Customer Retention Benefits…

If you run an online business or an e-commerce store, you can easily calculate the benefits of customer retention. Some of the most valuable perks include:

Improving your sales success rate: Converting new customers can be challenging, but selling to existing customers tends to go much more smoothly. Across industries, the average success rate of converting new customers is about 5% to 20%, according to Outbound Engine. In contrast, the success rate of reselling to an existing customer is about 60% to 70%.

Reducing your expenses: Depending on the tactics you use and the offerings your business provides, attracting new customers can become overly expensive. Acquiring new customers can cost up to 25 times more than retaining a customer you’ve already won over once.

If you want to avoid wasting money on lead generation, focusing on customer retention can help with keeping your marketing and sales budget in check.

Enhancing your ROI: Because it’s significantly easier to convert an existing customer again, a good customer retention program can improve your ROI. In fact, increasing your retention rate by as little as 5% can grow your profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%, according to Harvard Business Review.

Increasing order values: First-time customers tend to spend less on their orders while existing customers tend to be more comfortable with larger shopping carts. In fact, repeat clients spend over 30% more than new customers.

Leveraging customer loyalty: It’s easy to assume that repeat buyers might purchase the same products and services or have stricter expectations. However, loyal customers tend to be more experimental with their purchases and more lenient in their expectations.

Repeat buyers are four times more likely to overlook common issues, such as support problems or delivery delays. They’re also seven times more likely to try your new product line, according to Outbound Engine.

Generating referrals: The perks of having a loyal following extend far beyond the initial client. Loyal customers are five times more likely to refer friends and family to your business, which can lead to exponentially more sales opportunities.

That means a strong customer retention program can truly help your company thrive, thanks to a balanced audience of new and returning customers.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Customer Retention Strategies…

These customer retention strategies work for businesses in a wide range of industries:

Encourage customer accounts: Getting customers to sign up for accounts on your website isn’t always easy, but it’s essential for tracking purchasing patterns. You might find that customers hesitate to create accounts prior to purchase due to the extra work and time required.

In that case, you can consider letting them wait after the purchase. By providing new customers with an account invitation on the confirmation screen and via email, you can increase the chance that they’ll complete the task.

Improve customer service: Frustrated customers may never make another purchase and contribute to churn instead. Yet if you can increase customer satisfaction, you may be able to improve retention at the same time.

To give customers the support they need, consider adding more channels, such as a more robust FAQ section, user-friendly chatbots, or even a dedicated social media profile. Make sure your team has enough time and resources to oversee the channels effectively.

Launch a loyalty program: One of the best ways to encourage repeat purchases, increase average order value, and even shorten the time between checkouts is to reward customers every time they buy.

Consider setting up a loyalty program that rewards clients for the amount they spend or the number of purchases they make. You can offer them credits, coupons, or even free gifts. If you aren’t sure which rewards to include in your loyalty program, ask customers directly.

Send engaging e-mails: When customers purchase from your online store, you can automatically subscribe them to your company’s e-mails. After signup, you can begin sending targeted newsletters, promotions, and discounts based on their profile and prior purchases.

With a conversion rate of 4.29%, e-mail marketing has one of the highest conversion rates of any digital channel, according to Shopify. That means email can be an effective platform for driving repeat purchases, upsells, or cross-sales.

Offer a discount for repeat purchases: Many companies offer discount codes to encourage first-time customers to make a purchase. Yet offering a coupon or a set discount for a repeat purchase can also improve your retention rate.

If you do opt for this type of offer, make sure it provides more value than any publicly available discounts so it makes customers feel sufficiently appreciated.

For example, you might offer a larger discount than usual or send an offer right when the customer is due for renewal.

Position your business as a trusted advisor: To retain more clients, your business has to demonstrate credibility. You can build authority and show trustworthiness in many ways, including writing high-value posts for your company blog or hosting informative webinars that help existing customers get more out of their purchases.

Cultivate brand ambassadors: One of the most effective ways to cultivate loyalty is to create a brand ambassador program. Because the members are loyal customers, they tend to make repeated purchases. Since they also promote your business to their acquaintances, they can also assist with customer acquisition.

To create a brand ambassador program, consider offering incentives to engaged customers, such as special discounts, free samples, or early versions of new products. You can also include ambassadors in your research initiatives, so you can get their input on your products, services, and programs.

Send a special newsletter: Sending weekly or monthly newsletters can help you connect with customers on a regular basis, and you can make your subscribers feel like they matter by adding personal touches.

Have your marketing team write it from your point of view or include a short letter from the company’s founder to give subscribers a behind-the-scenes look at your business.

Accommodate education or training needs: If your products or services are complex enough to require a series of tutorials, pay close attention to customer questions and complaints. Once you learn that customers regularly need help with a service, think of creative ways to accommodate their needs.

Consider writing a series of how-to e-mails for customers who purchased a high-level product or hosting a live webinar that lets customers ask questions.

Connect with customers via social media: When you want to stay top-of-mind with customers and remain easy to reach, social media can be a smart investment.

Commit to creating a full calendar of helpful, engaging social media content, and use the platform’s analytics to track what works best. You can even integrate your social channels with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool so you can more easily track interactions with customers on social media.

Personalize your communications: Whether you send emails, invest in social media marketing, or use other digital channels, always make sure your efforts are as personal as possible.

Naturally, you’ll have an easier time building credibility when you send relevant communications. Segment your e-mail subscribers so you send highly targeted e-mails, and create saved social media replies that automatically insert the customer’s name.

Integrate your marketing and support apps so each member of your team can access and understand every customer’s history with your company.

Surprise your customers: Whether they’re new or repeat customers, most people have assumptions when they purchase something from your company. But why meet expectations when you can exceed them instead? Think about ways you can delight or surprise customers and give them an even more positive impression of your business.

For example, you can add a handwritten note to customer orders or include a gift that has value for your clients but that doesn’t affect your bottom line.

Take customers’ advice and give them credit: Existing customers can be excellent sources of data, especially when it comes to research and development. Don’t just survey them for fun. Take their suggestions seriously, and implement the ones that make sense for your business.

Always give customers credit for great ideas, such as mentioning them on social media or sending them a coupon or gift for their loyalty.

Make your brand the most convenient option: No matter how friendly and trustworthy your company appears, you may struggle with retention if you make it difficult to do business with you.

To increase repeat purchases, reduce any friction in your sales process, and aim to be the most convenient option in your category. You can offer a subscription so customers can renew easily or include related product links in your online store to automate the cross-selling process.

Conclusion…

As you optimize your strategy, you can look forward to additional benefits like improved ROI, increased revenue, and business growth opportunities.

If designing a customer retention strategy seems too complicated or time-consuming, an experienced CSM can work with your business to find an effective approach. With a qualified contractor on your team, you can set more ambitious goals and grow your business without overwhelming your busy team.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Why is Consumer Behavior Important?

The study of consumer behavior is one of the most important marketing activities undertaken by companies and institutions because it helps marketers determine what influences consumers’ buying decisions.

Understanding consumer behavior is therefore helpful to identify the products that are needed and the products that are obsolete, because no business wants to spend a fortune on producing a product line, only to find that it doesn’t sell.

A typical consumer behavior analysis should reveal:

  • What consumers think and how they feel about various brands, products, services, etc..
  • What influences consumers to choose between the various options available to them.
  • Consumers’ behavior while researching and shopping.
  • How consumers’ environment (including their friends and family, the media they consume, etc.) influences their behavior.

In order to understand consumer behavior on a deeper level, it’s important to look at the elements that influence consumer behavior.

*These include:

Personal factors such as those influenced by a consumer’s demographics, including age, gender, cultural background, life stage, and more. These elements play an important role in shaping an individual’s own interests and opinions.

Psychological factors such as their response to a marketing message or elements that stimulate the senses, including light, heat, sound, touch, and more.

Social factors including the influences of friends, family, and social media, or aspects such as an individual’s education level or income.

Marketing campaigns which, when done successfully, can influence impulse purchases or persuade consumers to change brands or opt for more expensive alternatives.

Purchasing power including a person’s financial ability to buy products or services, as well as the “value” of the transaction in terms of what they receive. This can play a large role in what brand they choose (for example, the cheaper or more expensive brand) and if they can justify making the purchase at all.

Personal needs and wants, as well as their personality and the in-built preferences, priorities, morals, and values that come with it.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Types of Consumer Behavior…

When we refer to consumer behavior, the concept can be further broken down into 4 distinct types:

Complex buying behavior. This refers to those rare, expensive purchases that will often see the consumer researching their options thoroughly, such as when buying a new car or house. They are highly involved in the purchase decision-making process before making the final commitment.

Dissonance-reducing buying behavior. When, despite lengthy research, a consumer has difficulties determining the differences between brands. Then, even after making the purchase, they must seek reassurance that they’ve made the right buying decision.

Habitual buying behavior. When, as opposed to purchasing a particular product due to brand loyalty, a consumer chooses a product based on their buying habits.

For example, they’ve purchased it before, were satisfied, and chooses it repeatedly over other brands simply because it takes the ‘need to think’ out of the buying process.

Variety-seeking behavior. When a consumer enjoys trying new products and seeks variety in their buying patterns.

For example, they might like trying new flavors of tea or enjoying a different fragrance of hand soap each time they make their purchase.

Consumer behavior examples

Now let’s look at some examples of different consumer behaviors that matter to your marketing. 

Needs: Needs are essential to your marketing as they give people a reason to buy. You’ll need to understand the needs of your target audience to effectively communicate your solution.

For example, a customer paying for a dog-walking service has an underlying need to have their dog walked. You’d want to dig into the causes of that need, such as not having the time or desire.

Motivation: It’s important to understand what gives your audience a general desire and willingness to take action.

For example, the dog owner who wants to hire a dog walker may have a restless dog that is causing problems in the house. 

Search: Customers use various methods to learn more about the products and services they need. It’s important to understand how your customers are looking for information.

For example, they could be searching for certain keywords on Google and social media. 

Purchasing decisions: Customers often go through stages when deciding what to buy, such as researching the details of an offering, comparing multiple providers, and reading reviews. It’s important to understand your buyer’s process and have content in place to guide them along the desired path.

For example, the dog walker could run ads for people searching for dog walkers and even problems that result when dogs aren’t walked. They could write blogs and social posts about their service, their results, and overall dog health. Then, they could ask customers for reviews and testimonials to post online. 

Customer loyalty: Customers are loyal to brands that satisfy their needs and vice versa. Understanding what drives customer loyalty, and what hurts it, is important to growing a customer base that doesn’t churn.

For example, if a dog walking service brings back a dog that is happy and calm, the owner will likely continue with the service. However, if they bring back a dog that continues to be hyper, they may look for another solution. 

Technology adoption: Customers are often willing to try a new technology or innovation. However, it’s important to gauge your audience’s willingness.

For example, VR headsets are rising in popularity as the technology has improved and more consumers are open to that form of entertainment.

Price sensitivity: The price of a product will impact if a customer is willing to buy and how much they will spend.

For example, a customer may be willing to pay for an expensive dinner out on occasion but not every month. As a brand, it’s important to understand your audience and how much they are willing to pay.

Perceptions: Customers form perceptions about brands based on their encounters with that brand and their internal reference point (belief, values, etc.).

As a brand, it’s important to be aware of the impression you are making on the audience and in control of it. You can do this by developing a documented brand strategy and showing up with consistency. 

Product use: It’s important to understand how your customers use your products and services to encourage increased use.

For example, Facebook enables you to pick your most important friends so you can see their content first on your feed. This encourages users to use and engage with the app more.

Post-purchase evaluation: Customers will have an opinion after they buy from your brand, and brands can benefit from connecting with customers to find out their level of satisfaction.

For example, you could send follow-up emails with surveys to gauge satisfaction and gain feedback. 

Word of mouth: When people are happy with a product or service, they will often tell others about it. As a brand, you can encourage this behavior with referral programs.

For example,  Airbnb offers travel credits when members refer new members.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Common Criteria which Consumer Behavior Can Be Segmented By…

Segmentation looks at consumer behavior patterns displayed by customers as they interact with a product or brand or make a purchasing decision and divides customers into groups according to this data.

The aim of segmentation is to understand how to deliver the particular needs or desires of a group of customers, discover opportunities to enhance their customer journeys, and measure their potential value to your business.

Just some of the common criteria consumer behavior can be segmented by include:

Purchasing behavior: The consumer’s attitudes, preferences, intentions, and decisions when purchasing a product or service.

Benefits sought: What the customer is hoping to attain from purchasing the product or service and why they are seeking it in the first place.

Customer journey stage: There are five main stages in the customer journey, starting from their very first interaction with your brand (awareness) and leading through to consideration, decision, retention, and advocacy.

Usage: How the product or service is used by the consumer, including how often, when, and where.

Occasion or timing: Occasions can indicate purchasing patterns for an individual customer that consistently repeats over a period of time. These might include birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, monthly purchases, or daily rituals.

Customer satisfaction: A measurement that determines how happy customers are with the company’s products, services, and capabilities.

Customer loyalty: Loyal customers are those who do repeat business with the brand, choosing them over their competitors time and time again. A customer’s loyalty is encouraged by three things: positive customer experiences, customer satisfaction, and the perceived value they gain from the product or service.

Conclusion…

With a thorough understanding of consumer behavior and how it can be used for your marketing strategy, you too will be able to reap the benefits of higher sales growth, boosted revenue, and of course, marketing which drives the results you desire.

Business owners can also outsource the formulation of a marketing strategy based on consumer behavior to professionals within this area, meaning that help is always on-hand when needed.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Tips and Stategies on How to Retain Customers…

Did you know that most businesses spend between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than they do to retain an existing client? That means planning a retention program and implementing the appropriate retention strategies could accelerate progress toward revenue goals while allowing your company to grow.

So how can your business retain more customers and decrease its costs? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is customer retention?

Customer retention focuses on turning customers into repeat buyers. Customer retention strategies revolve around strengthening customer loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value, which in return helps businesses maximize their marketing ROI without the necessity to spend additional money on acquiring new clients.

When to focus on customer retention…

For many established businesses, customer retention initiatives begin with the first touchpoint and extend throughout the lifespan of the relationship. Yet prioritizing retention isn’t always possible.

If you’re a startup founder or if your business is relatively new, your efforts may be devoted to acquiring customers instead. Based on the age and focus of your business, here’s when you should focus on customer retention:

Just launching: If your business has just opened, it’s important to focus virtually all of your resources on acquiring new customers, successfully delivering products and services, and running your company. At this early stage, you can hold off on customer retention activities.

Starting to gain traction: Once you begin to make some sales and you have a few customers, you can start to explore retention. Most of your early efforts should focus on simpler and higher-value tasks like encouraging current customers to renew their current purchases or consider upgrades.

Making consistent sales: When you attract a steady flow of customers, your business can realize much more value from increasing retention efforts. Rather than focusing solely on renewing or upselling current customers, you can add steps to your sales and onboarding workflows.

With this approach, you can connect with customers earlier in the life cycle and build stronger relationships from the beginning.

Seeking growth opportunities: When your business is relatively established, you may have reached a large portion of your total addressable market. At this point, focusing on customer retention is critical, as it may be one of your biggest opportunities for increasing customer lifetime value and growing your business.

Automating retention: Once your company is truly established, most of your sales, marketing, and support processes should be streamlined and efficient. At this point, you can get the greatest value from investing in automated customer retention.

By automating these important processes, you can get an even better return and set more ambitious goals for your business.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

What is a DBA?

A DBA allows you to create a trading name for your business (or a portion of your business) that is separate from your legal business name. You can create DBAs for most types of business licenses.

Some businesses choose to do this for security and privacy reasons, using a DBA to create a brand name instead of using their legal name for their solopreneur business. Others use it to rebrand or to expand into new product or service lines while still keeping the entire organization under a single business entity. 

Your business, for example, might be called “Global Trading LLC,” but your business’s DBA (which appears on your site, in marketing materials, client invoices, and even on legal contracts) is called “L.S. Trading Corp.”

A DBA will give you more flexibility and the ability to legally operate under a name that is separate from your business’s official name. You can put this DBA on business cards, your website, and your storefront as you see fit. 

There are many reasons why business owners may choose to operate under a DBA, and in this guide, we’re going to talk about what those reasons are, how to choose and set up a DBA, and anything that you need to take into consideration. 

What does DBA mean? 

DBA stands for “doing business as.” Also known as an assumed name, trade name, or fictitious name, a DBA is a separately registered name that businesses generally use more for branding purposes and that it is separate from their business’s legal registered name, which is typically going to be what appears on their business license and some documents like tax returns or employee payroll.

People working as sole proprietors can use DBAs so that they can operate under a name that is separate from their own legal business name.

