5 Tips to Turn Your Side Hustle E-Commerce Brand into a Real Business
Every day, we help major e-commerce brands grow and scale. How? Well, that depends. But, these five simple “Tipping Point Tips” have helped many of our entrepreneur clients turn their “side-hustle” e-commerce brand into a full-time job. If you’re disciplined in your execution, you’ll be amazed at what can happen in a year.
#1 Get a content marketing strategy so you aren’t making it up as you go.
Marketing without a strategy is like driving a car with no wheels — getting to your destination is virtually impossible. Develop a road map, identify your target audience, and create valuable, engaging content to catch the attention of your prospects. This is where you start the journey.
Knowing your audience inside and out is key and will be the foundation of almost all your marketing decisions.Stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post on figuring out your audience, but for now, concentrate on honing your brand messaging and finding the platforms where they hang out online. Everyone’s first thought is probably Facebook orInstagram, but your audience may be more Pinterest or TikTok. That’s where you will target.
#2 Automate your social network content delivery.
Yeah, it can be annoying to stop what you’re doing and remember to post to social every day. Creating a social media calendar and laying out your content for the entire month pays off in the long run. We recommend using tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage and schedule your social media posting. These tools will allow you to get ahead without having to take care of it yourself every day. Set it and forget it.
#3 Don’t be a faceless retailer Connect your brand to your audience.
It’s simple. People prefer dealing with people. Don’t you?Businesses that have people behind them create a relationship an audience can identify and connect with.
Be real and be authentic. Your customers will appreciate your authenticity. We’ve seen time and again how important this is. Be a part of your brand’s story. Why’d you create a particular product? Share it with your audience.
Social media makes this easy, but other small details like signing emails with a name can help. Heck, you may even want to use your own email address sometimes. It’s a crowded marketplace; it’s all about standing out!
Another easy way to help give a face to your brand – putting an “Our Team” section on your website with photos of you and your employees. Small additions like this help remind customers that there are real people on the other side of that email or live chat.
#4 Create a personalized experience.
Let’s face it, in e-commerce, technology has made our lives a lot easier. We automate tasks and can develop insights that would have taken hours, even a few short years ago. However, relying on too much technology is not always a good thing.
It’s easy to forget the personal touch of doing business. We’ve found that customers, perhaps now more than ever, appreciate when companies do something nice for them or reach out to them personally. A “human touch,” if you will. You will be surprised how much goodwill a handwritten thank you note, or a personal email can gain your business. And don’t forget – your overall customer service experience is a massive part of your branding, especially as an up-and-coming company (ex:Zappos). Getting customer service right is the difference between fans for life or a disappointed customer.
You also might want to contact your customers directly to ask them for feedback (remember our personal email tip – now’s the time to use it). Ask them how they feel about your brand and products. Thank them when they take the time to respond.
However, one big warning – you must uphold and follow through on your promises. Don’t tell a customer you will respond personally and then have an auto-reply kick back a canned response. It will make your attempt to connect with your customer look like just another corporate ploy, and it’s sloppy. The old maxim, “You’re only as good as your word,” is as relevant in today’s competitive marketplace as ever. Separate yourself.
#5 Give your Brand a personality.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your personality. Give your brand an identity that set sit apart from its competition. Define your brand (stay tuned for this blogpost, too!) and live by those rules. And, yes, you may have some clever branding and advertising ideas along the way, but if they don’t align with your brand, throw them out. Consistency and dependability are two of the keys to building a well-known brand.
One simple prompt as you define your brand personality – if you were a customer of a business like yours, what would you want to see? What events or causes might you support? How would you like to be taken care of by customer service?
In 2022, this is obvious, but just to wrap up our last point, your website, social posts, ads, and customer service are major customer touch points where you must make sure you’re living up to your brand’s promise.
At the beginning of this blogpost, we called these five tips “simple” because, well, they are. BUT we also recognize that simple doesn’t always mean easy, especially when you’re building a business along with the million other things going on in your life. So, if you need the help and mentorship of someone standing where you once were, Tipping Point is here for you.