Social Media, Profitability, Planning

How to Get People to Follow, Like & Buy from You

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.  |  Think Creative Collective

Plan

Do you think any Fortune 500 company started growing without a plan in place? Seems totally obvious, but also extremely easy to skip. Here are a few of my best suggestions to help you put a plan in place:

Post

Next you must generate content both on and off your website that showcases your expert abilities, knowledge and crazy awesome skills. 

Authenticate

No one likes buying from any ordinary “company.” They like buying a story. They would much rather purchase a “persons” goods or services, instead of some mythical 3rd person. Make your brand personal. Use an authentic voice. 

Sell

I know what you are thinking. I am not a sales person. I just want to be creative. Can someone just pay me without me having to give them that icky sales pitch? You can skip all the slimy steps if you focus on getting your audience to know, like and trust you.

The Hard Lesson

What I learned the hard way was if I want my dreamiest of clients to find me, follow me, like me and later buy, I need to know who they are just as much as they need to know me. This meant I have to turn on the hyper focus switch to grow my email list! In 2 months, I quadrupled by list by implementing some simple strategies.

 


Join our party on Instagram!


Profitability, Instagram

How to Sell On Instagram Without Feeling Like a Slimy Cheeseball

If you’re a product-based business it’s probably no surprise to you that you can make sales from Instagram. You probably do it all the time and it feels natural. However, to those of you that are service based (with a potentially high dollar price range), selling on Instagram seems like a long shot. Who would’ve thought that after less than one year of being very intentional about our Instagram game that we’d see actual, real life, high-dollar clients from it? Well it happened for us, and it can happen for you too. Luckily, it’s not rocket science. 


We’re breaking down the three key areas that we KNOW have an effect on attracting the high-dollar client, and more importantly, how we closed the deal with them (in less than 72 hours!).

If you’re a product-based business it’s probably no surprise to you that you can make sales from Instagram. You probably do it all the time and it feels natural. However, to those of you that are service based (with a potentially high dollar price range), selling on Instagram seems like a long shot. Who would’ve thought that after less than one year of being very intentional about our Instagram game that we’d see actual, real life, high-dollar clients from it? Well it happened for us, and it can happen for you too. Luckily, it’s not rocket science.  |  Think Creative Colelctive

“Sell” Without Feeling Like A Slimy Cheeseball

First of all, as any type of business owner (whether service or product based) you have to make it clear that you have something for sale. Second of all, you have to make this clear in a way that feels authentic, non-spammy and approachable. We’ve learned that by telling a story, whether it be our own or the stories of our clients, it has a much higher impact on our audience. Instagram first captures its audience with a beautiful image, and then keeps them engaged with an enticing caption. 

We are big story tellers, so it usually comes naturally to us, but if you’re at a loss for words here are a few tips to get you going. Ask yourself:

  • How can this product or service change the lives of my clients?
  • How has this product or service impacted my own life?
  • Is there something unique about my product or service that I can brag about (such as it being handmade, 1:1, organic, some proceeds go to charity, et cetera)?
  • What’s the story of my business? Has it grown from my basement to a large warehouse? Did it start with just me and now I have a team?

When you tell these stories to your audience they get to hear about your business and the things you sell, but it’s structured in a way that’s giving. Your audience then wants to become a part of that story by purchasing what you offer. They want their lives changed in the same way in which yours was, or to be on the same level other people who buy your product are. They want “in” to the dream.

Stay Engaged With Your Audience

Ideally, once you begin storytelling you will have others sharing similar experiences on your feed. You can’t ignore these comments! Engage with your followers, ask them more questions, provide support, and share the love. If people are taking their own time to comment on your posts, they will feel so supported when you reciprocate. The more you are engaged with your current audience, the more it will grow! Instagram notices when certain posts get a lot of comments and moves it up in the line to show it to more people. 

To promote more engagement, consider asking open ended questions or give direct call to actions. Here are some examples.

  • “Tag your friends below if you know they would love this!”
  • “Share this with your friends who are trying to eat healthy!”
  • “What’s a wild and crazy goal of yours for 2016? We’d love to cheer you on!”
  • “About to binge on Netflix - what are your suggestions?”

