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EP#15: Gleam Talks Growth Hacks

September 2, 2014 | Filed under Podcasts

Gleam.io_luna_podcast_

You can also download this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Growing your customer base requires delicate planning and strategic thinking. It takes many trials and errors to lock down the right formula for your business. Most importantly, you must set  concrete goals to be able to measure success / failure of all your promotional campaigns.

Online competitions are a great growth hack, they enable your brand to engage with your audience while incentivizing them to spread the word.

In this podcast, Stuart MC-Keown, co-founder of Gleam discusses growth hacks and strategies to get you more qualified customers via competition. Gleam is an online tool designed to help increase user engagement – via competitions, rewards programs or feedback forms.

You can launch a competition through Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook by encouraging users to submit photos or sharing hashtags for example. There are many recipes to launching a competition.

Ideally, before you start, you should have an audience in place. You can get started with just 500 to 1,000 followers and grow from there.

In this podcast, Stuart provides recommendations on how you can start a competition and more.

You will learn:
- The benefits of running a contest
- Tactics to efficiently run a contest
- At what stage you should run a contest
- How you can get 2,000 order with a successful contest

Conclusion: Still not convinced? I suggest you read Gleam.io case study on how they helped Beardbrand reach their sales goals. Beardbrand already had an audience but needed some growth hacks advice.  They partnered up with Gleam.io to create a contest during No-Shave November, Movember. They gave away eight beard oils valued at $560 to one lucky customer and drastically grew their sales. A great read if you would like some ideas on how to run your next contest.

Join other #GlobalInfluencers for exclusive tips on creating an international business

 

VD12: How To Go From Idea To Business

August 27, 2014 | Filed under E-commerce & Fashion Trends

 

If you can’t see video above, click here: http://youtu.be/T8uFHbB77wk

Do you remember the rush of adrenaline you felt last night as you told your friends about your latest idea? Your friends applauded you while you patted yourself in the back. You woke feeling invigorated ready to take on the world. So what is next from there?

Materializing your idea into a tangible business requires some planning. In today’s video, I will provide guidance in how you can go from idea to business.

Research, planning, and execution are essential to building a successful business. Here is how you can get started:

1) Write a business plan:
It sounds cliche, but it’s necessary. A business plan will help you clearly identify potential opportunities and think about every angle of your potential business.
Use an app like Liveplan.com to help you write your business plan.
By answering a series of questions, Liveplan will help you draft a comprehensive business plan, while helping you think about every facet of your business.

2) Pick a business model:
Determine, which type of business models fits best with your idea. You will need to monetize your idea otherwise you will not have a business.

There are three types of business models you can pick from:

1) Service – provide a service in exchange for a fee, either through a project fee model or commission based.

2) Membership – ask your audience to pay a fee to access content or a specific feature. Think of it as leasing your services versus asking your clients for a flat fee.

3) Affiliate marketing / Advertising:
With affiliate marketing / advertising business models, you earn money based on your business referrals and overall audience. You earn a commission based on how many leads you generate. If you choose to pick this form of monetization, you should keep into consideration that you will need bigger traffic. You need to ensure you have a substantial audience. You will need to first grow your audience before being able to monetize from this model .

ShareSale, Amazon Associates and ClickBank are affiliate programs you can sign-up for.

Conclusion: Think about every facets of your potential business. Planning will help with the execution of your idea.

If you want more tips on traveling, business and reaching a global audience, subscribe to my youtube channel to receive my videos right into your mailbox every week. 

EP#14: Storefront shares pop-up store best practices and more

August 26, 2014 | Filed under Podcasts

 

STOREFRONT_luna_podcast_

You can also download this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Today’s financial climate and the accrued access to off-the-shelf e-commerce technologies, has made leasing a retail store obsolete for many businesses. As more businesses move strictly online, competing for customers’ attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Creating astute marketing efforts which include pop-up events to interact in Real Life with customers, is indispensable.
E-commerce stores like Warby Parker, Bonobos and others; have dabbled with this Hybrid Retail model (selling primarily online with occasional pop-up stores in key markets) and have been quite successful with it — read more on my previous blog post.

