9 Tips to a Profitable Online Store

How to get online store salesA few months ago, one gentleman on one of my LinkedIn groups posted a request for help. That post ignited a fire in me.

You see, after composing a response to him, I realized how the 9 steps I outlined could be converted into an article. Then I thought it could become a series of articles or a case study using his site as the example. Then I thought well I might as well turn it into a class.

So that’s what I did.

Next week, I’m teaching a live one-time only teleclass called

“5 Simple Strategies to a 6-Figure Online Store:

How to make FAST RECURRING INCOME so you can live the life YOU Want!”.

If you or anyone else you know is interested, here’s where you can find out more:

http://www.6figureonlinestore.com

I want to thank Larry for the inspiration. It is my hope that I can help business owners like him to create the income they need to live the life they want.

All my best, Debra

The request for help:

Recommendations on SMALL business marketing

Marketing is something that I never pursued much, and I realize now that I need some help marketing my small business. I don’t have much money to spend – my business is SMALL, and there’s not usually much cash flow. Anyone have any suggestions that won’t break the bank besides SCORE and SBA? The business is an on line business, mostly word-of-mouth. I do some magazine and specialty ads, but that’s about it. I am looking for ideas, or recommendations, or just ways to get the word out.
I am envisioning people getting to the part about not much money and then lots of ‘deletes’!!

-Larry

9 Tips to a Profitable Online Store:

Larry, as a former owner of an online retail store, and an internet marketing coach here are a few tips:

Strategy:

  1. Don’t compete on price. It won’t get you anywhere.
    When you are a retailer of products that are available through other sources, the reason people will come to you above all others is…. the relationship! Without a relationship, you can only compete on price (which is typically a no win situation).
  2. You must provide value-add.
    A blog would help you to establish a relationship with your readers, and create traffic through SEO and establish you as the go-to source for your products. Give them tips and ideas. You need to be a content creator.
  3. You need to focus on your customer. Is it the jewelry crafter or other? You need to speak to each subset of crafter differently and have different supplies for each niche. Pick on niche and be the best you can at meeting their needs.

Tactics:

  1. Traffic:
    You need to generate traffic. In your case, SEO and a blog would be the starting places. Improve the description on your site. Let people know who the right customer for you is and why they should be your customer. Networking both online and off in craft related forums is next and the fastest way to build relationships. Commenting on other craft related blogs will also get you attention.
  2. Capture names and build a list:
    You need to have a way to capture your customer’s name and build your list as soon as they come to you site. Give away something for free in exchange for their name. It can be anything from a product to a free report on jewelry making. Make it relevant to the customers you are targeting.
  3. Communicate:
    Send out weekly tips via email and your social media connections. Give away your expertise. Build trust. Eventually ask for a sale.
  4. Ask for the sale, and transact business.
    You may need to use some sales techniques such as special offers, bundles, time-limited offers, etc.
  5. Build community and Upsell.
    Know what type of products your customer buys and offer them related products at the time of sale. Create upsells. Don’t inundate your customer with more and more offers. Give them your expertise and build the relationship. Deliver world-class customer service. Delight them.
  6. Measure results.
    Measure what works and what doesn’t. Learn where your efforts are best spent and focus on those.

That’s it.

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your online store sales, please join us for this FREE one time teleclass http://www.6figureonlinestore.com.

Sometimes Marketing is a Leap of Faith!

Do you ever feel like marketing and entrepreneurship is a leap of faith? Many people think entrepreneurs are risk takers. But today, I’m really feeling like an eternal optimist. The keyword there is eternal. You can plan and plan and research and analyze and in the end, you just have to go for it and enjoy the ride, for better or worse. It’s kinda what I image skydiving to be. Of course, I see no sane reason to jump our of a perfectly good airplane, so I can just imagine the ride. As a skydiver, you plan, you take a course, you get trained, you test your equipment, and in the end, you have to jump. And then you free-fall down for a while and pray that the equipment is going to work, that you land in the correct spot, you don’t hit anything along the way, and oh, yeah, you pray you don’t crash. And some how through all that fear of failure (or praying for success) you enjoy the ecstasy of the moment, the wind blowing through your hair, the beauty of the earth beneath you.

If something goes wrong after the leap, you can sometimes self correct, change your course, or make changes to salvage the trip. However, in Skydiving, if you crash, odds are that you won’t get a chance to get back up again. That’s why I’m an entrepreneurial marketer and an eternal optimist. I take that leap of faith over-and-over-and-over again. And no matter what the results (win or lose), I get back up and do it again. And that’s what I call entrepreneurship.

In 30 minutes, a new internet company will launch to the world. I am grateful to have been in the right place at the right time more than once in my life. And it doesn’t matter whether we crash and burn or rise to the top. Lessons will be learned and it sure will be a wild ride! Actually, it will be a BLAST!

Oh, you can jump with me and enjoy the ride at…

http://my.blastoffnetwork.com/debzimmer

CAN-SPAM Act – Use Email to Market your Business, Legally.

When you use an email marketing company to send out your ezine or newsletter, the company’s email marketing software does some verification to makes sure your ezine complies with the CAN-SPAM laws. But what if you don’t use a paid service? How do you keep your email newsletter compliant?

You can always check the FTC’s Spam site at http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ for the latest updates on legal regulations. If you are sending out email for commercial purposes, these are the main points to follow (excerpt taken from The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business):

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

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