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Launch Your Box Podcast with Sarah Williams | Start, Launch, and Grow Your Subscription Box
20 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
021: Sarah’s Framework for a Live Unboxing
One of my favorite things that I get to do with my subscription box each month is a live unboxing video. It’s a super fun way to engage with your audience and show not only your subscribers but also potential subscribers what kind of products are coming in your box and why you personally selected them. It can be a great community event that everyone can be involved in through comments and questions. If you’ve never done one before, hosting a live event can seem a little scary especially if you don’t know where to even begin. In today's episode, I’m going to share with you a step-by-step process on how to create an unboxing live event and take out the uncertainty so you can focus on having fun! Prep Work: Set a Date: By setting a firm time for your live session it lets your audience know when to expect the event and allows you to set reminders to help build interest. I use a program called Stream Yard to pre-schedule my events through Facebook and helps me stay in contact with my followers through reminders, which you can also use to show sneak peaks of what to expect to help generate excitement for the event. Setting the Stage: Create an active background with good lighting for your video so that you’re not just broadcasting from a blank room. You can use stacks of your boxes or strategically placed products or really whatever you can to make your video interesting. If you have a shirt or clothing item in your box, wear it! Create a Hook: You should be able to tell your audience what the video is about and what to expect in the first 15 seconds of the video. The purpose of your hook is to stop your audience from scrolling past the video and pique their interest. Don’t try to wing it! Spend a little time writing it out so that you’re on point and the most effective you can be. During the Video: Encourage Engagement with your Audience: As soon as you hit that live button and deliver your hook, start interacting with your audience even if there’s nobody in your chat. This is very important! Most of your views will come from replays, so don’t be afraid to ask some questions to the chat and have fun because that will help generate FOMO to get people to log on for the next live unboxing. Tell the Story of Your Box: Give the inspiration behind your subscription box, the story of how you put all these things together and why they all fit. Get your audience invested in the box before they see it. Show off Your Ultimate Box with all the things! If you have different levels of your subscription box, explain the differences between the boxes but lead with your ultimate box. Going with your top-level box lets you show off what you’re really capable of and gets people interested who might have gotten a lower-level box. Call to Action: Choose one call to action at the end of your video. You should be asking your audience to subscribe, sign up for a waitlist, or direct them to a freebie. Giving your audience something to do after the video keeps them engaged when they have the most goodwill toward you and your subscription box. Conclude and Follow Up with Everyone: Remember to put your items back in the box and to thank your audience for participating in the video. Use this time to go over what you talked about and restate your call to action. Your video should be at least 20 to 30 minutes long, but don’t be afraid to go a little longer if you have good engagement. Finally, as soon as you’re finished, make sure you put the video into an email and prepare to send it to your mailing list. This way, you can snag some of your audience that didn’t watch the live session and gives you another chance to push that call to action! Follow these steps and remember to have fun with it! Remember, this is your chance to show off the box you’ve put so much time into and engage with your subscribers. This is what having a subscription box is all about, and the closer you are to your audience the better business you’ll have. Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
41 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
020: Create Ads that Stop the Scroll
A huge part of running a successful subscription box business is marketing yourself through effective online ads. Many of us turn to Facebook to run ads, but it can be frustrating to try and read through the data to see if those ads you paid for are actually working for you. On this week’s podcast joining me is my biz bestie Susan Bradley, owner of the Social Sales Girls, to help us figure out what works with ads and teach us that a successful ad doesn’t always equal a sale. “You Need 3000 Web Visitors a Month to Get One Sale” - Susan The whole point of running Facebook ads is not “run an ad, get a sale.” It’s to keep your brand and your business at the top of people’s minds and drive them to your store page. A successful ad is one that gets people to stop scrolling and read the copy that accompanies it and attracts them to click through and go to your store site. There are three types of Ads that are the most important for product sellers, and each have a different role to play in attracting people to your product. Engagement Ads: These ads are successful when they build your audience and extend your reach with a cold audience. These ads help spread the word of your brand with those audiences that will potentially like or share the ad because it has piqued their interest. Conversion Ads: When you’re ready for people to take action on your product, like when your cart is open and you’re in the middle of building a sale, conversion ads should help drive those engaged customers to your site over and over and start looking at signing up for your list or start thinking hard about buying your product. Lead Ads: This is when your customers are at their warmest, they know about you, they’ve seen the product, and they’ve signed up for your email list. You want to be sending them content that will engage them with your product and your site, and really help them make that last leap and make them part of your audience that’s ready to subscribe. It’s important to remember that not all ads are created equally, and success is more than an ad for a sale! They each have a purpose in getting potential customers to your website and warming them up to becoming a return subscriber. Having a strategy behind your ad buys is going to give you that peace of mind you need about the future of your business, and keep your audience growing and your sales increasing. Traffic Bootcamp Live with Susan Bradley Get your ideal audience excited & clicking on a budget that won’t break the bank. Live Event Starts June 13th Sign up at:https://classroom.thesocialsalesgirls.com/a/2147488425/zgW6HoFL Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
24 minutes | May 26, 2021
019: 250 Subscribers in 2 Months with an “Ugly” Box
This week I’m joined by Amy Baughman, founder of the Power Serging Subscription Box, who was so kind to talk with me about her box and realizing that things don’t need to be perfect to launch. Sometimes we get into our own heads about when is the perfect time to launch, or that the box isn’t ready, or whatever reason you might come up with. With these things rolling around in our heads making us crazy, it might just be time to launch “ugly,” or to put yourself and your box out there and keep moving forward. The Riches are In the Niches Amy has been in business for 30 years and has been an expert in her industry for a long time. She saw a need in her community for Serger Machine education and materials and created her Power Serging box to help fill that need. “I did a little bit of research. There are tons of quilt quilting boxes out there or fabric boxes out there; even on the embroidery side, there's some powerful embroidery people out there that have a great online business that are now sending kits. And I thought, well, let's go where nobody else has gone.” Amy identified a need and built a box around that need. She built an audience out of that and was able to leverage that into a waitlist that was eager to get started with her box. That’s an incredible amount of progress, but with that progress can come doubt on whether you’re really ready, or if there really is the demand out there that you think there is. Perfection can be the Enemy of Progress The need to have everything be perfect can almost be like a stop sign to the progress we’ve already made. It’s that drive for perfection that makes us the successful entrepreneurs we are, but the key is not to let it slow you down. Amy put herself out there not knowing how things might go and jumped from 150 subscribers in her first month to 250 in her second month. “I thought, well, let's just stick a landing page out there and see who wants to sign up. I thought it would just be my local people, but they posted to their Facebook groups, and all of a sudden, there was like 100 people, 120 people, 150 people.” Remember, if you’ve done the legwork and built the audience, they’ll tell you what they’re interested in if you’re willing to listen. Even an “ugly” launch can be successful, so get moving on your own idea! You can find Amy and the Power Serging Box at: https://www.amybaughman.com/ and https://amysews.com/ Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
19 minutes | May 19, 2021
018: Protecting Your Energy
When running your own business, it’s a guarantee that you’re going to get cancellations and negative feedback. Unfortunately, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and some of those people are only more than willing to let you know how much they didn’t like your product, your service, or whatever might be on their mind at that moment. Managing these kinds of customer service issues can get inside your brain and make you doubt yourself and your business, sapping away the mental energy that you need to run your business successfully. Looking for my Retention Rate Calculator? Access it here: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/blog/6-tips-to-navigate-cancellations-in-a-subscription-box-business Managing Cancellations and Negative Feedback As Business owners, it’s up to us to deal with things like cancellations and negative feedback professionally as well as take care of ourselves and our mental well-being. Here are some tips to managing negative feedback and protecting your energy to keep you positive: Give it to Someone Else. If you’re at the point in your business where you have a VA or assistant you can delegate responses to, do so. Putting a buffer between yourself and those kinds of customer service issues can help keep it impersonal but professional. Reset Yourself. If you feel that negativity getting to you mentally, step away from it physically. Take a walk, run a bath, do something that helps you disconnect from the stress of work. Sometimes we just need a moment away for our brain to reset and get us back to our best self. Remember: It’s Not about You, It’s about Them. You never know what a person is dealing with, especially in these situations. They might feel they need to cancel because of any number of reasons, and for those negative comments that get sent your way, you might just be an easy target for them to vent frustration that they otherwise feel they can’t express. Use that perspective to try not to take these issues personally. Keep Reminders of Positive Feedback Visible. Remember, for every negative review there are multiple satisfied customers who are excited to see what’s next. Keep those positive reviews where you can see them to help remind you about what’s important: delivering a VIP experience your subscribers appreciate. Cancellations and negative feedback are a fact of life as a business owner, but they don’t need to be something that you dread getting. They always feel like there are more than there actually are, so keep focused on your growth, because that’s what’s going to make you successful. The reality is that if you are professional in your responses and positive in your outlook, there might be a good chance that those people might be return customers in the end. Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
38 minutes | May 12, 2021
017: Progress over Perfection – Creative Indulgence Box
Joining me on the podcast this week is Alexis with her Creative Indulgence Box to talk about the idea of progress over perfection. Have you heard the saying “you are your own worst critic?” When you’re building your first subscription box for launch, we want everything to be perfect. Part of the drive to create a box in the first place is to give your subscribers that VIP experience they’ve come to expect, and we want to make that experience as perfect as possible. But you shouldn’t let that drive for perfection stop you from launching in the first place! Always Remember to Listen to Your Audience One of the most important steps in starting a subscription box is generating interest and creating a subscriber base. You can’t send out a box if nobody knows about it! But once you’ve done this, you’ve curated an audience and are connecting with them and generating that interest, at that point it’s only a matter of letting them know that a box is on the way. When Alexis was thinking about all the things she needed to do before she could launch her box, she was already engaging with her audience but still had doubts about how much interest there was for her box. “I mentioned the subscription box here and there when I was live and in my membership group and just kind of like building the buzz, but not like any kind of commitment. I was nervous about the whole process.” She knew she needed an extra push to get over that fear that not everything was perfect, so she put up the question to her audience: were they ready for her box? The response was overwhelmingly positive. She created a text list to be informed of when the box would be available and told herself 30 responses would be an accomplishment. “We launched (the list) on April 8th and closed on April 12th at 142 members. I was blown away!” Remember, there are always going to be challenges to getting your box out that make us doubt ourselves. The important thing to remember is to keep charging forward, problem solve those issues, keep the faith and focus on progress over perfection! You can find Alexis and the Creative Indulgence box at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/purposefulindulgence Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/purposefulindulgence/ Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
33 minutes | May 5, 2021
016: Afraid of Having 700 Subscribers?
When you’re first starting out with your subscription box, you might feel like you’ll take all the subscribers you can get. But that feeling changes when you hit your first hundred and keeps growing. What might have worked for your business at 50 subscribers might not work at 250, let alone 700! Such tremendous and scary growth happened to Cheryl Ham, founder of yARnaBLE subscription box, who is my guest this week to talk about how to approach sudden growth and how to avoid getting overwhelmed by success. Be Ready to be Caught Off Guard Having rapid success may seem like a problem you would like to have but believe me when I say that even if you are happy when it happens, it can seem so overwhelming that you might want to try and stop the orders from coming in. That’s how Cheryl felt when more orders came in than she had prepared for, because she was afraid that she couldn’t maintain the type of service she wanted for her subscribers. “What I was really afraid of was letting my subscribers down. I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to figure it out.” When running your business, you’re going to run into situations like this from time to time. It could be a huge jump in subscribers, or it could be an item not being ready for a launch, or really any number of things! In these situations, it’s first important to stay calm and don’t stress yourself out. In her situation, Cheryl reached out to the Launch Your Box community and even chatted with me about what was happening. Seek out support where you can because we’re all ready to help! Second, you’re going to have to stretch out those problem-solver muscles we’ve been talking about. The truth is that with success comes challenges, and the thing about challenges is that they’re only waiting for a creative solution. Be flexible with your operations, be ready to change things that aren’t working, and reach out to your community if you need that added support. And remember, communication with your subscribers is always a must! “When things go wrong, and spoiler alert, that's probably a lot of the time! You know, it's never perfect, it's always a little bit messy, especially at the beginning. So, if you find people that want to go on the journey with you, it's the best thing you can do.” – Cheryl You can find Cheryl and her yARNaBLE Box at https://www.instagram.com/hypnoticyarn/ Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
19 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
015: 3 Ways to Help Reduce Product Issues
One of the main concerns for us in the subscription box business is product supply. Who we’re getting it from and on what kind of timeline can create a huge amount of stress when things don’t go according to plan. Things have only gotten crazier with the global pandemic showing us how fragile our product pipeline really is. Let’s face it: we’re a product driven business with very little wiggle room for shortages. More than likely, even if you do have your shipping schedule figured out you’ll be working with tight deadlines to keep. With everything that’s going on, how can we as subscription box founders have more control over our product supply to avoid those shortages? Here are 3 ways I’ve learned to help manage those product headaches. Use Multiple Vendors I want you to ask yourself: can I use multiple vendors for the products in my box so that you’re not relying on one company for your success? It may sound like extra work to seek out and build multiple relationships with vendors to create your box, but it’s more than worth it to avoid the heartache when one of those vendors can’t come through for you. I can almost guarantee that there will be a time when you’ve carefully curated a box but one of those unique items is either late or won’t be able to come in the quantities that you need. You’ll have to go into problem solving mode to reorganize that box, but sometimes that can lead to an even better outcome as long as you have the flexibility of not having to rely on just one vendor to complete your order. Work on Multiple Boxes at a Time One of the benefits of having a schedule and having regular subscribers to your box is that you know you’ll have orders coming in months down the line. This gives you the freedom to be proactive and build multiple boxes ahead of time, and having multiple boxes gives you more flexibility when a product is held up. Being able to switch boxes if you need to will give you much more freedom and peace of mind if and when a product that just can’t be replaced is held up for whatever reason. Make Your Deadline Earlier Than You Actually Need Finally, you won’t want to be creating your box right before it’s time to ship out. You should always have a deadline on when your boxes are built well in advance on the shipping date. There are a number of reasons why you would want to do this, but primarily because it will save you on having to delay a shipment because of a lack of product. For me, with the global pandemic slowing everything down, I try to have the deadline for all my product in on a box at least 30 days before I even think about shipping them. This saves me so much stress and gives me the breathing room to adapt to any problems that might happen. Remember, it’s not if a problem is going to happen, it’s when, but when it does happen doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world! If you do have problems, remember to always be transparent with your subscribers. But having the right mindset will help you have the preparation needed to solve any problems that pop up. Multiple vendors, working on multiple boxes, and having early deadlines will help keep you on schedule and get those boxes out to your eager subscribers. Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
23 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
014: 4 Ways to Build Your Audience with Tiffany from Good Habit Box Co.
