In a country where gender inequality still stands out, it is necessary to talk about the difficulties faced by women who need to return to the labor market. Whether due to maternity leave, the (many) layoffs that occurred in the pandemic or because their main source of income was cut, the impasse is reached: what to do now? In this minefield of uncertainty, different mothers have been betting on entrepreneurship through social networks and the result has been surprising.
This is the case of Giselle de Alves, 34, owner of the Opô Yalojá brand, specializing in African accessories that rescue the ancestry of candomblé. The granddaughter of two seamstresses, she spent 12 years working in the logistics area of a carrier. Until, in 2014, she became pregnant with Arthur, now six years old.
“It was very difficult to get back to work right after he was born. So, I decided to take a break and dedicate myself to my son, I came back when he was about a year old, already separated from his father ”, details the entrepreneur. In the meantime, Giselle’s firstborn stayed with a caregiver, but the adaptation process was still difficult. Especially since it was during this same period that Arthur underwent a medical investigation that later led to his diagnosis of autism.
Passing through an episode of racism in the company she worked for, hearing defamation about herself and also about her son, Giselle resigned and decided that she would start a new career in the world of entrepreneurship. For that, she needed to rediscover what her talents were. “I wanted to do something that reminded me of my story, that is, that I could do with my hands and bring the love I have for what I believe in and for the women in my life”, explains the mother.
That’s how she arrived at Opô Yalojá, her brand that already has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram. The social network allows new buyers to arrive on your website, where there is a virtual parts catalog or direct contact with Giselle to order a single piece.
The same investment in the platform has Vivian Abukater, executive director of the Maternativa and Compre das Mães communities, being the second largest virtual showcase for entrepreneurial mothers in Brazil. The idea is to give visibility to small companies formed by women mothers in an effort so that they are able to promote their products and grow through the support of the participants.
To understand how they managed to build these communities of followers and achieve good sales, we separated – with the help of Instagram – seven possible tips to be put into practice for those who want to enter the world of maternal entrepreneurship.
1. Plan the profile logistics
Like other businesses that take place outside the virtual world, creating an Instagram account for a brand requires programming and patience. As much as it seems obvious, it is important that, just as Giselle did, the mother understands what service will be offered to the public and why.
These certainties help to calm down in the construction of the store, since success does not happen overnight, and reinforce to the entrepreneurs that it will be necessary to dedicate time and creativity to the social network.
So, after deciding which service will be provided, also trace the number of times you will publish on Instagram by day, week or month. To avoid frustrations, set real goals even if they are less than you would like. With the time and growth of the brand, more people can start to integrate it for division of tasks and increase of productivity.
2. Invest in beautiful and real photos
Among the many social networks we have access to, Instagram is one of the most visual and this calls for good images when promoting products on the platform. For this, we are not talking about ending up in debt to buy the latest generation camera or scheduling a photo shoot for yesterday.
Both Vivian and Giselle advise mothers to start with what they have at hand, such as cell phones, free apps and natural daylight. The less artificial the lighting in the photo, the more you guarantee the public the real look of what is being sold and the photo will need less editing – so less work for you!
The owner of the Opô Yalojá brand says that, until today, her photos are taken with smartphones and enjoying natural light, which makes it easier for accessories to be registered in their true color.
3. Don’t let your audience speak to themselves!
From the moment that the products start to be publicized and sought by the public, the tendency is that the photos have comments or are reasons for people to look for it in the profile direct.
At this point, it is important that you set aside a daily work period to answer these questions or even praise. This makes your audience realize that there really is a person behind that brand, in addition to reinforcing credibility – since, if there is a problem with delivery or even with the merchandise itself, it is understood that there will be a response from who sold it.
Over time, you may find that many questions will be repeated. In this case, the Instagram guideline directs brands to create a standard answer to certain questions, facilitating the side of those who are selling and also those who are buying.
The comments in the feed also deserve your attention, but in this case, beware of general standard responses, as they may also sound like disregard. The ideal here would be to respond one by one with attention and direct the customer to the direct, where you can handle the orders and demands particularly.
4. Use stories to create proximity
While in the feed, the productions need to be more elaborate and aesthetically beautiful, the conversation is different when it comes to story. Within brands, Instagram’s 24-hour tool can be used to create intimacy with the audience, showing behind the scenes of production and even who is the entrepreneurial mother behind share.
In the pandemic, Giselle saw people’s interest in it. “During this period, a more present audience arrived, who spent more time on social networks, which made the content need to be more humanized, since people started to buy not only because they found a beautiful piece or on impulse, but wanting to know who is behind the brand ”, explains the entrepreneur.
It is also worth paying attention to the tools available on Instagram. To increase engagement through interaction with the public, the platform’s guidelines encourage content creators to use question and voting boxes to get to know their followers.
5. The main subjects deserve to be highlighted
And if in one of these boxes you answer a question frequently asked by the public or, from there, engage in a theme that is precious to the brand, take the opportunity to use the prominent tool to save the content.
The device can also be valuable for assembling the product catalog, price list, how to order and how to use the item, in addition to bringing together positive feedbacks from those who have already bought from you and liked it. Just keep in mind that the highlights need to be updated frequently, so that they do not give the impression that they are old or that the profile has been discontinued.
6. Choose who will follow with caution
In the urge to want the brand to grow quickly, following as many people as possible seems like a positive alternative for them to return the follow and the profile is able to add a relevant number of followers. However, as Vivian recalls, there is more chance of converting a follower into a customer when the interests are mutual.
For example, if you are a brand like @ compredasmães, it is important that you follow small maternal entrepreneurs who are looking for dissemination or may need the services of other mothers, forming a network where the objectives are discussed.
7. Don’t be ashamed of your brand!
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to talk about your brand to others and produce content that is aimed at a buying audience, even if it is small.
In a sexist and patriarchal society like the one we live in, many will discredit the potential of what you are building and may even say that it is not a “real” job for using the internet as a sales tool, but if it is supporting your family and being done with dedication by you, yes, it is! And patience, mother: one step at a time.