#284 5 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working with Alison Haselden

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I’m super excited to share this episode with you, m’dear.

Not only do I have an amazing guest this week, but we’re also talking about one of the most important topics for the new year: marketing.

That’s right, I’m sitting down with our very own Flourish & Thrive Academy Marketing Director, Alison Haselden.

She’s the brains behind our upcoming Marketing Makeover Challenge.

January is all about rethinking and reimagining your marketing. But before you build new plans and strategize, it’s important to reflect on what’s not working.

That’s the key to growth.

As long as you’re looking to grow your business, there’s always room for improvement. So let’s sit down and talk about the 5 reasons your marketing might not be working…

#284 5 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working with Alison Haselden Show Notes

“Because you know, your content could be amazing. It could look great and you could be writing awesome captions. But if you're speaking to people who aren't really your dream audience, there's going to be a big disconnect there.”

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. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: 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.

Tracy: Hey, there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief visionary officer Flourish and Thrive Academy. Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 284. I am here with a special guest. Welcome, Alison.

Alison: Thanks, Tracy. I'm so excited to be on here.

Tracy: I'm here with Alison Haselden. She is our marketing director over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy. And she's also helping me run something that we're really excited about a brand new challenge, which I'm going to mention in a minute. Alison and I are here today to talk about five reasons that your marketing isn't working. And that kind of leads us into something really exciting. Allison, why are you excited about this episode today?

Alison: I'm so excited because this whole month really we're talking about marketing on all of our channels, because the Marketing Makeover Challenge is happening at the end of the month. And I'm so excited that we're just going to do a deep dive with the entire Thrive Tribe to get everyone started on the right foot with marketing for this year.

Tracy: Yeah, so every January, we do some sort of boot camp or challenge. And this year, we decided to switch it up, you know, we, for years and years have done the Jewelry Brand Makeover Challenge. And I was like, you know, I want to do something different this year. And so Alison and I came up with the concept of the Marketing Makeover Challenge. And we're really excited because it's a super tactical, super short, three, actually, it's a four day challenge. 

But we're kind of calling the five day challenge, because it's gonna last a week, to really get you diving into thinking about like how you're magnetizing your dream customers, how you're kind of connecting on the things that matter to both of you, and how this is my favorite part, which is the one that you're going to actually be leading that the session you're going to be leading is how to write social captions and others type of copy that creates that connection with your dream customers. So tell us a little bit about that. Because that, to me, is exciting. 

Alison: Yeah, I think you know, this year, I mean, 2020 just shifted everything for all of our students, and everyone has to be online. So to me, I think this was such an important thing to kick the year off with just because every single designer or creative product maker needs to have a solid plan. And social media is a really great way to get up close and personal with your dream clients. And captions are really the bread and butter of social media. You know, we obviously love visuals and cool videos and things like that. But captions is where you really get that personal connection going and can start to take your dream clients on that journey to an eventual sale. So it really is like the heart of online marketing.

Tracy: It is the heart of online marketing. And we're going to be doing some fun stuff. So if you want to join us for this challenge, it's 100%. Free, we are going to be starting on January 18. And you can head on over to flourish thrive academy.com, forward slash marketing makeover. And this is specifically for people who really want to start connecting on a deeper level and get more sales and traffic to their website, get more traffic to their website and sales online. So you're gonna really really love it. It's something all brand new, and we're thrilled about it. I'm excited. I can't wait. I don't you know, what I also want to talk about is we are working on picking our finalists for our BIPOC scholarship over here at Flourish and Thrive. And as we're recording this, we've narrowed down the playing field to about I think it's about 30 people. So we're going to be making some announcements.

Alison: So many applicants. I was just blown away. 

Tracy: I was blown away,  Quay and our team just did like the first round of introductions and walking, welcoming people back to the second round. So we're excited to see we'll be making more announcements about that in the coming weeks as well about who won the scholarship and all that stuff. So keep your eyes posted on social media. And if you aren't following us yet, on Instagram, make sure that you head on over to @flourish_thrive. And follow us over there because we're posting great content every day, and videos and all the things so let's do that. 

