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I'll take the "I'm Bossy' Tshirt ;)
Have you tried MySpace or FaceBook? How about fliers at the local high schools?
LOL! I have handed out fliers(need to hand out more) and I give out my cards practically every chance I get. I have a friend who has a spa and I have a rack of clothing there that sells pretty well. Which is one of the reasons I want a physical store, women really love the clothing and the quality for the price. But as an online shopper myself I know its hard to trust that things will look like they do on pictures and all the other discomforts that people experience from buying online from an unfamiliar name.
Heres a bit of old technology...have you called your girlfriend network and are they helping you?
Hi, I know that it's difficult building a business, I have some suggestions that may help. The Idea is to built a network of loyal clients, I believe that handing someone a card is not enough. People have to see the product in person first, them having the trust, that if they go on line, they definitely know what they are getting.My suggest is that you have "Trunk Shows" in, as many places that you can, for instance start with people that you already know.
1-have fashion party at their home or your, if it's at they home give them a 20% of your sales as a thank you.
2-Ask women's groups is you can have a show at their meeting
3- Church is another avenue, be sure to donate part of your proceed to the church.
These are just a few Ideas,I trick is to get yourself in front of as many people as possible to build you clientele . Having an on-line business is just like having a brick and muter store. Marketing yourself is the key.
I hope this helps.
Remember.. There is no way to Happiness..Happiness is the Way!
well, what would be your yearly budget for marketing/advertising for your business? Most startups must have a budget for the year because like you said it will make or break your business.
SC, my marketing budget is VERY small. So far its been flyers I have created myself, business cards and word of mouth. I know budgeting is very important but I have basically bought the merchandise with my own money(and i'm nowhere near rich) and recently I got a very small loan.
When I first startied my jewelry web site business, I sent out postcards. But...they were not ordinary, they were classy and done by a graphics designer and professional printing press. They "Introduced" me as a designer and were very attractive. They cost thousands of dollars, but were worth every penny. Each customer gasped at the beauty of the postcard and it drew attention from work-at-home moms to A-list celebrities. You can never go back in time and make a good "first" impression!
You are so right first impressions are everything! Which is why I haven't done much marketing. I want to get the help of a professional to market my product, but good marketing costs which is another reason I need a business loan. What is the name of your business?
Driving traffic from your site could be generated by great articles, I have generated some orders like that. Member of a few forums drive traffic with a link signature too.
My main traffic come from Google, this is why a good Search Engine Optimization on your site is important.
SCORE has many pointers on attracting business to your site and it is FREE.
Go to "www.score.org" SCORE has a Virtual Learning Center with 26 online courses including
WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN, MARKETING, PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS, ADVERTISING
AND BUILDING A WEB SITE.
Hope this helps, LUCKIEST
Attracting business to your site means attracting traffic - quality traffic that is relevant to your business.
I took a look at your site. First impressions are important in selling online, and I think your site needs a facelift. There are many free website templates that are professionally done and available online. Also, I would not recommend a black background.
BTW, the link for Amber Belted Dress on the home page does not work!
Also on your website, you should have "points of reassurance" near the checkout button like Hacker Safe, BBB member, VeriSign Secure, or similar. PayPal is secure, but not all consumers use PayPal. Also add Testimonials from previous customers on each page and near the checkout button.
Put your address on every page, along with a contact phone number. Build trust by being seen as a legitimate business. Really work on your about us page. One sentence does not convey to shoppers why they want to buy.
Do some keyword research and find out what people are actually looking to buy. I did a quick search on Google, and there are 126 different companies advertising on "women's dresses". This means it is highly competitive, so you need to find a niche. Belted women's dresses brings up 84 competitors bidding (using Pay Per Click).
Your site really needs some optimization. Each page has a Title tag, but they are not optimized. Include 200-300 words on each page to help with the optimization. Your traffic will not increase the way it is now. I'll be writing a article covering this, but for now just look at my profile and go read the search engine optimization article on my website.
Also, once the website is improved, experiment with locally targeted pay per click advertising, using the keywords you uncovered with your research.
Nothings impossible, as there are many folks selling many things on the web.
Thanks for the feedback! This is the type of feedback I have been looking for! You have some great advice I appreciate that. I will definitely check out your profile and article.
