I hang out in a circle of mostly Makers – people who are making a living in some sort of creative business pursuit. This makes my life pretty awesome, in so many ways. But it also means I hear a lot of similar complaints and questions (which I guess is also good, because I can use that to come up with ideas for writing this blog!).
One thing I hear a lot of Makers say is that they feel like they’re shouting into a void. In other words, they have this message to share – about their company, their process, their products – but they feel like no one is listening. Maybe nobody’s opening their emails, or the only people commenting on their blogs are the people they’re related to, or they aren’t getting any sales. In answer to this problem, I often ask them if they’ve taken the time to truly craft that message, and tailor it to the needs and interests of their prospective customers. More often than not, the answer is no. Or at least, not really.
Sure, you think about what your customers want to hear when you put together your newsletter e-mails and your shop listings. You include information about the size, the color, the price – all things you know a buyer would want to know about before she clicks that big “purchase” button. But have you gone deeper than that? Have you truly honed your message to speak directly to her, or are you just throwing ideas out there and hoping they catch on?
Luckily, there are things you can do! I want you to think about your customer (you can either envision an actual person or you can picture the ideal person who would buy all the things from your shop). Then ask yourself these questions …
10 Questions to ask about your prospective customer:
- Where does she normally shop, in person and online?
- If she’s looking for something like what you sell, where is she going to go in order to find it?
- If she’s looking for a product like yours, what search terms is she going to use in an online or Etsy search?
- How does your product answer a question she has?
- How does your product fulfill a need she has?
- How does your product solve a problem she has?
- How does she want to feel after she purchases a product like yours?
- What does she want to be able to tell her friends about the products she buys?
- How does she want your product to reflect something about her to the people who see her using it?
- What emotions will your product elicit from her?
Once you have answers to all of these questions, pick a few of them and try incorporating those answers into your product listings, your e-mail newsletters, and your social media postings. Try to build your brand around those answers, and show your customer that your shop is the place where she can solve all her problems, fulfill all her desires, and bring out the best in herself because of your products.
Then, you’ll have a message that is truly crafted, and pretty soon you won’t be shouting into a void any longer.