Getting Started Selling Products Online Beginners Guide

Like most small businesses your products or store has little or no national brand recognition. So how can you sell products online amongst the millions of other websites? Let this article serve as a guide to start selling your products online. There are an endless supply of tips and tricks to selling products online but the following are ones that I’ve had personal success with.

Professional Web Design

The overall look and feel of your website will have a great affect on people and the confidence to purchase from you. Most people are willing to make online purchases but with Internet fraud on the rise, you need a professional web site to build confidence in your customers. When new customers visit your site they typically won’t research your business before making a purchase, they decide based on how your site looks. See our article on Small Business Professional Web Site Design and Layout Guide for more tips.

Usability

Usability is very closely tied to the design and layout of your website. Website usability is the practice of making your website as easy for customers to use as possible. If you want potential customers to purchase your products, you must make it easy for them to locate your products and find out any information they need to make the purchase. If potential customers can’t locate products, descriptions, and prices quickly, they will go somewhere else. Many experts agree the the best websites allow viewers to navigate directly to products in three clicks.

Once customer is ready to purchase, the checkout process needs to be streamlined. Make the user fill out only what is required to make the sale with little extra. Don’t display page after page of additional products, popups, questions, etc… This will only lead to more people exiting the checkout process prematurely. Once they have made the decision to checkout, don’t give them any reason to change they’re mind.

You must accept credit card payments for online sales. Giving customers multiple checkout choices increase your chances of making a sale but most customers will still want to purchase using they’re credit card. Services like Pay Pal allow users without an account to purchase from your website securely without having an account.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM is typically the process of marketing your website by paying search engines to display your ad when users search for particular terms. These ads are not part of the organic search results; rather they are displayed on the first page, many times above or to the right of the organic search results. This marketing has worked very well for many companies but it does cost money. Most services charge based on the number of times your ad is displayed (impressions) or the number of times your ad is clicked PPC (Pay Per Click). Most large search engines offer this service.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This is one of my favorite ways to market my websites. Search engines cannot tell you specifically what to do to increase your placement in organic search engine results. If they did, obviously everyone would change they’re websites to rank high in the search results. This would result in sites ranking high that are not relevant to your search. SEO is a science to many people, they study sites that rank high, formulate theories as to why they rank high, test these theories on they’re sites, and study the results. The three important things for small businesses to do from an SEO standpoint are:

1. Key phrases: Research popular key phrases. Find out what key phrases people use when searching for your product. You should define at least 6 key phrases for your products. Many times these key phrases include brand names. For instance, if you sold shoes online, some of your key phrases might be: Buy Shoes Online, Running Shoes, Brand X Shoes, etc…

2. Content: Populate your site with key phrase dense content. Make sure your site has the phrases you’re defined in step one repeated on your website. You can’t just list your key phrases; you must incorporate them into your website elegantly. This can be done by rewriting your product descriptions and writing key phrase dense content. In addition to making sure your key phrases exist in your content, make sure your content is unique. If your content can be found elsewhere on the web, you may be downgraded by the search engines and other sites with the same content may get preference in the results. Making your key phrases relevant and your content unique will increase your position in the results.

3. Links: Getting one way links to your site not only tell the search engines that you exist but can increase they’re trust in your website. The higher ranked site that is linking to you the more trust you will inherit from that site. Getting links from sites, directories, blogs, and social networking sites that have similar content will help build trust with the search engines resulting in a higher position in the search results. Additionally writing and submitting articles and news releases with a link back to your site will build trust with the search engines that your site is an authority on the subject at hand, thus increasing your ranking with them.

There are many other tips, tricks, and rules to SEO and the more you study and tweak your site the better your search engine results will be. Make sure what you do does not have a negative affect on your ranking. Stay away from automated software or services that submit your site, link farms, spamming, sites that are not easily navigated by search engines, sites that use frames, all flash sites, any black hat tricks, etc… Make sure you research anything before trying it.

Products

Many people have found many ways to sell there products online. The following are two techniques that I have found successful

1. Selling large ticket items at cost. This technique is exactly how it sounds. If you can be the low price leader for your product this can generate sales and people linking to you. Obvously you won’t make money selling products at cost, rather when the sale is made you make extra money on accessories or at lease gain a customer. Customers are loyal to websites they have already purchased from, especially if they received good service.

