What makes your business different from your competitors? Why should people buy from you? Have you looked closely at your business to work out why customers come to you, shop with you and come back for more?
Find your Unique Selling Point
To find out what makes your business different you need to make a list of all the good things you offer. It could be that your products are organic, locally sourced, handmade, vegan-friendly, made in small batches, or it could be that you offer free local delivery, a discount on orders over £20, free postage, or outstanding customer service.
Now look at your competitors and see what they offer. How do you compare? Is there anything they offer that you don’t? Could you be more competitive and offer a better service.
It helps if you can get some impartial advice about what is important to customers, either by asking people directly or holding a poll online. Local producers are often friends so you can always ask other producers, they may be in a different sector or offer different products but will no doubt face the same issues. The results might surprise you, what you thought was important to buyers might not be a consideration, so do some research and get some feedback. Then you can come up with a list of your USPs and plan your marketing around it.
Plan, plan, plan.
Planning, which some people find boring, is a necessary part of any marketing you do. It is worth putting some time aside once a month to sit down and decide what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. You can do it online if you’re that way inclined, or like me, you can write it down old-school! However you do it, find a way that works for you and it will make the job a bit easier.
Start by making a list of what you want to achieve by the end of the month (or whatever period you’re planning for), then look at how you can make them happen. Breaking the tasks down into manageable steps often helps and seems less daunting. Make sure your targets are achievable or you’ll end up disappointed and disheartened.
Examples of targets are growing your social media followers by x number, selling 10 more products, getting 5 new signups to your newsletter, reaching out to 2 suppliers/outlets a week.
Now you need to flesh out these targets with how you’re going to achieve them. if you want to grow your followers you can increase your posts, boost them, or hold a competition or promotion.
If you want to get your products in more outlets put together a list of places to contact and do some research on them. Try and find out the right person to speak to and give them a call. Arrange to visit and show them your products, they most likely get inundated with emails so it often makes a change to get a phone call.
How you appear online can have a big impact on sales so make sure you’re sending out the right messages. Are your USPs front and centre on your website? Do people know exactly what makes you different? If not, make that a priority. If you offer products made from natural ingredients make that obvious from the start. The same goes for your social media profiles and posts, shout from the rooftops what makes you different because no one else will.
Encouraging your customers to leave reviews either on your website, your social media or your Google My Business profile will increase your credibility and helps to grow sales, so don’t be shy about asking for some feedback. So many online shoppers use reviews as a buying metric so get as many as you can, and always reply to them.
To stand out from the competition you need to offer outstanding customer service, whether that’s replying promptly to any messages, keeping customers updated on their order, going the extra mile when it comes to packaging your orders or following up to make sure they’re happy with their purchase. The bigger companies seem to have forgotten that it’s their customers who helped them get where they are and offer such poor customer service that they start to shop elsewhere. Having a sales process in place will help this run smoothly for you.
If you need any help with identifying your USP please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help, no obligation.
[email protected] – 07540 013508
Get in touch on 01964 542916 or email [email protected] for a no-obligation chat.