June 2017: Income Report $73,710

Holy moly guacamole. Are you ready for this? Now, some of you might have already heard the breakdown of our Strategy Academy launch, but this gives you a good picture of what else happened in the month of June. Also, it’s nice to see what we actually made, even though we had a $97k launch. #Perspective

Holy moly guacamole. Are you ready for this? Now, some of you might have already heard the breakdown of our Strategy Academy launch, but this gives you a good picture of what else happened in the month of June. Also, it’s nice to see what we actually made, even though we had a $97k launch. #Perspective  |  Think Creative Collective

If you wanted to listen to how the launch itself went, be sure to check out Episode 082 on The Strategy Hour Podcast. bit.ly/TSH-082

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!

 

June Income

Affiliate Income: $4,901
Podcast Sponsors: $1,800
Course Sales: $67,009

 

TOTAL INCOME: $73,710

June Expenses

Stripe/Paypal Fees: $2095
Donations: $100
GoDaddy: $24
Libsyn: $30
SmarterQueue*: $46
MotionMail: $10
Squarespace: $173
Leadpages: $477
ConvertKit*: $149
Wavve: $7
Linktree: $6
ManyChat: $10
Fomo: $49
Gifts: $70
Independent Contractors: $6,440
Facebook Ads: $3658

TOTAL EXPENSES: $13,344

NET PROFIT: $60,366

Payroll to Abagail & Emylee: $6,506

 

IRA Contributions: $1,035

Challenges Convert

For the first time ever, Think Creative Collective held a 5 day challenge. This challenge was used to not only build the list, but increase engagement and hype right before our large launch. Without many expectations going into it, we still set our hopes high and shot for 2,500 participants. By the end of the challenge we were just shy of our goal, but the engagement was unlike anything we had ever seen before. Of those who bought our program, 73% directly participated in the challenge the week prior, and the remainder engaged by signing up for at least one webinar.

Want more info on how to make your next challenge a total converting machine? Get a copy of our Mega Challenge Swipe Files here.

Launch It Like It’s Hot

After having $3k, $5k, and $10k launches and the occasional $20k month, we decided to ditch every expectation we ever had based on old results and shoot for the moon. We were dead set on our first 6-figure launch. That’s right, $100,000 dollars in 7 days.

We knew what we would need to do to get there and it was possible with our new price points of nearly $1k and $2k buy-ins. Nonetheless, we went in with what we knew worked well and focused on webinars. Over the course of a 7-day launch, we did 3 webinars which resulted in 47% of total launch sales. And by the end of it all, we were just shy of our launch goal — count up our other sales during the same time period and we had WELL surpassed $100k in 7 days.

Based on our previous launches we had decided to test 2 payment plan options instead of just one, but having both options didn’t seem to affect sales at all. In fact, only 1 person took us up on the new alternative. Our payment plan sales actually went down drastically, perhaps in part due to our new focus on showcasing the savings of our pay-in-full plans.

By paying in one lump sum, students could save upwards of 20%. Many students not only took us up on this, but they were still paying for other programs when they did so.

Ready for more? Well we got more. Listen to a few of our favorite podcasts on launching:

14 Launching Mistakes That You're Definitely Making in Your Business

Behind the Scenes: Our Strategy Academy Launch and the Lessons We Learned

Facebook Ads

I’d be lying if I said we were able to do it all organically, or just with the help of our list. A HUGE part of our launch success had to do with our Facebook Ad plans. After investing in a Facebook course just 9 weeks earlier, we implemented everything we had learned into a strategy we knew would convert.

The biggest part of the strategy was to get the as many people as possible excited for the challenge. In fact, 57% of our total ads budget was spent on just our challenge FB ads. And only a little over $300 was spent promoting our main program.

Time to Breathe

Whew. So that was a massive month. It was exhausting and invigorating at the same time. And hell, we are just super proud of ourselves for doing it! Since we were able to have such a bomb-tastic June, we knew we could go into July a little more breezy. We have some plans on restructuring things in July and being an affiliate for another course for the first time. Can’t wait to update you on all that.


 

 

Profitability, Entrepreneur

How to Eliminate Start Up Costs in Your Online Business

When it comes to starting a business, there are usually a lot of overhead costs. Let’s be honest, those overhead costs can get overwhelming rather quickly, can’t they? You have people coming from every angle recommending that you use this cool new tool that they use because it got them one billion followers. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean!

