Let's look at how to create a marketing strategy. And we talked about what to do seasonally, we looked at the marketing calendar, we talked about what to do monthly, but what if you don't do sales? This is a question that comes up a lot. What if you don't like promotions and you don't like discounts, and you don't ever want to reduce the integrity? Like that, I think that has a lot to do with integrity. People feel like I am not going to put my hard work product for sale. So what if you don't do sales? Or what if it's just a season where you're not planning on running a sale and you don't want to run a sale? In that case, if you're not promoting, and you're not going to discount your offer, and you don't want to ever discount your offer, be sure to ask yourself, then what makes me buy? If I'm buying, I love a discount. I love a special and I love a limited edition. It goes really well naturally for me to incorporate those into my marketing strategies because that's how I love to shop a...
nd that's when I love to buy. So maybe you don't. Maybe you don't like promotions when you shop. And if that's the case, if it's not sales for you as a buyer, then what is it? You'll need to be asking yourself what motivates my purchase? 'Cause for me, I love those sales and I love the discounts. Then as another example, I'm pulling up an example, this is the contents of an email from one of my clients. Her business is Little Girl's Pearls. She's been chiming in a lot during our class and I love hearing from her. Her name is Julie, and she, this is the contents of her email. Just to be clear, this comes in one long strip and I had to clip it and put it side by side so you could see everything that she emails, but she uses MailChimp, I believe, and it comes in one long strip. So let's explore this for a minute. Because if you don't want to do a discount your customer is still very much asking what's in it for me, and where's the value in the offer? And the one thing that's missing from this because I couldn't fit it, and Julie has such a beautiful smile, but when you get to the bottom under Find Her Gifts she has all of her social media icons in matching colors and then her smiling face comes up at the bottom with links to her shop and stuff like that. It's absolutely gorgeous. This email is absolutely gorgeous. It really blew me off my chair, I love it. It's an excellent example of giving without a discount. Now she sent this around Valentine's Day. There's no sale in this offer, but she has absolutely given up time and attention and really added value there. She created these free printable Valentine's Day cards and she put that with a friendly message and then as you scroll down through the products you'll find that she's put a product spotlight where she showcased one of her products there at the end. And that still is keeping her business front and center and making it all very relevant. Oops. And I just loved when I saw this because I thought, what a thoughtful gift. That's how I felt about it. I thought what a thoughtful gift, and you can see how beautifully they are designed. I would love to send that with my daughter to school for her Valentine's Day cards. Absolutely beautiful, and you can really feel, you feel valued as the recipient of that email, because you can tell that she really took the time to deliver something beautiful to you. She didn't ask for anything. She did give you a product spotlight. Well she is in business, after all, and she put all this value into that email. Loved it. So if you want to ask, I don't give discounts so what am I going to do next, then you're going to give something. Just prepare yourself to give something. It doesn't have to be a discount, but expect that time and attention and value has to be included in order for your customer to feel valued, period. So thank you Julie. She's at Little Girl's Pearls. Thank you so much for letting me use your example. And this email and your email newsletters are beautiful. So the next thing I'm gonna do is walk you through how to build your own marketing calendar. And I'm using another client example. I'm gonna be pulling up a lady named Addison, and her business is called Carolina Dandy, and she's a client. We're actually working together on building a marketing strategy, so I'm going to show you the actual walkthrough of how I build a marketing campaign for one of my clients. I think that's the best way that I can give you that learning curve that you can build a marketing campaign and marketing calendar for yourself. So I'm gonna show you the questions that I ask when I work with one of my clients, and I'm gonna take you through that process so that you can do this and ask yourself all these same questions when you're building. Alright, so this is Carolina Dandy on Etsy, and again, the shop owner's name is Addison. She's seen some success and when she came to me the reason we were working together is because she was ready to take it to the next level. And so instinctively the first question I ask myself is, are there any weak points to her offer? Are there any weak points to her storefront? And that would be the first thing if you were looking at building your own marketing campaign, where you would start with, because you need all of this to be a very good presentation in order to, marketing and advertising is wasted effort, wasted resources, and wasted energy unless they can come here and that's gonna attract them, and bring them in, the storefront has to be first, and that's why we talked about how to build an Etsy storefront that sells first. We're building on that ever since. So the first thing I'm asking myself is are there any weak points to her storefront? And I don't see anything, but I'm looking for the flaws, and at the same time I'm also already starting to notice what's standing out to me on the page. I'm looking for anything I can see that will create a smoother transaction for her customers, and I like what I see there, and I'm also noticing the strengths that I'm gonna be looking at next. So what are the strengths, what are her strengths here? And I see a style that I love. I love the way that she's putting together looks that showcase her product. Like for example, the monogrammed fleece vest does not come with the flannel she has underneath it. She's put that together and that's a talent all its own. So she's starting to stage her products in a way that will make them sell. And the cohesiveness that