If you’ve got a business idea brewing but you’re not sure where to start, you’re in the right place.
Whether you’re in the early stages of entrepreneurship or humming along well and looking to take your business to the next level, it’s always important to find ways to grow your sales. And even if you’re a one-woman operation, there are lots of levers you can pull to bring more eyes on your website, spread awareness of your brand and earn new customers.
In an instalment of our Bright Skills Series, founder of Hero Packaging and author of Sell Anything Online, Anaita Sarkar sprinkles her digital marketing magic to teach us how to start a small business, with specific strategies to boost your sales no matter your product or service.
Here are the key takeaways of our workshop on how to make a killing in online sales.
Product business vs service business
Step one is to identify what type of business you’re running. There are basic differences between a product- and service-based business, such as fixed pricing and scalability potential for products, compared to more human interaction and a more unique selling proposition (and therefore less competition) for a service – as the service you’re selling is you, Anaita explains.
“With a service-based business, you have got a HUGE profit margin. With an e-commerce business, you’re looking at a 15% margin. When you’re looking at a service-based business, you can get up to a 90-95% profit margin. And that is massive,” said Anaita.
The secret? Do both – so you can grow both faster, she recommends.
What you need to start a business
1. A product that has demand – test the market using low-cost ads
2. All digital assets ready to go – prepare your website, social channels, email platform, payment options and Google Analytics
3. Money – for ads, digital assets and the unexpected
4. A content plan for the first three months – especially short-form videos, on TikTok and Instagram Reels
Define your unique selling proposition
“This is a little business secret: consider what your unique selling proposition is. You want to have something that is different from other people and other brands out there. Even if it is a similar product, really think about what other brands in the market are doing wrong, and make yours better to cater to the need,” said Anaita.
The digital marketing formula that works every single time
Anaita reveals the best way to make marketing work online: “The digital marketing formula is brand awareness + website traffic + website optimisation + brand sentiment = sales.”
You can build brand awareness through digital marketing tactics such as Facebook ads, influencer marketing, Google display ads, online PR and TikTok.
To build website traffic, explore paid opportunities like Facebook retargeting ads and Google search ads, and free channels like SEO and email marketing.
Optimise your website to make sales by making changes to your homepage, product pages and include trust elements – reviews, testimonials and badges that endorse your brand.
“Brand sentiment is going to be your secret sauce. It’s where loyalty and the adoration and cult-like following comes for a brand…You’re selling an experience. Whether that means faster shipping, great customer service, the packaging is sustainable or it’s beautiful – the whole experience around that product is what [customers are] buying, not just the product itself. People want to be surprised and delighted, and they almost expect it now,” said Anaita.
To learn more about how to launch a product plus more detail on executing social media and email marketing strategies for your business, watch How To Make a Killing in Online Sales, on AllBright Digital.