So you have started an online store and are wondering how to reach out to people and start selling. Or maybe you are thinking of starting an online store or a website of some sort and figuring out how to market yourself online?Build A Web Store Now >
It is better to think of a marketing strategy even before you set up your online store or build your website. For many it is a daunting task. You may be good at production and design - clothing, travel, engineering, consulting, whatever - but marketing requires quite a different mindset. It requires you to be outgoing, engage with people, figure out what they are looking for and where they hang out.
Or maybe you are good at business and trading - buying from sellers, creating your own brand, and selling for a markup.
There is a key difference between marketing and selling, even though they are closely related in the same business process. Marketing is a long-term activity. It involves creating brand awareness in the public and building a long-term brand. Sales is the part where consumers pay you some money so they can consume your brand, experience it, own it. Or sales could be where you buy something for $10 and sell it for $12. Brand-building is where you get to buy it for $5 and sell it for $15.
If you want to sell your line of t-shirts quickly you could spread the word around in your circle of Facebook friends. Or sell them on an online marketplace like Amazon or Etsy or Ebay. Or even get a vending license and set up a stall on a busy street in your city.
If you want to build a clothing brand that enjoys long-term, repeat sales, well that is something that would take considerably more work than a one-off Blitzkrieg selling operation.
Building a business and marketing it involves both online and offline activities. Before you start marketing you need to do some background work. You need to do some market research and figure out who you are selling to. This will give you some insights into where they hang out - at the mall, in the gym, on Facebok, on news sites, Linkedin?
Once you have done that you can figure out how to reach them - physical stores, print flyers, events, Facebook ads, Google ads or mobile apps. If you are in it for the long haul then you have to figure out how to build a brand, starting with getting together your brand identity.
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