#274 Here’s What to Focus On to End the Year Strong

Blog Featured image template (12)

#274 Here's What to Focus On to End the Year Strong Show Notes

So you want to be, you know, sharing more than just what you're selling in those emails like build that know-like-trust process. Bring people on a buyer's journey and a lot of this can be done in indoctrination sequences and in email automations as well. But this is a great opportunity for you to really build that know-like-trust factor to get people buying from you

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.

Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 274. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, and the host of the show today. And I am beyond thrilled to be here bringing this episode. Now what a year 2020 has been I think all of us are ready for this year to probably be over. But we still have some time left. So might as well spend that time ending the year strong. Right? So today I'm going to be talking a little bit more about some of the methods that I've been teaching our students to really end the year strong make this the best year that you possibly can, because I do know that so many people who are selling e commerce selling on their website selling in their shop, whether you're a jewelry designer and maker or creative product, business owner or any other type of maker, the way wave of the future is selling online. 

So we know for sure that e-commerce and online shopping is just going to be off the hook this year, which is exactly what this episode is all about. So I want to talk a little bit more about that. And I know some of you might be wanting to get a little help with your strategy. Is that true? I know some of you do. So every now and then we open up applications for a Business Accelerator Audit, and we still have a few spaces left through the end of the year. And I'd love to invite you, if you are someone who is ready to scale their sales online, you're kind of overdoing all the things and you really want to have a strong direct to consumer component, you already have a solid business and you're you know you have revenue coming in probably from multiple revenue streams. But you're ready to really dial in that online aspect. And you're ready to get some help right now. 

So if that is interesting to you, and you kind of want to get to a place where you're doing, you know, easily five figures a month $10-20 $30,000 in revenue a month from just your website alone, then this is a great place to start. So on that Business Accelerator Audit, basically what we talk about is we dive a little bit into your goals for your business. So we're going to talk about the three year vision for your business and your company. We're also going to take a look at where businesses now and where some of those roadblocks are. And then we're going to identify some of the roadblocks that might be preventing you from doing those things on your own. Because the truth of the matter is, sometimes all of us have some blind spots that we can't see. And then we're going to basically give you a clear path forward on how we think we can help you implement our desired brand effect methodology into your business. And that's it. 

So if you're interested in having us take a look at your business and getting our eyes on your business, before the end of the year is over so that you're ending the year strong and rolling into 2021 like nobody's business, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy and you can see if you qualify for an audit there. And one more thing, I just want to remind you that we've helped thousands of students with our Desired Brand Methodology. And I'd love for you to be our next success story. So if that sounds good, head on over to fflourishthriveacademy.com/strategy and let's see how we can help you grow your business and reach your goals a lot faster for the rest of this year and rolling into 2021. 

All right, well, today is all about ending the year strong and I'm excited because so much happened in the world this year. You know, there are a few things that probably didn't end up happening for you or your business because of all these world events. And it can honestly feel a little bit hopeless. And like you just want to throw in the towel sometimes I totally get it. I know that it's hard sometimes to like put all this work in and see things kind of not really working out your way. Or maybe they have worked out your way this year and you want to double down and do more of that. But that's that's what this is all about. Anyway, I know I've been disappointed these last few months. There were a lot of things that we wanted to pull off this year, like launching our book and doing big things with our Momentum Program and Laying the Foundation and everything was slowed up. 

And so I get it, I want to help you get in front of your customers and for them to see what you're doing, and really continue to grow and move forward in a way that works for you. So I want to ask you, if you had one thing that is preventing you from reaching your goals, what would it be? Now, I'm guessing that it might be time or money or knowing how our experience or fear or even your personal situation is.. Now, I want you to consider the possibility that the biggest thing holding back most creative business owners is really just the way they view the world or what we call their current perspective. Now, that same perspective that got you here, is not going to get you to where you're going oftentimes. 

