When you start a store, the primary focus is on building your store. You try focusing on something that sets your store apart from the hundreds that are already out there.
- What will make customers come to your store?
- Why will they pick yours over Marnie’s with the same products and beautiful layouts?
- Why will they buy anything when they have been buying the same thing from Susan and been satisfied?
All of this – starting a store, ensuring it takes off, reaching out to customers, getting sales, all comes down to one thing:
Here, three sellers tell us what’s worked for them.
Let your photographs do the talking.
What is a good photograph for your business?
High resolution: Bad quality photos are just that … bad. They are the single biggest turn off for a potential customer. Remember that an online business is a very visual enterprise.
Nobody can tell much about the quality of the product by just looking, but if the visual appeal is high, customers will take your word for how you are trying to sell a product.
Clearly indicates what it is trying to sell: This is important. Your photograph should clearly highlight your product. Often this is something sellers forget. For instance, you may be trying to sell a muffler and your photograph is that of a gorgeous woman wearing it.
Remember that the attention shouldn’t shift away from your product, because THAT is what you want your customers to buy.
Tells your story: Your brand is your story. Do not forget that. Ensure that your photographs have elements that customers can recognize as belonging to YOUR BRAND. It can be the angle the photograph is taken from, the background, the color gradient, style – anything that is consistent. Think of it as storytelling through your photos.
Authors have their own writing style – even if the story has been told before, how a particular author tells it is different and important. The same with your brand. In all possibility, there will be other people selling products similar to yours.
The idea is to make sure that your store and products don’t disappear in the haze of the feed without a second glance. Make sure your brand story stands out.
How do you do this?
This is essential. Invest in photography. Hire a professional photographer for a day to shoot your products. That way the location, background and other style elements will remain the same and give your photographs a sense of consistency.
If hiring a photographer is not feasible, do it yourself. If you don’t have a good camera, borrow one from a friend or family member. There are several free editing softwares available online to give your photos a professional finish.
However you do it, plan it out first. Decide how you want your brand to stand out, what story you’re trying to tell through your brand, what color palette you would like to use, etc. Don’t just wing it.
Stamp your logo.
Why do you need a logo?
Get recognized: A logo is your business trademark. It represents your store or shop and is a sure-shot way to establish your small business as a brand. When you mark your products with your store/shop/business logo, people will get used to seeing it regularly and will start recognizing your products even if they see it on a platform different from where they generally see your promotions. You will stand out from other businesses selling the same kinds of products.
Professionalism: Let’s be honest. Logos lend an air of professionalism to a business. Once you stamp your products with a logo, customers will start taking you as a serious seller. Just by virtue of it, your business will be considered more reliable, valid. It will build trust between you and your customer.
You would know the above brands anywhere, wouldn’t you? That’s the power of the logo.
How do you make one?
It’s important to keep in mind the fact that your logo should tell the story of your brand. However you design your logo, it is essential to remember that it should represent what your brand stands for.
Study: Do a thorough research of brand logos. See what the logo conveys. Make a list of the ones you like best aesthetically. Then see if the aesthetics match the brand story. Study the representation.
Plan: A brand logo shouldn’t be made on a whim. There has to be sufficient planning that goes into it. Do you want clean text, a color pop-out or a graphic icon? Aside from personal preferences, what do you think will convey what your brand stands for? Is it eye-catching enough?
Create: However detailed your planning may have been, the end result of the logo should be clarity. One look at it and the consumer must be able to tell what it stands for. There are several logo-making websites, but a better investment would be to get a custom-designed one.
Go ahead, trademark your brand.
All good things come to those who wait.
Things to keep in mind:
Social media boot camp: Concentrate on one particular social media channel first. Choose the kind of social channel that you think will be most beneficial for your business. For instance, for a visual business, one that is primarily based on appealing to the customer’s aesthetics, try a visual medium like Instagram.
Create a plan for it. See what other similar businesses are doing on the social channel. What can you do differently? What can you do better? Strategize. Engage in conversations with your audience. Ask for feedback. Show appreciation for feedback. Create a brand base, build a following.
Once you have one social media channel going strong, you can bring in those followers to your other channels with one single message like, “Hi, I’m starting a twitter account. You could follow me on @<insert username> to stay updated with my work”. When customers trust you, they remain loyal to you.
Patience is the key: Building a brand is not an easy task. You will strive and fail and you have to keep striving till you hit your winning formulae. There really is no universal rule book for success. There are just various methods that other people have tried and tested, and you can only take a chance with them and see what works for you. Whatever method you try, though, you have to be patient with it. Results don’t come in immediately. There is really nothing literal about an ‘overnight success’. It’s an amalgamation of hard work and patience.
Wait for the likes. Wait for the reach. Wait for the following. Wait for the interest. Wait for the customers. Everything has it’s due course. The right tools with bring in the success you aspire for.
If you’re specifically looking at Instagram to build your brand, you could try OrangeTwig’s InstaSuccess Toolkit. While the hashtag research tool will let you pick out the most relevant hashtags for your product post, the clickable posts feature will ensure that ALL your Instagram posts can be clicked on. This way you can take your viewers straight to your shop!
To know more about how OrangeTwig can help you with your social media marketing, you can read this: OrangeTwig – Your Complete Social Media Toolkit.
Building a brand name for yourself is not a one day’s task. It needs perseverance and patience, but with the right strategy you will be on an uphill ride in no time.