EP 348: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself If Your Jewelry Sales Aren't Growing
1:43PM Apr 11, 2022
Am I being consistent? This is usually the issue with most people. But are they doing it? Typically it's no. So if you're not getting the sales that you want, ask yourself, am I being consistent? And can I create a schedule that I can actually be consistent with?
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? All right, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive By Design Podcast, Episode 348. Hey, everyone, it's Tracy here. And I'm so excited to be here today, as usual. So fun, I've been getting a lot of people hitting me up on Instagram, saying they've been longtime listeners to the show. So I want to thank all of you who've been reaching out to me. And if you want to chat with me, just you know, in the DMS, feel free to reach out to me over @tracymatthewsny. And I'd love to connect with you to see who is listening. Because it's fun for me to create these episodes and come into your earbuds every week, sometimes more than once a week. And, you know, for me, this is just as I've said this before, but it's really a labor of love.
And this episode was inspired by something that recently happened in our community, I had someone post it, you know, it's a weird thing to talk about. Because someone we rarely get this, but someone posted a very negative piece of feedback about one of our programs on our public Facebook page. And normally, I wouldn't talk about this on a podcast. But I think this is a really important lesson because I was really curious about the feedback that he gave, it was basically saying that this program doesn't work. And it's a ripoff, or whatever it is. So of course I lean in, I want to help him I just want to know like what's going on. And after some research and going back and forth on Instagram, Messenger for many, many months, it turns out that he bought this program for his girlfriend or wife, I'm not totally clear on their relationship, they started a business together, he is a corporate guy. So he's also creative. And they co-founded this jewelry company together and they want to really get it off the ground. And so I'm like, great! Let's do this. And I love it when there's a supportive spouse who really just wants his partner to be happy, and they want to grow a business. So I was curious about the comments. So I messaged him directly. I mean, I was going back and forth with him a little bit on the Facebook page. But I also sent him a direct message. Because I think that a lot of times when people are struggling with something and they go straight to a public platform, to express their disappointment maybe is a good word to say in something, I find it fascinating because there's usually another underlying motivation there. And I was just curious about what it was.
So I reached out to the guy and you know, a bunch of our students were actually like going in there and responding saying like, this program changed my life and stuff. So I wasn't I'm not really worried about the comment more than anything. I was just curious about the motivation behind the comment and what was really going on. So after going back and forth with this guy for a couple of days, like long messages, and him saying that, you know, he just really wanted to know statistics, like, what how many, what percentage of people are successful after they take their program? And as like, we can't really measure that we can measure when people share with us their results. And obviously, we are committed to helping people get a great result. We have coaches in our program, we have a community where we're always supporting the designers. And there's a lot of mindset work that comes up against four artists when they're starting a business because they have to deal with their own stuff, everything that's going on internally, which a lot of it is based in fear, a lot of it is based in primarily a fear of rejection. And if you're putting yourself out there, this is a common thread. I've been doing this for a very long time, almost 10 years here at Flourish and Thrive. So I know this to be true. And this is not the first time that I've had someone come to me and say something doesn't work. And typically when they're using that kind of language. There's something else going on. And I know that's and we're gonna get to that in just a minute. And so we go back and forth in Messenger for a couple of days, literally. And he's telling me all these things about his partner and how she's been asking questions and not getting great answers. And she's implementing everything and not getting great answers. So I'm curious, you know, I'm like, Okay, let's see what she's done. So I look up all the questions that she's asked in the Facebook group. I look at her website, I look at her social media, I give them like a website review and feedback on the social media. And I kept asking them questions. What is she doing on a daily basis to make sales? What is she doing on a daily basis to make sales? And they kept turning the question back on me, what percentage of people buy this program, get results or succeed in their business? Well, I can't control what someone does after they buy one of our programs. That's why we give so much support in our programs, you know, we get people access from our Laying The Foundation program for a year and our diamond insiders mentorship. And then if you want to stay, you can pay $49 a month, that used to only be a paid mentorship. And I do that on purpose, because I want people to get a result. But the truth of the matter is, I can't run your business for you, unless you're gonna pay me a CEO salary, I can't make sure that you're doing the work and hold you accountable, if you're not showing up.
