Episode 151: Show Notes
We are very excited to welcome Shunta Grant as our guest on today’s show. Shunta is the creator of Because of Zoe Designs, host of The Business Life & Joy podcast and business educator teaching entrepreneurs how to build and grow successful businesses that keep customers coming back. Leaving the practice of law for full-time entrepreneurship, Shunta is an ardent advocate for enterprising women who want to take control of their lives by turning their talents and abilities into a satisfying, profitable businesses.
Are you looking to turn your passion into a business? Or looking for new way to energize your company? Shunta is a great example of approaching your goals with purpose and clarity. To say the least, we know our listeners will find her inspiring. Shunta teaches entrepreneurs how to confidently prioritize their life while still putting in the work that is necessary to see tangible and measurable results. No matter what your personal brand or goals are, if you are serious about success, this episode is for you!
Turning Her Daughter’s Instagram into Her Business
The first time Shunta publicly posted her bows was on an Instagram account she was using to sell her daughter’s old baby clothes, “Zoe’s Gram Closet”. After a very warm response to the pictures she posted and an initial batch of stock being sold very quickly, Shunta realized she may have more than just a passion project on her hands. At this time, she was still a full-time legal practitioner. She started to invoice people for their orders and again was very quickly inundated with work for her small business. This led to her starting a website and naming the company “Because of Zoe”. It was a natural choice and perfectly described why she was doing what she was doing! She carried on working her day-job for just over a year, but when Shunta realized the most exciting part of her day was based around material choices and design ideas, she decided to call it quits and go head first into Because of Zoe. Picking out fabrics is still her favorite part of the job, something that gives her great joy. We agree with Shunta when she says she’s just glad her daughter Zoe gets to see her mom working on something with such excitement and passion!
Thinking Like a Business Person
Shunta believes one of the main reasons for her success and something other prospective entrepreneurs should always be focusing on is a business attitude. Although Shunta is working on and has created a business out of her passion, she does not view it as a cute hobby or a side project. Decisions such as pricing and time management are very important in making the business run smoothly and importantly, profitable! She wants to pay her seamstresses well to ensure a high standard of work and believes your pricing choices must take similar factors into account. We do not always need to strive to give customers specials and the lowest priced deals. According to Shunta, the deal should come in the form of the value they are receiving and buying, not just in price cuts. For Because of Zoe, the value is situated firmly in top-notch customer service, community and the relationships she builds with customers.
How to Deal with Admirers and Competition
One of our favorite pieces of wisdom Shunta gifted us was the idea that your business does not have to be for everyone. It is okay to not appeal to every single person. There are many tastes and products out there and it is perfectly fine to just appreciate the market you do capture. This ties into Shunta’s attitude towards other similar businesses and potential competition. The way she sees it, these businesses are not a threat to her and as long as people are respectful and kind, she is more than happy to extend a helping hand and work side by side with other companies so everyone can service their customers. Shunta believes those who put in the hard work and stick it out will deserve their seat at the table, a table she is happy to share.
Customer Experience and What Actually Matters In Your Business
Another interesting perspective Shunta raised in our conversation was her view that businesses often put unnecessary emphasis on the product they are selling. Obviously, your product is vital to your business but it is not enough to just create something you think is great. You have so much more to think about in order to run a successful company. We couldn’t agree with Shunta more. Shunta asks our listeners to question why their product matters. She believes this is the story and the way to really get in with a particular market. What is the reason and meaning for this product and business? Buying is not always logical, so just saying, “I make cute bows for babies," is not really enough to break through. For Shunta, this means creating experiences, pictures of what people may value and helping mothers identify with your what you are selling. This also goes back to the entrepreneur. What you are producing and selling needs to be something with which you identify and gets you excited.
Maximizing Your Limits
We chatted with Shunta about the idea of “maximizing your limits”, something she is currently using as a way to get the most out of her day. She believes you can apply this to any supposed limit you may have; money, time, material, ideas etc. Shunta sees the time in her day as limited. Instead of viewing this as a negative restraint, she chooses to use it as motivation to see just how much she can achieve in that period. In this case, maximizing her time limit allows for quality time with her beautiful daughter Zoe.
Instagram Versus Other Platforms
As we said, Because of Zoe started out solely on Instagram and has since migrated across other platforms. Quite early on, Shunta realized she did not want to be completely dependent on one social media platform or online space. If the platform changes, as they regularly do, this can leave you out in the cold and bereft of your audience and market. Shunta believes Instagram and other social media should be used as a springboard rather than a crutch. You cannot rely on something that is out of your control and your business will fail if you place all your eggs in one of those baskets. For Shunta, her email list is vital. She also greatly values her Facebook Group. Nowadays, she spends much less time on Instagram than she did initially. This is just a natural shift according to the needs of the business and is a pivotal lesson for our listeners. Stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing online landscape!
Facebook Ad Strategy
We were lucky enough to gain some insight into Shunta’s knowledge on the topic of Facebook Ads. She recently completed a course on the subject and feels she is way better off having done some research rather than just diving in blindfolded, hoping for the best. She offered some very sound advice for anyone wondering about the dos and don’ts of advertising on Facebook. The first, and most important, piece of advice was to make sure it is clear what you are selling. For example, there is no use posting an ad for a bow if people see it and are struck by other products in the photo. One thing Shunta has done herself is to test different types of ads on different audiences to see how they might respond. This included using studio shots of her bows with a white background and action shots of her bows being worn. Shunta believes both have their place, but you have to know how to use them and when.
- How Shunta turned her daughter’s Instagram into her business. [0:06:39.1]
- Growing your business by thinking like a business person. [0:12:30.5]
- How to deal with admirers and competition in a similar market. [0:17:56.1]
- Customer experience and what actually matters in your business. [0:20:35.4]
- Maximizing your limits and learning to get the most out. [0:28:09.1]
- Instagram versus other platforms and non-dependency. [0:31:14.1]
- Facebook Ad strategy for product based-businesses. [0:40:50.5]
Why does your product matter to a customer?
What value are you adding for your audience?
You are your biggest competition. Outdo yourself at every launch.
Remember it is a business. Do not sell yourself short.