Instead of operating publicly as “John Doe,” the owner could operate legally under “JAL’s Cigars.”

This is essential because in many states you can’t just operate your business as “JAL’s Cigars Inc.” without registering a DBA that legally allows you to do so. In many cases, this is designed to protect customers, though you’ll also need to add your DBA to some official documents like your business’s tax returns. 

Why do businesses use DBAs?

DBAs enable businesses to do business under another name. But why might you want or need to do that? There are a variety of reasons. Here are some of the common scenarios where a DBA is helpful:

Privacy reasons: If you are a sole proprietor or a partner in a general partnership, your business and personal names will be the same on public records. If you are in this situation and would prefer that your business had a name aside from your personal name for privacy reasons, you can use a DBA to give your business another name. After doing so, your personal name won’t be on public records. 

Marketing purposes: Along with your personal name being an issue for privacy reasons as a sole proprietor or a general partner, it can also be an issue when trying to attract customers or clients. Your name alone may not tell enough about what your business offers.

For example, if your name is Joe Smith and you offer food services, you may not want your business name to be Joe Smith alone. Instead, you may want to register a DBA for a name like Joe’s Cuisine to help customers understand immediately what you do.  

A) To get a bank account: In some cases, a bank will require a sole proprietor or general partner to have a DBA in order to open a business account. 
B) Enter a new niche: If your current business name is associated with a particular target audience, product, or service, and you want to target a new audience or release a new offering, a DBA can help.

For example, if you have an online service named Global Web Corp. but want to focus on getting online customers, you could file a DBA for Global Online Sales.

C) Establish credibility: When doing business under your personal name, as is commonly done with a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you may find that it doesn’t come across as professional as a business name. Being so, filing a DBA with a more professional business name can help you establish credibility on the market. 
D) Increase memorability: In some cases, a registered business name may be difficult to remember. The name could be too long or just not very appealing. In these cases, filing a DBA can allow you to choose a name that will resonate with customers and be easy to remember.
E) To match a domain name: If you register your business and plan to run the business online but then find out that you can’t get the domain, what should you do? You could purchase another domain and then file a DBA to do business in that name. You may also want multiple DBAs if you’re going to have more than one website targeting different audiences. 
F) Make your business official: When you register a DBA for your business, it will create a public record. Other businesses will be notified that the business name is in use. However, a DBA filing doesn’t protect others from using the same name in all states. 
As you can see, there are plenty of scenarios in which businesses need to file a DBA — or multiple. While it’s not always required, it can be helpful to increase privacy, improve marketing, reach different audiences, and more. 

What a DBA is not…

Now that you know what a DBA is and when it’s often used, let’s talk about what a DBA is not. A DBA filing is not to be confused with establishing a business as a legal entity, which is a common mistake. 

When you establish your business as a legal entity, you will file paperwork in your chosen state. In doing so, you’ll decide the type of entity you want your business to become. For example, you can opt for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Corporation (C Corp or S Corp). 

When you create a legal entity for your business, you are no longer personally liable for it. The debts and liabilities belong to the business. This helps to protect you personally from the business. For example, if someone sues your business for negligence, the business assets will be at risk but not your personal assets. If you opt to forgo establishing a legal entity, your business will automatically be a sole proprietorship. In a sole proprietorship, you and your business are one so there is no differentiating and no protection of your personal assets. 

Filing a DBA simply gives your business a fictitious name under which you are allowed to do business. It does not offer any kind of legal protection because it doesn’t create a separate legal entity. So if you haven’t filed to create a legal entity for your business, you are a sole proprietor by default. While you can file a DBA to do business under a name aside from your own, you will need to create an entity for your business if you want to separate it from yourself and gain some protection.

What is the difference between a DBA and an LLC?

There are core differences between an LLC and a DBA, and it’s essential that business owners understand them. They are, in reality, two very different things. 

A limited liability company (LLC) is a legal structure that allows you to establish your business as a legal entity. Clients and vendors can hold contracts with your business instead of just you as a person, and your business can apply for funding without it impacting your personal standing. 

LLCs come with a degree of protection. If someone sues your business, it’s your company that’s liable, not you. This means that even if the business is bankrupt, people cannot come after the business owner’s personal assets like their home or other personal bank accounts.

LLCs also come with a great degree of flexibility that’s often convenient for growing businesses. You can choose to change your taxation status so you can be taxed as a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. This can offer tax advantages as your business scales over time. 

A DBA does not establish a business as a legal entity. Instead, it allows an existing legal entity to legally operate under an assumed or fictitious name for business purposes. There are no legal protections that are offered, and other advantages that come with LLCs (like potential tax benefits) are not included. 

DBAs typically take only a few minutes to be filed and cost under $200. Forming an LLC may be more complicated depending on where you are operating your business, and it could require the help of an attorney or an accountant, and it requires reinstatement every year. Reinstatement processes depend on the state but typically require a filing fee and paperwork to say that you are still operating under the DBA. 

Which businesses need a DBA?

Not every business needs a DBA. If you’re happy to do business either as a sole proprietorship under your legal name or under your LLC’s legal name, there is no need for a DBA in many cases. This often does, however, depend on the type of legal entity your business is classified as, local regulations, and other considerations that influence business owners’ decisions.

The following are common examples of businesses that need or strongly benefit from DBAs:

·        Sole proprietors who want to operate under a different name

If your legal name is Joe Smith and you want to operate under “Joe’s Cuisine,” you’ll need to file a DBA. This is because sole proprietorships are unincorporated, and aren’t required to file formation papers or an official name with the state. In addition to being useful for branding purposes, this can be beneficial if you want more privacy or security, or if you ever change your legal name after having a business up and running.

·        Franchise owners who want to do business as the brand

In many cases, franchise owners will buy a franchise business under their own LLC or corporation, and then get a DBA so that they can operate as the commonly-known brand name. If you were to buy into an any franchise through your “business name LLC,” you could get a DBA to operate as “the franchise name.”

·        Businesses that want to change up their public-facing name

In many cases, LLCs and corporations don’t require DBAs, because the business name was likely already registered with the state. (Keep in mind that this varies by state, city, and county, so check your local guidelines). Still, some businesses can register a DBA so that they can operate under a name other than the name on their incorporation documents. This may happen when the business wants to open up a new line of products or services, but it can also happen during re-branding.

·        Business owners that are branching out into multiple connected ventures.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to expand, starting a new sister company or launching a new line of products or services that they would technically like to be separate. Operating under a unique trade name through a DBA allows some degree of separation while still keeping the companies connected through a single business license. Your business structure and state guidelines may allow for this or may not, but in some cases, this is an easy option to expand with less hassle.

How to file a DBA

Filing a DBA is relatively easy to do, and it can clearly be beneficial for a number of reasons that we’ve already discussed. 

Filing a DBA typically involves filing forms with either the county clerk, the secretary of state, or a state’s business registrant. It typically costs somewhere between $10 to $100 and it’s a relatively quick process — in many cases, you may hear back within a month. 

Some states might require you to publish notice of the DBA in a local newspaper and to update business licenses or permits accordingly.

The process of filing for a DBA depends on the state that your business operates in, so it’s essential to check your state and county guidelines to see what needs to happen with your business.  

In California, for example, you need to file your DBA with a county and then publish notice of it in a local newspaper within 30 days. 

In some states and cities, you need to make sure that no one else is currently using your trade name by searching their database and then submitting registration paperwork. They also have unique restrictions on what the name cannot mention, including words like “bank” that indicates you’re a financial organization.

Most DBA registration forms will ask for information like the business owner’s name, the business’s legal name, tax identifying information like an EIN or social security, the new fictitious trade name, and contact information.

While the process varies from state to state, this is the general process that many states follow: 

·        Check the state’s database to ensure that your desired DBA isn’t currently in use by anyone else; if so, you’ll need to choose another name.

·        Download and complete the DBA submission paperwork. This often asks about your legal business name, location of operation, business owner name, desired trade name, and tax identifier. 

·        Submit the application online or via mail (whichever is required) to the address specified online, along with the payment that’s required. This will often be between $10 and $100.

·        Update your business license, permits, or other official paperwork to show the DBA if needed. 

Make sure that you’re carefully reading your state’s guidelines for your specific business structure; sometimes the instructions vary depending on how you’re incorporated. 

In New York, for example, sole proprietorships must file a business certificate with their trade names through the county clerk’s offices. Corporations, LLCs, and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), however, must file their trade names with the New York Department of State. Other states, for the moment, have no requirements for businesses to actually register trade names. 

If you’re unsure of the instructions, you can contact your state’s business department, a lawyer, or a trusted DBA filing service within your state.

How to choose your DBA name

There’s a lot that goes into choosing your DBA name. Since it costs time and money to file, you want to be confident that you’re happy with the new trade name, even though you can change it later. 

There are several steps you should take when choosing your new DBA name:

A) Know why you want a DBA

The reason you’re choosing to operate under a DBA should be a guiding force in helping you select the trade name that you’d like to operate under.

If, for example, you simply want a catchier name than “Joe Smith LLC,” but you still want the name recognition, you can opt for “Joe Smith Web Developer.”  

If you like the idea of keeping some aspect of your name in the DBA but want it to sound more “elevated” and less like a sole proprietorship, you can opt for something like “JS Web Design.”  

And if security and privacy are a primary focus and you’d rather not have your personal name be attached to your DBA at all, that’s an option, too. The sky is the limit here, and you can use any eye-catching brand name that means something to you.

B) Consider branding 

Branding should be considered when you’re choosing a DBA. Because, while a name is just a name, it’s also one of the first impressions of your business that a customer or vendor will have. Think about what you want your business to represent and what you want customers to associate the name with. 

C) Make sure the name isn’t taken

Once you have an idea or two that you like for your DBA, you’ll want to check to make sure that it’s not taken within your state or county region. Many locations actually require this before filing for the DBA because only you will be authorized to use that name in the state, but even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to prevent confusion and issues later down the road (especially for taxation and legal reasons). 

Most states and counties have a database that you can search. In many cases, you’ll find links to these databases on the same pages that have applications for your DBA. 

D) Consider using a trademark

Many states require that only one business can have a single DBA. That doesn’t stop businesses in other states from using the same name, however. If you want to ensure that your company’s DBA can’t be used by anyone other than you in any location in the U.S., you can consider applying for a trademark.

Trademarks ensure that your company DBA remains completely unique and that no one else can use it. This prevents confusion online and helps make sure that customers searching for you will always find you, and not a competitor. 

Benefits and disadvantages to filing a DBA.

There are both pros and cons to using a DBA for your business, and it’s important to consider them all before choosing if a DBA is right for you. Let’s look at each.

The pros, in many cases, outweigh the cons of using a DBA if you’re interested in operating under a trading name. They include the following:

I. Increased flexibility

DBAs give you an enormous amount of flexibility, allowing you to change the name under which your business operates without requiring you to:

·        File an official business license (in some cases)

·        Start a new business

·        Re-register an existing business 

For example, you can launch several unique tire lines under “Tires Incorporated LLC,” or expand to new geographic locations under new names. 

They can also give you a newer, trendier, and more attention-grabbing name than “Joe Smith LLC,” like “JS Design Services.” Many people file a business license name under a generic name or their legal name, and sole proprietorships exist under your legal name. This gives you an option to be more creative and adopt a new brand easily. There’s so much flexibility here, which is a major pro to opting to use a DBA. 

II. An added layer of privacy 

Operating a business under your legal name is common, but it doesn’t come without some major downsides.

Choosing a DBA that doesn’t directly incorporate your full legal name like “JS Graphic Design” instead of “Joe Smith Graphic Design” offers a significant degree of privacy. 

While customers can still find your information if they really want to (especially if your state requires you to update your business license with a DBA), a DBA adds multiple extra steps to that process.

The reality is that having an extra degree of privacy can be a security advantage. It’s the same reason why using a virtual phone number or business phone line is advised, so clients and random people online aren’t able to find your personal number to call at all hours of the day.

It allows you to set healthy boundaries. And for women online, it can give you an added layer of personal security. 

III. Easier branding 

Do you want to rebrand? Or maybe you want to launch a second brand under your business license. 

DBAs are the easiest way to rebrand or enhance your branding. 

If you’re a sole proprietor or have a business license involving your legal name, the reality is that there will be hardly any name brand recognition when you first get started. 

“Joe Smith Graphic Design” just doesn’t jump out as much as “Blackhawk Graphic Services,” which sounds more established and unique. 

You can use DBAs to create a strong brand that will appeal to your unique target audience, giving you an edge and helping you to attract more clients.  

IV. State compliance matters 

If you want to operate under a trading name, go ahead and get a DBA. Most states require it, and the last thing that you want to happen is to end up in legal trouble (or facing fines and fees) because you haven’t taken a few extra steps to set up that trade name.

While having a business license under “Joe Smith LLC” and a business name on your site or in directories as “JS Graphic Design” (or even “Joe Smith Graphic Design”) might not sound like a big leap or a fictitious name, legally you’re looking at two very different names. 

And while it may seem unlikely you’ll be caught if your a small single-person operation… don’t be so sure. All it takes is one irritated client, or even someone finding you in a directory and doing a little background research. 

You could easily find yourself facing fines or fees from the local government, or even on the end of a lawsuit that claims you’re engaging in fraud. Filing for a DBA is a simple and typically very cost-effective process. It’s also fast. Take the time to protect yourself from legal and compliance issues. (But remember that DBAs do not protect your personal assets — at the very least, you’ll need an LLC for that). 

While the pros are exceptional when you’re considering a DBA, there are a few cons that you’ll want to keep in mind, too. The biggest disadvantages of a DBA are that they don’t offer much except for the legal name itself and that you’ll need to take additional steps for further benefits. 

Let’s take a look at the cons...

There are little to no tax benefits

It’s crucial to remember that DBAs are not a legal business structure, and they do not actually create a business; all they do is establish a name under which you can operate. 

You can’t even use terms like “Corporation” or “LLC” in your DBA name; you need an actual business license for that.

Because of this, there are no real tax benefits that come with a DBA. If you’re choosing to pursue a DBA for a sole proprietorship and want tax benefits, consider utilizing it with an LLC. LLCs are flexible business structures that allow you to be taxed as an individual or a corporation (and you can change this at any point) so you can take advantage of tax benefits as you grow. 

DBAs do not prevent you from getting tax benefits on an established business. But they aren’t enough to help you get them, and as a result, are not really a “replacement” for a business license. 

There is absolutely no liability protection 

Outside of protecting you against lawsuits citing fraud for operating under a name that hasn’t been legally established, DBAs in and of themselves do not offer legal protection. This means that you aren’t getting any liability protection.

If you’re a sole proprietor operating under a DBA with no other incorporation structure, if someone wants to sue your business, they’re effectively suing you. Your business and personal assets are on the line, including your bank accounts, retirement accounts, and even your home. 

Other types of business licenses, including LLCs, offer much more protection and security. You can discuss this with a CPA or a business lawyer.

There aren’t exclusive rights to your business name 

Once registered, your DBA will typically be unique to your brand… but only in your state. Other companies in other states can adopt the same trade name if they choose.

You need a trademark if you want to keep your trade name unique to your brand. This is a separate process, and it typically costs several hundred dollars. It’s also a lengthy process. 

That being said, signing up for a DBA now can mean that no one else in your state can claim the business name, which is a good start. Once approved, you can file for a trademark as soon as possible if you’d like to prevent competitors (direct or indirect) from using the name, too. 

There is ongoing maintenance 

In many cases, you’ll need to renew your DBA at regular intervals. This may be as often as every year, or every few years.

Renewing your DBA isn’t too time-consuming, but it does typically require a filing fee and additional paperwork depending on your state. Some local governments might also require that you re-register the DBA in every county that you serve. 

Before you file for a DBA, you can check to see what the local requirements are and if you’re up for undergoing the maintenance. In many cases, you can just add a reminder to your calendar so you don’t forget and the maintenance is worth the benefits that you receive. 

Summarizing…

DBAs are not legal business structures, but they do allow you to operate under a fictitious or trade name. Whether you want to expand your business into different branches, you want more privacy and flexibility, or you’re looking to enhance your branding or opt for a rebrand, DBAs are an easy way to put your best business foot forward at any given time.

It’s essential to keep in mind that DBAs only allow you to operate under an established trade name. There are no other added legal or tax benefits. Other incorporation statuses are required for legal or tax advantages. 

If you have questions about a DBA, remember to talk to your CPA or a business attorney. They can help you decide if a DBA is right for you, and what other steps you can or should take for additional benefits or added protections. 

