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Hello all Indie Beauty members!

 

I'm fairly new to this site and to the indie community. I'm on a very low budget for marketing/advertising and would love to hear advices from you all on your marketing. I have a facebook fan page set up with 1,500 fans ( facebook.com/pinkblossomcosmeticsmn), etsy, artfire, site, and blog.

 

I finally launched my mineral line in late Jan and looking for an advice to get sales. I get views from my fans but there was only a few sales. Do you advertise through facebook ads, google adwords, local communities? What are your other means of a low budget advertisement?

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated. ThankYou

 

Lilly

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Lilly,

Thanks for your question. Others have already offered some super thoughts, so I am going to add mine.

At the end of the day, what's really needed is a system that takes people from hearing about your products to buying them. So you start with a wide open funnel that brings people in simply by them hearing that you even exist. A funnel is usually an email newsletter, FaceBook Page, advertising, a regularly scheduled appearance at a trade or craft show, a blog, or some combination of those types of things that is systematized in a way to spread the word about your products.

You use that process to get people from just knowing about your products, to knowing about you, to trusting you, to buying the products. By the time people get to you, they have specific questions and are often ready to buy. Your job is to guide them through that funnel so they are ready to buy.

In the mineral makeup world, you have to develop trust. Women are trusting you to help them look their best. Why should they do that? Why should they pick you over the other mineral makeup that they already know about? That message has to be nailed down so it can be clear and appealing to your target customers.

So my questions are:

1. Where is your website? FaceBook Page?

2. Why are your products superior to other mineral makeup I can buy?

3. How are you spreading the word and engaging your target customers so they can trust you and exchange their hard earned money for your products instead of someone else's?

Just a few basic things to think about!

I look forward to hearing from others.

dM

dM, Thank You. Great advice!

Just interviewed with Donna Maria.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/indiebusiness/2012/02/14/roadmap-to-re...

This interview will help you. And check out my book/blog - again, they will help you. The point is, people already want what you sell, they just have to be convinced that your products are best for them.

The way to find that out is to INTERVIEW your current customers and to find out what their buying process was. If you are NOT supporting that process - not answering their questions, for example, or making it too hard to find you - you will lose them. No point "bringing them in" if you're only going to lose them. And "bringing them in" will only happen if you understand their buying process - what they are really looking for, how they describe it, what matters to them (it is NOT what you assume). The very words they use are not the same ones that we all assume they use. If you know what those words are, because they have told you in your conversation with them, all of your outreach efforts will be more fruitful.

The biggest problem you have right now is the airwaves are saturated. Your customers have a LOT of choices and very little incentive for changing to another solution. So you have to rise above all the noise. You can only do that if you really understand what matters to them - and not only design your messages for them, but your whole approach to serving them and meeting their needs. The companies doing that are succeeding now; the ones who aren't won't last.

Once you know who they are and what they care about - and HOW THEY WANT TO BUY - you can "meet them where they are." Everything you do will be more successful. Also, you will know why they bought from you, which is what you will want to talk about when you are addressing/attracting new customers. Again, you can assume this, but you will be wrong. We all are. Success is in the nuances, the phraseology, the attitudes.

Your own customers will teach you how to sell successfully to new customers, if you ask them the right questions in the right way.

Kristin Zhivago, Author, Roadmap To Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy

Kristin -

The podcast was fantastic today.  I appreciated it.

A Google search turns up so much media these days, for lack of a better word.  10 years ago, when you searched the key words "handcrafted soap," the results were websites.  The websites that got the most traffic, hits, were generally at the top of the list.  Today, do that same search.  A confusing mix of things pop up from ads (ads from mass-manufacturers, definitely NOT handcrafted), and videos, and photographs (not royalty free), paid advertisements, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter comments, and then, somewhere in there, the listings of the related websites begin. 

Saturated is not even the word for it. But, it is proof that we need to be in many, many places as marketers.

So, we hit up the best marketing tools that we know that work for OUR business.  We find out what works, and we do it over and over again.  And then, the market and the tools change so quickly, we re-invent and re-brand constantly.  It is just that way.

I have gotten the best advice from loyal customers.  Even those that once told me, "Raise your prices, I'll pay what you set them at!" They do.

I loved your advice about contacting customers one-on-one, and by the way, I do not like surveys either.  I asked that question for others that might think about going that route.  I feel it is a dead end, it is not personal enough.  You are not going to get honest answers. 

I will be following your insightful advice.  When we think we are doing what is right, as far as marketing is concerned, we may not see what our customers are seeing THROUGH THEIR EYES.  Such a reminder.

Thank you!

Mary

Great points, Mary! Today, it's important to be very focused about who you are talking to, and to bear down deep into a vertical niche of people who specifically want what you are specifically selling.

Those crazy Google searches are one reason why, as Kristin and I discussed on today's podcast, so many people ask their friends. Of course we've always asked our friends for advice, but that advice is more important today because Google is of so little real value. People view the world more readily through the eyes of their friends. That's one reason why FaceBook is worth so many billions of dollars.

If your customers love your product so much that they tell their friends, and you have ways to engage them and their friends on a consistent and ongoing basis, you barely need Google. Of course every little bit of SEO juice is helpful, but for Indies, following up a good product with a specific marketing message to a specific audience is so much more effective -- not to mention less exhausting and more profitable too.

I'm so grateful to Kristin for sharing, and to you for tuning in and asking a question live on the show!

dM

Thanks, Mary. You bring up some excellent points! I love what you say about Google and getting "the best advice from loyal customers" - including raising your price! That should encourage others to make those calls! And thanks for the question about surveys. When we think of the surveys we've taken, we realize how useless they are. They never uncover the real dynamics behind a purchase. The tradeoffs, the priorities, the process, the questions, the "I won't be burned like THAT again" concerns.And to think all that wonderful revenue-producing stuff is as close as your phone... :-)

The customers that absolutely value what you do, what you offer, are more than thrilled to provide feedback.  What they see and convey to us is priceless.   

The feedback that I am getting is awesome.  Amazing.  We tend to not know what really works for our customers.  We only think we know. 

Kristin -

 

With the customer calls that I have made I have gotten a number of "flowery" responses, very dedicated to liking the customer service and products that they receive, and then finally I received feedback from customers that explained in-depth what they were looking for when they found me, what they would like to see ongoing.  Now I have clearer visions to work from.  I told my customers that I needed to see what they see through their eyes.  My customer base is exactly what I thought they were, what I market to, but now I have a better understanding of what their needs are (how I can fill their needs better), what their fears are/were, and why they are comfortable purchasing from me. 

 

Thank you!


Mary

 

 

Fantastic ideas, so refreshing! Just ordered the book, can't wait to get it!

Thanks for posting this! We're listening to the podcast right now. :c)

Thank You ladies. I truly appreciate all the advice that was given here.

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