How to Build Your Own Creative Business: More Q&A {Day 27}

Build Your Own Creative Business Series by Lisa Jacobs on Marketing Creativity

Welcome again for some Build Your Own Creative Business Q&A! This is {Day 27} of the 31-day series, but you can catch up from Day 1 by clicking here. I love to talk shop, so let’s get right to it!

Jane asks: I’ve done the Facebook advertising route and it brought in a lot of views, but the views did not translate into sales. I felt that the advertising was not working so I dropped it after two weeks. It also cost a lot more than 20 cents a click [as mentioned in my example]. Do you have a monthly Facebook advertising budget and what % of your cost per item does this translate too? 

At what point do you decide that your advertising is not working and change or tweak what your doing?

I didn’t go too much into advertising in this series because it’s definitely an advanced topic. Let me preface my answer by saying: you should take your time formulating an advertising plan that you feel comfortable with because scared money never wins.

You need to research your customers and think about what they’re watching on TV, what magazines they’re reading, what stores they shop at the mall.

You want to use one-step further thinking, as in: My customer reads Oprah Magazine. One-step further thinking: Who is their favorite contributor? Martha Beck (who writes inspirational/motivational columns for the publication) is why my customers open the magazine every month. In that one-step, you’ve narrowed your focus from 6.5 million to 3,333 people. That makes for MUCH cheaper advertising and more direct targeting.

For Facebook advertising, you set a daily limit that you’re absolutely comfortable with. I might say, “I can afford to spend $10 per day for the next 10 days. Even if no new business comes in, I can feel comfortable with that amount and know that I’m spreading the word about my shop (and maybe get some “likes” for my business page.”

However, I only recently started doing this. Back when, I used to allot $20-40 per day for advertising and nervously watch to see if it would make a sale. If I didn’t make a sale, I felt like a lost that investment. I’d turn the ads off and go back to the drawing board.

Now I know that’s a bad move on many levels. First and foremost, it was scared money, and scared money never wins. You should confidently put forward an investment and believe in either its purpose or return. Second, it’s only the beginning of real marketing as it can take up to 20 times to capture a potential customer’s attention.

The following guide to advertising was written by Thomas Smith in 1885, and with today’s short attention spans and desire for instant gratification, I believe it’s even more relevant now.

  • The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
  • The second time, they don’t notice it.
  • The third time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere
  • The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
  • The sixth time, they thumb their nose at it.
  • The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
  • The eight time, they start to think ‘Here’s that confounded ad again.’
  • The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
  • The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  • The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
  • The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
  • The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
  • The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for
    a long time.
  • The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
  • The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the
  • The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
  • The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this
    terrific product.
  • The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
  • The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering. 

That said, and if I were you, I would question why my ads weren’t working after two weeks. If we know Facebook ads have the potential to bring in new customers and your ad didn’t translate to sales, it’s time for you to question your shop cohesion, photography, target market, etc. Something needs reworked, and you’re the VP of sales and marketing! Gain that CEO perspective: don’t take it personally, but DO tweak your approach.

Chris asks: I’m focusing on geek/nerd inspired products. Do you think it would be detrimental to have clothing, prints, prop replicas all on the same store as long as they are reaching the same target demographic?

I think a mixture of items (in a niche-specific boutique-like format) can be very successful … however, it’s one of the most difficult things to pull off in the marketplace because everything has to be extremely cohesive to make sense.

Many sellers would like to add a variety of products to their shop. You can launch a different product line, but you must be very careful that there’s a uniform look to the storefront. The Etsy shop, Belle & Boo is an exceptional example of how to do it well. They sell fabric, prints, print frames, wall decals, stationery and other paper products (including paper dolls!), tin money boxes and lunch boxes, button pins, and children’s clothing! And it all makes perfect sense. It is one of the best boutique shops I have ever seen in the handmade marketplace.

Best of luck, and thanks so much for your questions.

P.S. In honor of the 31 days to Build Your Own Creative Business Series, I’m offering my complete business-boosting e-program, Shop Fundamentals ($57) for $31 while it runs! Click here to learn more. Only 4 posts left to take advantage of this special price!


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