#308 Key Takeaways from the Expand Your Audience Event
1:16PM Jun 28, 2021
So you've liquidated it. And I've probably made about half of what it was worth. But it was helpful over time. And there's a lot of things that you can do so, more inventory isn't always the answer to growing your business, it's really about learning what you need to do to optimize your business.
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 can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 308. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy. And today My goal is to recap, an amazing event that we had last week, I cannot wait you guys until we go back live, we are going to start live events again next year. And it's going to be amazing. And I remembered last week, as we were running this, Expand Your Audience event how much I loved curating an event like this, because honestly, it is insanely amazing. And so awesome. So I had a blast. And I just thought it would be fun to kind of recap this.
Now, one of the things that we talked about, and many of the people who were speaking at the event were actually graduates or members of our Momentum program. And part of the reason why I invited them to speak was for a very particular reason. I feel like the fastest way to grow your business is to basically not copy because I don't believe in that. But to mirror or learn from what people are doing, who are already successful or doing what you want to do. And over the past two weeks, I've been talking to so many brands, because we're actually looking to help a bunch of brands add another $10k to their online sales in the next three to six months, I should say $10k a month, maybe that's a better way to say it.
So we're really adamant about helping people develop multiple six figure revenue streams, and using their online sales channel as one of those ways to develop basically, an anti fragile brand. And I say that because you know, who would have predicted that we were going to have this insane pandemic last year. And, you know, it really rocked a lot of people who were not prepared for it. And the people who really thrived last year were the ones who had a solid direct to consumer component. And they were the ones who ended up having huge increases and doubling or tripling their sales and all the things. And so today I'm going to talk a little bit more about what we spoke about in my key takeaways of seven of them to be exact, from the Expand Your Audience event. And I'm also going to share right now just a little bit about our Momentum program.
We are open for enrollment right now we have a cohort starting in July. And the reason why we start a cohort in July is because it's perfect timing for basically holiday sales. In the traditional markets, the retail shows and or wholesale events, I should say where buyers buy jewelry for holiday season is typically in June and August. And so we know that that's basically the beginning of the holiday sales season. And what I've seen over the last 12 years is a lot of designers and makers and jewelry brands wait till the last minute to prepare for holiday. So they're trying to map everything out in like August or November. And what ends up happening is that they don't have the kind of impact that they potentially could.
So their sales aren't as good as they could be. They aren't totally prepared. And what we want to do is to help you create a big splash, developing an omnichannel brand, but also really building your audience like expanding your audience about like this event. So that your sales grow and that you have a big increase because most people have most jewelry designers and makers make a lot of money during the holiday season. In fact, sometimes for certain brands, it ends up accounting for, I don't know maybe like 50% of their sales in the last four months. And that's because especially if they're selling wholesale because that's such a big jewelry buying season and so we want to get you prepared for that.
So for those of you don't know our Momentum program is a 12 month coaching program designed to help you not only grow your sales to multiple six or even seven figures, we have some jewelry brands with million dollar companies in the program. It's also designed to help you or remove you to help remove you I guess is the best way to put it as the Dewar of all things in your business and the biggest bottleneck and stunting of growth happens when the founder or the visionary or the creator, or the person who is like, the creative force behind the brand, ends up doing all the things because you might be able to do some of them. But I feel like at the end of the day, if you're a one man show, and you're not focused on the things that matter most, you end up hitting a growth plateau, you end up feeling overwhelmed, you're not sure how to kind of get out of the way.
So you can actually hire people or make enough money to even hire people, or hire enough people if you already have a team. So it's, it's important, and we get our eyes in there looking at you, we have a team of expert coaches, based in all areas, from mindset, to operations, to sales, to online strategies, all those things. Plus, I think the most important part is we do a couple of things in that program that people love the most, that actually changes their business forever, and that we get them done for you systems and templates. So you can plug and play, it makes it a lot faster to learn how to get things done. And they cover all all areas of your business. And we also help you with strategic planning.
Now, business planning is an important part of growing company. But most makers like they're not going to sit down and write a 38 page business plan. And if they do, they won't use it. So we help you with a really tactical methodology on planning. That's like one page to get it done. And we work with you on those every single quarter. So if you're interested in learning more about the program, I'm going to share some amazing student results in just a moment. You can head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum/ and check the program out. Here's some results from our students:
Hi, I'm Kate of Kate's Sydney jewelry. One of the most helpful things that has just been figuring out how to find that consistency, and to focus my energy on the right things. Financially, it's more than doubled my annual revenue. And knowing that like this can sustain me and sustain my family. It's just it's so powerful.
