As restrictions surrounding the pandemic are easing and we are moving towards reopening, I wanted to invite my friend Chelsea Boss of SeaBoss Marketing back on the podcast to talk about how to market your wine brand in a post-pandemic world.
It's no secret that the way we marketed changed drastically during the pandemic. Wholesale marketing was largely put on pause, while e-commerce boomed for many wine brands. In this episode, Chelsea and I discuss how to market on social media, via your email list, your e-commerce platform(s), and in retail. We also touch on what our predictions are going to be for the once-ubiquitous virtual tastings, now that tasting rooms are beginning to open up.
This hour and a half episode is jam-packed with actionable tips for how to stay relevant and adjust your strategy with the times.
Key Takeaways from this Episode:
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Disclaimer: The information contained on this podcast and the resources available for download through the accompanying website are for educational and informational purposes only. The information contained on this podcast and the resources available for download through the accompanying website is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as legal, financial, tax, medical, health, or any other professional advice.
Heather Daenitz: [00:00:00] hello and welcome to the craft and cluster podcast. Show all about marketing your wine brand in the digital age. I'm your host, Heather. Dana's a photographer and social media consultant based in Santa Barbara wine country. Today I've invited Chelsea boss of Sea boss marketing back onto the podcast to talk about how to market your wine brand now that we're starting to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Hey, welcome back, Chelsea.
Chelsea Boss: [00:00:30] Hey, thanks, Heather. Always happy to be here. I'm really hoping this podcast will help refresh everyone's energy. As we open back up to the post COVID environment we know all face.
Heather Daenitz: [00:00:40] Absolutely. , so today we're gonna be talking about marketing on social media, via your email list, your e-commerce, and in retail, but we're also going to touch on what our predictions are going to be for the once-ubiquitous virtual tastings.
But yeah, let's start with social media.
Chelsea Boss: [00:00:59] Awesome. Let's dive in.
Heather Daenitz: [00:01:01] So I think that you and I both can agree, and I think this is going to go for each of these things that we're going to be talking about today, but now's the time before things fully open up and before the madness of summer and harvest set in to get your strategy in line and so what I always like to say for this is to, you know, find your, your minimum posting schedule and get in the habit of it. What do you think?
Chelsea Boss: [00:01:26] Yeah, absolutely. We've talked about this a lot on this podcast and I know just as well as other entrepreneurs, that sometimes it's really hard to get in the habit of consistency and cadence.
And again, if you're out there listening to this and you don't have a good cadence, you don't have a good , strategy that you're turning to as your north star for your business. You're not alone, but now really is the time to take advantage of the resources that we've given you. Go back and listen to our podcast about creating a strategy, use that worksheet that we created.
It should really only take you an hour to sit down and at least get your brain wrapped around it because consistency is going to be the thing that is going to save you in the future. And now's the time we all had the time during the pandemic to kind of take stock of where we're at with our business.
And if we haven't put it into practice, yet we need to do that in order to move forward following the pandemic so that our customers trust us.
Heather Daenitz: [00:02:35] Yeah, absolutely. And it's really, I mean, for those of you who are maybe listening to this episode for the first time or this podcast for the first time, what we're talking about is episode two of the craft and cluster podcast, where we walk you through how to create your, your strategy.
And this is not just related to social media, but it's, it's related to your entire marketing strategy. So including email marketing but those principles are valid regardless of which platform, what channel, whatever you're, you're using the most to market yourself and your wine. And so, yeah, we really want to make sure that you are getting into the habit.
And so when, when I say find your minimum, I mean, find the absolute bare minimum you can manage of posting on social media, emailing, you know, email marketing. I suggest at minimum once per week for social media marketing what would you say for email marketing
Chelsea Boss: [00:03:34] once a month for email marketing. I'll dive into that a little bit later in the episode because it does differ from business to business in my experience, whether you're an allocation model, you have a wine club, your list is really small. There's a lot of different things to take into consideration. And I have some strategies and some advice as to where to start depending on where you are now. But yeah, you know, to keep it simple with social media marketing, if you walk away from this section of the podcast with one, you know, task, it decides how much you're going to post a week and stick to it. it'll go a long way for you and you'll continue to see that your, your engagement goes up and you know, you're, you're showing up consistently and it really builds trust with your customers.
Heather Daenitz: [00:04:23] Yeah. 100%. And, you typically know. What days of the week, you're going to have the most mental capacity and energy to make those posts and be active on social media. And so I, I recommend at least to start with before you really get into it is to establish one or two days a week that you are going to sit down and actually make posts or post any scheduled posts.
So, for example, for a while I was posting, every Monday, I would do a regular feed post, and then every Tuesday I would go live on Instagram and then I would post like a Reel or a funny, video on Thursdays. And so that was kind of the schedule that I was following.
And then, of course, showing up in my stories every single day, I have a couple of clients who they post every single Wednesday and that just works for them. And that's, that's a solid strategy. And so of course you want to get better over time, but just to start, just to get in the habit, pick one or two days a week, that you're going to make your posts.
And then once you've established that habit grows from there, get better from there because you can't make a habit better until you've established the habit. Right. So that is a good place to start.
Chelsea Boss: [00:05:42] Yeah. And if you're like me and in my past roles, when I was the general manager of a wine brand, or I was the sales and marketing, assistant way back in the day when I first got into the wine business, I found that oftentimes my calendar would get really full with to-do items.
You know, I always had these priorities that came first before social media. And what I found for myself that really worked well was, I would put a two-hour window, two days a week. Tuesday, Thursday, late morning, or over lunch that I would say, this is the time I'm going to sit down and work on this project to make sure it keeps moving forward.
And for somebody who schedules a lot of meetings, I found that to be really successful, to kind of force me into, sitting down to do it and always making sure I'm having time to execute those tasks.
Heather Daenitz: [00:06:32] Yeah. And that's a great point is making a meeting with yourself that is, you know, and making it non-negotiable.
Cause I think for me, I think it's really easy for me to make a meeting with myself and say, I'm going to do something and then, and then just not follow through and be like, oh, it's not as important. You know, whatever. Like, no, you have to make that meeting non-negotiable with yourself and say, okay, you know, at this point in time, we are going to be doing this, on Monday from 10 to 11, I'm going to be scheduling out my posts for the week.
So really, really making that, that non-negotiable is super important. And I think also for those of you who are you okay running around, you're like, "when am I going to find time to actually capture the photos or capture the videos of what I'm doing." Getting in the habit of capturing those visuals while you're doing your job.
So when I was working for a vineyard management company, one of my duties was to go out to, the different vineyards that we had weather stations on. And I would download the weather station data. And while I was waiting, while that information would download, I would spend that five minutes just taking photos of the vines, taking photos of the vineyard getting some videos here and there.
And that way I built up, a really robust library. So if there's something that you're doing say you are in the winery that day and you're racking. I mean, you know, there's a good couple of minutes when you. First opened up your valve to let the wine into the barrel that you're, you're not really needing to be like on top of the barrel, watching what you're doing, you know, so take those couple of minutes and snap, a couple of photos, get a couple of quick videos and then, put, your phone away and get back to work.
Like it doesn't need to take very long. You don't need to think about it very often. And then even, you know, if you're working in the tasting room, if you're somebody who is, doing social media and also in the tasting room, something you could do is when you're going through your opening procedures, you know, you schedule a good five minutes between the opening.
And of course, you know, we never know when our first clients are going to show up unless you're scheduling them or have like reservations, but. Take five minutes, between, you know, finishing your opening procedures and, and getting your first customers of the day to snap some photos of the bottles or snap some photos or videos of the tasting lists.
Just things like that, just to help build up a content library for yourself. So that when you do sit down with these planning dates, these meetings with yourselves, you have this, this library of content to pull from. And so you can very easily just drop those into a social media planner, like Later, Planoly, or the one that I like to use, which is called Plann That.
