When they talk about “being your own boss,” they don’t usually also mention being your own supplier, accountant, marketer, social media manager or any of the other roles needed for running a business.
While launching and operating a business on your own can be a struggle to say the least, there are entrepreneurs who enjoy every aspect of running a business by themselves. What helps them do it all and not lose steam along the way?
We posed that question to Betsy Enzensberger, a renowned pop artist and the owner of a successful online business. Read her interview and take notes on how to make it in the ecommerce world as a creative.
Meet Betsy Enzensberger
Betsy Enzensberger is a California-based pop artist who has gained recognition in her field. She is well-known for her realistic, larger-than-life sculptures of dripping, frozen treats.
“I’m a fine artist. My specialty is creating colorful, nostalgic sculptures that bring people joy. I have been showing and selling my art through galleries worldwide for many years.”
You can see her sculptures at art galleries and various events around the world—in public and private art collections, as well on the internet and across social media.
A Demand for an Online Store
As Betsy’s popularity as an artist grew, so did the demand for her work. It became clear that she needed a solution to allow interested patrons to purchase her pieces.
“There have always been personal inquiries through my website or Instagram for available artwork. Rather than answering each inquiry I decided to open an online shop.”
Betsy chose Ecwid for her online store a couple of years back–she stumbled across a Black Friday offer at exactly the right time:
“It was impulsive, but it ended up being the best decision I’ve made for my business.”
The artist already had a website, so after signing up with Ecwid, she created an online store and added it to her website. Being a beginner in online selling, Betsy had to invest some time into learning how to harness the potential of her online store.
“I’m one of those people that loves to figure things out, so I have spent many hours discovering how Ecwid works, connecting all of my social media platforms, optimizing my Google connections, and creating a visually appealing shop site.”
Leveraging Multi-Channel Selling
Betsy’s customers are pop art lovers, mainly women between the ages of 25 and 45. Given that 25-34 year old women are one of the most active demographic groups of Instagram users, it’s not surprising that many customers find Betsy’s artwork on Instagram. That’s why Betsy connected her online store to her Instagram profile and linked her website in her bio.
There are a lot of customers who admire Betsy’s sculptures at art shows and later look for her website online. Adding an online store to her site allowed the artist to convert website visitors into customers.
“I usually have a flux of online sales each time I have a big art show. For example, last month I had a show in London which led to lots of international shipments.”
Notice that having an online store allows the artist to sell to customers across the world–that’s a massive advantage of building a digital presence.
As a sculptor, Betsy often works in her studio. She enjoys inviting art collectors to stop by to see her work in person. They often end up buying it—either right there, or later with a visit to her online store:
“In my studio, I have everything from the small work (that’s listed in my store) to 6-foot tall sculptures. Lots of people will browse my collection and then buy the art later from my online store.”
Marketing the Product Online
Can a small business owner market their own product? Betsy proves it’s possible with the right tools when you take some time to understand how they work.
Apart from the online store on her website, Betsy uses a lot of other Ecwid tools to market and sell her products online:
She enabled Facebook and Instagram Shopping, so that customers can buy her products right from her Facebook and Instagram business pages. She connected her store to Google Shopping so that her products are visible to customers through Google Search and the Google Shopping tab. She set up a signup form on her website with Ecwid’s Mailchimp integration to collect addresses of site visitors and reach out to them with offers and news later. She enabled TikTok Shopping to sell her products right in her TikTok profile and tag her products in TikTok videos.
We bet you can guess Betsy’s favourite tool: Instagram Shopping. It turns out her customers also love it:
“My number one tool is Instagram Shopping. Being able to tag products makes it so much easier for people to buy. By tagging products on Instagram and Facebook, I hoped to increase sales, but also make it easier for people to navigate to my shop. Both of these goals were achieved.”
When it comes to new tools, the artist isn’t afraid to test something out even if she doesn’t consider herself an expert on the platform. For example, Betsy noticed the rising popularity of TikTok and decided to explore how she could leverage the app for her online store:
“My weakness is marketing, but I get very excited when I’m able to figure things out, like the new TikTok Shopping. Honestly, I hardly even understand TikTok, but I was able to connect my Ecwid store to my TikTok account. Small wins.”
Running a Business on Her Own
Looking at Betsy’s website and social media profiles, it’s hard to believe that she manages her online business (in addition to, you know, making her own art!) without delegating the work to anyone.
“I am my one and only employee. I create all the artwork myself, I do the shipping, accounting, marketing… EVERYTHING. It’s a lot, but I really do enjoy all aspects of running a business.”
She admits that running all operations herself can be quite challenging. However, she’s not overwhelmed by the amount of work. She prefers to break it down into manageable pieces and work towards each task step by step.
“I come across challenges on a daily basis. From the creation process itself to trying to figure out the Instagram algorithm, I take each challenge one at a time. My number one concern is creating a quality product. Sales and success are simply bonuses.”
What helps her run business smoothly? You might’ve already noticed that Betsy is eager to explore new tools and trends that can benefit her online store and give her business a boost. Keeping up with the latest trends and constantly learning is what makes her entrepreneurial life rewarding.
“I always read the ‘tips’ that Ecwid emails to subscribers and they are very helpful. As the online world evolves, Ecwid evolves with it. These emails are very helpful for explaining the new trends.”
A Few Lessons from Betsy
Not only was Betsy able to create original, memorable sculptures, but she also managed to market her product to a large audience all by herself:
“To me, success is making people smile through my art. If I can get my work into people’s homes more easily, then I feel I’ve achieved my goal.”
How can a new online seller learn from Betsy’s experience? Let’s sum up the keys to her success:
Make it easy for customers to find your product where they spend time. Does your target audience hang out on TikTok? Create a profile there and link your store in bio. Or, even better–connect your TikTok profile to Ecwid and display your products right in your profile. Take time to learn more about online selling. But don’t stop there–it’s important to keep learning as your business grows to implement the best practices for your store. Stay tuned to current trends by subscribing to blogs about ecommerce such as the Ecwid Blog. Or, check out Ecwid’s “Build Your Business” Academy to enroll for free courses on online selling. Test different tools to find the best solutions for your business. Don’t be afraid to try new tools even if they seem complicated at first. Do your research and if it looks like something your store can benefit from, test it! And if you need any help with your Ecwid store–just reach out to our Customer Care team. Strive for multi-channel selling. People shop everywhere these days: on websites, social media, marketplaces, in brick-and-mortar stores. Don’t limit yourself to just one way of selling, and take your products to the platforms your target audience loves the most.
Share Your Story on the Ecwid Blog
In the “Success Stories” section of our blog, we publish the real-life stories of small business owners who run their online stores with Ecwid. Here you can get to know fellow merchants and learn from first-hand experience. Have an Ecwid store and want to share your story on our blog? Here’s how to do it.