My name is Jesse Robbins, my business is JesseRobbins jewelry.com my idea of money was always that you could just go out and work harder, make more money. And then eventually, that just became so cumbersome from a small business perspective that I realized that I didn't know enough about business. I was literally ready to go back to business school. And then I fell in momentum. And it's like I was looking at it's like the endless curriculum. It's like holy cow, like this is a master's program in something very specific that you love to do. And so like that's been really, really awesome.
All right, well, I hope you're inspired to hear those stories. If you want to learn more about the program, head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum/
Alright, let's dive in to my key takeaways. So takeaway NUMBER ONE is that you need to grow your audience daily create a connection, and your sales will increase when you do so there are so many ways that you can grow your audience and reach more paying customers. When I was developing my signature talk, I counted at least 24 ways to do this. Now some of these tactics are going to get you really fast results and be like low lifting. Some of them are like more mid range. And some of them take a lot longer. But they all have a big impact. So just to give you a couple of examples, I can't give them all away. But a couple of examples. Short term wins for sales might look like something like a direct mail campaign, to your best customers or doing a grassroots cramp campaign to your network. And so that would be doing individualized outreach. This is really important because any time that you need sales, this is where you go to, especially the grassroots. In fact, we did this at one of our Momentum retreats a couple years ago, we challenged the designers to reach out either text or email, a customer, someone in their network, a family member, friend, and basically ask for a sale, we gave the whole strategy behind it, it wasn't like pushy or anything and in the period of 48 hours, within the first like hour we had made as a group over $12,000. And then within the first 24 hours about $24,000. And by the end of that 48 hour window when the event was ending, we made $36,245 something or loosely around that area. That's pretty good for 48 hour promotion from maybe about 20 people not bad.
So the reason why this is so good is because they actually bring in cash quickly. So if you ever need money, that's the best way or revenue to support your business. That's the fastest way to cash. Now medium term wins. These are things that take longer to implement, but they're important to continue doing over the long term. And this might look like ongoing email list building and marketing and building your social media audience. Now most of the people who come to us, these are the things that they want to do first like build the social media audience like if I could just grow my social media, then maybe I make more sales. But it takes a long time to do that unless you're on Instagram following and commenting on people's stuff all day, and you have more important things to do. So we want you to do that, that more at a medium pace, or figure out how you can create that connection. Now, long term wins might look like getting your website ranked as the go to jeweler in your local area using SEO tactics. So and then also, maybe something like growing your wholesale customer base, and SEO and wholesale, are great ways to grow your audience and build brand awareness, but they take a long time. So you might optimize your website, and it might take six months to a year for it to start to rank or to improve in the rankings. So that obviously takes a long time. But it can actually have a big impact when you do it, right. Same thing with building your email list, it can sometimes take a while unless you have a lot of money or a really solid strategy behind running ads, or you're doing a ton of in person events where you're meeting like thousands of people a month. And trust me, it will really pay off in the long run, you're going to enjoy that. So these are just a few of the 24ish ways that I came up with that you could expect. And I want to mention this, because if you aren't spending at least 75% of your time doing revenue generating activities, then you have to stop complaining about not getting sales.
Because if you're not doing that most of the time, well, there's your answer about why you're not getting sales, you got to be selling and be of service. And it's a problem because people come to us at all stages in business for growth. Like we obviously help startups in our Laying the oundation program. But we also, you know, work with people who are already doing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, who really want to scale and get to that next level. So what I find really interesting, and I want to mention this is that the people who need the help the most oftentimes are really averse to investing in their business acumen and business education. And so I always like to position this to people who are saying that they want help growing their business or increasing their sales. What would a small investment make if you made like 10 or 20 times that investment in your growth? Like if you invested money in the stock market and you like, let's say you had an amazing ride, or you got into bitcoin when it was like $1. And now it's at, you know, I don't know, it's been all over the map right now. But like, let's say it's like a $40. Now, you know, you would be that would be a really good investment because the growth was long. And so just think through like I people come to us all the time saying that they have problems like reaching their sales goals, or even getting their sales off the ground.
