A few days ago, I got an email from a business owner who felt she had reached a dead end in her business.
She used to participate in regional craft fairs and sell locally at her own shop. She said she knew that customers were interested in her products, but, “I have been limping (real bad) since closing my shop and trying to make that online transition. I’m just plain ol’ stuck with nearly zero revenue and tapped out resources, regardless of my efforts.”
She had tried to recover by putting a brand rep program in place, but after seeing firsthand how it worked, she decided that method was not for her. That left her needing to come up with a new sales strategy before her ship completely sinks.
She told me,
“I’m thinking I’m terrible at conveying my story. I’m not in love with spending countless days of my life trying to figure all of this out while time marches on, new release after new release (read $$$) is wasted with no ROI, including barely any traffic to my website, which I’m sure is a huge problem. I love my new website, but something isn’t working and I don’t know where/what that is exactly.
I’m sure my story sounds all too familiar. I’ve taken a good look at your site, am enthralled by your emails and you certainly have my attention, but I don’t know how I’d even begin to afford your services. Again, probably something you’ve heard many times over. I just am feeling like I don’t know what to do, very frustrated and certainly disenchanted with the brand rep world as a means of helping to build my brand and take it from mom & pop scene to something bigger and better.
I love what I do and I want to be able to share what I do with peeps that will appreciate what I create with the help of a small team of seamstresses here in the US.”
I seem to get an email like this once a week, with questions like:
- I used to do so well on Etsy, but I never learned to market my own business, and now it’s drying up. How do I attract my own audience? Do I need my own website?
- Social media has been changing and we’re having a harder and harder time getting traffic to our site. How do we promote our business in such a crowded product niche?
- I’m suddenly noticing a lot of businesses popping up who sell similar things—would a rebrand help differentiate me?
- I know I have a great product, but how on earth do I get the word out about it?
A new website or a rebrand doesn’t solve everything
I love hearing from creative and passionate people at all stages of their businesses. But the reality is, building a new website or launching a rebrand is not a magic bullet. It can’t fix everything. Sometimes the things you need to address in business aren’t as major as a new website or logo design. Sometimes they’re simpler.
You know what? I hated turning away business owners who weren’t ready for a rebrand, because I could always see tweaks they could make in their business that would help them break through to the next level.
I wanted to help everyone. But I just didn’t have the time or resources. This fall, though, I’m working to change all that.
I know there are so many of you out there who look at the businesses we work with and think, “How do I get my own business to that level?”
We try to answer this question by sharing tips in our blog posts, by interviewing the business owners we’re inspired by, and by offering occasional feedback and advice in our Facebook group. But I wanted to do something more. I wanted to make our efforts at helping you more official, more concrete, and more useful.
Announcing the Shipshape Collective
This fall Aeolidia is launching The Shipshape Collective, a community designed for business owners just like you who are committed to growing their creative shops and getting them to the next level.
Our first offering is an online course that will help address so many of the fundamentals the Aeolidia team has seen creative shop owners struggle with.
Level Up Your Creative Shop: Ditch the Struggle and Transform Your Shop by Getting Back to Marketing Basics
In this course, which goes on sale TODAY, we will address the fundamental challenges that keep your business from breaking through to the next level.
So tell me: are you feeling fired up by your business? Do you feel like your marketing might need a kick in the pants? Do you want to arrive at a crystal clear picture of who your products are for and how to sell to them? Do you want to know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors? Yes? Then let’s work together to make it happen!
One Course, Two Ways
This fall I’m offering two options for enrolling in the Level Up course. Both options go on sale TODAY, but the Group Course is limited to just 15 spots.
- The Group Course, an intimate 4-week workshop, starting on October 9, which includes a group forum, weekly feedback on your progress and a personal 1-on-1 phone session with me (limited to just 15 spots!)
- The Solo Course, a self-paced tour through the course material included in the Group Course, but without the feedback, support or 1-on-1 time with me
Oh, and: while the Solo version of this course will be available year round (I wanted to make this process accessible to all), I highly recommend enrolling in the Group course, where I’ll be working WITH you on your business. Have questions? Read the course FAQs or shoot me an email.