If you’re an entrepreneurial-spirited woman, it has never been easier to build a life on your terms and become independently wealthy and fulfilled. Isn’t that everyone’s dream in life? To not be bound by the 9-5 lifestyle and still have the potential to earn big money?
You can achieve the things you want in life and build upon your passions within your career. All you need is a laptop, internet connection and my advice for entrepreneurial-spirited women looking to sell online.
Business Planning, The Beginning Stages
Opening an online store is a relatively swift process and one that could see you generating a steady stream of income, provided you get your head in the game.
Your ability to make a healthy profit will depend on how well you know your target audience, regardless of what you sell.
This is why it is vital to plan your first steps into ecommerce carefully. Think about the hobbies and things you love. It will be easier to prepare for your business goals if they align with your passions in life.
- Go to some of your favorite sites and find a profitable niche for your own brand.
- Head to major shopping sites in your chosen niche and take note of the products they sell and categorization.
- Use keyword research to find the most common terms people use to find products. Look for “how to…” and other long-tail search phrases and make a note of them for later.
- Identify social media accounts within your niche. These accounts will offer you clues on your audience’s social content preferences.
- Purchase a domain from an ecommerce host (or set up your own site if you have the skills). In picking a name for your brand, you may wish to include a keyword within the title. You don’t have to, however, if you are the ‘new kid on the block’, it may help you establish your online reputation.
Don’t worry about inventory costs and starting capital. You can open an online shop for the price of a monthly subscription (think under $30 a month). You can also use dropshipping as a means to get your store stocked with wonderful products.
Under dropshipping agreements, you list the products from a third party supplier and place an order only once a purchase is made from your site. No storing inventory in your garage or splashing out on stock that will never sell. The third party will even ship the goods to your customer on your behalf.
Branding and Audience Targeting
Creating a brand is vital to raising your name in business. You will need to take some time out to think about your logo, site design, text, cover images, etc. Don’t believe me? Try this little experiment:
- Go to your favorite brand’s website
- Cover the logo at the top of your screen with your hand and explore the rest of the homepage
A well-established branded site will have a distinct and recognizable ‘feel.’ The text, colors, and logos are original and cannot be mistaken for another company. This is the power of branding and why you need a clear image for your customers to focus on.
To build a brand image that pleases, audience research is essential. Look at trends online, follow many social media accounts and draw up a clear ‘persona’ profile of your ideal customer. Make these profiles as detailed as possible, you may need to create several based on varying demographics.
As an example, if you were opening a store that sells exercise clothing, you may want to create separate profiles for male and female customers. You may also then divide these groups by interest (e.g. ‘yoga fanatic’ and ‘gym bunny’). The idea is to outline your typical customer:
- Lifetime value, i.e. how much they could spend with you based on their income and lifestyle.
- Their ‘goals,’ what they want to find and do on your site?
- The social networks and other places your audience spends time online. You will need this for promotional purposes.
- ‘A day in their life.’ A rundown of their daily schedule to highlight device usage and engagement times throughout the day/week.
Creating Your Store
If you have no website experience, don’t worry. You can create an online store with a host that will support you every step of the way. An ecommerce subscription service will set you up with all of the tools and templates you need to get started quickly.
Templates allow you to upload and get products listed on your site fast. You will need to consider carefully how your products are presented online. This will be crucial in establishing your credibility and quality as a brand.
You can find automated tools and apps that can help you with this process. For instance, you can see generators to help you with product descriptions and tagging. You will, however, need to ensure that your text covers the benefits and features of your goods.
You will also need to ensure you provide your own photos and imagery to ensure your site impresses shoppers.
There is a range of applications that will help you semi-automate your marketing, sales tax collection, etc. Really, the list of ecommerce enhancement tools is expansive. Make sure you are automating the mundane tasks as much as possible.
Marketing Your New Online Store
Getting your name out there as a newly established brand requires a bit of legwork. But, you can do it efficiently with your thorough customer research.
Set up a Facebook business account and look to create some targeted ad campaigns. Setting a small daily budget can get you results, provided you plan your custom audience segments with your personas in mind.
With each paid post, add common interests until you are targeting a group of around 80,000 Facebook users. This will ensure that your ad appeals to a generously sized audience with a group of shared interests. Hopefully, these customers may be in a position to buy from your site. Make sure the messages you include in your ads intrigues them enough to click and find out more. You don't necessarily have to jump straight to the ‘hard sell.’
You can also set up shoppable galleries, retarget campaigns, on Facebook and other sites, and allow your customers to buy directly from their social media feeds. In all of your marketing endeavors make sure you are providing useful information, free of charge, to your core audience. People buy from brands they can trust so write informative content for your company blog and connect with social media influencers in your industry.
There are many aspects to digital PR, and this is where you want to spend the most of your efforts in building your business. Make an effort to guest blog on other sites, expand your thinking in generating online income. You can always switch products if a niche isn’t working out well for you.
There are many ways to make some extra money each month. Opening an online store can be a great way to test ideas and cut your teeth in building and marketing a brand. You can access all the tools and support you need in the click of a button, making the admin tasks a breeze.
Once your business grows, you can also choose to hire virtual assistants to help you run it. Or, you can even sell it on in an ecommerce marketplace. Start your online selling empire today.