My first year in business was seriously the most emotionally challenging year of my life, ha ha. But seriously. I think back to my college days where I paid around $40,000 in tuition and fees (yes, I realize that is ridiculously low — I worked my butt off to get in on scholarship) and the lessons and material I learned there doesn’t even come the tiniest bit close to what I learned in just my 1st year of business. Dead serious.
Don’t get me wrong— I loved my entrepreneurship classes and learned A TON from each of them (ie, don’t start up a Valentine’s Day confectionery business with 3 boys. Lesson learned. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20!) But sometimes just jumping in and figuring it out as you go is the best way to learn.
Here are 3 of THE BEST things I did for my business during that first year. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and I certainly didn’t start doing these things because I “knew” they would work— I just tried a heck of a lot of different things and these seemed to be some of the best ones that I implemented— and definitely brought me major $$$ in return!!
So without further ado...
1 | ENCOURAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO TAG YOU ON INSTAGRAM + FACEBOOK
Initially, this started out that if a former customer would share a photo of their child with LittleHighbury product on social media, I would send them a free headband.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Boy did I learn a lot from that! I still get flustered when I think about how much free product we sent out with that promo! Now, I just send them a simple note encouraging them to share their photos so that I can see their precious babe’s modeling our products. You’d be surprised how much people want to show off new stuff they’ve ordered, even without a free-item incentive!
This tip is seriously genius because you are essentially having people pay you for the product, plus they do some free marketing for you! It's a win-win for both parties involved, and it can help your product reach some new eyes that are looking to buy exactly what you sell. Hooray for free (and effortless!) marketing!
2 | CONSISTENTLY ADD NEW PRODUCT
Note that this is not “constantly.” You will burn out if you are constantly adding new product. It’s a worthy goal, for sure, but it’s not nearly as important as adding product on a consistent basis. There is a reason that major fashion companies come out with multiple lines each year (winter, spring, summer, fall) — it keeps their customers coming back to check up on new offerings, and thus, keeps the company fresh in their customer’s mind.
I find it is SUPER helpful to create a calendar with “due dates” for product drops— or else they will almost always be pushed back/forgotten. And while I'd love to recommend a snazzy program for this, I am absolutely 100% a post-it note type of girl :) I try and keep it flexible about which product I drop on that particular date, but always make sure that I at least add something. This doesn’t have to be a completely new line of product— it can be as simple as a color update on a graphic design print (offering more choices!) or bundling some pre-existing product together and create a specific purchase listing for that (which is an awesome way of upselling a customer!)
3 | SEND A THANK YOU TO YOUR CUSTOMER
Perhaps my #1 tip— send out a thank you convo (or email) to every single person I sold to. This is SO easy and SO often overlooked. I simply created a draft of a thank you letter that I could send to every buyer I received. It simply thanked them for their order, gave them an estimated delivery time frame, and encouraged them to share their pictures on social media and tag @littlehighbury in them. Super easy, just cut + paste as a conversation to each buyer. I would customize it with their name at the beginning (just pulled from the order information) just to make it seem more personalized.
The best thing about thanking a customer is that you have now made a personal connection with them. You already know they are interested, since they purchased your product, so the likelihood of them purchasing more is not that unlikely. With a personal connection, they are that much more likely to remember you and the super awesome shop owner that you are!
I receive SO many replies back to these emails thanking me for taking the time to write to them and keep them updated. Seriously. It is one of the reasons I believe I have a 50% return rate on previous customers.
So there you have it— 3 of my top tips for hitting your major revenue goals this year! Any tips you swear by with selling product? Jot them down below— I can’t wait to see them!