If “Facebook Trunk Show” fills your mind with horror, dread and a feeling of not knowing where in heck to begin, don’t worry–I’ve got you covered!
As part of a modern social selling business, we stylists need to embrace and learn how to improve the Facebook trunk show experience for our hostesses and customers.
This isn’t about finding the perfect Facebook show script, this is about smarter Facebook shows.
What does that mean, exactly?
It means changing the way you approach your Facebook shows to maximize customer engagement and hostess loyalty and make some pretty amazing sales from the comfort of your laptop and sweats!
It’s about strategy.
So, let’s cover:
- setting realistic goals
- making it personal with a welcome video (you can check out mine too!)
- utilizing giveaways
- the $30 and under rule
- who and how to invite
- planning makes perfect (download your free printable checklist here: Smarter Stella Dot Facebook Show Planner by My Momma Told Me)
I’m pumped! I’m ready to dive right in, cause I finally have a handle on this whole Facebook show thing!
And I’m ready to dish–because I don’t want you to waste one more Facebook show being disappointed, frustrated, overwhelmed and embarrassed (cause you didn’t make any sales or your hostess didn’t earn any free bling)!
Been there. Done it all. Refined, and refined again.
I’ve found lots that works (and even more that doesn’t). Let me show you what I’ve learned…
Here’s the part where I’m obligated to tell you that Facebook shows should never (ever) replace real in-person trunk shows.
We all know why–jewelry sells waaaay better in person. In person you get to see how it moves, hangs, feels…
You will almost always get better sales from an in-person show versus a Facebook show (although I have encountered exceptions to that rule).
But guess what?
It’s about a million times easier to get someone to commit to hostessing a Facebook show than an in-person show. As much as we may not like to acknowledge it, Facebook shows are going to become increasingly popular and account for more of our sales.
Why book a Facebook show?
- friend or relative lives too far away
- HUGE TIP ALERT: you have an in-person hostess who had a lot of cancellations to her party–offer to follow it up with a Facebook show to help her earn more rewards!
- you have a potential hostess for months (or years) who hasn’t set a date and a Facebook show is way less intimidating
- it’s easier for you (baby to breastfeed, traveling for work, came down with the flu, afraid of the telephone… I don’t judge!)
You may not know it yet, but a Facebook show might be in your very-immediate future.
So, how should you approach Facebook shows? What should your expectations be?
- relationships–meeting new customers and making hostesses happy
- creating a fun, low-pressure event–so others will want to become Facebook (or in-person) hostesses too
Notice what I did not say: SALES.
If you are taking on a Facebook show expecting astronomical sales you are setting yourself up for disaster. That’s not to say that wonderful sales don’t happen–to date my best Facebook show had $900 in sales (and I’m going to show you exactly how that happened)…
But I didn’t go into that show thinking: “I’m going to make lots of sales!”
I went in thinking: “I’m going to meet new people, many who have never even heard of our brand, I am going to share some amazing style and they are going to become my customer (whether they buy something now or not) and we are going to have a ton of fun along the way!”
Once you’re introduced to someone you can keep in contact with them about your business through email or social media. You never know when the next flash sale will tip them over into making a purchase and I’ve found many guests who bought something small at an online show will end up placing a bigger order later–because our product is fab like that! So, count no one out!
This is about filling your pipeline and making relationships.
Go into your Facebook show with this mindset and it is going to guide you to make the best decisions for your future customers and hostesses.
Now let’s find out the number one reason why your show will have sales (or not)…
You are the number one reason why someone will buy a product from you.
You can read all about it in sales books, I’m pretty sure it’s on our old Words to Say CD, and I’ve seen it in action in my almost 3 years in this business.
How can you expect to make any sales when you are literally hiding behind your computer screen?
My number one tip for making more sales from your Stella & Dot Facebook show: make a 5 to 7 minute Welcome video and make it your very first party post.
Everyone is interested in YOU!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, there are a whole lot of people who would never (ever) be brave enough to do direct sales–I know, cause used to be one of them. They are seriously interested in what kind of person you are and how you handle yourself.
They are never going to know unless you get out there in front of them!
Maybe you never do group hellos at your in-person shows and somehow muddle by–sorry, that ain’t going to fly in Facebook-land.
I’ve held and helped my downline with over a dozen Facebook shows combined. There is a clear trend: personal welcome videos create more sales.
