Before taking the leap into full-time entrepreneurship, it's a good idea to pick up a few pointers from those who have done it before.
Technologies and tools are making it easier each day for anyone to open up an online and generate a regular stream of income from sales. However, it's not as easy as setting up shop listing a handful of products and running a few Facebook campaigns.
You need to get creative and make your store into an online destination that keeps your fans coming back to you over and over again.
This post will provide you with 8 examples of entrepreneurs who have mastered the art of online selling.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Despite being told that he would “never amount to anything” in school, Dublin was able to make a billion-dollar company with a unique business model. If you are finding that your customers are reluctant to buy because you sell expensive goods, sell the convenience of a monthly pricing plan instead. This will help you transform consumer’s attitudes to purchasing certain products online.
Diamond Candles Diamond Candles founder, Justin Winter, was able to amass a vast Facebook fan base in just eight months. By creating a unique product (a candle featuring a ring set inside the wax), he was able to develop a content marketing campaign that inspired user engagement. He just asked for people to post a photo of their Diamond Candle ring- a simple and easy technique that ran like a competition as well as a promotional tool. The ring at the bottom of each soy candle could be worth $10 up to $5,000. A unique and irresistible offer that over 290,000 people couldn’t refuse.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you have zero budget for advertising, look to user-generated content to help you make a splash. The Diamond Candle campaign attracted over 290,000 new Facebook fans because users were inspired to share. See how you can apply a similar campaign to your business goals.
Not On The High Street If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one, Not On The High Street brings together craftsmen into a reliable online marketplace. Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker founded the brand in 2006. They wanted to take Holly’s local craft fair business (Your Local Fair) and transfer it to an online site. The marketplace is known for offering unique and personalized gifts. Currently, the company draws in two million unique monthly page views. Fans return to the site all the more frequently thanks to the brand’s superb email marketing and social media campaigns.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Not On The High Street’s success is down to their skills in sending the right marketing messages at the right time of year. By setting up auto emails to target previous customers, you can remind them that a holiday or birthday is fast-approaching. The site will even auto-generate personalized gift suggestions from your product page. Make sure you enable these apps in from your ecommerce shopping cart site to help you raise your average customer order values.
BeardBrand Eric Bandholz, the founder of BeardBrand, was able to build a loyal fanbase through his dedicated men’s grooming and lifestyle channel on YouTube. BeardBrand utilized the social media platform to create a fast-growing company that made over $120,000 worth of sales per month during his first year in business.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Create an intimate connection with your fans using video advertising or vlogging. No one understands your products better than you do. Talk to your fans directly using video and join the conversation with others online. If you can hold your audience’s attention on a regular basis, they will be far more likely to remember your brand name when it comes time for them to buy.
Wee Squeak Ecommerce is a game you can ‘hack’ through your marketing efforts to get the best results. Wee Squeak is a shoe site for kids and its owner, Susan Bradley was then able to sell on her insights in the form of Social Sales Girls. This is a site that teaches others how to build a successful online selling empire.
Lessons We Learn From The Masters: Leverage marketing automation tools that can help you do things like boost your email sign up list automatically. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Susan recommended tools like Infusionsoft, which can help you boost ROI and increase sales from email marketing.
Mommy Sauce 73-year-old Mommy Choi, the founder of Mommy Sauce, proves that you are never too old to create an online store and share your talents with the world. From her site, Mommy sells extra special cooking sauces she developed in her time working as a chef in a family restaurant.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you’re looking for a way to boost your income in your retirement, look to starting a business. It is a lot easier than working in a busy restaurant setting, and you can carry on doing the things you love in a way that suits you. There are plenty of ways to make ecommerce work as an at-home business for you — and you don’t have to be an awesome Korean chef to get started!
Tattly Tattly is the hippest temporary tattoo site online and has been featured on leading internet trends site, Buzzfeed. The store was founded as a side project by blogger, Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka Swiss Miss). Here, she wanted to create cool temporary tattoos for adults and invited her famous friends in the design world to contribute their illustrations. As an offshoot of her two successful online enterprises, Tina has branched off and has developed a productivity app called Teuxdeux.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you are running one successful online enterprise, ecommerce is easy to ‘tack on’ as a side project to help you create more online influence. Think in terms of products your talents can bring into the world. And, don’t be afraid of enlisting the help of your friends to help your dreams come to fruition.
Fab.com Fab.com is a leading ecommerce site for gadgets and homewares. Quite often with practical household items, customers like to compare deals and examine many products before ultimately making decisions. On Fab.com, founder Jason Goldberg, wanted to make the deliberation process unique and suited to his customers’ needs. Fab.com syncs with Facebook Messenger allowing customers to compare goods with their friends. The site also offers easy navigation and categorization, helping customers find what they need quickly.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Create the best user experience (UX) for your customers by incorporating unique shop features that make your site compelling and shareable. Bear in mind that you will be hoping to distract social media users away from their feeds and onto your site. If you are just starting off with ecommerce, set up shoppable galleries on Facebook and Instagram. This will allow you to upload your entire catalog to your Facebook business account and generate direct sales from the platform.
There you have eight example of ecommerce entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the way we shop online. Hopefully, this list has shown you that there are many ways to make your services unique and desirable to your fans, regardless of your budget. Get smart with user-generated campaigns and do your best to automate and personalize your services.