Now, case in point, you hear this a lot that, you know, the strategy that helped a business grow to $100,000 in revenue a year isn't the same strategy that's going to get that business from $100 to $200,000, or $100 to $500,000, or $500,000 to a million dollars in revenue a year. Because, quite frankly, when your business grows and scales, and starts to just explode, for lack of a better word, the set of problems that you have changed, right? It's not the system, the systems that need to be implemented in your business are different. And so when Albert Einstein said, we cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that we use to create them, this is really true. 

So you're always having to elevate an uplevel to think about your business in a new way. So I'm going to give you some perspectives today about your business and your marketing strategy and different ways to think about things. Because the events of this year have really shaken things up, especially with algorithms on social media. Before I was recording this, I was actually listening to just a little snippet of the senate committee, interviewing like all the people from big tech and how there might have been like inner interference with elections and stuff like that, or like what they're actually doing about it. So we do know that algorithm rhythms are changed. When you do know that people are getting cancelled, we do know that getting your actual post seen by people is becoming harder and harder. 

So we want to create a system for marketing that actually, like prevents that that keeps you from not only feeling like you're doing a lot of work, and it's not getting you anywhere, but actually that you're doing work that gets in front of the eyeballs of the people that you want to see it. So let's get social media and all the rest of everything else you're doing for marketing working in your favor. You ready? Let's dive in. 

Okay, so the first strategy, and I talked about this a lot is email. Now building a regular email marketing strategy into your marketing program is very important. We all know that you hear me talk about that all the time. But building your email list regularly is even more important, and that it's an obvious thing that we all need to be doing. But there's a problem with this. Because I know a lot of makers and people who are in the creative space in e-commerce who don't necessarily like coming from the business first perspective, they're more coming from the artistic perspective, feel like they're bugging people when they send too many emails. And I see this complaint all the time that they're worried about bugging people. 

But the truth is, recent statistics show that 60% of consumers so that they have purchased something via email that they have received in the past. Now that's a statistic from OptinMonster 61% of consumers like to hear from brands via email, that's a statistic via teesta, which I can hardly say, and email marketing yields $44 for each $1, resulting in a 4400% ROI. That's another statistic from OptinMonster. Now, assuming that these statistics are true, I want to ask you, why aren't you doing more email marketing, because regular email marketing should be one of the foundational pieces of your overall marketing strategy. Now, my recommendation is to be sending emails out at least once a week if you're new. And if you're just getting started, that's a good baseline to start with. 

Now, if you have been doing this for a while, I'd really like to encourage you to do this up to three times a week, specially for all my advanced marketers out there because we want you sending out a lot of emails. Anyway, the reason why this is so important is because not only should email marketing be one of the foundational pieces of your marketing strategy. It's that I want you to think about this, like do you have a brand that you love that you are on their email list and you're excited to get emails from them, you probably don't get annoyed when they send you a bunch of emails about stuff that you like or want to see. Right? You may not have a chance to look at them all the time.

 I mean, you just look at them when you have time, even if they're building up and like a Gmail account that you use only for shopping or something like that. So think about it that way. It's not something that you're actually bugging people with. If you don't have time to look at it, you just don't look at it. And then you read the ones or open the ones that actually intrigued you. Well, it's the same thing for your customers too. And if you do get people unsubscribing, that's fine. They don't even want to be there in the first place. So don't stress out about that. And just know that sending more emails than you're comfortable with, is one of the things that many designers have said is resulting in them having amazing results like a 430% increase in online sales this year. And by sending those extra emails, they're actually capturing the people who, you know, emails get buried in their inbox or something that is busy or not like paying attention to every single email that comes in. 

