Calling creative business owners! Are you a maker, artist or designer looking to ramp up your sales?
Maybe you have an Etsy shop or you've got a product idea in the works.
And you'd really like to get to a place in your business where you're making a sale a day.
How awesome would that be?
Let me help you get there.
Introducing the A Sale A Day Challenge.
This challenge is packaged in a free, epic blog post that will walk you through 30 days (or steps) of action items you need to do to move closer to your A Sale A Day goal.
Warning. Don't continue unless you've read this:
This challenge is intense, I'm not going to lie.
But I know a huge roadblock that many of us creatives have is procrastination, complete inaction or overwhelm.
To make this easy for you, I have condensed these 30 action steps into the exact tasks you need to be doing.
These are not only the bare minimums, but the most essential tasks to do.
Yes, there are far more things you could be doing in addition to what is listed in the A Sale A Day Challenge.
But I need you to promise me that you will stay monogamous to this challenge from start to finish.
This is for your own good, otherwise feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty will start to creep in and cause you to lose focus.
If you decide to partake in A Sale A Day, it is your sole mission to complete it.My #asaleadaychallenge mission: I promise to complete it, even if it's not perfect Click To Tweet
Even if it's not perfect. Even it you didn't do every task listed.
As long as you finish the challenge, you will be far ahead than everyone else and your so-called competition.
Getting a sale a day is not out of your reach.
That's only 30 sales per month.
Many other creatives have done it before you. You can do it too.
Playing along with this challenge
Ready to take on this challenge and start making a sale a day?
Great! This challenge was designed to be done daily and completed in 30 days but you can take this challenge for the next 30 weeks if that works better with your schedule.
Here's how you can follow along to get the most out of it:
- Share this post to gain access to the challenge
- Add buttons below to your blog or website sidebar for accountability in your commitment to #asaleadaychallenge
- Decide on your starting point – maybe it's today, maybe next Monday. Have a starting point and schedule it in your calendar or set a reminder.
- Decide on your frequency – will you take on each step daily, or once every two days, or maybe even weekly?
- Schedule challenge days on your calendar – then mark them off when you've done them!
- Once complete, consider reusing this challenge as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Reusing this challenge
Once you have completed this challenge, you can come back full circle and redo everything that is listed from Day/Step 8 – 30.
At the end of your first time with A Sale A Day, you will be moving closer towards your goals of more sales, more exposure, more happiness and more freedom.
Consistency is one of the keys to success. Consider reusing this challenge over and over again.
Each time you complete the challenge, you move closer and closer to your dreams.Each time you complete #asaleadaychallenge, you move closer to your dream goals. Click To Tweet
How's that for a roadmap to success, huh?
Before you start
Fill in this handy progress sheet that will clearly show you where you stand after each month.
It's not only motivating to see your numbers go up but also helps you identify what you're doing right so you can keep doing more of it.
Ready, set, go!
You have two options for following along with this challenge:
- By bookmarking this page and coming back to it every day (continue below)
- By receiving daily emails sent automatically to your inbox
If you'd like to go the email route, sign up with your email address below to get started:
Step 1: Set goals & accountability
Setting goals is having a clear, big picture idea of where you want to be 6 months, a year or two years from now.
What kind of life do you want to be in?
Where do you see your products and brand going?
Think of 1-3 SMART goals, where your goals are:
S: Specific (narrow down on one specific area per goal)
M: Measurable (“a sale a day” is a good one)
A: Attainable (be realistic and are you willing and able to do the work?)
R: Relevant (does your goal matter to you and is it parallel with your values?)
T: Timely (give yourself a time frame)
Think of 1-3 goals for yourself and biz and write them in the comments below for everyone to see (to hold you majorly accountable).
If you're shy, you can join the private Facebook group and share your goals with the group.
Or, tell a close friend or your spouse about your goals.
Step 2: Building a cohesive product line
The first step to creating a shop that looks professional is to build a cohesive product line.
Your products should all tie in together and share common design or functional values.
Think of your products as a collection, not a mishmash of garage sale items.
This helps make your shop memorable in your customers' eyes.
Consider your overall brand and what your shop stands for.
Why should people buy from you?
What makes your products different?
Do a product cleanse and remove listings of products that don't fit in, don't sell well or aren't fun for you to make.
