38 Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Candle Business

38 Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Candle Business

Wondering how to market your candle business?

Marketing your candle business is certainly not easy, but there are many ways to promote and advertise your candle business.

We put together a list of 38 of the best marketing ideas for your candle business, so you can get your small business out there.

Here’s the list:

1. Get Press Coverage For Your Candle Business

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result.

Here are a few ways you can get press for your business:

Press releases:

Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience.

Here are some things to consider when submitting a press release:

  • Craft a catchy subject (keep it short and sweet).
  • Acknowledge the journalist's past work and interests - this is key!
  • Include the main point of the story in the first paragraph, heck, even the first sentence. Reporters want to hear the juice first and foremost.
  • Focus on the facts and try to limit the amount of jargon used.
  • Pitch yourself! Help them put a face to the story.
  • Make sure your topic is newsworthy. If it's not, find a way to!
  • Try not to include any attachments of your release!

Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized (no cold emails), you should stand a chance!

Get Press Using HARO

HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage.

The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories (that are relevant to you) that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story."

Here are some tips when crafting your pitch:

  • Discuss your experience and expertise in the space. Make sure it's obvious why you're relevant to this story.
  • Answer the question in 3-4 sentences. Try and be as direct as possible
  • Offer to provide the reporter with more information and make sure to give them your contact info

Plan a Publicity Stunt

Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press.

If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic.

In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:

  • Is the stunt aimed to raise money for your business or a particular organization?
  • Is the stunt aimed to drive more traffic to your website?
  • Is the stunt aimed to get more followers and engagement on Instagram?

Here are a few tips for creating a great publicity stunt:

  • Research to ensure that there haven't been similar stunts done in the past by other businesses - this could easily turn off journalists and your audience.
  • Make sure you can explain the stunt in one headline - this will help grab the media's attention. In other words, simplify!
  • The stunt should be related to the product you are promoting. Even if the stunt is a success in terms of viewers, but it doesn't tie back to your original goal, then it's not useful.
  • Keep the stunt visual with videos/images.
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms for your stunt by sharing your message across a variety of audiences. This will help with word of mouth and the overall success of your event.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here.

Check out our full guide to press (articles, shark tank, etc) ➜

2. Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your candle business.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Check out our full guide to seo (blog posts, organic traffic from search engines) ➜

3. Authenticity

As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.

Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.

Be Authentic

If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.

There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.

Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000/month) full story ➜

4. Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

5. Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

article

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

6. Experiment With Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Consider connecting the ad to your corresponding landing page so that the audience receives the necessary information after clicking on the ad.
  • Conversion Tracking: When running PPC campaigns, be sure to run the ads with conversion tracking.
  • Focus on quality keywords, even if there are few as this will save you time and money. When assessing the performance of a keyword, it's important to track the expense, conversion, and cost per conversion, as well as the ROI.

PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale.

Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.

Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:

My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.

From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).

A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.

Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.

To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!

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Ryan Schortmann, on starting Display Pros ($30,000/month) full story ➜

7. Build A Facebook Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community.

I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability.

You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community.

We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff.

We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research.

Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

8. Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your candle business, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

9. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to candle business.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:

The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.

We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.

Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:

  • Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
  • Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
  • Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
  • Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Check out our full guide to advertising on social media ➜

10. Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a candle business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

11. Boost Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a form of paid marketing, and when implemented properly, it can be a very effective way to grow your business.

We want to quickly highlight the difference between SEO and SEM:

SEM refers to businesses paying per click Google to show their ads in the results, whereas with SEO, businesses do not pay google and instead, results show up based on relevant content for a given keyword.

When getting started, you'll want to consider identifying which keywords to use. WordStreams Keyword Tool is a great tool for this.

Then, simply search for a keyword that is relevant to your business and suggestions/valuable information will populate for you.

Jay Vasantharajah, co-founder of ClientFlo walks us through how to get started with SEM and GoogleAdwords:

"The best way to learn is honestly through experience. Create a campaign, set out a test budget, optimize, and learn the basic as you go."

There are tons of resources out there to help you learn how to effectively manage campaigns.

