2019 is quickly coming which has us thinking about product lines for the new year. So, April and I decided to chat about the strategies that we use for promoting our new products and product lines. We both worked on trying new things this year and have had great results. Here are our favorite, and most successful, strategies:
You want to build hype before you release products
April and I both admit that we used to stay quiet about the products we were working on. We were worried if we mentioned it someone else would swoop in and steal the idea. But, I’ll be honest—getting your audience excited about what you’re going to be releasing can really help.
In the past, it would take 6 months to a year for our new products to really start gaining traffic. But, it’s because we were just posting them to our TpT sites and leaving it at that. It’s good to get traffic eventually, but that’s not what you want when you’ve spent time on a product line. Some of the things that I released this year were year-long resources that took me a year to work on. I wanted them to do well right off the bat. That means uploading the resource and hoping for the best wasn’t going to cut it.
Survey your audience
April has experienced a lot of success with surveying her audience before creating resources. There are a few ways that she’s done this. The first is by sending a survey to her email list. For example, she created a 5 question survey and asked what standards her audience was interested in. When she got the results back she started making resources for the top 3 replies.
By surveying her audience she knows that she’s creating resources that her audience wants to buy. It also helps with the opposite. In one survey she had a list of ideas that she was thinking of creating and asked what people were interested in. A few of the ideas didn’t get any votes. If she would have created them, there wouldn’t have been interest in them and it would have been a waste of her time.
Here are a few examples of questions that she has asked:
- Which of these options would you prefer…
- Digital vs. print
- What standards do you want to see included?
You can use Survey Monkey to create a free survey to start getting ideas from your audience. Once you have the product or product line ready to go you can email them with the link. You already know they’re interested in it because they told you in the first place.
Do you need to entice your audience to respond to a survey?
April has done a drawing for a gift card as a way to entice people to complete the survey but found that it wasn’t necessary. When she polls her audience on what they are looking for they want to give their opinions because it means that products will be created that they are interested in. This is motivation enough.
Another strategy that we like is offering a discount on products for a limited time. For example, you offer 1/2 off for the first 48 hours. If you let all your followers know about the discount it’s a great way to get a jump start on traffic to your new resource.
I also like this strategy because it helps to get some quick sales and feedback. Then when people show up to your site there are reviews from people that have already purchased it and love it.
Another way to benefit from this strategy is to include a link for people to join your email list if they like the product so they can be notified when the next one comes out. April used this idea and around 10% of the people joined her list, which was around 500 people. She made around 30 products in this resource line. Each time she released one she was able to notify this list and they bought the products.
Provide a sneak peek
Another strategy that I like to use is providing a sneak peek of the product by posting it on Instagram before releasing it. Then, I have a special opt-in so if they’re interested in the product they can join a list to be notified when the product is released. When they join the list you know you have an audience that’s excited to purchase your product once you’re ready.
Use social media
Post about your product or product line on all social! When I do this I try to spread it out a little. If I post on Instagram I don’t post on Facebook for a few days and vice versa. I also use different photos on each platform. I make sure to take a lot of photos at different angles and sizes so I have enough to work with. Then, I’ll post about the same resource multiple times leading up to the sale of my resource.
PHOTO TIP: When you take a lot of photos they can be hard to keep track of. I recently spent some time getting organized and it has made life a lot easier. My pictures were in all different places. I went through and put them all together. Then, I divided them into folders by product line and then separate folders for each product being featured in the line. Now it’s so easy to find things. And, I have everything backed up on Google photos so I can even get them on my phone if I need.
Automate what you can
Save yourself time and automate everything that you can when it comes to marketing on social media. April has been using Tailwind SmartLoop to help her automate her Pinterest promotions and Tailwind for her Instagram posts.
If you want to get instant traffic and activity on your pins you really need to think about promoting them. If April thinks a product is going to be popular and will have a price of at least $6-7 she will create a promoted pin for it. They help jumpstart traffic to your product. You get more clicks and move up in the search.
A few more tips:
- Don’t do a product line that’s been done a bunch of times. Even with paid ads you can struggle with topics that are overdone.
- If you aren’t seeing traffic on social media just keep at it. It can be slow to start. My Facebook page took forever to build and then all of a sudden I started to get a couple likes and clicks and it started snowballing from there.
Having an audience is really important
The best way to build an audience is to work at it over time, but it’s well worth your time. You want to make sure that all of your followers are notified of new products that you release first, including those that follow you on TpT. You can create an email for your list and then copy your message and paste it into the “Note to Followers” section on TpT. The entire email will copy including images and links. Make sure to provide them with a call to action.
April likes to use a CTA that is more than “buy now”. She’s even used “reply if you have any questions”. You might think this sounds a little crazy because it can be time-consuming to have to read and reply to more than 100 emails, but there are a few reasons this is a good strategy:
- It lets your audience feel connected with you.
- You can get ideas for blog posts off questions that they ask.
- If they ask a question about a resource that you already have you can send them the link for it.
Using Facebook Groups
Let’s start with a few disclaimers:
- You can only use the tips we share here in your own Facebook group. You CAN’T use them in a group that you are a just a member in.
- If you’re thinking of starting a group, do it with a group of people you trust. Facebook groups are a lot of work and it’s great to divide it up amongst a group.
When creating hype for a new product you can post your link with what you’ve released, but April has started asking people for feedback for what they are looking for and then using that post to sell to them. Here’s an example of how it works:
- She creates a post asking something about what standard people want to see for a new product she’s creating.
- She’ll ask that if someone has already commented with what the standard they want they just reply to that comment with a “Yes please”.
- Then, when she’s created the product she goes back to that post and shares the link with everyone that was looking for that standard.
Giving away a free product from a product line is a great way to build hype about it and spread the word about it. I’ve used both Facebook and Instagram to do this. Lately, Instagram giveaways seem to do much better. When sharing a giveaway make sure to ask people to comment. The more engagement you have on your post the better reach it will get.
A few ways to boost engagement is to say things like “comment telling me why you want to win” or “visit the link in my profile, add the product to your wish list, and then come back and tell me what you like the most about it”.
You can also have them comment with something general like “what are you doing for the weekend”. This can help you get a lot of comments because it’s easy for them to do, but I think it’s helpful to have them engage with the product a little more. I’ve noticed that doing giveaways is a good way to boost sales also because some people will just purchase the product instead of waiting to see if they win it.
Have a free sample
The #1 most powerful thing is having a free sample that stands by itself. You can use the free sample as a way to get people to sign up on your email list. You can also combine this with the previous strategy and offer a free sample of a product to anyone that enters to win a giveaway for a product line but doesn’t win.
Don’t worry about doing it all
Don’t let that feeling of overwhelm set in. You don’t need to do all of these things for every product. Just remember that when releasing a new product line the more you put behind it the better it’s going to sell right out of the gate. If you take the time to survey your audience and get people excited about your products through social media and giveaways the more sales you will get because you are getting eyes on your products.
If you are just starting out focus your efforts on:
- Creating pins for your products.
- Building traffic and then notifying them before you release a product. People are on your email list because they like your stuff. If they don’t want to be there they can unsubscribe, so don’t be afraid to share with them.
There are tons of ideas on how to build excitement and promote your products, so let’s keep the conversation going. Come share with us in the Mastermind Facebook Group what you do when you release your new products.