I know this can be hard to do to retire some of your products. But good things never come easy! It'll be worth it, promise!
Then, if you need to add more inventory, brainstorm product ideas that expand on your existing product line.
Step 3: Get your pricing straight
If your products aren't priced right, you're turning away customers without knowing.
Follow this formula from the Guide To Pricing Handmade Items:
Supplies + Your Time = Item Cost
Item Cost x 2.2 (up to 2.5, depending on how much you want to markup) = Wholesale Price
Wholesale Price x 2.2 = Retail Price
This is typically a one time process if done correctly, so don't cheat yourself!
Bring out the receipts from supplies you've bought and start calculating how much each design is costing you in materials and supplies.
Then time yourself making your product. This is the labor part that goes into the pricing formula.
Plug the numbers into the formula above.
Or, grab a copy of my Pricing Calculator (I made this just for you) and plug in the numbers there. No calculator required!
Figure out the pricing of 5-10 of your products using the Pricing Calculator. Then change your prices on Etsy or on your website.
Changing your prices will feel hard and scary, but in honor of this challenge you've committed yourself to, just do it and keep moving along. Don't overthink it.
Don't do more than 5-10 products. Save the rest of your line for round two of this challenge!
Step 4: Product photography
It's time to learn how to take great photos of your products and give your shop a makeover!
You don't need fancy equipment to do this. If you have an iPhone 5+, you can take awesome shots!
Be sure you have 3-5 photographs for each product to show it off in different angles.
Use this tutorial to set up your mini photo studio using bits and bobs around the house.
Then upload the photos to your computer and edit them for a clean, white background.
Photograph five of your bestselling products. Edit all photos (there should be 15-25 photos total with different angles per product).
Again, don't do more than five products. Save the rest for your second, third or fourth go at the A Sale A Day Challenge.
Step 5: Take a break!
Phew. You've done a lot of work.
Now's a good time to take a breather or catch up with incomplete tasks.
It's important to relax and not think of business every now and then to re-energize yourself.
You'll avoid burnout and will get a lot more done that way.
Do something fun! Make sure it's unrelated to work.
Go to the mall and have some ice-cream.
Or get a nice bottle of wine and watch a few episodes of Project Runway.
Step 6: Ideal customer exercise
An ideal customer exercise can sound like a chore because you've heard about it a thousand times.
Answer this question for me: How old is your ideal customer?
If you answered a range that spans more than five years (like 20-75 years old – that spans 55 years), you need to revisit this exercise and do it again.
The answers to your target customer exercise must be very specific, like you're describing your best friend.
She isn't 20-75 years old. She's 32.
She doesn't just like chick flicks. She adores The Notebook and The Fault In Our Stars.
She doesn't just like to cook. She's a foodie obsessed with french cooking and is perfecting her Coq Au Vin recipe.
Dream up the ideal customer who will not hesitate to buy your products, who will become a loyal customer bringing you repeat sales and who will be telling all her friends about you.
Who is that person who will do all of the above? Download this target customer exercise and fill it in.Knowing your ideal customer is like knowing your best friend #asaleadaychallenge Get this free ideal… Click To Tweet
Step 7: Product packaging
Your product and shipping packaging tells a story about your brand and who you are.
How do you want your packaging to speak for you?
There are dozens of creative ways to package your products and the packaging they are shipped in.
Consider printing custom stickers, buying unique gift boxes or use washi tape to decorate.
Be sure to keep your packaging consistent from order to order so people will recognize and remember you.
Think of ways you can impress and delight your customers. What will further deliver your brand message?
Your shop could be all about spreading the message of eco-friendly, sustainable living. You can source for pretty ribbons and gift boxes that are green and recyclable.
Create a list of supplies you'd like to fine tune your product and shipping packaging.
If you're able, make your purchase for a small order of supplies.
Step 8: Writing awesome product titles & descriptions
If you already have product titles and descriptions, now's the time to look at them with a critical eye and revamp them if necessary.
Your product title should clearly describe the product. Avoid cute names because search engines and your customers aren't looking for “The Wandering Joanna Necklace”.
Instead, use descriptive words that tell what color, size or type of product it is.
Try this instead: “Yellow Wood Bead Tribal Necklace”.
For your product descriptions, be sure you talk about the benefits of your product.
