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A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

Lesson 14 of 21

Promoting Your Subscription on Social Media & Blogs

Mei Pak

A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

Mei Pak

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Lesson Info

14. Promoting Your Subscription on Social Media & Blogs

Lesson Info

Promoting Your Subscription on Social Media & Blogs

Let's talk about social medium what I the way that I approach social media because we have to promote on there and we have to post on there so frequently I like tio kind of collect a library kind of just a folder in my computer with all of these different social media posts and promotions on dh just start collecting it and then once I have a whole ton of them I can just start reusing it, so the pressure to create those pictures is not as heavy on me. I don't feel the stress tohave to create new content every time because now I have like hundreds of pictures and promotions in my library as your sign up deadline approaches, this is time for you to crack the whip, go on on social media and start telling people twenty four hours before your your club closes tell them just remind them or are the week before tell them remind them again two days before remind them again. So it's it's really interesting because the more you promote, the more subscribers you'll get and this is really true, ther...

e are some months when I get really busy with other parts of my business that I absolutely do not promote my necklace of the month club and I get no new subscribers and I get I do get unsubscribed, they're just inevitable, so then my number starts to go down but during those months where I go all out and I have a full marketing schedule for ok, two weeks before sign ups, clothes, put out a post on facebook and on instagram one week before it closes, put another ad out, not an ad, a post they're also greatly actually on dh, then two days before one day before twenty four hours before six hours before, when you really go all out with promoting your product. In that way, I have really seen a direct correlation of people who are signing up more because I've talked about it more in social media. So here are other examples of some of the posts and graphics that I've created for promoting the necklace of the month club unless I mentioned before it's a great idea to have listed on there as text when the deadline is actually and what I like to do also, depending on your shop, most likely what you'll have. For example, from my necklace of the month club, it would be a tiny hands online dot com slash nine necklace, hyphen off hyphen, the hyphen month, hyphen club and it's just, you know, asking someone, especially on instagram, to type that allowed, they're going to goof up, they're going to get to a broken page, what I like to do is create a short cut. On dh their aps to do that if you are in shopify, you can create a redirect basically it's what it's called so I just do an old tmc on just abbreviated that way so it's a lot easier for people to type it out, and once they hit that link, they get redirected to the actual product link, the longer one and here's a actually an example of me using pick jointer, where I talked about earlier thie iphone app that you can kind of put a few different pictures together. No look really cute and over here I actually show that I'm doing a giveaway on day, I'll talk about giving away your subscription in just a little bit, so before sign ups open, you really want to build anticipation. So even before sign ups are even open, start talking about it already, you know, and you don't have to talk about it in a way that sales he like a sign ups are going to open soon and you know that that that's really like in your face way you can talk about it suddenly you khun say like, hey, guys, I'm working in my studio today, here's a picture of some of the works in progress this I'm all gearing up for the necklace of the month club that's, coming soon if you're interested in that make sure you you keep an eye out for my next announcement so you can talk about it in a more subtle way that doesn't feel as sales and if I mentioned used the guy's a sneak peeks and behind the scenes to promote your subscription you don't have to go out and always just post a picture off your club you know even you know you could even post a picture of yourself if you want to and in the text description I mean it doesn't have to have anything to do with the product you're trying to sell its just a picture and in the description you can actually spell it out that way oh yeah, look at me and so tired it's like two a m in the morning and I'm working on your products and I'm working on designing a new product for for the club, you know, so even just saying something like that, just saying that you're working on designing the products that's going to be get into people's mind that like, oh yeah, this is coming on what is this necklace of the month club? And then they're going to check it out or at least it's going to you know, I'm planting the seed early on that this thing exists also sometimes like to do is show fake photos of your product's design so really close up shot really I have this really cool I'm kind of obsessed with iphone accessories, so this website called photo joe joe dot com you can get some really cute iphone lenses and have this really great macro lens for my iphone, where I can get really close to the product and show the texture and the detail without really giving away what the big picture product is, so I can get people guessing and it's kind of fun and it's kind of exciting for people. Photos of your new designing progress, so even just showing pictures of your supplies, showing pictures of your tools that's a great way for talking about your subscription without really talking about it. You're messy dusk is another good one or if you have a photo of you preparing your packages from last month subscription that's a great idea to you know, just say, like you're gearing up for this upcoming shipment. So if if you like to sign up, keep an eye out for an announcement for when sign ups, they're going to open. So there are many ways for you to remind people or to kill top of mind that sign ups are going to open without really being sales e without really talking about the subscription in terms of social media, specifically with facebook, when you're posting all of thes reminders and posts. You don't have to link back to your web site all the time. The whole idea is that you just want tio remind people that this is something that's coming up that's all you're doing, you