Here is my exact Welcome Video from my $900 Facebook show:
See! That wasn’t too bad, right? You’ve so got this!
I know, there was a lot of info and strategy in that video, and we are going to get around to all of it, but first…
Here are my 3 steps to making the perfect (sales-producing) Facebook show welcome video:
STEP 1: SET THE SCENE & KEEP IT SHORT
Lighting and length are the two most important factors to making a great welcome video.
I didn’t use anything fancy, just good-old-fashioned natural light. Experiment around your house (or outside) and find the best light and time of day to shoot your video. Pay attention to background noise levels if you opt to film outside.
Make sure your background is clean and clutter-free. In front of a wall is super-easy and minimal.
I went a step beyond for this particular video by using my new clipboard wall as a fun backdrop to showcase my statement necklaces. I’ve shot a welcome video from my bathroom because that was the best light in the house at the moment (don’t worry, I wasn’t on the toilet)–lesson is: don’t be afraid to go where the light takes you!
Keep your video under 7 minutes. If you can only muster enough courage for a quick 1 to 2 minute “hello,” something is always better than nothing–I promise!
Ideally, you’d want the welcome video to be between 5 and 7 minutes.
STEP 2: MAKE QUICK EDITS & STAY NATURAL
The good news is it so ridiculously easy to make a video with your cellphone you really have no freaking excuse! Put all your selfie-taking powers to good use and just hold that iPhone up and speak from your heart.
If you mess up–it’s all good! You saw me up there, right? Keep some of those stumbles in your video, it makes you real and relate-able (and news flash: none of us are naturally perfect!).
Use editing to your advantage to keep the pace quick and engaging. Don’t add fancy transitions. Hold things up, touch things and talk with your hands to add visual interest!
Smile and look into the camera (not your reflection) so it feels like you are talking straight to your soon-to-be new customers (remember they are now your customer if they buy from you at the show or not)!
A Note About What to Wear:
Keep it simple and approachable. I’m a big fan of solid-colored t-shirts and knit blouses for welcome videos. Keep your makeup natural and minimal. This is all about being warm and inviting–not intimidating.
Wear pieces that are versatile but not overwhelming. Don’t wear anything over $100–guests will ask what you were wearing in your video, so keep it approachable.
DO NOT be the stylist wearing tons of makeup, a Pegasus, and statement earrings–all that does is make your party guests think: “I could never be like her.”
If you notice in my video, my nails weren’t painted, my necklace was delicate and you wouldn’t know right away from looking at me that I was selling jewelry.
Casual and natural are key.
STEP #3: WHAT TO INCLUDE
- thank your hostess (I actually forgot to do this in the video–don’t make the same mistake!)
- talk about Stella & Dot as a business (this is where your 30 second commercial comes in handy)
- talk about the design team and our product quality
- delight guarantee
- giftable boxes
- choose 1 or 2 items to feature and show how to wear them
- announce your giveaways and shopping special (we will get into these next)
- explain how they can order
DO NOT be afraid to talk about placing an order!
This is your job. You sell jewelry. So, own it and talk about it!
You’re going to be showing a lot of great products that people are going to be at least curious about buying. So, tell them how to do it!
Okay, now you’ve learned the number one most important thing you need to do to have a kick-ass Facebook show: make a welcome video.
I once had a show where I had 5 videos. I styled the Sutton and the Zoe Lariat, and a bunch of other stuff too–I totally thought it was great, butt… Overkill! People lose interest when you have too much of anything. I’ve found that one great video is the most effective way to keep people engaged.
Your guests don’t want to sit around watching videos the whole show, they want to be commenting, interacting, having fun and shopping!
Now let’s talk about the next most important thing to do at your Facebook party…
I don’t take investment in this business lightly. If you don’t believe me, just read my stance on over-sampling.
But giveaways make Facebook shows successful. Period.
I wish I could tell you “they don’t matter” and “you can have a great party without them,” but I’ve tried not using them before and it just doesn’t work.
Free stuff makes people excited. Especially when it is freakin’ gorgeous jewelry & accessories!
So, you need a giveaway strategy. You need to figure out who your show audience is and tailor your giveaways accordingly.
For my $900 show, I did three giveaways: (1) for the first 15 to RSVP “yes” or “maybe,” (2) a “roll call” giveaway (that you can see above) and (3) an order-based raffle.