And, just have that there and ready to go. Cause it's gonna make your life so much easier.
Chelsea Boss: [00:09:28] Yeah, absolutely. And so on that topic, Heather, where should wineries start on social media right now, following the pandemic, as far as the type of content and communication and engagement strategy that they should have?
Heather Daenitz: [00:09:43] Yeah, so, as we're seeing as the world is starting to open back up, we are starting to see much more traffic in our tasting rooms, but I still think, and I think this is going to be true for a while beyond the pandemic that we're going to want to show that we're still safe in our tasting rooms, that we're still offering a really safe and fun, enjoyable experience in our tasting rooms. So if you are a winery that has a tasting room, then I would recommend showing what your tasting experience looks like. So really showing, how you are offering your tasting Are you reservation only, still, is that going to be something that you carry on beyond the pandemic?
I know that there are quite a lot of wineries that weren't previously in a reservation-only model that is, have now moved to a reservation-only model and are going to be keeping it. Long past the pandemic which personally I think is smart. It's a really great idea.
Chelsea Boss: [00:10:41] Then also, I, you know, I have a client that previously didn't have a bottle shop at their winery. , but now they have an opportunity where people can actually just pop-in shop for wines, pick them up and go. And that's another example of, you know, a way that your business model may have changed, that you want to communicate to people that, Hey, you know, if we're booked out for tastings because we're super busy, don't worry about it.
Pop on in shop from our bottle shop, you can talk to one of our tasting room reps about which wine is best for your weekend adventure, whatever it is. And you can still capture those sales of people that aren't able to actually sit down and taste with you so all of us have experienced ways in which our business model has changed.
So understanding how those changes are going to continue to function in your business moving forward and make sure you're communicating that with your audience so that they have the opportunity to take advantage of those new changes.
Heather Daenitz: [00:11:42] Absolutely. Yeah. So, I mean, really the guiding principle in this particular section of content just shows what you're offering, show, what your services are, and show what the experience looks like and communicate that clearly.
I mean, even when you're writing your captions using bullet points, like this is what we expect from you. This is what you can expect from us. And giving options. And then of course, always, always, always with the call to action, tell people how they can buy from you because that is, I think something that people are still forgetting to do, as much as I yell about it on here some people are still not taking my advice.
Always have it. Please do it is you're going to make yourself so much happier if you do that.
Chelsea Boss: [00:12:22] Yeah. And another thing, you know, that a lot of people that I've talked to have really taken the time during the pandemic to think about the changes that they want to make with their business.
So if you thought about hiring a photographer to update, website photos, or that you need new content, now's the time to pull the trigger on that. Especially as we're emerging and giving some refresh to those ideas that you've been sort of sitting on and, and spinning your wheels with now we can return to a norm where we can show our experiences in a more normal way post-pandemic. And so if you've had a lot of your content on hold because you haven't wanted to, you know, make investments long-term, that shows a really short term, you know, period of time you know, pull the trigger, make that investment, because it's gonna, it's gonna really help refresh your energy in the digital space.
Heather Daenitz: [00:13:22] Yeah. I've had a lot of wineries reaching out to me to get new photos done for their website. And, and I usually suggest to, if we can add on, of course, this is my business as a, as a photographer, so I'm always like, oh, you should add on some extra photos here and there, but. I, I mean it in the best way possible adding on like a lifestyle session to really show that so that you can, you can actually share those images, not only on your website, not only make this investment for one place but also making it for your social media platforms as well. So I think that's a really great place to start
Chelsea Boss: [00:14:00] Yeah, totally. And the other, the other thing about content now is we have all been starved of human interaction, right? For some period of time during this, we want to see people having fun. Yes. I want to see faces. I want to see smiles.
I want to see hugs and you know, if you're in an area that's safe to do that and your staff is vaccinated, you know, don't be afraid to say, Hey, we're, we're happy to be vaccinated and, ready to host you. And our experiences are still safe. And here, look at these people having fun. Don't you want to be that person sitting in that chair cause I know that it's been challenging to get content with, with people without really showing the pandemic?
And so now's our opportunity to go back into that realm of, showing the human element and how that. You know, experiences, with our wine industry and our wine businesses.
Heather Daenitz: [00:14:54] Yeah. I mean, just smiling, happy people engaging with your product or service is always a good thing. But now that we're kind of slowly moving towards a post-mask world, I myself will probably keep my mask on for a little while, just out of pure trauma.
But, but I think that you know, as we're moving into this post masking, you know, time, then, Making sure that you're showing that showing how safe you, you still are and showing smiling, happy, happy people, is really gonna resonate deeply with, with so many people who have been, as you said, starved for human interaction and human connection.
So speaking of that, I want people to remember to engage on social media. This is one of the easiest things to do, and yet it is one of the things that is most often not done by brands. I can almost promise you that if you are listening to this podcast, you are small, probably a small wine brand and you probably aren't having so many comments and DMS that you can't respond to every single one of them, at least most of them, right? It's only when you get into the, you know, you're getting thousands of comments or hundreds of comments that that might be that might not be feasible, but. If you are only getting, you know, five, 10, 15 comments on each post that you're making, please respond to them, even respond to the ones that are just emojis, respond to every single one of them.
Not only is it going to help you with regards to the algorithm, because the algorithm is going to be like, Hey, this person's active on social media. We're going to show their posts to more people. It's also just gonna send a subtle message to the people who are viewing your, your social media accounts, or interacting with you that, Hey, this is a business that's responsive.
If I'm having an issue, then I will be able to get help immediately. It's just customer service. To respond to your comments, respond to your DMS and, be social on social media. That's what that's for. That's why it's called social media. So use it to build connections, build relationships, because again, people are starving for those connections and we want to, you know, give people what they want.
Chelsea Boss: [00:17:10] Yeah. I mean, a great example is our friendship. We met mid pandemic or beginning of the pandemic and Heather and I have actually never hung out in person.
Heather Daenitz: [00:17:22] I know it's hard to believe! One of these days we'll be able to hang out. I feel like I've met so many people who I consider really good friends. But I've never actually met them in person. I've never actually like hugged them. I've got, I've got a lot of hugs stored up in my body right now. I need to actually, yeah.
Chelsea Boss: [00:17:46] So what about, influencers, partnerships? I mean, we've seen that area of social media really blow up leading up to the pandemic and then just skyrocket during I've experienced a lot of changes in the way that influencers work.
A lot of the influencers that I used to work with on a very authentic ground level are now represented by big agencies. And you know you always want to be mindful of who you're working with and who's representing your brand, but I still do think that there's a lot of value in creating relationships authentically over DMS, over comments engagement, just like you were talking about with influencers that can become a bit of a brand ambassador or an ally on the Instagram platform.
So I'd love to know what your thoughts are on influencers and partnerships and ways that you can help grow your audience and your reach.
Heather Daenitz: [00:18:46] Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I think that when done well and when done right influencer partnerships or other, you know, wine writers wine educators, whatever you want to call them, those kinds of partnerships can be really, really valuable.
They can actually, you know, what you want to do. And I've talked about this previously with my friend's winery reflections, we talked about, what wineries should be on the lookout for when they're looking to partner with someone in this capacity.
One of the biggest things is to make sure that whoever you're partnering with their audience is adjacent if not parallel to yours. So their target audience is the same as your target audience. So, if you are for example, you are a natural wine company, you focus mostly on natural wine. Then you're going to want to work with an influencer who has an audience full of people who are also likewise interested in natural wine.
If you are a sparkling wine house, you make primarily sparkling wine or mostly sparkling wine, then you are going to want to work with an influencer who focuses their attention on sparkling wine. Of course, you may want to work with an influencer who does more general things, but, if you're a sparkling wine house and the person that you would look to work with mostly works with Bordeaux or heavy red wines.
That's not going to resonate, right? Like that's not going to be that there's going to be a disconnect between their audience and the audience that you're after. So you really, really want to be working, making sure that you are partnering with somebody who is within the niche that you are, are targeting.
