Today I’m sharing a really common theme among my clients and community members: how to share their products on social media and in email marketing in ways that don’t feel aggressive or sleazy.
You’re in business to enrich your customers’ lives with your products. They’re here to solve a problem, or add loads of beauty to people’s homes and lives. Your products aren’t any old tat – you’re making them because they matter!
So it’s vital that you’re sharing them.
We’re not taught to actively “sell” – and so it feels icky and pushy and inauthentic. I’m here to change that, to teach you things I wish you’d learnt 10 years ago.
Customers need to see your products, on average, 11 times to make a purchase.
Let me just say that again: ELEVEN.
Some customers will see it twice and purchase. Others will see something 100 times before they actually add to cart and checkout. So often, I see clients posting about something once and then assuming (hoping) that their customers will know all about it and remember it’s there when they want to buy it.
Nope. It doesn’t work like that. You have to keep showing your products, to show up when your customers need you.
Ideas for sharing your products
Before we dive into some ideas and inspiration, a couple of important things:
Sometimes we have to be really explicit about what we want customers to do: buy now, we’ve got three left, it’s here. This is so helpful to our customers – and it feels like confidence, not arrogance.
Other times, we use “Show Don’t Tell” as our guide. We let the product speak for itself through high quality content, so that customers are drawn in and can put their own spin on the product.
Let’s dive into some ideas:
Begin at the beginning: How did you design it? What was the inspiration for the product?
How it started / how it’s going
When and what your first order was
How you’ve updated the product over time with colours, options, etc
Customers love these stories! It’s a great way to talk through things on Instagram Stories, or in an email to your customers. You could even make a video or a Reel!
What you love about it, using language and descriptors that align with your brand values
“This really caught my eye / made me fall in love with it” – write this just how you would say it and add it to an Instagram caption!
Spell out the choices available: “You can get it in blue or green”
You don’t have to share every detail all at once – use different snippets and details over several different posts.
Use feedback and reviews of your products
Use screengrabs of comments and reviews as social proof
Ask customers if you can use their photos in your marketing so potential customers can see them in real-life scenarios
Share a customer story, especially for commissions and personalised products
Include different personalisation examples and inspiration
Show different ways the product can be used
What’s on your order table today?
Create a time-lapse of you making or packing up orders
Show the raw materials before you make them – and after!
Show how you wrap everything and box it up
Share your products often
My invitation for you is to grab a pen and paper and brainstorm the ways you want to share your products, the different features you want to highlight.
So you might have heard me say I hope no-one listens to this episode of the podcast. Obviously not really, please keep listening! But it’s because I hope you ARE thriving in 2021, and I hope that lockdown is ending and opening up opportunities for you.
I’m recorded this episode in early March, when we’re on the cusp of lockdown rules relaxing here in the UK. Schools are opening again, which is BIG for a lot of my clients, and non-essential shops are opening, too. Also helpful.
But – spoiler alert – I don’t have a crystal ball. So I don’t know how it’s going when you’re listening to this. By the time it goes out, things might have shifted so much that you’re just flying. In which case, I’m totally happy to have had this conversation with myself and my microphone!
That said, my intention is to share some of the ways of thinking about your business in these uncertain times so that you can survive but also go beyond that and thrive.
It’s relevant to 2021, but also business is uncertain, even when there isn’t a global pandemic, so these ideas will stay with you.
Before we do the HOW, let’s remind ourselves of the WHY
As a business coach for female founders, makers, and solopreneurs, it’s absolutely vital that I tell you: YOU DESERVE TO THRIVE.
Even in a pandemic.
Even when other people are struggling.
Even when there’s a redistribution going on.
It is NOT selfish to have a business that is running well, that is easy, that is profitable and abundant.
By working towards those things, you are putting yourself in a position where you can support others. Your financial security, your mental and physical health – they are essential to your ability to support your family and local community. They do NOT take away from anyone else’s happiness or security.
Even as things “return to normal” it’s important to remember that you’re allowed to thrive. Yes, more people have been shopping online, and that has been great for some of my clients. But that’s not guaranteed to stop. You’ve got your customers through this time, and research shows that people are loyal about things like that.
PLUS: WE NEED YOUR LIGHT
We need your creativity, your passion, your energy. There’s a reason people buy from you, and want your creations in their life. They give us joy, hope, entertainment, solutions, thoughtful gifts.
So this isn’t the time to shy away from thriving. No hustle required.
So how do we thrive?
Clarity #1: What’s your capacity?
First step, let’s be really clear on the time and energy you have available. This might be something you need to reassess weekly, for example with kids at home and when they’re back at school.
If you have school hours available, you can only plan for that. Do not expect yourself to function as if you had 60 hours a week available.
Consider how much time you need for orders and fulfilment, and allocate the rest of your time to marketing and business development.
Your capacity may fluctuate.
Make a list of if this, then that:
If someone gets sick, then… I’ll turn off orders or extend lead times
If schools have to shut again, then…
If the shop’s open, then…
If weddings get the green light, then… I’ll kick into high gear for wedding marketing
So step one, be clear with yourself on your capacity.
