Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

[84] How to Help Your Customers Feel Good About Your Business

So many of us are focussed on how we feel about our biz, and on doing the best job we can at marketing our business… that it can be easy to forget one important thing.

How does your customer feel about your business?

In this episode Meredith and I discuss the ins and outs of helping your customers feel good about you and your business. We discuss how this can be done in retail, at markets, and online to ensure your customers walk away feeling great, and that you’ve done your best to help them fall a little bit in love with your brand.

In short – it’s all about building relationships. Some are long and some are short and sweet but interaction – and transaction – you have with your customer is important on both an individual level and for the long-term success of your creative biz.

 


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Being genuine is super important for building trust with your customers.
  • Always be respectful – listen to your customer so you can help them get the experience they want.
  • The Do’s
  • Do make your customer feel like you are solving a problem for them.
  • Make customers feel like they are part of your story so they are invested in what you do.
  • Help your customers feel excited to share their experience with others.
  • Customers want to feel you are honest and trustworthy.
  • Let them steal the moment! Your customer will love feeling that they have discovered something truly special and will spread the word!
  • The Don’ts
  • Never rush your customers no matter how busy you are!
  • Don’t make your customer feel pressured as most will quickly back away in that situation.
  • Think about your body language – don’t appear unapproachable.

 

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[82] How to Deal with Unhappy Customers

It can feel like the worst thing in the world to have an unhappy customer.

And I get it, I’ve been there – it’s almost impossible to not take it personally, especially the first time it happens to you in your business journey.

The fact is: it’s inevitable that at some stage in your business you will have an unhappy customer. The old saying ‘you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time’ holds true for every business, no matter how hard you try or how awesome you are (and I know you’re awesome!).

You can’t live in fear of it happening though! You must contemplate in advance that it is going to happen one day, and rather than stick your head in the sand, be aware and realistic, and ensure you are prepared to deal with an unhappy customer when the time comes.

The truth is: sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes you will stuff up. Sometimes it will be out of your control. Sometimes you will be able to turn it around… and sometimes you won’t.

No matter the situation, this episode outlines some ways you can be prepared and ensure you manage the situation effectively: with compassion, rationality, humility, honestly, and grace.

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • An unhappy customer can express themselves either publicly or privately.
  • A private conversation is preferred but often an upset customer will leave public feedback or a bad review – it’s best if you can avoid this, for obvious reasons!
  • There can be so many reasons why people are unhappy. Sometimes it is their fault, sometimes it is yours, and sometimes it is out of both your hands. Whatever the case may be, always approach the situation calmly and be polite, helpful and upbeat.
  • ‘You can’t control how people are going to respond, and you can’t control peoples emotions’. {Jess}
  • First up, don’t panic!
  • If this is the first or second time it has happened it is hard not to panic.
  • Don’t ever respond to a customer in the heat of the moment.
  • If you have someone you trust it can be a good idea to share with them. Two heads are better than one.
  • Be the bigger person
  • Approach the issue from a place of calm rationality.
  • ‘Don’t get caught in the drama’. {Jess}
  • Think logically and rationally and try and be compassionate to your customer.
  • ‘Really try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes as much as you possibly can’. {Jess}
  • Try and work out the underlying reason the customer is upset – often it is not initially clear.
  • Admit your mistakes
  • If you have made a mistake you need to fix it.
  • ‘Own it, fix it, and then move on’ {Jess}
  • Learn from the issues that arise
  • You need to fix the part of the system that is broken so that the same thing never happens again.
  • Stick to your policies and don’t be held ransom
  • If you have not made a mistake and something has gone wrong don’t feel like you’re held ransom by the possibility of a bad review.
  • Your policies should outline all information your customer needs to know so that there are no surprises and you are covered.
  • Always be understanding and kind even if you have not made the error.
  • ‘Think of a way to respond that is empathetic and understanding’ {Jess}
  • If you follow all of the steps you will hopefully be able to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied or even a happier customer.

 

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[81] How to Overcome Creative Block with Christina Lowry

Running a creative business brings with it many ups and downs in your level of creative inspiration – I call this the Creative Cycle.

One aspect of this cycle is creative block – which can be incredibly frustrating and worrying, especially if it is your first time experiencing it.

