EP368: How To Market Beyond Your Network With A Small Marketing Budget
4:38AM Sep 27, 2022
The key to growing a successful business is to get your one time customers to buy from you a second time. Welcome to thrive by design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you could spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? All right, let's do this.
Welcome to the thrive by design podcast episode 369. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, chief visionary officer of Flourish & Thrive Academy and the host of the show today I am here with my partner in crime Roxy rocks person, my amazing dog who is sitting over in the corner right here, we're having a little bit of a getaway, I sometimes, occasionally stay at my work apartment. For those of you who don't follow my journey on Instagram or whatever. When I moved to Arizona a couple of years ago, I realized that Jason's home was a little bit too tight for both of us to work and for me to be able to do video production. Plus, I'm very particular about how I like my things and what kind of backdrops I like and I love Jason so much. And he just has a different kind of design style than I do. So I rented this work apartment. So I could come here daily and have conversations like this record, the podcast, shoot videos, have a quiet place to go work. And it's been amazing. And so Roxy and I have been having a sleepover because Jason's out of town. And it's super fun to just play here because she gets to go to the dog park and all the things. Anyway, I wanted to dive into this episode today to talk a little bit more about how to you market beyond your current network or your existing customers. If you have a really small marketing budget, this question actually was asked during an LTF, or Laying The Foundation focused q&a from a fine jeweler. But I think this is something that can be done for any type of jewelry company. So if you are selling handmade products, if you're selling high end fine jewelry, this is a great strategy. If you're selling costume jewelry, beaded jewelry, like any kind of jewelry or other physical product, and you're trying to grow your network, this is a great way to get started when you have a smaller budget or you've already been in business for a while and you're just trying to expand beyond the current people that you have. Now, this episode is actually going to be sponsored by Laying The Foundation, our signature program that is designed to help you build a cycle of repeat customers and consistent daily sales using multiple revenue streams. It is perfect for designers and makers who are trying to get to that kind of important tipping point of six figures or $100,000 a year in annual revenue. And this program is really designed for people in the startup phase, I say the startup phase because it's from any for anyone who has anything from zero sales to upwards of $100,000 a year. And there is a little bit of a contingency there. Because if you sell fine jewelry, obviously selling $100,000 A year is nice. But that's not a lot of units, because the price of your pieces is more expensive. So the one caveat is like for fine jewelry might be more like 200,000. But at the end of the day, it's designed to help you get to that critical tipping point where you have those consistent sales coming in and you feel really confident in what you're doing. So if that's you and you'd like some support, in that we're starting our fall cohort this week, and we'd love to invite you in. And when you join the cohort, you get support from our community, our coaching staff, and the rest of your peers who are going through the program at the same time. And the impact of that. And the power of going through a program like this with other people is so amazing because it allows you to hold yourself accountable because you're doing it with a group, and it makes sure that you're staying on point and keeping on track. So we'd love to support you in that if you'd like to learn more you can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com, forward slash LTF. I will also have a link in the show notes. So let's talk about this question that I got on one of these LTF focused question and answer periods. And this question is how do you grow your business when you have a low marketing budget, and you're struggling to get beyond your friends and family zone? So this designer in particular, she has less than 1000 Instagram followers. A lot of the people following her on Instagram are actually jewelry designers as well which is fine, that happens a lot. I'm gonna actually pull in some information that I share heard from other questions that were asked that are relevant to this question. So what do you do when you're trying to get outside of that friends and family zone? And how do you start getting your sales to grow? So the first thing that I'd really want you to think about is what are you doing on a daily basis to market your business in general? And the reason I asked this question is that a lot of people just sit back and wait for people to find them. Instead of being active with their marketing, I see this over and over again, I think social media is going to be this magic tool that's going to magically be a magnet for people finding them, and just opening up their wallet and buying. And while it can be that, if you put the time and energy and effort in, it's not basically guaranteed, and it does take time. So what I always recommend, and people are like, Tracy, how do you run a multiple six figure jewelry company only working five hours a week. So for those of you don't know, I still have a jewelry company it is I designed custom jewelry, if you want to check it out, it's over at Tracy matthews.com. Don't judge my website, it does need some work. I've been in the process of a rebrand for a couple of years. But it hasn't been a top priority because of everything that happened with COVID. And all the things because I've built my business, to have a really strong referral network. And the way that my website works has been awesome, because I don't have to work very hard to get customers and sales due to some of the things I'm going to talk to you about. So long story short, the majority of my sales that I get in my jewelry business come from referrals. And that's why I don't have to work that hard. There are previous customers, there are people who know me, there are people who find me or follow me on social media, who tell their friends about what I do. And I am really good at closing sales. And I'm also really good at identifying if a customer or potential customer is going to be a good fit for what I do. And I'm happy to turn people away, even when it's a referral from a friend. And quite frankly, something happened recently where I was like, my friend kept pushing me to like pursue this customer, she sells crystals. And she's amazing. My friend Shannon, she sells crystals. And she had a client who came in who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. Now they didn't value really necessarily investing a ton in an engagement ring. And they were actually really clueless about what they wanted, or he was, I should say. So she had suggested some things that she thought would be good based on the energy because she'd been working with them to get crystals and stuff for their home. And so we started a conversation around those things. And so originally, they wanted a really inexpensive stone Labradorite for an engagement ring. And they wanted like it to be a wedding band that had like an eternity band kind of style. And I'm like, This is not what I do this is to low end, not for me, my friend continued to pursue, like she kept saying, like, just give him a chance, maybe you could talk him into something more expensive. So I did. And inevitably, the couple ended up going and just buying something. And it's always a reminder to me that like to trust your gut and knowing like, do you invest time in someone and try to close the sale? Or is it a hard? No, because you just know, based on who they are? And that was a little bit of a sidebar conversation, but also, I think, relevant to this conversation in general. So how do you build a network of referrals? How do you get people sharing what you do over and over again. So the way that I've built my business is I always have started with friends and family. And a lot of people are like, Well, my friends and family aren't supportive, or I feel weird asking them for help. Well, here's the thing, if your friends or family aren't, aren't supportive, then find better friends, you can't really find a different family but find better friends. I mean, I'm joking, but not really. Because your friends should want to support what you do. And if they can't afford to buy from you, that's a different story. But at the end of the day, they might know people who they can refer out. So the way that I would approach this with your friends and family is to just tell them what you're doing. And tell them I build my business on referrals. I don't have a big marketing budget right now. And I would really appreciate it that if you encounter people in your daily life who are looking for jewelry, like I do is that you refer them to me, you can create all sorts of incentives for this. I think it's a little bit easier when you're doing a really specific type of jewelry meaning like I design engagement rings and wedding bands. And I specialize in heirloom redesign. So those two things are really easy for people to refer me out for. And then the job of getting customers to buy things outside of that scope. Later on is my responsibility from a follow up perspective. So I would inspire them to help you and they either will or they won't. But find a way that actually is exciting for them. Now the second way to build your audience of people and build your customer base is to ask your existing customers for referrals, like check in on them, which we'll talk about next. So the way that I would do this is, when you're sending out the packages, thank them for their order, you can send a gift card or something else for them to use or for them to send to a friend. If it makes sense. Like there's a lot of ways to do this, if you find jewelry, like the gift card, things not going to really help. But you can tell them, I build my business on referrals, it was so great working for you. Share this with your friends and family and get a special discount or percentage off or whatever, if you're selling a little bit lower price point jewelry. And what I mean by that is things under $500. There are a lot of referral apps and things that you can connect to your website that automatically do this. But if you're selling a more high touch product, I think a more manual process is nice like sending a handwritten thank you note, and things like that. And inevitably, that really works for people to share what you do. Now the other piece of this is previous customer follow up. Because in The Desired Brand Effect and in sharing desire, one of the core pillars of my methodology, the key to growing a successful business is to get your one time customers to buy from you a second time. So if you aren't following up with your customers, and inviting them to buy from you again, obviously, the lead time for this will be different for a fine jewelry company than it is for a handmade jewelry company or handmade business, whatever. But that follow up process is one of the things that helps grow your sales. So that's the second step is of this like asking your customers for referral. And also asking your existing customers for another sale. This is really important. And obviously, if you need support with this, we can help you over at Flourish & Thrive Academy. There's also two kinds of people that I just want to put the nuance in here. So one of our coaches on our team, Lauren shout out, she built her business, only online, she loves technology, and it comes really easy to her she never wanted to do in person shows her methodology for approaching a business and growing a jewelry business is really with technology. So if you're more techy, and more analytical, you can do all of this stuff, with technology, with applications with your website and all that stuff. If you have more soft skills, meaning you prefer to sell in person, and you like being in front of people, then this approach is probably going to be for you a little bit more of a outreach process where you're manually outreaching. Or it's more like you're sending out broadcasts as opposed to hardcore Tech, I think the best way to do this is really a combination of the two combining technology and the soft skills of selling to create a great experience for your customers. And at the end of the day, that's going to be the thing that I think grows exponentially for you, because people will remember you if you're doing some manual outreach, but you can use the technology as well. To help scale I guess is the best way to put it. My third tip for people who are trying to grow outside of their friends and family zone without with a low marketing budget, is to talk about what you do everywhere. I've landed really expensive pieces of jewelry just by going to a dinner party and talking to someone I didn't know. And telling them what I do. This is a classic story, New York dinner party story we were no one really has a big house to host a dinner party. So my friend Laura would arrange these dinner parties at restaurants, she would invite eight people that didn't know each other. And we'd all connect, I was sat next to some guy, we were the two people who were kind of late. And we started talking about what we do. And I had my cocktail line all ready to go. And just like well, I designed engagement rings for confident women who are looking for something different in an engagement ring. And so we started chit chatting because he's like, I knew who his fiancee or his potential fiance was. And we were kind of talking on the side. And so when I was talking to him, like I put the two together and like oh my gosh, I know your girlfriend. And he's like, Well, you already bought this Sapphire. It's gorgeous. And I'm just looking for an amazing setting, and have no idea what she would like. So I'm like, Well, I'd love to help you out with this. And he's like, perfect, let's connect. So I connected with him after the dinner and landed a $3,000 engagement ring setting project. That was awesome. And the best part about it is this woman is in my entrepreneur community at the time, and her wearing that ring gets exposure. So think about all the ways that you can network while you're out when someone compliments you on your jewelry. Say thank you, I designed it and start a conversation about it about the piece that you're wearing and with them and then eventually you can hand out compliment cards, or send them to your website or ask for their contact details if they're really interested in it. I mean, obviously this is a soft skill, meaning you have to be able to read the person forcing a business card on someone and all those things. is not going to be appreciated if they don't want it, right. But being out in the real world is a great way to sell your products when you're just getting started. It's really important skill set.
