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Hi Michael,

Good questions. Let me see if I can address them.

Why are conversions struggling? Let me flip this back on you – are you actually getting any traffic that is likely to convert and if so, where from? To get conversions you need traffic. For traffic to convert the customers need to be at an appropriate stage of the buying cycle. If these people are indeed visiting your website, then it could be on-page elements that are affecting conversion. If they are not rocking up in the first place, then it’s a matter of getting the right people to the site.

Sorry if that answer is a bit vague, but this is where your head needs to be.

Is Facebook a requirement for testing the market? It’s not a requirement, but it’s a fast, cheap, and effective way of testing a new market. Despite Facebook increasingly being about ‘pay to play’ (fair enough, too, we can’t have everything for free) you can get results with little spend. And indeed, it is about testing. Go into Ad Manager (or Power Editor) and play. Try creating audiences, see how many people are in your niche, test a cheap ‘page like’ campaign on them, and then try for conversions. This kind of advertising requires you to constantly test and tweak. It mightn’t work immediately, but learn from your efforts and mistakes.

How to find social media audiences without paying? Increasingly you’ll have to pay. Accept it as a cost of doing business. That said, producing great content will often get you organic results. Make your brand irresistible, the best at what it does, different than the rest, the ‘go to’ for your community. I think your lucky with your market – I would imagine they are heavy social media users and quite community-orientated, right?

SEO? Google it. Learn about it. There is lots to learn, and as a business owner, you have a responsibility to know about it. It will determine what you right in your product descriptions and the other copy on your website. So, so important.

How can you improve? Find where your community is on social media. Make their life better – add value. Don’t discount offline tactics – your community exists online as much as it does offline. Start a blog? Join existing conversations – Twitter and Instagram are good places for this. Don’t be all about conversions – be human, he helpful. I think there are stacks of free and cheap opportunities for a brand like yours. But don’t expect it to take over the world overnight. You’re not selling aspirin to people with headaches after all. Perseverance.