Can your week be summed up by this sentence – nothing ruins a Friday more than an understanding that today is Tuesday? And do you like your job only marginally more than you like doing nothing? It might be the right time to figure out what your passion is and how you can turn it into a job. We wanted to do something different this Valentine’s. Instead of the classic list of fun gift ideas, we decided to focus on what matters the most – doing what you love.
Here’s the secret – your passion is the number one resource you need to start doing what you love and getting paid for it. Are you a photography enthusiast? Perhaps you’re a foodie or a movie fanatic? Or maybe you already have a full-time job as a stay-at-home parent? All of these are niches for potential business opportunities. The odds are that if you enjoy doing something, there’s someone else out there who feels the same way. This can only mean one thing – it’s time to say goodbye to boring chores and finally start doing what you love. How you ask? Well, there are a few ways you can do that. You can start a side business, set up a different company or open an online store and be your own boss, creative director, and marketing guru. This blog post goes over the benefits of opening up your online store and gives you instructions on how to do it.
First, let’s look at some compelling data for online retail trends. It seems as if everyone and their mom is jumping on the quickly growing ecommerce trend. And they’re smart for doing so. According to 2017 sales forecasts from the National Retail Federation (NRF), online and other non-store online sales are expected to grow between 8 percent and 12 percent over last year’s sales numbers.
Seems like now is the time to jump on board. But hey, if the data and numbers is not your thing, how about these 3 major pros for doing online retail:
- Very low or no startup costs. Many ecommerce platforms are free and so are the dropshipping and fulfillment services. Printful is one of them. To open a physical store, you need inventory, space, employees and other crucial elements. You can forget about all of that when you’re opening an online store. No inventory (everything gets printed when ordered), no physical space, no employees = very low to no cost. Essentially, you have nothing to lose.
- Experiment as much as you want. Creating new products, putting together fun collections, and trying out something different is really easy and fun. Printful has a product push generator that allows you to upload a photo/design file and create products in just a few seconds. Basically, you can play, experiment and test out what works and what doesn’t as much as you want. The best part is – you can only benefit from experimenting because if one of your trials ends up being an error, you don’t lose too much money.
- Results with online marketing. Now your store is ready and the products have been launched. So, how do you become visible to customers? Well, online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the way to go. This works because you can reach more and more qualified customers over the Internet compared to traditional offline marketing by targeting specific demographics.
A little while back we published a blog post that combined over 100 cool niche ideas. If you don’t think that your passion can be turned into a job you love, well – check out the blog post and find a niche that is the right fit for you.
Alright, let’s get to the list of steps you’ll have to take in order to start your own online store aka to do what you love.
Find your niche. This is key, hence why it’s been mentioned so much. I’ll use myself as an example to show you that anyone, and I mean literally anyone can be a niche. Alright, I like books, sarcastic humor, fashion, and puns. So how about creating a store that sells punny literature shirts, hoodies, and other goodies? I can picture a classic – “You were reading and then you saw a bird? Cool story, Poe.” tee as a staple in every bookworm’s closet.
Start designing. Whether you’re a Photoshop god or think that Photoshop is a place online where you can buy images, you need designs to get started. If simple quotes fit your niche, use canva.com or behappy.me to generate your files. If you’re going for a more complex look – try pixlr.com or gimp. They’re both free! Just keep in mind that the design you decide to go with has to match your niche.
Setup and launch your store. Your niche plays a big role in what your store looks like, doesn’t it? If you’re targeting artists and photography enthusiasts, choose a platform that is also a marketplace (Storenvy, Ecwid, Inktale). But if your audience is not so artsy, pick one of the more traditional ecommerce platforms (Shopify, Woocommerce, BigCommerce, etc). Just keep in mind that the outside shell of your store should complement the content you’re selling.
Market your products. Your store is ready and you can’t wait for the first sales to roll in. This is where marketing comes in. Target the people who match your niche and are most likely to purchase and enjoy your products. The best way to do that is through Facebook ads. We did an in-depth post about the best tactics for creating successful ads that convert and we encourage you to read it. One of the best parts about selling online is the fact that you get to select your customers based on what they like.
Well, you did it champ! Of course, the transition from a regular 9-5 job to doing what you love won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build your brand to a level where you can say goodbye to your old job. But know that it is possible to turn the things you love into a career. Don’t expect to make bank right away. It’ll start out slow, gradually you’ll notice that it’s taking off and you have a new side gig until,l in the end, you’ll be a business owner who enjoys their job. Isn’t that the dream? We hope this Valentine’s blog post has inspired you to find your niche and sparked an interest for starting a new side project you could eventually turn into a paying gig.