How To Sell Online For Newbies
Picking The Right Platform For Your Business
When you are new to selling online, I would recommend starting off on Etsy. It is much easier to use that other platforms.
For Example: Setting up new listings, SEO, Tags, renewing products are much easier to do than other places like Amazon, eBay, or even on Shopify.
Platforms like Etsy are made to drive traffic to their website. Which is a good thing because that makes you relatively easy to find. As apposed to trying to find you using google search, which is more difficult to do than Etsy because you aren't competing with as many people to get found in search. Etsy is a good place for you to start your business because it allows you to see if people are even searching for your products. These next three tips will help you to succeed when trying to sell online. If you don't put any effort into these three things, then you will find yourself struggling.
Can't decide on which platform is right for your business? Click here to view my blog that will help you decide.
When you first start selling online, you might not know exactly what it is you want to be selling. In some cases, I find people making 3 or 4 different things to see what works best for your branding, and that's okay. It's okay if your'e not 100% positive on what it is you want to sell, just as long as you figure out what that is so that way your target market doesn't get confused by seeing 4 different types of products within your store. It is important that you refine your product line. And by that I mean making sure that it is something that people are searching for and are wanting.
For Example: If you sell cell phone cases
Sounds like a good idea right? Not exactly. I say that because what if the cell phone case you are making for a Galaxy Note 8, becomes obsolete. What that means is, that that phone is no longer as popular as it was 3 years ago. Which means you wont be getting as many sales because you narrowed your product line just to cell phone cases.
If you would have grown your product line to not just one type of cell phone case, then your shop could still make money. But if all you do is create cell phone cases, those products might not be in such a high demand 3 years from now.
You want to love what you do, and do what you love, but it has to be something that will make you money and that is in demand. When you are trying to come up with a idea of what to sell, and how much to sell it for, keep in mind these two things. If you are making personalized items, you need to make sure it is priced well. Which means, if you are making a personalized blanket, and it takes you 20 hrs to make, I wouldn't suggest that you sell it for $100. Make sure that the time you are putting into a order is priced at a point that seems reasonble for your customers and that accommodates your time as well. Another thing to consider is the cost of materials. It is not enough for you to only charge for the time it takes you to make, but you also have to factor in the cost of materials it took to create that product. Again, don't sell a blanket that you made in 15 hours, and the cost of materials was $150 for only $50. You wont gain any profit from that.
Still need help with your product line? Click here to view my blog with 3 tips to creating a successful product line.
SEO ( Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the keyword(s) or phrase you use in your product listings, such as tags, title, search bar etc..) It is used to help optimize your listing to get found in search. You can still get found in search even without having good SEO. But remember, just because you are getting found in search doesn't mean that it will bring you customers. It is important to do SEO the correct way, that way you wont have people accidentally find you in search. You want to attract people who are actually looking for your products. SEO is not just about your keywords. When you are doing SEO, you are optimizing your listings to be found in search. Your keywords and sales are just a couple things that factor in when doing SEO for Etsy. It is very easy to implement SEO on Etsy. You shouldn't have trouble with that, but in case you are, you can check out my SEO webinar here. It will show you how to find keywords that go with your products and how to get more sales from it.
If you are struggling to find 13 tags and keyword phrases to use on your Etsy listings, then you are not thinking hard enough. There are plenty of keywords you can use to describe your products. If you do decide to get my SEO webinar, you will no longer have a issue with trying to come up with keywords to use for your listing. I give you all the information you need to come up with keywords you would have never thought about using. If you find yourself still struggling to come up with new keywords to use even after you have gone through the SEO webinar, then you are probably making a product that no one wants. You should update your tags and keywords every 6 months. When you do make time to update your listings, make sure you are focusing on the listings that are not currently being found in search and that have little to no sales.
Your product photos are the first thing that potential buyers will see. You don't have to have a photographer to make your photos look good. There are ways that you can do it yourself with either a regular camera, or with the camera from your phone. The reason why I mention SEO before making your photos attractive is because you can have average photo and still makes sales due to your SEO. That doesn't mean that you can slack off and not make your photos look professional and rely on your SEO to bring in sales. Don't spend all of your time trying to make your photos look absolutely perfect. Dedicate a part of your day, or even week to editing your photos and making them look good. If you don't know where to start with photos, then I would suggest that you do your research and see what styles best suit you and your branding. Look into what others similar to you are doing for their branding. Look at what colors will contrast well with your product's if used as a background. After you figure out what direction you are wanting to go with for your photos, then its time for you to take some practice photos. I would recommend getting a editing program such as Photoshop. There are a lot of options that Photoshop gives you when it comes to lighting, editing, and changing the color to make your photo look good.
Cant get the lighting right on your photos? Then I would suggest that you look into getting a lighting kit similar to this.
Still need help with your listings photos? Well then check out my blog post that goes over 3 additional tips to improving your photos.
Making A Product Before Getting Paid
When you are just starting out selling online, you get excited every time someone wants to buy something from your shop. But one thing you can't over look is creating a product before they have paid you for it. You never know what people have going on. There is a way to let the buyer know that you you can't start on their order until they have purchased it. This also applies to proofs as well. If your business requires you to send out a proof before shipping, make sure you don't complete the order until they have approved it, and paid for the product. For example, I send proofs to customers upon request. But I also make it clear that I will not be sending them a proof until they have purchased it. I happen to have a unlimited amount of proofs that I am willing to send. If you only allow 3 proofs, make sure that is very clear in the description as well as any messages that you send to them.
Thank you for your purchase.
I have attached a proof for you to review. Please let me know your thoughts. If you would like to change anything within this proof, you can make up to 2 more changes. After those changes are made, your order will print and ship.
Your Name Here
Make sure that you are clear when you are messaging your customer regarding proofs. It is also important that you are still sounding professional as well. Don't be affraid to let the customer know that they only have 3 proofs before their order ships.
Want to know what NOT to do when growing your business? Click here to find out.
Another thing to keep in mind when you are selling online is to make sure that you are not infringing on someone else's intellectual property.
Do not use anything that is related to Disney, Marvel, NFL, Kids movies, Kids Toys, or anything else that is well known. It is not just about the desings, it also applies to the wording as well.
When you are selling on Etsy, it is very easy for them to shut your shop down for using someone else's ideas. You can get shut down on Amazon as well for the same thing. However, it is a longer process for them to shut your shop down. They can easily go to your hosting and shut you down from there if they see that you are not taking any action to take those listings down.
If you are serious about turning what you are doing into a real business, then you need to look towards the future. Think about how you can expand your product line, how to make your branding better. If it is something that you love doing and what to make it into your full time job, then I would recommend looking into getting your own website. I am not saying for you to leave Etsy or Amazon, but to start looking into your own website for many different reasons. More important, you need to figure out how to attract more followers and subscribers. I would recommend that you start an e-mail list to gain more followers. An e-mail list will come in handy when you have your own website because it helps direct traffic to your own website. If you want to learn more about how to start or build a e-mail list for your business, you can check out my e-mail list webinar here.
Don't forget to check out my blog post that goes over why having an e-mail list is so important for your business.
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