Clarity #2: How do you light up people’s lives?
Customers love clarity. Be really clear on the value you offer and the light you bring. What do you REALLY help people with? Bit of colour? Positive messages? Entertainment? Sassy messages to send to loved ones who are still far away? Delicious treats to sneak past the kids?
DO NOT HIDE YOUR LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL. Humility has its place, but you are doing good work in the world, and we need to know about it.
Have a think about how you’d finish these sentences:
I help people by…
My products / creations are helpful because…
I love it when my business… gives people a boost
I made this product because…
And start pointing this out, sharing these messages in your marketing content.
Clarity #3: What’s on offer? How do customers get it?
Customers love clarity! Sharing a product on Instagram? Where can I buy it? Is it really easy to find? Is there a link? Please can I buy it from my phone while I’m juggling my entire life?
Do you send things direct?
Can I click and collect?
Do you do gift wrap?
How long will it take?
Do not be afraid to share these HELPFUL and CLEAR pieces of information over and over again. Use clear calls to action and help people bring more joy into their lives.
Next step: Planning ahead
The world is uncertain. I love options.
If you have a physical shop, run in-person events, or have anything that will be impacted by lockdown ending, create your marketing and messaging ahead of time.
If this, then that.
Think about the conditional things that will help you to create options for yourself.
Think: If my shop is opening on 12th April, my welcome back promotion will be… (not necessarily a discount). I’ll share this email, this IG post, this FB ad a week before. I’ll share these things the day before. I’ll share these things that first week. Done, pull them out when I need them.
And: If weddings get the go ahead, I’ll share this marketing content. I’ll put this on my homepage, I’ll run this competition, I’ll share these products. And if they don’t, I’ll do this instead to help my customers.
Perhaps this is you: If I book an in-person workshop, I’ll open it to my waitlist first. Actually, I can keep building my waitlist now, so I’ll share that once a week until I have a date. Then I’ll share with my waitlist via email – here’s that drafted. And then it’ll go to social media. Then I’ll reopen the waitlist for the next event.
Meet your customers where they are
As things open up more, keep in touch with what your customers need.
There may be a pull to go back to in-person markets and workshops. This will need reassurances and clarity.
Customers may need support with kids returning to school, perhaps anxieties will be high.
Maybe we’ll need some DIY help as budgets get leaner.
Weddings are going to happen, but perhaps still limited. Does that affect your customer? How can you help?
Holidays are going to be home. How does that help?
Could you help people throw end of lockdown parties? Make up for no birthdays.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
Keep in touch with what serves your customers, how you can make their lives easier and better. This is what helps YOU to do the work you love, to build the success that’s meaningful for you.
Keep your profit margins healthy
In order to thrive, you need to make money.
We’re going to talk a lot about profitability on this podcast, so without opening up a can of worms, I’ll just say, check your prices, make sure you’re not discounting because you think you have to. You offer VALUE and BRILLIANCE. Keep the faith.
For those homeschooling, I have zero parenting advice, other than to say that this pandemic has been a great welcome call to make sure what you’re spending your time on is worth it. Love it. Make money from it. Thrive.
Like many of us, 2020 turned my life and my business around – some of it was good, some of it… less so. One thing that DID happen: I became obsessed with podcasts.
With a baby (and then a toddler) at home full time, podcasts gave me a way to stay connected to my purpose, my business, and the creative business community. They were a lifeline.
Knowing my clients faced similar issues – wanting to feel empowered, to strengthen their business, and yet feeling like time is scarce – I knew I wanted to create a platform we could use to connect with each other AND the ideas that will strengthen our businesses, whilst juggling busy lives as humans in business.
A place for you
The Better Business Podcast is a place for makers, creatives, solopreneurs, and female founders to discover different ways to forge your own definition of meaningful success, by balancing head and heart. I’ll be sharing ways you can get to know yourself better – so that you can be a better business owner and leader – and savvy business strategy to empower you to create a future you’re proud of.
My background is in product-based businesses, so if you’re selling your physical creations, you’re going to find plenty of tips, ideas, and strategies to strengthen and grow your business. And a lot of my strategies can be applied to all kinds of creative businesses, too. So if you’re a photographer, artist, coach, VA, or designer, you can make yourself at home here.
The Better Business Book Club
I’m also a little bit book obsessed! So I’ll be sharing the books I recommend to my clients and community members over and over again, in episodes for The Better Business Book Club. Once a month, I’ll review a book I love, and I’ll invite you to read along and share your thoughts and feedback.
You can expect weekly episodes on finding your focus, effective marketing, and how to be courageous as you forge the success you REALLY want. There will be interviews with brilliant business women, and there’ll be times I share encouragement and inspiration talking directly with you.
If you find yourself a little lost in business, perhaps stuck in procrastination and overwhelm, the Better Business Podcast is the perfect place to find some clarity, discover what’s true for you, and feel empowered to take action in the right direction.
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