Increasing traffic, subscribers, and customers is how you grow your income to boost your bottom line. We all know that. But, where do these new subscribers and customers come from? That’s the tough part.
Welcome to Week 3 of our Business Planning challenge!
- In Week 1 we talked about how planning is the “secret” to success
- In Week 2 we talked about knowing where you’re at now
Today it’s finally time to talk about some of the things you want to plan for and do to boost your bottom line. What it boils down to for an online business is increasing traffic to your website, pattern store, online shop, and even our craft fair booth. But it’s about more than just that.
4 things you want to do & track to increase traffic.
Stand out in a crowd. Yes, this is tough and involves utilizing social media. But social media is full of other handmade and creative businesses showing off their products and services. So, standing out in the crowd is tough. You must have stellar photos and incredible offers or incentives that entice people to your site, sign up for your newsletter, and buy from you. If you sell via local craft fairs, then your booth needs to stand out and your products need to be different. In other words, you need to be unique.
Get more traffic from different sources. Obviously, this should always be a priority and something you work on regularly. You also need to track your growth and keep an eye out for new ideas (to you) to boost your traffic.
If your primary method of selling your finished products is through local craft fairs:
- have a newsletter sign-up sheet available so people can join your mailing list
- maybe offer a small discount (5 or 10%) on today’s purchase if they sign up
- OR a coupon for 5 or 10% off their next purchase.
Make sure that you include your website and your Facebook business page/Etsy shop link on your hang (price) tags. Make sure they know where to find you after the show.
Focus on getting subscribers. As you start to get more traffic, your list will start to grow. But don’t stop there. Tweak your opt-in forms to increase conversions. Create a new lead magnet (or promotion) to get the attention of a different sub-group of your target audience. Set up a few dedicated opt-in pages in your newsletter client and start driving traffic to them. Do what you can to continually grow your list and pick up speed in the process.
- If you’re a maker selling online, offer a discount on 1 item of their choice.
- Maybe you sell via craft fairs, if so email your local customers and tell them about the next craft fair you’ll be attending and offer them a discount on 1 item of their choice or off their entire purchase that day.
- As a designer instead of offering a specific free pattern of your choice, change it up a bit an offer them 1 free pattern (or a discount) of their choice.
Turning those subscribers into customers. This is the fourth piece of the puzzle and where things get really interesting. You want your subscribers to spend money with you. Figure out what products or services result in the most sales. Then offer more of those same types of products using better quality materials, more intricate designs, and raise your prices. There is a lot you can do to grow your bottom line once you have this whole traffic and subscriber thing figured out.
The real power in this approach becomes apparent when you start to look at how these four things work in conjunction with each other. By getting:
- more and higher quality traffic (instead of just those that are ONLY interested in freebies),
- increasing your opt-in rates,
- and creating higher quality/higher priced items
you can quickly make a huge difference in your bottom line. Each of these things will help, but by combining them, you’ll start to see real growth.
Week 3 Business Planning Tip for Increasing Traffic:
If you started the spreadsheet in the Week 1 Business Planning Tip, open it up and jot down some ideas for increasing traffic and sales. At this point, make notes about any type of idea that pops into your head. Later you can go back and review your idea and toss the ones that just don’t feel right. Be creative.
Keep in mind, increasing traffic, gaining subscribers, and turning subscribers into customers doesn’t mean that you have to give away the store (so to speak). Offering incentives and discounts is something that we all do to increase traffic, but you can limit how much you give away (those ugly Sales Discounts that decrease your income) by limiting what and how much you give away.
Offering a raffle for 1 grand prize winner who receives:
- 1 free pattern of their choice instead of offering an unlimited number of free patterns.
- Or 50% off the price of one item of their choice instead of 50% off everything for everyone
make your offer time sensitive, or limited – it creates a sense of urgency and doesn’t impact your bottom line as much, while still accomplishing your bottom line goal of increasing traffic.
Here are some ideas:
- Create a newsletter sign up sheet to take to local craft fairs
- Include your website or online shop on hang tags or product packaging
- Turn your business card into a price/hang tag
- Create a physical or downloadable coupon for 1 free item (or a discount) of their choice and turn it into a raffle (either online or via a craft fair)
- Get friendly with your local independently owned yarn store – perhaps you can do some sort of promotion with them
- Create flyers to hang in local stores
- Talk with local gift shop owners about putting a small sample of your items in their stores on consignment
What are some creative ways that you drive traffic?