Jan 11, 2019
When it comes to building an online brand, there are lots of things you CAN do and a few things you MUST do. Every business model has absolutes built-in, things that you can’t do without if the business is going to succeed.
On this episode of Marketing For eCommerce, I address those essentials - and I’m going to do it for three different types of people - those who are just considering an online business, those already selling but needing to firm things up, and those who are ready to blow the doors off and build their legacy.
This episode has something for everyone, so listen to it to learn how to take the next steps to grow your online brand.
Those who are still dreaming about starting an online product business are in a very exciting and unique place. You don’t know the first thing about building an online brand, but you are very motivated by the prospect of being the captain of your own ship. Right? So how can you get started in a way that is pointing you in the right direction long-term?
Before you begin researching or sourcing products, you have GOT to do this: Drill down and pick the niche you’re going to serve. Trust me, you have to dial it in. Why? Because people don’t have to compromise these days. They don’t have to settle for products that are sort-of like they want. They can get EXACTLY what they want because it’s out there - somewhere. You've got to BE one of those specific brands.
So forget a general approach. Your competitive advantage is going small. Then, once you do, you’ve got to become obsessed with that market for a period of time. You need to eat, breathe, and sleep that market in order to find out the pain you’d be relieving, the problem you’d be solving, and the exact things people want from the products you’d provide. Once that’s done - commit. There are no shortcuts. It takes work. If that’s too scary, then business isn’t for you - at least at this point.
In this episode, I also talk about how you can get started, no matter how little cash you think you have on hand. There are always ways to raise the cash you need. Listen to find out how you can do it.
If you are an online seller and you’re doing even moderately well in the online marketplaces like Amazon, you’ve got to get started building your own thing. Amazon is mainly interested in Amazon’s profits, so you’re going to be limited there eventually. It’s time to start building your own online store. If you know enough about doing that to get started on your own, start by building a Shopify store on your own website. Do it today.
Beyond that, you need to do these 4 things - in this order.
#1 - Build an audience - then nurture that audience.
I do this primarily through email and Facebook Messenger, but you can do it any way that fits you. Get phone numbers from your customers for all I care, but you have to start building a way to nurture a genuine, ongoing relationship with your audience that's independent of the marketplaces - because a business without a list is not a business.
#2 - Create a systematic approach to turn your audience into customers
Did you see that all-important word? SYSTEMACTIC. There has to be purpose behind everything you do, and one of the most important things in this stage is that your audience becomes buyers. It’s not easy, but it has to happen. Revenue is the lifeblood of every business.
#3 - You must have a systematic way to maximize average order value
Once you have people buying your products, you have to figure out ways to get them to buy more in every order. This happens through a funnel - a REAL funnel. Not just a landing page and a few upsells. You have to be intentional and systematic about it. There are many approaches to doing it, but regardless which one you choose, you’ve got to do it.
#4 - Maximize frequency of purchase.
Your best customers are your existing customers. Period. You have to build the kind of relationship and systems that build the kind of trust that gets your customers to buy again. It’s the repeating cycle that makes a business into a revenue-generating machine.
Here is the final person I’m talking to in this episode - the online seller who already has a decent online brand, who is already selling well, maybe even to the tune of 6 figures a month. But they want to take it really big this year.
Heck, forget about this year - it’s time for these sellers to dominate the decade. How can it happen?
First off, you need to ensure that every one of your systems is dialed-in and buttoned down. Fix any problems that exist in the way you are currently doing business. You can’t pour water into a cracked pool and expect it to hold water. So fix things that are broken.
But assuming you have all that in place… It’s time to become obsessed with finding audiences full of your ideal buyers. That means building your own audience, borrowing the audiences of others, scaling up your ad spend in smart, test-based ways, going to or holding live events, reaching out to influencers and micro influencers - anything it takes to find and connect with your ideal buyers.
This episode is not that long, but it’s packed with the details of all these points. Be sure you listen. You’ll turn off the episode with a much clearer vision of what you need to do next to build your online brand BIG.
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