And then beyond that, you want to also want to make sure that you are having a contract in place with them that there's some transparency between what you are asking for and what they are going to be delivering
I'm sure, we've all sort of experienced this where we have had a partnership of some sort go south, and maybe they didn't deliver on what they've promised.
Or we didn't have our expectations fully mapped out and so they didn't deliver what we thought we were promised, even though we didn't explain what our expectations were. So, I really want to encourage everyone who is looking into influencer partnerships with, again, which again, for the record, can be extremely valuable if they're done well, they're done, right.
If you vet your influencers ahead of time, if you vet your wine writers, whoever you're going to be working with ahead of time, they can be really, really wonderful. I want to encourage anyone who is looking into this, this path of reach, and make sure you are going to be getting a contract in place, or at least some sort of written down an agreement that outlines your expectations outlines exactly what the influencer is going to be doing for you, where it's going to be living. Is it going to be living on their account? Is it going to be living on your account? I've had situations where that wasn't clear and that made for a really confusing launch.
And that was really frustrating. And so we really, really want to make sure that every single thing is outlined ahead of the launch so that once you get to that point, it's really successful. So yes. So please make sure that you are getting something written down
Chelsea Boss: [00:22:07] and I want to touch on really quick for those listening, who think that influencers and partnerships are outside of your budget. my biggest piece of advice to all of you listening, this is what I say to my clients who don't have a budget for this is starting to build authentic relationships with those people, responding to their stories, commenting, just being a part of the conversation in their community.
And then when you feel like you've developed a little bit of a like relationship with them, you've had a few interactions just reach out to them and say, "Hey, you know, we're, we're young in our business we would love to just send you two of our wines just to taste to hear your feedback you know, no pressure."
And what I have found is. Oftentimes, when I do that for a client, you know, I pick 10 people and I send out, you know, a case of wine, not to one individual, but a total of a case of samples, you know, to six people, two bottles. What I've found is they will give you genuine feedback and sometimes they'll even post about it and you'll see what they would do and what they would even do more.
So if you were paying them and so you get an opportunity to kind of like introducing them to your wines and without asking anything of them, and then you can see how, you know, they interact with it. And if they're excited about it then you know your money as well spent, and you already kind of see like how they value, like those, you know, genuine outreaches and shows of good faith to send them your samples.
But I would just say, be mindful of the fact that these people are getting paid to do that kind of content. You never want to ask for something for free. What I always say is like, we're looking to develop relationships with influencers right now. We're just doing a little bit of outreach.
We'd love to send you a couple of samples and just see what you think. No pressure, no expectations. And I have found that when you do that after you've built a little bit of a relationship with them online, it has like, I would say. Eight times out of 10, the person scratches your back too. And then you get a little bit of an opportunity to see how they operate.
And then you're like, you know what? I really liked the way this person interacted with our wines. And I find value in, you know, paying them to do a reel and two posts and provide us, you know, some feedback. So if you think that you don't have the budget, you don't need to jump off the deep end, you can kind of dip your toes and start making those relationships.
And that will go a lot further than just reaching out to them blindly and being like, Hey, we want to pay you, you know? So I take a little bit of a softer approach. Jumping into paid partnerships, just based on my experiences, but yeah, it's the other thing is, is like if you were to do something like that, you're going to find that you create a little bit of a buzz and on Instagram and you can kind of see how that impacts your brand and then you can decide if it's worth it to you to pay for those partnerships on a more structured and like bigger scale basis. So I just wouldn't be too intimidated again, like, Heather has, so aptly put social media is meant to be social. So be social with those people, develop those relationships and see where they go.
Heather Daenitz: [00:25:32] Yeah, I, yeah, I would say like, just kind of in summary of this entire section, talking about social media is, is really one, have a strategy, find your minimum, you know, get, get that habit put in place and. Be social, build relationships because that is what's going to serve you in the long run as we're coming out of this, this pandemic where we are, we're starting to kind of get out in the world a little bit more in the relationships on social media are maybe going to be changing and shifting a little bit maybe people are going to be spending a little less time on social media, but. When they do spend time on social media, they're going to make sure to spend that time with you. If you've taken the time to build a good relationship with them
Chelsea Boss: [00:26:17] Cause they've made a personal connection with you. And so they're going to be more inclined to engage with you.
And that's a great way to use stories, Heather, you know, if you're not if you're the person that says, you know what, I can only post once a week and that's what I'm willing to commit to. You can still show up on stories every day, every day, you're doing something for your business. You're setting up the tasting room, you're processing wine clubs, you're packing shipments.
You're out in the vineyard, checking the vines, you're in the winery, racking, your barrels. Like you can take just a few minutes to post something on your stories and just be like, "Hey, here's what we're up to today. Like, you know, how are you doing" dah, dah, dah? And you can be very active on your stories without.
Really diving deep into an intense strategy or overwhelming yourself. And that still creates, a situation where you're, you're showing up in a, a really like low-stress kind of way. I mean, stories last 24 hours and then they go away and they only stay there if you put them on your highlights. So you can experiment, you can have fun and you can still show up without having like scheduled posts and posting a number of days.
So , if you're feeling overwhelmed by that, stories is a great way to kind of start dipping your toes into showing up on your, your Instagram consistently.
Heather Daenitz: [00:27:38] Yeah, it's a really low hanging fruit kind of thing to do, because as you said, Chelsea is like, they last 24 hours.
Like if your audience doesn't like it, then cool. It's gone in 24 hours, you know, try again tomorrow. And it's a great place to test content to test what is going to resonate with your audience. If you notice that you're getting a lot of interaction, a lot of DMS from a particular story that you posted, then Hey, take that, that topic, that content, and put it into a post.
And just add some words to it, like,
Chelsea Boss: [00:28:11] or we're like, I know that you have done with your clients and I've done with mine too is just genuinely ask like, Hey everybody, thanks for following us. What do you want to see more of like, what are you curious about? Put a question sticker in there and take that feedback and use it.
I mean, the number one thing that you can do for your strategy is asked for feedback and you're going to, you're going to get it. And trust me. If you put up a question sticker and nobody responds to it, don't feel bad about that. It's going to take a few times for that to happen. I know when I put things on my teeny tiny business following, I usually get maybe one, two responses to questions stickers, but the more that I do it, the more people are willing to respond to them.
Especially if I'm answering their question, reposting their question, and like providing which you do super well on the craft and cluster. So if you're not following Craft & cluster on Instagram, definitely go check her out. She's really good about showing up on stories. And it's a really good example, of what you can do for your business too.
Heather Daenitz: [00:29:13] Thank you. I appreciate that. I mean, yeah. Like what I like to, what I like to say about your stories is it's like we're open sign on your storefront, right? It's when people are coming to your profile, they're going to look at it and they're like, okay, cool. Like, is this the kind of thing? Profile that I want to follow.
Do they have content that resonates? They, you know, they're kind of window shopping, but then what they're going to see if they have, if you have that little ring around your, your profile photo, it's going to show them that you're.
Chelsea Boss: [00:29:44] Yep. Yeah. And it's probably going to be the first thing that they really look
Heather Daenitz: [00:29:47] at 100% when I go to a new profile, if they have their stories going, I will 100% watch their stories before I even dive into their content because it's just like that to me is how you really get to know a brand or you really get to know a person is by watching how they show up in these really low hanging fruit kinds of ways.
Right? Like it's like, okay, that's where you legitimately can be super weird in your stories. You can get it, it doesn't need to be as polished. And people will find it super endearing when it's not polished. So definitely, definitely get into that. And I, what I will also say before we get, I know we've spent quite a lot of time on social media.
When are you getting to the other topics? But one thing I do really want to point out with this is. That I, on my own personal, test a lot of things on my own Instagram before I take them to my clients or to you. And this was sort of an unintentional test on my part. I haven't posted anything on my own Instagram feed for a couple of weeks now.