There are also a couple of tools that are helpful like SEMRush and Wordstream. But over the years, Google started to incorporate new features that have made many of these 3rd party tools obsolete. I myself have developed proprietary tools I used to create and manage campaigns, but they have become obsolete with new features Google has added.

Definitely become familiar with the Google Keyword Planner, really powerful tool if you know how to use it properly. It will help you discover keywords worth bidding on, different trends and insights.

As mentioned earlier, users having familiarity with your brand/company plays a huge role. For this reason I would recommend starting with a re-targetting campaign as a first step.

Consider Adwords!

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that Google Ads is still an amazing advertising platform and almost any business can generate a positive ROI from it. I strongly encourage everyone to consider it in their marketing mix for 2019. Learn to use the Google Keyword tool, test, learn, and optimize constantly for killer results.

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Jay Vasantharajah, on starting PureFilters ($200,000/month) full story ➜

12. Franchise your Business

If you're looking for quick growth, franchising your business may be something you want to think about.

When you franchise your business, you are essentially leasing the rights of your business model, brand and operations to somebody else.

This may be a big step for you, so it's important to consider what this process looks like and if franchising is a good fit for your business.

Nick Amucen, founder of Bio-One ($1.2M/Month) has over 90 franchises and dishes out everything you need to know about franchising your business:

When you decide to franchise your business, it’s usually for a few different reasons.

  • You want to expand your brand while using other people’s money and efforts to do so. Or…
  • You feel you have made a system that is replicable and want to make money teaching people how to sell, service, or serve your particle widget.

Franchising is an animal in itself. It is truly unlike any other way business or business structure out there. When one buys a franchise, they’re buying a business model, a branded logo, and a support system. What one does not buy is a promise of success or any guarantees. Look, a business is a business is a business. You still need to work the business, breathe the business and live the business.

Well, franchising can be a great model for the right company, but it’s not without it’s headaches. There is massive legal paperwork; tremendous regulations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), not to mention the individual States regulations on what a franchisor can and can not do with the people that buy your franchise in their particular State. There’s a lot to learn, too much to cover in this piece but it can be lucrative if done correctly.

I’m now on my fourth franchised organization and the game to me is winnable. Franchising has made me a millionaire several times over. I have sold over 350 units throughout all my companies and have gone international with two of those companies and about to be a third.

The Internet has changed the game when it comes to selling franchises quite a bit in the last decade. You can now buy leads from lead portals, work directly with brokerage houses, rely on your personal website through SEO conversions, use social media to target leads, etc. The days of running around the country to franchise trade shows are almost over. Trade shows still exist but it’s a very antiquated way of trying to sell a franchise. From what I see, only the new franchise concepts looking for a needle in a haystack go to franchise trade shows. I applaud them for taking action to get out there and go. Unfortunately, they’re normally left frustrated, disappointed and broke.

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Nick-Anthony Zamucen, on starting Bio-One ($2,800,000/month) full story ➜

13. Plan a Publicity Stunt

Publicity stunts are generated by a certain campaign or promotion (initiated by you) and are intended to raise awareness for your business.

This could be in the form of TV, write-ups in local newspapers, mentions in magazines and of course social media.

Here are a few different ways you can grab the medias attention:

  • Do something entertaining that people want to read about
  • Engage in some friendly competition with another brand
  • Be a disruptive force in your industry to get some buzz (do something your competition is not doing)
  • Work with a big influencer or celebrity and have them promote your brand or attend one of your events

Chris Waters, founder of Constructed Adventures tells us about a friend posting his business idea on Reddit and how it went viral:

He told me this was a cool thing that people would pay for. He insisted that I start a business and he was going to build me a website. He said “What’s your business name?”

“uhhhh...Constructed Adventures?”

“Cool, let me see if the URL is available. Yep! Just bought it. Give me a day.”

The Reddit gifts adventure ended at this speakeasy bar where I met my giftee and his girlfriend. They were exhausted (In hindsight, I made the day WAY too long) but still blown away. Through our conversation I let him know I’m going to try to do this as a side business.

