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Marketing Made Easy: Help Your Customers Fall in Love (February 2016 Challenge)

promoting your products
computer, notepad, and a budget sheet

Having a hard time marketing your products to your customers? Want to crank out some easy content to rock your marketing world? Let's spice it up, and add a little incentive with the Marketing Made Easy challenge!

Time and time again, the biggest complaint I hear from soapmakers is that they would love to market their products using a blog, social media, or email newsletter, but that they don't know what to say, aren't a "writer" (What is that, folks?! Everyone is a writer!) or have nothing to share.

So, I figured I'd kick some soapy ass and help you rock your marketing every month with the Marketing Made Easy challenge.

Here's how it works:

  • I've compiled a list of possible marketing tasks that you can easily rock this month.
  • For each task, I give tips and tricks to make it worthwhile and help you up your marketing game.
  • You pick and choose which marketing tasks fit with your brand.
  • You hit up the tasks you choose, and complete them, leaving a comment with a link to your completed task by the end of the month.
  • For each completed task, you are entered to win the Marketing Made Easy challenge prize.

It's like a mini-marketing course, with content ideas and success tips handed over on a silver platter, all with a dangled carrot at the end to help you get motivated to market your snazzy products to your hungry customer base. Nom! 

So, what's on the table to win? A winner will be randomly selected from folks who leave a comment with a link to their completed task. The winner will score one ebook, workbook, or class handout of their choice ($10 to $45 value) from my current offerings.

And let's sweeten the pot: if the randomly chosen winner has completed more than one marketing task, they'll score a copy of *every* currently available ebook, workbook, and class handout I offer. (That racks up to over $300 worth of digital learning goodness.)

Ready to snag some marketing mojo and get a chance to get your hands on the goods?

Let's dive in, here's this month's deets and the full 411:

February Marketing Made Easy Theme: Help Your Customers Fall in Love

The marketing goals this month are...

  • to highlight Valentine's Day. The average consumer spends $116 on Valentine's Day every year, with a total consumer spending power of over 13 billion dollars. 23% of gifts given on Valentine's Day are either gift cards or other consumer products besides candy, flowers, and jewelry, so let's snag some of that pie. 
  • to help you establish a deeper personal connection with your customer base. People buy from people they like, and there's nothing better than letting your customers get to know you through your marketing. Be personal, and build those connections!

Marketing Made Easy Tasks:

You can choose to do just one of these tasks or a hearty handful of them. Pick and choose what tasks fit your brand. Before you snag a task, ask yourself:

  • Is this something my target market would enjoy and be drawn to?
  • Does this marketing move speak to my target market?
  • How can I make this on point for my brand?

This month, we're focusing on blogging and Instagram.

Marketing Task: Create a stellar blog post

Choose one of the questions or suggestions below and whip up a blog post:

  1. What is your favorite thing about being a small business owner? What do you love about it?
  2. How did you find your passion for soapmaking and/or follow it through to start your business?
  3. What is the most heartwarming interaction you've had with a customer? How did it influence you or your business?
  4. What is your favorite product to personally use or make for your brand, and why?
  5. How do you use customer feedback or input to guide your process or products?
  6. If you offer customized or personalized products, how does the process work and how can a customer snag one?
  7. What is the story behind a product you created and/or the inspiration for its name, theme, look, or packaging?
  8. Round up a small collection of handmade products that make great gifts, and include one of your products. (There are a million and one themes you can run with! For example; Valentine's Day Gifts for Him, The Best Gifts to Show Your Yogi Your Love, Cute Valentines Day Gifts for The Little Loves in Your Life, etc.)
  9. Create a printable Valentine's Day card that would match your products as a gift, and share it in a blog post. (I'd lather be all over you. You burst my bubble. Come on, I can get really cheesy here...)
  10. Create a DIY tutorial of a complimentary creation or how to put together a pampering gift basket including one of your products, and share it in a blog post. (DIY soap dish, washcloth project, etc., or how to put together a gift basket with your products + accessories.) Sell gift sets or baskets or complementary products? Feature them as ways to pamper that special someone alongside other tips for a relaxing Valentine's Day treat/date.

For each blog post that you publish from the list above, you snag an entry! Leave a comment below with a link to your blog post, easy peasy!

