You have just completed your product and released it into the wild. You feel a masterpiece has truly been birthed and your PayPal is going to go wild with notifications of purchases.
It’s midnight and you can finally sleep. Anticipation awaits; you’re going to be a different man when you wake up. Your head hits the pillow. The day of your dreams will soon arrive…
Your phone goes off and you wake up. It’s 7 a.m. Swiftly, you snatch up your phone to look at sales. You’ve got nothing. OK, it’s too soon to expect much. So you wait.
Soon days turn into weeks. Weeks into months. And you don’t have your first sale.
What do you do when you have a product and no one buys? You have some traffic (I’ve seen sites with 80k visitors a month and no sales). But the type of traffic is the real problem. You must generate traffic that will buy.
An eBay Story With A Valuable Lesson
I remember my first visit to eBay; I thought it was a total scam!
Seeing products go for cheap had to be a complete hoax. It wasn’t until my brother had bought from there and told me about it that I actually started buying from the site. I started seeing my friends use it also, and because I trusted them, I trusted eBay.
eBay had somehow won over my brother and friends. Then from there, it won over my family, getting thousands from us each year. How do you obtain such trust?
You must now do something that most don’t consider when doing e-commerce, and that’s being "educationally entertaining." Solve problems. From there, fulfill every promise and get people to interact (I speak more about this below).
eBay’s Outreach Strategy
eBay performed outreach in many ways. One of their business strategies was to let you sell your item for free; then once you sold your item, they got a percentage. The user experienced selling on eBay at no cost and would soon fall in love. The outreach strategy here was to invite people to come try their service free. Then those people would share their experience within no time.
Another outreach technique was to listen to their customers' issues with buying online. eBay had to figure out how to build trust between two parties who could not see each other. That’s when the rating system was born.
The University Of Ohio published a research paper (44 pages) on eBay’s Feedback System, and how it completes this online business. It also looks at the many changes eBay made to that rating system to make it even better.
By reaching out to their customers through surveys and studies, they soon realized the ratings system brought trust. And the better they improved this system, the more trust they got.
How to Be Educationally Entertaining
You build an audience by being good at something, like podcasts, blogs or even webinars. In the "Epic Guide To Growing Sales With Content Marketing," I mention a tactic that does really well in generating sales.
You can’t slap products up and expect the world to buy. So creativity must be on your side, and you’ve got to solve a problem. You must stand out.
You've got to create what I call “Click Power.” By being influential in a group and answering problems, people are experiencing your product — you. When people buy your product, it’s because you’ve given them a reason to trust you.
E-commerce Strategy 101
What does an e-commerce strategy look like? It varies, but you can use this one below. It’s about gaining trust, gathering an audience, building a relationship and getting people to buy:
- Create a product;
- Build a marketing strategy around that product;
- Perform, and build an audience;
- Build a relationship with the audience (with useful information related to them);
- Learn their problems; and
- Pitch your product because it solves their problems.
So the biggest struggle here isn’t getting people to buy, it’s getting them to listen. Solve that problem and they will be all ears. Consider platforms like webinars, podcasts, email marketing, blogging, social media, etc. Like a young warrior though, you must know your weapon.
Find a platform and get good at it ... a platform that you can get creative with, and just really impress those around you — your future customers.