In this episode, I talk with Dana Roefer, about the concept of social shopping. Dana is dedicated to showing potential social shoppers how they can change their lives by relying on their circle of entrepreneurs—their social sellers.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- The concept of social shopping
- What kind of strategies should merchants follow to make their product worthy?
- How can your customer assist you in staying focused?
- An overview of the book "Shop Social"
- And more
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guests: Dana Roefer
Dana Roefer is a social selling corporate consultant and LifePlan facilitator who is on a mission to help women recognize their worth, live with intentionality, and transform their buying habits. An active social shopper, she believes that building a micro community of experts with a vested interest in your well-being is the key to optimal, focused investing in yourself, your home, and your family.
Dana is an advocate for entrepreneurship and supports women who have found financial independence and personal and professional fulfillment through starting their own businesses. She is dedicated to showing potential social shoppers how they can change their lives by relying on their circle of entrepreneurs—their social sellers.
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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break. Today we wanna talk about a bit of a different angle. Normally we're talking about apps on how to optimize your online business and so on so forth. But quite often merchants have not a clear idea why. People buy from them, and that obviously is the most important thing that they should actually know.
So we are going in a bit of a topic, which is called social selling. So why do people decide to buy from you? And I have an expert with me, Dana Roefer. She's a social selling corporate consultant and lifeline facilitator, and she's on a mission to help warm and recognize the worst live with intent and transform their buying habits.
So let's say hello to Donna. Hey Donna, how are you today?
Dana Roefer: I'm doing really great. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to share, and don't be scared off if you're a man. Okay. I know we said the, in the intro that I help women, but it's truly. Everybody, ? We're all consumers. We're all buying things, and so whether you're a woman or you're a man, this is relevant too.
Claus Lauter: That's a hundred percent correct. We all shop. So give a bit of an overview. How did you get to, where are you right now, a bit your history?
Dana Roefer: Yeah, I appreciate the opportunity to share it. I think there was about, 18 months ago where I had , a pretty traumatic, , experience in my family. So my mom got pretty sick, and it was overnight, like we just didn't know. was a big shock to all of us. And what happened in my personal life when my mom got sick, I started, I just said, Whoa, whoa, whoa.
A, how did this happen? B, how do I make sure this doesn't happen to me, to my family? And I just did. , a 180 of intentionality around my own habits. I've been in and around entrepreneurship, throughout my career. , I've been supporting entrepreneurs, small business owners, whether it's local businesses or social businesses.
I've been around all of that. But it wasn't until this moment that it really clicked for me and I was like, I know what to do and I need to do it. So honestly, that shift that I made in my own life and started really shopping intentionally, so shifting more to an investor in myself from a consumer, , was really the moment that changed everything.
And then I went on this mission to share it with other people because I think that if we put intentionality behind what we buy and the decisions that we make, it changes everything. Or it can change everyth.
Claus Lauter: That makes total sense. Now, we all decide on different factors emotionally on the price and whatsoever. A lot of immersions that just go into features and to benefit, but I never really look. To the outcome, into the value that their potential shopper has and to decide on, and people reach out to their friends to get a second opinion and so on so forth.
So social selling circulates around this topic. Give a bit of an idea on what social selling actually means.
Dana Roefer: the way that I like to think about this is when I went on my quest and started going on my Quest I, through social media, throughout the pandemic, we spent so much time on our devices, whether it's our computer, our phones, whatever, right? And we spent a lot of time on. Social media. That's where a lot of our extra time went and we were seeing all of these messages.
I think what social media allows us to do is to connect with people. That we know and people that we don't know. So we can first make that connection because we align somehow. So whether our values align, our mindset aligns, our family structure aligns, , whatever it may be, right? There's a lot of ways that we can align with people, and I think it just opens up this.
Huge opportunity to connect with new people that we maybe haven't been able to connect with before. That doesn't have to be just your product. Like, Hey, I have this product and I want to sell it to you. They might come to you because they like. You because you class live a nomad lifestyle and they wanna be able to do that too.
So they're learning those things from you, but then they also are already connected to you. So then they're like, I want whatever product he has and I want to see what he has. But they don't necessarily come to you for the product. They come to you for the connection, and then they're able to engage with you by the product.
