How To Brand Your Passions During COVID-19
Here’s how to brand your passions in 2020, under quarantine.
Don’t just dream it, live it. Brand your passions right now!
Many have felt the impact of COVID-19 in various ways, especially financially. Everyone is feeling the effects of this pandemic no matter their age, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Some people have called it "the great equalizer" (like Madonna from her rose-filled bathtub) whereas others have noted it's not quite so if one truly looks at the facts.
We’ve seen what it can do to the working class and business owners in this country and throughout the world. Many have lost everything they have worked so hard to build over their lives. It's disheartening to see this reality play out right in front of our eyes but, believe it or not, there are individuals who are thriving during this social reset. Most of them are owners of e-commerce brands.
Now, we understand that it can take a very special personality type to take on the responsibilities of owning and operating a business in general, but there is a silver lining here. Building a business online and branding your passions doesn’t have to be as daunting as you may think. We'll explain.
What can you sell online?
The first thing that we want you to know is that you can turn anything into a business. And ultimately anything is e-commerce-able, too! Whether you bake cakes or sew trendy face masks (as one of our staff's grandmother does), you can put this idea online and sell your goods or services to the general public.
If we're breaking it down step by step, we need to first figure out what your passion is. Do you like making social media content, teaching others about a specific topic, or selling your artisan goods? Pick a passion and start planning.
Remember to also check for any specific business licensing or permits you may need; requirements vary based on location.
How can you sell online?
The next thing you want to do is investigate online platforms that specialize in selling. Websites and landing pages will bring an audience into your world and give them the opportunity to learn about your products or services.
Some of our favorite easy drag-and-drop website builders like Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix allow you to create your website from start to finish and incorporate an encrypted sales page. If you'd like additional functionality for a website beyond just e-commerce, you can also use a platform like WordPress, which currently boasts that "36% of the web is built on WordPress." To sell within a WordPress site, you just have to activate an e-commerce plugin, like its most popular open-source version, WooCommerce.
You have an idea and a platform in mind. Now what?
After you have chosen your e-commerce platform, it’s time to design. This can take a ton of your time if you let it but the goal here isn't perfection - it's to get your business up and running. You can always change the design or layout later. Think of it this way: nothing is permanent. You are trying to get your business up and running and trying to decide whether your font should be yellow or pink should not stop you from moving forward.
Once your web appearance is finished, you need to make sure you have the inventory, if you are selling physical items. You can outsource this if you need to but if you are starting small, which we highly recommend to e-commerce newcomers, you should be able to source your passion at home or in a small, professional space (depending on your product needs).
If you are selling something that is service-based or utilizes a digital product, for example, if you want to create an online course, it's important to take a quick online business tutorial or course that will help you build what you want and launch it properly. The more you prepare and take the necessary (and legal!) steps before you bring your business online, the better.
How do you let people know about your products?
While you’re creating your online shop, create a social media page for marketing purposes at the same time. We recommend Instagram or Facebook. Most of your future customers are on these social media platforms, so your outreach has the potential to reach millions of people. Don’t forget to connect these two sides, the social media to your website or landing page, and vice versa.
Once you have your website, offer, and social media in play, it’s time to start spreading the word. Now, the misconception is that if you simply have a social media page, you're golden. That’s simply not true. You have to put in the elbow grease to make it work.
We suggest giving out freebies, collaborating with influencers, and/or releasing engagement posts. These are simple, starter ways of marketing online. It may take a little time for your business to take off, but be patient. If you think about it, most people are spending a lot of time online - especially now - so if you stay focused and work hard, you’ll see things start to turn around for the better and turn your passion into a payday.
Is that really all?
To start branding your passions, it certainly sounds doable. A few small steps and you're on your way to building an e-commerce business while you're hanging at home. To recap: first, figure out what you want to sell and create your offer. Then build your website and social media presence. Engage with your audience, and call them to action.
Remember that an immediate surge in profits is the exception, not the rule. But as long as you start, you're already further than most people! And, it usually becomes easier and easier once you take that first step.
So, tell us, what's your passion?