You have the subscription box idea, now it’s time to build the audience who will actually subscribe to your box. Building an audience from the ground up can seem a little overwhelming. This week I’m speaking with Tiffany LeBaron Ray, founder of the Good Habit Box Co. with her good habits and practices she used to build her subscription audience from 6 at launch to 70 in a short amount of time! When Tiffany decided to start the Good Habit Box, she was already having success with her other Etsy brands. But she realized that the audience that she had built for Etsy were not necessarily compatible with her new idea. This gave her the opportunity to try some new ways to build her audience, and she found 4 ways that helped her get to where she wanted to be quickly. Have a Giveaway After creating a Facebook and Instagram page, she decided to pay for some ads to promote her box and drive people to her pages. “The very first thing I did was I made a mockup of my box: this is what my box would look like.” With her mockup she advertised a giveaway contest for people who liked her social media pages. Giveaways like this can build upon themselves and help generate interest in places you might not be able to reach through your personal or friends and family reshares. The way Tiffany did it does have a price tag attached to it, so make sure if you’re going to go this route to look for the results that you want before spending more money. Consistent Posting It’s so important that when you start your new pages and start getting an audience you consistently post to your page’s multiple times per day. “I would post things that would help my target customers: someone that's motivated, that's inspired. I want to help someone that makes big goals and small goals; someone that cares about those things.” Tiffany posted at least 3 times a day to keep her engagement up and attract anyone who might want to like her pages and would reply to any comments that came her way. Make Connections Chances are there are lots of other people out there with products you can either use in the future or who have similar ideas or values to yours. Making connections with those people can pay off when you feature their products on your page, or they feature yours on their pages. “When I would post a picture of my box and all the pretty things in it, I would take the time and tag all of those shops, I tag them I give them a shout out. And what that's done is some of those small shops even some of the bigger companies have in turn reached out to me and given me a shout out on their page.” Partner with an Influencer A great way to reach an engaged audience is to partner with an Influencer for an unboxing. Finding an influencer who shares your values and caters to the same type of audience that you’re looking to build requires a little research and due diligence, but it can pay off in great ways. “I found this influencer on YouTube, and what caught my eye was that she would do these massive unboxings of boxes that she's never seen before. She also caught my eye because she was so friendly and had almost 100,000 followers on YouTube.” Tiffany sent her a box and a little while later she had people emailing her asking if she still had the box that she had sent to the influencer. She gained quite a few followers from that one box she sent out! You can find Tiffany and her Good Habit Box at https://www.instagram.com/goodhabitbox/ Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
24 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
013: A Passion for Animals Turns into 500 Monthly Subscribers
I love the whole community of Launch Your Box for many reasons, but one of the things that makes it so special is how unique some of the subscription boxes can be. This week I’m speaking with Nicole Jenney, founder of the GPig Box, a subscription box for guinea pigs and their owners. Her story on how she came to create a box for Guinea Pigs is so fun and such a great example of how the opportunity to create a box to fill a need can really be found anywhere. — Find Your Passion and Build the Audience — When Nicole first had the idea for a box, she did her due diligence researching what was already out there and saw that there was an opening for gifts for both guinea pigs and their owners. But even after she started, she listened to her audience when they told her that they wanted more from the box than she initially started with. “We got all this feedback that people want to double the stuff and they wanted more. So, we created a whole other box and another line for them, and that's been just as successful.” – Nicole Remember, your audience will tell you what they want and what they’re willing to pay for. As long as you’re listening, you can find areas to expand into and really create that exclusive experience for them. — Managing Growth — The GPig box has seen amazing growth from just one box when they launched to 500 subscriptions in four months! Nichole has learned quite a bit from that growth in being able to fulfill each subscription in a timely manner. At the beginning, her focus was on having no waste product, which is a good habit to have. But it did create some scheduling problems for her when scheduling out when to send boxes to her members. “We call this growing pain of small business, but it's a good problem to have. And I think we wouldn't do it any other way. But now to be able to adapt and change is most important and have an open mind of ‘maybe this isn't working anymore.’ But we have to stay proactive and stay ahead of it.” – Nicole Growth is a good thing to have, but it can present new challenges that can get out of hand if they’re not managed. Figuring out what works for you and what’s manageable for your business is key to being able to maintain the high level of customer service that’s going to make you stand out. You can find Nicole and the GPig Box at: https://gpigbox.com/ Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
22 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
012: How Do I Compete with Big Box Companies? | Launch Your Subscription Box with Sarah Williams
