SURVIVING WITHOUT A TRADE SHOW
YOU CAN STILL GET YOUR PRODUCTS SEEN
It’s official all trade shows are cancelled for this year! So the question is can we manage without them?
The answer is … YES of course
There is more than one way to get repeat orders and gain new customers, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. The biggest cost will be your TIME! But hey – we spend weeks preparing for a trade show, one day setting it all up, usually 3 days on the stand and one day putting it all away again. That adds up to a lot of hours, hours that you can use to build an effective marketing campaign. So lets take a look at what you need to do to build a great coomunication stategy that works.
Spending some time creating a marketing schedule that uses a variety of communication methods can prove to be highly effective. Spend some time building a marketing content plan focusing on the 3 months ahead. This is a great way to engage with customers, and although it can be time consuming to set up initially, it is well worth it. A good strategy can provides a focus for the months ahead, they can include seasonal posts or subject that fit in with what is currently going on in the world. By using a variety of communication methods or social media platforms is the best way to do this as it helps to increase your customer contact rate.
Some useful communication methods
Social media platforms
Research which social media platforms are out there to use (The most common being Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter) and see which is the best fit for you. Think about which platforms your customers would use as this could have a considerable baring on which you choose to focus on. Once you have chosen which best suits you and your customers needs you may want to look at a scheduling tool to help you post automatically on more than one platform. We use Later, but there are others out there that are easy to use and affordable. To view a list of social media posting tools visit
Once you have created your social media posts it will give you a structure and content for monthly customer communications. Email is a powerful marketing tool, as it takes your message directly to your customers inbox so they don’t forget who you are. You can automate this so that your customers receive some kind of communication from you every month. There are a lot of marketing strategy tools available – we use MailChimp but there are others. Our motto at Beautiful British Designs is
Do it one and deploy it many times
Send a bespoke postcard to a customer can be a really good way of getting the customers attention. It makes sure that buyers are seeing your product. (Unlike email, where you must hope that your subject line will make a buyer curious enough to open it.) We recommend including an image and your business name or logo on the front (that way they know who sent it) and a simple but clear call to action on the back. (Such as, email me to see the new line sheet.) And if you have the budget you can opt to send buyers a full catalogue with a sample – it will be the only way they see your products this year!
We know it is so simple, but just pick up the phone and call your customers – ask them what is going on – what support do they need from you? Are they ready for a top up! This can be done in a structured and timely way – so we suggest setting up a priority call list.
1. Customers that ordered at one of the Trade Fairs last year – to see if they want to order again
2. Customers who ordered 3, 6 or 23 months ago and see if they want to order again
3. Customers with a high order value
Find other simple to apply tips
Would you benefit from working and chatting with other like minded designers in a closed facebook group?
Practice things, ask those really silly embarrassing questions that we think we should know but don’t and have someone that will hold you accountable when you don’t do the things that you keep saying you will? Comments would be greatly appreciated – tell us how we can help you and we will do our best to find a solution.