But I've still been showing up in my stories every single day. And I'm growing steadily, which is if that's not a high accommodation for jumping in your stories every single day, even if it's like a really minimum, again, low hanging fruit, like you, 're reposting something that somebody tags you in and adding just a little commentary to it.
I mean, I don't know what else is going to convince you to get on, on stories. Other than that, it's so easy to do. And it, it doesn't need to be well thought out. You can really just show up as you are, show people what you're doing, and just make sure you add like a little commentary, add some context.
So, you know
Chelsea Boss: [00:31:24] yeah. And if you're, if you're a winery owner listening to this and you have a staff that you're feeling a little reluctant to give them the keys to your Instagram and show up on stories. I highly encourage you to engage one of your employees that, does a good job in your tasting room and just be like, Hey, you know, can you just post a story once a day of like what you have going on behind the scenes?
Just give them the opportunity. And as they make mistakes, correct them, you know, it's not like they're going to blatantly sabotage you. I mean, I really see that oftentimes when clients come to me, they're a winery owner and they're just really hesitant about putting their people in front of the camera or giving them the camera too.
Do some stories themselves. And I think that that's just, it's a mistake. And it's gonna hold you back and, you know, the more autonomy and trust that you give your employees to show up for you on the digital marketing, the stronger that relationship that they're going to build with not only your customers but with your brand itself.
So keep that in mind.
Heather Daenitz: [00:32:32] Yeah. There's just to give like a quick example of this as somebody who I think is doing this really well there is a winery down here in Santa Barbara county called Dreamcote and they make wonderful wines. They're wonderful people. And the owner winemaker ofDreamcote has a staff member who is regularly in the tasting room who's around who is kind of a, a personality, you know, like a personality within the company.
And she does all of the stories and she kills it. She like absolutely crushes it on their stories. She not only shows up, you know, shows her face occasionally and talks about what's going on. She's really good about recording, what's going on in the tasting room, she'll often get some content from what's going on in the little town of Los Olivos as well. And it's just, it's super easy. Like it's again, low effort. You know, like most of her stories are four slides long, so about a minute and they're awesome. And I find them as a consumer find the content really engaging. It makes me want to buy that wine, like straight up. I want to go, go get some Dreamcote and it's actually. Influenced me to go buy some of Dreamcotewine. Cause I'm like, oh man, I haven't tried that yet. I really want to try that.
You know? And so just again, the power of story it's a really powerful tool to use. So definitely if nothing else show up in your stories and you may not grow quickly, but you'll grow steadily. And you'll also at the same time deepen these relationships that you have with your current audience.
So definitely. Okay. So that's enough about social media. We've really like spent like three quarters of this conversation talking about social media. Let's get into email marketing. And this is your area of expertise Chelsea. So I'm going to like take a step back and shut my mouth for a minute. Talk about email marketing.
What can wineries do kind of coming out of this, this pandemic moving into our post pandemic phase here. What can wineries do to really step up their email marketing?
Chelsea Boss: [00:34:36] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, you have your existing mailing list and you have potential new customers that are going to join your mailing list because you'll be, you know, calling to action on Instagram, sign up or you're going to be in the tasting room, like check this box to you know, opt in for newsletter.
I have one client that is currently allocation model. They only email when they have a new allocation and they want to, to start a monthly newsletter that adds value and offer special deals or, library wines that they want to do a short term release on.
And, they're concerned like, we have this really consistent cadence and we have really high open rates because we only email when we're releasing. Now that is often times where people come to me and they're like, we're stuck. Like how do we re-engage our audience without having purchasers unsubscribe because they only want to know when we're releasing and they're just steady customers.
I've also seen this with wine clubs. You have a wine club and you're emailing monthly. And in one of your wine club members that wants to stay active and wants to be in your club unsubscribes because they don't want to get the monthly newsletter. So this is where you can create segments. You can create different groups in your mailing list where you have people opt into the newsletter or they just opt in for wine club emails or, allocation emails.
And if you're unsure how to do this look into your email marketing system, especially if you're using MailChimp it's really easy to set up and what you can do with your existing audience. If you're looking to nurture that audience is come up with a, a sequence in which you can, re-engage that audience in a new way and say, Hey, if you want to be receiving.
Only allocation emails, and you don't want to hear from us otherwise, or you only want to get your wine club emails or new releases, you know, opt in here for that. And you won't hear from us monthly, but here's what we're going to start doing. So introducing the new idea. And then nurturing that existing audience don't immediately ask them for a purchase start showing them, on a four to six week timeline or a one to two, three month timeline, nurture that audience, give them value, bring them back around to hearing from you consistently and then start offering them special deals or offers or sales or asking for purchases.
You don't want to just jump in with like, oh, Hey, Hey, you haven't heard from us buy this three pack. You know, that was something that we saw so much of at the beginning of the pandemic. So don't make that same mistake again. Find out a way to nurture your existing audience. Get the people who want to get those value added monthly emails with an offer every other month, put into a segment to receive those emails.
And then the other thing that I find really valuable is to plan three months ahead. So right now, just sit down and be like, okay, June, I want to offer like our favorite summer recipes and summer playlist, you know, leading up to 4th of July and on Spotify and a link to purchase Rosie and our white wine.
Start there, create your June, July, August ideas. They just need to be ideas. Just put them down in a doc. Word vomit on that doc, like all the ideas that you have. And then every time you launch an email create the next third month out. So, you know, you launched June and then you're working on September and you're always ahead of the game and you can change it last minute.
It's not a big deal, but if you find that you're in a pinch and you're constantly creating content last minute, that's the best way to like, have a document to go back to you and be like, okay, here's my ideas for July. All right. I want to change that. Or, you know what, I'm just going to stick with that because I don't have time to put any more effort into it and bust out the content.
And again, Heather has talked about this a lot with Instagram, but the 80 20 rule, you want to be adding value 80% of the time selling 20% of the time. And what I have found is that I put the value, add information at the top of the newsletter. And at the bottom, I have like a shop now or, you know, our, our summer selection of barbecue wines or whatever, a link at the bottom.
And you'll find that you'll see sales trickle in even if you're not asking for a purchase, even if you're not offering a specific offer, it's just a reminder that you're there, that you're adding value to them and they'll be like, oh, you know what? I don't have any rosé and my cellar right now.
Like I don't have a crushable beach wine or porch pounder canned wine that I can just reach for on a Tuesday evening when I don't want to open a full bottle. Like there's all sorts of opportunities for you to sell without asking for the sale. And even if your list is just a hundred people that sign up for that newsletter, those hundred people want to hear from you.
And those hundred people will purchase over time. So that's how to nurture your existing audience and then welcoming new purchasers. You have now an opportunity to get them used to this new cadence that you're communicating. So you could put together a welcome sequence that says, Hey, welcome.
Here's the person behind the scenes. Here's what we're all about. A series of three emails. And maybe the last one is, how often do you want to hear from us releases only buying club only allocation only newsletter and get them to segment themselves, find out what they want from you.
And, or even just offer them an opportunity to reply, like reply, let us know what you're interested in. Why you signed up for our list. Because one thing that. I've been finding a lot of email marketers are talking about is actually email engagement, which really helps the ranking of your email campaigns and being sent to spam and stuff like that, that we all experience from time to time is email engagement is a thing.
If people are responding to your emails, your platform is going to continue to rank you higher and higher. So provide an opportunity to get some feedback via email. And then as far as building your list the welcome sequence really helps nurture your audience.
You can offer them a special package for being a new member. It doesn't have to be a discount. Doesn't have to be free shipping. It's just something packaged together. That's like, this is our great introductory introduction to our brand one white, our rosé and our value red. And, make sure that on your other platforms, you're calling to action to sign up for your email list, make sure that your marketing channels are optimized to collect those emails.