A day or two later he posted it to Reddit, it hit the front page, my business page got linked, and the business blew up. The next night, it was all over the local news and I got another huge spike in publicity. Here is the Imgur Album

how-i-make-a-living-constructing-the-perfect-day-for-random-strangers

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Chris waters, on starting Constructed Adventures ($5,000/month) full story ➜

14. Expand to New Countries

Expanding your product into new countries can be a great way to gain a new audience and have an even bigger footprint.

Just like any market, it's important that you do your research and have a good understanding of what the process will look like:

You may want to ask yourself things like:

  • Will my business be successful in another country? Have I done my research?
  • What are the tax and immigration regulations?
  • What will this cost me?
  • How much time will this take from start to finish, and is it worth it?
  • What will my hiring process look like?

Abeer Iqbal, founder of Remy Sleep conducted research and identified that his business would do really well in Germany:

This year we have plans to expand into new countries. 95% of our sales come from the UK. Our research shows Germany is an interesting market and worth getting into. The challenge with Germany is the language. Germany, like other European countries, prefers purchasing from local websites. This means hiring a German-speaking customer service rep, opening a German fulfillment center, and translating our website and email marketing.

how-we-started-a-50k-month-weighted-blankets-business

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Abeer Iqbal, on starting Remy Sleep ($50,000/month) full story ➜

15. Diversify your Product

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business:

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

One great example is when Michele Morton, founder of Maxbit created a successful product and decided she wanted to experiment with two new products

This female-run company has grown from the first year to this third year in over $200,000 in sales and added two new products this year. All this from an idea because I kept saying, “There must be a better way!!”

We have expanded into Hammacher Schlemmer through The Grommet and more up and coming platforms for next year that will lead to exciting growth.

We love our local mom and pop stores and you will find The MaxBit Display scattered all over the US in stores. ACE Hardware picked The MaxBit for its National show in 2018 and several ACE stores throughout the US now carry the product line. In addition Forestry Suppliers, and A M Leonard customers keep coming back for more.

We expanded internationally into Canada and Australia. We are pleased to see people all over the planet enjoying digging in the dirt with The MaxBit. We launched two new products, The MaxBit 1 Gallon and 3 Gallon digger that is powered by a one-man auger. It is a big hit in Canada and making its way into the US markets.

As we have grown we have looked at options for growth and decided to pursue companies that would be interested in licensing The MaxBit product line. With more inventions in the back pocket, we need the freedom to explore and help with a company to expand. I think for some companies this is the threshold point. How do I manage the growth, do I want to manage it, grow with it, or give someone else the opportunity - responsibility?

how-maxbit-grown-over-200k-in-sales-and-added-two-new-products-this-year

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Dr. Michele M. Morgan, on starting THE MAXBIT ($15,000/month) full story ➜

16. Research your Competition

Researching your competition can benefit your business in several ways. It can:

  • Help you understand your competitive advantages
  • Help you identify what areas you may be lacking
  • Help you evaluate things like customer service, pricing, and trends

You'll love the story of how Justin Clark, founder of RomperJack came up with his business based on a competitor:

In May 2017 just after finals ended (Just after our busiest time for whiz tutor), I came across a Kickstarter campaign called Romphim; it was a couple of guys trying to launch the men's romper. They essentially wanted to raise $10,000 to get their project going, but by day 3 they already raised $330,000! I was blown away!! The first thing that popped in my head was product-market fit. They had this instant explosive traction and they didn’t have a single competitor.

So I gave them a competitor, MEEEE 😎. I remember that day calling a couple of friends and quickly asking them for some funding that would be used to help design the rompers and buy inventory. After about a minute of me pitching them, they all happily agreed. Also, My other Whiz Tutor Co-founders all agreed to help as well.

That was the day the idea was born.

how-i-started-a-60k-month-business-selling-male-rompers

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Justin Clark, on starting RomperJack ($60,000/month) full story ➜

17. Launch a Side Project

Side project marketing consists of building an entirely new product or service that solves a need for your customer.

Buffer is a great example of a business that has done this. They launched Pablo (their side project) which gives customers ease when sharing on social media to create "inspirational quotes", while Buffer targets regular users of Social Media.

Another example would be Y Combinator creating a "news" section known as Hacker News

One of the main goals of launching a side project is to solve a need for your audience and bring them to your initial business

18. Leverage Existing Platforms

Leveraging existing platforms that have a proven track record can be a great way to scale your business and amplify your marketing.

