Interview with a fast emerging baby & toddler product business
This month, we were lucky enough to sit down and interview Hannah Berg from Little Fern, and discuss what helped them grow their business online in a saturated market.
Hi Hannah, could you describe your business for us?
Little Fern New Zealand make baby & toddler products with a few specially picked imported items. Many of our products are handmade, and those that aren’t are picked with care, and test-driven by my eager kids!
What got you into making things like teethers and quilts?
Growing up watching my mother and grandmother sewing, crafting, and creating, it was always in the cards for me. There is nothing they can’t make. I just hope I have the patience to pass those skills onto my 4 kids! With crafting in my blood, and 4 kids under my feet, it was all very natural.
How would you describe your industry or niche?
BABY BABY BABY!
It’s an amazing niche to work in. There’s always babies being born, there’s always baby showers and baby gifts and there’s always going to be more babies! It makes for an exciting and lasting business, in my opinion.
Plus as trends change we can change with them. But luckily babies always will always teethe and need blankets, toys and comforters!
How important has social media been for growing your Little Fern?
Exceptionally. We rely on social media for a lot of our sales. The more we market through social media the more we sell. But it’s always a learning curve, and it’s a fine line between spamming people and providing enough site content.
We’ve learned to always provide value, and a little human touch. People love knowing who they’re buying from, and with Little Fern it’s me – a Kiwi mum with a sense of humour and 4 girls who steal the Little Fern show online!
What other forms of marketing do you use, and how do they compare to social media?
We also advertise with magazines and find this drives a lot of the website traffic and later date sales. Social media tends to increase the “now” sales. Magazines are great as a long game strategy, but we’ll always go back to social media where we cultivate our community of loyal customers.
What has your strategy with social media been so far for Little Fern, and would you recommend it to others?
It’s all been trial and error.
We’ve wasted a lot of money not understanding how to reach our target audience when paying for ads (we wouldn’t recommend this).
Teaming up with bigger companies for giveaways has definitely helped grow our reach – we’ve seen a lot of success with this and it’s something we hope to grow even more.
Keeping the audience engaged is also a huge part of it. If you can tell a story while engaging with your audience then people are more likely to keep coming back to your posts. People love a story and love to feel connected – you and your brands story can be your biggest asset, so try and hone in on it.
I’m still learning here, but the longer you do it the better you become… or else pay someone else to do it!
Would you say there are any drawbacks to using social media as a business?
Definitely. It’s time consuming.
Every photo has to be taken and be “just right”. The way you word content is important and can’t be repetitive. If you’re tired when putting together posts it’s exceptionally easy to muck the post up. You get better and quicker with time, but it’s still not something you can get slack with.
Is there anywhere you think you could improve with Little Fern?
There’s always room to improve.
Mostly for me I wish I had more time – but don’t we all?
Instead, if I was to do something better it would be my posts, I don’t feel like I tell enough of a story or engage with people enough. I know how important Little Fern’s story is, but putting it into practice is a different ball game.
Thanks so much for sharing with us! One last question though – what would your number 1 tip for businesses starting on social media be?
Your product doesn’t have to be original, but it can’t be exactly the same as someone else’s. And definitely don’t copy someone else’s post content, they will find out, and that will be messy! It’s very easy to annoy the businesses that are bigger and have been around longer, so be careful of looking at your competitors content too much, or you might end up subconsciously copying them without meaning to.
If you’d like an analysis of how your social media strategy is going, and how it can be improved, we offer FREE Social Media Audit’s to all New Zealand businesses. You can get yours here: