BUSINESS STRATEGY

3 Reasons No One Is Buying What You’re Selling

3 Reasons No One Is Buying What You're Selling - and what you can do to fix that!

I like to think I’m a really great consumer.

By that I mean, I’m what you call a shopaholic high converting customer.

Sephora has convinced me I need to shop to maintain VIB Rouge status, racking up Nordstrom notes is a sport, and let’s not talk about how many things I’ve purchased thanks to Amazon 1-click / free prime 2-day shipping. But beyond these big names, I’m pretty loyal to some little brands too! For example, I have no less than 3 products from One Love Organics in my bathroom at all times and I regularly re-order Little L’s krak’ems for my dog (despite the fact that she has several unopened treat bags from other brands). These guys get it when it comes to their marketing strategy so you can consider me sold. 

So what are they doing right? Lots of things. But let’s talk about what they aren’t doing wrong. I swear that sentence makes sense but #truelife it’s 1am and sometimes things make more sense in my head than online. 

3 Reasons No One Is Buying What You’re Selling

There are a ton of reasons why businesses like these are more successful than others – but in particular, these 3 are key things that lead them to getting more sales while you may be missing out!

ONE: You haven’t defined your target market

I’m constantly reminding my clients that if you’re trying to sell to everyone, you’re not attracting anyone. You are not Amazon. If you haven’t heard it a million times already, you need to define your niche. “Women” is not specific enough. “Women ages 20-65” is not specific enough. “Women ages 20-35 who have children” is not specific enough. Defining (and researching!) your target market is marketing 101, so if you’re serious about growing your biz or blog, JUST DO IT already!

Defining (and researching!) your target market is marketing 101, so if you're serious about growing your biz or blog, JUST DO IT already!Click To Tweet

TWO: No one knows who you are

Build it and they will come? Yeah, that’s not a thing. Your product or service or blog or personality could be the best thing ever, but if no one knows you exist – then it doesn’t really matter. A marketing strategy isn’t just “posting on social media” or “sending products to bloggers” – you need to be clear on the who/what/where/when/whys of your marketing activities. What are you trying to accomplish – driving traffic to your website? Growing your email list? Building community through social media? Probably some combination / all of the above. You need to be clear on your business goals so you can tailor your marketing activities to achieve those goals. Otherwise you’re wasting time – and really, no one needs to waste time. Marketing is an ongoing process that needs to be refined and repeated. And refined and repeated again. If you’re not putting yourself out there consistently – to the right people – you won’t see sales. I’m not going to tell you that numbers don’t matter (they do), but having 500 targeted, engaged followers is better than having 5,000 followers who never want to buy what you’re selling.

THREE: You’re not communicating your value

People are selfish <– that’s the truth. You have to give them a reason to buy what YOU are selling. What’s in it for them? Just being “pretty” or “affordable” or “fun” isn’t enough. Your product or service needs to provide real value to people’s lives AND you need to be able to communicate that value. I think some entrepreneurs are predisposed to thinking that their products / services are really awesome and so other people will think they are really awesome too. And then they’ll buy them… right? Eh. Maybe. But honestly, it doesn’t matter how awesome YOU think your products are… what matters is what your (potential) customers think. Ask yourself how are you are making their lives easier? How are you solving a problem? How are you giving them something that they REALLY want?

If none of these resonates with you – high five! (Yes, that’s my dog, giving you a virtual high five).

Top Ten Tools I Use for Business Every Day

10 tools I use to run my online business - from website hosting to marketing management and more - I couldn't live without these tools!

I’m always curious about what tools other entrepreneurs use to get shit done. Sometimes it can seem borderline magical how bloggers/ small-biz owners can wear so many hats, but it’s safe to say without some tech tools in place there would be a lot more crying (and a lot more wine)! Personally, these are 10 tools I use for business everyday and can’t live without:

Siteground – I run my website on WordPress and originally started with a different hosting company (and had a ton of issues) until I switched to Siteground a couple of years ago. I’ve had no complaints since switching to Siteground and their customer service is always super helpful when I have questions!

Acuity – This tool makes it SUPER easy for my consulting clients to schedule appointments, complete questionnaires, and pay for their sessions all at the same time. I use Acuity’s “Emerging Entrepreneur” (basic) plan which is just $10/month (there’s a 14 day free trial if you want to give it a try)!