Your product benefits go over why someone should buy your product. People buy based on emotions and feelings, so it's a good idea to tap into that.
Do your products make a person feel confident, beautiful, happy or organized? Do your products help eliminate stress?
Tell a story around your product based on how it will make your customer feel.
Then describe the product's features, such as measurements, color, materials, product care and more.
Your product descriptions should be between 300-500 words for getting better search engine rankings and also for your customer. They want to know enough about your product in order to make an informed decision.
Pick 5-10 of your bestselling (or favorite) products.
Write each of them a physically descriptive title.
Write each of them a product description between 300-500 words. Be sure you talk about both benefits and features.
Step 9: Setting up shop
If you don't have a shop or website yet, here are some various options to consider:
|Price/Fees||$0.20 to list. 3.5% commission. No monthly fees||Free||2.9% + $0.30 commission. Starts at $29/mo fee|
|Usability/Ease of use||Easy – requires no HTML or CSS knowledge to set up a shop||Hard – you need a solid understanding of WordPress in order to make it work, otherwise pay someone else to set it up for you||Medium – requires a bit of toying around. Some very basic understanding of code will be helpful but is not neccesary|
|Maintenance||Easy – it is easy to edit your shop and its products. You can even bulk edit if needed||Medium – updating product descriptions or photos takes a bit more clicks to get done||Easy – the interface for product management is intuitive and user friendly|
|Features||Limited – because Etsy calls the shots on the overall website, Etsy is very basic when it comes to ecommerce or marketing features that can help you sell more||Wide range – Want a feature added for collecting email subscribers at checkout? You can download a plugin for that. The same goes for almost any other feature you can think of, but not all of them will be compatible with your set up||Most options – Shopify is currently the leading ecommerce solution. It offers a myriad of marketing features that help boost sales (although some are not free) and integrate with major social media to encourage direct sales|
|Branding/Design||Very limited – Etsy keeps moving towards an Etsy-only branded marketplace. There are few places you can customize your shop design but overall you are not in control of your site's style||Unlimited – Literally, you can design your WordPress shop or site any way you like. You control the branding and shopping experience every step of the way||Somewhat limited – Shopify provides you with hundreds of theme options to customize your store with. You can make minor style and design adjustments but you do not control every element completely|
I recommend either WordPress (you'll need the WooCommerce plugin to turn your site into a shop) or Shopify depending on your resources:
Got time and somewhat tech-savvy, but no money: Use WordPress
Little time, not very tech-savvy, got some money: Use Shopify
Pick between WordPress or Shopify.
If using WordPress, your steps are as follows:
- Purchase domain name and hosting from Bluehost
- Install WordPress
- Install WooCommerce plugin
- Install WooCommerce theme
Finally, list 5-10 different products in your new shop.
Step 10: Break time!
Step 9 is a huge step for you if you're starting from scratch, so take the extra time to complete your Step 9 action step above.
Take extra time if absolutely necessary, but don't lose sight of your goal to get your shop set up and list 5-10 products.
You can save the website tweaks and adjustments for later.
Done is better than perfect.
Step 11: Being everywhere: sell in different marketplaces
One of the mantras I practice is to get your business in as many places as possible.
This includes setting up shop in all the different marketplaces that are suitable for you and your shop.
The plan is pretty simple:
Bulk upload your listings to a marketplace. Optimize your listings. Sit back and forget about it.
The point of it is to reach the existing audience of a different market.
The legwork comes from the initial set up, but once you've created your shop you can focus on other things – like your main website!
My Etsy shop brings in a few sales every week. All I do is renew sold listings and respond to convos. In fact, I spend less than an hour every month on Etsy!
Here's a list of 21 online marketplaces you can apply to sell at:
- Amazon's Handmade Marketplace
- Fulfillment by Amazon
- Folksy (UK)
- Dawanda (UK)
- Craftsy (for patterns)
- Rubylane (vintage & antiques)
Most of these sites will have the ability to bulk upload your product listings.
So once you have your CSV file set up once, it'll take a few minor tweaks to get it working for the next marketplace.
Don't forget, you can also get some outside help to do the dirty (read: boring) data work for you.
Pick ONE other marketplace to set up shop at.
Upload your products, configure your shop settings (like banner image, about you section, shipping costs, etc.)