I went big on this show because I had a highly-motivated hostess who was a working professional and she has a passion for fashion! I’ve done shows before with primarily young stay-at-home moms and opted to do only one giveaway. The point here is to think strategically.
If, for whatever reason, you can only chose one giveaway make it the roll call giveaway because this increases in-show involvement and no one needs to buy anything to participate! That makes people feel good and like you better (which fosters relationships and good things down the line)!
How do you not go broke with all these giveaways? Especially when you may or may not make any sales?
You’ve gotta think smart when it comes to getting product for giveaways…
Your double-dip trunk shows should be used to bolster your sampling with your earned hostess credits only (see my smarter sampling philosophy here).
You shouldn’t use your double-dip 50% off hostess awards on samples (you already can get 50% off during sampling periods, if you make minimal quarterly sales, and you won’t have to pay taxes on the full retail price of the item).
I reserve these 6 to 8 half-off hostess awards to save for hostesses who don’t qualify with their trunk shows and/or for stocking up on giveaway items for Facebook shows.
Since a hostess can apply her 1/2 off credits on TSEOs this is the perfect way to score great giveaway items at exceptionally awesome prices!
Just remember you will have to meet the $50 order minimum to qualify for TSEOs–so be sure to do this when you are using your free product credits to bolster sampling a new major collection (like Fall or Spring).
Other ways to get cheap giveaway items:
- items used only for display that don’t sell in your sample sale
- redeeming Dot Dollars on TSEOs (as a double-dip hostess)
- Facebook Fan Flash Sales
The Power of Free Shipping
Raise your hand if you hate paying for shipping?
How many times do you hunt online for a free shipping code no matter how reasonable the flat-rate shipping cost?
Since the goal of my Facebook show is to create new customers, I want to give them every incentive to try out our line, because I know they will love it and then I have a new customer for the life of my business.
This extra incentive is called a Shopping Special.
You want to offer your hostess and her friends something special for shopping with YOU, otherwise they could just hop on StellaDot.com and be on their merry way.
Sure, TSEOs are pretty special but it’s really just another upsell to a new (and often skeptical) customer.
Now make it: free shipping, free returns and a delight guarantee–and they are risking very little for trying out Stella & Dot!
If you chose to do a shopping special like free shipping you can set the parameters. Maybe you feel more comfortable with “free shipping on any order $50 or more” or “when you buy two items.”
I’m a big believer in free shipping for all–no matter what, and letting them know it’s my special gift to them!
When you decide to do a free shipping special payment gets complicated. Your Facebook guests can’t simply log on to the corporate website through the show’s shopping link and place their order.
And since stylists can’t create and pre-pay our own discount codes (this would be a nice tech upgrade in the future, don’t you think?), you’ll need to split payment with your own credit card to cover shipping.
When your customer is ready to order:
- Have them private message you with their address, telephone, email and items.
- You set up their order manually and send them a message back with a screen shot of their cart and the total due (minus shipping). Be sure to message them with the TSEOs and ask if they’d like to add a style.
- If they add TSEOs, be sure to send them a new screenshot for them to review and approve–checking that their address and items are correct.
- When they have approved the cart, ask them to send you 1/2 of their credit card number through private message and the other half (plus expiration date) via text, and provide them your cell number. (NOTE: 90% of my customers feel this is an adequate level of security. For the other 10% we either do the credit card info over the phone or I simply send them a $5.95 shipping rebate through PayPal.)
- Make sure you split payment and have your credit card saved as your default (so you don’t have to re-enter it for each order). Your card will carry $5.95 and theirs the remaining balance.
- Text them back with a screen shot of the order confirmation number and let them a receipt will be in their inbox very soon.
I know this sounds like more work. And it is.
But there are some pretty amazing advantages to handling orders personally.
You get to talk to your new custoemrs directly throughout the whole checkout process! You can comment on what they chose, offer finish the look pieces, set up a whish list, plus remind them of specials, sales and TSEOs.
And guess what?
You are finishing the whole checkout process by text and that makes it a million times easier when it’s time to follow up and offer them the hostess or stylist opportunity! Texting is now your established communication and they are way more likely to respond to you in the future!
No more awkward, and frustrating, texts to customers that never reply back to you, grrr…
When I started getting strategic about my Facebook shows and researching best practices for online direct sale shows, I came across this rule.
