or boutique organized is a breeze once you get your system down. Figuring out storage, keeping everything (and I mean everything) labeled and tracking it all with a spreadsheet has been my no-fail system. Make sure to check out the Ultimate Inventory Tracker to easily organize your boutique or shop!

 

Blog + Business Tips,Productivity

How To Get Back Into Your Business After Taking A Break

Decided to take a break from your business and now you're ready to come back? Click through to read my three tips on how to get back into your business after taking a break.

This blog post is hitting close to home because, well you guys, the last time I wrote a blog post was in October. October! That’s crazy! But I’m getting my stuff together to get back into blogging, back into our Facebook group, my second business and well just back at it.

It’s true everybody needs a break every once in a while. That’s why bosses give you a vacation, isn’t it? Truth is — I was feeling uninspired and unmotivated with the content I was creating (amongst other things) and I thought a break was much needed. Plus I started a second business, which needed my attention!

Now that I’m getting back into my blog, my second business and Facebook group while juggling my full time job and personal life, I’m all about figuring out that balance. Here’s a few tips to help you stay balance while you get back into your business.

1. Plan it out.

I literally sat with my planner about a month ago and decided when my comeback day was going to be. Once I figured out a date, I wanted to figure out exactly what I wanted to do as in what kind of content I wanted to share. And exactly what I wanted to focus on by looking at my Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram and my Facebook group and my blog… are you as tired as I am now?

What you focus on your for your business is totally up to you! Social media platforms that work for me may not work for you and vice versa. So now you’ll most see me on Instagram, Snapchat and in my Facebook group. I will be blogging, but not on a weekly basis like I used to, which brings me to next tip.

For your shop, maybe you look at your inventory and see what is selling the best and what isn’t selling well and decide from there. Or maybe you decide your boutique should be focusing on certain social media platforms instead. Whatever the case may, plan it out.

2. Preach quality over quantity

I used to blog once a week and it was great! I love writing (Fun fact: I’m a former Journalism major.) and I love sharing my thoughts and expertise on certain topics. However, sometimes I struggled with what to write or how to express my thoughts. Some things are better said than written, I suppose.

So while I get back into blogging consistently again, I’ve set a goal for one blog post a month. I want to make sure I’m giving you guys the BEST content I can and that may not mean a weekly blog post.

That said, I wanted a way to connect with you guys on a more personal level to bring you more quality content. I find that occurs more in my Facebook group and in live short videos through Instagram stories and Snapchat.

Again, the platforms I’m focusing on may not the ones you should be focusing on. My challenge to you is to bring quality content to your audience, whether that means fewer promotions, but ones that have more meaning or posting less but better content on social media.

3. Be kind to yourself

I was listening to Episode 20 of the Market Beautifully podcast, which is all about managing your business while working a full time job. This is so me, you guys! Something that was reiterated by Haley and Tisa was to give yourself some grace.

To me, that means things don’t always go according to plan. A task that you thought would only take you a few hours may take you several days because you have other things on your plate — family, work, friends, etc. Rather than beating yourself up about it, be kind to yourself.

You may have a plan to photograph and edit your new inventory, write product descriptions and launch it all on your website in one night when in reality you can only allot time to photograph your products. And that’s ok! It all goes back to my first tip – plan it out. Figure out a schedule that works for you to work efficiently.

If you’ve been taking a break from your business and thinking about jumping back in the saddle, I hope these tips help get back at it!

Blog + Business Tips,Guest Post

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Your About Me

Not sure what to include on your website's about me page? Click through to read Christina from The Social Butterfly Gal's guest post all about the dos and don'ts of writing your about me.
Guest Post by Christina Ochoa of The Social Butterfly Gal

 

The about me section on your blog is one of the most important pages ever. Think about it. When someone lands on your blog, the next thing they are going to do after they read a post is go to a page where they can learn more about you. The about me section is the one place where you can state who you are, what you do & who are you’re targeting, pretty powerful stuff, don’t you think? So when it comes to crafting the about me on your website/blog, here are some dos and don’t’s to consider.

 

Do Tell Your Story

Your about me should express who you are and what you do in a professional and authentic style. Getting a little personal in your bio isn’t bad at all. For example, on my bio, I share with my audience my journey in my background section. In a brief paragraph, I share how I started my journey in digital media in 2000 with AOL. Sharing the intimate details of my journey helps potential followers, clients, etc. relate to me. Your story is the thing that separates you from the crowd. Don’t forget to tell it!