Make your shop live.
Step 12: Being everywhere: pitch your products to be featured in blogs
My clients and students ask me all the time: how did you “make it”?
I remember the tipping point.
I didn't even realize it at the time, but my traffic stats were showing me lots of hits from one particular website.
I was featured for the first time on a popular blog!
I got tons of traffic and sales followed, and it didn't stop there.
I started seeking out blogs and sites that my customers were reading and hanging out at.
I pitched my products or paid for a small ad space on their sidebar.
That was the strategy that worked and I ran with it, up to this day.
Being featured on a blog got me a spot on a prime time television show that brought me thousands of dollars in sales in one day. No joke.
The good news is you can do this too!
Make a list of 10 popular blogs that your customers read.
Find the blogger's email address and send her a pitch!
Some rules to remember: keep your pitch less than 10 lines long, embed a couple of your best product images, and end your email with a call to action.
Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up a week later if you don't hear back.
Step 13: Market on Instagram
Instagram is the new cool kid on the block.
Unlike Facebook, it doesn't (yet) have complicated algorithms that prevent your content from getting seen by your fans.
It's a good idea to step up your Instagram game if you're just getting started.
First, you need to post once every day. Make sure your photos look good and are on point with your brand!
They could be photos of your product, your supplies, a work in progress or even your messy studio!
Next, your initial priority with boosting your Instagram marketing should be to grow your following with targeted fans and customers.
One quick way to do this is to tell all your other fans to join you on Instagram.
You can send out an email newsletter asking them to follow you on Instagram. You could even do an Instagram giveaway or contest (more on that later).
But if you're really just starting your business from scratch and you have no following yet, then try this:
Try the 5, 3, 1 strategy. First, using relevant hashtags, find someone who matches your ideal customer profile.
- Like 5 of their most recent photos
- Leave thoughtful comments on 3 photos
- Equals 1 new follower!
Alternatively, you could find a group of your target customers who use a hashtag related to your brand and like their photos.
Liking someone's photo encourages them to check out your profile.
They'll become a follower if they resonate with what you have to offer!
- Tell your existing fan base about your Instagram profile. Lay it out there – ask them to become a fan!
- Do the 5, 3, 1 strategy a few times today
- Search a hashtag that your customers are likely to use. Like 100-200 photos and spread them out through the day.
Step 14: Work with Instagram celebrities
In the previous step, you've probably found a few Instagram profiles that have super large followings.
These people are what I call influencers. They're people who have a lot of clout and a massive fan base.
It's also likely that they fall into your ideal customer profile because that's how you found them in the first place!
Consider sending them free product in exchange for a feature of you on their profile!
The influencer could take a photo wearing or using your product and post it to their profile for thousands of their fans to see.
To get the most out of it, be sure they @ mention you in their photo description so their fans can find you!
This is the exact strategy I used to get grow my Instagram following from 900 to 13,000 in less than a year.@mei_pak grew her Instagram following from 900-13k in 9 months. Find the strategy she used in #asaleadaychallenge Click To Tweet
The process of doing this is exactly the same as pitching to popular blogs, back in Step 12.
Make a list of 10 influencers you want to gift your products to.
Find their email address and send them a pitch!
Set a reminder on your calendar to follow up a week later if they don't respond.
Step 15: Workin' it with Facebook
Facebook is still a powerful social media platform because of its huge reach.
It can drive a ton of sales, but so many creatives don't get how to work it!
Not you, I know you're smart. You just need a little bit of direction.
Your top priority with Facebook should be your engagement.
Engagement is a metric that measures how many people are liking, commenting and sharing your content on your Facebook page.
You must have a very clear idea for what things your fans love to see to increase engagement.
This goes back to understanding your ideal customer very well.
To raise engagement, do this:
- Post more frequently and consistently – try 2-4 times a day, every day (hint: schedule posts in advance using Facebook's built-in scheduler)
- Mix it up – post about your shop half the time. Share other Facebook pages' content (that relates to your fans) the other half of the time.
- Be present – respond to your fans comments, even if it's to say “thank you”.
- Ask for the like, share or comment. Ask simple questions in your post to get your fans to speak up!
Check out my post for how to craft awesome Facebook posts for more inspiration on what to post!
Will you do 2 or 4 posts a day?