Blogging Tips:

  • It's a myth that blog posts need to be lengthy. You do not need to write a novella or be a pro writer to kick out a blog post. You should aim for about 400 to 750 words, which is not much at all! (For comparison sake, my blog posts tend to be twice to three times that, you don't need to create content monsters, too!)
  • Headlines are everything! If you don't entice someone to click the link to read your blog post, they aren't going to do it. Your blog post headline should give someone an idea of what they are about to read, and use emotional or power words to drive the clickity click. The first three words and the last three words are the most important parts of a headline, make 'em count!
  • Write first, then edit. Don't try to edit or censor yourself as you write. It's so much easier to get your thoughts out in a post and then go back to clean it up. If you need to break this habit, try setting a timer for 10 minutes and write against the clock. See what you can get out before the buzzer goes off.
  • Write like you talk. Nothing is more boring than a blog post that comes off as preachy, academic, or formal. Use a conversational tone, address the reader singularly (you vs. them), and flavor your writing with your own personal style, word choice, and tone.

For more blogging tips, check out 4 Rules to Better Blogging for Beauty Businesses5 Lessons I Learned During the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and How 30 Days of Blogging Changed My Website Traffic.

Marketing Task: Rock a photo on Instagram

Choose one of the Instagram photo ideas below and post it up:

  1. Snag a photo from one of your blog posts, and share why it's a must-read.
  2. Snap a photo of one of your products in its usage setting (at the sink, next to a tub of bubbles, with a lit candle, etc.), and tell how the product is perfect for a little pampering.
  3. Snap a photo of one of your products and share who it's the perfect gift for.
  4. Feature a photo of one of your products in the hands of a customer and share why they love your products.
  5. Share a collage featuring a handful of handmade products by other makers on IG (and one of yours!) that would make a great gift for a special someone. Make sure to tag each maker you feature!
  6. Snap a photo of orders you are currently packing up and sending out, and share a little behind the scenes about how you show your customers some love.
  7. Snap a photo of one of your products being made, and share why it's your personal favorite or what's so special about it.
  8. Snap a photo of a store that carries your products, and show them a little love. Make sure to tag them!
  9. Share a photo of a Valentine's Day gift or experience, and weigh in on your best/worst gift or date for the holiday, and ask your followers to share their own in the comments.
  10. Create a quote photo overlay using Canva or Over (or share a meme) that's relevant to your brand, whether it's Valentine's Day-related or not!

For each Instagram post that you publish from the list above, you snag an entry! Just leave a comment below with a link to your Instagram post, easy peasy!

Use the hashtag #mmefeb on your Instagram posts so I can stop by and give you a little boost with a comment and some love!

Instagram Tips:

  • Hook up a link properly. Regular links in IG posts aren't clickable. Get around this by changing the link in your bio to a direct link when you reference a product or blog post, and add a little note to your IG post to "click the link in your bio."
  • Keep your caption short. Most of the time, you should rock out a single sentence or two. People love IG because it's quick and easy to engage with each other, no one has time to read a novel.
  • Rock the hashtags. Use anywhere from 10 to 20 hashtags when you post on IG, and pop it at the end of your caption so it doesn't look spammy. Try this 3x6 hashtag strategy: 3 hashtags for what the product is (#handmadesoap), 3 hashtags that describe the product (#prettypink), 3 hashtags that describe your company (#handmadebusiness), 3 hashtags that describe your target market (#vegan), 3 hashtags that describe the benefits or features (#healthyskin), and 3 hashtags that indicate your location (#kansascity) - that's 18 hashtags, quick and easy. Don't forget to pop in some Valentine's related hashtags if you are pimping the holiday, and use tools like Iconosquare to research hashtags!
  • Start using a brand-specific hashtag. Including your business name as a hashtag will help connect all your media together, and customers will likely pick up on it and use it to talk about your awesome stuff, too.
  • Respond & tag. When peeps leave you a comment, show the love with a @mention (tagging them) and respond to their comment. If they show their name in their profile, use it!
  • No rapid-fire posting! In fact, you can probably post once a day, or even less. No one likes seeing a single user dominating their feed with multiple photos all at once!

For more social media tips, check out 5 Social Media Mistakes Soapmakers Make (And How to Fix Them).

Ready to rock it? Get to work!

I've dished up a whopping twenty different marketing angles you can kick some ass on this month, which means you can complete anywhere from one to twenty marketing tasks! So pick and choose what marketing tasks are doable for you, and get to work.


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