I’m going to jump straight in and address the elephant in the room (hope you don’t mind me being direct, but that’s kinda my style!)
So how’s business?
Have things been really tough recently?
If so, you’re not alone. So many makers rely on selling their work in shops, markets and fairs. Which was working great, until Covid 19 came along of course.
And then it was a pretty big problem. No customers = no money coming in. Simple as that.
But it wasn’t like that for everyone.
I’ve been paying close attention to designer/makers out there. And I noticed something really interesting.
THE DESIGNERS WHO HAD ALREADY SET UP EMAIL LISTS AND HAD AN ENGAGED SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN DOING WELL, DESPITE THE LOCKDOWN.
Sounds obvious? Well I guess it is, with hindsight. So WHAT are YOU doing about it?
Because if you’re thinking the need to go digital is going away, when things get back to ‘normal’, well you’re wrong.
Now customers have a taste of digital, even more people will be confident going online. If you cut yourself off from these audiences, you’re missing a huge potential audience…and not only that.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF WE HAD ANOTHER LOCKDOWN AND YOU HADN’T DONE ANYTHING TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE?
WOULD THIS BE THE END OF YOUR BUSINESS?
I know it can be daunting, but the good news is that it’s totally doable, if you do it bit by bit.
You just need three things in place:
1. A way to find your customers (a social media platform)
Firstly you need to find potential customers and show them what your business is about. Social media is great for this. So I would think about where your potential customers are likely to hang out and just pick ONE platform to target. It could be Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or somewhere else. Just pick the place where you believe your customers hang out online.
2. A way for your customers to buy (a website or third party shop e.g. Etsy)
Kind of essential – if you want to sell, you’ll need a way of doing it. So a website or something like an Etsy shop is a must.
3. A way to keep in touch with and build a relationship with your customers (email list)
This is such an easy one to skip, but is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. The only way you can guarantee your customers are seeing your messages is to do it by email, as social media algorithms mean only about 5-10 % of people will see your posts. And email is proven to sell more than any other platform…and by a long way. Building a relationship with your customers will make sales come so much easier, and so having a list that you regularly keep in contact with is a no-brainer.
That’s it. Just three things. You don’t need to be on ALL the platforms. You don’t need to do ALL the things right away. You just need to do these three things and you will FUTURE PROOF YOUR BUSINESS.
Now, I know there’s a lot there. If this is the first time you’ve thought about this, it IS A lot. It’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. The important thing is not to let your fear paralyse you from taking any action.
You’ve TOTALLY GOT THIS.