When I first started Blacksburg Belle, I couldn’t wait to get my products and services out into the world. I wanted to help as many creative entrepreneurs as possible—and make some money while doing it.
I started an email newsletter list, and new subscribers trickled in. I blogged regularly. I guest posted on lots of different sites which brought in even more subscribers. My list had grown to over 500 people in just a few months, so I thought I was ready to make an offer.
I sent out an offer to my email newsletter list. I thought it was a great offer, and I was extremely excited. I thought I’d get a rush of orders. You know what really happened? Nothing. No orders. No money. No people rushing to work with me.
I soon realized the big mistakes that I’d made with that offer.
First, I completely underpriced and undervalued my services.
I thought I’d get a lot of purchases, because the offer was inexpensive. I looked at my competitors and charged less than many of them, thinking that would help me. It backfired. People don’t take you seriously when you undervalue yourself. Think about this: do you ever say that the cheapest product or service is the best? Probably not. You might say it’s a good value or a good deal, but you don’t go around telling your friends and family that it’s the best.
Second, I hadn’t built a trusting relationship with my list.
Most of my subscribers had been on my list less than a month before I sent out an offer to work with me. This might not have been such a big deal if I was offering a low cost product, but I wasn’t offering a low cost product. I was offering a personalized service that requires some level of trust.
Third, I didn’t clearly ask for the sale.
I sent out an email newsletter that told my subscribers about the offer, but I didn’t clearly ask for the sale at the end of the email. Of course, I included a link, but I didn’t give clear instructions.
After this failure, I regrouped. Moving forward, I built up relationships with subscribers on my list by providing them with high-quality information. I put together a 12-month blog program that brought in lots of sales. I worked with a bunch of creative entrepreneurs one-on-one. Then, I sold out a group coaching program. I built up my credibility by speaking at the Etsy Success Symposium and landing a guest post on Design*Sponge.
Then, I tried out the same offer again about six months later. It was the exact same offer that had failed before, but I made two changes. I increased the price to what I felt was the true value which was five times the price of the first offer. I also clearly asked for the sale at the end of the offer.