don't necessarily want them to go over and buy right now you just want them to start thinking about it there's this concept and marketing, but it takes someone seven impressions off something before they buy into it. So someone who's just seeing a new idea for the first time may not necessarily buy from you right away, but if they seen that you've been talking about your necklace of the month club seven times or more, they're going to be that much more likely to want to come over eventually when you're signed up to do open, so is it is essentially really you just want to be top of mind your customers don't assume that your customer is the only customer don't assume that your customer is on ly shopping at your web site, you know, there they're probably following a bunch of other different pages there following ah bunch of other different small business owners or even like musicians and celebrities and things like that they're getting so much content, their lives get so busy it's really easy to forget something that's going on, so you really just want to keep reminding them that this is happening if it helps you to use an editorial calendar for your posting scheduled to stay organized, eh? So what I like to do actually is in facebook there is thief feature for you to schedule at your posts and it's all in built into facebook, so instead of posting it, you can click a a down arrow button next to that button and it will ask you to schedule it and then you can select your date and your time and then once you have a bunch of schedule posts and there you can kind of go to this different page where you see all of the different posts that you've scheduled into facebook and that will give you a really good idea of how often you're kind of promoting this out and schedule post in advance that's really going to help you keep organized it's going to help you keep efficient and, um there are going to be days I mean, if you want to do this manually and just every day sit on facebook and post a new post you're either going to forget or some days you're not going to feel like it, so just have a sit down in half an hour just crank out all of those posts and schedule all of that social media promotions at once so you don't have to worry about it again so let's talk about giving away your subscription it this giving away stuff is really effective as a promotional strategy in general and it's interesting how do you give away a subscription? It's it's a really it's a great way it's a great giveaway and it's a great way to promote your club and get people seeing your subscription to get eyeballs on to your website to get traffic coming onto your social media so that when you do open up sign ups or maybe it's already open you know chances are that you're getting new people senior subscription they might sign up right? The more people are seeing it, the more likely someone you might get an extra one or two sales from that and it works really, really well because it's such a high value prize right? You're not just giving away one month or I mean I guess you could if you wanted to, but what what I would normally recommend is be really clear on when your prize ends. So maybe after two cycles after three cycles on dh, then you can tell people how much that it's worse. But let me show you kind of an example of what I did here, so I did this giveaway in december nineteenth, two thousand fourteen it's basically just a collage of all the different products that I've done for the subscription sent a necklace of the month giveaway to enter like common share this photo and if you don't know if you can see it but the stats are just crazy I mean a thousand over almost two thousand likes over a thousand shares over a thousand comments and I think the fact that this is such a high value prize this was worth one hundred fifty dollars where is normally one necklace would be twenty eight that's what might give aways normally were it was normally just one product this was like you get six necklaces in the whole year s o I think something like that really helps attract a lot of people to want to join you're giveaway and notice here that even though this was a giveaway I do tell people for those of you interested to join the necklace of the month sign up before december thirty first here is the link so at this point a lot of people have seen this post because of all the shares and because of all the comments and all the likes and so this is kind of like free advertising right and for those people you know they're going to be people out there who are like yeah I'm never gonna win this I never win anything they're going to go to lincoln they're going to sign up so let's talk a little bit about blogger outreach this is actually one of the biggest ways that I've used to grow my own business so I really stand by this marketing strategy of getting onto other people's websites getting onto other people's blog's getting other people to talk about my products. I want you to brainstorm a list of complimentary brand names, so to get started with this blogger outreach process, the first question you probably have is how do I do the research? How do I find these bloggers? How do I find these people that I can reach out to so a great strategy to think of is think of other stores or other shop owners, or are the larger stores brand names that that serve the same audience as you do you? Um, so what I like to do because I sell food, jewelry, the a lot of my complimentary brand names are other products that have food themes on them, so, like purses that have a pattern of cupcakes on them or address with cupcakes on them or a an iphone case with lollipops on them and their specific brands that do create products like that, and then I can go to those brands, and I can try to research where these brands have already being been featured on, and the chances are because I'm kind of writing on their coattails if this blogger has already talked about talked about this product about like a food themed purse there, very much more likely to talk about my product as well. So when you're reaching out to bloggers, you really want to keep your customer profile in mind and the blogger that you reach out to look at what you can get a good idea based on their blond based on their website who their readers are and you really want to ask yourself, are their readers also potentially my customers? Right? So a big a big mistake? I always see a lot of people that fall into when they do blogger outreach research is they like to reach out to dialogue aircraft blog's on dh that's a problem because a lot of the aircraft blog's they're gorgeous blog's, they're great