Create a list of 10 different topics or things that your ideal customer loves (feel free to reference your Ideal Customer Exercise).
Create posts, curate and share other pages' content around those 10 topics.
Schedule your next 7 days of posts.
Step 16: Participating in Facebook groups
My very first few sales were made through message boards (otherwise known as online forums).
These forums basically bring together hundreds of people who share common interests. The get together to hang out and chat!
There are thousands of Facebook groups that operate the same way.
Go to Facebook suggested groups and join a few that you feel you can really contribute to (not just sell your stuff to).
Once you've been approved to join the group, be sincere and connect with other people.
Offer help, suggestions or feedback when people ask for it.
Be there and support the other members.
Only promote your product when it's appropriate. You don't want to be spammy or come off as too pushy.
In a way it's a lot like karma, but it's real and it happens.
People take notice, which in turn puts your shop in the spotlight!
Just make sure you've update your personal Facebook profile to show your current workplace and link your Facebook business page so it's a clickable link!
Join just one Facebook group where your target audience hangs out at. Make sure it has at least a couple hundred members.
Introduce yourself, then comment on the five most recent posts (where you are able to form a thoughtful comment, that is)!
Step 17: Traffic building with Pinterest
Pinterest is a great way for bringing traffic to your shop!
First, you have to make sure your Pinterest boards are all on point with your branding.
Remember to think about your customer. What are their favorite things?
Your boards should revolve around those topics.
If you've been on Pinterest for a while, now is the time to do a Pinterest cleanse.
Delete boards that are irrelevant to your shop.
If it's a personal board that you can't let go, make it private so only you can see it and it won't interfere with the brand aesthetic you're trying to create.
Next, you'll want to create a routine for regularly pinning images to your boards!
A super easy way is to search for topics or items you want to pin to your boards and repin images that you think your customers will like.
Your job here is to curate a board of beautiful images around each topic that resonate with your customers.
Just like Instagram and Facebook, you'll need to be consistent about your actions.
Repin 100 images on Pinterest every day to populate your boards.
The more images there are in your top boards, the greater the chances are for attracting a surge of new followers on Pinterest.
Do your Pinterest cleanse and remove boards that don't fit in with your brand.
Add a few boards on topics that your customers love.
Repin 100 images on Pinterest today:
- Repin 80 photos that are already on Pinterest to your boards
- Pin 20 photos of your own product to your boards
Step 18: Take a break!
It's time for a much deserved break again.
Catch up with sleep, take a nap or just relax on the couch in your jammies with some Downton Abbey.
You'll feel rejuvenated for the next step.
Step 19: Advertising on a budget: Facebook ads
Advertising on Facebook can do wonders when it comes to growing your audience.
It's low cost and provides you with a fast and easy way to reach more people interested in your work!
As a small business owner, you know you have to spend some to make some.
There are three types of Facebook ads you should care about:
Page like ads
Goal: Increase new likes to your Facebook business page
Use only when: Your existing fans are engaged in your content and you are ready to reach more people!
What kind of ad to use: An attention grabbing image of your product.
Who to target: Friends of existing Facebook fans or people who like other Facebook pages similar to yours
Result: Larger following + potential to reach more people already interested in your brand. Also elevates your credibility.
Boost post ads
Goal: Increase engagement (likes, shares, comments) to your individual posts
Use only when: Your engagement is low and few people are seeing your posts
What kind of ad to use: You'll get to choose which post you want to advertise. Use a post that has shown signs of viral potential, such as if it already has gotten more likes, comments and shares than your other posts.
Who to target: Only use this ad on your existing Facebook fans
Result: More of your fans start to see your posts organically (for free) because they responded to your ad. It's like they're telling Facebook, “I like this post, I want to see more like it”.
Goal: You want people to visit your website and see a special promotion or deal
Use only when: You've set up a specific landing page telling people about your promotion or ask people to subscribe to your mailing list. Otherwise you have no way of reaching these people again when they leave your website and your advertising money will be gone in the wind.
What kind of ad to use: Any picture of your product with text overlay about your promo added to the graphic
Who to target: Existing Facebook fans or people already familiar with your brand (like our mailing list subscribers, past customers or website visitors)
Result: The chance of sales (if you are advertising to people already familiar with your brand) or increase in mailing list subscribers
What ad you should use:
You should focus on boost post ads primarily then page like ads.
