Selling ideas through words is rewarding. Imparting knowledge and your own personal expertise in a subject area will inspire your readers to take action and potentially do something great. But how do you switch from selling ideas to selling products?
Going from blogger to a successful eCommerce entrepreneur can be a tricky transition because there is a mindset shift that you will need to embrace for your eCommerce store to become successful. You will need to successfully integrate sales into your content process whilst still building solid relationships. So, how do you transition from blogger to eCommerce genius?
5 Steps to Becoming an eCommerce Entrepreneur
Step 1: Use Your Knowledge Assets
Starting any new business venture is exciting, albeit scary. So before you jump in head first, you need to take a look at what you already have available to you.
Maybe you are running a successful blog with a significant number of engaged followers, or you have a friend with a successful eCommerce company. Take stock of existing assets and networks and use them to your advantage.
- If you have followers that keep asking you how you became a successful blogger, perhaps you could offer building to build blogs.
- Use your network and speak to other successful eCommerce bloggers to see what you can learn from them.
- Ask your blogging network for advice, support and ideas.
Step 2: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas
Solid commercial ideas are crucial to moving from blogger to eCommerce entrepreneur. Spend some time brainstorming a few ideas that you can turn into products for your online store. Take a look at what you already have and consider whether you can turn these into products.
Remember that not all products are physical objects. You can easily sell digital products to customers all over the world.
- Try to find products that integrate seamlessly with your current blog and content. Remember that you can personalize small commercial items with unique branding.
- Perhaps you are really great at writing. You could write and sell ebooks from your website, or start selling them via Amazon.
- Or maybe you are an expert in a certain area and can provide webinars to your customers for a fee. Think about “products” in terms of your expertise as well.
- Try to think of something that you are really passionate about and generate ideas from there.
Step 3: Know Your Niche
Take the time to research and learn everything you can about your specific niche topic. It’s important to know all you can, so that you can be competitive and set the right prices. Remember – selling is very market-led.
- Perform keyword research to find out what your customers are looking for online. This could spark a clever idea if you’re in need of some inspiration. Try using a free keyword tool like Keyword tool.io and Ubersuggest.
- Follow influential bloggers, businesses and individuals within your specific niche topic.
- Take a look at other businesses or people who are doing it right, and equally, those who aren’t (and why).
Step 4: Know Your Audience
You will need to get to know your audience again and see them as your customers.
Forget what you think you know about your current audience and take the time to re-discover who is most engaged with your ideas and potential products.
- A good way to research your target audience is through your social media platforms. Follow popular hashtags and “listen in” on people’s’ conversations.
- Write a blog post on your niche topic and measure engagement.
- Conduct a survey to get more information on your target audience and how you can best tailor your product to them.
The key to successfully transitioning from blogger to eCommerce entrepreneur is realizing that although you may have to become more heavily focused on sales, you still need to form strong relationships with your audience and customers. Focus on relationship-based selling.
Step 5: Action
Perhaps the most daunting step is actually taking the information, research and product ideas, and turning them into something tangible.
- Take action on your plans and devise a solid business strategy for your new venture. Take the time to plan every step of your business plan.
- Don’t forget to set yourself a target date for when this needs to be completed by, and stick to it as much as you can. I know this step can be the scariest, so get inspired by other incredible entrepreneurs that have taken the plunge.
- Once you have a solid business strategy for your new venture, you should make a social media plan. Set up new social media accounts if you need to, and come up with some innovative promotion plans to get the word out there.
The Next Piece: How to Successfully Sell Online
Designing your eCommerce website can be fun and exciting, especially when you begin to see your new business venture come to life. Websites that are successful take into consideration user experience and tailor their website toward their audience, keeping them engaged and coming back time after time.
Promotion needs to be consistent and you need to be persistent at getting yourself and your product out there. Building a network of strong relationships with your customers can take time.
Always remember your loyal and dedicated customers that return to your website. Although attracting new customers and readers is important, don’t lose sight of your loyal followers. Ensure you make them feel special and appreciated so they will keep coming back for more – use special deals and incentives to sweeten the deal.
Becoming an eCommerce Entrepreneur: The Fine Print
Once you have worked your way through the 5 key steps, there are a couple of very important things you will also need to consider.
- Opening an ecommerce store requires its own website and a host of features. If you are not very experienced within the world of ecommerce, it can be helpful to open your online store through an online platform like Shopify. They offer entrepreneurs the ability to open an ecommerce website easily.
- It’s also important to spend time on your social media, writing your bios and keeping your brand consistent on every platform. Follow people that are relevant to your brand and build your online presence by sharing your ideas and engaging with others.
- If you decide to go it alone with your website and set it all up yourself, then there are some legal requirements that you have to take into consideration.
Transitioning from blogger to ecommerce entrepreneur is a rewarding experience, one that will push you to grow and open up your mind to all sorts of new ideas and exciting opportunities. Sure, it’s challenging, but ultimately this is step one of building your own online empire.
So now that we have covered the basics, what kind of eCommerce store are you going to open?
Patrick Foster is an ecommerce entrepreneur, coach and writer, sharing ideas on his own blog EcommerceTips.org. On his blog, Patrick shares engaging ecommerce content for entrepreneurs and business owners alike. You can follow him on Twitter, or add him on LinkedIn.