Let’s just say it out loud – selling physical products sucks. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. It really doesn’t matter what you’re selling online — you could be running a business selling chocolate and coffee and all things good, and it would still suck. And I get it, you feel like you’re stuck continuing what you’re doing. You’ve invested time and money into your business. You show up every day and you hustle. Your family and friends support you.
You make enough to get by – but getting by just isn’t enough. I’ve been there. There was a period of time where I was selling t-shirts online, and while I was successful in turning a profit, I struggled with so many other things.
How to Become Your Own Boss Without Selling Physical Products
When I was really honest with myself, I realized there were 6 reasons I hated selling physical products:
- Margins are Crappy – Physical products cost money to produce, and you can only mark up the price so much. Even when you are selling a ton, your margins are not going to be as good as they would be with a digital product or a service that cost you nothing.
- Ad Cost – In addition to the cost of the product itself, I needed to shell out a considerable amount of money for advertising, which cut into my bottom line even more.
- Managing Inventory- If you’re selling physical products, it’s likely that you are also keeping inventory. This means you need a space to keep everything, and for a lot of people, that space is their home. Try leaving work at work when you are climbing over boxes of t-shirts in your bedroom.
- Liability- Maybe this doesn’t happen to everyone, but the amount of liability here really stressed me out. Imagine if we had a fire or a flood, or someone stole that inventory? Just thinking about it makes me sick.
- Working with Others– with my t-shirt business there were a lot of people I had to work with. I had a team of designers that I needed to manage, and even though they were good people, it was a challenge to stay on top of everyone’s schedules and ensure deadlines were met.
- The Hustle- selling requires near constant effort. If you aren’t designing and ordering products, you’re advertising them and promoting them, or taking orders and shipping them out. You’ve got to act fast when orders come in and stay on top of the whole game. I spent so much time in front of the computer tracking inventory and ads and watching orders roll in. If you slack off, your bottom line suffers, and we already know that the margins are tight.
It’s exhausting just remembering what it was like to sell physical products. I don’t mean to be a downer here – if you sell physical products and you are rocking it, and you are happy with your life, then by all means, keep on with your hustle. It’s working for you.
I had thought that selling physical products was the key to freedom for me. Working for myself was supposed to be less stressful and financially freeing, but that wasn’t my reality. I had been killing myself – and what for? For a job I didn’t love, selling items I didn’t love, at the expense of my time and sanity.
As I spoke to my other entrepreneur friends I realized something huge here: all you have to do to make money is to make a big impact in someone's life.
While I was busy selling physical products, I was also building a killer marketing skillset. I spent years mastering Facebook Ads and marketing, and I knew how to use that knowledge to help other businesses get clients. I realized that I could make ten times as much money, with a lot less time spent in front of the computer and help others.
Use Your Physical Product Experience to Offer Marketing Services to Local Businesses
When I took the plunge and shifted my focus from e-commerce to offering my marketing skills as a service, it was an easy transition because I had already been doing this locally, helping my friends out when they asked for advice, and I was able to get them results.
If you’ve been selling products online you’ve been marketing and hustling, then you already have a head start on this. You can run a business using the marketing knowledge you’ve learned selling physical products (without any of the hassle and risk that comes with it), and use it to help your favorite local businesses grow using Facebook.
Why Local Businesses?
If you are moving to this system from selling physical products, you may be wondering why I focus on local businesses. After all, when you are selling, you are able to market to people all over the country (or world!) and are not limited by your location.
Consider this – when you are working with local businesses, what you’re really doing is building relationships and community. By running ads for local businesses, you are directly supporting your community and you are making an impact you can see. Even sending 5-10 new leads a month can make a huge difference for a local business.
For me, working locally means that I can stop in, and speak with my clients face-to-face when I want to. It means that I can feel good about what I am doing. Seeing the results builds my confidence. And, working locally means that I get more business through word of mouth than I ever would with clients all over the globe.
My Facebook ad agency helps local businesses in two simple steps:
- Create Lead Generating Funnels:
I create simple 2 page funnels designed to convert online leads into customers for local businesses. (The key is in creating jaw-dropping offers that people can’t resist.)
- Use Dynamic Facebook Ads to Capture Leads for the Funnels:
I set up sophisticated and well-targeted ads to collect leads for these businesses. It is my job to find the right customers for the businesses I serve.