When it comes to starting a business, there are usually a lot of overhead costs. Let’s be honest, those overhead costs can get overwhelming rather quickly, can’t they? You have people coming from every angle recommending that you use this cool new tool that they use because it got them one billion followers. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean!  |  Think Creative Collective

Want to know the hardest part about opening your business? Simply getting started. That’s the only thing you need to focus on. You need the bare minimum to get the ball rolling on this cool new idea that you’re ready to show the world, but you’re overwhelmed by starting and worrying about how to afford to launch without putting it all on your credit card or taking out a loan.

If you’re solely an online business, then I’m here to tell you that there doesn’t have to be a huge startup cost to launching your business. Would it be nice to invest in a business coach or that online class that you’ve been dying to take? Absolutely! But it’s not necessary. Those are things that can be put on the back burner, because you don’t have to be the perfect business owner before you launch! Wanna know a little secret? No one is a perfect business owner – no matter how many classes, courses, coaches, ebooks, and blog posts they’ve read or invested in! We all fail at some point, and if you’re me, on a daily basis.

I’m learning as I go along, and that’s completely OK! This is my entrepreneurial journey and each one of us has our own story to tell. The best part? You don’t have to do it alone and you don’t have to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars right out of the gate.

I’m going to share with you the free resources that I used when I first got started on my business and show you how you can use them in your business. As I became more and more successful, I wanted to start investing back into my business and that’s when I started to purchase ebooks, courses, and tools that would come alongside my dreams as my business grew. But I started with just a few free tools and resources.

WEBSITES

A lot of people get hung up on their website – should you purchase your own domain name and be self-hosted? What about how the website looks? To be totally honest, and this is coming from a designer – prepare for the gasp – you don’t have to have a nice looking website to start your dreams. Would it be helpful if you had your own domain name? Absolutely. You can find your domain name for a really affordable price (starting at $0.99) – I think you can pull that kind of money out of your couch, right? When it comes to the overall look of your website, you don’t need to invest in a web designer right out of the gate. You have no idea how many websites I stumbleupon that look like they came out of the ’80s and bring in serious money! It’s amazing. So don’t get hung up on a logo or fancy website design. All of that can come in time.

When it comes to designing a website, you think you need perfect graphics to go on that website, right? Wrong. Remember, no one is perfect. Would it be nice to have a logo and designs that you paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for? Yeah! But, again, you don’t need it. If you’re somewhat tech savvy or have a 4-year-old who can operate an iPad, there are resources out there like Canva.com where you can make your own graphics for your website. As a designer, I use sites like Canva because eventually I want to hire a virtual assistant who can help me out and I want them to be able to make graphics for me. So you might be setting yourself up for success in the future if you start with something like Canva.

PHOTOS

Then there are the photos that you need for your blog posts, right? They say you need to invest in a light kit, a nice camera, or hire a photographer to take your photos for you. But, you don’t need all of that when you’re starting out! All you need is the internet and some knowledge of which stock photo sites let you use their images for free. My favorite site is unsplash.com – they have relevant photos that are nicely composed with a wide variety. I use their stock photos to this day!

When it comes to headshots, you don’t need to hire a professional photographer. You can take those photos using your iPhone and invest in nice photos when you see that money starting to come in. A couple of important things to remember when it comes to taking your own images – make sure you’re looking at the camera, that the photos are light and airy, and that there are not a lot of distractions in the background. With a little bit of time and effort, you can take some really nice headshots!

SOCIAL MEDIA

With a startup business, social media is key to help spread the word about this amazing thing you’ve just launched to the world. The problem with social media is the amount of time that you need to dedicate to each platform – it’s really time-consuming! Luckily, there are several apps that help you schedule your posts. Some charge small monthly costs (I’m talking one or two Starbucks drinks you’ll have to sacrifice over the month) and some are built right into the platform. For Instagram, I use the free version of Later.com which allows me to schedule all my Instagram posts 30 days in advance and even upload built in hashtags. When it’s time for your scheduled post to go up, Later will send you an update on your phone. You just follow a couple of easy steps and voila, your Instagram game is strong! Other social media sites like Facebook allow you to schedule posts to pages in advance and they automatically publish at the set time.