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Prepare Your Business for a Post Pandemic Economy…

If your business has come this far, then you can continue to make it through. It’s a good time to reflect on lessons learned and contemplate the time ahead. You also need to consider strategic steps to take so that your business can emerge from the post-COVID-19 era stronger than ever.

Now that the initial shock has passed and you’ve navigated your business through this crisis, how can you prepare for what’s next?

If you’re like most business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic left you facing unprecedented challenges. You may have found yourself working remotely, shifting business priorities, or limiting what your business can now offer—or maybe all three.

To sustain forward momentum, you must understand customer attitudes and behaviors, refocus your marketing, and create a bounce-back plan. Use this valuable information to lead you into a positive and prosperous new future.

Follow these steps to prepare your business for the post-pandemic economy.

Learn to think and act differently

When stay-at-home orders went into place, your business likely felt an immediate impact. Thinking out of the box and coming up with new approaches to meet your customer needs was essential. There was no way to maintain “business as usual” when everything was vastly different from a few months before.

As more people stayed home, customer buying preferences shifted. The entire experience of shopping changed. Here are a few trends that emerged:

*Changes in spending patterns: Instead of spending on luxury items or expensive goods, people turned attention to necessities.

*Less brick-and-mortar foot traffic: Consumers frequented brick-and-mortar stores less often—and when they did venture out, they needed to wear masks and social distance.

*More online buying: For many people, buying online was the only safe option. People turned to online venues for items they’d usually buy in stores, such as food and household basics.

As we move forward into the post-pandemic era, your ability to think and act differently is going to serve you well. Instead of longing for a world that will never quite be the same, you can use ingenuity and creativity to shape the next chapter.

Hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing are all obvious signals of the ways in which COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and businesses. But to really prepare your business for what’s still to come, we need to look a little deeper at how the general lifestyle has changed in recent months.

Beyond canceling travel plans and large get-togethers, people now limit out-of-the-house activities that used to be part of their normal routines. They’ve cut back on visits to public spaces, like restaurants and bars, and skipped trips to brick-and-mortar stores, preferring to browse and order goods online instead.

Even items that are typically bought in-store, such as groceries, household essentials, and personal care necessities, have seen a huge increase in online orders. This is dramatically changing the landscape of online commerce.

Understand the impact of COVID-19 on the retail industry

During peak times of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping became a convenient, risk-free way to buy needed items for many people. This trend is expected to continue even as COVID-19 becomes more controlled, with research suggesting that consumer behaviors have undergone a fundamental disruption. Surveys revealed that nearly 50% of customers said they will avoid stores for “some time” or a “long time.”

By contrast, 40% of people affirmed that they plan to continue buying online. But consumers also cited a strong preference for free and reliable delivery. Customers may have been patient with some delays during the worst COVID-19 passages, but they’ll expect speedier deliveries once the worst has passed. 

What does this mean for your business? You should see a boost in online shopping over the long term—and that’s good news. However, you need to stay focused on efficient and free shipping whenever possible to stay competitive and meet customers’ delivery expectations.

Create a bounce-back plan

Now that we’ve all seen firsthand how an unexpected crisis can suddenly change everything, it’s easy to see how necessary it is to have a plan to recover when a crisis hits. As we start to understand more about how COVID-19 works and will impact our lives in the future, you can build a plan to navigate the inevitable ups and downs that will occur in the months ahead.

When more changes happen, such as a surge in infections and resumption of lockdowns or other restrictions, you can rely on your established plan instead of reverting to crisis mode. You can push your business to sustain or even grow as others fall back on other ways of staying afloat.

*To create a robust bounce-back plan, make sure you can answer the following questions:

What position can you reach during and right after the pandemic?

Start your planning by taking a realistic look at your market and your role in it. Are your products and services in demand? Or do you offer less immediate value? Depending on your value proposition, you may come out ahead or you may have to make up ground. With this analysis, you can determine your likely position in the post-COVID marketplace.

What is your plan to rebound after the pandemic passes?

Once you know your probable position, you can craft a plan to get there. Your plan is the roadmap that helps you make the day-to-day decisions to navigate to your future outcome. Without a plan, you’ll stay stuck in reactive mode and may inhibit your progress.

How can you start to create a plan?

*Take a hard look at your financials…

Many companies saw business drop in the first months of the COVID-19, so they’ll need to determine how to get back to pre-pandemic levels. You should calculate how many customers you lost per week, month, or quarter and recognize that you may need to increase your marketing investment to recapture those customers.

Next, you can assess… when you’ll likely regain your lost business. It could take you three or six months—or more—to return to where you were. You may need to make some financial tradeoffs. For example, if a line of business isn’t performing well, you may need to close it down and focus on more successful ones.

*Also, examine your competition, industry, supply chain, business operations, and technology infrastructure in your planning. You’ll need in-depth insight into all of these factors to create an effective bounce-back plan.

*How will your culture and identity evolve?

It’s likely that the pandemic will cause you to re-examine the core values of your business. You may fundamentally change the way you view your business purpose and the world. Will the challenge you face be a rallying cry to your team? Or will the strife and stress create divisions? The answers lie in your business culture and your preparedness to endure disruptive change. And the outcomes will influence what you can achieve as the pandemic crisis fades.

*What new projects can you execute that will future-proof your business?

Inevitably, you’ll need to tackle some projects to weather the COVID-19 storm. But you can’t pursue every good idea or spread your resources too thin. Instead, you need to strategically select projects that address COVID-related problems now, while preparing for the future.

The projects that you choose will be somewhat situation-specific. However, as noted above, doing an analysis of customer attitudes and behaviors is a must, along with revisioning your marketing and messaging to connect with customers. Revitalizing your web presence to tell your COVID response story or offering new online products or ordering options is likewise critical.

Once those strategic fundamentals are in place, you can determine if you need to launch new product lines, adjust customer service processes, or pursue other key initiatives. Determining critical actions you must take to support the business and setting goals and deadlines will provide a foundation for forwarding momentum.

Are you prepared to execute your plan?

You can lay out a perfect plan, but you need to be prepared to make it work. Be pragmatic about what you can achieve, and adjust timelines as necessary. You may find a shift to remote work stalls progress—or the reverse could be true. New energy and creativity could emerge. In addition, your business’s ability to make actionable decisions influences how quickly you can move ahead.

Also, you need to consider whether you have the resources and staffing levels needed to execute this plan. If you don’t have the right in-house expertise, hiring a freelance consultant can be a cost-effective option. You can hire strategy consultants to assist with planning and marketing, operational, creative, or technical experts to handle specific tasks. Don’t let skillset gaps hold you back when professional consultants can start working with you right away.

Consider each of these points carefully. Ask yourself where your business falls today, where you’ll be right after the crisis, and what you can expect. Document your ideas and use them as the foundation for your bounce-back plan.

I. Adjust your marketing to match people’s changed values

In the upheaval of COVID-19, people’s attitudes, likes, and values have changed—so the way you do marketing must change as well. As many people had to cut back on spending as well and found themselves making budget tradeoffs, we all had to analyze what mattered, what we truly needed, and what we could give up.

Your business needs to tune into the new mindsets of your customers and change your marketing to meet them where they are; and you need to recognize your customers’ desire for marketing that is relevant to the COVID-19 era—which often means being informative, empathic, and authentic.

“if as a marketer you are able to solve a real consumer issue and generate awareness, then you are in the corect mind set.”

II. Economic Times

You need to consider your messages and the channels where you deliver them. Chances are, the campaigns and messages you planned before the pandemic need some adjustment to address current realities. In fact, ninety-two percent of brands said that they’d shifted advertising messages since the pandemic hit in March 2020, according to the Association of National Advertisers. 

This shift in values should be reflected in any of your marketing efforts, but there are four digital marketing channels and strategies that most clearly demonstrate this societal shift. Here’s how and why you should adjust your marketing via social media, digital audio, mobile devices, and loyalty & rewards programs.

III. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing isn’t a new phenomenon in the COVID era, but the rise in time spent on social platforms and the new habits developed during this time are likely to endure. This means it’s time to revisit your social media strategy and align it with consumers’ new expectations for brands.

*What do today’s consumers want from you? Here are three types of social messages that are gaining traction in the COVID period: 

*Authenticity: Consumers don’t want to see social messages or ads that reflect the time before COVID. Instead, your social outreach should reflect current realities by showing people wearing masks, holding video calls, or engaging in socially distanced activities.

*Practical Advice: People want real-world advice on steps they can take to make life better for themselves and their families. Craft social messages that address everyday life needs… like cleaning, cooking, gardening, mental well-being, or exercise, to resonate with your audiences.

*Good Works: Today more than ever, people want to choose to do business with companies that are making positive contributions. Showcase your community outreach or donations to let customers know you care about others.

To engage your followers, you’ll need to analyze your audience’s current values and needs. Social media is also a great resource for insight into people’s sentiments through social listening.

*What is social listening? It’s the practice of assessing social conversations happening around your company and industry. Your goal is to understand why, where, and how conversations relevant to your brand are happening, even if people don’t specifically tag or mention your brand.

Social listening tools can streamline this process. But before you invest in one, you need to determine the outcomes you want to achieve.

*Here are a few examples of what social listening can help you gain:

  • Understand how people feel about your brand and what questions they have about your products.
  • Keep watch on emerging industry trends or analyze your competitors.
  • Determine whether your audiences are connecting with and understanding your social campaigns.

This insight can help you fine-tune your campaign messaging and imagery to be more effective. One benefit of social marketing is that you can quickly adapt your messages from one day to the next. On your channels, if you find certain types of content that generate high engagement—including likes, shares, and comments—you can continue to post similar content. And you can discard content types that don’t resonate with your audiences. 

With social advertising, you can watch metrics to determine which ads generate interest and action. It’s easy to pause social campaigns that show less engagement and tweak them to be more successful. By keeping a close watch on your social advertising trends and results, you can build an engaged following and drive more sales.

IV. Podcast

When outings were limited, people turned to podcasts, for entertainment and information. One study found that global podcast listeners have increased by 42% during the pandemic, and European podcast listeners are up by 53%

Your business can make the most of podcasting, as in addition to providing you with the opportunity to promote your company’s culture and drive new leads. Your podcast can also provide you with opportunities to create new business and partnerships. 

Remember that people may not be looking to fill shopping carts right now. But they will have positive feelings about you, if you communicate in a respectful and socially-responsible way. The goodwill you earn can help you sustain growth in the post-pandemic era.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way to raise small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to fund a charitable cause or new business venture. The funds are often raised over a short amount of time, such as a few months. 

Crowdfunding is a type of crowdsourcing and alternative finance, as it’s a method of obtaining finance outside of traditional banks. Crowdfunding is also done online, usually through social networks. This makes it easy for people to share a fundraiser they support with their following. 

Any organization, business, or individual can use crowdfunding to raise money for a variety of causes, whether it be for charity, creative pursuits, business startups, school tuition, or personal expenses, for example.

Along with its use for charitable or donation-based causes, crowdfunding also assists with entrepreneurship by bringing investors and founders together. It does so by allowing entrepreneurs to grow their investors beyond the original circle of owners, relatives, and venture capitalists.

How does Crowdfunding Work?

Crowdfunding works by allowing large groups of people to pool together smaller investments to supply the funds required to launch a company or project. Individuals, charities, or organizations can set up a crowdfunding campaign for a specific cause, which anyone can then donate to.

Depending on the type of crowdfunding campaign, investors can either contribute money in exchange for incentives, like equity in the company seeking the funds or provide their donation as an act of goodwill.

Crowdfunding can take place through dedicated crowdfunding platforms (such as Crowdbuild) as well as through social media networks. Crowdfunding sites earn revenue from a percentage of the funds raised and some have an “all-or-nothing” policy, meaning you have to reach your financial target to collect any of the funds.

Restrictions apply to who can fund a new business and how much they are allowed to donate. This is meant to protect more vulnerable or non-wealthy investors from risking too much of their savings. A high number of new businesses fail, therefore investors often face a high risk of losing their principal. 

Types of Crowdfunding

There are 3 main types of crowdfunding and each of these works in different ways. 

I) Donation-based Crowdfunding

Donation-based crowdfunding is one of the most common types of crowdfunding. It involves asking a large number of people to make a small donation toward a cause you feel passionately about, such as a charity.

Donation-based crowdfunding is an effective form of crowdfunding for things such as community-based causes or personal needs. This might include raising funds for a community vegetable garden or skate ramp at the local park as well as covering unexpected medical or repair costs.

Donation-based crowdfunding campaigns can be shared with your friends, family, and followers on social media. This increases awareness and encourages extra donations.

II) Rewards-based Crowdfunding

Another popular type of crowdfunding is rewards-based crowdfunding, which is often used to raise money for a new business that provides a product or service.

As the name suggests, rewards-based crowdfunding offers rewards to donors based on how much money they donate. These might include small items made by the fundraiser themselves or items donated by partner companies.

An artist wishing to open his or her own gallery, for example, might offer miniature prints of their work, signed artworks, or even group workshops.

III) Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding (also known as investment crowdfunding) is a crowdfunding option for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to raise a large amount of capital to launch or grow their venture.

With equity crowdfunding, donors receive a percentage of ownership within the business. This percentage will vary depending on the size of the donation or the company’s preferences. This method allows companies to quickly raise the money they need without the hassle and stringent requirements of a traditional business loan. Often, however, equity crowdfunding will require a large fundraising minimum to be viable.

Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can offer many advantages to those who pursue it. It provides individuals and businesses with a way to raise funds when assistance from the government, non-profits, or financial institutions falls short.

Instead, fundraisers rely on the kindness of their community, and the traditional barriers of financial assistance are removed, such as meeting strict criteria. Fewer obstacles also make it quicker and easier for those wishing to raise much-needed funds for a worthy cause.

Additional advantages of crowdfunding include:

  • There is no application process to go through, including filling out forms
  • There are no lengthy waiting periods for your funds
  • It’s easy and commonplace to share a fundraiser with your network on social media
  • It’s easy to reach a wider network than your family or friends, as interested investors can find you through crowdfunding platforms.

Although crowdfunding offers plenty of advantages, it also comes with some disadvantages especially when you don’t reach your funding objectives as in addition to putting the reputation of your business (and investors) at risk, any finance that has been pledged so far will be returned to your investors.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Easy Ways to Find More Freelancing Clients…

Ever wondered where all those potential clients are hanging out?

As a freelancer who consistently scouts for new gigs and opportunities, it’s important to know that you don’t always need to chase or hunt down new clients. After all, it’s YOUR EXPERTISE & KNOWLEDGE that they want!

I. Do You Need a New Client Everyday?… No!

Working as a freelancer doesn’t mean that you should be spending hours upon hours seeking a new client. Instead, you should build a client base with about 12 solid clients that are always consistently turning to you for your help.

II. You Must Be a Thought Leader

Not necessarily. There might be a lot of buzz out there that you should be active on social media, posting every day, and that’s not entirely true. In fact, some of the most successful freelancers don’t actually have a very active social media profile, or personal brand as many would call it.

That being said, let’s dig deeper to understand where exactly your clients are hanging out and how they can find you.

A) Existing Clients

Particularly in larger companies and organizations, employees typically go around and ask one another if they know a freelancer who can help with a specific project.

In this way, an employee from a specific department who has already hired you for a previous project would recommend you.

B) Fellow Freelancers

You’d be surprised to know that some of the most successful freelancers don’t encounter the problem of having to look for new clients, they’re actually rejecting them due to high demand and work overload.

So, what do they do when a client comes to them with a task they can’t deliver 100% of the work for? They look to their peers, or hire a sub-contractor, aka YOU, to do partial work.

The original freelancer owns the strategy of the project, but then hires you to do about 70-80% of the work.

C) Google

The moment your potential prospect searches on Google for “looking to hire a freelance web designer”, they’ll most likely find your profile.

Searching on Google for freelancers can also sometimes be more affective than searching on other platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

So, now that you know where your clients are hanging out, here’s how put these all into action.

I) Over Deliver to Existing Clients

The type of work you deliver your existing client is not what is always important. Instead, it’s how you make them feel when going above and beyond.

For example, take the initiative and provide them with weekly status updates, or upsell your services and offer them help they didn’t even know they needed. Simply put, try to consistently offer your clients that “wow experience”.

II) Build a Strong Network of Freelancers

Branch out to your fellow freelancers and build a strong network of at least 12 freelancers who you can connect with.

For example, if you’re a freelance content writer, don’t just stick within your niche, but instead make sure you have connections with designers, developers, etc.

Bottom Line

You can post on LinkedIn three times a day, every day, however, that’s not always going to get you in front of new prospects. Getting clients to find you all depends on how deep your relationships are with your current clients and fellow peers.

Remember, the three leading drivers to get your clients to find you is via existing clients, fellow freelancers and the internet.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Common Challenges Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Face And How To Deal With Them.

A.   Customer Acquisition

Attracting clients is one of the toughest challenges faced by small businesses, often because they lack the brand recognition that enables larger companies to gain the market share. They may not possess the resources and experience that would enable them to generate clients quickly. SMBs can lack manpower and connections to be well-positioned for success.

Looking to gain customers as an SMB? Be sure to attend relevant networking events and leverage the power of social media to attract buzz and attention. Establish your company’s voice and determine the unique role you play in the market. Lots of companies out there may already be doing the same thing, so it’s crucial for you to do it differently or better. Hone in on your target customers by taking the time to create well-developed buyer personas. Once you understand your customers, nurture your relationships with them so they stick with you and spread the word about how great you are.

B.   Talent Acquisition

More than half of small businesses say they have a hard time attracting quality employees. Onboarding talented staff is expensive and retaining existing workers in the age of The Great Resignation is a major challenge. Time and money spent on talent acquisition can cause serious strain for a small business.

To optimize your hiring process, make use of assessment tools that help determine whether candidates are a good match for your company’s brand and culture. Hiring the right talent in the first place helps small businesses develop a solid core team and avoid excessive turnover. As a small business, you may not be able to compete with the salaries offered by big corporations. Be creative and tailor your compensation package to offer perks like flexibility, performance incentives and profit-sharing.

C.   Digitalization

Businesses have increasingly taken to digital channels to interact with customers, a shift that became even more pronounced during the COVID pandemic. SMBs tend to be slower adopters of the shift to digital and e-commerce. The high cost of digitalization and difficulty in scaling down digital solutions for smaller companies are often the culprits of this digital gap.

To meet the rising need to digitize, small businesses should look into workplace training initiatives and government-based, targeted financial support. While the initial implementation of digital innovation requires time and effort, the long-term benefits tend to pay for themselves. AI and cloud-based approaches are often much cheaper than their clunky predecessors. An efficient, well-developed digital infrastructure is a key component of small business success.

D.   Lack Of Capital

Financial resources allow a business to thrive more efficiently and develop a quality product. In a classic business, small businesses need money in order to make money, and getting the ball rolling isn’t easy. Many small businesses reported that lack of funding and cash flow was their primary business challenge.

Financial planning plays a major role in maintaining funds while a small business is trying to get off the ground. SMBs should educate themselves on the basics of cash flow management and plan for unexpected scenarios. Many companies that suffered or failed during the pandemic had an underlying financial fragility that contributed to their downfall.

Small business loans, can provide affordable, accessible financing to businesses getting off the ground. Loans can be used for equipment purchases, business expansion, paying employee salaries, marketing and advertising needs, and more. Not all loan providers work with small businesses and startups, and loan terms vary widely, so be sure to read the fine print.

5.   Cross-border Payments

While many small and medium-sized businesses seek to do business in international markets, they often lack the capacity and resources to manage international transactions, leading to wasted time and money. The complexity of handling cross-border payments often stunts SMB growth. Dealing with international currencies and navigating foreign banking regulations can deter SMBs from successful global expansion. Other challenges may include cultural barriers in dealing with foreign clients and suppliers, and logistics and supply chain issues. What’s more, small business owners may not fully understand or be prepared for the costs associated with international payments. Banks often charge a premium for international transfers and exchanges, and the costs aren’t always transparent, leading to some nasty surprises for SMBs.

Savvy small businesses can alleviate potential friction in cross-border payments by using a payment platform to manage international payments and currency exchanges.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

What Gives Bitcoin Its Value?

Market forces, like Supply and Demand, influence Bitcoin’s price. The price typically decreases when there are more sellers or vice-versa.
Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital coin, which is not issued by any government or legal body, in contrast to fiat currencies like the dollar, pound and euro. To create, store and move BTC, a network of users and cryptographic protocols are required.

Investors, carry out their commercial transactions directly, as opposed to using a middleman. The peer-to-peer network removes trade restrictions and streamlines commerce. Satoshi Nakamoto first proposed the world’s first cryptocurrency in 2008, which was launched in January 2009.

The number of businesses accepting Bitcoin is growing daily, giving it a real market value. However, this virtual currency has been severely hampered by security issues and volatility.

The same market dynamics, supply and demand, that affect the price of other goods and services, also decide the value of Bitcoin. Prices will probably rise if there are more buyers than sellers or vice-versa. It`s essential to note that the price of Bitcoin is not determined by a single entity nor can it be traded in a single location. Based on supply and demand, each market or exchange sets its price.

What Factors Could Impact Bitcoin’s Price?

Various factors impacting Bitcoin’s price include the supply and demand of BTC, competition from other cryptocurrencies and news, cost of production and regulation.

1) Supply & Demand

As per this law, supply and demand market forces work together to determine the market price and the quantity of a specific commodity. For instance, the demand, for an economic good declines, as the price increases, and sellers will produce more of it or vice-versa.

An event known as Bitcoin Halving, impacts the Bitcoin’s price like the situation in which the supply of BTC decrease whereas the demand for BTC increases. As a result of the high demand, the price of BTC will move upward. 

In addition, Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto with a 21 million BTC hard cap. That said, miners will no longer receive new Bitcoin for confirming transactions once that cap has been reached. The four-year halving of block rewards might not affect the price of BTC at that point. The things that will determine Bitcoin’s value will instead be its real-life application.

2) Competition & News

BTC faces competition from altcoins like Ethereum (ETH) and coins like Terra (LUNA), making portfolio diversification appealing to investors. Any upgrades by the existing cryptocurrencies might drive BTC’s price down in contrast to a completely different scenario in which Bitcoin was the only existing digital currency. Due to media coverage, you may want to buy crypto assets with a positive outlook and ignore those with a shady future.

3) Cost of Production

Production costs for Bitcoin include infrastructural expenses, electricity charges for mining and the difficulty level of the mathematical algorithm (indirect cost). The various levels of difficulty in BTC’s algorithms can slow down or speed up the currency’s production pace, impacting Bitcoin’s supply, which, in turn, affects its price.

4) Regulation

Cryptocurrency regulations are constantly changing, from countries like El Salvador accepting it as a legal tender to China formally banning crypto transactions. The price of BTC could decrease if there is concern over a specific government’s decision against cryptocurrencies. Additionally, regulatory uncertainty will create fear among investors, dipping Bitcoin’s value even further.

Why is the Bitcoin Price so Volatile?

Uncertainty regarding the intrinsic value of Bitcoin and BTC’s future value makes it a highly volatile asset.

A decreasing amount of new BTC is created each day since a finite quantity of Bitcoin exists. To maintain a steady price, demand must match this inflation rate. The Bitcoin market is quite small compared to other industries, and media coverage alone can drive its price up or down.

For instance, news about a multinational corporation’s willingness to accept BTC will drive its value upwards or vice-versa, making Bitcoin’s price highly volatile.

Similarly, a tweet that the Bitcoin blockchain has been halted will drive its value down, followed by Bitcoin trading volume.

Since the price of BTC is not pegged to any fiat currency like the U.S. dollar or any other real-world asset; it is susceptible to value crashes. Nevertheless, an extended bull market, will appear in advance to allow investors to protect their funds. Also, Bitcoin’s complex architecture is not easy to destroy; so we can safely say… there’s BTC for a very long time.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

E-Commerce Trends In 2022…

The great commerce acceleration, embodied in the rise of the effortless economy.

46% of retailers even prioritize convenience over price when selecting a retailer.

It means that commerce comes to the consumer now, wherever they spend their time. Consumers don’t have to leave their homes anymore to purchase goods and services.

As a result, brands and retailers have moved into selling in a variety of different environments where customers spend their time in order to maintain revenues. This means reaching them via social media channels, websites, marketplaces, as well as traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

The rise of the effortless economy, though, is only one part of the great commerce acceleration. Brands have to change to stay connected in this new world with a greater, deeper investment in digital channels. We are seeing brands and retailers investing in three areas, brand building, multi-channel distribution and establishing total commerce control through operations as they seek to connect commerce channels seamlessly and simultaneously.

The Influx Of Aggregators

This time last year, there were only a mere handful of Aggregators and Private Equity Houses actively looking to acquire Amazon FBA businesses. Fast forward 12 months and there are now over 50.

The industry has quickly established itself as an extremely hot space for investment. In those 12 months, an astonishing $10bn has been raised to acquire Amazon FBA brands. Indeed, the influx of aggregators and capital into this space has been excellent news for sellers. Previously the best opportunities to exit were via FBA marketplaces where it wasn’t uncommon to see businesses selling for 2-2.5x of their annual net profit.

Now, with the rise in demand for FBA businesses amongst all the capital flooding into the industry, multiples are being driven up to an average of 4. This has transformed the way that sellers look at their FBA businesses; for where many sellers previously might have seen it as a side project or a source of supplementary income, it is now seen as a life changing exit opportunity.

Supply Chain

While the increasing demand has provided a very exciting prospect for sellers. It is not to say this year has been all fun and games for FBA business owners. Managing supply chain and logistics on Amazon has been as tough as it’s ever been. The introduction of inventory limits, the overdemand on Chinese manufacturers, the Suez Canal blockage, Brexit and The Pandemic… just to name a few, have all played their part in creating one of the most difficult environments in which to run an Amazon business.

As a result, it has become essential that Amazon sellers have bulletproof supply chain procedures in place, ensuring sophisticated inventory management systems are used, allowing extra time for orders and have third party logistics solutions in place.

As a business, we have taken this pressing external stimulus and used the opportunity to develop tailored solutions, to manage the inventory process from manufacture to storage as well as creating complex forecasting software to manage the inventory limits within Amazon effectively.

Cash Flow Is Key!

With supply chains and cash flow inextricably linked, cash flow, already a key piece in the puzzle, has elevated itself to arguably the single most important factor on the structural side of an Amazon Business.

Over the last 12 months, it has become clear that those who do not plan cash flow ahead meticulously will inevitably fail. The ability to forecast disbursements, advertising spend, cost of reorder, applicable VAT alongside all fixed costs, can be the difference between a multimillion-pound Amazon Business and a bankrupt one.

Amazon makes it particularly difficult to know how profitable an FBA business is. It is imperative that we know though; for if a business is scaling rapidly, it could in theory be profitable all year but end up with less money in the bank than when it started.

For this reason, it is vital to know how to scale a business sustainably, or at least forecast that more capital may be required, and thus make the necessary arrangements to source the finance.

This year has also been, for many, a double-edged sword. It’s been called the ‘perfect storm’ of economic pressures as various elements of the supply chain have compacted, leading to displaced shipping containers, reduced shipping container production, increased shipping costs, HGV driver shortages, and staff shortages. Both store closures and a rise in online shopping during the pandemic have inevitably led to increased demand for warehouse space, leaving many sellers in a tough situation.

The trick is to stay nimble, and work with nimble partners.

A central issue is that many traditional warehouses and fulfilment centers simply don’t have the flexibility to repurpose their space or staff to cope with peak season demand. However, a new breed of software driven fulfilment providers, like Huboo, are increasingly being utilized by retailers as they offer innovative peak season fulfilment solutions to alleviate such warehousing and staffing pressures.

Part-fulfilment through third party logistics providers is also an increasingly attractive proposition for retailers as they can rest in the knowledge that storing, picking, packing, and delivery are all taken care of in a scalable manner.

EU VAT Reboot

2021 saw the EU implement new rules for taxation of e-commerce. The EU VAT reform created new obligations for businesses selling goods to consumers as well as marketplaces facilitating these sales.

Under these changes all imports of goods to the EU are now subject to VAT, and sales within the EU are taxed in the country of customer, leading to new requirements for businesses involved in e-commerce.

The EU also introduced new tax returns for reporting sales to consumers, the One Stop Shop (OSS) and Import One Stop Shop (IOSS).

These changes could mean significant headaches, but not if you use technologies which automate everything for you, no matter where you are or where you trade.

Moving into 2022, retailers broadly need to focus on two things:

  •  How to understand customers.
    • Convenience happens throughout the entire customer journey. Retailers need to thoroughly map their customer journey, from discovery to purchase, through to delivery and returns and refunds, to understand where any friction might be. When mapping the customer journey, you must understand who your customers are and where they want to shop — where they are discovering your products and purchasing from you.
  • How to set up the back end.
    • Retailers should set up their organization with the technology that allows them to scale effectively and quickly. Retailers need to have the connected operations like inventory management and connected shipping services to allocate orders quickly and effectively in one location so you’re not logging into multiple platforms at the same time.

The customer should be getting the most personalized experience possible. There isn’t one way that works for every customer. It’s about what the customer wants at that moment. For example, for some products, a customer might want it the next day, but for other products, they are happy to wait longer.

This is true for all the components of the customer journey — it’s about what the customer wants at that moment. It’s about being multichannel not just in terms of how you sell, but in terms of how you serve the customer to give them options on the merchandise side and delivery side. The process should be centered around convenience for the customer.

Predictions for 2022

The rise of the marketplace will continue into 2022 and beyond.  All brands and retailers need to have an approach and understand how to work effectively with marketplaces. There is so much choice and consumers feel empowered on marketplaces by factors like price.

For marketplaces, the business model is compounding – the more consumers, the more sellers. DTC should still be at the core of a retailer’s strategy, but retailers also need to incorporate marketplaces into that selling strategy.

The unbundling of generalist marketplaces. For example, Amazon is a general marketplace and it’s a fantastic proposition, but the competition is coming in two areas:

Social media channels. Social channels give brands a space to present their full brand proposition and that is very compelling to engage the consumer in a different way than on Amazon.

Category-specific marketplaces will continue to rise. These marketplaces give the end consumer an even better buying experience for specific shopping categories. The primary goal of the marketplace is to win the consumer. If marketplaces win the consumer, then build the demand, then their belief is that brands and retailers will naturally know what to sell to that audience. Marketplaces will also look at ways that brands and retailers can build their own brand on the marketplace.

The Consolidation of the Exit Ecosystem

As part of any upcoming industry akin to Amazon FBA, the extent to which well capitalized firms start to move in and sweep up the best performing Amazon businesses will only increase.

One thing that we could see over the course of the next year is the “Aggregation of the aggregators”. With more and more traditional private equity firms turning to this sector, a natural progression would be to see these firms look to acquire multiple Amazon aggregators themselves rather than the FBA businesses.

With well-established processes, operational teams, and Amazon brands on their books, Aggregators provide an effective way of entering into the market without a vast array of prior knowledge on the industry. As we see the transition from solopreneurs selling on Amazon to institutional investors with teams of operational expertise, the commercialization of the exit ecosystem will mature drastically in 2022.

Geographical Expansion

Prior to 2020, the ability to sell into Europe was far easier with options such as the European Fulfilment Network (EFN) and Pan EU available from the UK itself. Since Brexit, though, both of these are no longer options, and sellers have had to ship directly to Germany and need to know how to navigate the customs and regulations required.

Therefore, over the last 18 months, most businesses in the FBA space have either receded from overseas markets or have refrained from launching there. With the reopening of EFN in January 2022 and more freight forwarders capable of shipping from the UK to the EU, the opportunity to add value by expanding geographically will have a profound impact on the industry.

Order fulfilment is going to be vital next year. The most compelling offer or bargain price points will be wasted if customers can’t get what they’ve purchased in a timely, reliable manner.

Indeed, when it comes to delivery, many retailers make the mistake of believing that speed is the most important factor when it’s actually consistency and quality that really wins the day. Our own research shows that just 14% of shoppers expect the products they order online to arrive within 48 hours – in fact, the majority of people are perfectly content with delivery times of up to three working days, as long as they don’t have to pay the costs of delivery.

For smaller retailers, the focus needs to be on reliability and quality instead of speed. Products need to show up in pristine condition and at the scheduled time a buyer is expecting them. This is particularly true of subscription orders, where customers reserve essential products for regular delivery. A failure to provide consistency for a repeat order is something that will almost certainly result in a lost customer.

The other hot trend we see appearing in 2022 is customer experience, and most importantly the experience not ending with the product purchase. The savviest retailers know that good customer experience is a journey. It lasts all the way from when a potential customer first hears about your business to when they receive their order, beautifully packed (and on time) to their doorstep.

Key to providing a good customer experience once they hit that ‘buy’ button is ensuring a clear and transparent view of where a product is, and when it’s expected to arrive. We’re finding that visibility matters more and more to customers. The ability to track an item throughout the fulfilment process provides reassurance that it’s coming and allows customers to make sure they’re at home when it arrives

Looking ahead to 2022, we are expecting the issues our clients have encountered this year to ease, allowing for a less challenging time for eCommerce sellers.

