31 days of social media content ideas (grab this free calendar!)

Wouldn't you love a social media content calendar letting you know what to post each day?

Social media can be useful in growing your business – when done right.

When not done right, it can turn into an overwhelming time-suck.

So to help you overcome your social media stress, I created a 31-day calendar with a new content suggestion for each day. Now you don’t need to think as much about what to post. Just use the calendar as your guide, and use and re-use it throughout the entire year. Just rinse and repeat.

You’ll find the calendar below, which you can download or pin on Pinterest along with some additional social media tips:

This social media calendar gives you 31 days of awesome content ideas. Just plug them in and go!

How To Crush It With Social Media

Step 1 – Plan your content in advance. Write what you want to say in a Google doc or spreadsheet and then just copy and paste when you’re ready to post.

Step 2 – Infuse your personality and voice into your posts. This makes your content sound more authentic and helps to build stronger relationships with your audience.

Step 3 – Schedule your posts using a tool like PostDynamo or BufferApp. This is a huge time-savor.

Step 4 – At the end of each calendar cycle, review your stats and analytics to see what type of content has been working the best and what needs improvement.

Step 5 – Make any necessary changes and start planning next month’s social media content!

I hope this calendar makes your social media efforts less stressful and more efficient. If you try it for the next 31 days, let me know the results you get! 

Wouldn't you love a social media content calendar letting you know what to post each day?

Amazon’s giveaway feature – I tried it for 7 days. Here’s what happened.

An Amazon Giveaway is an easy way to promote your product and get more sales!

A few weeks ago, I decided to test Amazon’s giveaway feature to see if it could work as an oddball way to get more sales.

The thought process was: give away “x” number of a mass-market mug and hopefully the people who didn’t win would still like the mug enough to want to buy it. The general concept has worked well for me in the past, so I was curious to see if we could duplicate the results on Amazon.

I ended up running two giveaways. Each one lasted for seven days and one went significantly better than the other.

Below, I detail the exact process that I used so you can “look over my shoulder” to see what I did and the results that I got.

Here we go…

How to Host an Amazon Giveaway

Part 1:

  1. Inside your Seller Central account, go to the “Advertising” tab and select “Promotions” from the drop-down menu
  2. Under “Giveaway,” click “Create”
  3. Choose the product you want to create a giveaway for
  4. Click “Set up a giveaway”
  5. Setup your giveaway’s details and hit “Next.”

For my giveaway, I made the following selections:

Number of prizes: 25
Giveaway type: Sweepstakes
Grow your audience by requiring entrants to: Watch a YouTube video (I hired someone on Fiverr to create a 30-second long video based on one of my Amazon mug listings)
Giveaway duration: 7 days (the maximum)
Make my giveaway public: My product was not eligible for daily promotion.

Note: your giveaway has to be for a product that you’ve sent to Amazon as an FBA item, unfortunately. It can’t be FBM. If you’re in LHS and want to send mugs to Amazon, we go through how to do that here and I recommend you do this with a mass market mug you’ve had some good results with.

Part 2:

  1. Title your giveaway (between 5 and 50 characters)
  2. Enter your name (or your Amazon brand name)
  3. Upload a customer image
  4. Create Welcome, Post-entry, and Win messages
  5. Click “Proceed to checkout”

For my giveaway, this is what I put in…

Giveaway title: The name of my mug
Name: My Amazon brand name
Customer image: I uploaded a picture of the mug I was giving away
Welcome message: “Thank you for your interest! Enter to win this [my product’s name]!”
Post-entry message: “Thanks for watching our video and entering our contest. Best of luck! Be sure to check out the [my brand name] store for more unique, funny mugs.”
Win message: “Congratulations! You’ve won the [my product’s name]! Be sure to check out the [my store name] store for more funny, unique mugs.”

Part 3:

Select a payment method. Even though it’s your own product, you have to pay for the inventory.

The thing is, the Amazon giveaway feature is meant to give away any item, including ones that aren’t yours. You could use it to run a contest and give away 3 iPads, for example.

If the feature was specifically just for us to give away our own products, we probably wouldn’t have to do the dance of paying Amazon for inventory only to get reimbursed later on. We’d be able to pay the fees and be done with it.

(Side note: I think it’s totally fine to use it the way we are. Customers are still getting quality products and Amazon is still making money, as you’ll see.)

So for 25 mugs, I paid $512 in setup costs ($13.85 per mug X 25 + estimated taxes and shipping costs. I’d been testing prices on this mug).

And while this sounds like a lot, remember 3 things:

1. Amazon stipulates the following:

“Any amount over actual prizes claimed and related shipping charges and sales tax will be refunded. It can take up to two weeks from the original giveaway end date to process your refund. You will receive an email when this happens.”

