When you’re in business, your main goal is to sell, sell, sell. Sometimes sales may seem more like your nemesis than the lifeblood of your business. Product sales ebb and flow and can be difficult to predict. Keeping the sales momentum going, and growing, can be easier (and less frustrating) if you follow these seven steps.
1. Get your product into celebrity hands
Celebrity endorsements go a long way. Just ask any small business owner whose products have been spotted on the hottest celebs in Hollywood. Gossip television shows and tabloids are perfect for showcasing celebrities sporting the latest and greatest.
The result? Every star-obsessed consumer simply must have whatever their favorite celebrity wears, eats and uses. If said celebrity is wearing, eating or using your product—bingo—more sales for you!
How exactly do you get your product into celebrity hands? It's easy with services like Jordan McAuley's Contact Any Celebrity and Sarah Shaw's Instantly Famous Products.
You might also consider being part of a celebrity gifting suite in which celebrities receive gift bags or baskets full of hot new products. You may be able to land a spot in a gifting opportunity at a star-studded event like an awards show, or as part of a celebrity new-mom baby gifting. Be sure to connect with the pros like Jordan or Sarah to learn how it’s done.
2. Get famous
Publicity is crème de la crème exposure for your business because, and, unlike paid advertising, it is unbiased.
Now, to get publicity, you can hire a publicist who does all the work...and usually costs thousands of dollars to generate fame for you. Or, if your budget is a little more modest and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can start drumming up fame all by yourself.
There are so many free ways to gain your own publicity; a little DIY can launch you into the big-time without spending big bucks.
3. Real world testimonials
Let’s face it—no one is really comfortable making a purchase from a business they aren’t already familiar with. People like to be reassured that they can trust you.
Referrals equal reassurance.
Your customers are your most valuable asset. Gather up their positive testimonials and place them front and center where potential customers can see. Make space on your website’s homepage for real-life testimonials about your product. Don’t have testimonials yet? Don’t be shy about contacting past clients and asking.
4. Location, location, location
Realtors swear by this for a good reason. If you don’t know where your customers are, how are you going to market to them?
Know where your clients hang out, both online and in real life. What blogs does your target market visit? What online forums are they likely to read? What real-life events are they likely to attend?
Once you’ve done your research, start getting noticed. Write guest posts for blogs, purchase advertisements, or drum up some media coverage in those locations.
5. Take seasonal advantage
Don’t overlook the cycle of the seasons. Holidays, changes in the seasons and tax time are great marketing times. Consumers are shopping these times of the year—make sure they spend some money with you!
Consider hosting sales, offering free shipping or other incentives during these times to generate more interest and sales.
6. Use video
Creating fun, informative videos is a great way to stand out and gain attention from both retail and wholesale customers. Video lets you display the benefits of your product in way that makes you and your product more real and tangible.
Grab a video camera, point and shoot! Record how your product is used and talk about its features and benefits. Upload your completed video to YouTube as an instant marketing tool. E-mail a link to your video to your wholesale contact list, along with wholesale pricing, availability and an order form.
Don’t forget to post your video on your Facebook page and website, too. If you’re offering a “sneak-peak” product, showcase the video now and offer an incentive—like free shipping—for your fans and customers to buy when the product is available.
7. Offer incentives
Everyone loves a good deal. Why not make it more enticing to buy something by giving your customers a little nudge? Two-for-one deals, free shipping, coupon codes and free gifts are all dangling carrots you can use to make the sale. Make sure the incentives are clearly displayed on your website, Facebook fan page or other social site, so everyone knows you’re dishing out goodies!
Heather Allard is the founder of TheMogulMom.com, a website for moms who run a business, raise a family and rock both. You can find her on Twitter @heathALL.