With that said, it is clear to see that Amazon and other eCommerce marketplace platforms are only going to clamp down harder on certain rules to ensure a safer more regulated space for their consumers. They are trying to remove illegitimate, low effort parties who are engaging in review manipulation, and ranking manipulation via some form of black hat strategies.

These methods are all causing third party sellers to really struggle, and we are seeing that only legitimate businesses with strong brands are the ones winning, using all of the Amazon features, like Brand Registry, available to them.

If you’re not using some of these tools, you’re going to be left behind – especially if you’re looking to get bought by an Aggregator, which is another growing trend recently. When aggregators look at scalable partners and profitable eCommerce sellers, they want an attractive looking brand that incorporates all the best practices to ensure success. So, if you’re hoping to sell your business for a big multiplier, these are some of the things you’ll need to consider.

Another big trend we’ve seen emerge and grow in the past year is social commerce (the process of purchasing directly from social media) and we expect this to really take off even further in the new year. Leading this trend are platforms like Instagram, and now TikTok, with others sure to catch up and soon implement their own as they see the opportunity in this rising market.

E-commerce is evolving every day. The number of people transacting online is more than 2 Billion. In the United States, Amazon has taken the pole position and led the revolution. We expect at least 100 marketplaces like Amazon across the world doing billions of transactions every day.

The competition intensity has grown in most of the categories and third-party sellers need to be really innovative to make their brand out and win the game. By utilising the data driven technologies, deeply analysing the customer behaviors, you can grab the opportunity to become the best seller.

Holiday Season

We have already seen the customer buying patterns changing over the past year. Customers were conservative in terms of spending till Q2 2021. The scenario now has changed, as consumer spending is on the rise with a strong base of an incremental $2.5 trillion, thereby, giving them massive spending power for online retail purchases.

Experts predict that the major theme this year is going to be Amazon advertising and we are really looking forward to the CPC rates. Categories like H&H, Toys, Personal care are soon to witness a great escalation in their sales volume with over 70% increase in CPC rates. Therefore, to further boost these sales and improve listing visibility, sellers need to leverage the power of Amazon sponsored ads.

SellerApp recommends focusing on highly-targeted Advertising automation and business monitoring, especially during the holidays.

2022 is set to be a year of further changes. These could range from changes to local filing deadlines and thresholds through to more specific regulations relating to cross border trade between specific countries.

It is now clear that keeping up with all of these new requirements has become an onerous if not impossible task for small and medium sized businesses to keep up with and ensure compliance in every territory in which they trade using manual processes.

That’s why it is essential to get your business’ VAT and payments right as even small mistakes can lead to large financial consequences.

We believe the answer to these challenges is technology. As tax authorities become more focused on making tax digital, it is essential that international traders have access to simple to use platforms which can automate compliance and reporting processes which can free time up to focusing on their businesses allowing them to plan, react and adjust their activities to comply.

What will brands need to offer in 2022 to be successful?

  • Discovery and sales. Building trust with consumers through brand consistency and personalization should be key. Retailers will need the technology that helps create great content that is optimized for different selling environments to build a consistent branding experience. After all, what would the brand experience feel like if it’s the same on different channels?
  • Buy Now, Pay later. Paying up front for products, especially in today’s climate where money may be tight, can raise the barrier to entry for consumers to access products. They may not want to put up all the money in one go and would prefer to defer some payments.
  • Fulfilment operations. It’s important for retailers to get the right technology in place to optimize how they hold inventory. According to Linnworks’ research, 95% of customers expect fulfillment to work around them, be that delivery or click and collect (buy online, pay in-store). Brands will need to operate across many different locations and be able to store inventory as close to the customer as possible. That could be in-store or in a warehouse for direct delivery.
  • Sustainability and the environment. There will be a lot of innovation around fulfillment and how it’s done in a way that satisfies consumer expectations of being environmentally aware — like green packaging and delivery services.

The future of the in-store experience

The physical retail store has a place in the future, but it will be different. The store will not be where inventory is held in a traditional sense, where all the stock is in store and where the customer gets the product. Instead, in-store retail will be much more centred around the brand experience, customer engagement, and relationship building.

That’s why DTC brands that grew online are moving toward brick-and-mortar stores in a local town or in a city because they want to be closer to their customers. The opportunity with brick and mortar is for customers to get more experience with the brand and understand the brand’s story.

That’s why the in-store experience will be more about the brand as opposed to the access of inventory. The depth and breadth of inventory will live in different warehouse locations and delivery networks, which will mean customers can get products quickly following the in-store experience.

The growth of online shopping has undoubtedly exploded and is not expected to cease anytime soon. As a result, most retailers today have embraced digitization and are running e-Commerce stores alongside their brick-and-mortar stores. As per the State of Consumer Behaviour 2021 reports, 90% of consumers will return to your store if they have a positive experience.

Hence, retailers will need to rejuvenate their strategies to preserve their justification for existence. They need to be innovative and provide customers with exceptional experiences. As a retailer, you can no longer afford to make decisions based on gut instincts – we are living in the era of data-driven decision-making.

Luckily, thanks to the huge volume of data points your customers’ supply on the web every single day, technology can help you know them even better and implement those recommendations into your business plan.

Categories like H&H, toys, and personal care are soon to witness a great escalation in their sales volume with over 70% reduction in churn rates. Therefore, to further boost these sales and secure the future of retail businesses, retailers need to incorporate hyper-personalization in their strategies and implement loyalty programs for customer retention.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Identify Relevant Platforms…

Identifying which Social Media Platforms are used by your customers can, give you a better understanding as to which platforms would work best for your Social Commerce Strategy.

While Facebook is currently the largest Social Commerce Platform, with Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok following close behind, you’re still going to want to take advantage of the platforms used most by your customers.

Take advantage of available data
Research and use the available consumer data from Social Media Platforms, including the number of likes, shares, session duration, clicks and more.

Boost Engagement on Your Social Media Pages
You want to make sure your Social Commerce Posts are being seen, so you first need to boost your Social Media Pages to engage more customers with your business.

Encourage your followers to become more involved with your brand via surveys, exclusive discounts to those who like, share or comment, tagging followers or brands you partner with, and more.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Ready To Incorporate Social Commerce Into Your Business Strategy?

Research Your Customer

*You need to know what your customers need and where they are.
*What channels are they using? *Where and how are they finding you?
*What apps or other shopping services are they using?
*What products are they searching for?
You can know this by analyzing past sales and Social Media Marketing you’ve done or even by surveying your customers.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Bringing Social Commerce To Your Business Strategy…

There are a lot of benefits to bringing Social Commerce into your Business Strategy. Since this trend is growing, getting on the Social Commerce bandwagon now can help you grow your business well into the future.

Benefits of Incorporating Social Commerce Into Your Business Strategy:

*Marketing channel diversification.
*Using influencer marketing and brand partnerships.
*Streamlined purchasing process.
*Personalized shopping experience.
*The ability to make informed marketing decisions based on data.
*New ways to grow your e-mail subscription list.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

What is Social Commerce?

As opposed to Social Media Marketing, which redirects a user to a store’s webpage, Social Commerce allows shoppers to make purchases directly through the Social Media Platform or via a link that brings them to a product page.

It differs from traditional eCommerce in how consumers access products. Instead of browsing a store’s product catalogue on a website, Social Commerce uses Social Media Ads to target users for a specific product, which they can purchase directly on the platform.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Social Commerce As Your eCommerce Strategy…

Social Media Platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are no longer just a way to post updates and share pictures. Now, they are a way to interact with brands and access products and services quickly and conveniently.

Social Commerce is a subset of eCommerce, in which online merchants sell products directly to consumers via social media platforms. It’s a booming sales channel that’s forecasted to double its revenues in the US between 2021 and 2025, with the average user spending more and more with each purchase. Meanwhile, China saw $351 billion in sales via Social Media last year.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Consumer Trends To Watch Out For Over The Holidays…

The winter holidays will be here in a blink of an eye, which is why consumers around the world are already beginning to compile their holiday wish list.

Thanks to the success of the vaccine rollout in many parts of the world earlier this year, 2021’s holiday shopping season is set to be the biggest yet. In fact, U.S. holiday retail sales are predicted to reach over a whopping $1 trillion, with e-Commerce accounting for close to 19% of all holiday sales.

A recent study revealed that out of 23,000 American consumers surveyed, 41% plan to shop online over the holidays in order to avoid crowds and exposure to COVID-19, proving that the pandemic is still impacting the way people shop.

While nationwide lockdowns may have been lifted, the spread of COVID-19 is certainly not stable in all parts of the country, which is having consumers hesitant about in-store shopping. In locations where the risk of exposure is very high, consumers will lean heavily on e-Commerce thanks to its convenience, and, of course, safety. 

Consumers Are Turning Into Big Spenders

The pandemic may have had a huge impact on American household income, especially those who were furloughed during the peak of the spread, but close to 18 months later, shoppers still plan on spending more.

A recent study showed that overall, 15% of shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season compared to last year, and 26% of Gen Z consumers have larger budgets, and half of them have more people to shop for. In fact, those who plan to spend more this year, are expecting to spend between $600-$1200.

Which categories will consumers be spending on the most?

  • Apparel – 31%
  • Electronics – 21%
  • Toys & Video Games – 19%
  • Household Items – 11%

Shopping Will Start Early

Like every year, consumers will start shopping early. Last year, shoppers intended to shop early to avoid both crowds and items being out of stock, so similar trends are expected this year. According to Shopkick, 22% of consumers plan to shop even earlier than last year.

When does the majority of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping?

  • Between Black Friday & Cyber Monday – 27%
  • Before Thanksgiving – 25%
  • Black Friday – 15%
  • Before Halloween – 10%

Shoppers aren’t the only ones that should plan early, online sellers must be ahead of the game in order to stay afloat during the busy holiday rush. To meet early demand, e-Sellers should consider launching holiday promotions earlier than usual, improve and enhance their checkout experience and offer bigger discounts.

As an e-Commerce businesses like yours compete for consumers’ attention during the peak shopping season, a recent survey of 9,000 global video viewers found that as people increase their away-from-home activities and go on vacation, they still spend more time watching video content.

In addition, the survey found that consumers are incredibly receptive to ads when they’re watching videos which can make them eager to search for and purchase products they’ve seen. In fact, nearly 6 in 10 survey respondents said they research the products or services they saw in an ad and more than half go on to purchase them.

A recent poll by Facebook found that half of all shoppers experience difficulty figuring out what gifts to buy, which suggests a real need for social discovery aids such as gift guides. Today, more and more consumers are turning to social apps for gift inspiration and recommendations.

Holiday gift guides can offer a great solution to these types of shoppers as it inspires and narrows down the choice, which then helps the shopper make a purchase faster, ultimately boosting your store’s conversion.

In addition, holiday gift guides help introduce new trends or highlight best-selling products by putting everything in one place, providing a smoother shopping experience for your customers.

In addition to gift guides, online shoppers are also influenced by:

  • Requests from children and family members (59%)
  • Rewards (39%)
  • Weekly News Letters (30%)
  • Word of Mouth (21%)
  • Digital Advertising (20%)

Perks Will Be A Big Deal

Holiday e-Commerce isn’t solely about the biggest and best deals, but more about the benefits. According to Shopkick, here are the top online perks your consumers are looking for, so be ready to offer them.

  • Free shipping and returns – 94%
  • Fast delivery time – 60%
  • Flexible return policy – 31%
  • Buy now, pay later options – 19%

The 2021 holiday season is going to be a big one, and some consumer behaviors will be significantly different from last year, but a few things remain the same: shoppers will start their spending early, they’ll want to see even better deals as they have higher budgets, and they’re going to want to be able to easily make a purchase on social apps with the help of discovery aids.

As an online seller, it is imperative that you start planning your marketing campaigns early and order your inventory in time. With 97 days until Christmas, now is the time to get the ball rolling.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Seal The Deal With Freelance Clients!

Getting the best results, on time and at a reasonable price, is what clients searching for freelancers expect.

For many clients, hiring a freelancer can be something that’s completely foreign to them so there’s certainly a lot of hesitation involved when seeking remote talent. Will you be able to deliver their project in time and on their ideal budget? Those are some factors that can make your client step back.

Clients don’t actually know how to hire you, as in they’re not always aware of the skills that are required to complete the job and most likely, they don’t know the average price of the project. That’s where you can come in and own the engagement and take the lead on the project and you can do so by showing off your value.

Clients don’t want to have to manage you, because that’s something they can have an agency do for them. They want you to be independent and deliver your offer the way you proposed to them.

What you need to do is make it super easy for them to find you and your qualifications. Have some sort of form for clients to choose which offering they want to buy either on your website or social media profile and get them to buy your services and include a link in your website or social media so they can contact you right away!

Make sure to prepare ahead of time a list of really good questions for them… why do they need you and what are their alternatives. Send over an invoice template or a full project proposal/statement of work that clearly states all the things you can deliver to your client; making it super easy for them to know what they are buying from you, conduct a great call with excellent questions, and then immediately follow up with either an invoice or a proposal.

If you freelance for clients overseas and need a quick and secure way to receive your freelance payments, you can always set up your free account with Fiverr!

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Scaling Your Freelance Business…

While there are numerous ways to be a freelancer, whether it be full or part-time, if you want to be able to control the freedom and flexibility of your business, and earn six or more figures a year, then you must think about scalability.

Scale Your Business…

Scaling your business means that you can allow yourself to create a financial safety net for yourself and that the money that you need, you have the channels for without having to work 100 hours a week, creating more flexibility and control in your career.

Scaling your business doesn’t mean you need to work overtime or lose sleep to achieve your goals or see results. In fact, if you just end up working until you’re sleep-deprived you’re going to be doing the opposite and you could see a negative impact.

You may think you need extra hands on deck, but when trying to scale your business in the beginning, don’t just hire a bunch of employees for the sake of hiring.

Instead, it’s important to know that the best and most successful freelance businesses have three things: a great network, a strong product, and a strong process.

Scale Your Business Efficiently

1. Build Your Network

Make sure you have people in your network that do the same thing you do, but perhaps at a cheaper price, someone who adds to your product and has an advanced skill set. Think of having around 20-50 freelancers who meet this criteria.

2. Quantify Your Product

Determine what you do, what’s the benefit or value of your product, the cost and how long it will take to make progress. Then, create your low, medium and high offerings, so you’re always prepared to offer something to a potential client.

3. Create a Standard Proposal Document

Whenever you gain a new client, instead of telling them that you’ll forward over a proposal the next day, you should always have one handy. What you should do is edit about 20% of your proposal and e-mail it to them at that same moment.

So, how do the best freelancers gain control of their career and scale their business? As mentioned above, they have a strong network of freelancers, a strong product, and a strong process. Now it’s your turn to go out there, build your network, determine your levels of offerings, and standardize your offering process.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

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Conversion Booster Strategy #2: Popular Post Box Placement

When you start seeing lots of traffic on your site, seeing the upward tilting graph on your Google Analytics makes you feel great and you start thinking that your site has finally started doing really well. No doubt the site has started doing really well but if you dig deeper in your analytics you’ll find something different. You’ll find that the increase in traffic is not evenly distributed.

Actually, it’s not the complete site that’s started doing well but some of our best written content. No matter if your site is new or old, go and look at your analytics, you’ll find that most of the traffic on your site is coming to the best of your content. It’s like the 80/20 principle.

Most of the traffic comes to some selected posts that are popular, ranked higher on search engines or linked to by other high traffic website. Now, let me get to the point. The reason I’m talking about this is these posts are your gold mines for conversions.

If you place the same conversion box (a call­-to-­action or an e-mail optin box) under all your posts you’ll not get good, targeted conversion as I talked about in strategy #1. But when you have WP Optin Boxes Pro with you, you can create multiple highly targeted boxes on specific posts of your site.

So this strategy if pretty straight forward…

  1. Browse through your analytics account and find the performing posts/pages on your blog.
  2. Create individual conversion boxes for all those posts and pages with copies that are in perfect tune with their content. You can find an example of this under this page and strategy #1’s page.
  3. After creating the conversion boxes you can easily place them under their respective posts using a simple shortcode provided by the plugin or using the WP Optin Boxes Pro metabox under the posts.
  4. Let the boxes sit there for a few days to let the statistics gather. To further pump this up, you can also create A/B tests (using one­click A/B Testing option under the boxes) for the boxes and test which version works the best. And slowly and steadily find the best combination of post and box copy to rack in the highest possible conversion for that box.
    • You see the possibilities here: Can you imagine how far you can take this and really boost the conversion rate making the most out of each piece of content on your site? Now move to the other posts and pages and repeat the process until you have with you the best possible optimised combinations of all the posts/pages and conversion boxes on your site. I call this Extreme Conversion Optimization!

