You have come up with an amazing idea for a new website and you decide you are going to go for it. You find yourself a web developer and you spend a chunk of money making your vision become a reality…This is the easy part! Your new website has been live for a couple of days and no sales arrive, friends and family who have been on the journey with you (or have had to endure you constantly talking about your amazing idea) ask at every opportunity have you had any sales yet?! And you answer not yet but they’ll come…You hope they do anyway! The belief you had in your idea at the start needs to be present more than ever at this point! My Mum who is about as digitally minded as a typewriter couldn’t get her head around why I hadn’t had any sales so the way I described it to her was that I had opened a shop in space which was floating around in space and nobody knew about it…She kind of got what I meant but still no sales!
So how do you get sales? Before you get sales you need visits but how do you get visits? How do you create awareness? Or should I say how do you create awareness when you haven’t got a blank cheque to cash? First cost effective port of call to get the awareness out there is social media - Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were my chosen platforms. You will spend hours creating content that will explain what you do as a brand but will also bring through the personality of your brand - your tone of voice. It’s important that your brand has a personality which your audience can relate to. Your followers creep up and you start to get a few visits to your website and if your lucky you might get your first sale, it doesn’t matter if it’s only £5, it’s a sale and somebody out there believes and trusts your idea…That feeling is right up there let me tell you! You ring everybody who has supported you and you tell them WE’VE HAD A SALE!!!! Unfortunately, a £5 sale isn’t going to pay the bills or pay for my Nandos addiction!
You realise you need to get more visits to your website, but you also realise that the blank cheque still hasn’t arrived! You read up on things and you watch videos on YouTube – The conclusion is you need a Google AdWords account to drive relevant traffic to your website. Setting this up isn’t straightforward when you haven’t done it before so it’s money well spent to get the advice of an expert! I did just that and as soon as the AdWords campaigns went live our visits jumped up and so did our sales – that doesn’t mean I stopped posting on social media relentlessly day in day out!
When you consider some businesses spend £8m per month on marketing you quickly realise it isn’t going to be easy to make that cut through. How can you compete with an £8m per month spend? You go back to the reasons you started the business in the first place and the values in which your business is built upon – value and exceeding expectations. I might not have an £8m per month marketing budget but I have a passion for exceeding the expectations of our customers and that has resulted in some of our customers ordering as many as 6 times…Still not enough for that Nandos addiction though! But when they tell their friends and their friends tell their friends we might just put ourselves in a place to make a bit of noise…Patience is key though!
I hate not knowing things, it drives me around the bend and following a 2-hour phone call with Google, a call which I couldn’t wait to end and when it did end I said to myself I never ever want to feel like this ever again! The guy at Google was very helpful but I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, he might as well have been talking about rocket science, he could’ve been to be fair! It was at this point that I said to myself I really need to know what I’m talking about, so I researched several different digital marketing courses, I never wanted to feel so clueless again! Four weeks into my digital marketing course and I am picking up new ideas all the time, although I’m not a great student as I get easily distracted! So, get yourself a solid understanding of digital marketing before you go live with your amazing idea and you’ll be one step ahead of the game!