Now you’re really in the thick of things!
By now, you should have your business banking and payment options established, social media accounts claimed, and ecommerce site chosen and stocked. It’s time to throw your (virtual) doors open and get ready for (online) shoppers to flood in!
Except...well, it doesn’t always work that way (but wouldn’t that be awesome if it did?!)
There’s a very general “rule of thumb” that says that, for every 100 visitors to your website, you should get 1 sale (or, to put it another way, you would “convert” 1% of your website visitors into buyers).
Now this rule isn’t hard and fast, and if you can establish some good relationships with your audience, you can start to see that 1% climb pretty quickly (see week 8 on email marketing, where I talk about the importance of nurturing your email list).
If you are selling on Etsy, you are working in a platform that gives you the benefit of a widely known and trusted source. People go to Etsy knowing to expect good quality, handmade products. I highly recommend all handmade sellers establish themselves on Etsy, however, if you are working to build a brand of your own, your efforts here are more to build an email list (I have a resource guide that shows you how to use Etsy as a marketing tool that you can grab here) and drive traffic to your website. With Etsy, your focus should be on developing a strong keyword strategy and beautiful photography.
If you are selling on your own website (which I of course highly encourage!), then it’s up to you to drive all of your own traffic. You are your own standalone store, whereas Etsy is more like a mega store carrying many brands. Think of it as building a store in the middle of the desert. It’s there, it’s beautiful...but no one can find it. Your job is to build smooth, paved roads that lead right up to the store. The more roads there are, the more people will find it!
These “roads” are your marketing channels. Facebook business pages, Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, your email list, blogs...the list goes on and on. The more places you (and hopefully other people!) can talk about and link to your website, the more visitors you will get.
I will caution you, though, to really favor quality over quantity when you are choosing your social media marketing strategy. We touched on this more in-depth during week 6 of the Business Basics Bootcamp, but the short version is that you need to be showing up with consistency and authentically on the platform(s) where your “Perfect Customer” is spending time.
If your Perfect Customer spends his/her time on Facebook, then you are going to be focusing your efforts on creating thoughtful, engaging, share-able Facebook posts, responding to comments, and having authentic conversations.
If your Perfect Customer prefers Instagram, you are going to be posting frequent, visually-pleasing, on-brand posts that are relevant to your business and that pique the interest of your audience. You are going to ask viewers to like and comment...and then you are going to respond to comments and encourage “DM” (direct message) conversations to further develop the relationship.
As you start to develop these relationships, you are going to start to introduce photos of your work and links to your website.
It’s a delicate balance: think of it like... dating.
You wouldn’t go out on a first date and ask someone to marry you at the end of it, right?
Right...and in the same vein, you wouldn’t get new followers/commenters on your social media and immediately ask them to buy, because...yuck!
You are implementing the social media marketing strategy to build the relationship, and then maybe on the 3rd or 4th “date” you are going to invite them over to your place (your website).
The more people you get visiting your website, the more chances you are creating for sales to happen. As your audience grows, with consistency and engagement, your website traffic should also grow. As your website traffic grows, your sales should also grow.
If you are consistently getting 100+ visitors per day to your website and you still aren’t making sales, you need to look at 3 big things:
This is an exciting time to be building an online business! If you have made it this far in the process, I’m willing to bet that you are juuuuust about ready to really take off. Woohoo!
As we move into August, I want you to really start thinking about the upcoming holiday season (it’s not THAT far off!) and what your marketing/sales plan is going to be.
Things look different this year. There won’t be many art/craft fairs this holiday season, and the ones that DO happen are likely to be poor at best. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE ONLINE!
I'd love to have you join us in the free Facebook group, where we chat ALL things handmade-business related.