Hey everybody! This week I’m going over a question that gets asked every time people start to think about launching their own subscription box: how do I compete against the big box companies? I asked myself this same question when I started my box and thinking through it is what pushed me to finally start my box. Let’s dive in! — Quality over Quantity — Comparing yourself to a big box company is like staring into a black hole. They have the money and the people to handle thousands of orders from thousands of people. But think back to our previous episodes: that’s not what your box was about in the first place! We’re in the business of creating an exclusive VIP experience for our audience. That’s what we’re good at, and that’s what makes us stand out. Think about McDonalds food compared to your favorite local restaurant: chances are there’s no comparison in quality of food and experience in dining. Comparing yourself to a big company is a losing game, so stop doing it. If you need to, unfollow those accounts that make you feel less than because we’re in the business of building real-life connections that they don’t have. Comparison is the thief of dreams, so don’t give it that power. — Get in the Right Mindset — Stop Comparing Yourself. Opportunity is out there for your specialty box. Don’t let those other accounts stifle your spirit; if you need to, unfollow/hide/block those accounts that make you feel less than Create an Experience for Your Audience. Your personal connection with your audience is your greatest asset. Remember, they’ll tell you what they want so you can give them that VIP experience. Create Goals for yourself to remind you why you started. Crunch the numbers and figure out how many boxes you would need to send out to even out your expenses. Let your personal goals for your business remind you why you started in the first place. Beginnings can be messy, but that’s ok! Every great thing has to start somewhere. The right time to start is right now. Get your mindset right and you’re on your way, one box at a time. Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
41 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
011: The Riches are in the Niches with Miss Tracy Creates
Coaching week just ended and I’m not trying to brag, but I think it went fantastic! For those of you who weren’t able to take part, we did so many interviews with current and former students that really showed how many different ways you can go about doing a subscription box and become successful. For this week’s podcast, I wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite interviews with one of my Launch Your Box members, Tracy from Miss Tracy Creates, whose box is a perfect example of finding “riches in the niches.” — All for One, or One for All? — When considering what to make your box about, you might want to put as many things as you can into it but as we’ve talked about before, this can sometimes water down what your box is actually about. Miss Tracy really nailed that with her box, The Napkin Club. Miss Tracy and her members use paper napkins to create all kinds of different crafts and decorations, and her box helps supply her members with those curated napkins. Instead of her members going out and buying packs of specialized paper napkins that they might only want to use a few of, they trust Miss Tracy to send them the few they need for crafting as well as belonging to a group that helps them create different projects every month. She identified a need in her crafting community that she could fill, and now she’s approaching 1000 members for her specialized business. Miss Tracy and the Napkin Club are such a great example of how any idea can be turned into a business. There’s no limit of idea that I’ve found that, if thought about correctly, can’t be something that has tremendous opportunity. Think about how you can become the expert in your niche idea, and don’t be afraid to get creative, because the riches really are in the niches! You can find Miss Tracy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/misstracycreates And on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/misstracycreates/ And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
18 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
010: Curate Demand to Create a Unique Subscription Box Experience | Interview with Stacey Collins of Wilshire Collections
This week I’m joined by Stacey Collins, owner of Wilshire Collections and founder of the Décor at your Door Seasonal Subscription box to talk about what release schedule works best for your box? Deciding how many boxes and how frequently you want to release them not only can help you manage your growth but can also fit into the VIP experience you want to create with your members. — What Subscription Fits Your Box Idea? — While we mostly talk about starting off on a monthly subscription schedule, it might not always be the best fit for your idea. Stacey started out sending the Décor at your Door box in one off sales per season to fit with what she was most well-known for: seasonal decoration. “So, I thought, let's try a Spring box, a Summer box, a Fall box, and a Christmas box. And I was selling those just as a one off not as a true subscription at that time.” Keeping the same seasonal schedule when she did transition to a subscription allowed Stacey to maintain the same experience her members appreciated about her business. When considering what would be best for your idea, consider not only what you can reasonably take on, but also what might fit with the aesthetic of your business. — Curate Demand to Create a Unique Experience — The great thing about subscription boxes is how every part of them can be tailored to make a more exclusive experience for your members. Everything from the box, the packing, the wrapping, and everything inside can make for that VIP experience, and when the box arrives is no different. Remember to listen to what your customers love about your box, and don’t be afraid to try something new to make their experience memorable. “I knew that my ladies wanted this. If you know that you have a good idea, that your customers want this, don't overthink it. Do it and you're going to figure out the rest.” - Stacey You can find Stacey and her Décor at your Door box at https://www.wilshirecollections.com/. Also, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wilshirecollections And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wilshire_collections/ And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also get on my waitlist for my subscription box course at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/.
