How to promote your apothecary business and get more exposure sounds intimidating, but it's really not. If you’re reading this post it probably means that: You know your herbalism skills are GREAT (your friends & family keep raving about it!). You’re keen to sell your handmade goods. Then it hits you – you need PEOPLE who will buy your stuff, but where do you find them?
Getting the word out about your Apothecary Business is a vital step. Getting the word out and getting more exposure is how you get clients, right? For some, this isn’t a big deal but for others, it triggers panic and dread to tell people about their business (enter imposter syndrome).
I was right there with ya. There’s no shame if even the thought made you sweaty and anxious. The most important thing you need to know is that there is no magic wand.
Is there one ingredient in a soothing salve?
Is there one step in the method?
So if you’ve been hoping for shortcuts, magic wands, quick tips etc. that will get you hundreds of clients in one month, I encourage you to let that go.
When we look for quick fixes, we’re really just avoiding our own growth – and success. These beginning phases are a huge part of your journey and brand story. If you want an apothecary that gets consistent sales every week; pursue learning and growing. The more you truly learn and grow, the more your business will expand. When these two things are your focus, success becomes inevitable.
Want to become a confident Home Herbalist and Home Apothecary Business Owner? Then, fellow plant lover, this is just for you! I’m so excited that you want to take your herbalism to the next level. This resource is the cream of the crop to give you a boost in your journey!
How to Promote Your Apothecary Business And Get More Exposure
5 Tips To Get The Word Out When You Want More Exposure For Your Apothecary Business
1. Start With Friends And Family
Every business starts by telling your friends and family about it. And then they might tell other friends about it that could possibly be interested in your products or services. This might seem like the obvious, but sometimes we overlook the things that are right in front of us.
I’m sure you also want real clients and feel that friends and family kind of “don’t count as clients”. I felt this way too! But this thought is so not true! Family and friends who buy from you ABSOLUTELY count as clients. If you want to start a new business you need the network of people you already have in your life right now. Write a message, send it to everyone, and be done with it. If you wait to “feel 100% ready” to tell people about your business, you’ll be waiting forever.
2. Strategically Use Local, High Quality Ingredients
There are certain ingredients that just taste better when they’re local, right? Like honey, eggs, certain cheeses, wine, olive oil and sometimes even things like chocolate and butter! Yes, they’re often more expensive. But don’t let that get in your way because there’s a great opportunity here.
Let’s say there’s a local lavender farm you absolutely love. They’ve got a great reputation, lots of fans and a large social media following... here's what you do next:
- Go to the farm. Take a photo of yourself there. Share the photo on your Instagram stories/feed describing why you love their lavender farm so much and tag them in the post too.
- Buy some lavender, take it home.
- Create something with it like a salve, balm, tonic, lotion, soap, etc. Take beautiful photos of your creations.
- Put them in a box with your logo on it. Take a photo of the box and share it on your Instagram stories and tag the farm in the post too.
- Take some goods as a FREE GIFT to the farm for the owners & staff with a hand written note to say thank you for their amazing lavender and that its the absolute best in the world or something super sweet.
Odds are, with such a kind gesture - they’ll give you a shout out on their social media. I’ve done this with lots of high quality local products. And as a result I get seen by their customers on their social media – who clearly already love the lavender farm as much as I do.
This strategy also increases your business’s reputation because you’re associating yourself with a high-rep, established business. And they’re associating themselves with you. This does wonders for you – especially as a new business.
Quick tip: Make your photos look nice. If they don’t the business might not be so eager to share your photos spontaneously.
3. Use Local, Related Hashtags On Instagram
Hashtags are #superstrategic my friend! As a local business, you need to use local hashtags to get seen by your ideal clients, and promote your apothecary – who are local! Let me use Blu Radical Apothecary as an example:
I live in Honolulu, so if I want Hawai'i peeps to find me on Instagram, it won’t help to use the hashtag #herbs. It’s a super broad hashtag, it doesn’t reach my ideal client who loves herbalism and lives on O'ahu. Better hashtags to use will be #hawaiiherbalist #herbalismhawaii #hawaiiholisticwellness. They’re all very specific to my area and they all revolve around herbalism.
Quick Tip: These are the hashtags my ideal "local" clients are using in their posts, so odds are they check out these hashtags’ feed at least once a week.
You can find your best local food hashtags by going to the free Instavast Instagram Hashtag Generator. They generate a bunch of ideas of hashtags that are being used on Instagram already.
Try not to use hashtags that have been used more than 200k times. When a hashtag is huge it becomes very difficult for small accounts to trend for this hashtag. Meaning, your post won’t make it to the top 9 posts and get seen by lots of people. Even if you don't want to be attracting "only local" use a local hashtag anyway! if the hashtags are small and have only been used a few thousand times – use it! Quality matters here, not quantity.
4. Trade At Local Food Or Craft Markets
Obviously this doesn’t work when there’s a pandemic going on. A pandemic like Covid-19 is a rare exception to the norm.
Local food and craft markets can be a brilliant way to showcase your goods, promote your apothecary, and make some start-up money. If you can manage to trade at the exact same local market for at least 6 months, you’ll build up a lot of credibility and trust. People might not see or notice your business the first two times. But when they keep seeing you and your goods, the odds that they’ll buy from you increases. The repeated exposure you get from markets is amazing. Plus, it’s the BEST way for you to learn how to interact with clients and confidently speak about your apothecary. Confidence mostly comes by repetition!
5. Word Of Mouth Still Wins
Word of mouth is still, by far, the best strategy and way to promote your apothecary and grow a business! Whether you’ve just started your apothecary or been going for years; word of mouth trumps any other form of marketing. Remember how I love talking about that know, like, and trust factor? If these things aren’t in place, people simply just won’t buy.
Word of mouth is SO effective because you’re essentially piggy-backing on the trust that people have in their personal relationships. Jane will buy from you because she trusts her best friend. With word of mouth it’s irrelevant whether Jane trusts your business or not. So make sure your current clients (even if it’s just 2 friends and 3 family members right now) have the BEST possible experience with you!
If you take great care of your clients they WILL talk about your business. When a client loves your business, they’ll promote your apothecary business for you – and for free! It’s so rad! Here’s a little secret, their experience with you is about so much more than just your products
Remember that having an apothecary is all about genuinely caring and love. So, every single moment you’re in contact with a client you need to care. Care about the things they care about. Care about the important details in their lives that you’re creating products for. Always follow up. Always be kind and excited to see them. Your business exists to serve your clients and make them feel good & special.
If you want more clients, be faithful with the clients you have now. Do for four people what you’re eager to do for hundreds.
There’s no magic wand.
TRUTH: Apothecary success doesn’t happen by accident or luck. Success happens with strategy.