I am a young entrepreneur and business owner, mostly selling products via the company website, driven through word of mouth. I would really like to expand business outside of my home state. What would be an effective way to attract customers from all over the country?


Esther's Secret


In visiting your website, you seem to be marketing your jewelry based on two things: the attractiveness and quality of your handmade items, and your personal story.

For the first part, you seem to have nice photos and descriptions of the product, so the customer can fully understand what you are offering — at that point the product needs to fit the "style" of the visitor.

Regarding your story, some might see focusing on that as a risk, but it could also be an opportunity.

Depicting yourself as a teenage businesswoman is only a sales hook until you grow out of it, and the direct positioning of your personal faith could turn off some potential buyers.

However, the answer to your question may lie in leveraging your personal commitments to others who feel similarly. You are not marketing to everyone in the country, but primarily to people who appreciate both the aesthetics of your product and what each represents.

Extend your "word-of-mouth" tactic by focusing on developing visibility for your products with online social media leaders who align with your faith (message). This may require sending out some samples to those people, and reaching out to get them talking about the look and quality.

Once you generate enough revenue to invest in additional marketing, you might consider advertising on faith-oriented websites, and even developing promotions with nationally recognized organizations with whom you see alignment of views.

About the author

Mike Porter is director of the Master of Business Communication program at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.