Legendary money manager Bill Miller once said,
"There are three sources of competitive advantage in investing: informational, analytical, or behavioral."
We can apply this to the real world of competitive marketing and say, there are...
Informational Advantage: You can win by simply knowing more about the business than your competitors. It's very common for entrenched competitors to face new upstarts. That can be troubling. One way they win is by simply knowing more about the business than their younger rivals. What can they know?
What can the new upstarts know that serves as a competitive...
On Sunday morning at church, the minister talked about a retreat he went on and what he learned. I was thinking about branding and marketing. It all got mixed up in my mind.
The minister said,
Shame is the master emotion because it prevents us from expressing many other emotions. Shame tells us we are not enough. We are not complete. We are not sufficient.
So, new marketers can struggle with feeling ashamed of their brand or product. They can feel like their solution is not enough. That their brand or product is not adequate. It can stop them from doing their best work. So new marketers and brand builders need to be unashamed of their work and boldly declare what they are doing!
The Minister said,
The problem with shame is that it causes us to retreat inward and pull back from connecting with other people. Without vulnerability, you won't go deep in a relationship.
If the marketer doesn't become vulnerable enough with customers to share authentically...
Millions of people are selling products online... Some of them use Amazon to sell, some eBay, some Etsy, some Craigslist, and some, (like us), use our own website secretly powered by Shopify, (the e-commerce platform system that allows you to set up your own shop easily and affordably). You can see our Shopify powered site here.
Millions are being made by ordinary people... The massive allure of e-commerce selling is the potential for unlimited upside. We all imagine creating a runaway hit product that takes us from zero to hero. We dream of an income generating website that changes our life forever. As with any large commerce system, that's rare, but it does happen. And the frequency of it occurring is speeding up as more people sell online and the tools and tactics become more familiar.
For example... take my friend Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee. He sells on Shopify and on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 his site traffic went from 250 visitors to over 150,000...
Commerce is in the middle of a massive transition - slowly creeping from offline transactions to some version of their online equivalent. Like an iceberg, slowly moving downhill, this creeping transactional - transition is at the same time incredibly slow, and crushingly fast.
I feel lucky to be an observer, right up close, seeing the transition from ground level. As a former SVP of Marketing at an old-world organization (A University) I led a team as we struggled through the transition to online selling (and online delivery of our programs) - and as a kitchen table entrepreneur with my wife, we struggled (and struggle daily) to find our way in the brave new world of competitive online selling.
I've also had the privilege of teaching Online Marketing at the University level - as well as teaching my Shopify Power course to over 1,000 students via Udemy (an online learning marketplace).
In this post, I'd like to share what I call the E-commerce Formula - The...
Can you make sales on Shopify? That is a common question for new Shopify store owners. Your mission on Shopify will be to test whether you can acquire new customers for less than what they spend on your site. This is your greatest challenge and primary project on Shopify.
We call that challenge your Primary Site Hypothesis (PSH). You are speculating that you can acquire new customers and that they will quickly buy items of equal or greater value than the cost of acquiring them. Do it - and your baby Shopify site will survive and hopefully go on to thrive. Fail - and you will loose money until you shut down your site. In our Ecommerce Mentoring Program, we walk you through how to systematically make that happen.
How We Hit Our 1 Millionth Order On Shopify
You might be wondering about my own experience on Shopify and maybe you’ve already take the time to check-in and see who I am and what I’m actually doing on Shopify with my own website(s). I think our journey can shed a...
Lots of people want to make a product, run a company, or be a business mogul.
Fewer people want to be the chief marketer and salesperson for a specific product.
But if you launch a Shopify site, you are launching a professional career as the chief marketer, spokesperson, and salesperson for your products, your brand, and your website. These roles can mean different things for different companies and industries, but bottom line, you're responsible for selling the product.
You have to be emotionally comfortable selling either directly or indirectly and ideally both. Or you have to get emotionally comfortable over time. As with all things in business - you either do it yourself - or you manage someone who's job is to do it (and in that way - you're still responsible).
Emotional Comfort With Selling Directly
Anyone can say the phrase, "here is my new product and I'd love to tell you more about it." But for some people uttering those words exacts a crushing emotional toll.
The Shopify platform allows you to build an ecommerce website using a technology concept referred to as "What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).
Via WYSIWYG you edit your site to create a unique homepage, product pages, blog posts, and other pages like the About Me page. The editing system is not overly complicated and it has enable millions of non-coders to manage websites effectively.
And Shopify has fantastic tutorials to help you at every step of the journey.
Learning Website Basics
But using WYSIWYG functionality is a trade skill that does take time and talent. I call all of the skills associated with this topic the website basics. These are things you need to learn to operate a site effectively. They include:
The Shopify platform is designed to work well for non-technical people. By that I mean, people who don't know how to code. But that doesn't mean it's totally simple either. The best practical training you can get prior to setting up a Shopify site is to have sold previously on another ecommerce marketplace site such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy or even Craigslist.
If you've never sold on one of those platforms, then it'd be a wise idea to try to sell there first. You'll learn what I call the ecommerce basics, concepts like:
How to create sales volume, plan growth, and forecasting demand based on customer signals
These ecommerce basics aren't complicated to learn and they form the foundation of an effective...
We love Shopify, but it does have a weakness in our opinion. Building and customizing landing pages is not core functionality -- but there is an app for that.
In this video, we share our favorite Shopify landing page builder app, the reasons we like it and some of the use cases we are using it for on our stores and with clients.
Let us know what you think!
0:48 The fastest way to build pages on Shopify
1:17 Shogun Landing Page Builder
2:15 When Should You Use Shogun Landing Page Builder App
3:07 Use Cases For Landing Page Builders on Shopify
3:45 Building Sales Pages
4:17 Shogun Has 30 Built-in Templates
4:45 Easy to Optimize Pages For Mobile
5:13 Shogun Has A/B Split Testing
5:50 More Resources
Shogun Landing Page Builder App
Watch Our Free 9 Mountains of Traffic Webinar:
Etsy has made some huge strides forward over the last few years. It’s brand and traffic continue to scale...but is it a better place to start than Shopify?
In this video, we cover the differences between Etsy and Shopify, the basic costs for selling on both, why it makes sense to get started on Etsy and more.
Let us know what you think!
0:53 62,000 sales on Etsy
1:18 Not every product is for Etsy
2:01 How to choose between Etsy and Shopify
3:07 Advertising on Etsy to drive sales
5:00 Differences between Shopify and Etsy
6:13 The costs to sell on Etsy
7:00 The costs to sell on Shopify
8:00 Where do I start Etsy or Shopify?
9:50 E-commerce skill sets
10:46 More Resources
The E-Commerce Power by Jason Miles: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631950584
Watch Our Free 9 Mountains of Traffic Webinar: