So, what does it really take to become an eCommerce superstar? Where better to look for answers than from those who have passed the 7-figure threshold to eCommerce greatness.
One such superstar is the talented Ciera Rogers, owner of the successful Babes and Felines who has build a $700k revenue business in just five years. Her eCommerce business was born out of her own own frustration with the lack of figure-hugging, trendy apparel for curvy woman.
One of the biggest highlights of her marketing success is how Ciera has been able to firmly establish herself as an authority and influencer in her niche through her personal Instagram account, and in doing so not only has she grown her follower base to over 2 million, but is successfully leveraging that positioning to drive traffic and convert sales.
In short: Ciera is a pro at leveraging personal branding to build a 7-figure eCommerce business.
If you’re wondering how she was able to do this so successfully, you only have to look at how she chose her niche: “I’ve always been a curvy girl and found it difficult shopping for my specific body type so I decided to create something that would cater to that.” Because she is the target audience and has a passion for her niche, she was able to deeply understand what her potential shopper needed and wanted, while setting herself up as the expert.
We recently chatted with Ciera to find out about how she got started, what’s next for her brand and what entrepreneur struggles she has overcome to cross the 7-figure threshold and ultimately become an eCommerce brand to be reckoned with.
Sit back, grab that coffee and get ready for the inside scoop into her mega success!
1. Share with us a bit of background about you and the brand you created.
I created my brand, Babes and Felines, around 5 years ago. At that time, there weren’t a lot of young girls doing this, so I had to find my own way and be super creative. My brand focuses on making a woman feel good about their body, providing affordable maternity, plus and petite pieces for women at every stage of their life.
2. How did you come up with your business idea?
I’ve always been a curvy girl and found it difficult shopping for my specific body type so I decided to create something that would cater to that.
3. Take us through the process of creating and launching your initial product.
I honestly started my business with the clothes off my back. The very first year of my business was dedicated to vintage. These were pieces I wore or bought and reworked to make current. I started selling on Etsy, originally, and from there grew enough to move to my own website.
4. What is your most effective way to attract new customers?
I find that social media has driven the majority of my traffic. Throughout this process, I have gained over 2.3 million followers on Instagram through lead-capturing popups and highly relevant content.
Bonus Content: Definitive Guide to Driving Sales with Instagram Marketing
I studied my audience and built my following surrounding my vintage-wear and grew from there with my Instagram campaigns such as ‘shall we say’, ‘ASSets’ and ‘incredible. I am fortunate enough to use this as a promotion for my business.
In addition, I also find that sharing my customers’ content [UGC] drives traffic because when they tag me online it drives even more traffic.
5. What other types of marketing have you had success with?
I’ve also had success with purchasing ads on Facebook. Facebook has been a major tool in gathering people who do not know of my presence on Instagram. Email lists are also important for staying in contact with my customers and for retention.
6. What must-have apps are you using?
Coupon Pop through StoreYa has driven traffic just by adding my promotions using their app. I found that the app drives traffic in itself because everyone loves a coupon or a discount. I also think Shippo is a must-have when shipping orders and it’s super easy.
7. What have been the most influential resources for building your business? Books, blogs, podcasts, etc.
I love blogs. I’m a blogger myself so I get inspired by just seeing what’s out there, what people are wearing and what people are interested in. I also do enjoy podcasts; Shopify has a cool podcast where they feature businesses and their successes. I’ve learned a lot of tips from listening to those.
8. What are the big future plans for your brand?
Because my business drives so much traffic, it can be a lot of work so I would like to eventually sell my business and create new ones with percentages in all of them so that I can have multiple sources of income. Further down the line, I see myself owning a huge platform where I sell anything you can ever need.
9. What’s the no.1 piece of advice you would give new eCommerce entrepreneurs?
I think research is the most important. I find that a lot of new entrepreneurs wait for someone else to have an answer for them to start something and don’t do enough research. All of the information is out there if you need it; you just need to go and get it and start! A lot of people have great ideas and will never start because they don’t know all of the steps, but they should know the information is out there waiting for them.
10. If you could go back to the very beginning, is there anything you would do differently?
I would probably get a little more tech-savvy much sooner. I didn’t really get into photoshop and coding until years in. If I would have started learning these techniques earlier, I would have saved a bunch of money hiring out in the beginning.
Already seen being worn publicly by Kim Kardashian and other popular bloggers and influencers around the world, Ciera Rogers’ is a real eCommerce inspiration. Be sure to follow Ciera on Instagram and stay tuned for more success stories.
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