blog's, but the people reading those blocks are other people like us, their makers, their creative, they're not going to buy your stuff, they're goingto get inspiration from your stuff, and they're going to want to make it for themselves, right? Unless, you know, there's always going to be the rare case where those are actually your customers and in that case, great reach out to d I y blog's. But for the most of us, if we're selling a physical product like a gift jewelry, if you were selling fashion stuff stationary most of the time, you probably don't want to reach out to the iowa or crafty logs, so start a spreadsheet of bloggers and the information you want to find is there first name last name off course. You want to list out there? Blogged name and there you are l in your spreadsheet you also want to find their direct email address. This is the way for you to reach out to them. We're going to be pitching them by email, that's the best way and any extra personal notes you confined about them and what I mean by this is once you find a blawg that is a good fit for you, I want you to go through their archives, go through their social media, get to know a little bit more about them, get to know a little bit more about their life, get to know what they like, what they dislike, what food they like to eat if they have any kids, and that way you can use that in your personal you can person you can use all that information to personalize your email pitch to them, and as a result, your pitch will be a lot more friendly. It will be a lot warmer, it'll be a lot more genuine and you're the person who is receiving that email is going to be a lot more receptive to words, opening the email towards responding to your email and towards working with you. So you really want to do your research on this there's really no great easy way for us to just like click a button and have you just create a whole list off bloggers that you can work with this is there is definitely grunt work there's unfortunately, I mean they're online directories that you could potentially look for bloggers on, but those directories tend to be normally target at really big box stores like nike and adidas and almost really big box fashion stores, so as a result they're always going to be asking for you to pay like three hundred dollars for you to get access to our directory or a thousand dollars to get access and for a small business owner sometimes that's just the cost is just that's too much that's too much so what you khun dio so now that you thought about what your complimentary brand name our bond, then again you think about your customer profile what what does what fashion does she wear? What products that she consumed? Those are all great examples of how you can do a search like this so you can do type of bloggers so maybe they're a fashion blogger maybe their lifestyle blogger maybe their food blogger maybe they're an organizational blogger there kind of pockets of subsets of different bloggers out there and then put in the word review and then put in the complimentary brand name so that's a great idea to find that's a great way to find bloggers who have reviewed other similar products to yours and in that way you can reach out to those bloggers because they are going to be that much more likely to want to work with you as well and again spend time looking through the bloggers archives you really want to get to know them get to know who they are getting what ben's they like. Honestly, I think this is going to take time but it's going to make your time that much more worth it it's a lot better for you to send out pictures that are personalized even if you can only send ten of them a week, then it would be to send one hundred un personalized emails. So another great question that I always almost always get in terms of blogger outreach is you want to know how big this blogger or how big this web site is and I definitely agree you want to make it worth your while. There are so many people out there these days starting blog's on dh, a lot of them out there are just starting blocks to get free stuff, so we definitely want to be on the be on the watch out for that. But one of the few ways that you can find out a block size is to check its alexa ranking and you can do this at alexa dot com so an alexa ranking is basically it basically ranks your website or this person's website against all the other websites that are out there in the internet, so the smaller the number, the, the more popular the website is. So as you can imagine, google dot com is number one on dh, then if you want, you can check out your website and see where you stand but that's a great way for you to kind of ballpark how large this website is or this blogger is that you're trying to reach out to this is my favorite way to check out the size of a blogger is I start clicking around their social media their their you know they always list out icons little like the twitter icon in the facebook I come in there sidebar, click around to all of those and see how big their social media fallings are. The big ones I'd like to check our facebook and instagram and then normally wouldn't like to do is just kind of add at all those numbers up and then I put that number in my spreadsheet you also want to actually check the number of block comments this blogger gets I found them block comments are an indication of how engaged their readers are with them and but here's the thing comments are really hard to get for blog's so don't be shy if you find block that has, like one hundred thousand followers, but on their block they have maybe two or three comments in my seem like that ratio was really like a little bit too different, but block comments are really hard to get if you can get a couple of comments. That's actually a good sign, but there are some logs that you might find that may have really tiny social media fallings, but that get like seventy comments for each block post, so that's a great great indication that their followers and their readers are really engaged with their blog's. They're really excited about what the blogger has to say, and that means that the blogger also has a lot of they have built a lot of trust with their with their readers and that's a great sign to for you to check out, I would feel I would, I would think twice if someone has a really big following, but that is getting zero comments on their blogged that you know that that would be up to you at the end of the day. If you want to reach out to them or not, maybe they're a really good fit for your product, then then I would go for it, but block comments are definitely one of those things that you should