How to Successfully Get Leads for Local Businesses
If you’ve been selling physical products, you are probably already pretty familiar with running Facebook ads. What’s different about this system is the funnel you’ll be putting into place to convert those leads into customers. I high converting sales funnel needs four key elements:
- A finely targeted ad with a Jaw-Dropping Offer
You already know that Facebook Ads work better when you are speaking to a specific person. You’ll need to start by identifying your ideal client, and then crafting an offer just for them. The offer should be specific and irresistible. It needs to offer a lot of value to the lead. For example, you can offer a free tooth whitening session for soon-to-be brides. You can offer a free dessert to people who have a birthday this month. You can offer a trial gymnastics class to mothers of preschoolers.
- A Landing Page that speaks to your target client directly
Once you have a Jaw-Dropping Offer, you need to create your landing page. This page is the place where you will present the offer from the ad in exchange for collecting information from your leads. You will be asking for their name, email address, and phone number.This is also the place where people who don’t know better go wrong. You’re asking for a lot of personal information here, and people are skeptical. Your landing page needs to build trust in order to convince them to give you their information in exchange for the offer. Make sure that the language on the page matches the ad. When they click over to the page, they should see the same offer they saw in the ad, and the page should be a clean design with all the information they need to trust you.
- A Thank You Page that offers a “Bonus Stack” and adds scarcity.
One of the easiest ways to get leads to actually take action on the offer they were given, is to “up the ante” by offering an additional bonus and adding a timer to claiming the offer.
A follow-up sequence that ensures they will follow through
The follow through sequence is another element that you can not let slip through the cracks. It’s not enough to just collect the lead’s information – you need to follow through to make sure they actually become a customer.
You’ll want to send emails and text messages to your lead, with the exact same information they saw on the landing page. You want to give them what they need to claim the offer, and add in some urgency so they collect that offer now.
Following up is so important, and if you skip this step, you are going to lose these leads. You also need to make sure that your client also knows to expect calls from these leads so they can deliver on the offer.
The Key to the Success of the Funnel is in the Targeting of Your Local Ads
When you are marketing for local businesses, you’re going to be targeting a much smaller population than you do running a national campaign. This means you have to spend your advertising dollars wisely and to do that your ads need to be hyper focused on people who are most likely to convert. .There are 2 ways to successfully pull this off: simplicity and exclusivity.
Keep it simple, and specific.
Everything about your ad should intentionally speak to a subset of your target audience. You need to know exactly who the target client is and segment your audience. This means that you need to be targeting people of the same sex, similar ages, and similar interests. Just like our example with the brides and tooth whitening services – we aren’t offering this to the whole wedding party, or the mother of the bride. We aren’t trying to also sell her on Invisalign braces. We are targeting women, between the ages of 20-35, who are getting married in the next four months. Just them. Just tooth whitening.
Give them an excuse to take your offer, and make it exclusive.
You want to add a sense of urgency to your ad. Do this by saying that there are only a limited number of (tooth whitening sessions, free classes . . . whatever the offer is) available. You want this deal to be so good that they don’t have a reason to not click on the ad. Make sure that the thing you are offering is of a high value to your lead (this doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive – just that it is valuable to them). Make sure you are encouraging them to click on the offer now instead of ignoring it.
If you’re feeling a little lost, that’s ok! We can help you get started. Local Agency Ads is a course we created to help while running a Facebook Ad agency from your home. In this course, we walk you through exactly how to create high converting Facebook ads for local businesses and target them in a way that puts your ad in front of people who are most likely to take action on it.
You Can STOP Selling Physical Products
If you are feeling overwhelmed selling physical products, I want to encourage you to look at your options. You aren’t stuck and there is a way out. You’ve learned a ton of useful skills selling physical products that you can translate into a new career – one that has a lot less stress and risk.
Running a Facebook Ad agency is a lot less work. You’ll be able to make more money spending less time in front of your computer. Your income will be more consistent. You’ll have more freedom to make your life the way you want it to be. You’ll be able to help your local community, and as soon as they see what you can offer, you’ll be in high demand. It sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Don’t look at it as quitting your product business, think about it as giving yourself a promotion from salesperson to a consultant for other businesses. You deserve it.
Have you been selling physical products? How is it going for you?