In building up your fan base and engagement, you are creating a community that wants to see more of your products.
So whenever you post about your products, you are more likely to get the sale.
It's an indirect way of getting people to see your website, but it is much more effective and affordable.
Create your first Facebook ad. Set your advertising budget; you can spend as little as $1.00 a day and set an end day and time for your ad.
Create your ad graphic using Canva.
Make sure to customize your target audience to people within your ideal customer profile. The more you customize who sees your ad, the better your results!
Step 20: Pinterest advertising
Pinterest ads are most effective when they're run around specific holidays or seasons, like Mother's Day or Graduation season.
The two important factors for running a successful Pinterest ad is:
- Image/graphic of the ad – must be vertical
- Keyword terms
For the size of your pin, images that work best have aspect ratios of 2:3 to 1:3.5. The minimum width must be 600px.
Your keyword terms is almost like mind reading. You need to figure out what words your ideal customer is typing into Pinterest when browsing for something!
So if you're targeting Mother's Day shoppers, try keywords like “gift for mom ideas” or “gift for mom from daughter”.
Schedule an ad for future dates so you're not running ads at the same time as Facebook and draining the bank. This just helps you not spend too much money during #asaleadaychallenge!
So, pick a pin to promote. Set your keywords, maximum cost per click and daily budget.
Make sure your pin links directly to your product listing on your website!
Step 21: Remarketing ads on Facebook
Did you know it takes someone 7 exposures to your brand before they buy from you?
That means people hardly buy when they've just met you or your product for the first time.
Remarketing basically means marketing to people who are already familiar with your shop.
This is a super effective way at bringing you sales, and it's more affordable too.
This is considered a pretty advanced strategy but it's not hard to do.
You just need to add some lines of code called a tracking pixel to specific parts of your website.
With remarketing ads, you can target:
- Website visitors – people who have browsed your website
- Where to add code: in the footer page of your website
- Past customers – people who have bought from you before
- Where to add code: on the checkout confirmation page only
- OR export a list of email addresses of past customers from your website
- Mailing list subscribers – people who have signed up to your mailing list
- No need tracking code. You can use their email addresses
To get the code you need to add to your website, go to Facebook and Manage Ads. Click on Conversion Tracking then the Create Pixel button to generate your code!
The code tracks everyone who has visited your website or your checkout confirmation page. You can then create ads on Facebook and target them specifically to people in this list!
Alternatively, go to Audience Manager to import a list of your email address of past customers or mailing list subscribers.
Because Facebook is super smarty pants and really high tech, you have the option to reach tons more people like your past customers or email subscribers by creating a “lookalike audience“.
Website ads do much better when it's used for remarketing like I just talked about here. So let's set one up.
First, pick who you want to retarget.
If you're using the pixel code, please note that it will take a few weeks to collect a list of people to target so you can't make an ad right away.
Create a website ad on Facebook.
Set the target as the audience you just created or select the pixel code you want to use.
Your website ad should ideally link to a specific product listing. Pick an image of the product you're promoting.
Consider offering a discount off or free shipping to encourage people to buy. Set a deadline so people buy now rather than later or never.
Make sure your ad is eye catching because it needs to grab your customers' attention when they're scrolling down their newsfeed!
Step 22: Craft shows
Craft shows are a great way to make sales – provided the people shopping are your ideal customers!
There are plenty of shows and fairs that allow Tupperware and Avon sellers to exhibit, so it's important to stay away from events like those.
Juried craft shows always do better. Walk the show before you exhibit so you can see who else is selling there and what kind of people are shopping.
If you can't walk the show, you can try finding photos and a vendors list.
Be prudent and email past vendors to ask about the show. How did it go? Was it well attended? Was there lots of foot traffic and was the show promoted a lot? Would they do it again?
When selling at a show, it's important to be responsive and attentive with your customers.
Make yourself available, smile and be welcoming!
Your booth presentation and layout also matter a ton.
My e-course Handmade Marketing That Works covers craft shows in a whole module and we talk about how to display your products.
From Handmade Marketing That Works, this is how you should position your tables at your next show:
Craft shows are not for everyone. But I recommend every maker, artist and designer try at least one or two shows in your career.