check for. Some blog's also have a media kit and a media kit is where the blogger will tell it's really what they used to kind of tell advertising prospects what they can do for the advertiser so they would tell normally immediate kit would have information like here the demographics of my reader it's female it's mostly people who are seventeen to twenty four this is how many blawg visitors I get in a month so you can get pretty a pretty good idea for how big or how much traffic this block is getting not all blog's have this some will on dh some will tell you that you have to email me to get my media kid and in that case I normally just check their social media but for some blog's they will make it publicly available for everyone to see. So let's expand on blogger outreach so now you've done your research you found a few blog's again it really does take time on bit's it is going to be grunt work you're gonna have elbow good you're gonna have to work a little bit of that elbow grease into this process, but once you spend that time you have, you have your list now bloggers you want to reach out to the next challenge we have or the next step in this process is we want to send them an email pitch so a challenge with bloggers is because they're really busy people their small business owners like us as well they probably get dozens and hundreds of e mails every day asking them to feature product so one of the challenges that we have as people who want to work with bloggers is we want to make sure subject lines for the email is is good, it gets their attention, it stands out between all the other email set this blogger is getting so this is a great format for a subject line I found that works really well it just for some reason people just like opening subject lines like this so I could say tiny hands plus they're blogged name another example you could have is your product and kind of spell out what that product is fourth bloggers name so I could say scented cupcake necklace for vanessa you could also try sent a cupcake necklace for vanessa's birthday and another one that I like to use is a question subject line so and if if you can figure out some way to create a subject line in the form of a question that ends with a question mark that's going because it's not used a lot and because there's a question the blogger is going to want to kind of close that information, get and want to answer that and they're gonna want to click on the email to see what what more do you have to say? It's kind of an interesting format of the subject lines, so really test around, try a bunch out and see what works well for you, it at the end of the day and really depends on who that person is, right? So in creating your email pitch, you want to start by saying the bloggers first name don't say greetings, miss miss park, you know, don't don't do that because that's always kind of sketchy and at least at least in america, because I know that can be a cultural thing if you're addressing someone by miss or mister just used their first name, I think, and I think in american standards, that's kind of be more friendly thing to do, so just say hi first name and then you want to follow up with a really attention grabbing first sentence or really genuine compliment. So this is where the homework that you've done when you've done, when you looked into through to their archives, when you've gone into their social media, to get to know who they are, really bring up a point of you know how much you loved their block and why you love their blawg, what about their block really speaks out to you? And after you've given out that compliment, introduce yourself hi, I'm a and I am the designer behind tiny hand someone dot com and I make super cute center food jewelry this is my website really easy really easy we don't want to overwhelm them by by putting in too many words and by trying to explain too much you want to make it as concise and short as possible. So tell tell the blogger who you are tell them what you do and tell them why the bloggers should care and then also linked your website and here's a really important thing instead of attaching pictures, I would love for you to embed them instead so if you're using gmail there two options for you to kind of send pictures to the blogger and if I remember what it looks like now I think the icon it's on the bottom it's a little I kind of a picture I think and little mountains on in it but that click on that and I'll ask you to browse to the picture and it's going to embed the picture directly in the email itself on dh pictures you definitely want to embed picture since your email because if that's going to be one of the few things as the blogger scrolls to your email, they're going to see pictures of your product and if the words don't capture their attention the pictures definitely will at the end of your email pitch include one just one really direct, clear call to action in the form of a question if you if you can, having one clear call to action is important, don't include too many, and if you can make it in the form of questions that's going to make them want to respond to you and answer you, what I also like to do is include a ps no if you have any ps notes at the very bottom of your e mails for some reason, it's one of those things that everyone reads, everyone just goes like they just go down to the bottom to the email they see the ps not only read that so as an as an example when I was I was featured on girl's life magazine in a few years bank, and when I was doing my research for who to reach out to, um, I targeted thie accessories editor and I had found out through her bio on the girl's life magazine website, that she's, a big fan of bony there and border there is a musician he's my all matter, actually, so I was able to tell her like ps I can't believe you love bono there guess what he's my all my matter my husband played football within isn't it cool? You know just say something really cute like that and your pitch is going to stand out a lot better and it's a lot more personable so here is what this is going to look like and this is all included as a bonus pdf for you a zay mention you know this is basically just spelling out what I've just talked about, you know hi first name the first sentence that's an attention grabbing include a personal note include a compliment if you can give one a note on including a compliment I seen a lot of people reference the first latest blawg post that ah blogger has written and you don't want to do that because a lot of a lot of bloggers can sniff out that like, oh you don't you don't know anything about me you just took the latest block