My friend and I often talk about the opportunity inherent in the Internet. Our conversation goes something like this, “If you have a million followers on social media and you sell your product, whatever it is, to just one percent of them, you just sold, 10,000 whatchamacallits!”
The worldwide nature of the web makes this thought process very enticing. According to Statista.com there were 2.46 billion social network users worldwide in 2017. Clearly, there are a lot of people out there to approach with our whatchamacallits. And with the much-touted possibility of a post/product going viral…well, let’s build a website and find something to sell!
With this thought in mind, I set out to find my one million followers. In September 2017, I launched a website and an Etsy shop. To get people to these internet addresses, I started to get my name “out there” by posting motivational quotes six days a week on five social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
After nineteen months of diligent work, I have 7036 followers across all my social channels, only 992,964 shy of my goal. As for selling to one percent of them? That would be seventy sales. My Etsy account proves I have had seventy-three sales! But…fifty-nine of my sales have been to friends. Only fourteen have been to the world at large.
So what advice do I have after all this experience online? Plenty! But before I share it, let me tell you about my specific journey. First, I already had sufficient assets for retirement, so any earnings from the internet would go toward college for grandkids, not toward food for dinner. Second, my professional career was spent in motivational work and I still wanted to touch people’s hearts more than I wanted to get into their pocketbooks. So while I could think of products that might sell more easily, I built my online presence in anticipation of the release of my new book, Love, Loss, and Moving On, even though I knew selling books is tough. Supposedly, there is one new book on Amazon every five minutes. The rules of supply and demand make my product choice laughable.
So let’s start my advice with this question: What are you going to sell? There are many types of online businesses but they boil down to these two categories – selling products or services.
OR sell an item that can be instantly downloaded like a pattern or an art photo. Then no one has to touch the product or shipping label! Plus your customer gets instant gratification.
Now that you have a product or service and a place to sell it, how will you get buyers to your door? That’s the question I am still trying to answer. I am motivated to crack the code because having an online business makes so much sense.
With all these perks in place, you can be sure I will figure out how to get sales. I’m going to try advertising on Facebook and Amazon next. Stay tuned for a future report and be sure to share your own tips with me and our sister entrepreneurs!
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