Drop it Like it's Hot!--Tips for dropping a new product/service for your business!
It has been a while since I have felt like blogging--not because I didn't have plenty to say, but because I have been drowning in the work/life imbalance that is summer time. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE summer time; camping, lake days, warm evenings in the back yard reading a good book, traveling... all things I LOVE about summer. But with that, I find I struggle with properly balancing my wants and needs, as far as a business perspective.
To say I have only dropped the ball when it comes to blogging and connecting with my followers/customers/friends, would be an understatement. Did you know this summer I've released over 40 new products and services? Probably not! And you know why? Because I have forgotten the art of "dropping" a new product or service! So let's walk through it together.
As a small business owner you have the flexibility to do exactly what you want to do, and offer the products/ services you want to offer. Chasing trends, fighting to stay popular, or constantly seeking out "the next big break", is not the right way to maintain a business. Everything you do should be fueled by passion! At the end of the day, you won't have a boss holding you accountable if you hate your job.
So ask yourself, "What products/services am I most passionate about?" "What business things bring me the most joy, and/or serve my purposes the best?" If it isn't the things you are devoting 60% or more of your time to, you should probably take a long, hard look at your business...I know I am. This year I have gotten so wrapped up in trying to make money (because we know shopping is down this year, and living costs are up), that I have lost track of what things I am passionate about.
So what am I passionate about?
1. Western Bridal Stationery: Wedding Planners and Wedding Invitations is my creative outlet, and my chance to stay true to what I have loved from the beginning.
2. Western Lifestyle Stationery: Yearly Planners, Academic Planners, Farm/Ranch Planners--these supply "my people" with the products they love, and allow me to stay connected and relevant to the community I created.
3. Small Business Community: Small Business Workshops, Small Business Workbooks, these blog posts, etc. are all a way to share my knowledge, and burdens with other incredible people. It is motivator and inspiration!
4. Western Artwork: I have always enjoyed expressing my creativity through artwork. All of my "extras" and "non-niche" products are a way for me to share this creativity with others. Yes, I desperately need to refocus what I offer. But all of the "extras" (back packs, laptop cases, journals, notepads, mystery boxes, and more) bring me joy!
Create a Timeline/Use a Planner:
So now that we have focused in on our passions once more, it is time to think about releasing new products/services within that passion. Now, I know creating new products/services isn't always the answer--I have learned that the hard way. But having something new and fresh for your customers to find, when they come back again for the original product they love, keeps them interested and supporting your business.
But releasing that new product or service can't just be a non-chalante post and hope that all goes over well (guilty of that for sure and it never works). You have to create some excitement! This doesn't have to be a month long release or a huge blowout sale every time. But it should be something that drives traffic to your site/store.
So how do you go about preparing for something like that? The planner lady says: use a planner. Pretty straight forward right? Even if it is a drop that you've randomly decided to release in 5 days, plan it out. Think about these questions:
1. Who is my target audience?
2. What time of day is most of my audience going to see my release?
3. What is the product/service and what problem is it going to solve?
4. Which of my past customers is going to love this new product?
5. What image/video etc. is going to showcase my release the best?
And then plan backwards from your release date, being sure to answer each of these questions in some way or another!
Utilize Social Media to Promote Your Drop:
Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy as a small business owner; currently social media and I are in a wrestling dual and I am not sure who is winning. But it isn't always that way! When I am being intentional with my posting, targeting a specific audience with my message, and scheduling my posts during a high traffic time, we are BEST FRIENDS! And you can be too!
Once you have found that product you are so passionate about, and have prepared the ultimate drop schedule, social media can be the best ally. You can prepare all of your content ahead of time (this is called batching content), and then draft or schedule all of your posts. A schedule is helpful because then you have the freedom to "forget" about promoting your drop (for the most part), up until the day of release. But scheduling isn't always the answer- IG allows you to schedule, but then it doesn't connect to Facebook. There are great apps you can use, but many cost a monthly fee. Whatever you do, make sure it works for you!
Aside from posting about your drop, it is important to share details, teasers, answer questions, etc. on your stories. SELL THE DANG THING, don't just expect it to sell itself. The problem I am most recently facing (back to needing to refocus my business), is that I have too many products I want to get out there, that I am not giving each one the spotlight it deserves. So let's make a promise together: I will be intentional about what I promote, when I promote it, and who I promote it to, every day this month!
And if you want to join me, I will be creating a Weekly Content Plan with this template Here, every Monday morning! This is a great tool that I designed to help keep me on track, and it will work for you too!
Want more tips and tools to make your business, products/services, and releases a success? Check out "Saddle Shoppe Talk-Tools for a One-of-a-Kind Business Virtual Workbook" available Here. This virtual work book is filled with over 40 pages of tips, tools, notes and experiences designed to help you further explore how to take yourself and your business to the next level! You will explore product and service development, marketing techniques, creating and maintaining a Unique Brand, working with your target audience, batching content, content development and more! And don't forget to check out your freebie this week "Weekly Content Planner Worksheet" Here! (Downloadable template via Canva).
Happy Wednesday Friends!