The pandemic has shown how urgent it is to sell your products and/or services online. The point is, he showed it to you and everyone else at the same time, so you need a well-designed strategy to succeed.
It’s not enough to have a platform that allows you to sell online, you have to be able to stand out from the competition, provide a better sales and after-sales service and above all, create a good relationship with your audience. How do you do that?
We’ve set up 10 essential steps so you can sell more online consistently and grow your business despite the competition.
Start by setting:
“Customers don’t buy from you for the platform you have, they buy for the difference you make” in Bernadette Jiwa’s “Make Your Idea Matter”
If you still think you can build a successful business with the sole purpose of making money and with no intention of wanting to make a difference in the world, we’re sorry to inform you, but that time has passed. Currently even millionaire brands have this awareness and seek to convey some kind of message that unites their customers around something more than just their products or services.
In a world so full of people selling, where you have to literally compete with the whole world, you need to have a very strong reason. What’s the difference you want to make in the world? How will your business help make that difference? Which brings us to point two.
How will your products or services contribute to the cause your brand wants to embrace? Is it the manufacturing process, the message you send in the communication? Ideally, what you sell supports your why in a strong and consistent way.
Who’s your ideal audience? Who might want to join your cause? Who might be interested in what you sell?
You know your audience in depth. Location, gender, education, marital status, type of employment, hobbies, interests, causes, difficulties, loves and hatreds. It’ll be a lot easier to communicate properly if you know who you’re talking to.
It’s completely different if your audience is made up of young college students or single mothers or cat owners or programmers.
How can you study your audience?
Now that you know what you’re selling and why and you’ve studied your audience, it’s easier to understand what might lead your audience to take an interest in what you sell.
Talk to your audience about what you believe, what your brand represents, how it impacts the cause you stand for. Position yourself clearly and spread out what you’re doing, that your audience will join you. The clearer you stand for and what you condemn, the easier it is to find people to join your brand.
This is one more of the information you should know about your audience.
There are niche markets that prefer to buy and/or do business on certain social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Tik Tok, while others prefer to buy on a website.
Other niches may be less comfortable with the Internet and prefer to buy from a better-known website rather than buying from individual websites or applications. If that’s the case with your niche, it might make sense to sell on Amazon or Ebay, Fnac, Worten and other marketplace sites if you sell physical products. Or partner with Uber Eats and Glovo, for example, if you sell food. Or sell your courses online on platforms like Udemy. Advertise your services on Upwork and other freelancer sites.
It all depends on where your audience usually buys the kind of stuff you sell. How can you tell? You can see how the competition sells and try to figure out how it’s working best, you can ask in groups or forums where your audience is, talk to people you know that belong to your niche, and even think about your personal experience as a consumer if you’re part of your niche. And you should also test it.
Do you know if you’re going to sell through your own website or a social media profile or a common platform? Or maybe you’ll choose to sell in more than one and test which one works best. Now is the time to put this platform ready to sell. You won’t be able to sell anything on a social network if it’s not appealing, pleasant in sight, full of content that interests your audience and if you don’t interact too much with your audience and encourage them to interact with you back.
Likewise, you will not be able to sell on your own website if it is not well organized, with all the information that the customer may want to know, with testimonials from other customers, if the purchase process is not simple and secure, etc.
And you won’t be able to sell on a platform like Glovo, Amazon, Udemy or Upwork if your images aren’t very attractive and to the point, if the content isn’t clear, well structured and leaves no doubt about the quality of your work or the way you work.
This step is for those who will sell on social networks and / or on their own website.
Share content that will make your audience identify with you. Content that shows that you understand it, that you know how you think, what you feel, what your difficulties and ambitions are, will make the right audience find you and feel like getting to know you better.
Once your audience already knows you, they’ll only want to know more and create a lasting relationship if your content helps them in any way. It can be teaching and taking questions, entertaining and amusing, informing or a mixture of all the above. On social networks these contents are made through publications, stories and the like. On the site, they must be shared through a blog.
Everything you’ve been doing in points 7 and 8 is the first steps for you to build a community around your brand. To complete this mission, you need a very clear cause and, of course, you need to know how to lead your community in conquering that cause.
Getting to this point, it’ll be much easier to have a more steady sales flow and have people jump ing to buy your new product or hire your new service. Have people who recommend you and who call others to your community that will become more and more united if you continue to add value to it and lead it.
If you can sell online without going through all this, of course you do! You’ll make some sales during this process and you should make the most of your network of current contacts to start making money as soon as possible. But if you do these 10 steps successfully, your business will have a much stronger foundation to grow.
What stage are you in the process at? What are your main difficulties? Share with us in the comments.