SYSTEMS

The last thing I want to mention is creating an organized system for your business. There are so many moving parts in your business, it’s incredible, isn’t it? What’s not incredible? Keeping all those moving parts organized and running smoothly. It’s one of my least favorite things – I use Google apps to keep everything organized.You can access Google from anywhere with an internet connection – which makes it really easy if I need to reschedule something while I’m away from my computer. I use Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and the Drive. Google apps are very intuitive and easy to use and you can access them from almost anywhere – what’s not to like?!

These are all the free resources that I used on a daily basis until I started to see money roll into my business and most are tools that I still use today! What free tools or apps do you like using in your business? I’d love to hear about any cool resources you’ve found on the great wide interweb!



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Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

How to Manage Your Business when Your Life is a Hot Mess

Alright, friends, gather round. It's time for a story and it's one you absolutely want to hear today.

When I was a younger woman, I thought to myself, "Gee Golly. Wouldn't it be nice to turn my hobby into a business?"  Wearing rose tinted glasses, I spent many days and nights planning out what I wanted to do, eager to create this business that would leave me feeling productive and satisfied. In fact, I had this crazy vision of what working for myself would look like. You know you want to hear about it.

I'd wake up in the morning and make my kiddos a healthy breakfast and then make my way to my computer to handle orders at around 10 AM. Kiddos would be playing nicely together and I'd be able to take breaks throughout the day to go for walks, head to the pool, volunteer and make homemade bread each day... all while still running a business that I believed would create some type of impact.

And at the end of the day, I'd go to bed and feel accomplished. Deliciously tired but happy with my progress and my completely checked-off to do list.

When I was a younger woman, I thought to myself, "Gee Golly. Wouldn't it be nice to turn my hobby into a business?"  Wearing rose tinted glasses, I spent many days and nights planning out what I wanted to do, eager to create this business that would leave me feeling productive and satisfied. In fact, I had this crazy vision of what working for myself would look like. You know you want to hear about it.  |  Think Creative Collective

Ahem. That was the plan. It started out that way, sort of. I mean, it went as well as it could considering I was a young mother of two little boys. My schedule wasn't as easy to predict, obviously, but it wasn't terrible. I went to bed feeling content, even if I didn't get to work leisurely through the day.

And then I had my youngest son. That was the moment when everything changed. Because at some point after having my third C-section, my body decided to revolt. I started to get slower. Started to hurt more. Started to feel more tired. I brushed it off as "just a phase" but it didn't stop. I started seeing doctors, specialists, reading books, you name it. Yet there were no answers.

Meanwhile, I'd somehow amassed a loyal following online. I'd created this business that I was in love with but I was operating it in survival mode. The obvious choice should have been to take a break and keep working towards answers, but I'm a stubborn woman like my mama always said, and I refused to let go.

Which meant that for several years, I didn't go to bed. I collapsed into bed. I worked frantically, trying to reach deadlines, all while putting up the front that I had it all together when the truth was that I was falling apart. I thought I was failing, that I would have no choice but to close down this passion of mine and just deal with the sadness that would inevitably follow.

This story has a happy ending, however. At some point, I had this moment of stepping into the light. I looked myself in the eyes while getting ready and said, "Okay, Erin. Your life is a hot mess. This isn't your fault, but you have control over how this all affects you. What can you do to make this easier?" It was then that I realized I could take back control.

So how do you manage when life is a hot mess? Friend, it's not easy, but it's not a complicated process.

Determine Where the Wrench Is

At some point, you’ve realized your routine just isn’t cutting it anymore. You’re overworked, overtired, overstressed and you’re probably not getting a lot of joy out what you’re doing in your business.

It can be so easy to just say, “Oh, this is just how it is now.” You wash your hands of it and just keep powering through, ignoring the fact that you absolutely have control over what is going on your world.

The first step in gaining control is to determine where the wrench is. You know, the one that was thrown into your plans? Spend time looking at your day to day, at your life. Ask yourself these simple questions.

  • Have things always been like this?

  • When did they get this way?

  • What was going on when this started feeling out of control?

  • Are there certain things that trigger this?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re going to have a lot of clarity about what’s really going on in your world. Now, I know you’re over there thinking, “Erin, I know what’s going on in my world.” But the truth is that many of us are blind to what is impacting us negatively. We absorb the blame and say it’s because we’re not organized enough, not good enough, or not meant to succeed.

That’s what we’re combatting here. We’re gaining clarity so that you can adjust your mindset and accept things for what they are. Life happens. Tough times happen. It’s not a reflection of your abilities, gifts, talents or success. It’s just a hurdle that we deal with.

How Can You Work Around It?

Once you’re clear on what the wrench is, what the real hurdle in your life is, you can start to determine how to work around it.

Not every situation is simple to work around, I’ll grant you that. But as Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figureoutable.” And it’s true. For example, my wrench was a serious health issue. I couldn’t get rid of it. Instead, I had to learn how to work with it, rather than fight against it.

Take time to figure out what your wrench looks like and how you can work with it. If it’s lack of consistent child care, determine what your kids’ routines are so you can work on their time. If it’s a health issue, try to determine your patterns.

I managed to maintain my business by accepting that I was too stiff in the morning to do any sitting with clients right away and in need of a quiet moment by 3 PM. So those times were blocked off on my calendar to help me deal.

Get Rid of What No Longer Serves You

If you’re in the thick of a problem, the last thing you want to do is over-complicate your schedule with a bunch of tasks that don’t benefit you. This is a tricky thing to acknowledge because so many of us feel like we have to say yes to all the things. Whether it’s because we’re genuinely giving people or we’re feeling guilty, women are typically “yessers”.

Take some time to evaluate the tasks that you perform each day. Because time is your most precious commodity, you need to make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. If your schedule is full of things that don’t benefit you, your business, your family or your long term goals, it’s time to cut some things loose.

Prioritize Your Needs

So you know what’s no longer serving you, which means you know what you absolutely need to do, and what you should follow through with to keep maintaining your business. But you can’t just tackle those like any other laundry list.

Instead, break down your to do list into priorities. I like to do this in three categories; Immediate Need, Should Be Done Soon, and Eventually.  Once you put your tasks into these categories, it’s easier for you to know what to focus on during those precious work hours that you have.

This also allows you to find a better workflow when your life is a bit of a mess because you’ll be able to focus on one thing at a time. And that, my friend, reduces context switching, making your work time way more productive.

Ask for Help

Want to know what a lot of women struggle with? Asking for help. This is one area we all need to work on and take advantage of.

Chances are, you’re surrounded by a group of people who are just dying to help. You just need to ask. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you unsuccessful, it doesn’t mean anything negative.

What it means is that you’re human and, like all humans, you need some support. By allowing others to help you, you better yourself and your business. Don’t try to do it all, don’t play “the hero”. You already are a hero! And every hero could use a sidekick sometimes.

Make Time for What’s Important

You may be tempted to use all of your free moments to power through your business. Don’t. That’s not the reason you got into this gig. You did it for something deeper and more meaningful and I know it wasn’t so you would have to take time from your family, from yourself and from the things that you love.

Schedule in those important things. It’s not going to prevent you from growing. It’s won’t cause any more turmoil in your already chaotic world. What it will do is refill your well. You need that time to recharge. To be just you and not you, the business owner.

You need that to do the great things that you want to do. You cannot draw water from an empty well. And self care isn’t a luxury that we put aside because of circumstance.

The most important thing for you to remember as you go back to your day, as you tackle your to do list and your life, is this: You are capable of incredible things. You are worthy and deserving of success. And the tough moments are just moments that are tough. They are not defining moments of your character.

Now get out there and make things happen, changemaker.



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Entrepreneur, Marketing

7 Uncomfortable Conversations You will have with Wholesale Buyers (plus bonus scripts!)

Raise your hand if selling to your favorite store tops your business bucket list? But as exciting as it is to see your products on the shelf of a store, there’s a whole new set of challenges that come with developing wholesale and retail partnerships. One of the not-so-sexy sides of developing a wholesale/retailer business? You have to get comfortable with having some awkward and, at times, unpleasant conversations.

Raise your hand if selling to your favorite store tops your business bucket list? But as exciting as it is to see your products on the shelf of a store, there’s a whole new set of challenges that come with developing wholesale and retail partnerships. One of the not-so-sexy sides of developing a wholesale/retailer business? You have to get comfortable with having some awkward and, at times, unpleasant conversations.  |  Think Creative Collective

As an account manager with an NYC based women's accessories company for nearly a decade, I’ve had my share of uncomfortable conversations with buyers + retail partners. I learned pretty quickly that, regardless of how much we plan and try to prevent things from going off track, there are certain situations that arise more often than others.