We like to mix in business related call to actions with lifestyle call to actions so it doesn’t feel like we’re always surveying our audience. Just by being known that you ask questions and will engage in the comments is a big driver to build knowledge, goodwill and trust. This is the key that will convert your followers to buyers and brand advocates.

Reach Out and Follow Up

If you find that you have some “regulars” that often like or comment on your feed, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. If you are a product-based business, consider mailing them something small that you know they will share (and tag you in a post). If you are a service-based business, offer to set up a quick phone call to talk about your specialty.

Pro tip: always approach these relationships from a truly authentic place of giving. Don’t go into it prepared to ask for a sale or even hoping they will buy. Consider this thanking your VIP’s and passing out the love. Whether it turns into something like a purchase or booking is truly icing on the cake, not the end goal. 

We recently reached out to some of our active commenters who happened to be small biz owners, just to ask them how it was going. We wanted to know all about their biz, their struggles, and challenges, and what we could do to make it better. We got loads of ideas for future content just from one phone call! We want our audience (clients or not) to know that we are in their corner. 

Don’t feel nervous about reaching out! Most people love to put a face or voice to the name or brand that they love. 


CELEBRATE WITH US ON INSTAGRAM!


Social Media, Profitability, Instagram

How to Use Instagram Stories to Get More Sales

Instagram Stories debuted and our biggest complaint is that we don’t know what to call them. InstaSnaps? Instants? Snaps? Insta Stories? #TheStruggleisReal.

Besides that, we’re in love. 

We’re not here to debate whether Instagram stole SnapChat’s idea or any of that jazz. We love them, we use them and we know they’re going to help with engagement. If you want to figure out how to make actual sales from them then you’re in the right place. P.S. from here on out we’ll be referring to them as Story or Stories. You can call them whatever you want.

Instagram Stories debuted and our biggest complaint is that we don’t know what to call them. InstaSnaps? Instants? Snaps? Insta Stories? #TheStruggleisReal.  Besides that, we’re in love.  |  Think Creative Collective

We talk a lot about humanizing your brand and the power of putting you in front of your brand. Here’s what happens when people see a face attached to a brand. They:

  • Find ways to relate with you;
  • Are more forgiving of blunders;
  • Think of you as a person, and
  • Connect with you on a deeper level.

So what’s the combined, massive effect of all of those things?

Your clients and customers will spend more money and stick around longer (probably because they’re busy buying everything you offer).

Why? Because you showed yourself as a real life human freaking being.

Look, we know it’s hard to find that fine line of personal life + business life. We know a lot of you choose to not show certain aspects of your life (kids, where you live, no makeup, etc). That’s cool. We’re not asking you to upload your entire family reunion photos to Instagram.

But, maybe you could Story it? 

Maybe you could Story your morning coffee (the one that isn’t perfectly edited). Or your evening glass of wine. Or your family at the zoo.

Because the cool thing about the Stories on Instagram (similar to Snaps) is that they only last 24 hours. And no one can comment or like them. And no one can share them.

How cool is that?

Stories on Instagram are the perfect platform to showcase what you’re eating (because no one cares unless you’re an actual food photographer), where you are (without showing your address), and what you’re doing outside of work.

Once people get a glimpse of that (even just for 15 seconds), they feel connected. They see that they own the same living room rug as you, or enjoy extra butter on their popcorn like you do, or - just like you - have kids that throw themselves on the floor of Target.

This is brand relationships at its finest, y’all.

Another unique aspect of Instagram Stories (one that Snapchat failed at) is the ability to comment privately on the Story. Ever since Instagram Stories came out we’ve been getting DMs from people with whom we’ve never interacted before.

We were able to have actual conversations with potential customers (or past customers) and it was amazing. 

So, if you’ve been Grumpy McGrumperson about Instagram Stories lately, maybe it’s time to change your tune.

Consider the behind-the-scenes value you could add to your brand by participating. Brainstorm some scenarios where you could Story and consider making a list of what you absolutely don’t want to Story. 

Think outside the box. Live a little! Let us see what you ate for lunch today.


If you want to check out what we’ve put on our Story lately be sure to follow along with us on Instagram!


