Starting Your Own Ecommerce Business Twitter Chat with @DarrenDeMatas #VCBuzz

Starting Your Own Ecommerce Business Twitter Chat with @DarrenDeMatas #VCBuzzHave you ever considered starting an ecommerce business? Become your own boss? Start an online venture? Many of us have but only few really tried!

Hopefully this chat will inspire some action: Meet our mentor @DarrenDeMatas

***Please sign in here to follow the chat -> twchat.com/hashtag/vcbuzz

***Important: Join this event on Google Plus to be notified of upcoming chats (It’s easier with daytime savings and different time zones!)

About Darren

Darren DeMatas has an MBA in Internet Marketing and  a decade of experience making retail brands profitable.

He’s marketed global Fortune 500 companies and small 1-man ecommerce niche brands. He is a @Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer and Google AdWords Certified.

Darren is the co-founder of selfstartr helping you with every single step of creating an ecommerce business with live examples.

Questions we are discussing now

Q1 When and why did you decide to start your own business coaching people to start their ecommerce business?

I made the decision to change from consultant to coach at the start of ‘15. b4 consulting I did corp America 4-10 years or so. I made the change 4 3 reasons; 1- its tough to be an entrepreneur & do client work. 2- I missed training 3- help entrepreneurs.

#Ecommerce is growing & a great path to entrepreneurship. With consulting I can only help a few people at a time. I can connect with more people by teaching. We’re all here to connect, right?

Unless you’re planning on building an agency or productized services, client work isn’t scalable.

Q2 What’s the very first step someone needs to take when starting an ecommerce business?

The 1st step is to research and choose a niche. Where can you compete? Where can you use content & community to build a brand?

If you’re trying to do a churn & burn ecommerce site, good luck. you need a brand to succeed against the big dogs.

I’m actually researching niches right now to launch my own ecommerce site. People can subscribe to my blog to follow along 🙂 I’m working on a roundup to learn and share tips on niche selection. Advice from @larrykin @Mallikarjunan @RichardABLS & more.

Once we figure out our niche, we’re going to spend some time thinking about our business plan, persona and products.

Combining ecommerce with affiliate marketing is a solid plan to entrepreneurship & financial freedom

A lot is building up digital assets (how to videos, photos, etc.) then adding in contests & promotions. For one site I run, we’re going to to an Instagram wrist selfie contest. Watch lovers love wristshots!

Q3 What’s the most efficient way to promote your ecommerce business? What are your favorite growth hacks you’ve seen in action?

I like to create shareable content related to products and combine it with a deal via remarketing. We’re promoting the watch selfie contest with a crowdsourced buyers guide. Driving traffic to the page. I don’t just publish and pray, I do a lot of targeted outreach and find influencers that share our POV/values  (not paid outreach, paid traffic (ads, boosted posts etc))

Drive traffic to the page via outreach & paid traffic, then use remarketing to build branding & sales; @ryandeiss uses this hack.

Another hack I use is giveaways via @rafflecopter, but make people sign up for your list.

When the giveaway is over email people a promo code – you know they are interested in the product.

The goal is to get to people who are interested in your products as fast as possible, but not push them onto people.

If you’re going to do giveaways, dont make it super easy to enter. you’ll just people looking for freebies. Get them on your list.

My best bet has always been to run remarketing ads on Google/FB

Q4 How to create a successful content marketing strategy for an ecommerce website?

The 1st step is have a strategy for informational, research and transactional keywords. Waaaaayy to many ecommerce sites only focus on transactional keywords, but the brand building keywords are at the top of the funnel.

I’m a huge fan of using content to promote your ecommerce business. There are so many formats that only apply to ecommerce. Like a buyers guide.

REI is crushing it with buyers guides.

Crowdsourced buyers guides also work really well. Find experts, what is the most important thing when buying X.

Once you have some keywords, you got to find where your buyers are lurking online. Forums? Twitter? Google+?

We’ve sponsored niche forums, did polls and used the results to create an infographic. That got traffic & sales.

If you can’t link to your products or categories in a blog post, find another topic.

If you sell backpacks, target informational keywords in a blog post ex) “solo backpacking tips”

It depends, you can get results in a month or so with paid traffic + A/B testing. If you’re doing no paid traffic – I’d say 6-9 months. It’s worth more to use paid traffic and spend resources in the short term, than go long term on an unproven idea.

Q5 Being your own boss, how do you manage and balance your time? Any productivity tools to share?

As a husband with 2 small kids, time is the most valuable asset to me. My family is always #1.

if it was upto me, i woulda started years ago. tired old man now 🙂

I’m a big fan of budgeting time and sticking to it. I use @tickspot to help me do that.

When you work with a time budget you can get more done. Work in short focused bursts. Otherwise I end up clicking mindlessly.

To streamline research I use @ahrefs and @semrush. To streamline outreach, I use @buzzstream. Blogger outreach is critical with ecommerce – you have to develop content for them too.

It was super hard to balance my time trying to be a consultant and coach/entrepreneur – I had to choose 🙂

 

Our previous startup chats:

 

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