But they will easily go and buy more inventory or buy more materials and tools to actually like make product. And I find that always so interesting, because they're having problems selling their product, they want invest in something that's going to help them sell more, but then they end up buying more tools sidebar anyway, just something that came up last week. So I wanted to share that with you. And I think it's really powerful to ship share this because I used to be that girl. In fact, there was a time when I had literally a huge box of product on my shelf that was just collecting dust. And I hired these consultants in 2008, who were helping me out. And I was at a point where we were having some cashflow issues, and I'll save the whole story for another day. But he basically made us do a really indepth inventory. And when we started to take a look at the inventory, I realized that over $150,000 worth of inventory sitting on my shelves. And he's like No wonder you're having cashflow problems, that's just inventory sitting there. You need to get rid of it now. And even if you're selling it for 50 cents on the dollar, and so you liquidated it, and I probably made about half of what it was worth. But it was helpful over time. And there's a lot of things that you can do. So more inventory isn't always the answer to growing your business. It's really about learning what you need to do to optimize your business.
Now my second key takeaway is to think like a wildly successful business owner. Wildly successful people have the same qualities. They're honest with themselves, and they admit that they don't know everything. They are humble, hungry and smart, because they invest in themselves and their education and their growth. They are clear about why they're in business and why they're doing what they're doing. And this means that they know their goals, they have direction and focus. They have a clear understanding of what needs to happen in order to move forward. And that made me really think about a designer that was on a panel at this event named Jesse, Jesse Robbins he does like Southwestern jewelry primarily with a turquoise focus. And he came to us he had already a really successful business. I think he found us through a Rio Grande a blog post and ended up listening to the podcast and then eventually, like ended up on a call with our enrollment specialist and Natasha and he was sharing with her like, Oh yeah, I've got a business. It's doing great. I'm in the Sundance. Gotta like, like he had everything but he knew something was wrong. He just didn't know what. And he realized that he was growing a business that was like bleeding from everywhere. And he he describes it, like my business was dying a death of thousand cuts. And I didn't even realize it, because I kept doing things that weren't really like expanding my growth. And so what ended up happening is that my business is growing, but I wasn't fixing the problems inside my business. And so he actually is, was in our Momentum program for two years. And he's really inspiring, you should check out his jewelry at JesseRobbins.com He's in the program for two years, and I called him a Momentum grad can't say the word and he's like, Oh, I'm not a grad, I'm coming back. I'm just taking time off to implement some things and deal with some other stuff in my life. And I'll be back, which I thought was super cute. Anyway, we love you, Jesse.
Wildly successful people think like wildly successful business owners. So I want to remind you of that, because get into the mindset of what it's like to be successful. Be humble, hungry, and smart. Understand that you don't know everything and ask for help, because that's the fastest way to growth. And all the like, if you think about even think about it this way, you think about all the billionaires and all the super rich people out there they are, they all have executive coaches that they pay thousands of dollars an hour to, because they know that they need to get their head in the right place to do whatever they have to do to grow.
Key takeaway number three, is to learn from people who have already done what you would like to do. Now, this is my favorite takeaway, because this is something I didn't really get when I sort of got the first time around in my jewelry company. And I would always try to ask questions of like designer friends or look for answers and stuff. When you stand on the shoulders of giants and get help, growth happens really quickly. Now, in the olden days of the jewelry industry, it was a really tight lipped community, and people would not share their information. Now that we have Flourish and Thrive, it's awesome, because this was an opportunity for us to kind of bust that type lit community. And part of what I've tried to do over the last several years is to kind of break down the walls so that you can see what it really takes to grow a successful business. Now, throughout the event, we had about eight to 10 or so jewelry brands inside and outside of our community. And they all shared a very similar story. At a certain point, they needed guidance and support. So they found a mentor or a coach or a community that could teach them exactly what they were trying to accomplish. You might be wondering why they would do this, especially if they're already successful. Well, here's the thing. Successful people value their time, and they realize that they will move a lot faster. If they learn from someone else who's already done it then trying to figure it out themselves. And so it takes a fraction of a time to learn from someone else than it does to figure it out alone. And so they because they value their time so much, they want to move fast. And if you want to move fast and get fast results. Trying to like googling all day, and like doing a ton of research is not a good use of your time. It's a better use of your time to get coached. And so we had a designer named Khalal come to us a while back. She's from Hong Kong. She has a fine jewelry brand. And she had literally zero online sales. And she when she came to us her question like I remember specifically like messaging with her, like, do you really think that I can sell jewelry? Find jewelry online? And I was like, yeah, if your messaging and branding is right, and you build the audience and all the things, she didn't believe me, and there was a lot of pushback, she ended up chatting with us and ended up joining our Momentum program. Well, within like three months, the girl had went from zero online sales, to launching collections and having 54 sales in 10 days, and having $10,000 days. And so with the right coaching and help, things can grow super quickly, which is amazing. And so just it really takes a fraction of the time. And I wanted to mention this because I think that a lot of people, especially Fine Jewelers are like well, people really buy my jewelry online? And the answer is yes, the issue and the reason why you're probably not selling jewelry online, and it's mostly in person is because of the communication, the messaging, the sales methodology, how you're doing it, potentially like how you're reaching your customers, like there's so many things to think about. And a high touch service or high touch product requires more interaction than just like having someone point and click and buy it. So there there will be additional things that you need to do to kind of convince I don't know if convinced is the right word to get people through the buyers journey to that decision point where they decide to buy it online. But it does work and we've helped many people do it. Many Fine Jewelers in our community.