So you might be thinking about using this as an opportunity to send more email or do more email marketing in your business, which is great. So let's talk about how you can do the most of it. Well, first and foremost, which I think is really important is to make sure that you write subject lines that actually get your emails open half the battle, is actually getting your emails open. So you want to write a compelling subject line, something that's fun and quirky, not like a newsletter, number five, or a news or new necklace or something like that. Keep it quirky in the best way that I can say, I mean, we have a tool for this, and it's called our emails that sell done for you bundle. But the best way that I can recommend doing this is like, keep a spreadsheet and start writing down or capturing any emails that you've opened from people who are marketing to you. Think about what is it about those subject lines that got you to open the email, you can use those same formulas you can borrow ideas from, from that strategy, to help create clever subject lines yourself. 

Now, the second piece of this is to make sure that what happens inside the email is engaging, and it has a strong call to action or CTA. So typically, in a marketing email for a product based business, something like jewelry, or ceramics or another creative product, the visual image of what you're actually selling is going to be the thing that's important. So gifs work really well in emails, there's a lot of like gif makers online where you can use a bunch of photographs to create a moving image that can be sponsored in email, graphics that you design in Canva, great with a strong call to action. All these things that are visually pleasing, that actually draw the reader in and create attention are great. And you want to make sure that the call to action in the email is specific and strong. So you don't want to give them too many things to do focus on one thing. 

And then also make sure that you're taking your reader on a journey, one of the biggest mistakes that I see smaller brands make is that they're either one extreme or the next, they either pitch too much or they don't sell at all. So you want to be, you know, sharing more than just what you're selling in those emails, like build that know, like trust process, bring people on a buyer's journey. And a lot of this can be done in indoctrination sequences and in email automations as well. But this is a great opportunity for you to really build that know, like trust factor to get people buying from you. So there's a lot of different things that you can do inside the email for people to build brand awareness about what you're doing to talk a little bit more about what's going on behind the scenes to create community around your brand and also trust. 

Now, I wish I could go deeper into this or else this would be like an hour long podcast, but we got to keep moving. So the next step of this is grassroots marketing and referral marketing, this is a great way to actually build your email list and get new dream clients into your funnel. I call it you know, email marketing or anything where you actually own your customers email address or contact information owned marketing, because the best place to really start with this is the people that you know, like and trust in both your personal and professional networks now shared the story before, but John Davis, one of the founders of Boots, built that company to a seven figure business by just sending out personalized basically grassroot campaigns, emails, he's about 1,700 personalized emails, and basically made over a million dollars their first year in business with no paid advertising. 

So this strategy works. We've done a lot with our Momentum students. And I'm telling you, we had a retreat. About a year ago when we were allowed to meet in person. We did this strategy, we made everyone in the room who was willing to either text or email someone that they knew and or a previous customer that purchased and ask them to either follow up on something that the ball had been dropped or to pitch them for sale and or to ask for a referral. And there's a good strategy to this. You haven't watched How to End the Year Strong with Marketing matters. I go in depth into this strategy. In that masterclass, we'll make sure that we have a link in the show notes for that. So but the strategy really works and it works so well. Literally in 24 hours, or 36 hours, I think we've made like over $38,000 as a group, something around that long those lines. 

So I just want to remind you that this strategy is a great thing. And I know sometimes you feel like you're bugging people that people want to support people that they love. So remember that this is an easy thing to do, it is not something that should make you feel bad. So reach out to your network. This can include your previous customers, your friends and family, colleagues, alumni, schoolmates, anyone in that genre, and send them an email, just say like, Hey, I'm interested to know what you're up to say, like I was following on Instagram, I saw that your daughter's doing this, hey, I wanted to share what I'm up to. 

Here's what I'm up to. And if you know anyone who might be interested, I build my business on referrals, I'd love a referral. And that's a great way to just open a conversation in a non cheesy or non weird way that allows them to just give you information about what you're doing, and there's no pressure for them to buy. But if they do, like what they're doing what you're doing, then that's an opportunity for them to, you know, actually share what you're doing with other people, and maybe buy from you as well. 

