How would you describe ‘success’ in your business? Is it a profitable lifestyle business? An empire? Or perhaps a fully automated passive income stream?
That’s the dream, right? To be able to sit back and relax and watch the orders flow in. Ka-ching!
Believe it or not, this IS actually possible WITHOUT working yourself to the bone.
The problem I see a lot, though, is many business owners spending hour upon hour, hustling their butts off, without seeing the kind of return on investment (or return on effort!) they desire.
Let me walk you through how some of my clients successfully market their store in as little as an hour a day.
1. Ditch the hustle
Let me preface this by stating up front: I absolutely know what it’s like to bootstrap your own business. To start up without investment capital and have to figure out a very lean way to grow and scale.
Believe me – when your back is up against the wall without much dough in the bank account, you can get pretty creative with cost-effective ways to grow.
But here’s what doesn’t work: Spending hour upon hour creating flat-lays for Instagram or posting in various Facebook groups or joining ‘loops’ or ‘collaborating’ with others to run giveaways or competitions.
All of these zero-cost activities keep you really busy and make you feel productive, but they are rarely focused or targeted towards attracting and converting your ideal customers.
My challenge to you: value your time more and find the confidence to back yourself.
You need to invest a small amount of money in setting up some marketing and advertising activities that are focused on the task at hand (which is attracting and converting customers!).
If I said to you, it’s possible to add a full-time sales and marketing person to your team for less than you’d spend on coffee, would you agree that’s a desirable thing?
Most ecommerce businesses still don’t use email marketing to it’s full potential. What works exceptionally well to convert first time customers as well as repeat sales is to use email automation.
Once you’ve set up your three key automated email campaigns, you really don’t have to touch them again. That part of your marketing is done.
The three email campaigns you need to automate are:
- New subscriber welcome
- Cart abandonment
By automating these email campaigns you achieve these three crucial things:
- Convert more website visitors into first time customers (thereby making more money off less traffic)
- Reduce your reliance on on-going daily marketing activities, such as posting on social media and doing email newsletters
- Retain customers and bring them back to buy from you again and again.
3. Pay for traffic
I know the thought of spending money on advertising is daunting – there are no real guarantees that it’ll work and you’ll make more money than you spend.
But truly, paying for traffic is the MOST reliable and scalable (meaning you can always get more and grow more) way to get traffic to your website.
Think about it – with traditional advertising (print, TV, outdoor etc) there is no way you can show an ad to a single person for as low a price as you can with digital advertising like Facebook or Google.
Now, you can be super-specific about who you show your ads to and pay as little as a few cents.
The reason I see most people hold back on using paid advertising is because they don’t have a lot of money and they’re afraid to lose what they have.
That fear then compounds their problems, as they make decisions based on a position of fear. Generally this results in trying to take a short-cut from ad to purchase, which really doesn’t work.
Check out my last post on how to get more clicks (and ultimately more sales) from your Facebook ads.
4. Create and share content
This is where you’ll spend most of your ‘hour a day’ marketing your eCommerce website.
After you’ve automated your customer conversion and retention email campaigns and got your Facebook ads up and running, sending consistent traffic to your website, here’s what you do next.
Think about WHY your customers buy from you rather than the alternatives. Usually it’s because they really resonate with your brand for some reason.
Your job is to cultivate that close relationship by creating content that really appeals to your audience.
The tea business might have a passion for tea ceremonies and high teas – this is all about humans connecting with one another. So create content about that.
The children’s toy business might have a passion for teaching kids (and parents) how to be creative and use their imagination in their play activities. So create content that teaches them how to do that.
Setting aside an hour a day, you may end up creating a blog every two weeks, sharing that to your newsletter subscribers via email (along with an invitation to buy your products) as well as via social media.