Key takeaway number four, when pitching the media, pay attention to the stories the publications have already covered. So this came up multiple times over the event. We had an insane PR panel we had Vanessa Coppes, Stephanie Cartin, and Jessica Abo. And the panel was moderated by Sabina Hitchen, it was insane. So one of the things that they said is like the pandemics over people have been like pitching pivoting stories forever. So Vanessa is the founder or not the founder, she's the she's the editor in chief, I guess is the best way to put it of Bella Magazine. She bought the magazine a couple of years ago, Stephanie Cartin has a podcast and Jessica Abo is a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, she does media training, and also coaches people to get on TV. So these people know what they're talking about. But what they keep saying is like people keep pitching these pivoting stories, even now, and people are over pivoting, they want to know they want a different angles. And even if you are talking about the same thing, you need to position the story or the pitch differently. And so reposition the pitches so that they make sense, do your research about the publication that you are pitching to either contribute to write for or get covered in. And then Vanessa mentioned this, and you you may have heard of it from Sabina before, one of the fastest ways to figure out what the plan is or what the media calendar is, for a lot of these publications is download their media kit. The media kit is a basically like their marketing plan for the next couple of months. And they talk about what's being covered this cop the stories that they're covering. So it's a great way for you to understand like what angled pitch, so make sure that in a pro tip for this, I'm gonna have the Bella magazine, media kit download in the show notes, you can head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/308 to download it, and check out the sponsor links. And then you can also just insert publication name, and then follow that by media kit when you're googling and you'll be able to find all sorts of media kits like oprah.com media kit or something like that. So think about all the different kinds of publications you want to pitch. And you can easily do PR yourself.
All right, tip key takeaway number five, go analog before big impact. Here's what I mean by analog. So we talked a lot about analog strategies like text messaging strategy is grassroots strategies, all those things. But there's another analog strategy that we haven't talked about. And that is direct mail. So email, replace direct mail, and people are tired of getting so many emails, and now direct mail is potentially replacing email. This works super well. I can't even tell you how many catalogs I've gotten over the last two months with people. And I used to be super annoyed to get all the paper but now I'm kind of liking it because I like to kind of see how things are styled and stuff like that. In fact, I got a catalog from Ariel Gordon the other day, and it was done beautifully. And she's a jewelry designer who's been around for a while. And it made me think like, wow, this is really working anyway, Ana Maria Andricain one of our momentum coaches shared a direct mail strategy that is really working for her. And she ended up having a 38% conversion with it. And it's basically just like making a list of your best customers sending out a thank you note and thanking them for supporting your small business, make sure that you're sending it as a letter, like an envelope instead of a postcard, because the postcard just looks like junk mail, people throw it out, it needs to be inside an envelope, which costs a little bit more but it trust me, it'll make a big impact. And then give them a gift card for a certain dollar amount purchase. So let's say you can give them a $20 gift card for orders over $150 or whatever it is. So you want to get your basically your understand your average order value, how much people are shopping and you can reverse engineer it that way and create an incentive so that people shop for a certain dollar amount on your site. And if they don't want to use it, you can also tell them to pay it forward to a friend and it works really well. I would say about 50% of our Momentum students tried it and had a really great result. So direct mail, go analog all the way.
Key takeaway number six, create a referral network of people who love what you do, aka an ambassador or affiliate program. So these are super related. We had Erin Alexander of Product Powerhouse, do a presentation on this. And she talked all about how she works with her clients to set up successful ambassador and affiliate program. And the best part about it is that when people are really into it, it becomes super easy and inexpensive to acquire a new customer. So this is a form of endorsement. So think about it this way, when you have a really good affiliate program or ambassador program of people who want to be ambassadors, it actually builds trust with the people on the other end, because if someone's endorsing you, it makes people feel like oh, well, this must be a legit brand. And so it's a great way to grow your audience fast. The The key here is to really create some structure about the ambassador program. So you can decide if you want to pay them money, or give them free product or give them discounts or whatever it might be, I think the most successful thing is when you're giving them something as an incentive for a percentage of how much they're selling or whatever. But make sure that you have guidelines about how it should run like that there's rules, how often they should be posting or whatever, and that you revisit it over time. So I think it's important, especially if your ambassador program grows, that if you have ambassadors that aren't actually selling a lot, that you eventually cleaned them out of the program. And I love what Chelsea Farmer of Horsefeathers Gifts talks about when it comes to Ambassador programs. She's like, I make my ambassadors pretend like they're ambassadors, before I even allow them into the ambassador program. And that's how I know that they will be good ambassadors or not. So there's a lot of fun ways to play with it. And we have another episode about Ambassador programs here that I'm gonna link in the show notes. So if you want to listen to Chelsea's episode on that, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/308 And you can check out the links and the episode and find that podcast episode definitely worth a listen.