Profitability, Entrepreneur

Pricing Has Nothing To Do With Numbers (BONUS: FREE Download)

Pricing is our jam. Figuring out our worth so we can pay our bills, grow our business and have happy clients and customers is kind of our favorite. In fact, pricing is what brought this whole thing here at TCC together (meaning it’s how Emylee and Abagail met!). The very first program that we launched together was called “Pricing for Profit” (now known as The Money Making Creative). All that to say we’ve had the conversation about pricing with other creatives many a time, and you want to know a big fat spoiler? When it comes to mindset and “do you think they will pay $X?”, pricing has absolutely nothing to do with numbers.

The number one question that we receive from every small business owner is something along the lines of, “What should I charge for this?” As creatives, we all want there to be a magic number that we can charge for our services or products. A number that we could choose, and then automatically succeed. But by looking at just the numbers of your pricing strategy, you are leaving so much out of the equation.

Pricing is our jam. Figuring out our worth so we can pay our bills, grow our business and have happy clients and customers is kind of our favorite. In fact, pricing is what brought this whole thing here at TCC together (meaning it’s how Emylee and Abagail met!). The very first program that we launched together was called “Pricing for Profit” (now known as The Money Making Creative). All that to say we’ve had the conversation about pricing with other creatives many a time, and you want to know a big fat spoiler? When it comes to mindset and “do you think they will pay $X?”, pricing has absolutely nothing to do with numbers.  |  Think Creative Collective

So, first we’re going to burst your bubble and tell you that you just need to pick A number. You will never pick the right number the first time. There will most likely be price increases, package tweaks, new offerings, and offers taken off the table. The only way to get measurable results is just to just pick a number, any number, at first. However, here are a few guidelines that you should consider when calculating your pricing.

Pick a Number That Feels Right to You But Scares You a Little

If you constantly pick numbers with which you’re totally safe, you’ll probably never see the business results you’re dreaming about. The number you go with needs to make you feel just a little bit crazy-excited about the potential of your business, while also staying true to the authenticity of your biz brand.

Pro tip: If putting some math into it will help you take the emotion out of your pricing, then do that. Figure out how much you need to be making every single month to pay your bills, save for school, pay off your house or just to help with groceries. It doesn’t matter. If you know what number you’re hoping to get to, you can work backwards from there.

Add Value For Your Clients Instead of Slashing Prices

We understand that you want to create hype around your products or services, and the usual way of doing this is by having sales. But, depending on what you’re offering, a sale could actually hurt a client’s perception of value. So when you want to have a “sale”, think about keeping the price exactly the same, but add value. (Think: How can you add in more of your time? Can you create a quick and easy printable or download, can you add additional products if clients spend X amount, can you add in a bonus hour of your time, et cetera.) However, you definitely don’t want clients waiting around for your next sale before buying from you, so make sure you implement this strategically.

Showcase Your Offerings in Packages

There’s a specific psychology behind combining your offers inside packages. Your clients are able to see the value of a simple upgrade to the next package at a quick glance. Usually, the package you want clients to gravitate towards is your “middle of the road” package — it’s neither your cheapest, nor your most expensive. To your clients, it becomes the no-brainer package. Design your lowest and highest packages to highlight your middle package, and your clients will feel super confident in their decision. Your lowest package should cover the bare minimum of what you need to make from a client to make sure you’re making ends meet. Any upgrade from there is just icing on the cake!


As you can see in the strategies above, pricing involves far more than just picking the “right” number. It’s all about providing great value, charging what you’re worth and staying true to your brand.

We want you to be able to dive further into making your biz profitable. We want you to shake off the overwhelming thoughts that it’s “always about the numbers” and understand that there are distinct strategies that you can use to get there. But before you get there, you need a plan. Yes, an actual written down plan. Some might call it a business plan. We like to call it “Party in my Biz Pants, Because Now I Know What the Heck is Going On Plan”. Rolls right off the tongue, yeah?

We wouldn’t want you to head out to make this plan without some guidance. Heck, we don’t just want to give you guidance, we want to give you the freaking worksheet to make the plan. Oh, and it’s free. Happy day! We created The Easiest Business Plan Ever and you can grab your free copy by heading here.

Pop in your first name and email and we’ll send it right over. Here’s what we DON’T want you to do: please do not go download it and love it but let it die a slow death in your “Downloads” folder. It serves you no purpose there.