2. If you’re running the giveaway for your own product, Amazon will pay you back the asking price for every product they give away. So if I gave away 25 mugs, I’d get back $346.25 ($13.85 * 25).

The real “risk”, then, was $165.75 ($512 – the $346.25 reimbursement either way).

3. I made a few mistakes that you can learn from – more on that in the results section.

Once your payment has been processed, you’re taken to the following screen:

An Amazon Giveaway is an easy way to promote your product and get more sales!

Next, you receive an email letting you know your giveaway has gone live. It includes a link to your giveaway, which you’re encouraged to share with your friends and followers via social media. The email also includes some suggested copy for you.

An Amazon Giveaway is an easy way to promote your product and get more sales!

How to Promote Your Giveaway

I decided not to promote either of the giveaways I ran using any of my social media channels because I didn’t want my results to be skewed based on the number of my followers. But posting about your giveaway on Facebook and Twitter is absolutely a great idea for you to do.

Contest Directories

As a way to promote my first giveaway, I submitted it to several contest directories. Here’s a list of a few of the directories I used:

Any Lucky Day
Contest Girl
Contest Listing
Just Sweep

Fiverr

For my second giveaway, I found three Fiverr gigs costing $25, $20, and $5 that said they would promote my giveaway in the following ways:

  1. The $25 gig said it would promote it to 100+ giveaway sites, with the potential to reach up to 200,000 people.
  2. The $20 gig said it would promote it on one social account and place it on the sidebar of the gig creator’s website for one week, with the potential to reach up to 95,000 people.
  3. The $5 gig said it would promote it in the gig creator’s email newsletter to 180,000 recipients.

Here Are the Results I Got:

Giveaway #1

Unfortunately, by the end of the seven days I didn’t have any giveaway entrants and zero prizes were claimed. So my first Amazon giveaway was a total bust!

I got all of my money back within one day of my giveaway ending.

Giveaway #2

This giveaway went significantly better, thankfully. Fiverr proved VERY helpful. By the time the contest ended, I had received 986 entrants!

An Amazon Giveaway is an easy way to promote your product and get more sales!

It took about a week for all 25 prizes to be claimed. Once that happened, Amazon provided a list of all the winners’ names, and I, of course, also earned a bunch of views on the video I had made and included as the giveaway’s entry requirement.

To see what effect my Amazon Giveaway had on my store, I tracked the sales for the mug I gave away compared to other weeks.

I tracked sales of this particular mug for that week, plus two weeks before the giveaway and one week after, to see if I could find any patterns.

Here were the numbers:

June 26 – July 2: 39 sales

July 3 – July 10: 35 sales

July 11 – July 18 – week of contest: 70 sales

July 19 – July 26: 28 sales

If we average out the other 3 weeks, I was averaging 34 sales a week for that particular mug.

While it’s hard to be scientific, I’m going to assume there were 36 extra sales during the week of the giveaway. The jump in sales for that week alone was over double an average week.

On those 36 extra sales, we charged $13.85 per mug with free shipping. We were running some tests on pricing.

We got reimbursed $346.25 gross profit, and then there were fees to take out.

First, if you were to buy a mug via UseGearBubble and use Amazon’s discounted shipping (details in the course), you’d be paying roughly $5.15 per mug ($4.95 on UGB for the mug, then another $6.49 for Amazon (approx .20 for shipping, $2.08 standard Amazon fee, $4.21 FBA fee).  That’s a total of $11.44 in costs.

$13.85 – $11.44 =  $2.41 net profit per mug.

So – womp, womp. We ended up losing money.

But – I made some silly mistakes that could’ve gotten a different result:

Big Mistake #1: I just realized, as I write this post, that I should have lowered the price of the mug on Amazon to $1, “bought” my mugs, then raised the price back up to normal. Changing to $1 would’ve meant I’d only pay $36.88 in giveaway costs (inventory, taxes, and shipping) versus $512. Doh!

It’s a little “grey-hat”, but the way I see it is that Amazon is reimbursing us anyway. We’re just paying less taxes on our own products. And when people buy the mug at full price, Amazon still earns their $6.49 per mug.

Big Mistake #2: – and this one is a head slapper – I should’ve changed the price to $19.95! If you’re in LHS, you may have seen the $54k Mother’s Day case study where I show how I changed a mug price to $19.95 and saw zero decrease in sales. Why, oh why, didn’t I change the price before!? haha.

If I would’ve priced the mug at $19.95 the profit would’ve increased to $7.63 ($19.95 – $4.95 UGB mug + $.2 Amazon shipping + $7.17 fees).

There are also some things to test for the future: 

– It’s possible giving away only 10 mugs (or 5, 3, or 15) versus 25 would yield the same increase in sales results.

– You can test items with healthier profit margin – for example a set of 4 shot glasses, a pricier mug set, a bundle of multiple items, and so on.