The next tip that I would recommend is to spend quality time networking on social media. And what I mean by this is you're out there connecting with influencers editors, if you're selling wholesale retail store buyers, your followers, potential followers, like all these things, spend the time to build your audience and chat with people, by commenting on their posts by connecting with them in the direct message if it makes sense. Because the more engagement that you do on platforms like Instagram, and things like tick tock, the more people are going to remember you and then they'll start to see your posts come up in the feed. Now the other part about social media is when you're spending quality time on the app, you want to make sure that the content you're doing is actually relevant to what is getting pushed out now, right now, we know this Instagram is favoring reels and Tik Tok videos are blowing up. So that type of video content is going to be the thing that's going to get your followers seeing what you do. And that's really, really important. Now, step number five is to build an engaged social media following these two are kind of connected, spend quality time networking on Instagram, but also building an engaged following. Now, one of the things that this person said during the q&a was that, you know, she has a lot of people who are jewelry designers following her. And they are the ones commenting on her posts. Well, that's great. And my guess is the reason why this person or and a lot of you out there who don't have a lot of Instagram followers yet are getting so jewelry designers commenting on your posts is because at some point in time, you're in a group, maybe even in a community like ours, and you're like, let's follow each other on Instagram. And so you now have a bunch of jewelry designers who are followers. And that's cool. But at the same time, you want to make sure that the people following you are actually going to be your customers. So start networking, think strategically about how you can get people to follow you on Instagram. So this is something when you're networking and out in the world. Like you can have them follow you on Instagram, when someone's complimenting you on your jewelry, you can start commenting on other people, finding other people following hashtags, and creating engagement to the people that are actually following you that would be potential customers for your collection, and get in front of them. Anytime that you have exposure or a way to get in front of people, I would recommend that you share your social media handles and when people follow you on social media, that you make sure that you are consistently building your email list with that social media audience. Now this leads me into the next step is to build your email list. So a lot of that times people rely on things like tick tock and Instagram and Pinterest and stuff like that. Another question came up like I have 10s of 1000s of views on Pinterest every month, but I'm not getting any sales on my website. So what that says is that there's number one a conversion problem on your website, or number two, your Pinterest is not doing what it's supposed to be doing, sending people to your website or getting them to opt into your email list. So you want to build that email list and market to people with your email list. Because this is all part of a bigger strategy. That is an active marketing strategy. You use all of your channels, all of your sales channels, real life experiences, all those things, to build your email list. And then you email people on a regular basis, which is my next topic. I consider email marketing and SMS marketing kind of the same, SMS will get a better outcome for the most part because people are looking at their text messages. But you want to market to your people regularly if you're not sending out at least one email a week, or best case three emails a week to your audience. Obviously, when your list is a little bit smaller, like 100 people that might be slightly overkill, but if you're not marketing to people, and you're not consistently building your email list, how do you expect to have sales. So all these things feed into the next thing about building a desired brand, something that people know about something that people consistently buy from, and something that you are inspiring people to share to create a cycle of repeat customers. Sound good? Well, if you want to learn more about this and you'd like some support, growing outside of your friends and family network, once again, our Laying The Foundation fall cohort is open for enrollment. We would love to support you. We have a great group already. Head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash LTF or check out the show notes to join us and start with us in October. It's going to be amazing and if you haven't done so yet, go ahead and follow us over at flourish underscore thrive on Instagram or message me over at Tracy Matthews and why on Instagram. I would love to connect with you. All right, this is Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time, ciao for now.