2. Selling unique or customizing your product. This can set you apart from others. You will obviously have the foothold on a unique product and limit your competition if you customize your products. Your task is to build the perception that your unique or customized product is worth the extra cost (if any). Building value in your product will reduce your competition thereby increasing your chance of making a sale.

If you do not produce your own products, try to find as many products to offer as possible, the more the better. This only increases your chance of offering the product a customer may need. Additionally, from an SEO perspective, rewrite all your descriptions replacing abbreviations and using keywords where possible. This will create uniqueness for your products increasing your ranking in the search engine results.

This is truly a beginner’s guide to selling products online but following these guidelines will result in a solid foundation to build on.

How to Sell Products Online – 6 Ways to Make a Good Sale Online

Selling online is one of the profitable things that you can do in the online world but learning how to sell products online is also another challenge. Although there are many ways to sell items on the internet, it is important that you learn and master a few tips and ways on how to sell products online fast.
Here are a few things that you might want to master in selling your items on the internet.

1. Build an online store. One of the straightforward ways on how to sell products online is to make a website, post your products for sale, allow online readers to shop by putting up an online shopping cart and allow them to pay on your website as well. One of the challenges in putting up your online store is to be able to come up with a great website design that can facilitate online shopping and make it as easy as possible for the people to purchase your products.

2. Affiliate marketing. Another way on how to sell products online is through affiliate marketing. In this marketing strategy, you set up an affiliate marketing program and let affiliates or interested individuals sign up for it. You don’t have to promote your products but let the affiliates do it. You will have to pay affiliates a commission as soon as they can make a sale of your products. Of course, affiliate marketing allows you to get the burden of marketing off your shoulders.

3. Online auctions. Another very popular way to sell your items online is through online auctions. In fact, eBay is one popular site that allows you to sell your products online through bidding. One thing that you have to keep in mind if you want to go for the online auctions is to make sure to price your product well. Competition can be tough in online auctions and competitors can go down into a very low level just to make a sale.

4. Find websites where you can sell items you have at a fixed price. If you have very few items for sale, you can also find websites that allow you to post your products for sale at a fixed price. You can actually find a number of them online. This can be a cost-effective way on how to sell products online especially if you only have limited items.

5. Sell your products in online classifieds or local directories.Especially if your products are big and difficult to transport to far places, or if you want to sell something only within your region, this can be a good place to do it.

6. Social networks. There are more productive uses of social networks in these times. One is to putting up an online store and selling products to your social network friends and to the friends of their friends. The networking in this site can be good especially for businesses and if you want to sell your products fast online, go for the social networks.

How To Sell Product Online

Selling products online can be a very lucrative business with the popularity of the internet. You may have a product that you would like to sell or you may want to try to sell other companies’ products and receive a commission. Either way, you will need to learn how this is accomplished. There are certain steps that are involved in learning how to sell products online and I will give you a brief overview of these.

The first step that you must take is to create a website for the product. The name for the website should pertain to the product that you are wanting to sell and should be a word or phrase that receives traffic. You can use keyword tools on the internet to see what words or phrases receive a lot of traffic. Once you have come up with a name you must purchase that website name. Once the website is purchased, you then will set up the site with all of the information about the product and how the viewer can contact you and purchase your product.

The website is not the only thing that is required, though, when learning how to sell product online. The website that you create is the first step in the process and, once it is established, it is basically a piece of “virtual real estate”. It is an entity that sits out in cyberspace. If there is no promotion of this website, the website will sit in cyberspace unknown to anyone.

The next step in selling product online is something called article marketing. You will need to write informative articles about your product that people can read on the internet. These articles are typically the answers to questions that someone has about a topic. These articles are then submitted to online magazine sites such as Street Articles, EzineArticles, etc. Once the articles are approved, people searching for information about your product will see your article on the internet and can learn about the product. For example, let’s say that your product is a power toothbrush and someone is curious which power toothbrush is the best. They type in the phrase “which power toothbrush is the best” into the search box on their computer and the article that you wrote pertaining to this comes up. At the end of the article, you are permitted to place a link to your website. They can click on this link if they like what your article tells them and they will be taken to your website where you can tell them more about the product and how to make a purchase. This is one way that you can drive traffic to your website to generate sales.

