Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Top # 10 Tips to Sell Online

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When you first start selling your own items online, you have so many questions on what you are doing correctly and what you are not doing correctly. Many times you find yourself needing to ask questions ,but lost on who to ask. I know when I first began a little over a year ago I was completely lost and afraid that every move I was making was not the best thing today.
Today, I want to focus on How to Sell Online and how to better approach selling online. These tips are here to help guide you in any way. If you do have questions, please do not hesitate to fill out the contact us form and I will be sure to get back to each and every one of you.
We will be going over the basics on how to decide if you should start selling items, to how to get you moving in the first few months of beginning your business online.

Tip #1
Deciding if an online business is for you. Now, this one varies from person to person and by all means give it a try, who knows you may be really successful. Some people begin a business with little to no experience on how to run a business. I will tell you as I have had many years experience in running a business, that without some type of background knowledge you will be pulling your hair out of your scalp. Starting a business should not be taken lightly. This mean’s don’t just think “Hey everyone else is doing it so can I”. Do your research.

Tip #2
Know your area and your market. Before starting a business you should always do research to learn how many people do the same as you, who offers similar items, and so forth. Learn everything you can possibly think of before beginning a business. Never jump in head first because you have no background knowledge of this you should want to ask questions often. “Who offers similar items” “What prices seem fair” The more questions you come up with the better off you will be.

Tip #3
Etsy Store, Other, Or Website. I am asked on a regular basis what is better, selling on a site like Etsy or having my own website? To answer this question, you need to ask yourself this question, “Do I want to be professional and stand out? or “Make it easy and blend in” There are a multitude of Etsian’s online trying to sale 99% of the time you search for an item similar to your own you will find pages and pages of results. Your not standing out, which means all the more promoting, advertising, and money spent to be seen above the rest. Blending in is not always the “in” thing you want to do. When you choose a website you need to be willing to go every mile you can to get found easier, quicker, and actually compete against the bigger stores offering the same as you. A website allows you may aspects, one you will be seen as a professional not going anywhere, you will be taken seriously, your audience will jump from 20 views a day to 100s if your site is done properly. The next big one, never do your site by yourself. If you cannot afford to have a custom website coded for you, then always just see if you can hire someone for like 30 minutes to an hour to help you get a few aspects set up like SEO , etc. Make sure you always have a professional do this, it will better increase your views and the potential sales your looking for.

Tip #4
Your Products. Ask yourself, “What do people want to buy?” Know what people want, and try to provide it. If you think it will sell but not sure try it. Trying something different never hurts you, that is after all how we all learn. Trying something and if you do not succeed you know it will not work. Make sure what you do is something you enjoy. Don’t start something on a I think this would be interesting moment. Know you love it and do it. For example: I do web design/blog design, because I enjoy creating new looks, it brings me peace knowing I created something special for someone else, I find much joy in this. If you cannot honestly sit back and say “I love my job” then its not for you.

Tip #5
Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. Learn your way around a camera and know the ends and outs of photo editing. Photos are the only way you will be able to really show off your products. When they say a picture speaks a thousand words it needs to be true when your listing an item. Have a clear, clean, background. Use a whiteboard if need be, but always keep it clean. Lighting is everything, don’t shoot a picture in the darkest part of your home or office that is never going to get anywhere. If its fuzzy take it off and reshoot. Unfocused pictures will cause your views to decrease rapidly.

Tip #6
Creating a Price. Ask yourself this, “would I spend this for the item” if your answer is no you priced to high. Pricing should include, materials, time, labor, etc. Get your money back and earn some money in the process. Profit is a have to. If you do not profit immediately from a sale chances are you have prices too low. Need Pricing help? View It here!