The rule is simple: don’t feature any products over $30 on your Facebook shows.
It was certainly an “a-ha” moment for me because it made me think more about the approach-ability of our products–especially since customers can’t wear or feel the pieces at a virtual show.
After implementing the $30 and under rule at my last 4 trunk shows, I realized that for our particular brand the rule needed to be modified. We have too many amazing, versatile pieces that are over $30, and some best-sellers over $100 that would just be irresponsible not to highlight.
So, for my recent $900 Facebook show I really defined what this $30 and under rule should be for Stella & Dot Facebook shows:
90% of the products you feature should be $30 and under, and 10% should be highly-versatile items, new seasonal items, or best-sellers. But always show the $30 and under items first.
As you can see in the image above, a Facebook show guest is waaaay more likely to pick up a pair of Sparkle Studs and a bracelet (like the Arrison) before they shell out $98 on a necklace.
Your first product features should always be $30 and under items.
You’ve built up how amazing our line is in your welcome video, you’ve highlighted our delight guarantee and you’ve even given a great shopping special…then BAM!
The first products you share are $30 and under pieces!
Your guests are going to be thinking: “Wow! So many fab pieces under $30!” And now you have their attention, ladies! And now you are sooo close to making that online sale!
Yes, those two images above were used in my $900 Facebook show, and yes I edited them myself using the free online editor: PicMonkey (and yes, it is super-easy to use and I highly recommend it)!
But if the thought of making your own graphics fills you with dread and disgust, Stella & Dot has made this ridiculously easy for us! Just click on the $30 and under category under GIFTS and take a few screen shots of the items.
The screen shots will look like this…
If you are willing to put in a little extra time with some simple graphics you could make a few collages (like the “Silver Arm Party” collage above) and show pieces in greater detail and add their item descriptions.
I personally feel that taking the time to make simple graphics can increase your sales, since you are showing the customers how to wear and style pieces together by using our amazing marketing and lookbook images along with greater product information.
Take a look at these images (also used on my $900 show):
10% of your featured products can be over $30 if:
- you are highlighting a new season collection as the theme of your show
- the pieces are versatile
- you showcased them in your welcome video
- they are best-sellers that draw a lot of interest and interaction (e.g. the Getaway bag)
Another important point to highlight about featuring product is you don’t want to just send your guests over to the Stella & Dot site to shop.
You want to keep them on Facebook and commenting and engaged with your content, because that’s what makes a party fun and exciting!
Wait! There’s one more important strategy for your smarter Facebook show:
Who do you want at your Facebook parties?
Someone who wants to be there or someone who just felt pressured to be there?
Someone interested in the brand and open-minded to learning something new? Or someone who’s bitter for feeling obligated to be there for the hostess and closed off to everything you share?
I agree! It’s a no-brainer!
But how do you get a group of receptive, ready-for-something-new party-goers?
You invite them differently.
Instead of having your hostess go through and send an event invitation to all her female friends, have her send a personal message first asking them if they would like to be invited.
I have found that this creates better parties and less social anxiety with hostesses. Facebook can often complicate friendships. I was tired of hostesses feeling bad when they invited lots of friends and no one RSVPed or showed up for the live event. You can see the numbers right there in front of your face and I knew this was not making the hostess feel good.
After I implemented this rule things got amazing!
My hostesses felt way less pressure, less anxiety and they knew that only friends who wanted to be there were going to be there! And her friends now had an easy “out” if they were genuinely not interested. Win, win (win)!
Here is the exact private message I sent to my $900 hostess for her to send out before she did any event invitations:
Hi ____! I’m having an online Stella & Dot party on Facebook next week! They just released their Spring collection and it is ah-mazing! I love that their pieces are so versatile and wearable and I think you’d love to check them out too!
It’s going to be on Jan. 28th at 8:30 PM. It’s a quick 40 minutes packed with lots of fun and there will be giveaways galore! Would you like an invite? I’m not adding people to the event unless they are really interested.
To get the party started my stylist is doing a fun giveaway: the first 15 to RSVP “yes” or “going” will be entered to win this super-cute tech wallet in their Wild Hearts print–it’s SO cute for Valentine’s day coming up!
Let me know if you want me to add you!
I always tell my hostess they can change the message into their own words and to include a pic of the giveaway (that I always send them along with the words to say).
