I have entered a stage where I have launched my first commercial product online. It is a simple plugin that lets one share their content on internet. Like any other entrepreneur , everything that is related to plugin, design, coding, testing and now marketing has been done by yours truly. The plugin was conceived from the idea provided by Carolyn Nicander Mohr owner of Wonderoftech .
I am sure a lot of you reading this blog are entrepreneurs who sell products either created by yourself or someone else.
Selling becomes difficult because of
a) New product that is unknown to the market
b) Entrepreneur who needs to earn the trust of customers/prospects
c) Paucity of funds to make a large campaign and thus make impressions
Thus entrepreneur often need to devise innovative ways to get the product known. At the starting stage and for some duration beyond that , the focus of entrepreneur needs to on getting his or product known to public. A lot of entrepreneurs focus on making the sales location, for example their web page or their shop jazzy, often spending a lot of time and money on it. Not to say that is not good to do so but when you resources are limited ,you need to generate more trust than just “wow”.
The better thing then is first concentrate on building your brand by word of mouth. One way this could be done is by making your initial customers your partners by working with them. Then slowly move up by asking them for a reference or a testimonial for your product. It always helps when you provide them the best of your attention and service because at this stage it is crucial to have someone call out your name.
Thus the emphasis should not be on getting as much sales or profit as possible but on creating a very small customer segment which is loyal to you and speaks about you to others. It will take a lot of time but it is far more effective than advertising done by for example an established brand. The big brands often have huge amount of money to throw on campaigns and to test out what works for them. A small entrepreneur may not have such luxury.
The best way to build a brand awareness slowly is to create good content and share with your friends on Facebook and other social media network. The “Likes” on your page are worth the money ( not in a fixed percentage sort of way) but the fact that a lot of people are listening to what you are saying and probably providing a response. Used effectively Social media can become one of the most potent weapon in your marketing arsenal. The only thing you are using up is your time. It barely costs anything to market on social media.
Conclusion: If you possess a limited budget, concentrate more on getting your product known and lesser on making sales initially. Build trust and then reputation, sales will follow.