A few examples of this would be:

-Amazon -Airbnb -Upwork

Ricardo Fernandez, founder of Fernaco realized the potential of starting a business through Amazon:

During college, I started my own services that dealt with social media and concert promotion; neither of which allowed me to do it full time and stop working. I knew I needed to figure out what else I could be doing that might allow me to have my own business full-time.

It wasn’t until I discovered Amazon FBA two years ago and saw some of the success of those “Amazon Gurus” you see on Youtube that I decided to start a business through Amazon might be a path I’d like to explore. I thought that if they could do it then I could, especially since it was so heavily reliant on working online and with computers – my background. I began by downloading an Amazon course and started studying how to become an Amazon seller.

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Ricardo Fernandez, on starting Fernaco ($10,000/month) full story ➜

19. Post on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual board where you can "pin" images of whatever you like from the internet.

Pinterest is an excellent channel to market your small business, especially if it is in the following industries:

  • Home
  • Fashion
  • Health & fitness
  • Travel
  • Beauty
  • and more...

Pinterest has become the #1 social traffic driver to our site, driving over 50% of our total social traffic & 50% of our conversions!

We have 2.1M monthly viewers of our Pinterest page and with all of our Pinterest success, I wanted to share what we’ve done to help other marketers find success in this channel.

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Brittany Finkle, on starting Happily Ever Borrowed ($5,000/month) full story ➜

20. Create ads on Pinterest

In addition to regular posting on Pinterest, you can also run ads on the platform.

This can be a great way to boost your business, especially if you're just getting started.

Pay for Pinterest Ads

Nobody likes to hear this, but it is truly the key, and the spend is much less than facebook or instagram.

That being said, we find that pinterest is better for driving TRAFFIC than driving sales. Pinterest is the #1 traffic driver to our site, but from there, it is our job to educate the client through different channels and help them to convert.

Don’t pay for simple images or pins that don’t mean anything to your brand. Help create engaging titles to your content which can easily be done on Canva. Everything you see below in our examples was created there!

You can target your audience just like FB/Insta ads and really get direct on how people are searching and help your items show up.

Think of Pinterest like a search engine; like Google. It’s just a visual search engine so the better the image, the better the results!

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Brittany Finkle, on starting Happily Ever Borrowed ($5,000/month) full story ➜

21. Get more testimonials

Testimonials about your business or services are one of the easiest, yet often missed strategies to grow your business. You need to make sure you:

  1. Get testimonials, and
  2. Show off your testimonials

Here are a couple of good resources on testimonials:

Every testimonial and case study makes it easier to acquire the next customer.

Business moves at the speed of trust, and there is a large lack of trust in the marketing services vertical.

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Matt Pru, on starting Stackmatix ($20,000/month) full story ➜

22. Build a Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and really build a community.

For example, Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community. I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability. You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community. We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff. We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research. Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

how-i-started-a-6m-online-nutrition-coaching-business

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

23. Grow your Email List

Email marketing is an effective way of communicating with your customers - whether you're introducing new products, product sales or simply just have an announcement to make.

You may want to consider offering content upgrades and giveaways to ensure you are consistently updating your email list and keeping your customers engaged.

The more engaged email subscribers, the more customers!

There are hundreds of tools out there for email marketing. Pricing depends on how many email subscribers you have - so you may want to consider starting small at first.

Here are a few common tools:

Matt Rudntsky, founder of Platypus Publishing discusses lessons learned and the importance of growing your email list from day 1:

"But build your email list from Day 1. Nothing beats a direct line to your ideal customer’s inbox, that they gave you permission to use"

Give them free content from the outset -- so when you eventually ask for a sale, they’ll be happy to listen. 90% free content, at least. Then, be unafraid to sell the other 10% of the time.

If you’re trying to grow your email list, make sure you’re on dozens of email lists yourself. Think a list is a good fit for you? Reply to their email, thank them for their content -- and link to something of your own. Connect. Reach out to them separately and quickly explain a win-win partnership. What can you offer their audience that they can’t? Teach it to them for free. If you have a similar number of subscribers, offer a “lead magnet swap.” This strategy has led to 90% of my email list growth (that 839 number includes duplicates -- but I gained over 400 subscribers on that one partnership).