Now, my next tip is all about direct mail. A lot of times when people think of direct mail, they think of these old strategies where people just you know, you get a bunch of junk mail, you're throwing it out, you never looked at it, whatever. But what I have to say is it totally works. In fact, a funny story, I was interviewing for a content manager position. And we just hired a new content manager and a new community manager – shout out to Allison and Nickia, both on my team. And in that content manager interview process. 

This one we're interviewing, who I was interviewing with said like, Oh my gosh, direct mail is so old school, I can't believe these 50 year olds want to do this. I am approaching 50. So I was laughing behind the scenes because I don't look my age, I look younger than I am. But I thought it was really funny that she was saying that because she's wrong, actually direct mail works. But it's really about how you're delivering the direct mail, postcards and flyers, like don't work as well. But if you're sending individualized notes, or things that are actually going to get your people to open it, and you give them value inside that direct mail piece, they're going to be super excited. So one of my favorite stories is a story of what Ana Maria, one of our coaches in our Momentum Program did, she taught this strategy, many of our Momentum students have replicated it, and they got anywhere from like, you know, 15 to, I don't know up to 38% conversions from this direct mail strategy, focusing on a very small group of people with less than $100 cost to actually pull this together. 

And basically, they sent a thank you card to their VIP list thanking them for being a dedicated customer. Inside that card as an as a thank you, I wanted to give you a gift card for you to use yourself and or to pay it forward to another friend who might be interested in purchasing my products. This worked great. And as I mentioned, the designers were getting like upwards of 38% conversions. That means 38 of the hundred people that they sent out these direct mail pieces actually made a purchase. Now this idea is really inspired by a big brand. And I love stealing marketing tactics from big brands, or borrowing the idea from them by mirroring what they're doing. 

Obviously, you're not going to rip off their creative or their wording or their copy or anything like that. But what you can do is take a look like oh, what works on you. And the reason why I love direct mail so much is there's a company that I buy from quite frequently they're called Intermix, and they started in New York City another they got purchased by Gap and others all around. So one of my favorite things that they did is on my birthday, I'd always get a $50 gift card. And I think about three or four quarters or three or four times a year not quarters, they would send out these buy more save more things where it's a direct mail piece which shows shares with you Like if you spend $300 you get this amount off, if you spend $500 you get this amount off. If you spend $750 you get a much bigger portion off and so it really inspires you to stock up on your full wardrobe or something at one fell swoop. 

So these strategies can work really well and want you to think outside the box and think about how you can really reward some of your best customers and you still have time to pull off a direct mail piece. This works really really well. Okay, so let me walk you through real quick three direct mail strategies that you can use. So the first one is a thank you note for purchasing and a gift card inside of that for a friend to you or a family member to use. This is a perfect way to move customers from a third party platform onto your email list and website and to create an additional sale so this is great for people who are trying to you can use this on your own branded website but if you are selling on Etsy or Amazon handmade, this is a great way to kind of stuff the box with a right along offer even If the right along offers from for you to get that sale ongoing. 

The second strategy is basically what I mentioned in before is a VIP direct mail campaign. This is basically where you're rewarding your top customers, and you're just thanking them for being one of their best customers, you're showing your appreciation, and you thank them for supporting your small business. This makes the customers feel good. And it also is an opportunity for you to get them to buy, again to support from you. And strategy number three is really about re engaging people who haven't purchased in a while. So you can use the direct mail campaign to send to previous customers from in person shows or events, or anywhere else that they haven't purchased from you maybe in a year or so this is a great way to re engage customers. And it provides a reminder and a pathway for previous purchasers to make another purchase today, the opportunities are really endless. 

But those are a few that I would like to share with you. Because you can get really creative with this. And it can be super fun. Now, all you have to do really at the end of the day is mimic and model what's already working for brands that you love. And I want I can't keep driving this point home enough because big brands have big marketing budgets, they have the money to test and see what works. And so just trust, like when they're doing these split tests and testing on other people, they already know that they work. And that's why they're sending it out to their bigger list. So that these are when you can kind of borrow these strategies, they're really going to work for you. And it's going to get more dream clients into your funnel. 