Claus Lauter: A hundred percent. obviously that has a lot to do with communication and sort of communicate the right value, your value proposition. So it's less about the product itself, it's more about you as a brand, as a person, depending on. How you position yourself in the market. So what would be your recommendations to approach this angle?
Dana Roefer: This is my life plan facility coming out. You have to know who you are. And I know that's a really big statement and it's a really big question because that is not something that you just learn overnight, Especially if you're just starting out and it takes time and we don't always have the patience to get to where we want.
to be, We want it to happen overnight, and it doesn't always happen. So I think it's leaning into and starting to try some things like start sharing messages and seeing what connects with people. What message that you're sharing connects with them. The first one is knowing yourself because then you know what you can authentically talk about, right?
So that's what it leads to, is what you can authentically talk about. And then where are you gonna make those connection points with? I do think that the product is important, and I think that the product's Important for what it does for you, what it does for your customers that you already have.
So there's so many rich. Stories already that can be shared, ? Whether it's, me starting out with my personal transformation and how I found this new way of doing something, you can do the same thing. Your customers can do the same thing. But what is that transformation that somebody has had with your products that somebody else can see themself?
So there's the personal brand side, the authentic story that you can tell because it comes out of who you are. And then there is the product side where it's what need are you actually filling and what are people coming to you for? And so I think it's those two pieces that are really important to keep in mind.
Claus Lauter: What kind of strategies should merchants then follow? , obviously you wanna make sure that your customer has the feeling that they're spending the money wisely. So it might sustainable investment or whatsoever. And overall they feel good and they find their tribe. So what kind of angles or what kind of strategies can one follow to get there?
Dana Roefer: It's a great question cause I think it's different depending on which category you're in, right? If you're in personal care versus you're in. Which is like a, a body transformation potentially, or a skin transformation or if you're in physical products, whether it's clothing. So I think it's a little bit difficult to say from what those strategies look like, but I would always go back to the very first strategy.
And I know I just said this before, but it's with you person. Because I can give you a million strategies and say, do this, do this, do this, do this. But if you hate what you're doing and you hate what you're selling and you don't believe in it, it's not gonna work. Right? So it's that piece of what brings you to life, because whatever brings you to life is going to attract other people.
You know this when you're talking to somebody or you see somebody talking about something on social or seeing them share their product, if it feels like they're following a template or they're following a script or they're following X, Y, Z, , I'm sorry, I'm not totally answering your question, but I think this is really important and I think it's key because we do try to fit in these boxes and I.
Sometimes for those of us that are building a side business or a full-time business, we can get stuck in all of these different strategies and we can get stuck in just doing that work instead of doing the work of figuring out what is our voice, because we're going out there and , we're figuring that piece out.
When you're passionate about it and when you really believe in it, it's going to authentically attract other people to what you're.
Claus Lauter: Good point. for smaller businesses, just startups, people who started as a side hustle, they wanted to get into the business. I have seen some, they don't wanna bring out themselves. They come from a corporate environment and they're a small brand and they wanna talk corporate, speak, corporate language, or they too shy to put themselves out because obviously the internet can be a very rough place and things can come back that you don't necessarily want to hear, or the other way they grow and one of a sudden from a personal brand, they wanna become a corporate brand.
I think that's a bit of a risk going there. How can your customer help you with staying focused?
Dana Roefer: I think knowing who they are. . If they're comfortable in a corporate space. This is very comfortable in a corporate sense too, of knowing who your customer is and who you wanna talk to, and then have those conversations.
So I actually wanna address two things that you said. The first one that I want to address is the, I'm a little bit nervous to show my face. I'm not comfortable. And then there's the big brand piece. There's actually, I think three here. The first one. If you're a little nervous or you're not ready to be on camera, or you're not ready to necessarily show up with your voice or your words, practice it when no one's watching.
, I have so many videos, honestly. It's funny, but it's, and it's ridiculous when you're doing it. But I have videos of myself from six years ago on my phone where I'm like, Hey, it's, October, whatever this video's for no one else, only myself. Literally no one's gonna see it. , but it's practicing.
It's practicing to figure out what words are right and what feels right to me. So I think that's kind of the first one. If you look stupid to yourself, like who cares, right? And you build that muscle and that ability to build out whatever your authentic brand is. That's the first thing. The second one, Trying to do things corporate, , you actually have the advantage today.