My biggest mistake was waiting to build my email list. I should’ve done it five years ago. Don’t be like me. Your early profits will come from doing things that don’t scale … but your long-term profits will come from the things that do scale. Ever since I focused on creating win-win partnerships with other entrepreneurs, my email list has skyrocketed and is on track to grow exponentially (I’ve already got multiple partnerships lined up for 2020).

how-i-started-a-5-5k-month-business-helping-people-write-books

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Matt Rudntsky, on starting Platypus Publishing ($13,825/month) full story ➜

24. Meetup groups

Meetup groups offer some benefits for marketing your business, such as:

  • Finding clients at Meetup groups
  • Hosting meetup groups that attract your customers
  • Learning from likeminded entrepreneurs

Find a group you can count on.

Bounce ideas off of, ask questions, etc.

For me this was my family, friends, and girlfriend, but your’s could be a local meetup group or even a FB group.

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Michael Arciola III, on starting Southern Cigar Co ($20,000/month) full story ➜

25. Attend a Tradeshow

Having an online presence is important, but showing face will always remain one of the most effective strategies for growing your business.

As traditional as it may be, tradeshows and conferences are a great way to get your product in front of your customers.

It all comes down to basic human interaction - prospects are much more likely to invest in your product if they've created some sort of relationship with you.

Alex Bricker, founder of ESL With Purpose discusses how attending conferences has and will continue to be a key strategy for acquiring new customers:

"Meeting people in person at conferences yields results. It provides new networking opportunities where I can demonstrate the Phrase It™ brand to instructors in real life."

I attended an educator conference which resulted in $1300 in sales in just 2 days. I realized attending a conference like this in the future will continue to yield more results. I grew my most interested email sign-ups and subscribers while at the conference too.

Conferences provide opportunities for me to teach workshops and help educators understand how Phrase It™ can be used in practical and tangible ways. It is easier to go through Q&A sessions on the spot.

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Alex Bricker, on starting ESL With Purpose ($1,000/month) full story ➜

26. Attend Networking Events

As an entrepreneur, creating connections and putting your brand out there is critical to the success of your business. Networking events are a great way to do this.

At the very least, you'll meet like-minded people, exchange a business idea or two, and leave knowing you brought your brand some exposure.

Or, you'll leave with a once in a lifetime opportunity or connection that could take your business to the next level.

Either scenario is a win-win, so you may want to consider putting a few events on your calendar every month and just getting out there.

Scott Bishop, founder of Up and Social provides us with a great example of how attending networking events gave him the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and ultimately get referrals

Attending networking events and the chamber of commerce meetings was a huge factor in meeting potential clients. It didn’t all happen at once though. It took some time to cultivate these relationships with prospects I met at networking events. We’re talking anywhere from six months to a year.

What I learned from that experience is that the people you meet at networking events aren’t really prospects. They are associates who can become friends and eventually will play a key role in winning high-quality clients for your business.

Some of them became clients, but mostly my relationships with them afforded me professional introductions and business referrals.

Since launching Up And Social, we’ve seen the most success in B2B networking. That includes attending local networking events, personally reaching out to businesses that look like they might need to upgrade their websites, and providing valuable content and education to entrepreneurs and small business executives.

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Scott Bishop, on starting Up And Social ($20,000/month) full story ➜

27. Create Interesting Video Content

We live in a very visual world, and now more than ever, businesses are realizing the impact videos can have on their audience.

Videos are a great way to capture your customer's attention and increase your exposure.

According to G2 Crowd, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

28. Improve Your Customer Service

Great customer service is something that you may want to consider prioritizing from day one.

Support for your customers will not only retain existing ones but will also directly impact future sales.

Think about it - when you think of good customer service, which businesses immediately pops up in your mind?

I think we can all agree on a few, and easily identify what sets them apart from their competition:

  • Southwest - flexible cancellation terms and friendly staff
  • Apple - fantastic experts that can fix any technical issue
  • Trader Joes - joyful employees...need I say more?