So we're gonna dive in right now to today's episode. Now, as we mentioned, January is all about marketing over here at Flourish and thrive. So if you're following us on social on Instagram, Facebook, or if you're in our Thrive by Design Facebook group, you're going to see that we're going to be having this conversation everywhere. And one of the things is that before you build new plans and strategize, it's important to reflect and analyze what needs to be improved in your brand's marketing strategy. 

Because here's the thing, it doesn't matter how long you've been in business, it doesn't matter how much you're crushing, it doesn't matter what you're doing. There's always room for improvement, whether you're brand new in business, or you've been doing this for a long time. And so today, we're going to be covering some of the or what we think are kind of the five top topics or common reasons why jewelry and creative brands or product brands struggle to actually get momentum with their marketing, and I think you're gonna really like it. So do you want to dive into topic number one about why you think this is? This is the reason?

Alison: Yeah, so number one, I think this is definitely one of the biggest things that we see designers struggle with. And that is that they're not clear about who is really in their audience. And I think a lot of people also struggle to arrive at this conclusion of it actually being an issue, right? You know, a lot of people think that they do know who their dream audience member is, but then over time, kind of slowly realize that they're just hearing crickets on social media, and they don't, aren't making that connection. 

So getting really clear on who's in your audience is so important in order to create the content that's going to speak directly to those people. Because you know, your content could be amazing, it could look great. And you could be writing awesome captions. But if you're speaking to people who aren't really your dream audience, there's going to be a big disconnect there. 

So that will then trickle down into all the other elements of your marketing. And I'm just going to be a little bit off the mark, and all of that messaging. So I think, you know, speaking too, generically, sometimes can be an issue, or being too specific in the wrong direction. Those are things that we see pretty frequently, that can get designers off track without marketing. Because then, you know, they might be accidentally actually turning away and repelling their dream clients without realizing it, which is bad.

Tracy: Anyway, what you want to be doing is repelling the wrong people, not the right people, I have a really good example. This is a designer in our community and her when you set when you were talking about this, like her a visual of her just came up, she was in our mastermind program years and years ago, not our mastermind will be like comparable to our Momentum program now, okay. And she kept saying like, you know, I want to design for these fashion forward women who are kind of edgy. And all these things like she had all these descriptors, and it looked at her jewelry. 

And she made this really sweet, dainty pearl jewelry. And she's like, I don't get it, like only 50 year old women are buying for me and I want to be attracting these 25 year olds. And like first and foremost, like, you're not really designing like stylish, edgy jewelry. So I mean, not that that was like a criticism for her. It's just more that that's not really who would be attracted to that she's like, these aren't the people that I want to get like she was attracting people who like the sweet pearls and the things that they would wear to church. And it makes sense because she had like kind of a Christian background. And like, religion was a really important part of her life. For her Christianity was a really important part of her life. So to me, that wasn't shocking. But she kept saying, 

Well, I have this other side where it's kind of edgy and kind of dark, and like I love heavy metal and all this stuff, but I can't really let it out and tell my family because I don't know what they would think about it. And so she ended up creating a second like a spin off brand. That was like the complete opposite. That was like the dark side of Katie and the and the thing that was really cool about it is that I think she was able to kind of understand, okay, now I get it like these, this is the type of jewelry that's for those people. And I can have these kind of brands or like dark or shadow and light sides or whatever you want to call it, these two sides of my brand. 

And, you know, we always say that when you're starting out, you only want to be attracting one avatar. But the reality is, is that over time, when you start to understand who your avatar your core avatar is, there will be other avatars, but you just have to be clear that you know are these people actually like really shopping, the look that you're doing. And so in a way, it can be a little chicken in the egg when you're just trying to figure this out. 

