Every new entrepreneur will most likely feel the utmost satisfaction of making their first sale. But achieving this isn’t always easy. You have to be quite dedicated to your efforts, and of course, you need time. You need to market your business first, and it’s not always easy to come up with the right techniques.
Often, newbies tend to obsess in making sure that everything’s perfect. They fuss on the smallest details, including picking the right colors for the brand, fixating on various fonts, and worrying about proper pricing. But the truth is that you’re better off just launching the site and then improving the site with hard data to guide you.
To get that data, you need people to visit your site. Coincidentally, you also need site visitors to make your first sale. Both these reasons emphasize the importance of driving traffic to your site. This is the key to online business success.
So how exactly do you achieve this? Here are some steps you need to take:
Start with Free Sources of Traffic
If you’re picking fruit, you go after the ones that are already hanging low and are ripe for the picking. In online terms, this generally means manually sharing your online store with your network and the appropriate online communities.
It’s comparatively easier to create these traffic sources, and these are typically available to each online store owner. It’s a terrific starting point, as you expend minimal effort for quick and easy results.
Your various actions online all have the potential to drive people to lead people to visit your online store. Whenever you create an online profile for a social media network, a forum, or a blog, you can also append the URL of your online store.
When you do post messages, just make sure that you don’t simply send out obvious promotional messages ad nauseam. Make real connections with people you interact with and keep on providing value to enhance your stature and the image of your brand.
Of course, one common way of driving traffic is to offer a discount code. You can ask for people to send in their email addresses and responses to your surveys, and in return, you can offer $20 gift cards.
Use Your personal Networks
It’s very common to make your first sales with family and friends as customers. It’s not really cheating at all. After all, they may actually like you and they may really want to support you. So don’t hesitate to send out info regarding your online store on your various social media network platforms. If you’ve always been active on social media, then this isn’t really going to take a lot more of your time.
You can also try to send an email message regarding your online store to your closest friends and family. Ask them to mention your store to their own circle of friends. These friends may also offer constructive feedback to help you improve your products, your website, or your marketing methods.
Join Relevant Online Communities
You can try Facebook groups and Reddit forums to start with. But in general, just about every niche industry will have lots of online communities discussing the ins and outs of whatever niche your business belongs to.
Pick a few of these communities in which people are very active and engaging, and become active yourself. Engage with others, offer your opinions on various topics, and answer some questions. Don’t just post your online store URL right away. Build up your reputation first and make several solid connections before you mention that you also run an online store that’s connected to the forum subject. When you do share your online store URL for the first time in these communities, don’t forget to include a discount. After all, these are your new friends!
Use Paid Advertising Judiciously
There are pros and cons to using paid advertising for your online store. You don’t really need a huge budget to start with, and it’s a way to quickly reach your targeted traffic.
However, this will need a bit of research on your part. You have to study various advertising platforms to find the ones that best suit your needs. You have to pick the ones that best lets you reach your target demographic.
Here are some of the usual options:
Facebook is undoubtedly among the most popular social networks on the planet. It has a very diverse user base, so you can find customers here regardless of their age, location, and interests. You can check out what pages people have liked to identify the most likely customers. For example, if you are selling beds and mattresses then you can focus on those who have sleeping issues.
This is a very visual format, and the users are quite engaged. It’s a terrific platform if you are targeting millennials. This is a platform you want to use when you have strong visuals for your marketing, such as if you are involved in the fitness, food, and fashion industries.
Are your potential customers predominantly female? If so, then this is a good platform to try as most of the users here are women. As a bonus, studies have also discovered that quite a few of these users have plenty of disposable income for purchases.
Try this if you are selling women’s apparel, food, home décor and artwork, and other typically feminine products.
For most people, online research starts with “googling” a subject. People nowadays use Google to find out more before buying something, and with Google Ads, you can reach these people to influence their purchase decisions. You have several options you can use here, such as text ads that are prominently displayed in search results, and Shopping Ads with your product photo and price.
This works best if you have a local business or service, and your products and services are very much in demand.
Working with Influencers and Bloggers
If you can, try to partner with a popular blogging site to take advantage of the ready-made audience. A blog that shares your interests will be a perfect fit for your products and services. For example, a blog that offers various tips and solutions for dog owners can be more welcoming when they learn about your canine products and services such as dog training and walking.
Many bloggers will welcome your offer when you ask to submit a guest post or if you agree to an interview regarding your brand’s history. These blogs can be very hard up for new content, so your contributions will probably be accommodated.
If you have unique products and services, or you have an intriguing history, then you can have these featured in the blog. You can also try to have your product reviewed by the blogger—especially if you offer a free sample. You can also pitch your products as one of the prizes if the blog runs a contest.
The crucial key to online store success is to drive more interested people to your website. Visitors can become customers with the right pitch, and with more visitors to your store, it shouldn’t take long to make your first sale!