everything goes together, is all pretty monogrammed, and there's a very clear offer there. The next thing, now I know by the time I'm working with my clients that everybody is looking for more revenue or more growth. So I know a thing or two about her, but I need to ask her, as far as she's come looking for a marketing strategy, so as far as that goes I need to ask her, what has she tried so far. I need to get her experience. But not only do I need to get her experience, I ask myself this question all the time, and I ask this question of anybody who is stuck or feeling stuck. When they're feeling stuck, what specifically are you stuck on and what have you tried so far? So for the longest time I wanted to start using Leadpages, that's a place that will capture emails for you, where you can set up landing pages that are good at converting visitors into email subscribers. For the longest time I could not get Leadpages. Why could I not get Leadpages? I don't know, 'cause it was my own block. It was like just, I had never done it before. It was another vulnerable leap. I had to start, I had to buy a subscription, I had to go through all these steps. So I'm thinking I really, opt-ins are important and I really want to grow my opt-in list, and then I'm chasing that for months, and everybody does that. We all do that in creative businesses. We know the next step that we have to take but for some reason we just chase it like on a hamster wheel for months. So I needed Leadpages and six months later I said to myself, well what have you tried so far (laughs) to get Leadpages? And the answer was zero. I mean I'd taken not even a step in that direction. And all I had to do was ask myself that question before I, that day within, I'm not kidding, 15 minutes, I was signed up and had my first Leadpages out there running and collecting opt-ins, emails. So anytime anybody's stuck, like you know, a lot of times in our Facebook group that we run, it's called Creative Entrepreneurs by Marketing Creativity where we boost each other's posts, people will say, I'm not getting any sales. We have what's a wisdom Wednesday, where you come in and we all ask questions and share things that matter in our business that week, and people will say, but I'm not getting any sales. And this is my favorite response. Okay, well what have you tried so far? Because once you get that question the ball gets rolling. They start to realize, well all I've been doing so far is saying I'm not getting any sales. Okay, well there's training out there everywhere. You can take training right here with me for free. I mean what have you tried so far is the first step to get any ball moving. So in this case Addison was not stuck but I'm looking for her experience. It's one of the first questions that I ask one of my new clients because I need to know what she's tried and where she's connecting. It's really important in a marketing campaign to look at where you're successful and where you're connecting, 'cause it's not about reinventing the wheel, it's only about boosting the efforts, boosting the places it's working well. And as I just said, the next thing is where is she connecting. Because she has great photos, and great style, and great staging, it was no surprise that she's connecting and doing very well on Instagram. And she is, she has a good sized account, she's building a following there, she's connecting with her customers, everything's going really well. So I immediately wanted her to utilize that talent and to make the most of it, and to optimize the success she's already seen on Instagram. And as you can see, I'm working with a client but we're not reinventing the wheel. I'm not telling her to shut down. I'm not even giving her information and redirecting all of her efforts. I'm just saying okay, that's working, now we're really going to focus there. So this doesn't have to be complicated. We don't need to overthink it. We just need to keep building on what's working. So after I get the lay of the land with Addison my very next question in building a marketing strategy is going to be, what are you seasons? I need to know before we go any further when her business is doing well and when things get slow. Now I'm gonna revisit this marketing calendar, and the reason I'm revisiting it is because it's always my baseline, it's always the first place that I'm gonna start. It's the most powerful tool I have to grow my business. And I'm looking at the next 12 months at a year in a glance, and I'm now going to customize this for Addison. You can create your own marketing calendar now just by filling out the next 12 months from where we're sitting. You can do it on your own as we walk through this together. So I want first the good and the bad seasons, and I want any blackout dates, and when I say blackout dates I'm looking for vacation, or downtime, or areas where you're just not working on your business. And Addison is a new startup, she's all in. She doesn't want to take any vacations this year. She's gonna be open so I don't have actual blackout dates. She's ready to work this year. She wants to put it into her business. And then she's telling me where she has slow seasons, January, February, and March were noticeably slow for her, and she started our work together with a part time job but it was ending, so that was gonna go away. But it was caution as we were working together and starting. And next, I'm going to see as she... Oh, and there's also where the business picks up and where she gets a lot of holiday orders. You can imagine with her business and the customized personalized nature of it she's gonna get a lot of holiday orders. So the next thing I'm gonna see is how she feels about sales and discounting, because I think it's a great tool for getting new customers and getting repeat business. And I call it scrappy marketing, because I'm not afraid to get scrappy with my marketing. I will rent physical mailing addresses and send postcards if I have to. I think it's all about getting scrappy, and I'm that interested in finding new customers, so I'll get scrappy for 'em. I want to know if she's down to get scrappy (laughs), and that is something that I want to test with my customers, because if they're not we'll keep it baseline. We'll do things that they feel comfortable with, but I like to go after customers. And I also know the value of them. I know how valuable a good customer relationship can be over time and I'm willing to