Because if you're new in business, sometimes what ends up happening is that you have this person in mind, but like maybe the design isn't like attracting that person or your messaging isn't attracting that person. Or it may be the other way you have this like incredible design and you're trying to make up a persona of who would be attracted to your things. But you're just kind of stabbing in the dark because you don't have a lot of data.

Alison: Right? Yeah, and it's tricky and and that's why I think it's number one on this list is it's not always a cut and dry process like there is some trial and error and that is with almost everything in marketing. You have to put yourself out there, give something a try then to take a look at the data and decide if you you know are heading down the right path or if you want to try something else, but I think you know, a good way to look at it is if you do have a gut feeling or you have done a little bit of research and you think, Okay, this is who I think my, my people are, really give it a full experiment, like really go all in and break down who that person is like, 

Who are they? What parts of the world do they live in, like maybe what's their income range, what's their day to day life like, and how my impact, you know, the kind of content they can create for them. And I think getting so specific like that will help you then create content that really can give you a good idea if you're hitting the mark and finding that alignment with your audience. But it's, it's a struggle. So if you're listening to this, and you feel like you've been going through these steps, and it's not working, look at the data. And we're going to get back to that later, too.

Tracy: And also join us for the Marketing Makeover boot camp, because I keep calling a boot camp. It's a challenge, the Marketing Makeover Challenge. And we call it a challenge, because we want you to move into action right away, because we're giving you short, bite sized exercises. So join us for that challenge, which is starting next week, which is going to be super fun. So let's dive into topic number two, Alison, what do we have here?

Alison: Right. So number two is not being strategic with your time and effort. And this is something that goes beyond marketing. For a lot of our designers, it's just business in general, where sometimes you might feel super overwhelmed by everything that's going on, that you end up spreading yourself too thin, and you're trying to do too many different marketing tasks all at once, and you end up not really getting anything done. Or you're working on an area that's not really going to be impactful for your business. 

So I think it's really important to make sure that you are checking that data and figuring out which marketing efforts are really worth your time. So maybe going back through and and analyzing, okay, where am I getting sales from like, which channels are the ones that are making me money, or which ones are getting me, you know, the broadest reach of publicity for my brand. Because a lot of times, you know, there's nothing wrong with realizing, hey, I am a rockstar on Instagram, but no one's really digging my Facebook. 

So if you want to, you know, take off the amount of time that you're putting into Facebook and put that into your Instagram time, that's gonna do wonders for your business, because you've already seen the track record of success on that channel. So I think a lot of people are afraid that if they aren't everywhere, all at once that they're gonna do something wrong, or that people are gonna forget about them, when sometimes the opposite can be true.

Tracy: Yeah, I think going all in on one channel and doing it really well is better than being on five channels and having your yourself spread so thin. And it's always a balance, because you're always checking the data and trying to figure out, you know, like, a couple years ago, you'd be stopped posting just a regular post on Facebook. Instead, we opted for video for most of our posts. I mean, we're still posting here and there but and the reason for that is because we kept looking at the data, we would get like only a few likes, you have like 30,000 Facebook followers, and a few likes on a static post, but we would get much more engagement off the video content. 

So another thing to really think here is like, okay, like if I try different types of content, like what's on based on the different platforms, like, what is getting the best response there. I know that like you mentioned Instagram, but I know a lot of people who cater towards older women are going to have a much better chance on Facebook, because the older women are hanging out on Facebook, right? So if you have a demographic that's like 50 to 70 or 50, like even 45 to 65 your people are probably on Facebook, as opposed to more that more Instagram. Even though people of that age range are on Instagram, I just think of like my aunts who are in their like late 60s and early 70s, who they're like, they have Instagram profiles, but it's only to stalk their grandchildren like stuff like that.

