Hey everyone, Low Vision Guy here with another post.
This post is a little different. I will start posting monthly reports of a new Shopify store that I opened up a month ago.
As you already know. I am visually impaired and as a result, getting around is pretty much limited. I can get around via public transportation or Uber. But I would also like to work from home or anywhere in the world. That is why I created the Low Vision Guy blog and most recently, an E-commerce site called SIMPLEMITTS.COM
The whole purpose of these projects is to create more freedom and make my own schedule. I regularly hear from people (mostly people who are lazy.) that it is a lot of work to run your own business. Frankly, I rather work hard to run MY OWN BUSINESS than run someone else’s! Think about that.
Shopify monthly report for July 2017
So, it has been about a month since I had my Shopify account. If you do not know what a Shopify account is, let me explain.
Shopify is one of many E-commerce sites that lets anybody create an online store. You can have a store to sell almost anything. Whatever your device or product is, Shopify can cater to that.
With low entry fees when it comes to opening an online store, it’s a no brainer that it is a lot cheaper than leasing out space at a mall or having a little kiosk. The newspaper keeps reporting that stores are having a hard time making their sales quotas, due to heavy competition from Amazon, Walmart and over seas wholesale online stores.
With Shopify, you only pay for the monthly plan that best fits your needs. There is no contract, but there is a discount if you do pay in a lump sum. Shopify has over 500,000 users and it safe to say that micro business is here to stay in America.
My business model: Drop Shipping:
Drop shipping is where you open up an online store with “no” inventory. Once a customer makes a purchase, you go to the vendor, buy the product and send it to your customer.
Easy, right? Well for now anyway. Once I start to get more orders, I will look for another method to fulfill them. So far, I notice that the bulk of my time is getting customers to the store.
My store and what I am selling:
My store is called SIMPLEMITTS.COM In this store, I am selling boxing gloves to consumers who have no idea how or where to buy gloves.
The majority of the consumers automatically go to Amazon, Walmart, Target or Dicks Sporting Goods to try to find a good pair of gloves.
I figured that I could build a site just like how shoe companies built their websites.
“Shop for the right occasion.”
The other product that I am selling is training videos to personal trainers on how to do boxing and kickboxing workouts. Just like how there are certifications on how to be a yoga instructor or a TRX instructor, I believe that I have the experience and the knowledge to teach someone to be a boxing mitt instructor. These videos will be digital products versus the traditional physical products. Think of them as on demand videos. Download them to your computer or phone.
My niche market: I have two types of clients.
Before you start selling, you need to be very clear who you are selling too. Without that, then you are running in the dark with a flashlight.
My clients are between the ages of 20 and 45 both male and female. In this market, there always seem to be more women than men. I assume it is because of the fitness appeal of doing boxing exercises. Either way, it does not make sense to market people who are too young or too old.
The other clients are personal trainers and fitness instructors. Along with the digital products; I am also going to sell trainers equipment. Like for example, jump ropes, training pads and more.
Now that I know my product and clients, It’s time to market and find them.
Selling and Marketing:
I have been in sales for almost 15 years. Most of my experience is face to face and over the phone. I believe that my best quality is talking and connecting with people. So, when it comes to sales, I can connect with people, build rapport and make a sale with hardly any effort. (Granted, it doesn’t always work, but at least they know my name when they come back.)
When it comes to selling online, it’s not harder; it’s just different. It’s a different style, and approach. I believe the same fundamental elements of selling are still there. Even though I know this, the execution is harder than I thought.
Marketing: Facebook adds.
I have heard a lot of great things about Facebook advertising. The fact that Facebook has BILLIONS of users every month from around the world is amazing. Not only that, without people knowing, Facebook is collecting every little bit of data about you so that they can sell it back to marketers.
With the information that you have generously given to Facebook, I was able to make a Facebook Add which I was able to customize and target to the type of client that will buy my product. Makes no sense to target teenagers if they do not meet my demographic. Don’t you agree?
It’s amazing how Facebook Adds can help a business advertise. Now I understand why the print publication is having a hard time selling add spaces to small and large business. I can stretch out a dollar a lot more with Facebook’s data.
This is how it works:
You can put age, gender, region, interest and more. What’s even cooler is that if you are on a budget, you can set your daily adds to charge you $1 a day. Bare in mind; you pay for what you get. The more money you put down, the more you get out of it. In my case, I only had a budget of $5 a day. With $5 a day, I was able to reach about 800 people per day. If I had set my budget to $1 a day, it would have only reached 300 people per day. Still, these are pretty good numbers to me. Your Facebook adds is not just being shown to 300 random people. It’s being shown to exactly 300 potential customers who “fit” your demographic
We know our product:
We know our market:
We know our customer:
We know where to find our customer:
we know how much our marketing budget is:
It’s time to post….
This is the part that I am struggling with. For these Facebook Adds to be successful, you need to have a great photo or video and engaging call to action lettering.
The digital add has to be so good, that it will make you want to click on it and buy.
Here are my number so far with Facebook Adds.
I ran 7 Facebook Adds
I spent $42.36 for the month
I reached 5,314 people.
I got 93 likes on my Business Facebook page.
I got 22 clicks on my website
The numbers may seem discouraging, but I feel like this is the price for learning. Compared to what college and universities cost these days. I happily accept these numbers. 😉
My second approach to marketing is using Instagram. Facebook owns Instagram, So, when you pay for an add on Facebook, it also shows to the users on Instagram as well. Which I think it’s a plus because I do not have to spend more money to reach more people on a different platform.
Instagram is a little bit harder for me because there are different variables to consider when using another social media platform.
First of all, you need to make sure you have good image quality. I have noticed that the accounts with the highest amount of likes and following are the ones with the best picture and video content. If you are someone that likes to take pictures and play with the filters than this will be a great fit for you. On the other side of the coin, if you are someone like me that takes pictures once in a blue moon, then you will have some challenges.
Second, you need to make sure you are using the correct Hashtags. Hashtags are keywords to target your audience. For me, it will be #Boxing #Kickboxing and #BoxingGloves. These keywords are crucial for my business because this will target my ideal customer back to my page.
Third, You need to post pretty regularly on all your social media platforms. If you post one bad quality photo per day then you will have less traffic and by default less interest on your page. The top accounts that do well post at least three photos or videos per day; and of course, they are the highest quality post you will find on the internet.
The best way to look at Social Media and to make sure you are getting the results you want. You have to treat it like a plant.
You have to give it daily care and water it every single day for your plant to grow. Right?
Social media is the same thing. If you do not nurture and water your social platforms, then they will not grow. If your platforms cannot grow, then your brand will not grow.
What I learned:
X-I learned how to build an online store. Shopify makes it real easy to create an online store. I have not tried the other services out there. However, I am happy with Shopify and their customer service support.
-Before I put a product out there, I need to do my market research and see what other retailers are selling the same product for. If you are not careful, then your potential customer can easily search and buy the same product somewhere cheaper.
-I learned how to launch Facebook adds. I am still in the beginning stages of it. However, I am pretty sure the more I do it, the better I will get.
-I need to treat social media like plants. If I do not water them daily, then they will not grow. Same concept here. I need to spend at least an hour a day to maintain my social media presence. Posting on social media can reduce my marketing cost and will help me build a funnel of potential customers going forward.
-I need to publish high-quality pictures. The generic screen shots of the products are not enough. So, I ordered some inventory to the house. When they arrive, I will do a product review. Hopefully, that will generate more traffic.
Well, I hope for the 2nd month I will have better numbers to report. Thanks for reading the post and look forward to hearing from you soon!!