Launching a new product takes time and energy. How do you ensure yours stands out?
This week, I’ve spoken to 4 entrepreneurs, sharing the creative ways they’ve promoted their products. Prepare to be inspired!
Build an audience and generate pre-orders
Catherine Gladwyn, Delegate Virtual Assistant / Award winning, Bestselling Author shares how she got pre-orders for her book – before it was even written!
“I decided in November 2018 that I wanted to write a book to help other people start and run their own VA business. The first thing I did was buy a domain, then set up a landing page. Next thing I did was start promoting what I was doing. It not only held me accountable but also enabled me to start building my audience in advance of the release.
When the book was published on Kindle in March it sold really well, and there were lots of pre-orders for the paperback.
Within a couple of months it had become an Amazon bestseller, in the category Home Based Business and I still continue to promote it virtually every day on one platform or another.
I’m now planning my second book, and have started slowly feeding out some information about that too! Watch this space…”
I love how Catherine created a buzz around her book by telling her audience about it way before it was even ready to buy. Not only did it hold her accountable – building an audience before you even have anything to sell is really smart! Notice how she mentions that she’s still continuously promoting it too. This is a great point, as you can’t simply stop and assume everyone now knows about it!
You can buy Catherine’s book here.
Promote before it’s ready
Julia Bayne, Cotswold Place, took people through the building’s restoration process for a year on social media. She then had ready-made fans and interest when it launched for rentals.
“The renovation of our recent Cotswolds holiday let project surprised us by taking 12 months! During that time I was able to build interest on social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook, by posting about decisions we were having to make, discoveries along the way and styling choices. ‘Before’ and ‘after’ pictures were particularly successful and opinion polling was really helpful with our process.
By the time the restoration was complete and we were open for business, we had built a supportive and interested online community which has already converted into some sales.”
I love how Julia involved her audience through the restoration process. That must have helped them really feel like they were part of it. Polling them to help with decisions is such fun and what a great way to validate that she was creating exactly what her customers wanted!
Take a look at Julia’s beautiful holiday home.
Get to know your customers (maybe even in person!)
Rhiannon Abbott, The Epsom Bakehouse, spent time really getting to know her customers and what they needed.
“When I first set up The Epsom Bakehouse, I had no local contacts or connections. Instead, I advertised by hiring a stall in my local market place and selling my freshly baked breads there. Eventually I secured a spot on the local Farmers Market, and also did live bread making demonstrations at local fairs and events. Meeting people face to face was a great way to get to know local customers and to understand what they wanted and needed.
They were my first connections when I decided to start running bread making classes too. Now that I’ve begun to build an online audience for my business, I keep up my connection with my audience via live videos. For example, I ran a series of videos on making your own sourdough starter which reached over 2000 people and which allowed me to promote my bread making classes to a wider audience. I’ll be using a similar approach for the online bread making course that I’m currently launching.”
I think Rhiannon was really brave to get out in front of her customers in person. She has a really personal approach and using live videos is a great way to create and maintain a connection. Notice how she also says that when she started her bread making classes she already had an audience to promote them to…
As well as teaching in person classes, Rhiannon is launching an online bread making course teaching you to master the basics of baking great bread at home. If you want to know more, you can join the waitlist.
Find out if your customers will buy!
Amanda Overend, Books & Pieces, has done a brilliant job of asking customers whether they’d buy a product before she orders from her supplier.
“Asking customers whether they’d buy specific products has been a really good approach for me.
Last autumn I found some brilliant Halloween torch books, but before committing to an order with my suppliers, I shared a photo on social media with my planned selling price and asked my customers to let me know if they’d like one. I was blown away by how many people commented on the post (and how quickly they commented), that I knew immediately it would be a great seller. Not only did this strategy give me a really good idea of how many books I should order, but it also meant I could turn the products around super quickly by contacting customers who’d commented on the post and giving them the link to buy.
I’ve continued to use this approach with new books and products.”
I really like how Amanda’s done this. It’s such a smart move to check whether people will buy before ordering stock – and to then follow up with everyone who said they would and making it really simple for them to now buy.
Take a look at Amanda’s range of books for 0-6 year olds.
Are you inspired?
Did you spot any themes? Getting to know your customers and engaging with them regularly was one that stood out for me. Another was creating a buzz about what you’re doing – through the creation process and not just when you’re ready to sell.
Speaking of which, I aim to do the same when I announce my new products, on an Instagram live, very soon. Stay tuned for that!