Today, I’m sharing seven of the most common awkward and uncomfortable conversations that I’ve had with buyers throughout my career, along with scripts to help you handle each situation like a pro.

Uncomfortable Convo #1: How is (another store) selling your products at a lower price?

Buyers shop around and have a good idea about what is happening in the marketplace (it’s their job!), so if you sell to their competition or another retailer they will undoubtedly know. While they can’t fault you for selling to other stores (unless you have an exclusivity agreement of some sort) they will probably be pretty peeved if they see that the competition is carrying your product at a lower price. Regardless of how you structure your pricing and MSRPs, at the end of the day, it's up to the store who bought from you to decide what the best retail is for them.

When a buyer sees your product going out another retailer's door at a lower retail price, they are going to wonder if the competition also bought it for less. Here’s how you can tackle this conundrum with class:

  1. Thank your buyer for bringing it to your attention.

  2. If you don’t know/have the answer, say so. It’s better to get back to someone (who is already mad) with the right answer than to try to put something together on the fly.   

  3. If a change occurred which resulted in a lower price, address it (and if the other store decided on that retail themselves, say so).

Here are a few different ways you could respond:

Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I’m not sure what happened here, let me do some investigating and I’ll get back to you.

---

Thanks for bringing this to my attention! We recently updated our packaging which has resulted in a lower wholesale price. Going forward, the price is now (X) with a new MSRP of Y. I apologize for not reaching out to you sooner with the exciting news about the lower price! Going forward, I’ll be sure to make you aware of any adjustments as soon as they happen.

When this happens, be prepared for the buyer to ask you for a credit for the price difference. When you sold to them and how angry they are will factor in how you’ll ultimately respond.

----

Thanks for letting me know! I’m not sure why (competitor) decided on this retail. While I legally don’t have much say in the selling price they set, I’ll certainly have a conversation with their buying team so we can try to avoid this situation in the future.

Keep in mind that when this happens, there’s only so much you can do. If a retailer gets really mad they may pull their business from you. While it doesn’t seem fair because you don’t have any control of the situation, it happens.  

Uncomfortable Convo #2: “I received a damaged product”

When a buyer calls to talk about damaged products, your heart is going to sink instantly. While you can hope that it’s just a one off situation, regardless of whether it’s one piece or an entire shipment, you need to do everything in your power to make it right.

  1. Start with an apology. Buyers don’t want or need to hear excuses. Even if you’re suspicious because something sounds way off, it’s best to apologize first.

  2. Mention your QA process. Even if you are quality control yourself, let the buyers know that the shipment was inspected prior to it leaving the warehouse (aka your garage).

  3. You need pictures to get to the heart of the issue ASAP, so ask the buyer to send you photos of the damages.

  4. Once you’ve received and reviewed the images to ensure the damage is real, ask how they would prefer to process. Are they looking to get a refund? Do they want a discount? If the damage is minimal, you may want to consider offering a discount in the hopes that they’ll keep the product.

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

I’m so sorry to hear that the (item) arrived damaged! My team inspects every (batch or order) prior to shipment so I’m going to follow up with them to see if something was missed. While I investigate, would you mind forwarding me some images of the damages? I’d like to pass the info along to my (team or manufacturer) so we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Uncomfortable Convo #3: “I would like a discount”

From a salesperson’s perspective, there’s nothing more frustrating than a buyer who fights you over EVERY. SINGLE. PRICE. While some buyers are more than happy to pay the line cost, there are others who negotiate on every aspect of the sale. As frustrating as this is, it’s important to keep in mind that they have margin targets and plans to hit, so if the pricing doesn’t line up with those goals they are going to ask you for discounted pricing.

How your pricing is structured will determine how you answer this type of request. Don’t feel that you have to accommodate every request that comes your way but at the same time, having a little leeway built into your pricing can make you look like a hero. It’s much easier to just give your buyer what he/she wants than it is to deny their request, so the script for this scenario will focus on how to say no.

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

I understand that you need to be at (x) in order to place your order but I’m afraid we’re too far apart right now. I do have (insert lower priced option that hits their target) that meets your pricing requirements. What do you think?