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Conversion Booster Strategy #1: Wise Box Placement

Most people use just one version of call­-to-­action or e-mail optin box (we call them conversion boxes) under all the posts of their blog. But this affects the conversion rate the most, as the copy written in the box does not always match the content written in the post above.

So, in this strategy we take you through our time tested conversion booster strategy where we create different e-mail optin or call to action boxes for posts of different categories, having box copies related to those respective categories.

This helps us laser targeting users according to their interests on the blog and literally boosting the conversion by 200­-250%.

Following is the quick step­by­step guide on boosting your conversion rate on your WordPress blog using our e-mail optin WordPress plugin :
WP Optin Boxes Pro.

  1. Install the plugin.
  2. Now, start with creating a conversion box with your desired copy (headline, content, image, button color etc). For this strategy, create different copies of boxes for posts of different categories on your blog.For example, if you have a Facebook PPC category and a Google Adwords PPC category on your blog, create two different boxes with copy related to the respective category topics.
  3. Say for Facebook PPC category the box may say Liked This Facebook PPC Strategy? Subscribe Today For More Facebook Stuff and Google Adwords Stuff.
  4. You can easily do this with WP Optin Boxes. Create a box for Facebook PPCcategory and on it’s Conversion Box Created Successfully!popup select Facebook PPC in Category Wise Placement option.
  5. Now duplicate this box using the Options menu on the dashboard. We want to duplicate this box to create a similar box for Google Analytics PPC category. Duplicating makes our lives easier as then we can just change the box headline and content to that of Google Analytics PPC category and keep rest of the settings intact.
  6. Now edit the new duplicated box. Change the copy on Customize Box page, change name of the box on Box Settings page and at last change the placement option on it’s Conversion Box Created Successfully! popup to Google Adwords PPC in Category Wise Placement option.
    • What we did so far: we created two different conversion boxes that we placed under posts of two respective categories.You can create as many box variants as you want depending upon the number of categories on your site.
  7. Now let the plugin do its work. Wait for about a week or so for the plugin to gather the conversion stats for the boxes under the selected categories.
  8. After a week, go back to the plugin’s main page and see the conversion stats of the boxes you create. See how well the boxes performed.These stats will help you figure out which boxes are converting the best and for which categories.
  9. Tweak the copy of the boxes which are not converting well and keep on improving their copies and tracking the results further until you find the best converting conversion box for each category on your blog.
  10. NOTE: When you use just one version of conversion box under all post throughout your blog, you loose out on the conversions that you can get just by creating individual CTAs/E-Mail Optin boxes according to the content of posts of different categories. When the copy of your conversion boxes is in sync with the content visitors read, they are more likely to convert! So, using this strategy you can boost your conversion rate while having the same traffic as before. Same Traffic-More Conversions.
    • You see the possibility here:​ if you use this strategy and combine it with WP Optin Boxes’s advanced A/B testing functionality, it’s attention grabbing box setting and tracking capabilities, how far you can optimize the conversions on your blog.

*Now to further pump your conversions up, I’m also sharing with you my strategy #2 that’ll literally open the door for floods of conversions on your blog.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Start Selling On E-Bay!

The Basics for Selling on E-Bay

Selling Options

You have two options when selling on eBay:

  • Online auction – Works by setting a reserve price for a sale, which is the lowest amount you’ll accept, and an end date. Buyers make an offer, just like at an in-person auction, with the highest bidder purchasing your product.
  • Buy it now – Fixed-price selling; you set a price and shoppers pay. It’s that simple.

E-Bay Seller Fees

E-Bay seller fees can be broadly broken down as follows. For a detailed description of the exact fees for individual items, check out eBay’s own selling fees guide.

Insertion Fees

Whenever you list a product for sale, you pay an insertion fee. But you get 200 free listings each month (more if you have an eBay store). Insertion fees are non-refundable, even if your item doesn’t sell. For most items, you’ll pay $0.35 per listing. If you set up a “Good ‘Til Cancelled” listing, that means that your listing will automatically be reposted each month, and it counts towards your free insertions.

Final Value Fees

This is a percentage of the final amount that you make on each sale, including shipping costs. For most items, you’ll pay 12.35% of your final total. Here are the exceptions:

Books, DVDs and movies, music14.35%
Some business and industrial categories4.35%
Guitars and basses5.85%
Some clothing, shoes, and accessories categories0% if sold for over $100; 12.35% if sold for under $100

E-Bay Store Fees

If you’re serious about selling on e-Bay as a business, you might want to set up an e-Bay store. You’ll pay a monthly subscription fee, and in exchange, you’ll get:

  • Branding on your e-Bay store
  • More zero insertion fees each month
  • Discounted final value fees

There are 5 store subscription levels:

Store typeMonthly renewalAnnual renewal
Starter$7.95$4.95
Basic$27.95$21.95
Premium$74.95$59.95
Anchor$349.95$299.95
EnterpriseN/A$2999.95

Ad Fees

There are a few ways to advertise your listings, each one with a different fee. Fees begin at around $0.10 per listing, per month, depending on product category, selling price, and type of upgrade. The average item will cost $1 to upgrade for 1-3 days.

What Can You Sell on E-Bay?

E-Bay has a set of rules governing what can and can’t be sold on their platform. Some of the forbidden items include:

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Counterfeit items
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Any material relating to illegal activities
  • Any kind of lottery, mystery product, or other chance items
  • Contact lenses
  • Contracts

Other items are restricted. For example, only authorized vendors can sell alcohol, while there are rules for the types of event tickets that can be sold. e-Bay follows local sales laws, so some items can be sold in one country but are prohibited in another country. Always check the rules before placing an item for sale in a new region.

Now let’s talk about what you can sell on e-Bay. The choice is broad, from garden equipment to new and second-hand clothing to homemade art. Some of the most popular categories are:

  • Second-hand items, including vintage clothing and music, and antique furniture.
  • Collectibles, like stamps and coins, Matchbox cars, and classic electrical items, like old Game Boys.
  • Clothing is always popular. People come to e-Bay both for vintage items and for new, brand-name goods.

What Are the Different Seller Levels on E-Bay?

After you start selling on e-Bay, you’ll be placed in one of the following categories:

  • Below Standard – Indicates that you’re not meeting the minimum customer service requirements.
  • Above Standard – Indicates that you’re meeting the minimum customer service requirements.
  • Top Rated – Indicates you’re providing an exceptional level of customer service and are eligible for Top Rated Plus listing benefits, including a 10% discount on standard final value fees.

To qualify as Top Rated, you need:

  • An e-Bay account that’s been active for at least 90 days.
  • To comply with all e-Bay’s selling policies.
  • At least 100 transactions and $1,000 in sales with US buyers in the last 12 months.
  • To stay below a minimum transaction defect rate, late shipment rate, and cases closed without seller resolution rate.

What are PowerSellers?

PowerSellers are some of the most successful e-Bay sellers, with the highest rated customer satisfaction scores.

To become a PowerSeller, you must:

  • Have kept your e-Bay account in good standing and active for at least 90 days.
  • Follow all of e-Bay’s policies.
  • Keep your positive feedback score at 98% or above.
  • Completed at least 100 transactions and $3,000 in sales with US buyers in the past 12 months.

As a PowerSeller, you’ll get extra help from e-Bay and more tools to grow your business, including:

  • Shipping discounts from UPS.
  • Private community forums to share tactics.
  • Marketing and selling tools.
  • VIP e-Bay customer service.
  • Group health insurance.
  • Marketing templates.
  • Priority help from e-Bay billing and complaints departments.

Note that PowerSeller has been discontinued since July 20, 2021.

Finding the Right Products to Sell on E-Bay

There’s a lot of competition for the most popular products on e-Bay, which makes it quite difficult to turn a profit. e-Bay selling tips recommend finding an untapped niche, like popular products which aren’t being sold in a particular area, or new products which are about to trend.

When you’re thinking about what to sell on eBay, keep these points in mind:

  • E-Bay shoppers are usually looking for a bargain, so pricing is very, very important.
  • Many people come to e-Bay because they can’t find certain products locally.
  • Bundled items are very popular, such as those related to arts and crafts or baby clothes.
  • E-Bay shoppers are often willing to take a chance, so you can sell job lots like old video cassettes, video game cartridges, or vinyl records, without needing to list each one separately.

There are two main options for selling products on E-Bay:

  • Sell new items, either through dropshipping or by ordering to a warehouse or your home, and then repackaging and shipping yourself.
  • Selling 2nd hand products from yard sales, thrift stores, and antiques stores that you can sell for more on e-Bay.

Selling New Items

The first option – to sell new items – is a classic e-Commerce business model. Use product research tools like e-Bay’s own trending items tool or Google Trends to see what’s popular in different regions.

You can also search eBay itself for specific items, and then look to see how many listings were sold or completed within the last 90 days. Divide the number of sold or completed listings by the number of active listings to get the sell-through number.

For example, if there are 100 active listings for stress relief balls, and 70 Sold or Completed listings, your calculation should be 70 / 100 = 70, which gives you a 70% sell-through number. Items with a sell-through number of 50% or more sell quickly, which means demand is high.

Selling 2nd Hand Products

If you’re wondering what to sell on e-Bay and you prefer to sell more unusual items, you can explore thrift stores and yard sales in your area. You can use Estatesales.net or Garagesalefinder.com to look for nearby yard sales, or ask neighbors if you can look in their attic.

The best tool for this purpose is the e-Bay app itself, so download it to your phone. When you find something interesting, scan the barcode or take a photo of the item, and then the eBay app will show its current listings.

That way, you can quickly discover if the abandoned guitar that’s going for $20 in the thrift store is really a rare item selling for over $100 on eBay. Make sure to check the Sold and Completed listings to see how much these items really sell for and not just what hopeful vendors are asking.

Managing E-Bay Product Listings

Your product listings are key to selling successfully on e-Bay. Product listings are how customers find your products and can often go a long way towards convincing them to buy at your store.

When creating your product listings, be sure to include:

  • The right keywords for each item. Consumers use keywords to search for items, so make sure to cover all the ones that are relevant for your product.
  • High quality product photos that show the item from every angle.
  • Detailed and honest descriptions of the product condition.
  • Payment options, like which payment methods you’ll accept and whether the customer can Pay on Pickup.
  • A detailed explanation of your return policy.
  • Shipping policies, including the delivery services you offer and how long it will take for a purchase to ship.

If you’re unsure of how to word your listing, you can find a similar product on e-Bay and click “Sell One Like This.” This creates an automated copy of the other listing.

But don’t post it as is! Change the wording so that you aren’t using a duplicate of someone else’s post. You should also never use someone else’s product photos and should check that the condition description and weight and size measurements are accurate for your item.

Shipping Products Sold on E-Bay

Shipping methods for the products you sell on e-Bay is entirely up to you; e-Bay doesn’t get involved in shipping. You can send items through the regular postal services or use delivery services, such as UPS and FedEx.

Whatever your method, you’ll need to:

  • Package items securely. You don’t want your goods to arrive damaged.
  • Print a shipping label that includes:
    • The customer’s name and full address
    • Tracking details if relevant
    • Product ID
  • Mark your order as shipped on e-Bay.

You can make everything easier by purchasing shipping labels through the eBay system. You just need to enter the weight and size of your package and print the label. Unless your items are low-cost, it’s best to use tracked delivery so that you and your customers can monitor package location.

Scaling Up Your E-Bay Business

There is no quick and easy way to scale up your e-Bay business. That said, the following tips can help you plan your expansion while helping to ensure your store’s long-term survival.

  1. Start slow – E-Bay puts limitations on new sellers. You can only list 10 items a month and can’t use eBay’s bulk listing tools for 90 days after your first sale and you have at least 10 positive reviews. Additionally, there are restrictions to how many items you can list when you enter a new category.
  2. Build a positive feedback score – E-Bay shoppers place a lot of value on your feedback score, making it critical that it’s above 90%. It’s best to begin by selling a few small, inexpensive items to build positive ratings. People are unlikely to buy anything expensive from a new seller who doesn’t have much feedback.
  3. Focus on customer service – Good customer service is crucial. Respond quickly to customer questions and complaints, as slow replies will likely affect your ratings. If a customer opens a dispute, it’s not the end of the world; you just need to respond to their complaints and make sure to resolve it satisfactorily.
  4. Enhance your listings – Good listings drive eBay sales. It’s worth it to invest in a good quality digital camera if your phone camera isn’t very good. Customers are also more likely to shop with you if you give a lot of information about the product, including accurate measurements and good descriptions.
  5. Speed up your shipping – Everyone wants their products yesterday, so fast shipping can be a good way to beat your competition. Overnight shipping is very popular, but don’t offer it unless you know that you can deliver on time. Customers are much more annoyed when products arrive late than if they expect to have to wait a while.

⭐To learn more on how to sell on E-Bay, check out our FAQs below.

FAQs

How should I package my E-Bay items?

Make sure that your items are well protected. If you’re sending anything fragile, use a padded envelope and/or plenty of packing materials inside a strong box.

What does E-Bay do to protect sellers?

Sellers appreciate e-Bay’s strong seller policies, which include protection against abusive buyers, help mediating buyer disputes, protection from losing money through chargebacks, and a commitment not to make any changes to the terms for sellers’ listings.

Which is better, Auction or Buy it Now?

It depends on what kind of items you’re selling. Rare or unusual items are best sold using the auction format, because passionate collectors and fans will drive up the price by bidding against each other. But new items are best sold for a fixed price because consumers don’t expect to have to bid for them and usually won’t be willing to wait until your auction ends.

How long should I give for returns?

E-Bay allows sellers to choose between 5 returns policies:

  • No returns
  • 30-day buyer-paid returns
  • 30-day free returns
  • 60-day buyer-paid returns
  • 60-day free returns

Customers always love a long returns window, but it might not work out for you to offer 60-day returns on a regular basis. 30-day returns are typical on e-Bay, but if you’re selling overseas, bear in mind that it might take a couple of weeks for return items to reach you.

Some countries have statutory rules for returns, like the UK where customers have a 14-day return window for anything they buy from a trader, so make sure you comply with local laws.

Can I sell items for local pickup?

Yes. Just choose “local pickup” as an option in the shipping details when you create your listing. When the customer pays for the item, e-Bay sends them a QR code and a 6-digit code. When they arrive to pick up the item, just scan the QR code or enter the number code into your e-Bay app to confirm delivery.

Can I sell in other countries?

Yes, you can use your e-Bay account to sell in any country that e-Bay serves, without needing to add more accounts. When you create a listing, just choose which countries you’ll ship to in the “ship internationally” section.

E-Bay has a Global Shipping Program which handles sales tax and import/export fees on your behalf. Just remember to adjust shipping costs for overseas shipping.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

How To Monetize Your Blog…

When To Start?

Perhaps your blog just started out as a passion project, and now you’re wondering whether you can start making money from it? Maybe your small business or startup already has a blog, and you want to transform it into a steady revenue stream? Or, perhaps you’re looking for a new side hustle, and you’re considering starting your own blog from scratch?

Whatever your reasons, it’s always a good time to monetize your blog. There’s nothing to wait for; there isn’t a set milestone, time, or set number of page views you need to achieve before you get monetizing. 

That said, you’ll find it much easier when you start generating a steady flow of traffic. You don’t need hundreds and thousands of visitors each month, but 1,000 should be enough to work with. 

The same goes for having an email list (even a small one), so if you haven’t started capturing your visitor’s names and email addresses, now’s the time to start. Interestingly, those generating over $50,000 a year from their blogs are more than doubly likely to focus on growing their email subscribers (in comparison to lower-income bloggers). So, take the lead from the pros and turn your attention to email marketing. 

Best Practices

If you’re new to content marketing, and this is your first time launching a blog, bear these best practices in mind:

Pick A Niche

Pick a niche for your new blog and adhere to it. Almost three-quarters of pro bloggers tailor their content to meet a particular group of people’s needs and interests. By portraying yourself as a ‘specialist’ rather than a ‘generalist,’ you make it much easier to establish yourself as an authority.

To build enough trust for people to purchase from you, it’s imperative to demonstrate valuable expertise in your field. This means establishing credibility by showing you know what you’re talking about.

As you go about picking your niche, be aware that some are more lucrative than others. If your blog’s sole purpose is to generate a full-time income, then selecting a niche that pays well goes without saying. For instance, it’s unlikely to be lots of money in writing about obscure music genres. Whereas a blog about business practices could be far more profitable. 

Conduct Market Research

Before committing to a niche, do some market research to assess its profitability. Head to Google Trends and plug in niche-related keywords. 

So, let’s say you’re interested in photography. You could type in things like ‘photography,’ ‘how to take better photos,’ ‘the best cameras to buy,’ and so on. The graphs generated by Google Trends will give a more accurate feel for how many people are interested in the subject matter. You’ll also see at a glance whether the topic is rising, declining, or plateauing in popularity. 