And so it turns out that she was not really telling her partner the truth of what she had been doing. And so I went through everything, like I basically went back through everything, every accusation that they made about me and the program and the value in the program, and help them see like where the holes were. Because typically, when someone is not getting sales, or their business isn't growing, the typical, and the most common reason why that is happening is whatever is going on in sight of the founder, or the person who's running the business, combined with the daily actions that person is taking. So the point of this story is this, if you aren't getting the sales results that you want, whether you're just trying to make 100,000 a year, or whether you want to just make, you know, $1,000 a month, or whether you want to be making $100,000 a month, right, and you want to have a million-dollar company, if you aren't getting the results, the only person that you can look at for accountability is you and actions. Because someone like me, or another mentor, like me, can give you every single tool in the book, we can guide you down the path. But if you aren't doing the work, nothing's going to happen.
So what we found is that she was posting on social media about once a month, she wasn't consistent. She wasn't actively growing her following. She was never sending out emails, they had a website that was glitchy AF, like I went on on the mobile, I'm like, I couldn't even like click on an image because it kept like doing this weird thing that looked like flash. And it was there were some problems with the template that they used in Shopify. And the list went on and on and on. And so we actually came to this thing where he said, Thank you, you know, I want to thank you so much for actually taking the time with me, because I realized now that it really doesn't have to do with the program. And he kept asking for the statistics.
So I'm going to tell you guys 95% of new businesses fail within the first year. That's not necessarily because of taking one of my programs. But that's a general statistic. And he was using a statistic about how in a program that he took, they gave him, they said that 90% of the businesses who take this program will fail. And it's the same statistic as anyone because that's a general well-known statistic that anyone can google. Ninety-five percent or 90-95% of small businesses fail within the first year. And the reason usually is that they run on a cash flow, they run out of runway, they run out of interest, and they can't sustain the business because they aren't getting the sales or the revenue coming in that they actually need. And so a lot of times what I hear designers say is when they're in this place is like, Well, how do I get investors? But that's the wrong question to be asking yourself, or they're saying like, should I hire a salesperson now? Or how do I get a sales? Rep? That's the wrong question to ask yourself, especially if you're, unless you already have an established business, those might be qualified things to ask yourself, if you're in the startup phase, and you're trying to make regular consistent sales. And you want those sales to be predictable, and you want to be selling outside of your friends and family zone. And even if you're growing in your business, you know, you have $100,000 A month business and you want to grow $250,000 a month, you have to take a look inside yourself and your strategy to see what is happening and why your results aren't working.
So I wanted to come in here and you know, just talk about seven questions that you can ask yourself, if you aren't getting sales that you want in your business. And this is something that you can write these down, you can save this episode, whatever you want. And this is something you can always come back to because these are great questions that will help you kind of figure out what am I doing right? What am I doing well, and then where do I need improvement?
And they call me you know, it's funny because I wrote a little note in my episode outlines. They call me tough love Tracy around here a lot of times because I'm not the kind of person who's going to tell you what you want to hear. I'm going to tell you what you need to hear. And I think I've turned a lot of people off. In fact, I had, I did a free mentorship program through the WJA I'm not doing that anymore, but I did a mentorship with a student who actually was a graduate of our community. She was paired with me because she was asking about online sales. And I'm one of the only qualified people who was in that mentorship program to talk about online sales, because that's what we focus on a lot over here at Flourish and Thrive. And she came to me and I told I was honest with her, she had spent a ton of money on her website. And I thought that her pieces for what they were in the perceived value, the piece seemed a little bit overpriced, or they weren't fully represented. And I don't usually tell people that their products overpriced. But the point of this is that the pieces for the price that she was asking for, and for the design, that they were, they didn't, to me have in my eye, like the perceived value of the piece. It was like she was trying to turn something that could have been done in like less expensive materials into a fine jewelry piece that was wire wrapped in with black diamonds and all this stuff. And that's great. But the perceived value wasn't there. And she was wondering why she was struggling with the sales and there was a whole thing around it. But I told her that and she basically told WJA that she didn't want to mentor with me anymore. And I was fine with that. Because like, I am not for everyone.