By trying to meet their pricing with another product you are showing that you’re willing to partner with them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Uncomfortable Convo #4: Your products are late so I want to cancel my order

There’s no question about it, late goods are a huge headache for buyers. They’ve allocated their dollars to very specific windows and when you ship them late, you throw everything off. When this happens you want to be proactive and reach out to them BEFORE the order is due to ship. Giving them a call the day the order is supposed to be heading out the door isn’t going to win you brownie points. Even worse? When the order should have been delivered by now and your customer is looking for an update and you simply forgot (or avoided) to tell them it was late. Pro tip: Start by checking your terms + conditions to ensure you have your policy for late shipments in writing so your buyers know how your company handles them.

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

Hi X,

I’m giving you a call because I’ve just been notified that (style/product) was delayed at my (manufacturer/printer). I know you were looking to receive your shipment on (quote their purchase order ship dates) but now it’s looking more like (new dates). Everything else on your order is here and ready to ship, so would you like me to ship (delayed item) separately or hold the order and ship everything together?

Now pause for a moment and give them a chance to answer. How your buyer answers will determine the next step in the process. If they opt to split the shipment you might consider offering to pick up shipping charges for the delayed item as a gesture of goodwill.

Uncomfortable Convo #5: Your prices are going up

Nobody likes to hear that prices are going up, especially buyers who have great selling history with an item at a specific price point. Talking about price increases is scary because you always run the risk of your retailer walking away. While it’s tempting to avoid having the conversation until it's absolutely necessary, it’s best to let your buyers know as soon as possible so they have an opportunity to place another order(s) at the current pricing.

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

Hi (X)!

I’m giving you a call because I wanted to share some changes that are happening here. We’re going to be raising the prices on (x) and I wanted you to hear it from me first. I also wanted to give you an opportunity to order more at the current price of ($) before the prices go up on (insert date). Would you be interested in placing another order at the current price?

Uncomfortable Convo #6: I want to purchase (style name) for (lower price)

When a buyer sees your product they almost automatically mentally assign a retail value that it should sell for in their store. The problem is that oftentimes, the price a buyer will assign and the price you’ve set are very different. For example, if you are selling a card for $2.50 with an MSRP of $5.00 and the buyer sees that card and assigns a retail value of $3.00 ($1.50 wholesale), you can quickly find your negotiations at a standstill.

While it’s tempting to give your buyer anything they want (because you want that sale!) doing so will only set you up for more of these conversations down the road. If a buyer believes that everything is up for negotiation, then that’s how your business with them will be. Also, if you agree to a much lower price just to get your foot in the door you will have a very tough time raising that price down the road.

Be prepared for this conversation by knowing your pricing inside and out so you know which items have a bit more wiggle room and which have a firm price. Also, do some research about the store beforehand so you have an idea about the price points they currently carry.  

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

I understand that (requested price) is more in line with your strategy but I would be doing a disservice to my other customers who paid the current line price. I’m afraid we’re a bit too far apart right now on this item. I do have (different item) that is more in line with your target cost. Would you like to bring (item) in instead?

Uncomfortable convo #7: You receive a request to support an in-store event, marketing or advertising campaign

Some stores will request/expect you support them in their sales efforts. This can mean you contribute to their advertising budget, charitable give back campaign or freebies for in-store events. While it’s always nice to say yes in the name of partnership, not all requests are created equal. Some may require an additional financial contribution while others are a little easier to digest. Larger retailers will traditionally have parameters laid out in their terms for doing business so you’ll know in advance if they’re going to ask you for advertising support throughout the year (and can work this into your pricing strategy).

Depending on the request, it may be an easy yes. For the times when yes isn’t an option (say, they’re asking you to cut a check and your budget doesn’t allow for it) it’s always nice to offer another option to show your support.

Here’s how your script may go in this scenario:

Thank you so much for thinking of me! We’ve already met our charitable give back budget for the year but I’d love to contribute (product) to be used as a giveaway or raffle prize.

or

Your event sounds awesome and I’d love to help you share it! If you have any social media graphics or marketing collateral please send them my way so I can support you and help to get the word out.  

Having conversations with retail partners and buyers to address issues or requests can be unnerving, but having a plan in place will help ease the pain. If you have questions or want to discuss a specific situation that you’d like some help working through, let’s connect!



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