So you have just opened your doors to the world! Congratulations and a big pat on your back for starting up. Now, no matter what your background is, please know that you're the best salesperson for your product and business– after all; it’s your inspiration and creation. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
Identify your where your prospects are. Plan how to reach them. Should you participate in a flea market? Or set up a pop-up store in a popular street-corner? Which online sites should you sell on? Identify where you will find buyers who will appreciate your products. Remember that you're not just by selling but telling a story through your product and business.
Set up an online store. Let’s get this straight first— you don’t need to open a website to sell online. You can start selling on one of the many online marketplaces. If you are a mid–sized business, you can consider selling on Amazon.in. If you are a small business or a home entrepreneur, or someone who sells locally, you can easily register on Junglee.com and start selling.
Get professional. Your logo, business card, letterhead and business stationery makes the first impression at both levels- business to business and business to consumer. We recommend that you get them designed by a professional graphic designer. If you can, strike up a barter deal instead of paying cash.
Get your business listed on Google through Google My Business. You can describe your business; add images, contact info, opening times, address etc. This will help your business being found locally.
Keep your content unique and relevant to drive the right traffic to your site and improve its ranking in search results. It’s a good idea to revisit the pages and update content on timely basis— google likes it when your content is fresh.
Invest in email marketing. It is a fast, cost-effective and less time-consuming way to reach your customers—all at once. You may mail newsletters, new product announcements, discounts & offers, event information etc.
Utilize the social media space to understand the personality of your fans and strike meaningful dialogues with them. Make it fun – don’t just push your products all the time.
Writing blog posts on your product line, the inspiration behind it, product story and related topics is a good marketing tactic for small businesses. Tell people who you are, what you sell, and how you make it.
PR is a powerful tool to make your presence felt throughout, and not just at the time of launch. Only, don’t be restricted to conventional press— your story might not be big enough for them. How about regional media? Local bloggers? Neighborhood journalists? Be honest in your communication and you just might strike the cord.
Create product videos to market on your website and engage customers online. Upload your videos on youtube and boost your product placement in consumer mind space.
Incorporate customer success stories. Since you are a new kid on the block, people who don’t know you might be wary of buying from you—which is why you need your current customers to talk about you. Just call them up and ask them about their experience. If they have good words for you, ask them upfront if you could use what they said as a testimonial on your website.
Discounts and deals have always been the biggest crowd pullers towards a brand, more so, online. So don't forget to offer them.
Expand your customer base by offering attractively designed coupons online or offline. Customers will be tempted to redeem them through a second purchase.
This post is first among a series of blog posts we are going to do-- covering "how-tos" on various issues ranging from marketing and SEO to time management and product photography that small sellers venturing into the online space will find useful. Did you like it (or not)? Please comment to start a conversation.