Do a Google search for craft shows in your local area or in a bigger city near you.
Check past show photos and see if you can get a hold of the vendors list.
Email a 3-5 vendors to ask for feedback on the show.
If it's a good fit, apply for the show or join the mailing list to be notified when they are accepting applications again.
Step 23: Amazing customer service + word of mouth marketing
Customer service and word of mouth marketing often go hand in hand because they are cause and effect.
Your products are already amazing.
Now it's time to evaluate if your customer service is up to par.
A good mantra to keep in mind with customer service is underpromise and overdeliver.The mantra for amazing customer service: underpromise and overdeliver - from #asaleadaychallenge Click To Tweet
Making your customers happy and satisfied with their purchase should be a priority.
Their experience shopping with you matters too, so have a good look at your website.
Is it pleasing to look at? Loads quickly? Easy to navigate? Easy to checkout?
How do you respond to an issue with an order?
Make your customers feel special and important. Treat them with care.
If an item arrives damaged and it wasn't your fault – the best customer service experience you can give is to offer to send a new item on the house.
That's what your profit margin in your pricing is for (partly, anyway). To cushion you when things go awry.
In doing this, you will have a customer for life and she will tell all her friends about you.
What three things can you do in your business today to take your customer service up a notch?
- You could offer a free, surprise gift with every order.
- You could write a handwritten thank you note to your customer.
- You could send a personalized follow up email after she receives your order.
In the comments below, write out your three points!
Step 24: Take a break!
Now's a good time to play catch up.
If there's something that needs fine tuning, do it.
We move at such a super fast speed in #asaleadaychallenge, it's important not to get caught up with being a perfectionist.
But today I give you permission to perfectionize something.
Step 25: Increasing repeat business
Getting repeat sales is always on top of a business owner's mind.
Everyone says it's easier to get a repeat sale than it is to find a new customer.
But why does it feel so hard?
There are a few things you can do to get past customers to buy again.
We talked about remarketing in a previous step.
But in this step, you'll be creating an exclusive coupon code to send to just your previous customers.
It's easy to do as long as you have an ecommerce website.
Make the coupon enticing. Free shipping works very well and a discount etween 15-20% is great too.
You could even offer a buy one get one 50% off, or get a free gift with their next order.
Whatever it is, it's easy for you to create a promotion for your past customers.
You can either email it to them or include it as a print out in outgoing orders.
The key to getting this to work effectively is to add a sense of urgency.Using coupon codes effectively require a sense of urgency. Have a short deadline - #asaleadaychallenge Click To Tweet
So make sure you're including an expiry date with your promotion or coupon.
Set it to a minimum of two days to a maximum of 7 days.
Create a coupon code or promo for your customers.
If needed, design a snazzy graphic to make things interesting and grab attention.
Email to 10 past customers or print out and include in the packaging of your next 10 orders.
Step 26: Building brand trust & credibility with product reviews
Let's face it.
You are more likely to buy something if you've read great reviews about the product or if a friend told you about it.
Your customers are the same!
They might hesitate to buy from you if they've never heard of you before.
Make it easy for them by showing what other customers say about your work.
You can start collecting testimonials about your products from your customers today.
Just send your past customers a quick email.
Ask specific questions and you'll get a great review in return.
Make it simple: How was your experience shopping at SweetPea Clothing?
It can sometimes feel scary to ask for feedback because you might be worried someone will write a nasty review.
The truth is, in most cases you'll get great reviews. No one actually gets mean.
With negative reviews, you have an opportunity to fix a problem the customer is having.
If you can make an unsatisfied customer happy, they'll be more loyal to you than a regular customer.
Once you've collected a few reviews, post them everywhere!
Feature customers and their feedback on your social media, your website, in your product listings, newsletter, blog and so on.
This will make your prospects a lot more comfortable in buying from you!
Send a simple, personalized email to your last 10-20 customers asking them how their experience was shopping at your store.
Step 27: Email marketing like a boss
A truth that no one talks about when running your own business is your ability to adapt to the changing environment.
You need to stay relevant. Five years ago, social media barely scratched the surface and few people were doing it.
You've seen sites like MySpace and Friendster come and go.
There's no guarantee Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the whole gamut will still be around five years from now.
Putting all your time in any one social media is dangerous business. Whatever you're doing now may work and you have thousands of followers.