In this episode I again chat with my friend Christina Lowry, who outlines some action steps that you can take to kick yourself out of a creative slump, while still honouring creative lulls as a natural part of the Creative Cycle.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Christina created a ‘How To’ for herself to help her deal with creative block.
  • ‘Inspiration and action are not the same thing’ {Christina}
  • Don’t start with a blank page
  • This creates expectations and pressure.
  • Just start making marks, get your hands and mind working.
  • Make it a habit
  • Make space in your day to be creative.
  • There will always be a cycle in your business and your creativity.
  • ‘You have to believe it will pass’ {Christina}
  • Take a shower
  • Take a shower or a bath, a long one, and lock the door.
  • Have a notebook ready because taking that time to yourself will get the ideas flowing.
  • Driving, sleeping, running, walking or knitting are all examples of activities that can get the ideas flowing.
  • ‘Doing any kind of creative endeavour influences your creativity’ {Christina}
  • Make something different
  • Make something in a completely different medium to what you usually use.
  • Make something you don’t have to sell.
  • ‘Do something for your own fun and your own fulfilment’ {Jess}
  • Look back through old sketchbooks
  • Look at old ideas or designs to reignite some inspiring action.
  • Maybe you have old designs that you didn’t have the means to make? Has this changed?
  • Fill your well
  • Self care cannot be a secondary thing.
  • Never drain yourself. Self care should be a daily thing.
  • Surround yourself with creative people
  • Immerse yourself in others creativity.
  • Use Prompts
  • Prompts can help you open that creativity and smash the creative block.
  • Step away
  • If you aren’t being productive sometimes walking away is the best option.
  • If it is making you angry or stressed walk away and come back to it later.
  • Know that you are not your work
  • It is not healthy to think you are a reflection of anything external to yourself.
  • ‘You are not your work’ {Christina}
  • The cycles will become easier to recognise the longer you are in business.
  • Find Christina online at christinalowrydesigns.com

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

How to Run a Successful Craft Facebook Page that Grows Genuine Likes Daily

 

 

This is a guest post by Jackie from Craft My Success.


I have a confession. In the early days of my creative business, I was absolutely fixated with the number of likes my page had.

I would actually feel a flutter in my tummy when a new like popped up from “gasp” a stranger! The idea that someone had come across my page, and clicked on the glorious blue button to keep up to date with my business would warm my South London cockney soul.

Because as creative ones, we are doubtful of our talents far too much and, for me, every little hike in my “new likes this week” graph was a level of validation for my business. Someone liked my work!!! Crack open the champers and the chocolates!

 

 

Well, I soon discovered that there are likes…..and then there are LOVES.

And that my success depended on focussing on the latter. By “loves” I mean growing a fanbase of genuine potential buyers who love what I create.

Too often I see crafters where their 400 likes are mostly made up of nosey work colleagues, supportive family and friends and other crafters. Some of them could cross over and your sister and her friends could be your ideal customers….but to truly have success selling your craft you need to build a network of groupies that do not share the same gene pool.

Those are the kinds of likes you desire and screw being fixated on a fake number that doesn’t really mean anything!

 

So how do you spend your online marketing time focussed on growing genuine likes? 

Every step below is based around the simple premise of eliminating those that are bystanders and reeling in those who are buyers.

The piece of cake “genuine likes” recipe:

 

 

Aesthetics and Branding of the Page

This one is at the top of the list as it is the quickest fix and so often overlooked.

When new visitors land on your biz page you want to be able to grab them from the first millisecond.

To do this you need to be super clear with your brand and who your business is for. Do not be afraid to be obvious here. This is the first time many visitors will have seen/heard of you so you want to start your Facebook relationship off on the right foot.

Open up your Facebook biz page and try and look at it as an outsider. Or even better, ask someone these questions, who doesn’t currently like your page.