 

Instead, go download it and PRINT it off immediately. Even if you can’t fill it out right this second, at least have it sitting on your desk. Or taped to your fridge. Or the wine rack. Wherever you’ll see it the most and be reminded to do it.

Then just spend a half hour (seriously, don’t overthink this) and fill it out.

And then we want you to call us when shit starts to go down in your business, because we told you so. Really. If you don’t call us, at least email us. Heck, email us to call you and we will.

So stop reading this and get to printing. Right now. Tag us on Instagram (@ThinkCreativeCollective) in a shot of your blank piece of paper so we at least know you’ve printed it. Then we can hold you accountable.


SHOW US YOUR PLAN ON INSTAGRAM


Profitability, Entrepreneur

July 2017: Income Report $18,496

Ready, set, wait! Yep, July as much as it was prepping our signature course content and launching an affiliate program, it was really about working really hard to wait for results later. Not that over $18k is anything to cough at, it was just residual income off our previous launch and evergreen course sales. The BIG surprise doesn’t come until September, in the meantime check out all the details that made July the success that it was.

Ready, set, wait! Yep, July as much as it was prepping our signature course content and launching an affiliate program, it was really about working really hard to wait for results later. Not that over $18k is anything to cough at, it was just residual income off our previous launch and evergreen course sales. The BIG surprise doesn’t come until September, in the meantime check out all the details that made July the success that it was.  |  Think Creative Collective

Why do we do income reports?

In an effort to be as transparent as possible in our own business, we have chosen to make 2017 the year in which we showcase the good, the bad and the ugly. That means we talk about money on months when we bring home the bacon and on months when we’d rather not discuss finances. We hope you learn a LOT from these reports. We want you to be able to replicate and tweak our strategies to use in your own business. Get inspired, learn from our mistakes and grow your own online business.

Please note: Links marked below with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. By clicking and purchasing we may earn a commission on this sale. This comes at no cost to you and is only for products and companies we truly believe in!

July Income

Affiliate Income: $1,199
Podcast Sponsor: $174
Course Sales: $17,123

TOTAL INCOME: $18,496

July Expenses

Stripe/Paypal Fees: $527
Camera Equipment: $290
GoDaddy: $88
Libsyn: $30
Proof: $79 (Canceled)
SmarterQueue*: $46
MotionMail: $10
ConvertKit*: $149
Wavve: $7
Linktree: $6
ManyChat: $10
Fomo: $49
Independent Contractors: $2,108
Facebook Ads: $5,079
Office Supplies: $43

TOTAL EXPENSES: $8,521

NET PROFIT: $9,975

Payroll to Abagail & Emylee: $6,548
IRA Contributions: $1,035

Taking a Breather

Having just wrapped up our first nearly 6-figure launch, we knew we needed to start the month with a break. Perhaps not the most conventional, we turned the 4th of July (a US holiday) into a week long vacation kicking off July. It was definitely a blur of sleeping in, scrolling social and, of course, plenty of fireworks.

Dripping Our Signature Program

With Strategy Academy behind us, you’d think this was the perfect time to just chill, soaking in all the goodness that had walked in our door the month before. Well…

Instead of prepping every last bit of content prior to our launch we decided there was no way we could complete a multitude of free programs and everything else necessary for this 8-week course. Instead we dripped out the content one module a week and focused on creating two weeks of content at a time, with the hopes of wrapping up the majority of the course creation in July.

For the most part this was easy peasy. I think we complained more about the showers and makeup than the actually putting the course together. Who wears pants anyways?

Waiting on a ROI

The final week or so of July and rolling into August we started promoting an affiliate partnership we had with Courtney Foster-Donahue. As per most affiliate programs, this would not pay out until after the 30-day money back guarantee had expired, ensuring she took into account any returns that happened.

So in essence we hustled super hard in July to get paid out sometime in September. Was it a little weird shelling out thousands of dollars on a Facebook ad we wouldn’t see a return on for months? Perhaps. But it was definitely worth it when we sold well over $100k and knew on the other side of that was a 50% commission on every sale.

Now….let’s take a Vacation!

In our August Income report we’re going to cover the details behind how we prepped for an entire promotion to go out while Emylee was in Mexico. We’ve got some strategies on getting ahead, systems we put in place, autopilot features and more.



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