Alison: Absolutely. That's how my grandparents are too. And that goes hand in hand with point one, you know, if you really know who your dream client is, then that's part of that process is figuring out where they like to hang out online. And the best way that you can connect with them best place that you can connect with them. So and also like, like you mentioned, like, not being afraid to change up your strategy, like maybe social is changing every single year. I mean, like Tiktok is here now. There's, what is it? There's a new one that's coming out soon, too. But things are always changing. So you know, maybe something's going to happen. And suddenly, all the people who used to be interacting on one platform might start migrating to a different platform. Yeah. So not to just be aware of that and make sure you're checking in so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tracy: Exactly. And where you want to spend your time I remember we were like really trying hard to get a Tiktok going and it took me so much time I'm like, but I can't like edit these videos. Like outside of the app, I'm like, how am I gonna? Like I can't because I can't I don't have time to spend all day editing a video. I mean, I'm a little bit older. So it's like, going over that learning curve, like you're great at editing reels and stuff like that. When I draw, I'm like, Oh, we have to do that again. And then I delete it. And I'm like, Oh, she went down the drain. All right, awesome. So let's talk about the next topic, which I think is super important, too, which is afraid to put yourself out there. So why don't you lead us into this? Oh, man,

Alison: This one is so big. And I see a lot of people struggle with this in jewelry and creative industries. And across the board in every other industry. People get so nervous to show up as themselves on camera, in any sense of the word for their business, which is so difficult because honestly, and Tracy, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this. Because you know this from experience, that is one of the best ways to connect with your people. It's literally like right now we're talking directly to you guys. And I'm thrilled about it. Because we get a real sense of who you are. You know what you sound like some of your, your funny habits, the way your laugh sounds like all those little details show up on video. And it really helps to build a real genuine connection between you and your dream clients. And it's so powerful, but so many people are just either nervous or scared, or just uneasy about getting started with it.

Tracy: And yeah, I love that you just said that. Because the first time I when we first started Flourish and Thrive Academy, I'm like, I need to create a video for the website, I need to create a video for Laying the Foundation sales page. And I did it and every time I bought this video camera, I had no idea what I was doing. My friend was filming me. She's like move your hair this way, move your hair this way, I started feeling all self conscious. Because I was like self conscious about my hair like everything. And I started I kept crying or getting frustrated, I wasn't smiling. 

And so what I have to say this is really about progress, not perfection, and not worrying so much about what you look like because that first video that I did, while it wasn't necessarily the best thing I've ever put out in my entire life, it was just a start. And I did not start on video, like most of you guys see me, you know, now it is like this is like, you know, 10 years later. And with a lot of practice, so you just have to remember that it's really easy to pick up, you know, we give you a lot of tips in our Laying the Foundation program about how to improve your video marketing, which I think is amazing. 

But also, you know, just remember this is practice in practice makes perfect. And Allison, I'm just gonna mention this and her kind of side hustle game. She's an actress. She's like, been an actress since she was a child. So she probably had to, you probably had to overcome some of that stuff when you're first starting to.

Alison: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's, it's definitely just getting comfortable with it getting comfortable with your equipment. And one thing that I would say, because I think a lot of people feel like, you know, realistically, there's a lot of our designers who don't even post pictures of themselves on their social media accounts. So if that's you, and making the jump to to doing videos sounds really scary. 

Maybe start with just you know, alternating, instead of posting only pictures of your jewelry or your products, start, you know, every third or fourth picture that you post, make it a view of you working, are you doing something, and then from there, you can start baby stepping into the full on video world. But I think just getting comfortable with you being the face of your own brand being there showing up. And one thing I also like to say, if you're worried about the tech, just show up on your stories, like pull out your phone, do a quick little message, say hello to everyone on your stories. It doesn't have to be produced professionally, it doesn't have to be crazy editing or anything.  Just the fact that you are there and you're showing up is a really great place to start. 

Tracy: Awesome. Okay, let's move into our next topic, which I think is the struggle is real for a lot of people. Because doing everything yourself, it can be hard to be consistent with your strategy. So number four, that people realize that when people realize our marketing isn't working, it's probably because there's a lack of consistency. So let's dive into that.

