You've got a product. You've taken product photos and written product descriptions. You've designed your website, populated it with great content and launched it to the world.
Now it's time to sit back and watch the traffic and sales come flooding in, right?
If only it were that easy.
For many first time ecommerce entrepreneurs, it can be frustrating to work so hard getting your business ready only to to hear crickets when you finally launch.
Well that's exactly what our latest guide aims to fix. With the help of Sean Work, Director of Marketing at KISSmetrics, we put together this comprehensive guide to help you make your first sale. You can read this guide like a book from start to finish, or feel free to jump into whichever chapter interests you.
Here's what you'll learn in the guide:
Jump to a specific chapter:
- Introduction: A handy table of contents and overview of what you'll learn in the guide.
1. Make Friends on Facebook: Learn how to get started with Facebook marketing - everything from crafting strategic status updates to creating a compelling Facebook page for your store.
2. Network on LinkedIn: Find out how to strategically connect with people, complete your profile, what to post and how to leverage LinkedIn groups.
3. Get Busy on Youtube: Discover how to sell with video, what video software to use, what kind of video content to produce and how to get started with YouTube analytics.
4. Spark Conversations on Twitter: If you're new to Twitter then this section is for you. Learn how to get started setting up your account and how to strategically engage potential followers and customers.
5. Inspire with Pinterest: Pinterest can be a huge driver of traffic. In this chapter we show you how to integrate a 'Pin it' button on your site and start inspiring potential customers to start following your pins.
6. Work It on Instagram: Instagram is quickly becoming one of the best platforms for online store owners to build an audience with. Discover how to post photos that drive engagement, run contests and more.
7. Tap Into Tumblr: Here's where we show you everything you need to know to get started with Tumblr, from picking a theme, adding content and building links back to your store.
Search Engine Marketing
- 8. Stand Out on Comparison Shopping Engines: Price driven shoppers often use comparison shopping engines to make a purchase these days. Here, you'll learn how to leverage these website and get your products in front of more people.
- 9. Get On Google Places: Google Places is Google’s answer to the good old yellow pages, and yes even if you haven't made a dime, you're going to want to be found on Google Places. In this chapter we show you how.
- 10. Leverage the Yahoo! Bing Network: Learn how to use paid search ads on the Yahoo! Bing Network to drive targeted traffic to your store.
- 11. Get Search Engine Optimized (SEO): Search engine optimization (SEO) is often considered by some as the holy grail of Internet marketing. In this chapter we show you how to get your site to rank higher in Google.
- 12. Learn from Web Analytics: Analytics (for short) will show you what your customers are doing on your site, on which web pages they leave your site, and in some cases how long they have been a customer.
- 13. Be Accessible on Mobile Devices: One way to gain an edge on your competition and be accessible by consumers on whatever device they decide to use is to make sure your current website is mobile friendly or create a separate mobile site.
- 14. Get Product Reviews: This is the online guerrilla marketing method of PR. There is a unique benefit of getting product reviews from other websites that helps increase brand credibility and trustworthiness in addition to word-of-mouth marketing.
- 15. Write a Press Release: Learn how to be newsworthy and craft a press release that rises above the noise.
- 16. Pull a PR Stunt: PR stunts are the ancient version of the viral video. They are loads of fun and help bring tons of attention to your brand if executed well.
- 17. Sell a Unique and Newsworthy Product: Standing out from the crowd is one of the best ways to move merchandise. Especially if you’re in a crowded space where your competitors sell similar, if not the exact same products.
- 18. Interview an Industry Influencer: A great way to produce easy and very exceptional blog content is to interview someone important and well known in your industry.
- 19. Write a Guest Post: One of the most high-impact ways to get some internet buzz for your business is to write guest blog posts for various websites that are relevant to your niche.
- 20. Create a Viral Video: Discover the five characteristics of viral videos and how to create your own.
- 21. Start Your Own Blog: Starting a successful blog can be the easiest and cheapest way to attract thousands of new customers. All it comes down to is how well you can create valuable content for your readers.
- 22. Write a Controversial Blog Post: Creating controversy is one way to get your brand to race out in front of the masses and garner some serious consumer attention. But it has to be done carefully and artfully.
- 23. Create a Youtube Channel: Having a YouTube channel can be one of the strongest marketing and sales tools you’ll ever own. Here's how to get started.
- 24. Build Your Email List: There's no question how important email marketing is when it comes to adding to your bottom line, in fact, research shows that for every dollar spent on email marketing, companies made on average $40 back.