You have easy links to just sign up for the list. If you have your own custom website and you have the ability to create a dedicated landing page for new members that are, are new to your brand, that's a little bit more robust than just a form, you know, reach out to your Squarespace manager, your WordPress manager, and have them build you a dedicated landing page with special links for social media and a special offer like a call to action to sign up for the mailing list.
Heather Daenitz: [00:42:15] You're, you're hitting all the points that I think are important. the only thing I might add is, is make sure you always have a call to action, even in those nurture emails just like a minor call and actually something that I was thinking about while you were talking was, I wonder if there's an email, just a content idea of even for social media, remind your customers, to check their cellar and, see what they have a lot of and what they don't have enough of and, and see if you can fill that void.
So, I mean, just speaking from a personal standpoint, I often find that I don't have nearly enough Sangiovese for how much pizza and pasta I eat. And and I'm always like, oh shit, you know, I should. I should get a couple bottles of Sangiovese. You just like have in my cellar so that when I'm, you know, hankering after something, you know, bright and fruity, I can like grab one of those bottles, you know?
And, and I never remember when I'm actually at the winery I don't think about it until the actual moment of, oh, we're having we're having lasagna tonight. It'd be great if I had like a Cal-Ital in my cellar that I could pull out and sip on. And so maybe that's a content idea.
Chelsea Boss: [00:43:33] I love that. I'm probably gonna use that.
Heather Daenitz: [00:43:38] We're talking, I was like making notes. Here we go. Content ideas. These, this is the beauty of, of these sorts of collaboration, right?
Chelsea Boss: [00:43:46] Yeah, absolutely.
Heather Daenitz: [00:43:49] Brainwaves.
Chelsea Boss: [00:43:50] Yeah. And so the last, the last component of email marketing that I want to demystify for everyone, listening is automation.
You can automate your email marketing. It's not as hard as you think. MailChimp active campaign convert kit, all of these email marketing providers offer automations and yeah, you might have to upgrade your account, but I'm telling you, it's going to do you wonders because you don't have to trigger a welcome sequence.
When somebody signs up on the, on the email list, it happens automatically. You don't have to remember to check your abandoned carts. They will get an email saying, Hey, you left these in your cart. And, you know, want to pull the trigger also automation is a great way to follow up with your customers, whether they get a purchase follow-up, you know two weeks after saying you should be receiving your wine soon.
We want to know what you think. One of my clients makes a fiano, which is not a well-known white wine. Italian varietals. That's not widely grown in, in California. And so they have a automation in which, when somebody buys the fiano, they get an email with a blog post of like how to pair. fiano a little bit of history about it. And you know, if you have questions don't hesitate to reach out to us and, and ask. So that's a great. Yeah, that's a great automation.
And then also like reorder followups. So let's say you have an automation where if somebody purchases your wine, three months later, they get an email that says, Hey, we'd love to you know, have you either like drop a link to review your business on Facebook, Google or if you have ratings on your website and also if you'd like to reorder, we do experience this wine selling out in a certain amount of time.
So here's an, here's a link to add to cart, the same order that you had, or you can you know, just reorder whatever you want. And then. As far as club memberships, you know, I think that there's a lost opportunity for everybody out there, which is, this is the standard in the wine business. You email your wine club, you say, Hey, here's the shipment.
Do you want to customize it? Do you need to edit anything? Great boom, ship out the wines. And then crickets, like, why not follow up with those people a month later and be like, Hey, how, you know, what was your thoughts on the wines? He has a favorite pairings. Here's a blog post on when we think these Cabernets would drink well you know, offer them an opportunity to engage with you, but also like get some value from what they can do with their wine club.
But also just thank them. Very simply, thank you so much for being a part of our community. Like you are, why we are here. Here's some things for you that should add value to your experience with our wine clubs, that you, wine club shipment that you just received. So all of those types of emails can be automated.
You set them up once you check in on them. You check in on that automation a couple of times a year, and you're good to go. People are hearing from you and wow, they're really consistent on their marketing. They care about me. They're thanking me, they're offering me free value and they're offering me an opportunity to give them feedback.
Like I love these people.
Heather Daenitz: [00:47:19] Yeah. I think it's really important to set up those automations of asking for testimonials because again, this is just me and my social media brain. But whenever I am looking to make a post about a particular wine, the first thing I do is go and look at what our customers are saying about that wine.
And, you know, if it's, if it's a new wine, then I look at past examples of it. And I see what were they saying about that to how quickly did it sell out? How much do people love it? And that can be really valuable information to communicate on your social media, in your Instagram stories, on the Twitter or wherever, like wherever you are showing up online those are really valuable things.
And then when you do send out those promotional emails, what we always want to be communicating is both empathy and authority and a really wonderful way to communicate authority is by sharing testimonials. So yeah, I think sending out in your automations, making sure that you follow up a couple of weeks after they've made a purchase and be like, Hey, how are you enjoying that wine that you just ordered? We'd really appreciate if you would leave a rating review on like the actual wine and you give them a link directly to where they can do that. I know that when companies do this for me, Cause I'll forget about it.
Like, I'll forget to leave a review, but when you send me an email, I always do it. And so, so yeah, for sure, I think that's a reallyvaluable tool
Chelsea Boss: [00:48:47] And it reminds you to maybe open up one of the bottles or, you know, I would even argue to send it, you know, a month after they get the wine. And be like, Hey, have you opened up any of the wines? If not, here's some value add. And if so, we would super love it. If you left us a review or just reply to this email with your feedback and then just make sure if you're doing a reorder campaign there are systems that will recreate their order automatically put it in their cart for them for ease of just one click purchase. So you could, you know, just make sure you're sending that. If you're sending them a follow up email six months after maybe wait, you know, three or four months before sending a reorder campaign.
And this is a really good segue into our e-commerce section, these testimonials and reviews. I love it when I go to wineries websites. And when I go into the product itself, it has, one or two press reviews, from wine writers or wine publications. And then it also has some what our customers are saying.
It's like, I love pairing the Sangiovese with our homemade pizza, and put those testimonials on your website. First name, last initial. Don't just say happy customers don't make it vague put Chelsea B Heather D say this about our wines and do the same thing for your wine clubs, you know, reach out, get those testimonials and on your wine club, signup page, have those testimonials of like wine club member so-and-so loves this club so much. So integrating that into your e-commerce will really build. It's just like when we go to Amazon and we have four different options of the same product and we look at the reviews and we say, okay, like these reviews are aligned with what I desire from this product.
So I'm going to purchase this one over the others. So, keep that in mind. I think wineries can do a lot better of integrating that feedback and those testimonials into their e-commerce itself on their website.
Heather Daenitz: [00:50:52] Yeah, I agree. I love reading what other people have to say about a wine, you know, and, and what's really interesting, and this is a total like non-sequitur, but like this.
I love reading how people are experiencing wine, because it's not necessarily about the wine itself. Like if somebody is taking the time to review wine, either they love it or they hate it. What I love is seeing how they enjoyed it. Like they'll tell their stories. And again, this is my social media brain coming into play, but this is way that I find content for a lot of my clients is I read a review that someone's like, it was for this canned wine company. This is a really great can to enjoy on the beach. I had it with a fish taco and it was really, really good. And we just sat on the beach and like taking the sun and they described their whole experience. And very little of it was actually about the wine itself.
But I took that information and I turned that into a social media post that performed really, really well. And so, yeah I can't say enough about, providing an opportunity for your audience to leave reviews, leave testimonials and asking them for it. Cause they won't remember otherwise for the most part, unless they have like a really terrible experience in which case then they'll do it themselves.
But yeah. Providing this opportunity for them to do that so that you have all of this at your fingertips and because it will convince other people to purchase your product. If they're on the fence, they're like, will I actually like this? That's wine that I've never tasted before, oh, let me see what other people are saying about it.
Chelsea Boss: [00:52:27] And, and let's say, you know, back to email marketing and social media as well, like you know, those might, those testimonials might spark something like, oh, I should do a blog post on our favorite beaches in Sonoma county too, because we're a local winery. And most of our email marketing list is people local.
