This Simple Trick Will Jumpstart Your Online Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have been doing a lot of phone consultations this week advising my clients that sometimes you need to do something for FREE in order to jumpstart your business.

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For example, I give away free advice every week on this blog. While some people seem to think I’m just doing this for fun, no, this is my business but I realize in order to earn your trust as a customer, I have to give something for free first to prove that I know what I am talking about.

It’s no different when you are selling online where potential customers can hesitate to make that first purchase from you for so many reasons, but they will take something for free.

Now, don’t just blatantly give away anything for free without there being something in the offer that also benefits your business.

For example, doing a free giveaway of one of your products on social media is a great way to get people to notice your shop. The correct way to do it is to tell people that in order to enter the giveaway, they have to like and share the post. This way you are essentially advertising your shop to all of their followers for just the cost of one of your products (just to clarify, you are not giving away free products to everyone, you will draw a name from those who shared and liked the post at the end of the month).

I realize not every business may have a product that they can give away for free, therefore, in these cases you can consider giving a complimentary product for free or a service for free. One of the tips I give in my October Marketing Plan is to offer a free Christmas printable download, like holiday gift tags. This you can offer to everyone. Again, make the offer in a Facebook post asking people to share and like the post in order to receive the printable. The benefit here is that you get to make a personal connection with a potential new customer, as well as the exposure to their followers.

As I said, the key is to never just give something for free and get nothing in return. This is why people offer buy one, get one free offers because at least you get the one sale. Same with free shipping, don’t just offer free shipping, only offer it on orders over $50 or $100, because now there is an incentive to get the customer to buy more. Other ideas include free engraving with the purchase of 2 or more necklaces, free gift with purchase of $50 or more, free gift wrapping on purchases made before October 31st – you get the idea.

My October Marketing Plan for Online Shops (or Etsy Shops) is the best october-online-cover$12 you will every spend to really drive traffic and sales next month at your online shop.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.