 

Don’t Use a Selfie

Your potential clients/ followers need to build their trust in you before they consider working with you or following you. That applies big time to the pictures you use. Whatever you do, don’t use a selfie! Professional headshots are always the way to go! Don’t have a headshot? Grab a friend and ask if they could take one for you.

 

Do Include an Email Address

Make sure you include an email address that you check regularly. If you’re going to add a contact form, still include an email address. Another blogger might want to get in touch with you for another reason. From personal experience, I’ve stumbled across many websites that only had a contact form. I had to do some extra digging to find their email address and ended up spending way too much of my time looking for it. DON’T be that person who only has a contact form!

 

Don’t forget to humanize your brand

Humanizing your brand is important. If you’re active on Instagram, include an Instagram reel. If you Snap, include your Snapchat code. I use Instagram & Snapchat to share exclusive behind the scenes pictures/video of my business & a little of my personal life. Showing some personality on your about me is a great way for potential followers/ clients to see the real you.

 


 

13256412_10204698510582394_6103769091999929260_nABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Christina Ochoa, founder of The Social Butterfly Gal. My mission to help creative entrepreneurs build powerful digital strategies so their brand soars. My goal is not to live to work but to be passionate about the work that I do; to inspire, empower and help others on a daily basis.

Keep up with Christina! WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat!

Blog + Business Tips,Guest Post

11 Free SEO Tools To Help You Get Found

Looking to get your boutique or shop's website and products found online? Then you need to checkout these 11 free SEO tools that will your boutique and shop get discovered on the internet. Written by my friend Haley Burkhead from maraburkes.com.

Guest Post by Haley of maraburkes.com

 

All of these fantastic tools are 100% free which is awesome because free fits right into everyone’s budget! These tools are super helpful for different aspects of search engine optimization and I don’t want anyone to miss out on it. SEO is vital to a successful business or blog because SEO is what gets you found through Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine. Google ranks each website and deems the site as either high quality or low quality based on a variety of factors. A crazy amount of people are on search engines like Google every single day. So go grab yourself some FREE tools that way some of those people can be led straight to you!

 

1. Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. With this plugin, it makes it easier to write better content, add meta tags, analyze pages, manage technical SEO settings, upload XML sitemaps, have RSS optimization, and enable breadcrumbs. It’s a fantastic plugin that truly gives fantastic results.

2. Google Trends

With this website, you can plug in key words and analyze the trends as well as compare a trend to another key word. This can help with picking key words in blog posts that are being commonly searched.

3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner

This one used to be free, and I believe it is still free to certain individuals that used to use it (or so I am told)? Honestly, this is a fantastic tool but there are other keyword planner’s out there without all the hassle from Google that are definitely worth checking out as well!

4. Robots.txt Tester

This tool simply tests the txt file. Yet another useful tool that is super easy. Just upload the txt file and you’re good to go! This site does all the work for you.

5. HTML/XHTML Validator

Easy way to validate HTML / XHTML documents. And below is the link the validate the CSS files!

6. CSS Validator

Drop your code’s style sheets off here to validate them! Super easy and very convenient.

7. Google Page Speed Insights

Maybe your website loads fast on your computer but what about someone else’s computer? Or better yet, what does Google think about your site speed? With this tool, you can get into the head of Google and see what it deems your site speed. You want to score 70 or higher but the majority of people who have entered their site on Google’s Page Speed tool have not gotten to a 70. Or even a 6o for that matter.

8. Mobile Friendly Tool

You may think you’re site is mobile friendly. But you need to make sure Google recognizes your website as mobile friendly. An easy way of doing this is popping your site URL into the box and Google tells you what it is

9. Google Analytics

Let’s face it. Google analytics is a great tool that furthers that whole “I conquer anything, especially this business” mindset. But Google analytics is a fantastic way of crackin’ down on some SEO.

10. Structured Data Testing Tool

This tool helps you maintain + make sure that your site presence on Google is still top notch. No need to slip away in the search results!

11. All in One SEO Pack

Automatically optimizes your site for search engines. How easy peasy!