Just make sure you segment them. So you're not emailing somebody in Michigan about how to enjoy the Sonoma coast. But you know, providing people ideas or. Explaining experiences that they could have with your product. Oftentimes people don't purchase a product because they necessarily want that product it's that they want that experience.
And so providing them with some free value of like, how to have that experience might trigger that purchase. So you know, that would be another email marketing idea for your newsletter is like, okay, now that we're getting back outside, here's our favorite ways to enjoy wine on the beach or in the forest, or , in your backyard at your first gathering.
So, but yeah Back to e-commerce. One thing I did experience with a lot of my clients was they found that their, their e-commerce sales went up during the pandemic, and sometimes people were reordering that weren't necessarily in the club. So I would really advise people to go back to their purchases of 2020 through current and identify the purchasers that were purchasing enough of your product to benefit from the club benefits.
And send out an email to those people and say, Hey, you know, we noticed that you really enjoyed our wines over the past 18 months. If you join the wine club, you'll save 15% or 10% on these purchases and sell them on the club because they have shown you that they have continually you know, it could be anybody who ordered twice in the past year and a half.
Like, Hey, like if you joined the club, these are the benefits you're going to get. We saw that you enjoyed our wines over the past year and a half. Here's what we have to offer
Heather Daenitz: [00:54:41] yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's something that, that you probably do in the tasting room anyways, right? Like if somebody is coming in and they're purchasing, a case of wine and some of it is like wine that was previously in the wine club you can easily turn that into a wine club sale. When I worked in the tasting room that was like my bread and butter, Hey, you're purchasing three bottles. Two of which were in the last wine club shipment. This is clearly something that you're interested in. You know, you can get free tastings, you can get this, you can get that.
And like just selling them on the benefits. And so that's just taking what you probably are doing in the tasting room already, just translating that online. And so I think that's really smart. It's really good advice.
Chelsea Boss: [00:55:24] Yeah. And then, so continuing with the e-commerce conversation, , if you've been thinking about optimizing your website or, integrating your path to purchase into your own domain instead of hosting it on your e-commerce domain, you know, this is a good time to make those updates because. Having your website optimized and your path to purchase clear and easy to, to move through is only going to increase the ease of purchase and the likeliness that people are going to continue to repurchase from you.
So I know a lot of brands that have taken the time this last year to make those updates. And I think I've been seeing that more people have been coming out saying like, Hey, we want to, we want to spend the time to optimize these digital platforms so that we can continue to maximize ease of purchase.
Heather Daenitz: [00:56:19] Yeah. this is a really great point. Chelsea, I'm glad you brought it up. If you're not sure how easy your, website is to navigate. My favorite thing to do is get your mom, get your dad and get somebody who's maybe not like super well-versed in, websites.
Get them onto your website and tell them to try and buy something, anything and see how hard it is for them, you need to make it as easy as possible because there've been some winery websites that I've gone to, and I'm like, how the fuck do I buy your wine? There's too many steps between me and the wine. And it makes me not want to buy the product. It frustrates me!
Chelsea Boss: [00:57:00] Or have to create, or you have to create an account first and then you get into the account and then you purchase.
I have a client that identified that over, the pandemic too. And they were like, we realize this is really challenging and we're going to have to fix it soon. And upon some auditing, they realized like how difficult it was and how it kind of sent people in a loop. And also another thing on that subject, kind of similar to having your mom go onto the website, maybe ask your hip young millennial or gen Z friend to go on the website because they would be discouraged from purchasing for the opposite reason.
Well, same reason, but a different motive. Like your grandma goes to the website and she's like, this is really complicated. I just don't know how to, how to do it. You know, I'm just going to stop millennial or gen Z might go to the website and be like, okay I know how to do this, but I'm not even gonna put the effort towards it because I can go somewhere else and do it for much easier.
It's kind of like a different perspective, but the same reason. I'm notorious for iPhone purchase if I can't do it easily on my iPhone interest.
Heather Daenitz: [00:58:15] That is a really good point. Especially if you're integrating your sales, like e-commerce into your social media platform by like putting a link in your bio or a swipe up link, like how many steps is it going to take for your gen Z millennials who are 1000% ordering from their phone, right? Like I am, I am also I'm that way as well. Like I will, I will buy stuff off of Instagram. And if it takes too many steps, I won't, I like they will lose my sale and I'll promptly forget about it.
Take that advice go and take yourself through how your website looks navigating from both a phone and from a desktop because that will really enlighten you and to how easy, or difficult it is to navigate your website.
Chelsea Boss: [00:59:03] Absolutely. There's a lot of people out there that can help you rebuild your website on Squarespace shameless plug.
That's a service that I offer my developer and I have done multiple Squarespace website integrations for wineries over the pandemic. And you know, there, if you're on WordPress, there's people out there that are affordable to work with that can help you optimize your website on WordPress for mobile, you know, whatever platform you're on, whether you need to move to a new platform or just optimize your existing platform really, truly take a look at, at your website and how easy it is to navigate both on desktop and mobile. I mean, if your website isn't mobily optimized, you are way out of the game. I'm sorry to say it, but it's just the future. So it's a great time to take a look at that as we're opening back up and there's more tastings and your revenue is starting to grow to take the time to make those upgrades.
And then The last thing about e-commerce that I haven't seen a lot of wineries use that I think is something easy to set up is if you convert your Facebook page to a Facebook business page, , you can actually set up catalogs so that when you post things, you can tag the products in those posts on Facebook. And so when they click on that, it takes them directly to the purchase page of Product
Heather Daenitz: [01:00:35] Can you do that with wine now? Is that allowed
Chelsea Boss: [01:00:37] Well, so on Facebook.
Heather Daenitz: [01:00:39] Oh, on Facebook, not Instagram. Okay.
Chelsea Boss: [01:00:42] On Instagram, because Instagram actually has its own shopping platform and because you're shopping on Instagram, they don't support controlled substances, alcohol being that, however, on Facebook, it's not an integration into a shopping platform, right. It's just a link, but you can't create thatlink unless you have your products set up in your product catalog and Facebook, my business, same thing with Google, my business. You can also create products on Google, my business and they're just links.
But when people go into your Google, my business page, they'll see like, oh, they sell a Sangiovese, you know, click on that. And it takes you directly to the purchase page for that product. So those are some kind of like low hanging fruit pun intended things that you can do with your social media to just, you know, further optimize your e-commerce paths to your, your website, without having to send them to your home page, click on the wine's page, click on the Sangiovese, then get to, you know, you can skip all that by just setting up those catalogs in Facebook and Google my business to make those, those products clickable.
So yeah, that's, that's, e-commerce, from my perspective, in a nutshell of ways that we can continue to improve as we emerge into this, this new one world,
Heather Daenitz: [01:02:06] whole new world. Yes. Well, I'm wondering what you are thinking about, about virtual tastings and if they're going to continue to be a thing post pandemic I, you know, it's, it's so hard to say.
With yeah. With everything. Cause I, you know, I, I feel like there's been some, you know, we, you and I talked about this before we started recording, but I feel like there've been some wineries who have done a really good job just from the go on their virtual tastings or the virtual experiences. And then there are a lot of wineries who just forgive my way of saying this, but the half-assed it, cause they didn't really want to do it.
And so I'm wondering what you think about virtual tastings kind of moving into a time when we're going to be opening up again and maybe virtual teams aren't as, as popular.
Chelsea Boss: [01:02:56] Yeah. So great question. And it's not a straightforward answer, but I'll, I'll say a couple things. The first thing is the people who are successful with the virtual tastings have a charismatic host that translates really well virtually and has a way of curating an experience.
In the virtual tasters space, whether it's through a certain package that they purchase or they get mini sample bottles or they get tasting mats there's all these different things that go into the curation of that virtual experience in that person's home. But also that has a charismatic individual that is really good over zoom or Google Hangouts or whatever platform you're using.
