Helping Heiwa

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As many of you know, I am big on giving back. That’s why last year I donated my time to help Heiwa Tofu run a crowdfunding campaign so they could buy and intall a heating system for their new building in Rockland. It was such a pleasure working with this local family business! Jeff and Maho have worked very hard over the past 8 years making organic tofu and soymilk from soybeans mostly grown right here in Maine.

That’s why I felt good about volunteering my time to support their leap into owning their own production facility so they could ramp up production, hire a crew, and grow this amazing business. I did this as part of a small business grant called BizIn, which was created by fellow New Ventures Graduate, Carrie Yardley of Yardley Esq., PLLC. She, along with Valerie Geredien, Buzzwings Marketing, Erin Smith, of Wheatberry Design, and Susan Walters, Stories that Shine, created this grant to support local, small businesses in Maine. In addition to our BizIn team, Dandan Liu also donated her time to create this beautiful film about Heiwa, which was integral to our Indiegogo campaign.

 

Heiwa Tofu Indiegogo Video from Dandan Liu on Vimeo.

 

It was an amazing feeling working with this group of women who had all benefitted from the New Ventures program, and now were giving their time to support other business owners. The campaign turned out to be a great success, and all told, we helped Heiwa raise over $18,000! They were able to purchase and install the heat pumps needed for their new building in Rockland.

Heiwa continues to grow and thrive, and I continue to show my support by eating their delicious, organic tofu!

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Popular Posts on Facebook: Job Postings

People love to help others find jobs, so job postings on Facebook are very popular. They usually have great organic reach (depending on the size of your fanbase) and with a small boost you can get a lot of mileage out of these simple posts. Plus, you might just find your next employee through social media!

Here are some tips for posting job openings on Facebook:

  1. Always use a photo of a current employee to show what the job entails. Like this photo of Rod (Master Plumber) at AWQ:rod
  2. Use the same type of description that you would on any other job listing site, give people the details!
  3. You may not want to publish an email address in the post, but do direct people to your website or a contact page explaining how to apply for the job.
  4. People who comment on the post can be sent direct messages now! So use this feature if someone who comments would like more information.
  5. In the post, ask your fans to share the post or tag their friends who might be interested in the job. This is a great way to boost engagement with the post.

Promoted Pins on Pinterest

Pinterest boards are wish lists of things we want to own, or have or do. For example, I just got an undercut inspired by a Pin my sister sent me, from a barber I found on Instagram. Pinterest is like a digital “vision board,” if you are into that sort of thing, which many people are.

So if you have an e-commerce site, you should probably be pinning things. If you are already pinning, you should definitely promote some Pins from your site! People (mainly women) pin things they want to buy. And if they can buy it online, they will.

Here are some stats from a campaign I ran for a book called Your Dog Is Your Mirror:

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sales on shopify               ydiym

Since I ran this campaign, I have sold 16 copies of the book (at $14 a pop) for a total of $224 in sales. Eight of those sales have been attributed to this campaign, according to my Shopify store. Some of the customers could not be tracked, and at least one came from an email campaign.

But the great thing is, a Promoted Pin is the gift that keeps on giving. Since I ran this campaign, this particular Pin has been re-pinned over 4,000 times, and liked over 1,000 times.

So if you haven’t pinned your products, you might want to start. And throw a little money on a Promoted Pin to see what kind of traction you get. You might be surprised how a little investment can go a long way.

 

 

Congrats to Heiwa Tofu!

This blog post was co-written by Susan Walters, Ed.D. of Stories that Shine.

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Heiwa’s creamy tofu adds elegance and substance to a ramen bowl
The first annual Bizin Small Business Grant was awarded to Heiwa Tofu, Maine’s only tofu maker. The grant, created by a team of New Ventures graduates, gives one Maine business a leg up in the marketplace by providing marketing, branding, and legal services. In a field of vibrant applicants, Heiwa stood out because of founder Jeffrey Wolovitz’s dedication to producing a unique, handcrafted food using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Wolovitz is as passionate about supporting local farmers as he is about creating a high quality alternative protein source. Over 80% of his soybeans are grown in Maine, with the balance coming from other New England farms. Heiwa helps bolster local organic farming by creating demand  for soybeans.

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It all starts with the organic soybeans

Jeffrey’s tofu is made from non-GMO,  MOFGA certified, USDA organic soybeans. He pays special attention to the quality and consistency of the finished product. He says, “Heiwa Tofu has a more delicate, supple, and creamy texture. This is what our customers love about our tofu. We’ve developed a loyal customer base who claim Heiwa Tofu is the best they have ever had and say they will never go back to another brand.”

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Jeff gave us a tour of the production floor

Since 2008, Heiwa has produced over 350,000 pounds of handcrafted tofu. The tofu is sold bulk or in vacuum sealed packages. Heiwa Tofu is distributed to over 150 restaurants, grocery and natural food stores, institutions and buyer’s clubs. Thanks to Crown O’Maine Organic Cooperative, Heiwa Tofu is now offered at 29 Hannaford Supermarkets around the state.  Jeff is excited to announce that the production facility is soon to be moving from Belfast to Rockport, into a building they have just purchased. Their plan is to be in the new location by July, and the extra space will allow them to continue ramping up production in order to meet increasing demand.

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Look for Heiwa at your local grocer

The women of Bizin are proud to support Heiwa by providing branding, content development, marketing expertise, graphic design services and legal advice as Jeffrey continues to grow his business. BizIn team members include Carrie Yardley (Yardley Esq. PLLC), Valerie Geredien (buzzwings marketing & communication, LLC), Erin Smith (Wheatberry Design), Susan Walters (Stories That Shine), and Leah Twitchell (K&L Social). The women met through the New Ventures Maine program recommend the program to anyone thinking of starting a business or wanting to take their business to the next level.