- 25. Advertise on Facebook: This is where the power of your Facebook page will become fully realized, especially when it comes to helping you generate sales.
- 26. Pay for Google Adwords: No other advertising network will give you faster sales results than Adwords. In this chapter we show you how to get started using the platform and generating targeted traffic to your site.
- 27. Buy Banner Ads: Banner ads can work magic when it comes to selling products online, but like every form of marketing, they have to be done right.
- 28. Promote Your Tweets on Twitter: Learn how to leverage Twitter's advertising platform to get your content in front of more people and increase your engagement on Twitter.
Take it Offline
- 29. Get a Booth at a Flea Market or Farmer's Market: Nothing beats speaking to potential customers one-on-one and selling to them directly, especially early on when you're still building your company and you'll do next to anything to get that first sale.
- 30. Engage Your Local Business Network: In this chapter we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of how to effectively network in the real world to get results, and by results we mean sales for your business.
- 31. Say Hello to Strangers with Meetup.com: Learn how to find meetups in your area and use them to help make important industry connections and ultimately promote your brand.
- 32. Sell Wholesale to Other Retailers: Here's where you get an introduction on distributing your own products (or even other products from other companies) to other retailers.
- 33. Take Your Business On the Road: A fun and productive way to see the rest of your country while looking to make that first sale is to showcase your business in other locations.
- 34. Deploy a Sales Team: Sometimes getting that first sale is a quick endeavour but sustaining growth in sales quickly makes you realize how tough it can be to be a one-person sales team, especially if your product requires a little more convincing than traditional consumer goods.
- 35. Get Going with Tradeshows: Trade shows can have a profound impact on your business, especially if you’re the manufacturer or source of your own products.
- 36. Go Door to Door: This might be one of the most overlooked startup techniques known to earthlings. But it actually can work for digital, subscription and physical products.
- 37. Use Print Ads: In the age of online advertising where you can calculate your return on investment to the penny, suggesting print advertising may seem quite unusual. That's exactly why we're suggesting it.
- 38. Sponsor an Event: Sponsoring events is an age old form of marketing that can be really hit or miss. In this chapter we show how to make sure you get a solid ROI for your sponsorship dollars.
- 39. Distribute Flyers: Even with the popularity of internet marketing, flyers and direct mail are still effective ways to make sales, especially that tricky and often allusive first one.
- 40. Advertise Outdoors: If you're really hungry for that first sale and traditional online methods aren't yielding any results, offline methods like billboards can be your holy grail.
- 41. Tell Family and Friends: Your network of friends and family will mostly likely be your easiest first sales. You may not want to sell to them, but this is powerful way to kickstart word of mouth for your business.
- 42. Participate on Forums: Participating in online forums can be an amazing way to get your business in front of the right audience. Here's how to get started.
- 43. Create a Listing on Craigslist: Perhaps the easiest way to launch any business is through Craigslist. Started in 1995 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist has been providing the world a (nearly) free marketplace to sell just about anything.
- 44. Give Out Coupon Codes: Coupon codes can be a powerful tool to attract new and repeat customers. However, it’s important to make sure discounting fits into your overall brand strategy.
- 45. Get Others Involved with Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing can be an amazing sales channel for an online retailer. A lot of your success has to do with the type of products you sell and how well you pay your affiliates.
- 46. Build Relationships with Suppliers: Have reliable supplies can make your break your business. In this chapter we show you the importance of supplier relationships and how they con contribute to your sales and bottom line.
- 47. Demonstrate Trust and Security: A major hurdle all small online retail businesses have to face when they are just starting out is getting consumers to trust doing business with them. Discover how to increase your sales by making sure your website appears trustworthy.
- 48. Target Different Languages and Countries: Targeting a user base which speaks a different language or lives in a different geographic region is a powerful strategy to not only get your first sale, but take your business to the next level.
- 49. Delegate and Get Things Done: When you're first starting out, it feels like the entire weight of the world is on your shoulders. Here's where we show you how to decide which tasks to do yourself and which ones you should be delegating in order to run your business efficiently and maximize sales.
- 50. Be Persistent: When it's all said and done, sometime it's takes hard work and persistence to make that first sale. In this chapter we show you some strategies to make sure your persistence pays off.
Already running a successful ecommerce business? How did you get your first few sales? Let us know in the comments and help those who are just starting out.