We interviewed Travis Richardson, founder of Impressions Agency and he stated that building long term relationships with clients is hands-down the most effective way to attract and retain customers:

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Hands-down our customer service. Sure everyone says this but what sets us apart is our ability to wear our hearts on our sleeves and actually care for our clients. Part of our mission is to build long-term relationships and to truly be effective in this area it requires us to be flexible and to sometimes lose profit. At the end of the day, we know that life happens. It happens for us and our clients.

When a customer is hurting, we are hurting. A couple of examples include: for seasonal clients we adjust budget to work with them during their low season, when another client was in the hospital we gifted them marketing at no cost, this also means that our support manager may spend an hour on the phone with a client before they even talk about support issues. When I’m in a meeting, if someone wants to know what sets us apart, I send them to our clients to ask them.

In the beginning, what worked for us to attract customers was our pricing model. We could keep our costs lower than our competitors due to our mobility and this gave us an edge. We have niche our company to target small to midsize* local* businesses. If you are looking for customers within a specific radius of your brick and mortar with our pricing and the results we can provide it is hard for these types of businesses to say no to us. This has helped us identify who our ideal customers are and also helps us attract new clientele.

how-we-started-a-100k-month-marketing-agency-during-our-honeymoon-in-costa-rica

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Travis Richardson, on starting Impressions Agency ($100,000/month) full story ➜

29. Grow your Twitter presence

Twitter can be an amazing resource to grow your candle business. But how to grow it organically?

Here's a couple of great resources:

30. Optimize Conversion Rates

Optimizing conversion rates is essential to growing your business and increasing sales.

What this basically does is enable your customers to take a certain action once they land on your website.

There are several different ways of doing this. Here are a few easy ones you can implement today:

  • Make sure you have a clear pricing page with different pricing tiers so that your customers have options
  • Make sure you have a blog with clear CTAs as this can convert readers into customers quickly
  • Make sure you have a landing page and include on there whatever action you'd like your viewers to take (ie. email subscribe, sign up for an event etc).

One great example of this is when Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate used a spin wheel on his website in exchange for emails. Check out the story below:

Once we drive customers to our site, we focus on securing their email

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them. We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

31. Learn to Delegate

Delegation is critically important to growing your business and is one of the most powerful tools a business leader can have.

Especially with small businesses, it's second nature to wear a ton of different hats and feel like you need to do everything yourself, or else it won't be done right.

By adjusting this mentality and delegating your tasks to other team members or outsourcing platforms, this may create more time to get the critically important stuff done.

To successfully delegate and ensure expectations are met, you may want to consider a few things first:

  • Articulate your desired needs and outcome, or else your task most likely won't be done right. Loom is a great platform for this. You can record an educational video that your team member can always go back and refer to.
  • Provide a timeline/deadline
  • Communicate the importance of the task to your team member
  • Understand who's completing the task, and what their workload currently is

Valerio Celetti, founder of Loop learned to delegate, which led him to focus on the important stuff for his business:

"During Loop’s first year, we worked too much and delegated too little. We were both dangerously close to a burnout. Things started to go better when we finally decided to only focus on key activities."

We built a company as a team for two reasons. We felt that working alone was limiting us in terms of potential revenues (our fiscal plans forced us to keep our individual yearly revenues under a certain threshold to have taxation benefits initially). We also felt that while our focus and specialization were somehow useful initially, it proved to be somehow limited in a scale-up phase. Potential customers wanted more services and a more structured interlocutor in some cases - the bigger the prospect the higher the project complexity in most cases.

Our personal values are concreteness, respect, responsibility. It may sound trivial, but we’re really happy to wake up every morning and turn on our computers while sipping a good coffee. We truly hope this is the same for our partners!

how-we-started-a-35k-month-online-advertising-agency

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Valerio Celletti, on starting Loop ($115,000/month) full story ➜

32. Automate Systems

Automation tools are one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and scale your business.

Think about all the redundant tasks you complete in a day. This can be anything from:

  • Emails
  • Following up with customers
  • Posting on social media
  • Paying bills/collecting payment

... that's a lot of time, and that time could be spent on other aspects of growing your business.