Another step in learning how to sell product online is email marketing. There are companies on the internet that can help you set up a sign-up option on your website for people to give you their email information. This allows you to keep them abreast of any promotions or specials on the products that you sell and gives you the option to promote other related products that you believe they may be interested in.

There is so much information available through the internet on how to sell product online. Be careful which sites you use as many websites will tell you that you can become rich overnight selling product online. The truth is that it takes hard work and a huge commitment so be careful when gathering information on how to sell product online. There are legitimate websites online that will take you step-by-step through the process and make it much easier to learn how to sell product online.

The Video Production Business – A Formula For Operational Success

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities we have as video production business entrepreneurs. In order to have projects to work on, you have to spend time selling your services.

To have prospects to sell to, you have to spend time marketing your video business. To have the money to make sure you, your employees and all your business bills get paid, you have to spend time in collections making sure that your clients are paying on time.

To have profit to share with yourself and business partners, you have to make sure that everything above is working together in a harmonious fashion and if they aren’t, you must adjust accordingly.

Here’s my business list of priorities:

1. SALES – In order to keep the doors open, I must generate sales. This is why sales is the first part of the business that gets my attention in the morning and is the last thing I think about at the end of the day.

Without sales, we have no projects to work on, which mean we have no money. So, on the days or in the weeks where I have a lot of sales activity, nothing else gets a lot of attention. If I have a project that is due the same week as heavy sales activity, I know it’s going to be a week of extremely long days without a lot of sleep because I’ll have to handle project responsibilities after hours.

The down side is that I’m exhausted at the end of several weeks/months of pulling double shifts. The upside is that if I’m extremely busy in sales and equally busy in production, it means that my business is making a lot of money.

2. PRODUCTION – After the sales activities are taken care of, I focus 100% of my energy on the next priority – Production. My focus is only on clearing the shelf as fast as I can so that there’s room for the next round of sales activity. I have found that an empty shelf will replenish itself faster and with higher paying work than a shelf that is always half full.

Plus, a video production project that has had 100% of your attention for a week will ALWAYS be higher quality than a video project that you have given 25% of your attention for 4 weeks. (Better quality = Happier clients = More sales!)

3. MARKETING – If there aren’t any sales opportunities and zero projects to work on, it’s time to allocate time and energy to marketing. This is my least favorite activity because it usually means that business is slow and I have to spend time rubbing elbows with people I have nothing in common with at meetings I don’t want to attend.

Marketing is absolutely necessary to have a growing, successful video production business. The best marketing you can do is to give each client the best product and experience you can so put all your energy and effort into the production process and the client relationship when it’s “go” time.

Think of your sales as an ocean’s tide. It comes and it goes except that your business doesn’t have the universal forces of gravity and the moon to push and pull your tide (sales)

4. ACCOUNTING – This is the easiest category for me because I don’t do it. My wife Christy (who is also our CFO) handles all of this for us and does a fantastic job. My specialty is to make the money (sales, production, marketing). Her specialty is to keep the money (accounting, financial projections, cash flow management, etc.)

Christy provides me with accurate financial data for all areas of our business once per week and we discuss them over a glass of wine in our kitchen at home. By the time the wine bottle is put back in the fridge, this very important aspect of running our business is taken care of.

5. EVERYTHING ELSE – In my opinion, the “everything else” category gets smaller and smaller the longer you run a video production business. This is mainly because you eventually figure out the formula of success that works for your business and you stick to it.

This category includes taking time to think about expansion into new markets or researching the latest camera configuration for the hood of your car that you might use in a video production 2 years from now.

Simply put, the “everything else” category of tasks, for me, has turned into the “what I’m going to hire someone else to do” category. I’m happier because I eliminate time wasting tasks that don’t directly impact the revenue generating activities for the business and I get to spend more time with my wife and children.