But CEOs change algorithms overnight, sometimes without any notice. Before you know it, your fans no longer see your posts. Doesn't that sound familiar?
I don't say all this to instill fear in your hearts. It's a fact and needs to be said because I care about you.Putting all your time in any one social media is dangerous business. Here's what to do instead: Click To Tweet
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to collect your fan's email addresses.
People are always checking email. Most people log in a few times every day.
That's a great place to communicate with your fans – their email!
First, you need to get their permission to add them to your email list.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT add someone to your list unless they've given you permission.
It's tacky and not welcomed.
So how do you start collecting email subscribers?
You'll need an app like Mailchimp. Create a free account and the next step is to create a sign up form.
This is a simple form that asks for an email address and maybe for the person's name if you so choose.
Once this form is created for you, you just copy and paste the code it gives you on to your website!
Then start directing traffic to your sign up form.
To amp up your email marketing, here are some helpful posts:
There's also a whole module in Handmade Marketing That Works that goes in-depth on email marketing and how I use a secret strategy to make thousands of dollars.
Create a free starter account with Mailchimp.
Create one sign up form.
Add sign up form to your website or link to the sign up form in your Etsy announcement or email receipt.
Step 28: Giveaways that work
Giveaways are a great way to grow your following and make sales. Only if you do it right.
Unfortunately, most people don't!
Giveaway participants often forget about the giveaway after they've played. They rarely go back to check on the giveaway or to see if they've won.
Here's how to set up giveaways the right way:
Pick your giveaway prize very carefully. You want to attract more of your ideal customers, not more of everyone in the world.
You don't want to give away an iPad. Instead, give away one of your products or prizes you know your ideal customers will love.
The more specific the better. This can make or break your giveaway.
It's more involved, but setting up a giveaway funnel helps convert your giveaway participants into customers.Learn about how to set up a giveaway funnel to turn giveaway participants into paying customers… Click To Tweet
If at all possible, always require an email address in order to participate.
That way, you can create an email list and announce the winner of the giveaway by email!
This helps remind people they played in the giveaway.
People who've participated in your giveaway did so because they wanted what you were giving away!
After the giveaway, offer an exclusive coupon code just for all the non-winners.
If you offered a juicy coupon code, a few people will want to take advantage of that.
That results in more sales in your pocket!
Create a giveaway:
- Design a simple graphic of the prize you're giving away.
- Add some text overlay to say it's a giveaway. Include details like closing date. Add your logo or site URL on the graphic.
- Post your giveaway graphic on social media or on your website.
- Collect entries through likes, shares, comments.
- Also collect their email address. Link to your Mailchimp signup form.
- Schedule in your calendar to send an email announcing the winner when the giveaway is over.
- Include a 20% coupon code that expires in 48 hours.
Step 29: Getting your products in stores + selling wholesale
If you have your pricing set up correctly, you're in a great place to consider selling your products wholesale.
There are tons of reasons why you should sell wholesale:
- Great for your bottom line
- Increases your credibility as a maker or designer
- Reach more customers
It's something special to get to see your products on the shelves of a brick and mortar store.
And it's not hard to do!
Approaching stores with your line is very similar to pitching to bloggers and magazines.
In a nutshell:
- Do your research – make sure you're a good fit
- Send an email pitch – explain why your line is a good fit. Keep email to under 10 lines
- Follow up if you don't hear back
- Follow up again if you don't hear back
You'll need a few things before selling wholesale, such as a wholesale linesheet, terms, minimum orders and more.
And check out the 7 things you need for wholesale success here.
Google for stores around your area.
Find 5 stores that share your aesthetic or style and sell similar products as yours. Be very sure you're a good fit for them.
Email a pitch to the store! Include a call to action at the end of your email – something like:
- Would you like more information?
- Would you like to see my linesheet?
- Would you like a sample?
Schedule in your calendar one week from now to follow up if you don't hear back from them.
Schedule in your calendar two weeks from now to follow up again if it's radio silence.
Step 30: Progress audit
Finally, you've made it!
Now it's time to revisit your progress sheet.
Update your progress sheet with your new numbers.
Keep checking in every month.
Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
Remember, you can reuse this challenge and start over from Steps 8- 30 to keep moving closer to your goals.
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