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How to get your first online sales in Print Shop

So your Print Shop is live, you’re all set and ready to go, and now you’re wondering how to get your first paying customers.

Your first sales are some of the most important. They build momentum and motivation, and will help you refine your marketing strategy going forward. But it’s no surprise that they can be some of the hardest to get.

Here are eight suggestions to get your first paying customers.

Share the news with family, friends and your personal networks

Your friends, family and personal networks are a great place to start. Not only will they want to support you and your new business venture, they can also offer helpful feedback on the checkout process and the products you offer. If they ask questions or offer feedback, turn that into blog posts or talking points for your social media posts. Or maybe you'll want to change the wording you use, or your prices, or the products themselves. If there's something confusing about the way Workspace processes things, send feedback our way as that's what drives our future development.

And do ask friends and family to share the news with their friends. A simple share on their Instagram stories or on Facebook will help you reach potential new customers.

PS. You might like to set up a friends and family discount code by way of thanks!

Share your store launch on Facebook and Instagram

Share the news about your Print Shop with your followers, and use relevant hashtags to increase exposure.

Before you launch, spend a couple of weeks building excitement around your new Print Shop. That might be a few behind-the-scenes Instagram stories about building your store. Or asking your followers for their feedback on the prints you’re going to sell. (For more information on user feedback, click here.) 

Once your store is live, share the news on Social Media! Here are a few ideas to get creative with your content:

•  Put together a small video with clips from when you were on location, to tell the story behind the images.
•  When you order samples, take photographs of yourself with them. Show your pride in what you're offering.
•  If you ask in advance, we may even be able to take a few photographs of your samples in production, for you to use in your marketing.
•  Share stock images of your different prints in room views, so people can get an idea of what they'll look like in their home.

The most important part about sharing on social media is to be consistent and creative in bringing attention to your print shop on a regular basis. We believe that demonstrating your pride in your images, and the products you're asking them to buy, is an important part of that.

Run a giveaway on social media

There’s no denying that giveaways are a great way to get eyes on your products. If done well you’ll be able get a lot of initial traffic to your site. 

From our own personal experience, go big! Choose a big piece of artwork, something with impact. Order it ahead of time so you've got photographs of it for your launch. You will seriously wow your followers, and incentivise them to enter.

Something else to consider — a discount for everyone who enters but doesn't win.

And of course, make sure you follow Facebook and Instagram's giveaway rules.

Connect your store to Instagram and Facebook Shopping 

Extend your reach and grow your sales with Instagram and Facebook Shopping. Connect your Workspace Print Shop to these platforms so you can easily tag your posts and stories with the products you’re selling, and build brand and product awareness.

This Workspace feature allows your followers and potential buyers to view your product catalogue directly from Instagram and Facebook. It's a simple way to keep your store in front of your followers —so as you post products, you can tag them, and they can purchase them directly through the app. 

If you're unsure how to do this, follow our help centre link here. Or set up a zoom session with us and we can walk you through the process.

Start Blogging 

Blogging is about focusing on the long term gain and there's no denying that this takes work. But the pay off is so worth it. Blogging allows you to create a community around your work. It helps connect you with your customers, helps with education and of course is great for SEO.

Here are a few blog ideas to get you started — we've already mentioned some of them above:

•  Behind the scenes stories about your images (how, where, why or when you created them)
•  An interior design series (showing your work in different places in the home, and in different styles of home).
•  Share stories about the making of your products (we'll help where possible).
•  Create content about decorating your home with wall art
•  Create content about the sizes of products you offer, their advantages and uses.
•  Cross promote with other local businesses — for example homeware stores or consultants for your home décor series.

One of the great things about using the Workspace Print Shop is that you can run your blog on the same platform, using the same domain.

But also, don't forget to promote your blog on social media. That's where the people are! Just remember that your goal is to get people on to your website, which you control and where you make your sales.

Offer Promo Codes and Coupons

Promo codes are a great way to drive initial sales. Either run a discount code while you launch or use holiday discounts to drive sales. And the best part is you can make every day a holiday if you decide to have fun with it.

You can find fun national holidays that relate your niche and use these as a starting point for your marketing campaigns.  For example if you sell dog prints, National Dog Day could be a great day to build a marketing campaign around.

Join and engage in niche groups on Facebook and Reddit

In New Zealand we have a Facebook group called New Zealand Handmade. It’s a group for local businesses to promote their products and services. It’s inspiring to see what people are creating, and Facebook is full of groups like this. Find local buy-and-sell pages, and share your work in there.

Or if you're willing to spend some time focusing on community, you can find niche discussion groups on Reddit and Facebook. It's of course important to remember that if the group isn't specifically set up as a buy-and-sell group, you can't use them to directly sell your products. You must become part of the community, and contribute and learn what they're after. The payoff is not only potential sales to a highly targeted group of people, but also a community of like-minded people you can build some great relationships with.

To bring it back to the dogs, if you primarily illustrate Great Danes and you have one yourself, then join the NZ Great Dane society (we're not sure if this group exisits but you get the point). Connect with like minded people and then offer to do some illustrations, or photograph their pets, as you're looking for new subject matter for your work. Then you've brought attention to what you do, but in a not so creepy way!

Use Pinterest

70% of Pinterest users say they use the site for inspiration on what to buy. It's believed that 83% of weekly users have made a purchase based on content they saw on Pinterest, and 86% of users have said that they decide what to buy based on Pinterest’s recommendations. 

If you’re not on Pinterest you will definitely want to be. It is the platform everyone turns to when they’re redecorating, renovating or just wanting to look at pretty homes. Which is obviously completely in your demographic if you're running a Print Shop.

As we’ve stated before, blogging is a great way to gain traction to your site and increase the number of people clicking and even staying on your page. But Pinterest makes this way easier to market. When writing your blog posts, make sure that you include images throughout, then pin these to your Pinterest page and link to your blog post or the product Buy page.

Another use for Pinterest is for market research. As two thirds of pins on the site are brands and products, it's a good way to scope what your potential clients want and are looking for.

So, start pinning images of your products. You won’t regret it.

Summing up

As we said at the beginning of this article, your first sales are some of the most important, but don't get disheartened if this takes time and you don't get sales overnight. Keep trying new things, be consistent — and persistent! — and don't be afraid to try out different approaches, learn from the results, and make changes.

There is no one-size-fits-all method to getting your first sales, but once you find your unique marketing recipe you'll be on the road to success.

Thanks for reading,
The Queensberry Team

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