One example of a great "all in one platform" for automation is Hubspot. Their platform can automate pretty much anything from task reminders to workflows to social media posts.

33. Find Ways to Retain Customers

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your business.

Often times, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer, than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Ryan Milton, founder of TeamFFLEX discusses the importance of bringing customers back, and is constantly finding creative ways to prove value to those customers:

I can consistently bring customers back and continue to gather new clients by staying on top of my content creation. I am literally spending time every single day to create content that provides value to my audience. I do daily podcasts, YouTubes every week, 6 posts on Instagram per day and 1-2 on other platforms. The idea is always to provide as much value as I can. Give back as much as I can and continue to stay ahead of the game by constantly providing new and noteworthy content.

Being a fitness coach, a lot of people have all types of fitness questions and typically if you want help with anyone you have to pay for it first. For me to edge out the competition I decided I would offer far higher quality service and literally give away what other coaches charge for. That enables me to get great engagement and really increased my following, shares and etc. Providing valuable content that would help people that don’t even pay me has enabled me to scale far above the coaches that pinch pennies trying to charge for every little thing.

how-i-started-a-48k-month-business-with-an-online-fitness-training-service

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Ryan Milton, on starting TeamFFLEX ($48,000/month) full story ➜

34. Launch a Webinar

Webinars are a great way to build your existing audience and create new customers.

Webinars can also help with promotions, establishing clout and credibility with customers and can help build your email list.

Webinars are a particularly effective marketing tool because they allow people from all over the world to come together and connect.

Here are some of the most popular platforms to host webinars:

Lars Helgeson, founder of GreenRope hosts four monthly webinars and believes they are the most effective strategy for retaining customers:

In terms of retention, our most effective strategies are the GreenRope blog, email marketing, webinars, and social media user groups. We use the GreenRope blog to share how-to’s and other important information about effective strategy both in business and using the software. We send out monthly newsletters that highlight new features, upcoming events, and webinars, and feature our newest blog articles.

We host four monthly webinars that cover both strategy and GreenRope features. Attendees can ask questions and actively engage with our support team. We also have a LinkedIn user group where users can connect with both the GreenRope team, other GreenRope users as well as our support staff to ask questions and learn more about the system and its features.

Our team grew slowly, but we have always been focused on providing the best customer service possible. We provide free videos, white papers, e-books, walk-throughs, cheat sheets, webinars, and more. If a more personal touch is needed, we offer free support by phone, email, live chat, web conference, and support ticket.

on-starting-a-160k-month-crm-automations-company-after-a-us-air-force-career

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Lars Helgeson, on starting GreenRope ($160,000/month) full story ➜

35. Start guest posting

Guest posting on other blogs about your expertise is a great way to get your name out there and may also help with SEO.

Here are a couple good resources:

We built a bunch of backlinks to it through sharing an infographic, manual outreach, and guest posting, and quickly saw it rise to the top 3 for most of its target keywords.

We repeated the operation with several other topics, observed great success, and eventually concluded that every single post on the Reedsy blog should be for SEO purposes.

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Ricardo Fayet, on starting Reedsy ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

36. Create promotional videos

Wow your prospective leads and customers with professional promotional videos.

Here are 8 examples of outstanding promotional videos

After we create content that is valuable, informative and useful we will then place it into a marketing sequence. We run Facebook/Instagram ads split between prospecting and remarketing, send out 2-3 emails to our email list each week and work with an outsourced SEO company to optimize our content and back-end network.

Our Black Friday Instagram Promotional Video:

embed:instagram

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Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

37. Answer questions on Quora

Quora has 300M monthly users and is used by 35% of all Americans.

You can promote your candle business by answering questions on Quora. Here is a guide to get started.

We have also found that Quora has been a great source of quality traffic.

There are tons of questions with people asking for recommendations on different types of social media tools, so we are working hard to get OneUp near the top of the answers. Almost everyone coming from Quora represents a high-quality potential user, because they are actively seeking out a solution to their problem.

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Davis Baer, on starting OneUp ($10,000/month) full story ➜

38. Advertise on podcasts

144M Americans listen to podcasts. Have you considered advertising your candle business on podcasts in your niche?

Here is a good guide to get started.

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