Stacey: You were said there was no limit to how much you can make, which is true until you’ve reached a certain point in your business. I think what you make is sort of tied to your social media network. You can only work with the audience you have access to. In some way, I think how much you make is correlated with the network you’ve established.
Mei: That’s a good point and I agree to an extent. I think you can work at growing those numbers and social media, newsletters, and those things depend on how big your audience is. When you think about psychical businesses, people who make jewelry, and those who run wholesale businesses, I’ve seen a lot of businesses as trade shows who have no social media presence whatsoever.
Stacey: But their network is still the people they’re reaching. It’s not like they’re selling to nobody.
Mei: What about doing Facebook ads? That’s something I’m doing with Tiny Hands and once you find an ad that is making you sales and doesn’t cost a lot of money, then you just continue adding money to them. I guess that’s a more automated way and not tied so much to your audience. It’s not hard to do and arguably if you’re able to get a network of 20 stores, it’s not that hard to get five more. It’s the same thing with social media. If you’ve gotten to 5,000 Pinterest followers, it shouldn’t be that hard to get 1,000 more.
Stacey: A customer who just finds you is very interested in you, but someone who has been following you on Pinterest for five years isn’t as engaged with you in the same way. As time goes on, your followers become less valuable because they become less engaged with you.
Mei: I see that happening with my Instagram account because I started it a lot of years ago. For Tiny Hands I have 33,000 followers, but the bigger you get your engagement is going to drop over time as well. You’ve been around for so long, a quarter of those people probably followed you back in the day and they’re not around anymore so your engagement drops.
Stacey: The same things happens with your customers. A customer that has purchased from you, how long will they keep purchasing from you before they get bored of you. How can you shape your business to guard against that or is that just the natural way this runs? Maybe people will be with you for a year before you need to find completely new people.
Mei: I think it’s true that people won’t stuck with you forever. They’re going to stick around for a year or two, buy all of the things you have, and then they’re going to move on to the next thing. Maybe they don’t care about scented jewelry anymore, maybe they care about stickers. They can even grow up and completely change their preferences. It’s both important: how can you keep your customers interested and engaged, but how can you reach new people?
Stacey: That’s what I’m always struggling with because my business is more teaching, tutorials, and learning. I have a longer lifespan for my customers so three years is not abnormal for me to have. It’s hard because the business you have for someone who has been crocheting for five years is very different from someone who had just learned last week. Your business, when you have such a long customer cycle, has to cater to both of those people.
Mei: This is more so with education, which is ultimately what you do. You have to account for the different types of people at different levels of craftiness.
Stacey: You’re going to have that problem in five years.
Mei: Are you talking about Creative Hive?
Stacey: Yes, I am.
Mei: Actually, I’m already starting to see that. People who are more advanced business owners come to me and say: “I like you and I want to buy your stuff, but all of your courses are for beginners.”
Stacey: It’s very hard to apply. You’ve developed this customer and you don’t want to lose them because they’ve outgrown you. You can’t be everything, so it’s tricky.
Mei: It is and I’ve found that when I created Creative Hive I tried to do all of those things at once, but I had to take a step back and realize it’s going to be much easier to just focus on one thing at a time. Just choose one thing to focus on and based on the feedback you’re getting from that existing group of people, continue to expand on that later on.
If you’ve got any questions or topics you would like to hear about, head over to my website www.thebusinessbuzzpodcast.com and fill in the form on that page.
Thank you for listening!
Thanks for hanging out with me today! If you have any thoughts, ideas or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below.
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons above and below this post.
And if you love what you're hearing, go ahead and subscribe to the Business Buzz Podcast on iTunes.
While you're there, could you leave an honest review? It'll take two minutes, tops. Ratings and reviews are extremely important – help me refine the content of the podcast and they also help it reach more makers and creatives like you!
If you have a question or guest suggestion for the podcast (it could be you or someone else!), head on over to BusinessBuzzPodcast.com. There's a box for you to ask your question.
Talk to you again soon!