The Coaching Team caught up with Val S., of Val Shops For You which operates in New York, to hear all about how she came to be successful in her Dumpling business as well as some of her best tips for other business owners.
Like many business owners Val started by shopping for Instacart during the pandemic but about a year ago transitioned to her own business. She loves being able to work when her daughter is in school while still being able to take extra time to ensure each client’s needs are met. Because she gives her clients her attention before and after their order (instead of just during like she was able to do on Instacart) she is able to really anticipate their needs and build a strong trust with them. She prides herself on taking responsibility in her business to correct any mistakes and says, ‘I love my customers because they appreciate what I do and totally respect me. I’m lucky to have them too’. Her customers enjoy a concierge level of service and flexibility by being able to get all the items for the recipes they are shopping for, deliveries from multiple stores at once, while even having the ability to let go of their annual membership for club stores.
Tips for Growing Your Business On Instagram
The topic we were most excited to ask her about was social media advertising. Val’s Instagram is one of our favorite examples of showcasing personality within a small business. She has a knack for posting silly relatable content that is perfect for keeping her top of mind with people in her community. As Val told us, “If you’re too pushy they think ‘this person doesn’t care. She just wants to sell you something and that’s it’ so I have fun with it and showcase things I see in the store instead of just ‘Order this week’”. Many of her customers utilize no contact delivery so social media allows her to build on and maintain client relationships & trust, while reaching a wider audience much quicker than what she sees with physical marketing. While she makes it look easy she let us in on a secret – she was just as nervous to start social media marketing as the rest of us, particularly the content that showed videos or photos of her! We loved hearing about how she sought out extra support to push through that anxiety and now finds it as a source of fun and connection in her business. Gradually setting goals, such as doing more videos, is how she becomes comfortable with elevating her social media presence. Val suggests using all the features Instagram has to offer, such as reels & stories, and even using those to ask customers what kind of content they would like to see.
Tip: Create Special Holiday Offers that Incentivize Orders
Another great idea of Val’s has been holiday gift bags. She started implementing this service around Easter and now uses it to regularly engage with her community. She loves holidays and is able to put a lot of fun into these bags. She purchases the items in bulk and then sells the bags for a reasonable flat rate. Customers can purchase them to surprise a loved one in town. Oftentimes she ends up with new customers who see social media ads about these bags that later end up becoming regular grocery delivery customers. Sometimes she even ends up with bag recipients as customers!
The Most Important Thing- Communication!
One last tip that Val shared with us for new business owners was, “Communicate. Use all the channels of communication. Don’t be scared – talk to your customers! Show yourself the way you are!”. We couldn’t agree more!
To hear more of Val’s tips & tricks you can catch the recording of our interview with her here.