And whoever you have as a mentor, if you want someone who's just going to tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear, you're probably going to be wasting a lot of time. And so that's why I'm here on this episode, I'm gonna give you some seven questions, ask yourself if your jewelry sales aren't growing. But I also wanted to mention this, we're hosting a brand new workshop, we're going to be hosting monthly workshops. For the most part, we're gonna be taking a break on and off in the summer, on different topics. And the first one is going to be a Brand Positioning Workshop where we're going to be talking about pricing, really communicating your messaging and branding in to the market, it's going to be a great workshop. It's actually this is this podcast is going live on the 19th of April and the workshop is happening on the 20th live, we will have an evergreen version of it at some point. But if you'd like to join us at the last minute, you can head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/workshop, and sign up right there. We've only had the replay available for 48 hours. So I would highly recommend that you show up live, because you're probably going to want to watch it more than once. So head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/workshop and save your seat right there. It's actually we're only really promoting it to our internal audience. But this is my one plug on the podcast for it. So head on over now pause this episode and head on over there and save your seat.
So let's talk about the seven questions you want to ask yourself if your jewelry sales aren't growing? So question number one, and this is the first question that I asked this person who wrote, you know, the scathing review is "What are you doing on a daily basis to make sales?" And what I really mean by this is how are you spending your time, you can literally ask yourself, How am I spending my time every day, and you can start tracking where you're spending time. If you're not struggling with sales, if you already sales are good, and they're where you want them to be, then this, you can change this. But if you're not, they're not where you want to be, you should be spending 75% of your time marketing and doing sales techniques for your business reach sales outreach, excuse me, for your business. Marketing includes anything from active social media marketing, email marketing, text marketing, SMS marketing, individual sales outreach, where you're reaching out to individual customers via email or text message. I'm not talking about broadcast emails, I'm talking about individual outreach, reaching out to wholesale accounts. And you know, participating in in-person events, trade shows, virtual trunk shows, like all those things that we know, that we need to be doing to be making sales.
And you know, there was a lot of preparation time that for all these types of events. So you just want to be thinking like, where am I spending my time? And is the stuff that I'm doing actually getting exposure for my brand and or helping me make sales? And the fastest way always to make sales is by reaching out to individuals that you know, or who have purchased from you before. So these could be previous customers, and just checking in and seeing how they're doing. Like, Hey, Jenny, I noticed that you bought those pearl earrings a couple of months ago, I just wanted to see how are you enjoying them, and you wait for a response. And then after they respond, just say like, awesome, you know, my new collection landed on the website, or you can say something like I have a necklace that goes great with those earrings, I thought you might be interested in them. There are so many different ways that you can make sales just by coming from a place of service and reaching out to people to see how they're enjoying their order to sell them more. That makes sense.
Now, the second question I would ask yourself is, "Are the efforts that I'm making actually getting a conversion?" For instance, am I making sales from my efforts? Am I getting new followers? Am I getting opt-ins or subscribers on my email list? When I send out emails, are sales happening from that email? When I do outreach? Are people responding to that outreach? So are the efforts getting a conversion, you need to start measuring that. Because if you're just spending your time doing a bunch of things that aren't working, then you need to change your strategy. Does that make sense?
Question number 3: "Am I being consistent?" This is usually the issue with most people. They want to, you know, be on social media every day, they want to be email marketing once or twice a week, they want to be doing daily sales outreach. But are they doing it? Typically, it's no. So if you're not getting the sales that you want, ask yourself, Am I being consistent and can I create a schedule that I can actually be consistent with?
It's better to do something than nothing. Because what happens is, sometimes people just feel really bad about themselves, because they feel like they got off track. And they didn't do the things that they said they were going to do. And so instead of just failing forward perfectly and doing something, they totally abandon ship, and don't do anything, and then they get in this sort of inconsistency cycle of posting. So try to get on a regular schedule as much as you possibly can. And I'm not saying that, like, if you skip a day or two, it's not going to be a big deal like posting on Instagram, or if you're not posting 10 tiktoks a day or whatever, or that you're going to be fine. Or if you're not engaging in your Facebook group, however you market your brand, that it's not going to work. But what I am gonna say is that if you drop off for two weeks or a month on Instagram, and you're using that as a marketing tool, you're probably going to be like struggling with the algorithm. So get consistent.
Question number 4: "Am, I always improving my marketing and sales strategy based on what is happening in the market? Or am I like actually measuring what's working and what's not working? So this is a little bit similar to number two, are my efforts getting a conversion, just a different way to say it, but also like, it's really important as a marketer to be up to date on what's happening in the world. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone reach out to me on social media or somewhere else, and say, I don't know what's going on, I don't have any sales, I'm paying for advertising. It's like they're doing their marketing backwards, they want to go straight to something that costs them money to try to get out there. Before they even know how to market their business before they understand what their brand stands for before they have customers. If you're advertising and you don't have sales, like that's a waste of money, you're just throwing money in the trash. So instead, I would like you to take a look at the more affordable marketing options that are sometimes free, or that just require manual labor. And I'd rather have you invest in someone to help you with the marketing than to pay for advertising in the beginning. Because really, what you're trying to do is get a critical mass of people buying from you a certain number of people a month, a certain number of consistent sales a month. And that consistency, and improving on your marketing strategy are the things that are going to help you a lot more than trying to dump money in ads, when you don't have a funnel that works. It's just a waste of money.
Question number 5: "Am I up to date on the trends that are working in marketing, especially where my dream customers are hanging out?" So for instance, if you're on Instagram, you may have heard that they're changing the algorithm again, there's now three new ways to experience the algorithm. You can favorite brands. So if you haven't done that yet, make sure that you go on over to Instagram and favorite us over @flourish_thrive, or @tracymatthewny, I'm dropping great fun stuff every single day there and inspiration for you guys. Are you keeping up with the trends and updates? So we know that the algorithm changes are going to affect our post outreach. We also know that in the last few months, that certain types of posts like just single images aren't getting the same traction as things like reels or other things like that, that are you know, really kind of helping people grow organically and in fact, we had a DI Plus member recently, who had like maybe 900 Instagram followers grow to 6000 followers with just one viral reel. So you heard that it can't work. It can work for you if you really lean into the trends. And Tik Tok, Gary Vee is saying that Tik Tok is one of the untapped platforms if you don't get on it and within the next year you're going to be left behind so if you think that your customers are on Tik Tok then head and there's older people on Tik Tok now I'm actually launching a Tik Tok account are really leaning in. I might be changing my profile but if you're checkout @tracymatthewsny and I'm going to be posting at on at creatives world the world as well on Tik Tok, but it's an untapped market doesn't have even close to the number of users Instagram right now. So there's still time to get on there. If you think that your customers and you have the bandwidth to create that many videos because it is a video format. But there's a lot of ways that you can use it to use photos and turn those photos into videos as well. Question number five again is, am I up to date on the trends that are working in marketing?
Question number 6: "Am I speaking to and putting my brand or my dream clients are actually shopping?" This is really important. Now one of the big mistakes that I made early on in my career is that I kept trying to get into a store that used to be around called Barney's and for many years in the late 90s, in the 2000s, it was like the store that every emerging designer wanted to be in because it was up and coming. Cool people shop there, they always had awesome things. But what I didn't realize is that Barney's would never feature a maker if they were already established in the market, meaning they wanted to be the person to discover a brand. And I'd already had an established brand, it was already in some of their competitors' accounts. I didn't realize it at the time. But I spent a lot of time and energy obsessing over getting in Barney's and it wasn't even a good fit for my brand in the long run. So keep in mind that just getting an account doesn't mean it's a good fit for you. So think about where your dream clients hanging out, that's like the most important thing that you need to be thinking about. And if you don't know, you need to figure that out. So think about where they shop. Think about how they experience online and shopping online. Think about their buying habits and patterns, thinking about why they're buying jewelry, especially from you. And dig deep into those things. And if you're not sure we can help you with that you can reach out to me and or join me for the Pricing and Positioning Workshop that's happening tomorrow. And you will have your mind blown, because you're gonna see a lot of things that you didn't realize were important for growing your business. And were important for really attracting those dream customers and getting in front of them. So that's the next step is like, are you speaking to and putting your brand in front of places where your dream clients are actually hanging out? Or actually shopping?