polish and you think I'm going to feature you but know they can normally sniff that out so don't try that really really take the time to do your research I'm a park and I create scented food jewelry my website is tiny hands online dot com when you're embedding pictures it's a good idea to pick just one or two or maybe three very specific pictures that you pick up personally for this blogger um so a great idea is if you have subscription photos from the past you know, just put a bunch of maybe two or three pictures that you think she will really like if you've done your research about her, you should be able to get an idea for, based and based on your past subscriptions what products she might like or what products she might resonate with more and I would love to have you review my subscript shit product or media can send you two cycles of this if you could talk about my subscription product your question or call to action, you could ask something like would it be okay if I sent this your way? You know, just end with something that ends with a question mark? I think it's a lot stronger than just saying let me know and I found it works really well and then if you have a ps note of course at it in falling up on that, your first email pitches normally not going to get responded to that's just kind of the standard there will be some occasions where some bloggers will respond to you in that first email, but most of the time especially if the bloggers really big blogger, you're going to need to fall up with them so the challenges with blogger outreach or if you're reaching out to a magazine editor, for example they they're inundated with all of these pitches that they're getting from so many people, so many other small business owners who want their products to be featured on their publication, right? So we really want to make sure that our pitch stands out, but a great way to do that is after one to two weeks send a follow up email and if you don't hear back from them again, um, if you still don't hear back from them full up one more time, so be systematic way and diligent with falling up with this process of blogger outreach. It's really easy to forget when you're supposed to send a follow up to wait too long before you send to follow up so the magic really is in the fall up, your chances are of getting a response back dramatically increases the more you follow up with them and some ways for you to be systematic with that is tohave aps installed. If you're using gmail, these air to great maps that you can use, one of them is called streak, the other is called boomerang and what you can do with these ascend yourself reminders for when to send follow ups to these blonde pitches that you've done isn't out do we have any questions about pitching or marketing? That thing each that I'm in is not a product rich neech were sort of like one of the first few people to jump into providing products for you talk a little bit more about your problems yeah, my company is our what? We have our gifts and party supplies for women getting divorced so divorce is not something that you normally give a gift for and people are just now starting to have divorce parties so there aren't a lot of bloggers who are talking about products for divorce. There are self help bloggers on dh there's the general lifestyle bloggers some having trouble really finding the right people that are the compliment terry clump complimentary complimentary brands that you sort of spoke of is there any way tio sort of feel people out or find people that you haven't mentioned? So you did mention that this is kind of a new thing that's happening right divorce parties so what others what other products to people normally buy for divorce parties? Well, since divorce parties air so new people are sort of d I y ng it okay stuff for themselves at home but really it's it's very brand new okay, okay, so I think going back to what you said like kind of the self help law with those are great blocks to reach out to maybe some life stalin's but in terms of your complimentary brands I I wonder if if you just reached out to in general party supplies, I know it's kind of a little bit more mccobb, you know, when you're reaching out to a party of log about a divorce party, but I think some people might be into it because it's still in that general theme of parties so I know for you, like you're kind of you know you're you're creating your own thing here that you don't really have anyone to model yourself after, but I think you have some options there would start with the party. Blog's um, in your case, I'm I'm not sure, yeah, I don't think it's a good idea to reach out to the craft, the blog's they're trying to craft their own party supplies, but I think self help it's a great it's, a great pass for you to take to, um but yeah, I I would be interested to see if you reached out to parties party blog's to see how they would react to your to your product, I think it's a great idea.

Class Description

Not sure where your next sale will come from? A subscription product or business eliminates the guess work and is a great way to secure a steady paycheck. Find out how it is done in A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business with Mei Pak.

Mei is a veteran jewelry-maker who earns her living by selling online. In this class, she’ll teach you everything you need to launch and run a successful subscription business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create the ideal product for your subscribers
  • Package your product to move
  • Add more subscribers every month
  • Establish and maintain organizational systems
  • Engineer an amazing customer experience and keep customers happy

You’ll learn all of the logistics for running a subscription product business. Mei will show you how to manage your tasks including how to; collect payments, get existing customers to buy a subscription, print bulk shipping labels, and much more.

If you have a product your customers love and want to earn a consistent income by selling more of it every month, A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business with Mei Pak is the perfect class for you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Email Pitch Template and Checklist.docx

Email Pitch Template and Checklist.pdf

Subscription Management and Shipping Tools.docx

Subscription Management and Shipping Tools.pdf

Your System For Selling Subscriptions.docx

Your System For Selling Subscriptions.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

Great course, especially the interview with Stacey (part 6).


Mei gives lots of practical information and resources in this course.