By increasing your SEO with all these crazy awesome tools your going to see a major spike in traffic, sales, and engagement. Search engine optimization is crucial for success and many companies hire at least one person that specializes in this sort of thing to make sure their site is up to date for Googles standard every second. It’s important.

And since it is so important, I don’t want you to miss on it!

 


 

 

12654568_584951691654124_8661934952257543146_nABOUT THE AUTHOR
Haley, a yorkie obsessed fur mom, is the owner + creative director of Mara Burkes Creative! Web design is a major source of happiness in her life, which is why she got her college degree in the subject. Keep up with Haley and her web design and SEO knowledge over on her blog.

Follow her on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

 

 

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Blog + Business Tips,Social Media

Why It’s Important to Participate in Social Media Holidays

 

Think those national social media holidays are silly? Think again! They help with brand awareness and sales or promotions. Click through to read more on why you should be participating in social media holidays.

 

#NationalDonutDay
#NationalCoffeeDay
#NationalWineDay

Who the heck cares about these social media holidays? More than you think. These “holidays” are becoming an integral part of business’s marketing and brand awareness strategy, especially on social media. I know what you’re thinking — “I thought National Donut Day was just something fun, to get people hyped about donuts and share pictures on Instagram.” Exactly.

Businesses of all types from donut shops to coffee shops to boutiques are participating in these, what I like to call, social media holidays for a reason, well for a few reasons actually.

3 Reasons Why Brands Participate in Social Media Holidays

1. Brand Awareness
Let’s take the holiday Flip Flop Day on June 17th. I’m a huge flip flop fan so I can think of several flip flops I like. Not going to lie, but one of my favorite classic summer flip flops of all time are the Old Navy brand flip flops. You know, they come in a variety of colors and have no crazy embellishments so you can wear them to the beach or wear them on your date night. I’m all about simplicity.

Knowing that Flip Flop Day is coming soon and how popular Old Navy flip flops already are with society, Old Navy can start planning social media posts for that one day. Getting three high-quality pictures to share on Instagram and everywhere else on social media is all they need to get started.

Even a few days before, they can start promoting the holiday. How? By telling their customers to snap a picture of themselves wearing Old Navy flip flops, using the hashtag #NationalFlipFlopDay and tagging Old Navy in their photos for a chance for their customer’s photos to be reposted. And bam! Old Navy just went from having 3 pre-planned Instagram photos to thousands of photos that can be continuously shared.


2. Customer Service and Interaction

If you caught this post, then you know I believe social media is a MAJOR form of customer service. Funny, right? But more and more customers (both current and potential) are starting to turn to social media to interact with brands as opposed to e-mails. So use this to your advantage!

Exactly like we talked about with Old Navy earlier — they are able to connect with their customers by encouraging them to use the hashtag #NationalFlipFlopDay and tagging Old Navy. They can take this one step further by holding a contest for a gift card or for flip flops in every color available that season.

Encouraging customers to share photos of your brand also encourages the communication between the brand and customer (this is super important, people!). By communicating with current customers and potential customers, it opens the doors for more fans and sales, which leads me to my next reason.

 

3. Boost Sales
Let’s still use Old Navy as an example. Did you also know June 18th is National Splurge Day? Oh, yeah — a guilt-free day of splurge shopping? Sign me up!

You can totally create a sale around a social media holiday. By participating in a popular social media holiday, your posts on social media are getting in front of potentially thousands of customers, both current and new. Take it one step further by also including your e-mail list in the fun promotion and you’ve got yourself something there.

 

BONUS! Collaboration Opportunity
This may be my favorite because I love collaborating with others! Yes, we’re still going to talk about Old Navy because why not. So Old Navy wants to promote National Flip Flop Day and their classic flip flops that come in every color known to mankind each summer. What better way to get further exposure than with a collaboration with a blogger or brand influencer. Collaborations with bloggers and brand influencers differ from one person to another, but what remains consistent is sending the product that you would want to be seen by others.

A tip for collaborating with bloggers and brand influencers — they are essentially becoming a face of your brand for a time period, so choose wisely. If you are a city-inspired company, then a beach-based blogger wouldn’t necessarily be an ideal fit now would it? But since Old Navy wants to show off their flip flops, a beach blogger would be perfect.

 

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