In this article I’m going to be discussing how to set yourself up to win with your online business. Access to wealth has never been easier with the availability of so many tools and resources. Yet many people still struggle with making one sale a month. Here you will learn the basics of what it takes to have a thriving brand.
When I launched my most recent business I wanted it to be more successful than any project that I had previously ran. In the past I had online stores that made a profit but not consistently. I was ready for change and I vowed to take the business steps necessary to make that happen.
One of the first things I decided to do differently was selling products that people wanted as opposed to what I personally liked. I am an artist and I realized that my personal taste in products was holding me back. I liked what I was selling but it wasn’t attracting everyday customers. My biggest profits would be from creations going viral in an art group on social media or during the holiday times and this wasn’t a sustainable method for running a company at all.
Before launching my spiritual business I researched products within that genre, common items that were sought after by people on their faith based journey. Next I decided to launch on the platform Shopify. A millionaire who I have followed on social media for years who lives in my same city recommended the platform about two years ago and after looking into the pricing and apps I decided to go with them.
I opened my business and the sales started immediately coming in. I was nervous that this was beginners luck so I decided to communicate with some business coaches and ask them for advice. After putting the word out within my network I found myself in communication with a guy who claimed to be a Shopify expert. One of the first things he told me was that I needed a sliding banner and that my photos of my products looked unprofessional on a white and gray marble background.
The thing was, before speaking to him I had set my website up to mimic similar niche websites that I saw were highly successful. And my photos, though not on an all white background the product photography was on point and looked good. (I taught myself how to properly take product photography years ago). Therefore I know about lighting and avoiding too many props. I told him I wasn’t taking his advice and he replied, “What do you mean, ‘No’?” Personally, I felt everything he said was wrong with my website he told all of his clients because it was pretty much the same suggested layout most articles recommend for e-commerce websites to look like.
Next, I was contacted by a business coach in Belgium and we set up a video meeting to discuss if we would be a good match to work together. I had a feeling beforehand he wasn’t going to be able to offer me anything but I followed through with the virtual meeting. As he asked me about my products, how much I made so far and my long term goals, I didn’t feel sold on his services. Though he sounded impressed it was his job to also find something wrong with my brand. He stated after going on to my website he didn’t find the product descriptions “moving” and that they needed to tell more of a story. I had only been open online two weeks and I had already sold out of items so I knew my descriptions weren’t an issue.
I realized that I was searching for answers I already knew.
When setting up an e-commerce website it boils down to three things that matter most: Products, Photography and Pricing.
Product research can be done by viewing the top selling products on major shopping websites such as Amazon, Etsy, and EBay. Another way to determine what products will be good to provide your customers is by looking at competitors in your niche and seeing what items they have in common. These items are what customers are buying regularly.
When it comes to product photography what matters is that the customer immediately knows what’s for sale in the image without having to guess. It isn’t blurry and not edited too much to where what they receive in the mail looks nothing like what they were viewing when shopping online.
Now, we have pricing. You always want to make a profit so make sure that you are working with the best suppliers. Always make your investment back plus extra. Start off by setting your prices at a little bit lower than your competitors or at the average price that a particular item is sold for. As business increases you can then decide if you want to raise your prices.
To really be successful it takes a team. One thing I learned is that no matter how much knowledge you have, you can’t do everything alone. Shopify has thousands of apps to help you with your business including affiliate marketing services to where you can have other people who are seeking to earn a profit help you grow your business. Adding this feature teaches you about leadership and strongly helps with creating brand awareness when you are just starting out.
Another thing that you want to do is collect emails to update customers. Yes, Shopify provides apps to create this funnel as well. Emailing customers helps establish your identity. You want send out emails for holiday sales, new item releases, restocked items, when hiring, new locations, giveaways, and general company news that you wish to share with the public.
Don’t invest in a business coach who you don’t feel comfortable with. I had free consultations and I knew the individuals were not the types of people who I would want to work with long term. Also don’t invest in advertising on social media before researching your target audience, you’ll be paying for your ad to be shown to people who are just going to swipe past it.
When it comes to social media, use programs that can automatically post 3-5 times a day for you. Share professional looking photos and relevant content. Mimic what bigger brands post but create your own style. If you do reshare trending or attractive content tag the person. Be sure to post reviews, screenshots of customers thank you messages and only repost quality customer images of them using your products.
K. Crystal Carter
If you found this article useful donations can be made to this writer directly via CashApp: $AuraBaddie