Try using google's Adwords (http://adwords.google.com). You can set up your own advertising campaigns and also set your own budget. It works by targeting specific keyword searches in google and then placing text ads on the right side of the google keyword search results. You only pay when people actually click on your ads. You can track the users all the way to successful conversions (in your case, a conversion would be a sale through your online store), and then fine tune your ads to and budget to focus on the most efficient keywords.
I just started using it to promote my families bed and breakfast in Newport, RI (http://www.theseabreezeinn.com) and in one month, I've already generated hundreds of hits as well as a few reservations. All for under $50. Not bad. I would suggest that you first do some research on how to create effective campaigns, as doing it right from the beginning can save you time and money.
Use Adwords with Google Analytics and make sure to optimize your site...and you'll be ahead of the game.
I agree, lamarant. Small doses of pay per click advertising can work great.
One of my clients has a B&B in central Texas. He had set up his own account in Google. He showed me his results, and they were impressive.
Great point on Negative Key Words. There are a slew of other "tricks" you can use to further optimize your PPC campaigns and also your site in general when it comes to search engines. Here are a few links to get you going on...
Maybe you can encourage your customers to write online reviews about your website & their shopping experience. (I think there are websites out there tha promote reviews of physical and online businesses).
The answer to your question is not an easy one. Getting your pages ranked highly and driving traffic to it is hard work that involves lots of things: Good content, keyword optomization, lots of high quality incoming links, pay-per-click, the list goes on and on. Age of a website is also important--I don't care who you are or what you sell, don't even think about decent search engine ranking for at least six months to a year.
Recommended reading: "The Unfair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars " http://www.searchenginehelp.com/ It's cost you something like $97 but I bought it and found it to be worthwhile.
Also, avoid the search engine optomization gurus out there. They'll rarely help you long-term and in some cases will even get you penalized on the SE's. As I said, there are no shortcuts to time, effort, patience, and good content.
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Thanks and good luck.
AMPCS~ I don't know if you just haven't dealt with a good online marketing company, but search engine optimization is one of the fastest growing fields of marketing to ever exist. Most Fortune 500 companies have SEO's on staff.
"Also, avoid the search engine optomization gurus out there. They'll
rarely help you long-term and in some cases will even get you penalized
on the SE's. As I said, there are no shortcuts to time, effort,
patience, and good content."
I disagree whole-heartedly with this statement. I can list dozens of search engine marketers that can provide long-term and growing service, never be penalized in the SE's, and provide incredible value. Time, effort, patience, and good content can all take a back seat to one line of bad code and not realizing you've accidentally managed to get penalized in the search engines.
"don't even think about decent search engine ranking for at least six months to a year."
This is again a misconception. There are many, many ways of getting decent (and sometimes exemplary) search engine rankings in less than six months. High-tractions search engine campaigns are usually on the costly side of online marketing, but depending on the nature of a client's service and products a few thousand dollars can have good ROI.
I've worked on SEO and SEM campaigns generated millions of targeted eyes hitting a site. I do recommend that anyone using any consultant or "guru", in any field, should always check references and current client results.
Good SEOs and online marketers play around in the search engines... because we get it. For instance I specifically wanted to own the term "social media bomb" for a client release and 24 hours later I had most of the results, a search phrase with over two million results (moderate to low competition). I recommend anyone interested in online marketing to start a blog and properly choose keywords that make an impact for you.
For FREE volume traffic, I would recommend with using the Social Networks such as myspace.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com, bebo.com, etc.
By developing our own brand of custom myspace pages for our clients, we are able generate interest and attention for our clients and drive traffic to their main sites.
Take a look at a few examples:
There a few websites where you can list your business and have customers visit your website
Hope this info will be helpful
This is like a two week conversation, here is what I would do when I start a new site. I do not do anything until I sit down and develop a blueprint for my traffic generatiing plan. Yes part of that is PPC for SOME markets, depending on your keywords. Articles are outstanding if you know what to do with them. You have to put them out all over the place. A blog is very very effective and no one mentioned that. There are things you can do on site to build traffic that has to do with the way your site looks and feels. (a 800 number is a good example) Then there is off site promotion, this really takes time and homework to build the blueprint. The hardest part is determining what your budget is. Most people want to do it on the cheap or by themselves, which steals their time from working "on" the business, instead of in it. Budget is extremely important.
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