by Editor | July 18, 2014 5:41 am
On any given day it’s safe to say that thousands of new websites are offered up to the ever hungry online public and many of these are individuals selling products or services.
Let’s be honest it’s a breeze to get an online shop up and running; all it takes is a website, some shopping cart software, a payment gateway and hey, presto you’re up and running.
Web development has come a long way; there’s now no need to pay for an expensive developer and designer, in fact if you consider online retailing carefully you could produce a fully working retailing website in less than a couple of hours.
So, we know that setting up a website is a piece of cake but how easy is it to actually sell products or services?
It is this part that determines the success or failure of a website; for whilst it is easy to get an online shop up and running, getting customers to it is an entirely different matter.
It’s not really surprising why most websites fail in their first year; it takes an inordinate amount of work, time and money to successfully promote a website and then you have the issue of gaining the buyer’s trust.
Even those at the top of the food chain, such as Amazon, spend vast sums of money on marketing in order to stay ahead of the game and continuously lure in new and existing customers.
So how can the start-up from a bedroom get ahead and how can they attract buying customers with little or no marketing budget?
We have the usual fare of social networks; there’s Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and more, all of which you can promote goods and services on for free.
Certainly these work to some degree but for many social network users they are not looking to buy but rather to engage; hence the term ‘social network’.
Take a look at you own Facebook account and see what your friends are posting… do they post products and services that they have found interesting? In most cases the answer is no and in fact if you look that the average post it’ll consist of amusing or shocking pictures and videos; of course there’s also the proliferation of their ‘personal’ agenda.
Other possible routes are forums that are specific to what you are trying to sell. Forums however take time to cultivate and you need to regularly engage with the users; simply hitting a forum and posting links will only result in ridicule from the members and likely see you being banned.
Other routes that can be considered are paid advertising through the likes of Google AdWords; whilst these might be useful it again comes down to money and money that many start-ups simply do not have.
It is of course essential that a website is well optimised so that the major search engines, such as Bing and Google are able to index the content, however this is also a game of time, effort and money for neither will index any new website very high in the rankings; it takes people visiting a website and sharing the content for this to take effect.
Just the other day I was looking for ways to promote goods and services after a friend who announced he was having a hard time attracting potential customers to his new website.
During my search I came across a new start-up called Connectboy – http://connectboy.com – and it immediately caught my eye because whilst there are many classified advertising websites available there are few that can claim to be a ‘Classified Social Network’.
The concept is stunningly simplistic… Connectboy provides businesses, professionals, individuals and even affiliates the ability to post ‘free’ advertisements within a social network environment.
The social aspects centre on the member’s ability to bookmark advertisements of interest; you can even create your own bookmark folders so that you can place specific goods and services in an ordered fashion making it easy for potential buyers to re-visit and compare goods or services.
Sharing is also a feature and it allows both advertiser and potential customer to promote their goods or services via the major social networks.
Social to me means the ability to communicate and Connectboy in this area excels for there is an internal ‘messaging’ system which allows potential customers to ask the seller questions about their products or services.
This effectively bridges the ‘trust’ gap if those selling take the time to answer questions and socially engage with their potential customers and may even develop long-term loyalty.
Now if you’re a business, professional, individual or someone earning money from affiliate programs, Connectboy is just the tool you need to get selling.
In order to help, Connectboy offers 30 day free advertising – that’s not a one-off it’s for each and every product or service you post. After the 30 days advertisers are sent an email with an offer to extend the advertising for an additional 30 days and the price… just £1.99.
Nobody is obliged to extend their advertising; in fact you can simply ignore the email and after the free 30 day ad period expires your advertisement will simply disappear.
So there you have it… a basically free tool for anyone who wants to sell goods or services. It’s also great for members of the public… want to sell your car or house? No problem for Connectboy is an open classified social network that allows anyone to register and sell.
If you don’t have a website but you like to shop online then consider registering at Connectboy.com for its main objective is bargains, offers and sales items.
All in all it’s a great service and this could be the solution that retailers and buyers have been looking for…. a great way to sell and engage.
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