I’m just back from a fantastic holiday in Portugal feeling refreshed and relaxed. I’m motivated and I’m raring to go!
I hope you are also feeling like this… Optimistic. Positive. Ready to achieve.
I’m sure you are feeling positive right now, after all, there’s even been a spot of actual UK summer sunshine recently… but I also know how easy it is to let tiny disappointments get the better of you.
How often have you thought: ‘Yes, today is the day’?
You’ve spent hours carefully crafting your product description, following every piece of advice I’ve ever given you.
You’ve taken amazing and eye-catching photos.
You’ve created a title that includes every relevant keyword imaginable and you are absolutely sure your product will sell.
And now, finally, the time has come – your listing is nearing its end. You check your grand total… and you realise you’ve sold the ‘not about to set the world on fire’ total of 5!
All that work. All that effort. For what feels like very little!
I’m not trying to depress you – that’s the last thing I want to do because I want you to succeed. I’m just trying to point out that I’ve been in exactly the same scenario as I’ve just described and I think it is safe to say that every online seller, no matter how successful, has been there.
You may do well on your first sale, even your first few sales, but at some point you will undoubtedly find yourself with a product that simply will not sell.
It can be incredibly disheartening, but I’ve got good news for you. Your online journey doesn’t end there – just don’t succumb to the inevitable disappointment.
Let me let you into a little secret. The difference between success and failure in making a living as an online seller is knowing that failure is never the end. There’s a little expression that I remind myself of if I make a poor product choice (which can happen on occasion) and that expression is ‘Fail Forward’.
You see, when it all goes wrong, when the manure hits the metaphorical fan, there are two ways that you can look at your situation. You can either see yourself hitting a brick wall and believing that there is no way through, or you can see yourself as stumbling over a little tiny hurdle in the road… but gaining some ground in the process.
Personally, I prefer the latter choice and that’s how you should look at it too.
If your first listing, even your first few listings, have failed to bring in the profit that you were hoping for then you may be convinced that you have run headlong into an immovable object.
You may be at the point of giving up altogether and assume that you just aren’t meant to be able to make a living in this way.
You may even feel like a complete failure, particularly if you really and truly believe that this was the way out of that 9 to 5 job you hate.
Now, if this is you, obviously I don’t know your exact circumstances and I don’t know why you haven’t had success to date in making a reasonable profit from your listings.
But what I do know is that you are certainly not a failure just because you haven’t found a product that works for you yet.
Let’s return to ‘failing forward’…
If a product doesn’t sell as successfully as I hoped, I know that I have learned from it.
I might have learned that writing in a highly persuasive manner doesn’t work when selling products to those that are used to dealing with what they deem to be sales spiel.
Perhaps a gentler touch could be the strategy?
I might have learned that people really aren’t interested in buying false eyelashes after all. I might simply need to research a new product to sell. Maybe I learned that some days I will just be unlucky, bite the bullet and get on with listing another product.
Whatever the lesson might be, by identifying it instead of convincing myself that I have messed up and lost my chance, I can keep going, knowing that what looks like failure is actually a valuable opportunity to learn.
I haven’t hit a brick wall. Instead, I have gained some ground toward the end of the journey which is my ultimate success.
If you are in this position now, or even if you aren’t but are worried about being there in the future, here are a few solutions that will help you to get back into the game.
– Don’t give up. Find another product to sell. If you aren’t having success selling a particular product it could be because, at the moment, there really isn’t a demand.
Alternatively, you may be trying to compete in a popular market where larger sellers are able to undercut you. If your confidence is on the verge of breaking, look for a range of items that you can sell for a small profit each. Even a small profit will help motivate you and propel you toward success.
– Think of another selling strategy. It could be that you actually do have a product that people want for a price that they can afford, but that they just aren’t finding your listings.
Try writing descriptions in a different manner and tweaking your keywords. Always have in mind the audience you are selling to and try to put yourself in their shoes, thinking about what they look for online and what sort of information they need in order to buy.
– Spend time researching successful sellers. I’m not necessarily talking about sellers who bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, but have a look at some sellers who are making the sort of money that you yourself could be making a few months down the line.
Look at their listings, look at their feedback, look at their keywords and look at the products that they are selling. Obviously, I’m not telling you to copy exactly what they do, but by examining successful sellers you will learn some valuable lessons about the types of products and the selling strategies that work.
I hope you can see what might seem like a failure to you now is really nothing more than another step in your journey towards success.
If you take one thing away from this, I hope that it is this – don’t allow yourself to be downhearted and dispirited by negative experiences. Instead, rethink, research and retry – your success is within reach.