"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does." ~Steuart Henderson Britt
Some of you mite see this as information you already know...... for others it is the missing link that will bridge them to the road of success. So if you know this already CONGRATS!!!!!! If not.... then take a moment to read this short "Marketing Tip".
I once read that "the success of any product is 80% advertising and hype and only 20% actual product or service". How crazy is that! But it's true.
It is important that what you make or sell is good.... please don't misunderstand...... but if all you do is subscribe to the "If you build it they will come" theory, then your sales will be weak at best. So the question is..... How do we increase sales?
ADVERTISING! Now advertising comes in all shapes and sizes and I will touch on just a few to wet your palette.
Tip #1: Onrez and Xstreet
If you don't already have accounts with these two online sellers then I suggest you sign up right away. They are very popular and offer many benefits to their clients.
Tip #2: Press releases.
If you haven't already done press releases then I suggest you get started TODAY!!! They are simple to write and are great ways of letting people know you exist. I send a press release every time I release a new item and also when I put items on sale (more about sales later on.) Press releases can be posted on the XStreet forum (formerly SLX) and also on the main secondlife website forums "New Products" section. Make sure the press release includes the most important information.... what it is you're selling and WHERE TO GET IT!!!!
Tip #2.5: Offer something FREE in your store.
That's right.... I said it... it had to be said. Offering FREE merchandise is great for creating "word of mouth" buzz about your shop. People will tell others where they can get free stuff. Look at Freedove as a perfect example of how free stuff can drive thousands of customers to your door.
Tip #3: Create a group.
Creating a group for your store is a MUST in my opinion. You can use the group as a way to keep customers informed of new product releases and sales. BUT DON'T SPAM THEM!!! Nothing drives people away faster then constant messages. I suggest you create a group with a rule like -UK- Couture’s group, "Please DO NOT chat/spam the update group channel as this will result in your ejection from the group. Thank you!" 1 to 2 messages per day tops is best. To get customers to join your group I would include it in a notecard that comes with your products. I would also have a sign at your store location about the group and how it will benefit the customer. There are also group inviting devices that you can buy that make the job easy. Look into it ASAP!
Tip #4: Sales events.
Now I say sales events because if you have something on sale all the time there is no sense of urgency. What you want to create is a wave of people rushing to get your item at a wonderful.... but temporary.... sale price. What I like to do is offer a special 1 week low price on new products. It accomplishes 2 things. 1) Brings people out to see it and possibly buy and 2) Creates word of mouth. They WILL tell their friends! *winks*
Tip #5: Picks contest.
If you haven't heard of these a picks contest is simply paying people prize money to have your store in their profile picks. I personally give away $300L every two weeks to random winners and ALWAYS check their profile before handing out the cash. You'd be surprised how many people will ask to enter the contest and NOT put you in their picks. Their names are instantly removed from the picks contest list.... a list you should keep up to date.
Tip #6 Touch everybody!
Whoa! hey hold on a sec.... before you think I'm telling you to go out and grope people STOP! LOL....... "Touching" people is simply making contact. Having a notecard or landmark ready to pass out to PEOPLE WHO WANT IT is a form of a touch. I stress only giving it to people who want it because if you show up on noob island and start handing out unwanted notecards you are most likely going to get reported for spam.... and we don't want that. Casually bringing up a new item you just released in a conversation is also a "touch".
Tip #7: Make a good impression with customer service.
There really is nothing more to be said about this one. If people appreciate you taking time to help them when they have questions or problems they are more likely buy from you again and tell their friends.
This is just a very small list of marketing tips. It is important to know that Real Life and Second Life are not too different and that proven marketing techniques have value in the virtual world of Second Life.
Wishing you great success,
CEO Brave New Worlds
Okeanides Vacation Spot and Mall