20 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
009: Creating Connections and Going Live on Social Media | Build an Audience for Your Subscription Box with Sarah Williams
Does the idea of pressing the button to go Live on social media make you sick to your stomach? Does the thought of being an influencer for your own business sound confusing and strange? This week’s podcast is all about how to overcome those feelings and use Live sessions to grow your subscription base. People Need to Know You to Trust You Social media allows us to reach people in a way never thought of before, and especially in the last year it’s become more and more important to people to be a part of something that they can be personal with. When you’re building your audience and signing up those subscribers to your box, you might find your numbers coming in waves until eventually it plateaus. That’s what I found when I tried to grow my subscriber base; people were following me but not signing up for the subscription commitment. Going Live was the answer to getting more engagement with my page and my products. For most you, the idea of hosting a Live session on Facebook or Instagram may seem like something you’d much rather avoid because it’s embarrassing or because you don’t think you’re interesting enough. But the truth is in the numbers: without going Live and thereby creating a personal relationship with your audience, you’ll find growing your subscription base to be nearly impossible. The Creating Connections Challenge To help boost those engagement numbers, I want to pose a challenge to you: go to your Facebook Insights page and note your Post Reach and Engagements for the last 28 days. We’re going to use those numbers as a starting point. Next, schedule one Live session each week for the next 4 weeks. If you’re already doing Live sessions, I want you to do two. Here are 5 strategies to help you get the most out of those Live sessions: Do something for yourself to help boost your confidence. Get new clothes, style your hair, anything that will help you get in front of the camera. Have some friends join you live session to help ask some important questions to get the conversation going, and to give you support while you’re Live. Write out some talking points that you want to get across to your audience. Having an outline on what you want to talk about can keep you on task and keep you from floundering. Engage with your audience. Whether it’s one person or a hundred, they’re there to be more personal with you because they like what you’re about. Set a time and a date for your live sessions and send it out so you’ll stick with it. Make it at a time and place when you are the most comfortable. Before too long, going Live will be just another part of your business and who knows, it could end up being one of your favorite things to do with your audience. Have fun and keep with it! Wondering if the subscription box is right for you? Join my $10 coaching week from March 21st through the 26th. I'm going to show you how to develop your idea into a plan. Sign up today at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/. And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review!
16 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
008: Building an Audience and Recurring Revenue | Subscription Box Basics with Sarah Williams
Build your audience and they will come… My guest this week is my friend Brooke Riley from the Re-Fabbed Boutique to talk about how building a solid online presence can give your subscription box the momentum it needs to keep having success month after month. Brooke started Re-Fabbed Boutique from a blog she’s been running for six years now and has turned it into a place where her community could find more of the style items she showcased on her blog. She first had the idea of her subscription box, the Re-Fabulous Box, when we met at a mastermind a year ago. “I love a good thrifty find, but nobody could replicate what I had because it wasn’t available to them. So, the more questions I kept getting, the more I realized that there was a need in my community I could feel.” Manage Demand with a Waitlist Brooke took the ideas we talked about and started floating the idea of a monthly Re-Fabbed Box in her online community. From there, she was able to build interest and created a waitlist people could sign up for to build her launch off of. A Waitlist is a great way to see what kind of interest is among the community you’ve built as well as a way to set the number of boxes you launch with to an amount your comfortable with. It can also create demand for your box as an exclusive experience right from the outset. Most importantly, having a waitlist that you can build off of can also offset retention losses. No matter how much we want it, we’re not going to be able to keep every customer month after month, and that’s just a fact of running a business. Having a waitlist can help you to replace those losses with a warmer customer while still providing a way for those lost customers to come back. Remember, a huge benefit of starting a subscription box is that recurring revenue, money that is coming month to month that you can depend on. A waitlist is a great way of managing your demand to keep you in the positive without ups and downs in your sales numbers. You can find Brooke and the Re-Fabulous Box at https://www.re-fabbedboutique.com/ and also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/refabbedboutique Wondering if the subscription box is right for you? Join my $10 coaching week from March 21st through the 26th. I'm going to show you how to develop your idea into a plan. Sign up today at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/. And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review!
18 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
007: Get Started Right Away with Fast and Messy Action | Launch your subscription box with Sarah Williams
Have you been wondering when the best time is to finally start your subscription box? This week I’m joined by Molly Young, founder of the Blue Lotus Intentions box to talk about how she followed her heart and launched as soon as it was possible. When working up to launching your box, you need to have the essentials down. You can’t launch without having an idea, curated items for your box, and most of all, subscribers to send your box to. But after that, when is the right time to launch? You might be asking how many subscribers you should hold out for, or if launching on a holiday would have the most impact. From a One-Time idea to a Full Subscription Molly had an idea for a box, but at first envisioned it as a one-time thing. It wasn’t until she signed up for my $10 Coaching Week that she was able to see that not only was a subscription box a better fit for her idea, but that it was possible at all. It turned out that $10 commitment was just the boost that she needed. She started reaching out to suppliers and ordering in bulk, ready to boost her own estimates for how many boxes she would start out with. By the end of Coaching Week, she had her first orders on the way, built her website and already had a waitlist of members to send boxes to. For her first launch, she decided on a one-time shipment to get her box out before Christmas and when all was said and done, she sent out 50 boxes with a further 18 subscribed for a January box as well! As we speak, going