– Maybe we didn’t need all of the Fiverr gigs. I especially wonder how useful the $20 one was.

– Maybe more Fiverr gigs would have helped.

– I bet if you had a special holiday mug and synced it around that holiday, sales would increase. It would build in urgency to get the mug now.

Recap:

Total amount spent: $165.75  ($512 laid out for inventory, taxes, and shipping but got back $346.25 as the vendor of the mug) + $5 (Fiverr video creation) + $25 + $20 + $5 (Fiverr promotional gigs) = $220.75

If I had changed the price pre-giveaway:  $36.88 (inventory, taxes, and shipping) + $5 (Fiverr video creation) + $25 + $20 + $5 (Fiverr promotional gigs) = $91.88

Net profit including my mistakes: – $160.5

Net profit if I would’ve changed to $1 pre-giveaway and $19.95 post-giveaway: + $98.87

There’s no way of telling how many people saved this to their wish list, came back to buy it later, or bought other products in my store. I doubt there was that much extra activity, though. :)

If you found this useful, and/or if you decide to run an Amazon Giveaway of your own, leave a comment below and let me know how it turns out for you! 

An Amazon Giveaway is an easy way to promote your product and get more sales!

Surprising Hacks to Boost Your Sales on Etsy

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

Etsy is probably one of the most underrated marketplaces out there.

You can do very well with it – in fact, many people from LHS sell more on there than they do on Amazon.

It’s a different kind of marketplace, for sure – but once you master it you can get lots of sales. Here are some results from LHS Members (which are not necessarily typical, of course):

Etsy sales - want to make some? Here's how.

(You can open that up for a bigger version right here.)

Before you think this is just for LHS members, though – remember that you can actually sell all kinds of digital products on Etsy.

Personally, I haven’t spent as much time on Etsy as I should and plan to change that in the coming months.

Because of that, I did some research and found a bunch of  things you can do on Etsy to send your sales through the roof. Even if you’re a highly experienced seller, I think you’ll benefit from hearing about the surprising and innovative Etsy tips and hacks I’ve discovered. And I know some of these seem simple, but people tell me they add up in a big way.

Here are my favorite nine…

#1: Renew Your Etsy Listings at Peak Traffic Times

With Etsy, recency matters. An article I read said that 72.92% of listings on the first page of Etsy search are 1 week old or less. Some of the listings were from products that were months old, but they had recently been renewed.

Etsy likes it when shop owners consistently add new products to their stores, as each product that’s added gets a boost in its search ranking simply because of its newness. The same also applies to listings that are renewed manually.

When you renew your products, however, you want to be mindful of your timing. If you renew a product at 2:00 am, odds are that not many people are going to see it, and your product’s search placement boost will have been wasted.

You should renew your listings at times when your customers are most likely to be online and shopping. To discover when your shop’s peak traffic times are, check your Etsy stats. Review the last few days and check for times when spikes in views occurred.

Then, renew your products accordingly.

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

EDIT: I found a new tool right here that you can use to auto-renew your most popular listings once per day. You get a free month of the tool just by linking your Google account, no CC needed. It’s definitely worth checking out.

#2: Match Your Titles and Tags Exactly

Keywords are one of the most important things to get right on Etsy. And according to Etsy, the title is the most important place to have those keywords.

This particular hack is a big one because it’s something a LOT of people miss.

Many people make the mistake of thinking the more they type, the more traffic they’ll get. This is the common advice for selling on Amazon.

That’s not how it works on Etsy, though.

You want your best keywords (see #3 for advice on this) to be put in the title, and then you want to have your titles and tags match exactly so your listing is consistent. (NOTE: your tags don’t need to be in the same order as your titles.)

One reason that titles and tags end up being different is you have more characters to use in the title than you do in the tags.

The solution? Break it up. Instead of saying…

Sterling Silver Celtic Cross

…say…

Sterling Cross / Silver Celtic Cross/ Celtic Cross

… and so on.

You have 20 characters per tag, so take advantage of that and match them all up.

And speaking of titles and tags… make sure to do what I did above and split the tags up with some kind of divider. I used slashes, but you could also use dashes or commas. Any type of divider is fine as long as it prevents Etsy from reading it as one long word.

#3: Use Pinterest for Keyword Research

Pinterest and Etsy customers have a lot in common. They’re mostly female and they love to seek out – and buy – unique and interesting products.

That’s what makes this hack so cool. It lets you tap into Pinterest’s massive audience to find the best keywords to use on Etsy.

If you’ve ever done a search on Pinterest, you know that if you start typing a word, you get a list of suggested keywords. (The same thing happens on Google and Amazon.)

Say you’re selling hand-made tote bags with floral designs. You might start typing “tote bag” to see what comes up. From there, you can narrow your search.