Key takeaway number seven, be authentic. And, number seven, be authentic and build your tribe. So this came up over and over and over again. And it wasn't even something that I was targeting in the questioning. So I asked a bunch of the brands that showed up, Katie Seller, Caitlin Johnson Chandler, Karina Harris, Alex Camacho, Twyla Dill, Kate Sydney, like all the people, all the people who were talking about growing their business, and I asked them, like, what was the thing that really, that you notice made a huge shift, especially when it came to online. And they said, showing up as myself using video and talking to my customers instead of at them. And so Katie talked a lot about this. She's the founder of MetalMarvels and Fucking Good Coffee and some others. When she rebranded herself, she decided that she wanted to just totally go for it, and be who she was, which is someone who horses a lot and was off the cuff and said crazy things and express her beliefs. And it created a raving fan base for her. So I'm telling you, it works. Karina Harris, who was totally hiding behind her beautiful product, decided to come out behind the scenes on video last year. And it actually was awesome, because people wanted to support her small business. And she was doing more video content. She did more video and stories, and it made a huge difference for her. Alex Camacho spoke at the VIP lunch. And she was talking about how I mean her business more than doubled last year. And she was talking and I said what was the one thing she's like authenticity. You know, it's like I've built this customer base and fans and audience by just being authentically myself and who my brand is, and showing up and being honest with people and all the things and so I'm telling you, like be authentic and build your tribe keep showing up. And the more personality you can infuse behind your brand, the more successful you will be. So the entire event was structured around helping you be authentically you to create that connection with your audience. Because at the end of the day, that connection piece is the key. And so that's all I have for you today for this episode. let me recap my little takeaways"
Grow your audience daily, Create a connection and sales will increase. Think Like a wildly successful business owner because mindset is everything. And the more that you can learn from people who have already done what you're trying to do, the more powerful which is tip number three. So stand on the shoulders of giants. Learn from people who have already done what you'd like to do. Tip number four takeaway number four, when pitching the media, pay attention to the stories the publication has already covered. This is a key tip. Definitely listen to that. Tip number five or key takeaway go analog for big impact. Think about all the ways that you can reach people that are surprising. The more you can do that direct mail works great but the more that you can do those surprising things that are outside of the box. The better the response will be. takeaway number six, create a referral network of people who love what you do. And that can come in the form of an ambassador program, or other types of referral programs that you can create. Tip number seven, be authentic and build your tribe. All right, thank you so much for listening to this episode today, I hope that you found it helpful.
We are taking a little summer break, and I'm going to bring back some amazing episodes. And I thought, what a better way than to celebrate people in our community. So I'm going to be pulling up episodes of from members of our coaching programs and our students who have done really great things. And the way this is gonna work is like I interview them, like if they do something awesome, like, tell you how they pulled off a really inexpensive photoshoot that looks amazing, or how they develop their own Ambassador programs, all these things. So I'm going to be bringing back some of my favorite episodes, so that you can listen throughout the month of July. And we'll be back in August with some brand new episodes. And if you're interested in exploring how my team and I can help you grow your business a lot faster and add another $10,000 a month, to your top line revenue through one of our programs, I would love for you to reach out, you can head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum And check out our momentum program right there. There is a forum where you can apply and just fill out the form. And you'll know if you are approved to take the next step within about 15 minutes. And once you do that book a call with our girl, Natasha. She's going to get on the phone with you and share and talk to you about your business. She's going to ask you about your vision and your goals for your company. We'll talk a little bit more about your current situation and any roadblocks that are standing in the way. And you'll leave this strategy audit type call with clear steps to move forward in what you need to do. If it seems like a good fit, we'll invite you to join Momentum or one of our other programs because we really are in the spirit of helping as many designers as possible. So thanks so much for listening today. I hope you have a good rest of your day. Take care. Until next time.
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to thrive by design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.