Needless to say, you’ll want to avoid topics dropping in interest. See whether over the last five years the niche has shown a steady increase or plateaus with a constant stream of interest. These topics tend to be the most stable niches to opt for. 

You’ll also want to see whether other businesses are purchasing ad space for keywords pertaining to your niche. You can check this by logging into your Google Ads account and using Google’s keyword planner. This is a surefire indicator that the sector you’re considering is a profitable one. 

We caveat everything above by saying: although it’s essential to pick a profitable niche, it’s equally important to select a niche you’re interested in. Part of the beauty of kickstarting a blog is that it’s an enjoyable process. However, over the long haul, the excitement only continues if you’re interested in what you’re writing about. 

Add Value

Every blog post you publish must provide value. This means writing and/or shooting high-quality, authoritative, and engaging content for your readership to consume. 

Educating your audience is the most effective way of adding value. The internet is a vast pool of information and high-quality content for you to take inspiration from. Use this to fuel your own work to create content that actually helps people. Always go back to your draft and assess whether your target audience has all the info they need to apply whatever you’re talking about to their own situation. If the answer’s yes, there’s a good chance you’re providing value.  

Whether it’s a step by step tutorial, a live Q&A which you later post on your blog, or an entertaining video, there are tons of ways to provide valuable content.

Understanding Monetization Strategies

On a broader level, there are two blog monetization strategies you could adopt. Which you use and whether you apply a mixture of the both comes down to your brand image and niche. 

They are:

*Selling high volumes of low-value products 

*Selling low volumes of high-value products/service – for example, one-on-one tuition

Whatever you opt for, it’s imperative you know your worth. Do some research into the market rates for the kinds of products and/or services you’re selling, and make sure you match the going rates.

If you’re predominantly selling a service, research the hourly / per-word / per-project basis experts in your niche are charging. Then, Generating Revenue

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the specific revenue-generating strategies you can adopt:

Start Selling Your Own Physical Products

Almost half of successful bloggers sell their own products or services (compared to just 8% of lower-income bloggers). So, do you make and sell your own physical products? Whether it’s baking cakes, knitting sweaters, or handmade greetings cards, whatever you’re creating – a blog is the perfect starting point for marketing and selling your merchandise. 

If you haven’t already, over time, you’ll build a loyal following and develop a narrative about how you make your products. This works wonders for generating a closer connection with your audience and scoring more sales.

Pro Tip:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling physical, digital, or affiliate products; always round off your blog posts with a strong call to action, directing customers to where they can purchase your products or find out more information.

E-Books

Perhaps you don’t have your own physical products to sell? If so, why not write an eBook on a topic relating to your blog’s niche? 

You could easily leverage existing blog subscribers and your email list to promote your eBook. You could even get your readership involved by reaching out to them and asking which topics they’d like you to write about. This is great for building a stronger rapport with your audience. Plus, you’ll know from the get-go that there’s a market for your eBook – win-win!  

One of the best things about writing eBooks is that they’re relatively easy to create. You just launch a Word Doc, write your content, convert it into a PDF, and create an attractive book cover using free graphic design software like Canva. It honestly couldn’t be simpler.

Plus, eBooks are usually sold as low-ticket items, making them affordable enough for most visitors to purchase. This makes them the perfect gateway product for building trust. They’re a low-risk option for customers who are on the fence about your higher ticket items. If they like what they get, there’s a better chance they’ll invest in more expensive products/services later down the line. 

That said, if the thought of writing your own eBook is too daunting, consider hiring a professional blogger from a freelancing platform like Fiverr to ghostwrite it for you. 

Pro Tip:

While growing your new blog, you should also start building your social media presence – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. This is another excellent avenue for driving laser targeted traffic to your site, increasing the likelihood of sales. 

Start Selling Online Courses

Or, you could ramp things up a level by creating and selling online courses. E-learning has never been so popular; in fact, the sector’s predicted to reach approximately $325 billion by 2025. So, now’s the right time to capitalize on this growing market. 

If you’re unsure what topic to base your online course on, identify your audience’s needs. You can do this either indirectly (competitor research) or directly (just ask your audience!)

Pro Tip: 

To enhance the sense of community surrounding your course, create a private Facebook group where students can network, ask questions, and share important milestones as they make their way through your course content.

Coaching

Alternatively, if you know your niche inside out and back to front, you could launch a coaching/consultancy service. This requires you to provide tailored and actionable advice focused on individual client needs. As this takes a lot of time and involves offering customized advice, you can charge far more for one-on-one consultancy (in comparison to selling online courses and eBooks).

This is definitely a route worth considering if you’re operating in a niche where people often want more in-depth and personalized advice.

The bottom line: If you’re an industry expert and know how to market and package your consultancy services effectively, there’s lots of money to be made from online coaching!

Pro Tip: 

Most bloggers start with launching an eBook or online course and graduate by offering one-on-one consultancy. So, if coaching seems like a daunting prospect, never fear, start small and work your way up. 

Membership Sites

Launching a membership site involves creating and publishing high-quality content that only paid-for subscribers can access. Typically customers pay subscription fees on a rolling monthly or annual basis.

You can launch a membership site for near-on any niche. There are online membership products and services for virtually everything from fishing tips to advice on becoming a full-time freelance writer. Take Netflix, Spotify, and Birchbox, for example. These are all examples of well-known membership/subscription products and services. 

If you can produce and market content, your audience is willing to pay for, creating a membership site is certainly worth considering. To get the ball rolling, here are a few ideas for the types of content you could offer subscribers:

  • Great articles
  • Podcasts
  • Live Q&A sessions
  • Actionable advice, checklists, how-tos
  • Infographics
  • Products
  • Videos
  • Reports
  • Webinars
  • Forums
  • In-person meetups
  • ‘Behind-the-scenes’ content 

You also provide customers the added benefit of enjoying a sense of community that comes with connecting with other like-minded people. It’s human nature to want to be something bigger than ourselves, and that’s precisely what online memberships achieve. 

Internet Advertising

Internet ads get a bad reputation, but they’re the fastest way to make money blogging. You can begin generating a surprisingly significant stream of passive income in relatively little time. 

This is a great sideline to have on top of your other blog monetization methods. Publishing high-quality internet ads are made easy with ad networks like Google AdWords.

Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to sell your own products and services, then you can sell someone else’s and earn a commission on every sale you make. This is called affiliate marketing, and it accounts for as much as 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue.

Think about the kinds of products and services your audience could benefit from. eBooks? Clothes? Gadgets? Whatever it is, there are plenty of high-quality affiliate programs out there. You just sign up, generate an affiliate link, and insert it into your blog content. When customers follow the link and make a purchase, you’re credited with the sale. 

If you’re already using products and services related to your niche, contact their providers and see whether they have an affiliate program up and running. Alternatively, there are plenty of affiliate products and services you can promote using affiliate networks like:

  • Rakuten Marketing
  • Amazon Associates 
  • ShareASale
  • EBay Partner Network
  • Clickbank Affiliate

Pro Tip:

Always SEO optimize blog posts for keywords boasting plenty of monthly searches and little competition. This is the easiest way to rank quickly on search engines like Google and Bing.

Sponsored Posts 

As your blog grows, you can start charging companies for writing about their products/services on your blog. This is a specific form of influencer marketing. As such, unless you’re already driving vast volumes of traffic, this isn’t a suitable monetization strategy for new bloggers just getting started. However, it’s certainly worth bearing in mind for the future. 

When we think of influencer marketing, we usually conjure images of our favorite Instagrammers and Youtubers. However, influencer marketing in the blogosphere is huge. Over 63% of businesses already using this marketing method plan to increase spending this year.

On a similar note, if you’re producing great content that showcases your writing chops, you may start scoring freelance writing gigs. For influencers and full-time freelancers alike, these opportunities can be incredibly lucrative, with some freelancers charging as much as $200 per 500 words!

Tools to Help You Monetize Your Site

You can add PayPal buttons to start accepting customer credit and debit card payments. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling physical or digital products or collecting donations; PayPal enables you to start processing online payments in a flash. 

Here’s To Your Success!

The GWC Team

Make A Podcast Out Of Your Blog!

Making a podcast out of your blog breathes new life into the work you’re already doing, you can make your unique blogging voice actually audible! By converting your blog into a podcast, you’re leveraging the power of audio to grow your brand, audience, and income; without any extra work. Hundreds of millions listen to podcasts every day, and they’re constantly looking for fresh voices and perspectives. Whether you have a built-in Word Press audience to bring over or not, an audio extension of your blog means another avenue for exposure to your existing followers and new ones.

A podcast version of your Word Press blog also introduces an entirely different audience to your work, and frees listeners up to do what readers aren’t able to: multitask! There are, of course, many benefits for readers fully immersing themselves in the written content of a blog. But audio enables listeners to consume your work while performing everyday activities, like going for a walk, driving, cooking, relaxing or simply exploring something new.

Your blog can almost literally do the talking for you, with direct text-to-speech, similar to an audio transcription of an article. This is a great option for blogs less dependent on top-notch production value and more focused on the content itself; such as well-researched news, sports, essays, and wellness stories. With text-to-speech conversion, your blog can be podcast-ready in a few minutes.

You can get more creative, too, by using your blog as a jumping-off point to host an audio discussion about the blog topic. Or let your blog serve as inspiration for a more traditional podcast, where you host and interview guests, record scripted segments, and much more, in ways amplified by audio!

There are a number of different ways to turn your Word Press blog into a podcast. The amount of work it takes can be surprisingly minimal or more hands-on if you like. Whether you just want to create an audio version of your blog, expand your blog concept to a different platform, or simply try your hand “and voice” at a new medium, there’s a podcast structure for you. Most importantly, your written work means you’re not starting from scratch.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Making Your Business Reachable…

Google It!

What’s the first thing most people do when they’re trying to find a local business? They Google it. So if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want to start by ensuring anyone doing a Google search is able to find it. People expect to access information without doing a ton of research, so it’s important that all your key information, such as your location and store hours, appears in search.

Google My Business is a website that allows you to enter basic information about your business, such as the address, phone number, type of business, and your business’s website. Once you’ve visited the site and entered that information, potential fans can find your business when they perform Google searches or turn to Google Maps.

You can even include photos of your store and products and allow visitors to write rave reviews about your fantastic customer service. If you’re keeping your store open longer through December in order to prepare for the holiday rush, Google My Business will let you make adjustments to reflect the seasonal changes in your hours.

By using Google My Business for your store’s online presence management, you have the potential to increase the number of shoppers who walk through your door and make purchases.

Go Social!

Posting your business info to Google is extremely useful, but you’ll also want build a broader online audience. For this, social sharing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are going to be your best friends. Start by considering which site to focus on. If you create visual products, your best bet is a more visual platform such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, where you can show photos of your completed products.

Twitter can be a great tool for engaging with your potential audience, starting conversations, and making connections. If your business is searching for publicity via bloggers, Twitter allows you to engage with them and build an organic audience from those interactions.

You can search for hashtags your audience would be likely to use, such as #campinggear and #sportswear, and then start interacting. Retweet others’ posts with your own commentary, ask them questions, and engage so that they know who you are. That way, they’ll be more likely to think of you the next time they’re looking for sports wear or camping gear.

And remember: staying consistent is ultimately more important than which platform you decide to use. Just Work On Growing A Strong Online Presence on one or two social media platforms rather than trying to win them all. And since your ultimate goal is to draw visitors to your own website, make sure the URL is clearly listed in your bio and directs people to your homepage or contact form.

Driving the search

You gave Google your business information, and then you began building your audience. Now it’s time to focus on search results, which is where Google Search Console comes in. Google Search Console helps website owners “monitor and maintain their site’s presence in Google Search results.”

Basically, it ensures Google has access to your website and can better position it in Google searches. It also lets you see what terms users type into Google search to land on your website, learn which other websites link to your site, monitor your website for malware or spam issues, and alert Google if you have new content you want to show up in searches.

Google Search Console offers a tool called Fetch as Google. You type in your business’s website, which tells Google to check out the website and include it when people search for keywords. There’s also a handy tool called Search Analytics, which shows you which other websites link to your online store.

The most important thing to remember when using these tools is that your website should remain the center of all the action. Although powerful, they’re intended primarily to complement your website, Drive Traffic to it, and, eventually, give your business that many more reasons to thrive.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Finding Relevant Conversations…

The first step in joining a cultural conversation is to figure out what topics your fans are passionate about and what conversations they’re engaging in. These online discussions may center around pop culture topics like TV shows, movies, or books, or they might be based on more serious topics like world events or politics.

As suggested above, finding trending conversations can be as simple as seeing what news finds you naturally.

If there aren’t any news stories naturally coming to your attention, there are also tools you can use to find trending topics online. For instance, Google Trends provides a list of the most popular daily searches, and you can narrow down the lists to what’s popular in each country.

Best Practices To Follow (Brand)

There are certain rules that businesses should follow when engaging in cultural conversations, especially ones that have potential to be controversial.

1. Choose the right platform

Many people participate in online discussions about popular topics, and if you want your brand’s message to be heard, it’s important to use the right platform.

You’ll want to find the social channel where the bulk of the discussion is taking place, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, or somewhere else. Twitter is often the go-to platform for live updates on TV shows, while Reddit is home to a lot of political commentary.

2. Stay true to your brand

It can be tempting to jump into cultural conversations just because everyone is talking about them, but the “bandwagon” mentality often gets brands into sticky situations. It’s often better to stick to topics that are within your niche and are relevant to your brand and its customers.

You’ll also want to maintain consistent messaging. If your brand is known for its fun, tongue-in-cheek tone, it may not be the best idea to switch gears and provide social commentary. You don’t want to make light of a serious situation, and it’s important to stay true to your brand in order to show fans who you are and what you stand for.

3. Get ahead of conversations

Once you’re comfortable participating in these types of online discussions, you may want to try facilitating your own cultural conversation. If there’s a topic in your industry that you feel is worth talking about, try planning a marketing campaign that could spark a social conversation with your followers.

Taking part in cultural conversations can seem daunting at first because of the high stakes involved. But if you follow these guidelines, you’ll help protect your brand and may find yourself becoming part of a big cultural moment.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Check On Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads!

If you’re running Facebook Ads, but they’re not attracting any engagement or converting visitors, then check on what your competitors are doing.

To find out information about your competitors’ ads, go to their Facebook page, and on the right side, you’ll see Page Transparency box. Click See More to expand the box.

Next, click on Go to Ad Library to see the advertisements your competitor is running.

Facebook will list all the ads and you can filter them based on the location. If you click View Ads, it will show the details of the ad. You can then use this information to create ads of your own to get traffic, conversions, and engagement.

Promote Content On YouTube Within The First 24 Hours

After Facebook, YouTube is the leading social media platform. There are nearly 2 billion active users on YouTube as of July 2019. The statistics show the importance of having a YouTube channel for your business.

That said, the first 24 hours for your video are very important. When you upload a video, it will rank immediately on YouTube. But, if you want it to stay at the top, you need instant engagement like views, comments, and likes.

To do that, promote your video as soon as it’s live. Send out an e-mail blast to your subscribers, run a push notification, share the video on other social platforms, and use automated messenger bots to promote your video.

Ask Influencers To Write And Share A Testimonial

If you haven’t tried Influencer Marketing, then trust us, you’re missing out. Influencers can kick-start your website and give a boost in traffic. A great marketing trick to do that is to include testimonials from influencers on your site and ask them to share it with their followers.

To get testimonials, look for influencers in your market niche that people trust and follow. You can filter influencers by searching your niche on social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Then look at the number of followers for each influencer and their recent activity.

After finding the right influencers, approach them to try your products for free and write a testimonial. You can then include these testimonials on your website and ask them to share the page on their social accounts. A single tweet by an influencer containing a link to your website can bring in thousands of visitors within minutes.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Display Social Share Counts On Your Posts!

Another marketing trick to show social proof and boost your traffic is by displaying share counts of your posts. It helps in building credibility and showing the popularity of your posts.

Social share counts show the number of shares your content received and include social buttons for different platforms.

It also encourages visitors to share your post on their social media, and as a result, you get more traffic and followers.

A simple tool to display social buttons and count is by using a WordPress plugin called Share Counts. It’s easy to use and implement on your website. And with its wide range of customization options, you can select how you want to display social share buttons.

Create Videos On Facebook To Get More Engagement

Facebook is the leading social media platform and gets 8 billion video views daily. This shows that if you’re going to promote your brand or website on Facebook, you’re better of creating a video. You can create simple videos using any device or software and upload it on your page to get engagement.