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

Keep in mind that the best keywords to use on Etsy are long-tail keywords – highly descriptive phrases of three words or more.

Write down the words that fit the best and then you can check them out on Etsy.

Side note: if you’d like to go through a fantastic Pinterest course, I highly recommend this one.

#4: Add Shop Info and Shop Owner Pictures

This next idea qualifies as a hack because it’s a relatively new feature on Etsy and many shop owners haven’t taken advantage of it yet.

In addition to the images you upload to showcase your products, you need to have the following:

  1. A shop owner picture
  2. A shop info image

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

The shop owner picture should be a picture of you. It’s a way of giving your shop a personal look and feel and of letting people know that you’re a real person.

The shop info image is usually your business logo. It’s a visual representation of your business and what you have to offer and it appears in a bunch of places when Etsy lists your shop.

Make sure to use beautiful, clear images for both of these profile elements and you’ll be able to increase your brand recognition.

#5: List Your Products on Pinterest, Too

This is a big one. Why? Because it can exponentially increase traffic to your Etsy store.

I already told you there’s a natural overlap between Pinterest and Etsy and this is where you can really make it pay off.

On Pinterest, upload images of your products that include a live link to your store. Be sure to say in the image description that the product is available on Etsy. You should also include a basic description of the product and as many relevant keywords as you can fit. If you’re not sure on the best ways to do this, I recommend going through this course.

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

You might get a small increase in traffic when you originally post the image, particularly if you already have a big Pinterest following.

However…

Where things really get interesting is in the long run. Pinterest images last forever, unlike posts on Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest images don’t get lost in the shuffle because they stay on your boards where anybody can access them.

This means that three months… six months… or even a year down the line… someone can discover your image, pin it, and just like that, your product appears in front of a whole new audience.

Not only will you get sales as a result, but the increased traffic makes Etsy send even more traffic your way. Etsy chooses which shops to highlight based on perceived interest. And trust me, if you’re getting 100 hits or more a day from Pinterest, Etsy will notice!

#6: Join an Etsy Pinterest Group

In addition to listing your Etsy products on Pinterest, you can join an Etsy pinning board where a variety of Etsy sellers come together to pin each other’s products as a way of increasing their traffic and exposure.

You can apply to the Etsy “Pin it up!” group here.

The group doesn’t have any specific prerequisites for joining; all Etsy sellers are welcome. All you have to do is pin another member’s product at least once a week after you join the team.

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

#7: Partner with Other Etsy Shops

If there’s another store that has a similar look and feel as your shop or one that sells something that complements your products (e.g. if you sell necklace and bracelet chains and another shop sells charms), get in touch via the “Ask a question” button and see if you can form a relationship.

In doing so, you could help each other by promoting each other’s products on social media or offering exclusive deals on each other’s products.

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?

 

 

#8: Preemptively Answer Questions about Your Products

Think of any questions your customers may have about your products and answer as many of those questions as you can upfront. A good place to do so is in your products’ descriptions.

This way, you minimize friction when it comes to any potential apprehension your customers may feel about purchasing your products. For example, if you sell jewelry, you should detail things like what the jewelry is made of, how long the necklace and bracelet chains are, et cetera.

#9: Monitor Your Conversion Rates

Etsy monitors each product’s conversion rate and displays the products that get the most sales. Etsy wants to make money, obviously, so it’s in their best interest to display the products that get the most sales.

A 1% conversion rate is considered average.

To calculate your listing’s conversion rate, go into your Stats and divide the total number of sales a listing had during a certain time frame (i.e. 30 days) by the total number of views the listing had during that same time frame, then multiply by 100.

For example, let’s take this mug:

Etsy sales - want to make some? Here's how.

It had 1 order and 5 visits, and 1/5 = .2 *100 = 20% conversion rate.

Your Etsy shop’s conversion rates can be negatively affected by numerous factors. For instance…

  • If your product costs more than the average listing in its category
  • If your product appears for irrelevant keywords
  • If your shop has bad reviews or no reviews at all
  • If your shop and products have lackluster photos
  • If your products are listed in categories that are on the pricier side by default (e.g. engagement rings).

Of course it can be positively impacted by the opposite of these things.

If you’re seeing less than a 1% conversion, it’s worth checking into these factors.

BONUS: Get 40 free listings

I almost forgot to tell you – if you sign up here you’ll get 40 free listings from Etsy.

They’re normally $.20 apiece, so not a huge expense – but hey, you may as well get the free $8 – especially if you plan on following #1 and are going to be renewing your listings frequently. :)

I hope you found value in this post. If you’re an Etsy seller and have another hack or tip you’d like to share, please tell me about it in the comments section. 

Who wouldn't love to discover Etsy sales tips and hacks to supercharge your sales volume?