How to Make Your Business Stand Out Online: A preview of my Masterclass at AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair 2019

The annual AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair is only weeks away, and I’m thrilled to be presenting two Masterclasses to guests about how to build an online brand in the homewares industry.

So, as I prepare for these sessions, I wanted to share with you some key strategies to focus on to create a visible and compelling online brand. Read on!

It’s never been easier to start a business and share your message. We have powerful and free marketing channels at our fingertips to connect us with millions of potential buyers from across the world. We can set up a website for the price of a few coffees a month. And we can source products and become accredited more readily than ever with the ability to connect with overseas and local suppliers via the internet and enrol in online interiors courses.

But this ability to start a business doesn’t mean it’s any easier to stand out and have cut through into the market to make sales.

In fact, in some ways it’s harder than ever to connect with our audience because there’s so much noise.

So how can we attract attention for our brand, maintain that attention and then turn it into sales? Let’s dive in!

01 / Your Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes I see homewares, and really all, brands making with their marketing is posting without any purpose. If you don’t have a clear strategy in place behind the content you are sharing, then you’re simply not going to see results and you’re wasting your time. Instead, start with your business goals in mind: what are you trying to achieve? Then you can create clear Content Categories based on your goals, so that every post helps drive the business forward.

Focus on these four Content Pillars:

  1. Connection: This might be video content that shows behind the scenes of your brand.
  2. Credibility: Have you been featured in the media? Share this!
  3. Value: How can you serve your audience? How can you help, inspire, educate or entertain them?
  4. Promotion: Don’t forget to make great offers to your subscribers to remind them exactly how you can help solve their problems. Urgency, scarcity and social proof work really well!

02 / Your Tribe

The next important step for homewares brands is to understand your audience. And I don’t want to hear that your customers are “women aged 25-35” ;).

If you are finding it hard to cut through the noise, then chances are it’s your messaging.

And to know what messaging to use, you need to deeply understand the people who need to hear it: your tribe.

What challenges are they experiencing in relation to your product and what are their desires? It’s your role to communicate how your products or services can help them move away from their challenges and closer to their desires. You know you’ve achieved this when they tell you what you’ve written resonates with them… and then they start buying 😉

So on your Sales Pages, rather than focussing on your product or services features, I want you to communicate its BENEFITS!

03 / Your Story

Now it’s time to create a deeper connection with your audience, by showing up online.

You can’t afford to be misunderstood or deemed irrelevant.

Studies have found that posting too many promotional messages is the #1 reason people unfollow brands on social media.  Your brand needs to have a personality behind it more than just its products/services!

There is a huge opportunity for you to do this, because so few brands in the homewares space are doing so. And this can really energise your brand and create a quick sense of “know, like, trust” factor with your audience.

A clear and compelling brand story will set your brand apart from every other homewares brand out there. I want you, the person behind the brand to show up in your brand story, to humanise the brand and allow your audience to feel connected to you and a sense of loyalty that they won’t feel to faceless companies.

Start by answering the questions: where were you before you started the business and what was the trigger that made you do it? What challenge did you want to solve?

I want to see this story on the About Page on your website – along with a photo of you and your name! I also want to see your name in your Instagram Profile and photos of you and your team in your feed.

Then the next challenge… is to start sharing video content with you and/or your team speaking to camera!

There are so many “pretty pictures” being shared by the interiors industry, but a lack of personality and point of difference between brands.

You could have the same products, the same offerings, the same look: what’s going to set you apart are the things that can’t be replicated: your people.

Your challenge: speak to camera every week on your marketing platforms, whether that’s in Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Youtube, or in a video you send out video your email newsletter.

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This is just a little insight into the Masterclasses I’ll be giving at the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair, which is running at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Saturday 3 August through to Wednesday 7 August, 2019. There will be a huge 400 wholesale exhibitors presenting their products to you, the retailers. Open to trade only, you can register to attend for FREE here.

And make sure you come say “hi” to me and if you’re interested attend one of my Masterclasses:

  • Dates: Sunday 4 August 2pm and Monday 5 August 2pm
  • Location: Seminar Room on Level 1 (access via the escalator in the Gift Hub)
  • The Masterclass is FREE to attend and registration is NOT required to attend this Masterclass, everyone is welcome to attend on the day.

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