Suppose you are a newcomer to the online sales world and are looking to make money online, but you’re starting with a small startup budget. With the vast amount of information available to new business owners, knowing how to spend a limited amount of money can be a little daunting.
Here is a five-step checklist to help you get started and guide you to success.
1. Take the time to get feedback on what you’re selling before launching
Don’t rely on affirmation from friends and family to validate that you have a unique and salable product or service. It’s quite possible that these people are emotionally attached to you, and they are more likely to think that every idea you share is the greatest thing since Nutella. Adam Callinan, founder of BottleKeeper, said that getting feedback from people who are emotionally dependent on you is a “disaster from the beginning.”
Get market validation from potential customers who are not in your social circle. Some entrepreneurs use the “They will take out their wallets” test before investing in a business. Callinan prototype a separate beer bottle cooler, and he conducted a crowdfunding campaign on Fundable to measure his product reservations. His campaign raised nearly $14,000, or 280% of his $5,000 target.
In addition to Fundable, there are many crowdfunding platforms to choose from, including Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Rockethub.
Other ways to get feedback from people, when I work is using by Sujan Patel, vice president of marketing, is using customer insight survey tools such as Qualaroo and Client Heartbeat. If you have just started, the survey is an opportunity to find out what the customer wants the product or service to solve or do for him or her. If you are already doing business, the survey can ask the customer how to understand the product or service, whether the customer is willing to be a repeat customer and other reason.
Or, if you work in this industry, you plan to start a company and get feedback from the people you work with, he or she will be your manager and client, says ‘Invisor Consulting founder Steve Tobak. ‘
2. Have a website
Joel Widmer, founder of Fluxe Digital Marketing, says you have to own a website. Not only is it obvious that there are things that can lead customers back, and having a website can build a digital footprint for your brand. Keep your website simple and copy-driven and provide email capture opportunities on every page.
Three simple steps to sell your product using your own website without spending a lot of cash are:
– Choose a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, which is popular and free because of its user-friendliness.
– Register your domain name and subscribe to a hosting service such as GoDaddy or Bluehost.
– Customize CMS with plugins and themes that support ecommerce. WooCommerce provides free e-commerce themes for WordPress, such as Storefront. In addition, WP E-Commerce and MarketPress are additional free e-commerce plug-in options.
– Or for anyone building an e-commerce site, Shopify and Squarespace are simple e-commerce platforms that let you build your own e-commerce site.
3. Know your competitors and customers
Research competitors and complementary brands, that is, if you are selling fire alarms, then look for the “house safety” website. Widmer say your customers will hang out on website for competitors and complementary brands. He suggests using search tools such as SimilarWeb and Google’s relevant search results at the bottom of each Google search to see which websites your potential customers might visit.
Brandon Schaefer, CEO of MyVirtualSalesForce, recommends using other free research tools to understand your market, including LinkedIn, to see who competitor brands are connecting with and what types of updates they’re posting, Google Alerts (for brand mentions and keywords) and Google Trends.
4. Create an action plan for sales and marketing
Patel said that in order to get the first million dollars in sales, they work backward and use monthly income for the first year to reach a million, which means how many units, subscriptions or services must be sold. Create a baseline to achieve your goals. Even if you don’t reach them, you have a blueprint.
One way to achieve your goals is to determine which marketing channels to use. Given the rich possibilities of social media, start with one or two social media channels where you can learn about your audience. Overall, Widmer said, the best channel for new products is Facebook and Pinterest. For professional knowledge and services, try LinkedIn.
In addition, two effective and free marketing strategies are to post blogs on your own website and post blogs on complementary websites. Widmer says this strategy helps build content and digital footprints for your brand. For guidance on blog hot topics, Buzzsumo is a free web service allows you to input any domain name or topic and get a list of the 10 most popular posts currently available. It can also tell you which popular websites have access to customer blogs.
Widmer said that if you are a visitor or blog, use this opportunity to guide users back to your website and capture emails. One way is to use “call-to-action”, you can provide readers with valuable things, such as a free method of operation e-book or a must-have list, the user can get or download by going back to your website and providing an email address.
Some other marketing tools? The free KingSumo app allows you to capture email subscribers via giveaways. Facebook Ads start at $1, and the e-newsletter tool MailChimp has a free option for us to test.
5. Do yourself as much as you can
If your budget is limited, the DIY mentality will usually save you money. In addition, it allows you to control processes and brands, and Callinan explains that he builds his e-commerce site from scratch by talking to others who have successfully completed an e-commerce site. Don’t separate the work you can do, especially at the beginning.
If you need on-demand expertise for a record entrepreneur, try Clarity, Widmer said. This service allows users to receive specific advisor level advice.
All startups are gambling, but as Patel suggested, his company’s revenue this year will reach $10 million. “Keep your strengths and redouble your efforts.”
Are you stuck in here? Don’t worry about! My name is TeeTeng, just shoot me a comment below and I will be more happy to hear you out.
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