Google Apps – For professional looking email and other Google services like Google drive / calendar, I can’t live without Google Apps! (P.S. you can get 20% off Google Apps with code 6GWWCDPAWYJAME or 3RL9DQJKNGH7DE when you sign up here!

ConvertKit – For email marketing, I’m obsessed with ConvertKit. I switched from MailChimp earlier this year and IMMEADIATELY saw an increase in open rates. Beyond that, ConvertKit’s automation and segmentation capabilities are so much better. ConvertKit also has a number of different forms (example at the end of this post) and landing page templates (example here) that are really easy to set up if you aren’t using a separate program / plugin to collect emails and deliver lead magnets.

Adobe Photoshop: I use Photoshop CC to create all of my blog graphics, to create content upgrades, to create email graphics, and to edit photos. It’s only $10/month and I literally use it every single day!

Dropbox: I store all my files (SO MANY PHOTOS) via Dropbox so they don’t take up space on my computers. This way they’re easy to access, easy to share, and I never have to worry about my computer slowing down! Dropbox also makes it easy to share files between people, so it’s great if you regularly work with a team or subcontractors. The basic version is free, but I upgraded to the pro plan (1 TB of storage) for $99/year or $9.99/month.

Asana  I switched to Asana (from Trello) for project management a couple of months ago and LOVE it. It’s perfect for keeping projects organized and on track – plus the version I use is free! You can plan projects, assign tasks, set due dates and manage collaborations with ease!

Tailwind – For Pinterest scheduling / analytics, Tailwind is amazing. I love that you can schedule pins to multiple boards at the same time and the analytics are so helpful in determining which pins / boards are performing well (or not). I’ve seen a HUGE increase in referral traffic (and email subscribers!) from Pinterest since I started using Tailwind. Highly recommend – you can schedule up to 100 pins for free, plus get a free month when you sign up here!

BoardBooster – I actually use 2 tools for Pinterest – Tailwind is great for new pins / pinning to group boards, but I love BoardBooster‘s looping feature for recycling old content. I loop around 20 pins per day which saves a lot of time for just $10/month! Get 100 free pins when you sign up here!

SmarterQueue is great for scheduling Twitter + Facebook because it saves so much time. Instead of publishing your social media updates just once or having to reschedule them when you want to share again, SmarterQueue saves them in a library that you can build over time and automatically re-share. Read why I think SmarterQueue is the best social media scheduler for evergreen content in this blog post and get a 30 day free trial via this link!

I seriously use all 10 of these tools every. single. day. I’d recommend them all, but I’d love to know – what tools are essential to running your blog or business?

*These are the business and blogging tools that I actually use and recommend – so yes, some of them are affiliate links :)

5 Ways My Finance Career Prepared Me To Be A Better Creative Entrepreneur

A lot of people in my network describe themselves as creatives.

I’m not really artistic or crafty or a “maker” in any sense (I can barely “make” microwave dinners), but I like pretty things, know my way around photoshop, and get paid for my photography and styling skills… so apparently I am creative.   

Although much of what I do on a daily basis is “creative” I don’t always think of myself that way.

You see, I started my career in finance – high net worth wealth management to be specific. Many people who meet me now are surprised because my day-to-day seems so different, but in reality I use the same business skills – I just leverage them in different ways.

Sometimes I wonder where I would be now if I had started down a more creative path earlier… would I be more confident in my creative abilities? Would I have a more impressive portfolio of work? Would I have more social media followers? Maybe.

It’s easy to “what-if” the time away, but it’s probably more important to acknowledge and be thankful for the path that has led me to where I am now. It if weren’t for my career in finance, I wouldn’t feel as confident about business skills that are ESSENTIAL to being a creative entrepreneur. Specifically….

Sales training

As a financial advisor, one of the biggest parts of my professional education was sales training. Consultative selling to be specific. I spent years understanding why people buy things and how to sell to them by providing solutions to their problems. In the past decade I’ve sold everything from $100,000+ investments in long-short hedge funds to $10 costume jewelry, and while sales is not my favorite aspect of running a business, I get it, and I’m not scared of it.

Networking

I’m not sure how anyone really successfully runs a business without networking skills. Whether you’re connecting with other brands / influencers online or in person, you need to be willing to put yourself out there and tell people what you do (in a non-annoying way). You never know when you will meet someone who is looking for someone just like you – or knows someone who is looking for someone like you. Almost every client, collaboration or referral I’ve gotten has been through networking! (P.S. – read the introverts’ guide to networking(more…)