The better way to sell online

Four free ways to get your first ten sales

You’ve just created your ShopFactory store, your products are live, and you’re keen to get selling. Here are four ways to get the ball rolling; after all, your first sales are some of the most important. The first few feedbacks you get will shape how you market your products and will smoothen your workflow, making your business more effective. Your first sales will also, hopefully, snowball into the next ones.

So, without further ado: four free ways to get your first ten sales:

1. Let everyone know.

It sounds obvious, but self-promotion can be difficult. If you’ve launched a business, spread the word: send out emails to your contact list, and – if you’ve built one – let the people who signed up to your pre-launch list know that you’re live.

Don’t discredit friends and family: by selling to people you know, you can gain feedback in a safe environment. Your friends and family will also have contacts of their own, and if you provide them with a great experience, they may become brand ambassadors, letting others know of your launch.

2. Run a giveaway.

A good friend of mine recently launched her own brand of lip balms, and in order to gain traction she ran a Facebook giveaway. By offering free lip balms to the winners, she drove traffic to her website, which raised awareness. Those who received the lip balms were delighted and ordered more, and a few of the people who didn’t win decided they liked her story enough to buy the lip balms anyway. By timing the giveaway with the shift in weather, she was also able to target those suffering from dry lips due to the cold.

Contests can be a great source of website traffic and word of mouth marketing: and asking the winners to leave reviews on your site can be an easy way to gather your first customer testimonials.

3. Sign up to social media.

When you’re just starting out, creating a social media presence can be a great way to start conversations with potential customers and to share your message. One of the most underrated ways of doing so is by joining Reddit, a massive online collection of dashboards and ‘subreddits’ focused around different interests.

The key thing with Reddit, as with all social media platforms, isn’t to simply walk up and start promoting your products, but to become a value add of the communities you join. Don’t just sell to the people you find, but add value to their groups and start creating genuine connections.

4. Write an outreach blog post.

What’s an outreach blog post? It’s a post which highlights the work someone else has done; someone who is influential in your market.

This can help you in three ways: by tagging the other person or business, you might be able to start a rapport with them, getting them to share the post you’ve written with their audience. It can also help capture some of the traffic that might have gone directly to them otherwise, as google will recognize that you’ve used specific keywords in your post. The third way this helps you is also due to those keywords; as every blog post you write will deepen your website, making it appear higher in google search results.

Once you’ve written it, make sure to share it across social media platforms, tagging the people/business you’ve mentioned within it. To make this a really meaningful exercise, you need to think about what your blog post will do: will it teach people something? Will it inspire them?

When you’re doing this, make sure you mention people who aren’t too far along in their journey; and with whom you’re not a direct competitor. For example, if you sell lip balms, you could tag other people in your area who make different homemade self-care products. This way, everyone would benefit, and they’re more likely to share your relevant content with their own audience.

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Your first sales are some of the most exciting – and difficult – sales to score. They’ll get you moving forward, and, hopefully, snowball into a success business venture. In the beginning, focus on gathering testimonials, spreading the word, and getting people interested; you’ll learn as you’ll go, and everything else will fall into place.

- Lena Klein

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