Now, I wanted to do one final piece of this because I think it is an important thing to remember. And I've had my boyfriend Jason on the show, and he talks about this a lot. He's one of our coaches in our Momentum program, he focuses primarily on mindset, and he is fantastic with it. And I talk about this a lot, because the number one thing that holds anyone back from being successful in life, and business is really the way that they think about their business and their company. And so you're basically your bias. And what I'm going to say about that is just bias really means like you're experiencing the stories that you tell yourself, like the stories that you were told, growing up, these are all things that shape how you see the world. 

So if you grew up in a family where entrepreneurship and creativity wasn't something that was really rewarded or acknowledged, you might have a confirmation bias that like you have to be starving in order to be an artist, because it's not a real job or real lifestyle. If you grew up in a family that was entrepreneurial and a super supporter of creativity, then, you know, you might have the belief that anyone can, you know, live the dream and have a business and be successful. And it doesn't matter what kind of product you're selling. It's about, you know, grit and hustle and like moving your business forward. That's been my experience. You know, I've failed massively in the past. But I knew that entrepreneurship was the way that I wanted to go for my life career. 

So I never let anything hold me back. And while I had to deal with my mindset issues along the way, I'm constantly dealing with self doubt, and all those other things, because it's just human nature. I know that this is the path for me and I have support for my family with that as well. I want to tell a funny story. Because I'm in a group of entrepreneurs and I see them fairly regularly, my friend Christie, she tells this story about how her debt like most parents are like, Oh, go out and be safe honey. And her dad used to tell them when they were teenagers, this is kind of terrible, go out and do something that I wouldn't do if I got in trouble, like, which is the complete opposite. You can see there's like a different frame of reference, like, you know, I look at Christie and her sister Gina. And they are almost like daredevilish. And some of the things that they do. They like always putting themselves out there. They're always working on themselves. And they're just like, yes, I'm gonna go for this and do it. And that's like, I think, you know, a great way to be, especially if you're starting your own business or growing your own business are ready to kind of make some money with your creativity because it's important. 

Now, there is a reason why I talk about this a lot is because oftentimes, we're our own worst enemy right when it comes to self sabotage and self limiting behavior. And that's why I want to share a real quick tool with you that I've used to flip the script on self sabotage and self limiting behavior for myself. We also teach this in our programs. It's called the Rapid Reframe Exercise. And it helps you kind of break the patterns when you're when you keep repeating self sabotaging behavior, because here's the thing. Humans are meaning making machines, we are always going to, like have an experience and create a story around that experience. Things happen. We want to explain why it happened. And this has been happening, whether we know it or not since childhood, we developed our belief system through the experiences that we've had. We've created stories that attach meaning to those experiences and that is how we see the world because those stories shape our beliefs. They create an internal bias and develop a unique worldview based on the meaning that we give our industry experiences, quite frankly, you probably don't even realize that you're telling yourself a story when you're doing it, because certain belief systems that we have actually masquerade as fact.

Now, all of us get triggered by different things. It's always the triggers always coming from our stories in our belief system, right? Because we're unconsciously looking for evidence to confirm that our experience that we had was true, like we see like black and white, sometimes without shades of grey. But we know that two people can have the exact same experience, and have a completely different outcome, that our subconscious mind gets really clever. And it deletes distorts and or generalizes, all the evidence that does not support our story. And if we lean into that, and we believe those things to be true, then we set ourselves up for failure. And that is not what we're trying to do. 