So that's that's point number one, if you are that winery, I recommend continuing that experience because it doesn't matter if we're in a pandemic or not. There's thousands, millions of people out there that don't live near wine country that don't have the opportunity to head out on the weekend. And. Go out to wine country and see the vineyards and everything.
Those are all the people that will potentially be intrigued by the idea of bringing that wine country experience into their home. Also we have all become much more conditioned to virtual experiences, working from home, having video calls being remote in ways that we never were before.
And so not only is there a big market to capture out there. There's also a lot of people who are now used to. Being on video calls and don't find it uncomfortable and weird anymore because we've been doing it for a year. So I think those two important factors, which the potential audience is there. I think the important factor is whether or not you have the right dynamic to continue those experiences.
And you have somebody that can, follow through on those experiences and. I also, I don't see a lot of wineries really making it part of their strategy. And I think that, that's the other thing that, you know, your virtual tastings are not going to be are not going to be successful if it's not part of your strategy that you're promoting on your marketing channels, that you're, you know, really integrating into your business as an experience that people can have when they're not in wine country or they live in New York and yeah, they can go to the finger lakes, but can they go to the Sonoma coast?
Can they go to the, you know, central coast, Santa Barbara? So, I think if you're starting now and trying to reinvent the wheel I don't know that it would be super successful unless you have a really great strategy. But I think for those that have. Done well with it can absolutely continue it.
And I know that's like kind of a half answer, but I'll say to everybody listening there's a sommelier that I follow on Instagram. And her name is Samantha Kapali. Samantha sommalier on Instagram and her entire business is based off of virtual tastings. And she was doing this years before the pandemic and she is booked all the time for it, but she's also consistently communicating that, Hey, I offer these experiences, we're getting booked for June book.
Now, you know, here's examples of testimonials of people who have done it. She gives little Instagram story posts of like her doing the tastings. So, I have a hard time seeing virtual tastings being successful for wineries, if they're not wholeheartedly invested in it and making it part of their strategy, if they are, I think it's going to continue to be successful.
Heather Daenitz: [01:07:01] Yeah, I mean, that's true for just about any, any service or product that you are offering. Like if you aren't marketing it, it's probably not going to get picked up. So if you really are serious about creating a virtual experience and you want to sell it and you've got to market it, you've got to talk about it and you have to keep it front of mind if it's going to be successful.
So that's thank you. That's a really, really great, great point. So let's get into our, our last section here, which is, let's talk about wholesale. This is, again, this is something that I have zero experience with in marketing. So I'm going to. Rely really heavily on, on what your, what your experience is.
So let's talk about wholesale. Especially now that we are opening up and restaurants are starting to open up again you know, and at the beginning of the pandemic, so many, wineries lost a huge chunk of their business because wholesale just wasn't a thing anymore.
So or wasn't as strong of a thing anymore. So let's talk about that. How can wineries kind of rebuild those relationships and build up that machine again? Make it strong again?
Chelsea Boss: [01:08:10] Yeah, absolutely. So I know we probably have listeners from all over the United States and potentially abroad. I will say that I'm coming to this conversation from the perspective of a California winery that can represent themselves, or is working with a broker or distributor in California. And so in California, you can sell directly to your restaurants and retailers, and oftentimes a small winery has their own internal person that's either managing the broker checking in on the distributor or is themselves driving the wholesale sales.
So quick background. I was formerly general manager of a Sonoma coast allocation only Pinot noir and Chardonnay producer. And during my time there, I was in charge of wholesale sales and we did have a broker, a broker, meaning they would take our, our Wine on essentially consignment. And then they paid us when they sold the wine. So really my relationship with the broker was nurturing connections from the winery perspective, helping the broker sell wine and also representing the winery in the state of California with those relationships. So, you know, this is my advice to California wineries that are looking to other states to if, depending on your, your licensing set up, I'm, I'm less versed in, in other states.
But you know, let's say just from my experience, I'm a Napa winery. And I saw, you know, my. Let's say I'm 70% of my sales pre pandemic. We're going to wholesale and 30% was going DTC and we saw most of that. 70% of wholesale sales just tank. My advice to people is to be really mindful that these restaurants and retailers are still recovering from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Some of them might not be buying yet. Some of them might be struggling to find, you know, the, the one their wine list has dwindled and two, they don't really have the budget to grow it. So you keep that in mind. Also that sommeliers and buyers at restaurants and retailers are going to be incredibly fatigued as everyone starts knocking down their door for tastings.
So. I came from a unique perspective with wholesale sales. When I took on this position as GM I had not done it before. I didn't have a roadmap of how to do it, but I approached it really mindfully and kind of came up with a system that worked really well for me. And eventually in my position, I was able to grow ho wholesale sales, 65% quarter over quarter.
So each quarter I was selling 65% more wine than the quarter before. And that was because my salary was directly tied to bonuses based on that growth. So I came up with a a step-by-step sort of strategy to get myself in the door and build authentic relationships, which is what I'm, I'm going to just break down real quick.
So. Post pandemic. What I would do is look back start with the past relationships and your local accounts. So create a list of all the restaurants and retailers that purchase from you in 2019, and then follow them these steps. First, call the location, called the restaurant, call the retailer and get updated information for the buyer.
Just simply ask for their name and their working hours and confirm if they, you know, within your own mind, be like, okay, is this the person I used to work with, or that is familiar with my brand? Or is it somebody new? And just take note of that next visit. And again, these are only purchasers from 2019 and local kind of restaurants that you can pop into.
Next I would recommend visiting those people within their working hours, but outside of their busy time, don't show up at the lunch rushed. Don't show up at the dinner rush, ideally show up between those two shifts, you know, between, you know, three and five when they're in a little bit of a lull. But they're definitely there because they're in the middle of their day.
And the idea is that you, you want to show up, sit down at the bar, support their restaurants, you know, buy a wine bottle from the retailer. Chit chat with the staff and just be like, Hey, you know, is so-and-so here. I'd love to just shake hands and kind of re-introduce myself, or like, say hi after being, you know, in lockdown for the last year.
And just create a face-to-face connection again in an authentic way and ask them what's going on, you know, like, Hey, like how are you guys doing? I would like to ask you some questions about, about your list. Are you purchasing right now? Are you interested in taking tastings and they're going to tell you they're going to be like, hell no, I'm slammed.
And you say, okay, I respect that a hundred percent. When is a good time to follow up with you and they'll be like, you know what? Follow up with me in September. We'll have caught our breath by then take note, follow up with them in September. It builds trust and it. It shows them that you respect their time and eventually the sales will come, but you have to follow up with people and you have to ask them if it's okay and then honor that commitment and follow through on that commitment.
And then you know, that's one of the biggest mistakes that I, I experienced myself doing is thinking that just because I have their contact information, that I could just email them and try to schedule a tasting. And there's nothing more off-putting than somebody that's just like shooting off emails and assuming that one, they have time or two, their tasting or three, they need a pinot on their list.
Like find out what's going on with their list, where they're at in the sales cycle. And when it's helpful for them, for you to be engaging with them for sales and for tastings And you know, that in a nutshell it's requires intuition. And it requires you to, you know, have a tracking system where you can write down their name and be like, okay, I need to follow up with them in September.
There's lots of different platforms that I I've used for that, but as far as like broad stroke strategy, you know, I think that for wineries who are managing their wholesale on their own, and they don't really know where to start post pandemic, like that is my piece of advice. And in my experience, that's how I was successful.
Heather Daenitz: [01:15:04] Yeah.
And that's, I mean, that, that kind of boils down to what we've the common thread theme through this entire conversation is we just want to spend this time building relationships with people, reconnecting, reconnecting, Building relationships. We really want to show people. We care that we are here for them, that we're here to, you know, of course we're a business.