 

  • Does it clearly show what your page is about and who it is for?
  • Does your cover image show your products?
  • Do you have a tagline that highlights key points to your ideal customer? (what’s important to them – make it known that you tick those boxes)
  • Is your logo simple and easy to read? (I see too many swirly fonts which are loved by creatives – you have such a small space, use it wisely and don’t make it hard for people to read your biz name)
  • Does your brand speak to your ideal audience? (You might like certain colours or styles, but unless your ideal customers have exactly the same taste as you, then you need to focus your page on being alluring them, not yourself.)
  • Can visitors clearly identify you from your competitors? Have you studied the branding of your competitors – what can you do to stand out? How can you be memorable with your visuals?
  • Is your about page exciting/funny/engaging/memorable? (You can use this space to showcase your mission, or your why, or who you serve. Do not simply use it as a place to state the obvious such as “Hi I’m Jackie and I make scented candles”.)
  • Is your branding/voice consistent? Are you using the same branding colours in your product photos? (Use ideas such as a “work in progress Wednesday photos” every week to stand out and use as a subtle sales post)

 

Here are 3 examples of craft Facebook biz pages that are dripping like a ice cream in my four year old’s hands with their branding and voice.

It is so obvious who they are serving from only just these images.

 

 

Start Hanging Out where your Ideal Customers Hang Out

Facebook has groups for every single pocket of society.

Every desire, hobby, stage of life, problem and trend has a corner of the Facebook world which is all about them.

So what is your ideal customer into? What excites them? What hobbies do they have? What are they passionate about?

Try and think outside the box. For example, if I sold scented candles, my ideal customer might be a yoga teacher. So rather than the obvious and finding huge yoga groups to hang out in, I might focus my energy on smaller more intimate pockets such as mindfulness or meditation groups. Big groups move fast and group members do not spend all day in these catching up on what’s been said.

Smaller groups will give you an opportunity to really build solid relationships, give great value and be a big fish in a smaller pond.

 

 

Provide Value

This applies to both your own biz page and posting in groups.

Sing with me…..“Imagine all the group posts. It’s easy if you try. Crafters posting their ma-aa-kes, no one engaging, why?”

I see this so often. Crafters find their little pockets, excitedly join the groups and immediately start posting photos of makes trying desperately to make a sale. Our survey says……..X

To grow your fan base people want connection.

They don’t want to be sold to! They want to get to know you.

They want to find it out sort of by accident in that kind of “Hey girlfriend, I didn’t know you made gorgeous silver earrings on the side!” way.

Get involved in the conversation, start your own posts which are nothing about your makes, provide genuine value.

People are nosy by nature and they will check out your personal page (as you will be posting from that) and if you’ve linked it to your business page – hey presto – you’ve found a genuine like!

If you can genuinely provide a solution or a suggestion based around your product and you have been engaging prior to that – then go for it!

To really maximise Facebook groups, I’d concentrate on a small number to really immerse yourself into and give them at least a month before you exit.

If you’re not seeing much from these groups, then move on and test out others. It will take time but 5 mins here and there really builds up. Little and often little and often.

Here’s one tip straight from Jackie’s school of “fitting in my business around my family, job and chocolate addiction”: Rather than scanning my own news feed whilst I’m waiting to pick my son up from school, I jump in the groups and see if I can tag along on a conversation.

I’ve found from my own experience, by spending time in smaller groups, I have been tagged in posts by strangers when a post has been made around my solution! It is a huge thrill when that happens!

3 ideas for how to contribute genuinely:
  • Discuss current events / trends / new finds
  • Empathise, empathise, empathise.
  • Talk about a win you’ve had to do with your business – how your product solved a problem for someone just like them

 

Solve Problems

Crafter, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that your product does not solve a problem.

Of course it does!!!

Your hand knitted kid’s ponchos keep kids warm, whilst having their hands free for play, and solving the “I don’t want to wear a coat” battle most mums have.

Your ideal customers need to hear about your features….not your benefits.

They don’t really want to know how you made the poncho or where you sourced the wool. Instead they want to know that it will stop them chasing their child around the park hollering “put your coaaaat oooon!!!”.

Dig deep when thinking about what problems your products solve and WHY that’s important to your ideal customer. Sometimes it’s as simple as prestige or owning something unique or bespoke. Sometimes it’s knowing that the product is sustainably made and sourced. Once you find the hook it’s sooooo easy to talk to them online and reel them in to your web of seduction.

So crafter, I hope this has been helpful for you – go forth and grow your likes in a genuine fashion! I’d love to hear in the comments below what you’re going to action first!

 

Google+