This is my personal belief. I believe that small, nimble businesses actually have the advantage today over corporate brands because they can be real and authentic because they're real people. You see this all the time. Big corporate brands now are headed. To influencers and they're coming into our space, really the small business space because they're like, This is where the relationships are.
So you're seeing them come in, but I think you have the advantage because you can already be that person in your own business, right? So to try and go out and build this big brand that's so beautiful, like you don't need to make that investment right out of the gate. Just start trying and seeing how you can connect with.
And then the third piece The one that you actually asked, I'm sorry, the customer. If you're not yet knowing what your story is and who you are, and , you're worried about this corporate thing, find those people that you believe are, maybe they're your best customer already, or maybe they're who you would want to be your customer.
You think they would, and just have conversations with them and maybe that becomes part of your marketing. If they're your best customer, maybe. Doing a video with them and saying, Hey, you bought this product. What do you love about it? Why did you buy it again? And then they're starting to give you the content.
So you're doing a little bit of market research at the same time that gathering some marketing content, like that's a win-win, So I do think that our customers can help us to figure out what those messages are and what they need to
Claus Lauter: Yeah, very good tip there. User generated content always you see more and more brands jumping on this bandwagon. Now, you have actually written a book about shop social. Give me a bit of an insight what the book is about.
Dana Roefer: Yeah, so I started this off. I appreciate the opportunity to share it. I started off with just this like massive transformation that I went through again, have been in the entrepreneurship space for a long time and , when I decided to just turn my life around, not. In like a big turnaround, but get healthy, make sure my family was healthy.
I had the mental space and capacity to do it. Decided enough is enough. I'm going to change my habits. I went to the store because that's where you start and I was like, okay, I wanna get in a good routine. So I was thinking about my day and I was like, What does that routine need to look like? And you go to the store, think of any general big box store that anyone goes to.
And I'm sea of products, like how the. Is anyone supposed to know what to buy? Like how do you actually know? ? Think of picture yourself. Put yourself in the supplement aisle. Put yourself in a home care aisle. , like you said at the beginning, you're choosing based off price or what this says on the package you don't know.
This is where I feel that small businesses, local businesses, social businesses, this is where we can win. This is where you can win because you can help customers to decide when they're left in that massive store. The person that works at this store, maybe they can help them find. If they know what they're already looking for, but we can help them in a more personalized experience, and I believe this is where we're going.
I believe that consumers today are more ready, , they're sick of just buying all the stuff. And they really are craving that personalized experience, and we're seeing this with a lot of companies that are growing today that can help them find the right clothes for their shape or the right colors for their complexion.
There's a lot of personalized things that we can do. I believe this is where we can smaller actually wins because we can have that more personalized. And that's really what the book is about. it's my journey. There's a lot of questions through how do we grow, earlier conversation of knowing who you are, I think is really important when you're deciding to invest in yourself.
Because how do you do that if you dunno what you want? so there's a lot of that conversation, but I really make a plug for. Let's do this differently, guys, can we stop just consuming? Can we really invest in ourself and can we build a community of people that can help us to reach those goals?
That's what the book is
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, I think you are quite right there. I mean we are doing , as consumers, a lot of people do a full 360 looking back, I dunno, even before our lifetime, small stores, personal touch and so on, so forth. We grow into this kind of huge anonymous part. And I personally remember you just said that I had almost nervous breakdowns at some point in the us just wanted to buy some sparkling water and they were like different ones.
Track 1: decide.
Dana Roefer: It's worst.
Claus Lauter: so.
Dana Roefer: worst.
Claus Lauter: Decision fatigue on that one. So I think , we are coming back to a more, , human factor in commerce, and I think that's a good thing. Where can people find more about their book and more about.
Dana Roefer: Yeah, I appreciate that. You could think if I made my website, dana rofer.com, you'll have to spell it. It's kind of a tricky one. but then the book is available on Amazon in all formats. Audio is my favorite. I was able to record my own audio. It's super fun. It's just a conversation basically.
, but those can be found on Amazon.
Claus Lauter: Cool. I will put the links in the show notes. Then you'll just one click away and people can figure out where and when to buy the book. I would highly recommend that. Dana, thanks so much for your. It was very insightful and , have a great day.
Dana Roefer: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure being with you.
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