We want to sell our wine, but we also want to solve their problems and we want to make them feel heard and loved and you know, and all that good stuff. So support them and support them.
Chelsea Boss: [01:15:40] Yeah. You know, the best place to start is in your backyard, visit your local restaurants and support them. You know, especially if they're independently owned they're going to want to support local businesses as well, and they're going to want to support their friends.
So you know, if, if I'm a Napa winery, would I focus really hard on LA only my top five accounts, probably just to, you know, the bottom of the list. But I would really focus on, on Napa and get out to all the restaurants and. And be known that we're here, we're here to support you. Let us know if you need anything.
What you're looking for. When's a good time to reach out to you. And it goes a long way just being in the mix of the industry and, you know, visiting physically instead of just emailing.
Heather Daenitz: [01:16:35] Yeah, I agree. 100%.
Chelsea Boss: [01:16:38] And then real quick, last thing on that there are a couple of platforms that I have seen successful for some wineries.
It really depends on their business model, but the first one is called range me. And it's an online platform in which you can put your, your wholesale Wines with pricing and everything on their platform. And if somebody's searching for a Cabernet Sauvignon under $30 they can sort by that and potentially find your wines.
I had one client that consistently had orders you know, not nothing super significant, but they did actually established some new relationships in markets you know, Sacramento or Monterey or places that they didn't really have a lot of bandwidth to spend time in, but they ended up developing a relationship through that platform and getting orders.
And then the other one is seven 50. That's another platform that it's mission is to connect the three tier market seven 50 is specific to the wine business or beverage business and range me is much more broad. They have like beauty products. They have all sorts of. Different product channels.
But I do know that pre pandemic people were using that platform to kind of keep an eye on what's available. So you know, I'm not sure about seven 50, but I know range me has a free a free level where you can just at least put your information on there. So those are things to kind of look into just as far as visibility, just existing on those platforms can be beneficial.
Heather Daenitz: [01:18:08] Yeah. That's really interesting. All right. Well, holy shit.
Chelsea Boss: [01:18:16] I know that was just going to be a quick 30 minute episode,
Heather Daenitz: [01:18:22] casual, casual two and a half conversation here i know. So well, let's get into our closing thoughts here. , as with all marketing efforts, no matter what time of year you're marketing.
You are going to need to be able to answer the question, how does your product or service solve a problem for your audience? Because people don't buy products, they buy solutions to their problems. So as you're thinking about all these things that we talked about today, think about how does your product or your service, whatever it is that you're offering and in whatever platform you're offering it in be it wholesale or e-commerce or social media or email marketing think about how your product or service is going to solve that customer's problem.
And, and that will help guide you when you're creating your strategies. When you're creating your content, when you are reworking your website and creating these connections and these relationships. So think about those things.
Chelsea Boss: [01:19:20] Yeah. And I was just going to say that, if you're going to take this episode and apply it to action, think back to the areas that we talked about.
We talked about social media, email marketing, e-commerce virtual tastings and wholesale. If one of those areas really resonated with you. Make a commitment to yourself to revisit that section of the episode and come up with an action item you can implement now. You know, if it's okay, I'm going to create a welcome email sequence, or I'm going to look into optimizing my website for mobile, or I'm going to put together a list of local restaurants and retailers that supported me in 2019, whatever that is just commit to doing that in the next week.
And you'll get the ball rolling instead of sitting here thinking, oh, I should do all of these things. It's great. No, just pick one, pick the one thing that resonated with you that you were like, oh, that's a great idea. And just go for it.
Heather Daenitz: [01:20:17] Yeah, absolutely. I think it's really easy for us to listen to these podcasts or consume content that's meant to help us and educate us and that, and be like, get all inspired and all fired up and then never do anything with it.
Chelsea Boss: [01:20:32] So save it for, save it for that time when you have time to do it. And then the time never comes.
Heather Daenitz: [01:20:37] Yeah Exactly, so so really like put it on your calendar that, you know, this on this day, at this time, I'm going to sit down, make a date with yourself, make a meeting with yourself and, and you're going to go through that one thing that resonated with you, and you're gonna just do one small action item and, and just commit to that.
If you need help with this, or you need more support with this or accountability, even, I know that sometimes some of us need a little bit more outer accountability. Chelsea and I are here to help please reach out to us. We both offer services in whatever, you know, whatever these topics are that that resonated with you.
Like we offer services to help you take action on these things and, and give you a plan and give you a strategy to, to take action on it. So Chelsea, could you talk about some of the services that you offer?
Chelsea Boss: [01:21:29] Yeah, absolutely. My website services are a little out of date. I'm making notes right now to update that as soon as possible.
But yeah, you know things that are on my website that I currently do, you are website integrations especially with the platform vine spring, if anybody's out there, that's on vine spring. And also email marketing, you know, as far as like getting your automation set up, like I'm here for you. If you need a strategy, I'm here for you.
And as far as wholesale. I do have a really specific strategy and I created my own database when I was managing that for the Sonoma coast winery.
And I'm preparing to sell that template so that people have a much easier time tracking those relationships and, and when to follow up with people. So you know, low low-hanging fruit sign up for my newsletter and you'll be in the know when those things launch. And I'm also going to be creating a D I'm also in the process of creating a digital course for email marketing.
So that's another thing to keep in mind on the horizon, but you know, I do offer complimentary consult calls for 30 minutes. So if you have something you want to discuss, and you're just wanting to pick my brain for 30 minutes and decide if you know, is something that you want to utilize or you just need some feedback.
I'm happy to do that. You can easily go onto my website and book right there. My, my schedule is for everyone to see. So anyways yeah, in a very genuine way, like I want to see entrepreneurs succeed. That's why I started my business. And I know that Heather It's the same for you and, and, and you offer some really awesome services for, for social media.
Heather Daenitz: [01:23:12] So, yeah, yeah, yeah. I specialize in Instagram, so if you are looking, you need some assistance coming up with a strategy for Instagram, I do offer one-on-one strategy services, where we sit down for an hour and a half to two hours, and I basically build out a custom strategy for you where we, we find your minimum.
I help you optimize your bio. We brainstorm some content ideas. We just go through everything. You know, I, I listened to your problems, the things that you're struggling with, and I help you come up with solutions to to overcome those problems. So yes. So if you are wanting to book a one-on-one strategy session with me I I do have three open spots available for the month of June.
They are limited. Each month because I only have so many, so many hours in the day. But please, if you are looking to get a strategy session, go ahead and head to my website and I'll link all of this including Chelsea's services in the show notes so that you can easily find those whatever, whatever you menu item you want to select, we will have it there.
And I am also working on creating an Instagram strategy, a digital course again, date TBD on, on the release of that, but you can get on the wait list for that at www.craftandcluster.com/course. And again, that will be in the show notes. So you can be the first to know when that actually gets released.
I'm currently building it out. Instagram likes to change things on me all the time. So constantly going back and reviewing it. It's all good stuff, but it's yeah, it's, it's a lot. So anyhow. We're gonna any, any help that you need, we're here to support you. It's all going to be in the show notes. But holy moly, this episode was quite long.
So we're going to go ahead and sign off now and let you all absorb this, go back and listen to the things that you need to relisten to reabsorb. And as always Chelsea, thank you so much for bringing your expertise to this podcast. I really appreciate you. Thank you for chatting with me for an hour and a half on that we recorded.
We also talked for an hour and a half before this recording as always. Thank you so much for chatting with me about marketing. You're the best.
Chelsea Boss: [01:25:30] Yes. Thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure to be here.
Heather Daenitz: [01:25:35] All right. So that's it for this episode of the craft and cluster podcast. If you found this episode super valuable, be sure to rate and review it and spread the love by screenshotting sharing and tagging @craftandcluster and @seabossmarketing on Instagram. We love connecting with you and seeing all the awesome ways you are implementing what you learn here and to make sure you never miss an episode, be sure to subscribe on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen. We'll see you next Monday.