into March she’s been steadily increasing her numbers to 40 subscribers for her Blue Lotus Intentions box. Molly story shows that there’s more than one way to start your subscription box. Once she had the basics taken care of, she shipped it out and started prepping for the next one. She had the confidence to get started once she was ready, and the willingness to build on that first launch to start her business. “I think these things that are in our hearts, sometimes fear gets in the way of that. Just jump in and go for it, before your mind realizes this may or may not be possible, the wheels are already in motion.” – Molly If you have an idea you feel passionate about, the perfect time to get started is right now. Take that idea and run with it, and just keep telling yourself it’s go time! You can connect with Molly and Blue Lotus Holistic Wellness at: https://www.bluelotusholisticwellness.com/ and also on Instagram and Facebook at: https://www.instagram.com/bluelotusholisticwellness/ https://www.facebook.com/BlueLotusHolisticWellnessLLC Wondering if the subscription box is right for you? Join my $10 Coaching Week from March 21st through March 26th. I'm going to show you how to develop your idea into a plan. Sign up today at https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/. And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review
22 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
006: All About Packaging | Subscription Box Tips with Sarah Williams
You have an idea for a subscription box, you have the items that are going in it, but what is the box going to look like? When your members get your box in the mail, how the box looks is going to make just as much as an impression as the items you’ve curated inside of it. Your box is your message carried across the country, almost like a travelling billboard. Let’s explore a few ways you can make the most impression with your box right out the gate. Custom Decorated Box vs Basic Box (with a twist) If we had all the money we needed to get started, we could create a custom branded box on the first launch. But if you’re like me, the money that would be needed to create a custom box was better spent on what came inside the box for my members. I started with a plain brown craft box that I would stamp my logo on. A custom stamp can be very cost effective and is something that can be used over and over again with just a little bit of ink. Another idea is using custom tape to seal your box, something that you’re going to be doing anyway to send it out, so why not make it work for you! Use those custom stamps, tapes, and stickers to dress up your box and make it unique to you. I do want you to remember, don’t go too overboard or else you could end up spending the same you would on a custom box, and if that’s the case you might as well spend the money on that. But with moderation, a little bit can go a long way. Things to consider: Box Sizes and Quantities The higher the quantity of box that you can order at a time, the better the price is going to be. Keep in mind too that from month to month, you’ll have different items going out, so different size boxes make more sense than one size. One size does not fit all: it’s very important to make your boxes feel full for your members, and if your items don’t fill up the box the more packing, you’ll have to use. There are also shipping costs that come into play if you’re sending a box that has open space inside, so smaller boxes not only work better for your product but can also save you money. Maybe a box doesn’t make sense for what you’re sending out? Don’t be afraid to use poly mailers as well, which you can also dress up with stamps and tape. At the beginning, being cost effective is going to help with your success as much as anything else. Up-level as you grow Remember, we’re building a business and we’re in it for the long haul. At the beginning, you’ll do what you need to do to get off the ground and at the beginning a basic box makes the most sense. But commit yourself to up leveling your packaging as you grow. Set goals for yourself in number of subscriptions or revenue when you can start working on a custom box that can help you send your message across the country! I can’t wait to see your custom packaging! Remember leave a comment and to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also check out the show website for some helpful freebies at: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/
26 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
005: Who Will Buy My Box and How Do I Find Them? | Subscription Box Strategies with Damon Oates & Sarah Williams
This week I’m joined by Damon Oates, founder of Deco Exchange and the Maker’s University to help us answer a very important question: where do we find subscribers for our box, and how do we make sure they’re the perfect fit? So you have a great idea for a box. Your head is swimming with all the possibilities you could dream up for your members, and then it hits you: who will be subscribing to your box? If you haven’t given it a lot of thought, you might fall into a common trap that Damon says people often think themselves into: “People always feel like they’re selling to someone just like themselves. They think, I would never buy that because I could just make it myself.” But the reality is that your ideal customer might not be anything like you other than sharing a common interest. Think about the box that you want to build. What kind of person would want to buy your box? The more specific you are, the better you’ll be able to target your ideal subscriber. No matter who you come up with, chances are there’s already a wealth of data about that particular demographic that’s been collected. A great place to start is with trade magazines and their Buyers Demographic Data that’s sometimes available online. Another great place to find info about potential customers is at https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience-insights which can be very helpful to narrow down your perfect customer. Build a Social Media Presence Once you have your ideal customer down, it’s time to build a social media presence. What this means is that you’ll need to start creating content online regularly to build your audience. This is going to take some time! Start with a platform you love being on already and focus on that. It will be much easier to create content when you’re comfortable posting. “You’re there to create a relationship with your audience, no matter if it’s one person or a thousand. Chat with them, make sure you see them and just give it all you can.” – Damon Finally, remember to listen to your audience. They’ll tell you exactly what they’ll buy from you so that when you’re finally ready to launch your box, you’ll have a truly memorable VIP experience that will keep them coming back for more! Damon’s 5 Things to Consider Why do you want to do this? What is the purpose of it? What is the problem you want to serve? Who can you serve it to? Who needs it, who’s asking for it? Which platform do you love to play on? You can find Damon’s mini-course Who is My Perfect Person Challenge link at: https://members.themakersuniversity.com/~access/a5c5326f/ You can also find more of Damon at Deco Exchange on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/decoexchange Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! Let me know which episode is your favorite so far. You can also check out the show website for some helpful freebies at: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/