chase it in the beginning. So you want to be asking yourself the same thing. What's a new customer and their potential repeat business worth to you, what's it worth? Are you willing to give discounts? Are you willing to do promotions? Are you willing to do whatever you can to get them into your customer flow, into your sales funnel? And then what are you willing to invest to earn those potential customers? So Addison, she is willing to put out some sales and put out some discounts, and before we get to that, the first thing I want to know is whose style does she like on Instagram? Because I like fashion bloggers on Instagram. It's one of my favorite people. I love learning about style through people on Instagram. And so my mind immediately goes there. I want to know, who does she like on Instagram that matches her style, who is she following? And the reason I'm asking her is because I want her to start getting her products into those fashion bloggers' feeds. Now she had tried that before and she'd had great success, but she sort of backed off on it and she wasn't asking anybody recently. Well I wanted to stretch that, so together we created a plan, a number of Instagram users that she liked their style, that she would continue to contact throughout the year, and then we wrote a script that she could adjust in a way that she could personalize it to each fashion blogger she was reaching out to, and the script was also aimed toward, to make it a win-win for the person that she was contacting, because even if you're asking for a collaboration, or even if you are working with somebody in a way that you're gonna be a partnership, I still contact those people with a what's in it for me, from a what's in it for me perspective. So if she is gonna contact fashion bloggers and she's gonna ask them to shop her product, I'm instructing her and we're working on a script so that they have to do as little as possible. We want an easy yes from that Instagram fashion blogger. So we have it shaped so that basically all they have to do is take a coupon code and shop her site for free, and then use the post, and then she also will put in there that she would love to then repost and re-gram to her followers, 'cause she has a healthy follow herself. So win-win for everybody at minimal work for the person that she asked. So the next question you're gonna ask is what you can do to boost your seasonal sales. And Addison, in blue, her business picks up in May and November. My strategy is always about making big seasons even better, so I want to ride that wave, I want to follow the flow of my business and what it's already teaching me, so I'm gonna ask her to make the most of these selling seasons, and I'll put, she doesn't have these sales yet established, but I'll put the biggest sales in the busiest times of her business. And then we'll start to ask ourselves what can she do to offset the slower seasons? My suggestion, and rather than, this is normally where an opt-in would go, I would rather her spend the time getting those Instagram invites out into the world. I'd rather her spend the time spreading the word that way than actually creating an opt-in offer, because, I'll tell you why in a minute, but we're looking to get the product into the right fashion bloggers' hands. So rather than the traditional opt-in, she's gonna invest the time, the same time she would in the opt-in, into the Instagram invites, inviting popular bloggers to shop her site, and she's going to do that intentionally in slow seasons for not only her, but also for them. Because what's gonna happen if she contacts them in the height of a busy season? That's gonna go away. But if she contacts them right before spring, or if she contacts them right before fall, now it's slow for them too. They feel somewhere like nobody's on the internet, so it's a win-win time for them both. And because Addison was down to get a little scrappy, when she's having a terribly slow season she's going to use a discount offer site. So those are things like a Groupon-like site where you create one deal and you offer it out to 100 people at a discounted rate. That gets a lot of eyes on the product. It's something that I've done in the first couple of years, where I really wanted a lot of people to see the product. And that was Addison's biggest stall, was her lack of exposure. She already knows she has a marketable product. Her business was built because she started monogramming things and all her friends wanted some, so she started selling it. She knows it's marketable and now she's trying to figure out how to get more eyes on the product. So when I'm working with a business that already has a lot of momentum and a lot of sales behind it, I start this marketing calendar focused on the organization of the business and the offers. I start it trying to get people on top of their business so they feel more in control of it. However, if a business is needing more business and exposure, growth is the most important focus, then I start with growth tactics. Next year Addison's calendar will look completely different. She'll look at more organizing all of the growth that she's gained, she'll look at more profit base, but this is definitely a growth base. Our biggest obstacle here is getting eyes, so all of our strategy is about getting more eyes on the product. And then now I'll add promotions that she can run on her own, like a spring line launch, a fall line launch, and she has a great shop for it, she has bathing suits and things like that so she can use the seasons to create introductory rates for those products, she can do a lot of things to bring people in and offset slow seasons, and then free shipping down in December.
There are a lot of great information in this course, but also a few problems that need improvement:
* Lisa used presentation slides to sparingly that sometimes it's hard to follow her point. She needs more coaching on designing effective presentation.
* A lot of examples in the course are personal observations from her own strategy, which may not apply to everyone. There are not enough varieties of examples to consolidate into an actionable step.
I now understand why I´m not happy with how my business goes. I´m avoiding way too many of the things I should be doing out of "shyness privacy, not wanting to "molest" people and some weird pride"
being afraid of exposure, limitig myself...
I understand that I have to totally rethink and restructure everything