And then question number 7: "Am, I being honest with myself about running a business?" Am I willing to do the work inside and out that it really takes to grow, even if it's painful, even if I get rejected, even if I get triggered? Even if it's hard, even if it's uncomfortable, all those things, because I will tell you, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. And if you just want to have a hobby and sell some jewelry on the side, totally cool. Like I fully support you in that. But just be honest with yourself that that's what you want. If you want to go bigger, go home and be ambitious. Just be prepared to be triggered all the time and be coming up against your deepest darkest fears. Because growing a business is one of those things that is just a huge crash course on personal development requires you to do the hard work to dig your heels in to keep moving forward and get all this stuff done. And so I really want to encourage you to be honest with yourself and you may not know that question now. You may think that you want to you may try it. And then you might get into it and think like, oh, this is awesome. And I do enjoy this. And I'm willing to do it because I've kind of started getting it. And what I'm going to tell you is that when I first started a business, I was a really glorified hobbyist. I launched my first company in the 90s. I was selling on the side, I was so excited because I remember one year I sold $13,000 in 1990. I don't know maybe it was like 1996 or something. Or 1994. Not a lot of money for me. I was you know, putting myself through college. And I did it all through home parties and selling to friends and family. And I was really proud of that my accountant was like, Oh, wow, great! That's a lot of money. Like I say that, uh, just because I said that and he's like, okay, you know, that's not really that much money. But okay. But I was really proud of that. So I thought because that seemed to me like proof of concept that I wanted to start my own company. And when I went in started full time I had some money saved. It was really hard. And I remember for six months, I barely made any sales and I would come home, my ex-husband Mike would say to me, or he was my husband at the time, obviously. What have you done? Like, how many sales did you make today, and I would make a bunch of excuses. I had a really good big to do list that was really a big to do list of excuses, that I said over and over again. And I would say like all these reasons why I wasn't making sales on perfecting my collection. Oh, well, I called some accounts, but they can't get an appointment till next month, I was kind of maybe lying there. But, you know, I kept coming up with reasons why it wasn't making sales instead of really digging in and doing it. And it wasn't until he kind of said to me like, you know, we can't sustain just one household income for very long, like, we're doing it, it's fine, but if you don't start making sales soon, we're gonna have to figure that out. Like you're gonna have to go back and get a job again or go back to your job in retail at Nordstrom and I just really did not want to do that. And that in and of itself was enough motivation for me to get my ass moving. In fact, I started reaching out to people I started, I had some friends who were doing great selling their staff, a friend who named Susie, who had a sweater company and a couple of other friends who were selling jewelry and stuff like that. And I really just leaned in, I asked for introductions, and I did the hard work. And when the store is because back then you had to pick up the phone, call a store, ask for a buyer, make an appointment drive to the store, it was such a different culture was much harder, by the way. Today, you could just like email things and get through. But I would go sometimes to these accounts, and people would say no, straight to my face. And it was horrific. But I would ask them for feedback. They're like, you know, we really like your designs. But the collection is not fully developed, or, you know, maybe next season because we have some overlap, or we're all bought out. Like there were a lot of reasons why. And getting that feedback and understanding why it really helped shaped my strategy moving forward in the future.
So just a little pep talk for you. I want to give you that today that if you are serious about growing your business at any stage, and you would like some additional support, whether you're just starting up, whether you're launching and growing, or whether you're scaling your company to seven figures and beyond, we can help you. And all you got to do is apply for a Free Strategy Audit and jump on the phone with us or join me for one of our workshops. We have a free one happening tomorrow. I'll have all the details in the show notes. But a little bit more about the Strategy Audit, basically, you fill out a quick application. And if you're approved, you'll have a time to book in a call with our enrollment specialists, Natasha, she's going to talk to you a little bit more about your individual needs for your business, what you're struggling with your dreams and goals and big picture vision for your company. And then we're going to see how we can help you and if it seems like a good fit, we will suggest, you know a program if it's aligned. And if it's not a good fit, then no worries, you're going to walk away with some tangible things that you can work on in your business and implement moving forward. So thanks for listening to the show today. Once again, I want to thank you for all your ratings and reviews. If you're listening to this on Apple podcast, I would so appreciate you giving us a rating a review and telling us what you think. This is Tracy Matthews signing off. 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.