19 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
004: Lessons Learned by Doing - An Interview with Kasey Hope about her Subscription Box Business
Today I’m joined by my friend Kasey Hope with P’zazz Art Studio. Kasey started with Whatever Letter Lettering membership, where she taught courses on how to hand letter, but had the idea to upgrade that service with a subscription box. In her box, she sends art supplies, traceable hand lettering, and different materials that can be used with her membership. We spoke about what got her started, what she learned from her first launch and how her box has grown since she started. Her box took her membership to the next level Kasey already had her membership going with online classes when she noticed that some people would buy the membership and not use it. Instead of letting that ride, she thought of ways that she could increase engagement among her members. “We wanted to create a kind of experience around the membership, and the box was a tangible little something they could open.” By creating a box to go along with her membership, she could give her regulars a VIP experience with items related to her classes. The convenience of getting catered supplies that they didn’t have to go out and buy created more of a community for her membership. Kasey had never shipped before, but that didn’t stop her! When she launched, Kasey had 167 members and she was thrilled. They put together the boxes (which ironically were large envelopes), gathered them up, and took them right into their local Post Office. “We had a local art studio; we did not ship products. So, we were like, I guess we take them to the post office!” For hours, one by one, they labeled and shipped them out. This was a learning experience with a little bit of embarrassment involved, but the point is that it got done and sent out. “It was hard and crazy and embarrassing, but we got the packages out. We had to start somewhere.” Her success has built upon itself Today, Kasey is shipping thousands of boxes out to her members and her numbers keep on growing. When Covid hit, her brick-and-mortar studio took a huge hit but because of the success of her subscription box and recurring revenue that comes with it, they were able to whether the changes and thrive. “If you’re thinking about it and you’re worried you don’t have all the pieces, just start! It can be sloppy; it can be small. You’re going to learn the lessons.” – Kasey Hope You can find Kasey and the Whatever Letter Box at: https://www.pzazzonline.com/whatever-letter Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also check out the show website for some helpful freebies at: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/
25 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
003: The Riches are in the Niches - How Anne Stuccio Hit $10K Months with Her Subscription Box Business
On today’s podcast I’m joined by my friend and Launch Your Box member Anne Stuccio, creator of the Brighter Life for Dentists subscription box! We had a great conversation about what inspired her to start a box with zero e-commerce experience, and how her experience relates to some of the things we’ve discussed in our previous podcasts. Riches in the Niches Anne has been a practicing dentist for the last 20 years. In that time, she’s noticed that in her community of women dentists, after a certain point they’d start to feel burned out from putting others before themselves and weren’t enjoying being dentists like they had when they started out. Anne saw the opportunity to develop gift ideas to help reignite their passion and remind them what they loved about their profession in the first place. By targeting this specific niche, Anne could bring the most impact she could with her product and service. “You have to have faith in yourself, and you have to have faith that you know your client, then deliver, deliver, deliver.” – Anne Anne is able to build her list of clients by being able to relate to them personally. She combines that with some planning and information gathering and builds a product specially curated for her customers. As such, she was able to charge a premium price starting off! “It comes down to knowing your customers; I knew that if I put a higher price point and sourced products that were higher-end they would be well received and appreciated.” Anne came up with an idea, a specific market that was being underserved, and created something special. She is a successful dentist and still had her doubts about trying something new! But with planning and the right strategy, she’s been able to grow her box business into something that has a bright and lucrative future! You can follow Anne at: https://www.facebook.com/thebrighterlifefordentists Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also check out the show website for some helpful freebies at: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/
18 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
002: Top 5 Reasons to Start a Subscription Box
Why should I start a subscription box? This might be a question that you’ve been asking yourself and today I’m going to give you a few reasons why you should! On the last episode, I talked about my journey to starting my subscription box, which was mainly for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to create a VIP experience for my regular customers and number two, I wanted to create financial stability in this roller-coaster world we call the e-commerce industry. Those were my reasons, but what about you? What are some upsides and benefits that you might not have considered when thinking about if starting a box is for you? Well, here are my top 5 reasons why you should start a subscription box. Subscription Boxes are Convenient, Trendy, and Fun Research shows that households on average subscribe to at least three monthly or quarterly subscriptions. They do this so they can keep up with the latest trends and because it’s convenient to have them delivered instead of having to run out to the store. Riches are in the Niches Find your area of expertise and run with it. Having a targeted niche that you can excel in can make you the go-to expert in that area and help you develop a following that builds upon itself. No investor? No problem! You don’t need a lot of money to get started. If you’ve spent time developing your idea and building on pre-sales, you can use that to get your first launch out. The value you build is going to be in yourself and your idea, not in fancy boxes or rushed launches. Two words: Recurring Revenue Y’all, there is no better revenue than recurring revenue. A business built off of subscription means having steady revenue coming in every month. Having the peace of mind that steady revenue can build is invaluable. The Product is already Sold! With subscription boxes, there is no need to keep more inventory than you need. There’s no need to stress about what’s going to sell when buying inventory. The items you’ve chosen already have homes you’re sending them to! Remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review! You can also check out my website for some helpful freebies at: https://www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/
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