Alison: Yeah, absolutely. This is one of my golden rules. This is I think the foundation of create taking things from creating pieces of marketing content to really creating a marketing plan and a marketing strategy. And it really takes consistency. Because these days, you know, our whole world is so digital, especially in the past year when everyone moved online, or is in the process of moving online. 

So we're we're developing these expectations, whether they're intentional or not, right? So you have to outline those expectations for your followers online. And that's by being consistent because they're going to get used to Okay, so they post every day on this channel or Oh, I know that you know, they're going to post these sorts of things. And if you break from that consistency, it's gonna flag a little red flag in their head like, Huh, what's what's going on here? This is weird. Like, I'm used to seeing them, you know, posts, and I'm missing their posts this week and, and that's going to start to kind of waver their trust in you and your and your brand, which is not something that we want. So trying to get consistent, I think can really make a big impact just to not maintain that connection, and being there for your people on a regular basis. Yeah.

Tracy: And what do you think about consistency? Because there's always this debate, like, do I post every day? Do I post, like, a couple times a week? Or like, what's his consistency look like? Yeah, so

Alison: I think, you know, it's gonna look different for everyone. And based on your bandwidth, your time, your commitment to consistency and to your platforms. What I always say, based on the algorithms, I would rather you be really consistent and posting twice a week, every single week, then overselling or overestimating what you can do and posting seven days a week, one week, and then one post the next week, and then for the next week, and being all over the board, that's going to actually cause some issues for you, more so than if you are really staying steady with a set number of posts per week. 

So if you're just diving into this, like, start easy, take it slow, challenge yourself to two posts per week, and really make sure that you follow through and hit it on the nose every single time. And then from there, as you get more comfortable and develop your process, you can add two more posts throughout the week. But like I said, keep it consistent, even if that's fewer posts per week.

Tracy: Awesome. I love it. Okay. And then finally, this is one of my favorites, because we talked about this a lot at Flourish and Thrive. And we made a huge shift, even in many of our programs this year about creating, making data driven decisions and using data to make choices. And as creative thinkers, a lot of times, you know, like, we're like, oh, looking at the analytics, it's so boring, or looking at this or looking at that, like, I don't, it's not like, I'm not a numbers person or whatever it might be. But this is how you can actually make good decisions for your marketing. So let's talk a little bit about that.

Alison: Yeah, so I think, and this is I wanted this one to come after the consistency one for this reason, because consistency is great. And it's super important. But you want to make sure that you are putting out the right kind of content. And like we mentioned a little bit earlier before that it's going to change and ebb and flow over time based on your audience growth based on changes with social media based on changes in the world and trends and culture. So that's why we have data and analytics essentially, is to make sure that you're staying on the right path. And to help you identify the areas that you can improve in. I think, like you said, a lot of people get really overwhelmed by it, or they just feel like they don't really know what's going on. So they keep pushing it off to the side. 

But I think that once you really give it a shot, and just take a few minutes to figure out how everything works, and start to get a plan in place of when you're checking maybe it's just every other week or once a month, you're gonna get some interesting discoveries, like you might be surprised to discover what kind of content your audience likes, maybe they love video content, and would rather you just do that all the time, instead of doing images or graphics. Or maybe it's vice versa, it's really hard to tell for sure until you get into those analytics and figure it out. And then once you have that information, you can take it and run with it and just expand your marketing progress even more.

Tracy: Yep, it's so true. And, you know, we started this conversation many months ago, when we started working with people to help them figure out like they wanted to make a sale a day, like how much traffic do they need to their website? So? And the answer is like you'd need like 100 visitors a day, if you have a 1% conversion on your website to make one sale a day. And when you know that information, and you start traveling tracking your traffic, you start tracking where your traffic is coming from, you can know where to post more, you can tweak your website, if for some reason, like you are getting that number and the people aren't buying then you can you can make choices like okay, what needs to be edited? Or what needs to be fixed on my website so that people are moving in buying stuff? Or is it something else because that information is really power and like the more that you can delve into that information. I guess what I'm trying to say is like that knowledge is power. It's going to help you make decisions that don't waste your time, which helps you like make every single second you're spending on marketing more powerful, more impactful and will help you generate more sales over time.

