The internet marketing journey for me has been a varied one. Initially having my success with simple affiliate marketing websites, I then created my own coaching products sharing this knowledge. After this I ventured into lead generation websites and had considerable success, however the journey soon progressed into my first ecommerce store.
Along the way I’ve learned a great deal, from the success and also the failures. The most recent projects I’ve been focusing on and that have been taking up a considerable amount of my time, are creating my own brands. I now have my own brand here in New Zealand that I sell locally and I’m working on a new one that I’ll be selling in the USA soon.
In this post I want to share with you some of the things I learned about doing this and provide practical tips for folks who may be interested in doing a similar thing. I also want to add that I still do affiliate marketing, lead generation websites andYouTube videos, and they make me great money, so if you’re doing these kind of sites then that’s great, I encourage you to keep doing that, YouTube is a great way to market at that moment. However this post might also spark some ideas for future projects for you to undertake.
Developing an Idea
The first thing you need to do if you want to develop and sell your own brand of product, is come up with the idea. As I mentioned in my last post, the easiest way to establish your own brand is through private labeling, if you haven’t read that post I encourage you to do that. Private labelling is where your source a product from a manufacturer who allows you to brand the product yourself. This way you don’t have to make the product, and means you can have your own product instantly.
I am for products to be sold in the $20-70 range myself, as that’s where I feel comfortable and what most private label products will be suitable for.
I’ve done this for over a year now and it works well. You can source products from over seas via the website Alibaba. Its a little tricky to get your head around how to use this site at first, but once you have some practice you’ll soon get the hang of it. Spend some time researching potential products to sell.
You MUST think through HOW you intend to be different from the current products in the market. It might be that you can do a cheaper price, or you can do a slightly different version of a product that currently isn’t available, either way make sure you think it through.
Know Your Customers
One thing I’ve learned over the past 12 months especially is that you NEED to know what the customers in the niche market think and what they want. If you’re already a customer in the niche, then you’re in a good position, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you want exactly what all the other customers want.
You really must research the market. For physical goods Amazon is a great place to visit, because they have their review system, where you can read good and bad reviews about a product. This information is really useful as it helps you to know what customers like and what they don’t like about a product. By doing this you’ll be able to uncover potential opportunities for what will make your product different.
For example if a particular product gets a lot of bad reviews because it doesn’t have a handle on it perhaps, then you might possibly be able to make a product that does have one!
Know Your Market
You absolutely need to know what’s happening in the market currently. One way to do this is to survey customers in the market and find out. If you create your own branded product with intention to sell wholesale, then an smart thing to do is call up current retailers of a similar product and ‘pick their brains’.
Find out what they like about the current suppliers and what they don’t like. Find out what they wish they could have but currently isn’t available. The more research you do BEFORE you start, the higher the chance of success.
YouTube, Facebook and forums and also great places to find information about what customers in a market want.
Know Your Competition
Once you know your market and your customer reasonably well, your next step is to know your competition. Analyze them and work what their strengths are and also their weaknesses. You need to know what products they sell and what price. Find out what customers say about them. Find out how they do their marketing. You’re essentially looking for ways to outsmart them and take market share away from them quickly. I would avoid entering a market if there are dozen of strong competitors already, unless there is a really clear gap in the market that you can fill.
Designing Your Brand
A huge part of your product brand is the design element. You don’t have to spend 10’s of 1000’s of dollars to get a decent brand. You can get great logos created for under $500, on sites like Design Crowd and 99 Designs. Once you have a good logo, the rest of the design comes out of that. Make sure that the packaging you choose also matches the theme of the niche, so that your products look and feel resonates with your target market.
Have a Solid Plan
Once you have an idea of a product you could private label, and you know your customers and the market, and you’ve also assessed your competition, you need to create a business plan so that you don’t forget this stuff and so you can develop your plan of attack and stick to it. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Its very easy to get side tracked by a new idea, which may well be great, but if its not inline with your original plan it can slow your progress. I’ve experience this a few times already, and learned the hard way!
Selling Your Product
When you have your own brand there are many avenues you can take to sell it. One simple one is selling it on your own ecommerce store. Other possibilities are Ebay, Amazon, or of course approaching retailers and selling it to them wholesale. Plan out your traffic strategies well. These might includes retail stores, Google Adwords, YouTube, SEO, Ebay and Amazon etc….
My final note to leave you with is this….don’t be afraid to have a go, the fear of failure robs people of success, so don’t let it do this to you. If you want a successful business you have to take some calculated risks sometimes!
All the best.