Facebook also reports that users spend 3x longer watching live videos than normal videos. Live videos are even easier to run as you can use your smartphone or laptop to start a live stream from anywhere.

To drive traffic to your website from Facebook videos, do remember to include a call to action. You add the link to your site in the description and ask the viewers to click on it for more information.

Answer Questions On Facebook With Your Relevant Content

Comments play a huge role in how successful you are in promoting your content on Facebook. It’s a big part of its algorithm. And it means more comments you generate, more reach you’ll get.

A great way of generating more comments is by asking questions in your replies. And to direct traffic from comments to your website, you can post links to relevant and useful guides to user’s questions.

For instance, if a user comments on your Facebook post about Landing Pages, you can reply to their query and leave a question at the end, like which is your favorite platform? If the followers reply, where can they find your favorite platform for creating Landing Pages, you can give them your favorite as a solution.

This creates engagement and more users will participate in the discussion. What happens as a result is that your Facebook post gets attention, and you can drive more traffic to your website.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Instantly Attract Visitors Through Push Notifications!

Push notifications are clickable messages displayed on your user’s desktop or mobile. They are a great trick for bringing instant traffic to your website.

These notifications appear when users are not visiting your website. You don’t even require them to open their browsers. It instantly notifies them of a new post you wrote or an amazing deal on your website.

Since push notifications require permission from visitors, it means they’re interested in your website and what you’re offering. So, there is a high chance they’ll click on your push notifications.

There are many tools that you can use to run push notifications, like OneSignal.

Run An E-Mail Campaign To Promote New Content

E-Mail Marketing is a strong tool to have in your toolkit to increase traffic on your website. E-Mails help you connect with your audience. You can inform them about new products, latest releases, updates, or new content you published.

You can start by sending out e-mails to your subscribers. These are people who opted into your e-mail list or agreed to receive marketing messages from you. So, you have a better chance of getting a good open rate and attracting visitors.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Re-purpose Your Existing Content For Social Media!

One of the problems many content creators face is of coming up with new topic ideas. But what if we told you that there is a marketing trick to drive traffic using your existing website content?

To start, simply go to Insights and then Reports and under the Overview report, scroll down to see your top content. Then, you can re-purpose an old piece of content for different channels.

For instance, if you have a blog on 10 tips to clean your car, you can re-purpose the content by creating a video tutorial on YouTube or create short videos for Facebook and Instagram.

Next, you can create slides of the tutorial and share it on SlideShare. Another approach could be to turn the content into a podcast. There are unlimited options, and you just need to find the right content type for the channel you’ll be using for promotion.

Reach A Whole New Audience

Have you created an amazing piece of content that you know your audience will love, if you could only get their attention?

Here are a few ways to promote your best content to the right audience so you can drive more traffic to your website.

Find Partnership Opportunities From Referral Traffic

By now, you must have read in many places that you should be doing guest posts. That’s true as guest posts help promote your brand, get back-links from high authority websites, and can drive tons of traffic.

But how do you find which type of content gets you the most back-links and generates traffic from guest posts?

Find Popular Forums And Participate In Driving Traffic

Another marketing trick to grow your traffic is to actively participate in forums. If you’re just starting out and don’t have many followers, then forums are a great way of driving traffic to your website.

Now, there are many types of forums you can join, but it all depends on your industry. Some popular forums like Quora and Reddit cover numerous topics and you’re most likely to find your niche easily.

But if you’re finding it hard to find a forum for your topic, you can try entering forum+[your topic] in Google. It will bring up different forums results relevant to your topic.

Once you’ve found the forums, start participating and become an active member to build a profile. Then, share relevant links as a solution to answers in the forum to drive traffic to your website.

But do remember to follow the rules of the forum or risk getting banned.

Some forums even let you create original content. You can write a post and link your website as a source. This will not only get you traffic but also help you get a back-link for your website.

Go On A Podcast As A Guest

If you’re looking to build a healthy community and create relationships with your audience, then podcasts are a great option. They can attract visitors, help build and promote a brand, and make you an influencer.

The beauty of podcasts is that they can be on anything. But creating a podcast, attracting listeners, and then managing it takes time. To get an instant boost in traffic, a simpler marketing trick is to go on other’s podcasts as a guest.

To go on a podcast, the first thing you’ll need to do is find podcasts that your audience would listen too. You can visit different platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play and search your topic to find podcasts.

Next, visit the website of each podcast and find their e-mail addresses. They’re usually available in the contact us section or you can visit the social media page of the podcast host to get in touch.

Then draft an e-mail and pitch the podcast hosts. In the e-mail, tell them how interesting their podcast was and how you can contribute to their podcast as a guest.

You can also add your experiences and stories in the e-mail to make them interesting. For instance, you can include things like how you grew your revenue by 105% or using this simple trick we tripled our user engagement.

After sending the e-mail, you can follow up (politely) if you don’t get a response.

By continuing this practice and appearing multiple podcasts, you can start building an audience, establish yourself as an expert on a topic, and promote your website to grow your traffic.

Another benefit of going on other podcasts is that you get a mention or a free back-link in the podcast notes. This sends a good signal to search engines, which then boosts your rankings.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Create Surveys & Send A Press Release To Increase Traffic!

By Creating Surveys, You Can Increase User Engagement. Keeping users engaged is important for bringing in regular traffic to your site, as people like interacting with brands.

But what type of surveys should you create? And how can you drive traffic from them?

We found that running online surveys doubled our engagement and increased our web traffic. First, we selected a topic that was relevant to our business.

But to make it appealing for everyone, we looked up trending hashtags and added them to our tweets to increase its reach.

Using the results from our survey, we created a content piece. Then to promote it, we sent out a press release. As a result, our piece of content was picked up in Google News and other high traffic websites.

Then we created content and used free press release websites like PR.com to promote our content.

You Can Checkout Our Survey Platform And Get More Info On How To Create Your Surveys By Clicking On This Link.

Add Quizzes On Your Website

One way to get an instant boost of traffic is to add games to your website. But which type of games should you add to grow your website traffic?

Quizzes are the hottest type of games you can run on your website. They can quickly go viral on social media and flood your website with traffic.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Consider Adding A.M.P. Compatibility!

Is your website mobile optimized? No? Then you’re missing out on a lot of traffic.

Mobile is an important part of today’s digital marketing strategy. Even Google has gone mobile-first in its ranking algorithm.

With the increasing use of mobile and people consuming more content on their smartphones, your website should provide great user-experience on mobile devices.

A useful trick to make sure you don’t lose any mobile traffic is to implement A.M.P. or accelerated mobile pages on your site.

Although it isn’t the best option for everyone, as it removes some of the features of your website to speed up the load time of your webpages on mobile.

But it does provide a better mobile experience for users. Using an A.M.P. WordPress plugin, you can enhance your mobile website experience. This increases your chances of ranking on search engines and attract visitors.

Encourage Social Sharing

Another great source of traffic besides search engines is good old fashioned social sharing: getting your visitors to share your content with their friends, family, and followers.

If you can convince enough people to share your stuff, you just might go viral!

Here’s how…

Create A Viral Giveaway To Attract Visitors

Giveaways are a great marketing trick for increasing your website traffic. You can create contests and offer rewards to visitors for their participation.

Giveaways not only generate user engagement, but they also help you increase your e-mail subscribers and promote your brand.

There are many giveaway tools that you can use to build a campaign, but the most user-friendly and lightweight plugin is RafflePress.

It’s the best WordPress giveaway plugin to create beautiful giveaways thanks to its drag and drop builder.

To encourage your visitors to share the giveaway, you can ask them to…

For each action, they’ll get additional entries in your giveaway. You can even allow daily entries to get even more viral traffic!

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Optimize Your Content For Google Search Snippets!

Another great optimization marketing trick we have for you is optimizing your content for Google Search Snippets.

A featured snippet is a search response shown at the top of a search engine results page that contains a summary of the answer taken from the page.

The results from featured snippets vary depending on industry and query, but some research shows a 10% increase in traffic (from 20% to 30%) and a 6% increase in click-through rates (from 2% to 8%). That’s pretty amazing! You can optimize for featured snippets by using keyword research, S.E.O., formatting, and monitoring the results over time. 

Increase Your Website Loading Speed with C.D.Ns

There is nothing more frustrating than a slow-loading website. It’s a big turn off for your users if they open your website and it doesn’t open in time. They’re most likely to hit the back button and not recommend your website to others.

That’s why you should use a C.D.N. or content delivery network to boost your website’s load time. A C.D.N. has its network of servers and minimizes the distance between your user and your site’s server.

It delivers the content of your website quickly to anyone trying to access your website. C.D.Ns not only improve user experience but also gives good signals to search engines, which means Improved Rankings And More Traffic.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Use L.S.I. Keywords In Your Content!

Another marketing trick to boost search engine rankings and increase your traffic is to use L.S.I. keywords in your content.

L.S.I. or latent semantic indexing keywords are words or phrases Google’s algorithm uses to understand the quality and relevance of user’s search terms.

For example, if you search for the best burgers, Google will look for words like a beef patty, crispy chicken, jalapeno, tomatoes, cheese, fries, and lettuce. These are words used in the top search results and help the search engine match what users are searching for.

You can find L.S.I. keywords for your blogs by using free online tools like Answer the Public and L.S.I. Graph. A premium tool like SEMrush will give you more tailored suggestions based on what’s already ranking in Google.

Just enter the search term and these tools will bring up a ton of results. Then use these words and phrases throughout your content to Rank Higher And Drive More Traffic To Your Site.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Improve C.T.R. By Using Power Words In Your Headlines!

Did you know that if your headline is 6 – 8 words, it can increase your click-through-rate (C.T.R.) by 21%? Amazing, isn’t it?

You can look up C.T.R. of your website pages in search console reports; and then see which post is performing the best and which needs optimization.

Then to improve C.T.R., you can add power words in your headlines. These are words that spark an emotional response and persuade users to click on your link.

For instance, power words like ridiculous, simple, and less than, make the headline attractive and will lure visitors to click on the URL.

You can check out power words to increase your website’s C.T.R. and boost traffic.

Add FAQs to Address Common Questions

Another marketing trick to increase organic website traffic is to add People also ask questions on your content.

As you enter a topic in Google, you’ll see a list of questions (usually 4 at a time) shown by the search engine. The number of questions increases as you click on any one of them.

Using these questions is A Great Way Of Driving Traffic To Your Site. You can use them as subheadings if you’re writing a new article. But the easiest way to add these to your existing content is by adding a Frequently Asked Questions section at the end.

Make sure to state the question exactly as it appears in search, and then answer the question in a simple and brief way directly after. If your content appears as answers to these questions, you will see an immediate increase in traffic.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Focus Your Optimization On The Right Content!

Did you know that 92% of all searchers ONLY click results from the first page?

If you’re looking for ways to grow your website traffic, you should know that moving from the 2nd page to the 1st for your target keywords will make a huge difference.

How do you know what page your content is ranking on? You can use Google Search Console reports to see the keywords your users use to find your website, and what position you rank for those keywords.

From there, you’ll know which pages you should focus on optimizing in order to Get More Traffic To Your Website. To identify the top keywords, you can go to Insights » Reports and then click Search Console from the top. For each keyword, you can see the clicks, impressions, CTR (click-through-rate) and average position.

Using the average position for each keyword, you can see where they are ranking on Google. You can then optimize the lower-ranking keywords to improve your rankings and boost your site’s traffic. Content that’s already ranking on the 2nd page of search results usually doesn’t take too much work to reach the 1st page – and it will get a LOT more clicks there.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

How To Use Article Marketing To Increase Amazon Revenue!


The Amazon Affiliate Program provides an excellent opportunity to build a steady revenue source. There are a number of ways to incorporate Amazon products into your site, but one method that works very well is to include your Amazon product/s in articles.

Here are the steps to do just that.

1. First you will need to login to your Amazon Affiliate Program at amazon.com using your username and your password, which was provided to you upon signup.

2. Once you have logged in, you need to go to the best selling products, which you can select from the drop down list. Then choose the product type you want to sell.

3. After you select the product, you need to click on the get link to copy your affiliate link. Amazon has made this a very easy process for you.

4. Now copy and paste the link into your document. You will insert it shortly.

5. Start the process of writing your recommendation. Make sure that you provide detail. Talk about the good and the bad, the pros and the cons. Make your article between 300 and 500 words. Don’t go much over 500 words, because you will lose your reader – their attention span is simply not that long.

6. Now it is time to put your article on the web for others to read. There are a number of article banks out there, but Ezine Articles, which is found at ezineartlces.com, is one of the most popular and recommended. If you do not yet have an account here or at any of the other article banks you wish to use, then you need to create an account. You will need to provide your information and photo so your customers can feel like they know a little about you.

7. Paste your article and then in the signature line at your Amazon Affiliate URL; which you obtained earlier.

8. If you have another product, then repeat the steps again.

If you don’t like to write or you are not a good freelance writer, there are many sites where you can hire a qualified writer to write your article for you. This is an excellent way to ensure you get a top quality article. You can also use freelance writers to write your content for your site too!.

The Amazon Affiliate Program offers you an excellent opportunity to earn income and with a little work, you can turn this into a full time income opportunity.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team

Make Money With Amazon And Your Blog!

Are you looking to make some money with your blog?. When you start blogging and your focus is to make some money, it can be a bit daunting finding revenue sources. One of the quickest and easiest, is to open up an Amazon Associate Account.

Once you open your Amazon Associate Account, you can sprinkle your articles with Amazon HTML links, which are based on the products you choose to promote on your blog. These custom links send those that click no the item, to the Amazon’s page, and if they purchase the product, you are paid a commission. What’s nice is that these links are on your blog forever, and that means you can be paid commissions for an endless period of time.

Signing up for your Amazon Associate Account is pretty easy. Look at your analytics to determine where your traffic is coming from. For most people The US Associates Account is the best choice; as it allows you to appeal to most people. But if you focus on a product that targets let’s say a British market, then you would want a British Associate signup.

Once your account is set up, you’ll place links in your blog, which is pretty straight forward. You’ll log into your Amazon account and you’ll find the product that you want to link to. All you need to do is click “Link to this page” and simply follow the instructions that are given to you; which will be based on how you want your link to look.

The text option is the most popular because it also gives you flexibility to change the text but that’s up to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially in the early times, to find what works for you. Then you’ll simply take the HTML code that is given to you and place it in your blog.

Generally, the more you sell the more commissions you’ll make. General product commissions start at 4%, but after just seven sales in one month, that increases to 6%. Then there are incremental increases of 0.5% all the way up to 8.5%. Remember, this applies to general products. Many specialty categories like electrical goods remain at 4% no matter how many units you sell. Then again, some categories like digital goods are set at 10%, while others have a cap. Be sure to read Amazon´s policy, so there are no surprises.

It doesn’t take long to start to make money. It’s quicker than you might think. Things like “Favorite Picks” or “Top 10 Lists” can really begin to generate income quickly. Don’t be afraid to experiment!. There are bloggers that make a full time income from selling Amazon products on their blogs. You can too!.

5 Tips For Using Amazon Affiliate Program On Your Blog

The Amazon Affiliate Program has become increasingly popular because of the income potential it offers. Let’s look at 5 tips for using Amazon Affiliate Program to get the best results from your blog.

  1. Think About Who Your Audience Is

It’s a good idea to think about who your audience is – put yourself in your reader’s shoes – what are they looking for when they surf your blog. If you look at things through your readers eyes you will do a much better job of targeting your traffic.

  1. Personal Endorsement

Personal endorsement is an excellent tool for generating a high click through rate. You see, just adding links randomly throughout your blog may not be enough to generate that click. What will generate it, is trust!. When a visitor returns day after day and builds an online relationship with you; in fact, if you want to destroy all your hard work, just recommend that they buy something you don’t really believe in.

If you want to increase your click through rate and your conversion rates, talk about the pros and cons of products. People like to hear the good and the bad so they can make their own decisions. If you do this, and then endorse products you believe in you will see a real change in your commission checks.

  1. Link to Top Notch Products

Choose companies and products that are reputable. Nothing will definitely send people away from your blog than proving links to poor quality products.

  1. Deep Links Work Best

Many think all they have to do is put a banner across the top and people will make their way to Amazon and you’ll make some money. Actually, that’s not true at all. What does work is placing deep links within your content. It is more work but it also pays more, and that’s your goal!.

  1. Consider Link Placement

There are some hot-spots on every page – left hand side bar, end of the post, or inside the content. Make sure that’s where you place your links to get the highest click through rate.

The days of any affiliate program making you money without some work are pretty much gone!. But it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. These 5 tips are a great start to making your Amazon Affiliate Program work.

Here’s To Your Success!
The GWC Team