Tip #7
Descriptions a Must! Provide high quality descriptions. Customers do not want to hear about how you decided to come up with the item, or why you chose that specific item. Actually doing a description like that is quite boring because we as customers want to know Facts! Always list facts first no matter what, then worry about a sincere message to the viewer.
Facts should include, dimensions, sizes, measurements, materials, care instructions, etc. Not this is such a cute bracelet because it looks gorgeous on you. Think of your descriptions like this, when you view you see nothing said about its cuteness, or how pretty you will look, so why do it?

Tip #8
Excellent Customer Support. You remember that moment when you went into the store to return something because you just purchased it, opened it up, set it up, and guess what it doesn’t work. So you drive back to the store just to return it and give the return clerk an ear full and she never said a cross word to you? or the time when you wanted to scream someone’s head off because of a mistake or broken item and them giving you the run around in store? I know you do! As much as we do not want to admit it we all had those moments one time or another. Now as a business person yourself there are a few things you need to do that is very important that will honestly save you the hostile of mad, ready to scream their head off customers. Set Policies. Set your policies, what return policy do you have, exchange policy, shipping policy, etc. Make it plain and clear what you offer from the start. Even if you do not offer it state that because customers need to know this. Aim for high customer satisfaction from the support you give customers. This will better help your business in the long run. If you are like me you want customer feedback because customer feedback to me is critical for the growth of any business. Customer Feedback offers you the chance to know what you need to work on and improve, if a person doesn’t leave you feedback don’t worry about it typically you will have at least 1 or 2 people that will not do that.

Tip #9
Network and Promote. Now I do not mean post your items every hour on the hour that is absolutely annoying and will drive sales away. I also do not mean be a pushy salesperson, people pushy or seeming desperate for sales will never receive anything. You need to be all the time professional. So what do I mean? Network. Join Facebook add a Fan page, Join Twitter, Pinterest, Rebel mouse, Stumpleupon, tumblr, blogger, wordpress etc. Networking means you like, follow, share, etc. other people’s items as well not just your own. Okay so how will networking help my business? The goal to network is to help people out who will help you out. This means you favorite, like, repin, retweet, share an item. If these people do not return the favor well then you know not to help them out again. When you network, like with blogger how many people have blog hops, your sharing where you are and people come on in, like you, follow you, etc. This helps build your networking allowing you to reach more people. Promote. Promoting means you actually put your items online at as many places as you can. If you pin it once don’t pin it again and again, its crazy. Don’t use hootsuit to go insane on tweets really drives people nuts I know I learned. If you use Etsy you can use their Etsy FU app to promote items every so often. I know the name sounds odd and worse than it is but its honestly for promoting. I have mine set for every 4 hours honestly that is the closest you want it to be. Any closer and your pushing the problems of over promoting and driving people mad. We don’t want to drive anyone crazy rather drive for sales.

Tip #10
Know your financial status. Okay this is a big one here. Know what your putting into your business, keep every receipt, every record of purchase, every record of a sale. The IRS will need this if you get audited. Oh No I said the worse word possible I know. The truth is keep everything. Know what your spending to increase your business, keep track of sales. Know how often a sale comes in, how often you spend money, etc. The more you keep this straight the better off you will be. You can view some of the tutorials from previous as I offer some great tips on getting organized for your business. It also includes a tutorial on programs you can get for free. It’s a great way of increasing productivity time and decreasing how long you have to work to stay organized. Remember, your financial status and where your business goes is up to you.

I always tell people that the sky is the limit, that your business, prosperity, and growth depends on how much you really want to have. If you think small you will be small. Now that does not mean go out and get yourself a $10k loan from the bank to increase your business, but what it means is know where you want your business to go. Be determined, driven, and have a passion for what you do. Chances are you created the business or are thinking of creating a business because you need the income, your at home more than anywhere else, or you have no vehicle to get around so working from home is suitable for your needs. Remember that no matter where your working, working means you set hours, set times, set limits so you do not burn yourself out.

I hope you all enjoyed another series of our fine tutorials on how to sell online. Do you have any other tips you might like to add to this tutorial??? Comment below I love hearing from you all.

Thanks for stopping in. I hope to hear from you soon!

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