In this interview series, we are talking to founders, CEOs, or ecommerce business leaders about how to use social media to grow your ecommerce business. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Kayshaun Brooks.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been customizing skincare products for myself and others for over 15 years. However, in 2018 I had the opportunity to put my skincare products in a store, but I had to be a legit business, so Renew You Body Butters was born that year. I’m so happy I did because that same year, I got severely injured on the job and then chronically sick. I’ve been doing this full-time ever since.
Can you share the most exciting story that has happened to you since you began at your company?
The most exciting thing that has happened to me since beginning my company is starting my own affiliate program.
A stranger who loved my products and mission approached me asking if they could be my affiliate. I hadn’t even heard of this beforehand. I told them to let me think about it. I went to a mentor of mines and told them what the person suggested. I was then told I had an amazing opportunity in front of me if I wanted to take it. She told me I could be the holistic Avon or Mary Kay but just in my own way. Six months later, I had 15 affiliates and my first celebrity brand ambassador.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson did you learn from that?
One mistake I made early on was expecting the people who I wanted to take this journey with me to be by my side. When it wasn’t happening, it made me depressed, and I wanted to give up on my business. However, once I learned who was meant to be with me on this journey will come, I went full beast mode into networking, collaborating, and building relationships. I’ve now built my whole company using these principles.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I’ve coined myself the modern-day Madam CJ Walker, and she had a sales team of over 20,000 women. My goal is to eventually beat that number with my affiliate program. Short term goal is to have 100 affiliates by the end of 2023. I’m at 59 now. I’m offering people a way to supplement their income by helping others renew their skin and lives. Also, with all of my affiliates, I purposely network, collaborate and build relationships with them. As my company grows, so do they.
What are three traits about yourself that you feel helped fuel your success?
Bartering, collaborating, and building relationships are the three traits that have helped fuel my success.
When I was short on money but still needed my business to function, I went heavily into collaborating with other businesses. I would find other small business owners who offered the service that I needed, and I would ask what can I do for them in exchange. Sometimes, it would be just leaving a review, giving them some free products, or collaborating on a project together.
Networking allowed me to meet more people to barter with. I found several communities that are all about bartering services and goods.
Building business relationships allowed others to know, like, and trust me. This, in turn, opened the opportunity for these other businesses to mention my name in rooms when I’m not around.
What was your original vision for your ecommerce business? What pain point(s) were you trying to solve for your customers?
The pain point I’m trying to solve is being the solution for those with sensitive skin. My children and I struggled for years looking for the right products. After all the failed tests and trials, I said enough is enough and started creating.
How did social media help you grow your business? What were your strategic objectives, and how did you implement your social media plan?
Social media is the only reason my business is here and thriving. Remember I mentioned earlier how I got injured and chronically sick? I was so sick I could no longer do any type of vendor events, and that was the only way I knew to sell my products. I feared social media because I was never personally using it. I only got on Facebook because it was required in nursing school.
In January 2020, I launched my website with no plan. In March 2020, I started the affiliate program, and by September of that same year, I was bedridden and couldn’t use social media myself. I heavily depended on my affiliates, collaborations, and their platforms. For example, with Facebook, I knew I could only have 5,000 max friends, but with 20 affiliates, that instantly jumped to 100,000. Once I saw those numbers grow like that, I knew I needed to be on as many social media platforms as possible to increase my reach organically.
Which social media platforms have you found most beneficial for ecommerce specifically?
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, Clubhouse, Pinterest, and Twitter.
What social commerce trends are you most closely paying attention to, and how are you preparing to leverage them for growth?
Video trends are what I keep my eye on now. I’ve been able to use videos to my advantage. I noticed I wasn’t getting much engagement with a regular picture post. However, I noticed with videos that there were views, and this taught me people are not engaging a lot, but they’re watching. 99% of my posts are now videos, and my reach is amazing on all platforms.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen when companies try to use social media to promote ecommerce? What can be done to avoid those mistakes?
The most common mistake is not utilizing every aspect of the platforms. Like with Facebook and Instagram, people think regular posting is enough. They’re not realizing everything has a role to play. They should utilize regular posting, reels, stories, polls, and everything else the platforms have to offer. It’s all there for a reason. To avoid this mistake, take the time to learn all the different aspects of the platforms.
This leads to the next mistake: Not taking the time to learn each platform one by one. People try to learn multiple platforms at the same time, then get frustrated and think the platform doesn’t work. To avoid this mistake, learn one or two platforms at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Based on your experience and success, what are your top five ways to use social media to grow your ecommerce business?
1. Using affiliates, brand ambassadors, and influencers. This allows you to use other people’s platforms for more exposure.
2. Going live with other people. This allows you to use other people’s platforms for more exposure.
3. Having others share your content on their platforms. This allows you to use other people’s platforms for more exposure.
4. Collaborations. This allows you to use other people’s platforms for more exposure.
5. Networking. This allows you the potential opportunity to use other people’s platforms for more exposure.
f you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
The movement that I’m doing now is helping as many entrepreneurs start their own affiliate programs.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I’m on all social media platforms @renewyoubodybutters or Kayshaun Brooks. My website is www.renewyoubodybutter.com.
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