Alison: And it's amazing because sometimes it's as it can be as simple as changing the color of a button on your web. You could change that color and suddenly people are able to see it easier. And they're gonna click and you're gonna see an increase in sales from simple tiny changes like that, which I just think is so cool. It's like a fun little magic trick that we're able to do. And I think the last thing that I would say on this is, a lot of people are worried that they're going to get all this data and realize, Oh, my gosh, I've been doing everything wrong. 

And I've wasted my time. And I think a lot of people avoid it, because they're worried about having that feeling of like, Oh, no, I have to do more things now. But I just want to remind you guys like pivoting your strategy is not failure. Like just because you're pivoting doesn't mean you're failing, it means that you're growing, and that you're brave enough to dive into those numbers to figure out how you can grow.

Tracy: So it's interesting, Alison has been with us for about three months or four months now, Is that about right? A little bit less than three. And she's already seen a million times, because we're trying to pay attention to what's happening so that we can use data and analytics to move forward. And so this is something that we do in our own business. And I really want to encourage you to do it too, because it will help you make better decisions, and help everything that you do in your business actually work a lot better. And it's not about getting more people. Because if let's say that, like you're getting more bang, bang for your buck. 

And when it comes to time, like the effort that you do put in will have a better result. So this is like all we're trying to do. And so I wanted to remind you guys that we're going to be working in depth in this three day challenge, or actually three day challenge with a five day window, because we're going to be rolling it out over a period of time. Next week. So if you'd like to join us for the Marketing Makeover Challenge, it is perfect for people at all levels in business, whether you're starting out whether you're growing your business, or whether you're actually in a place to scale because I think you're going to get a lot of insight into how you can just make simple adjustments in your marketing strategy by understanding more about like, what you should be doing and how you can connect with the right people. So if you'd like to join us, head on over to http://flourishthriveacademy.com/marketingmakeover  Yes. I'm so excited.

Alison: I know, one of the things I'm excited about is getting to hang out with everyone in the Facebook group for that.

Tracy: It's gonna be so good. We started we actually used to do this in the thrive by design Book Group. But we used to do this in a thrive by design Facebook group. But instead, we've decided to create a separate Facebook group for this so we can keep the conversation super tight and right so people are paying attention because there's a lot of people in that Facebook group. So I'm excited about it's going to be amazing. Alison, thank you for being here today. I'm excited to have you. This is your first time you've been on the show with me. No, it was so much fun. Excited. We'll be doing more soon. So let's do this.

Click here to download the show notes

You Don’t Know Your Audience

You can’t create winning content if you don’t know who it is for.

If you’re speaking too generically, or to the WRONG audience, you could be accidentally turning away your dream customers.

Think of them like a real person. Who are they, what do they care about? What do they want that you can provide – and this goes beyond just jewelry into adjacent interests. Do they all watch The Bachelor? How can you create a fun social media post that ties the two together? 

You’re Afraid to Put Yourself Out There

One of the best ways to build a brand is through a personal connection. Your Dream Clients want to connect with your brand through you.

That means showing up as yourself in photos and videos on your website, social media feeds, and so on.

So many folks are afraid to show up online, and let their fears keep them from finding greater success.

Start easy by putting out one video on your story per week, one main feed video per month, and work your way up from there.

Trust me, your engagement will benefit.

 You’re Not Testing and Adjusting

This is the whole reason we covered this topic today…

When is the last time you’ve taken a hard look at your marketing strategy to identify your strengths and weaknesses?

It’s important to check your analytics to see what’s working really well, what could use some testing to improve, and what is not resonating with your audiences and should be ditched.

Pivoting your strategy isn’t failure, it’s growth!

xo, Tracy


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