So there's plenty of science in psychology that backs all this up, I'm not going to go into that right now. But, and that's really not what's important. What is important is getting you into a space, where you'll be able to do more of what you need to do in order to hit your goals. So instead of diving into science, let's go through a quick exercise right now, so you can actually feel it. So here's the short version of this exercise, you're going to take a moment to write down a limiting belief or story that you tell yourself after something has happened. that sends you into an emotional tailspin. Now, here are a few examples. No one's buying right now, maybe no one's buying jewelry, or ceramics or handbags, whatever it is, or maybe your story is that you're not good at sales, or maybe your stories that like, the tech piece is hard, because I'm a little bit older. And I don't know if I'm ever gonna be able to figure out this ecommerce thing, or I'm not good or smart enough to make things happen, whatever it is, come up with some sort of story that you tell yourself. 

Now, the second step of this is to flip the script, I want you to write the opposite version of that story. So if we're thinking of some of the examples I already mentioned, now, if you're thinking about no one is buying right now, the opposite of that would be that a lot of people are buying right now. And I'm selling products. So that's proof of it. I'm not good at sales, I am good at sales, or I'm not smart enough to make this happen. I am good and smart enough to make this happen. I'm not good at Tech, and I'm never going to figure out if this e-commerce thing is like there's a lot of support out there, I can figure out this tech in e-commerce. Now step three is to find evidence that the new story is true. 

This is the piece that is non negotiable, you have to find evidence. So the opposite version of the original stories that maybe a lot of people aren't buying right now is that a lot of people are buying what I'm selling right now, that is the opposite version of the story. Because there are a lot of people buying your jewelry right now or whatever you're selling right. So you might have experienced that. Now, Forbes says that brands with online retailers are up overall by 68%. This year, while there's been 129% growth in the US and Canadian e commerce in 2020. Alone, we're talking about jewelry brands, creative brands and makers on a daily basis that are having record breaking online sales. Just by finding some evidence, your original story starts to fall apart. That is the magic of this exercise. You can use it to dissolve the stories or explanations or reasons that are getting you in the way of your dreams. 

Now, this is really important. So I want you to take action. And now that you've shattered all those negative beliefs and limiting stories, let's talk about what to do next. It is time to take action. So I want you to make a list of all the steps or tasks that you would need to take to reach your goal. Figure out how much time and money it's going to take for you to make each step happen. And then based on your business's budget and capacity, space out those steps in an appropriate timeline. So it's really helpful to use a project management tool and all the things or a marketing calendar. I want you to create some deadlines and mark tasks with a permit. You can use a permanent marker setting alarm on your phone and let your accountability buddy know so I highly recommend getting an accountability buddy, maybe this is someone that you actually find in our podcast group. 

We have a Thrive by Design community over here over on Facebook and it's a free group for any of my listeners to join if you want to connect with like-minded product and jewelry business owners head on over there going on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/fbgroup and get access right into our Thrive by Design community. So now I just want you to pick one goal and follow through with that because that is how you're going to end the year strong. Get it down permanent marker, set an alarm, get it on your calendar or something just end the year strong and do it because your future you is going to thank you for taking your business seriously. So now I know you probably weren't expecting an exercise like this today. However, this has been one of the most powerful tools that we use in our Momentum program

For our students, it's one of the most powerful tools that I use for myself. And if I can tell you I've never seen someone evolve more than Jason, my boyfriend over the past two years, I've known him actually for a year and a half, just to see him evolve as a human being this is something that he does and works every single day. It works. So if you want to make big changes and big strides, use this Rapid Reframe Exercise dial into your marketing and, and the year strong. So we teach our students as I mentioned, a slightly longer version of this and our Momentum program. And it's really helpful so that you can quickly move past your beliefs and get things rolling in your business. You know, we're working on mindset every single month in that program. So if you're interested in learning more about what we do over here at Flourish and Thrive, I love to invite you to apply for a free Business Accelerator Audit. I mentioned it at the beginning of the class. But this is a great way for us to just really support you in your goals in your business right now. You're interested in learning more about and also would like to see if you qualify, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy,

and apply for your free audit today. Thank you so much for listening to the show today. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time.

Click here to download the show notes