Once their friends got back to them about if they wanted to be invited, the hostess sends a follow up message with a link to the event or can invite them directly from the event.
The other great thing that happens is this pre-invitation naturally whittles down the guest list for the Facebook show.
I’ve found when too many people are invited it doesn’t feel exclusive, and guests are not as likely to actually attend the show because they think: “There will be so many other people there, they won’t miss me!”
Early on in my Facebook-partying career I had an amazing go-getter hostess who invited over 100 people! Fast-forward to the day of the show and only 4 people came to the actual live event (and she and I were technically 1/2 of them).
After that tremendous let-down, I revised my invitation policy to preempt that kind of problem. It has worked wonders for me and it will for you too!
Okay, wow! We’ve covered a lot so far–don’t you think?
There’s one last strategy I want to share with you…
If you haven’t already, make sure you download and print this out: Smarter Stella Dot Facebook Show Planner by My Momma Told Me
This planner is going to help you SO much! It’s going to keep you organized, on schedule and you’ll have all your pertinent info in one place!
Use this planner in conjunction with a Facebook script. There are some wonderful stylists who have shared their scripts in our stylist Facebook groups and here are two of my favorites:
After you chose a script you like, set up your event on Facebook and use the “LOGISTICS” section of the Facebook Show Planner to enter all your important info and urls.
You need to generate excitement for your Facebook show right away!
You do this by posting once daily for the 7 days before your show. These are, by far, the hardest thing for me to remember to do (and why I created this checklist to make it easier for you).
If you are doing an RSVP giveaway, always make that your first reminder post!
Using the checklist, you can just write out the date and time and a quick description of the image and text you’ll be using. I suggest you keep 7 folders on your desktop and keep your images and text organized there for easy access.
TIP: What is the best time of day to post on Facebook? 4:30 to 5 PM on weekdays and 8:30 to 9:30 PM on weekends.
Remember your pre-party post will be competing with lots of other posts on your guest’s timeline, so try to schedule when they will naturally be on Facebook. I’ve consistently found that these are the best times to post for engagement!
Another note on pre-party posts: don’t make these salesy. Make most of them funny, some informative and a only 1 (or 2 max) about our actual products.
Party Day (day of) Reminders
These are your most important pre-party posts!
On the checklist you’ll see there are 6 day-of posts you’ll want to do and my recommended time out from the show. All you have to do is decide what images and text you want to include and write down the exact time you need to post each.
Again, keep these posts organized on your computer desktop for easy access.
I also highly recommend you text or message your hostess first thing in the morning and remind her to personally reach out to guests to remind them to come.
Party Post Schedule
Okay, we are on to page two of the planner now!
TIP: How many posts should you have in your Facebook show? 10 – 12 posts absolute max
I know, I know, most of the Facebook scripts out there have 17, 18 posts, but with a 30 or 40 minute show your posts and content is going to get lost in the shuffle very quickly.
You want high-quality posts that are most likely to produce engagement or sales.
The first post is ALWAYS your personal Welcome Video! I always pin this post to the top of the event so everyone will go through there first.
You’ll want to include information about how to order, our delight guarantee, shipping and any specials or giveaways you are running in the text section of your welcome video post.
I’ve included this section so you can have a clear idea of how much you are making from your Facebook shows.
If you are doing giveaways use the “GIVEAWAYS & SPECIALS” section at the top to determine how much your specials costs.
You can determine giveaway items based on how much you purchased them for. You’ll have to wait till the trunk show is complete to calculate how much you spent on shipping if you decided to do a free shipping promo.
After the show, you can fill out the bottom of your planner and find out your total profit for the show.
If you follow the tips and strategies you learned here, I am sure you’re going to see your Facebook show profits grow!
Wow, we’ve covered a lot of good stuff here!
If you’re still with me after over 4,500 words then I know you’re pretty darn serious about making smarter, better (and stronger) Stella & Dot Facebook shows for you, your hostesses and your future customers!
Now, I’m so excited to invite you to join the new Smarter Stella & Dot Trunk Shows group! This is our place to keep this conversation going and help each other by sharing scripts, strategies, pics, fun memes and advice for rocking out our Facebook shows! Please join me there!
But, wait! Before you go…
Did this help you? I want to know! Please leave a comment below, I love getting feedback from you!
Stay sparkly my friends! xo, Kristen