I have been following for about a year, The Storefront, a start-up who democratized the pop-up retail experience. Through their online platform, they provide short-term pop-up retail rentals to companies. Their platform has been compared as “the Airbnb of retail.”

No doubt – there is great value in hosting a pop-up event and giving potential customers access to your products – so they can feel, touch and try on your products. However, many small online businesses often dismiss the power of real life marketing. Until recently, orchestrating a pop-up event required logistical prowess. Between negotiating with landlords, having liability insurance, finding an available space of your liking, and organizing event; throwing a pop-up event was no walk in the park.

In this podcast, I interview, Tristan Pollock, co-founder of Storefront, to discuss pop-up store best practices, ideas on how to design your next event and more. With Storefront, you can now create meaningful experiences for your customers. A pop-up event is not only valuable for you to get real time feedback about your product, but for your customer to be able to get in direct contact with your brand.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Pop-up store best practices
  • How to plan a pop-up event
  • Ingredients needed to run a successful pop-up event
  • Stories from other online retailers who created pop-up events
  • Recommendations on how to continue the conversation after the event
  • Appropriate time to launch a pop-up event and more…

Have you ever organized a pop-up event? What was the outcome?
Share your personal stories. I would love to hear from you.

Sign-up and join other #GlobalInfluencers for exclusive tips on creating an international business

VD11: Get Inspired To Create Fun Marketing Content

August 20, 2014 | Filed under Videos

If you can’t see video above, click here: http://youtu.be/ZoAUFUDgC_Y

You know that feeling when you hit a major creative roadblock, incapable of coming up with new ideas. Well, that was me last week. Everything I came up with was as lame. So I had to face the harsh reality that it’s time to take “MOI” to the museum.

To stand out from your competition, you need stellar marketing content to sell your product or you will fall into a marketing black hole.

In this video, you will find a few tips to help you get inspired again:

1) Brainstorm
Brainstorm and get those creative juices flowing again. Browse through photography and images on sites like WeHeartIt and Inspiration Grid.

2) Expand your content bank
Sharing the same type of content every month will get stale. Create a list of potential content you could share sporadically. Do not be afraid to push the envelope – perhaps share every other week a music playlist, a tutorial or traveling tips. I love to use Evernote to jot down ideas as they come to me.

3) Curate Content
To stay fresh, make sure to sprinkle in within your editorial calendar – curated content. Review what is going in the news – and comment on topics that relate to your brand. Leverage tools like Scoop.it or EverPost as they will help you find best content for you by crawling web for specific keywords.

Conclusion: Remember to have fun and let your passion shine. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when managing your business. That’s why stepping away from your computer to recharge your creative batteries is essential for the health of your business.

EP#13: Bib & Tuck discusses disruptive e-commerce

August 19, 2014 | Filed under Podcasts

Bib & Tuck Podcast Luna Vega

You can also download this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Bib & Tuck did just that by being in-tune with consumers’ need to be environmentally conscious. They disrupted the online resaler’s market by simplifying an otherwise cumbersome process. Bib & Tuck is a fashion swap site where users can sell and buy items from a list of approved brands. Sellers send their items and Bib & Tuck takes care of the rest.

Bib & Tuck has been in business for three years and has done an incredible job creating an innovative e-commerce experience while building a loyal audience.

Their business grew organically by first reaching out to their immediate contacts and growing from there. Their philosophy centered around testing out features within their site, being attuned to their customer’s need and more.

They started as a member only site with no cash transactions – think a closet swap with all your closest girlfriends. Through word of mouth, they enlisted more users who became brand ambassadors for the brand and eventually opened to a wider audience.
Bib & Tuck now has a global following and hopes to ship internationally by next year.

In this podcast, you will learn:
- how Bib & Tuck differentiated themselves from other resaler’s websites
- useful tips on creating a viable prototype and disruptive e-commerce model
- importance of integrating analytics tools within your e-commerce
- Bib & Tuck’s learnings from their years in business
and more…

Thanks for listening! Share what you are working on by hashtagging #GLOBALINFLUENCER on Twitter or Instagram.

Sign-up and join other #GlobalInfluencers for exclusive tips on creating an international business.

SEO Best Practices in E-commerce

August 14, 2014 | Filed under E-commerce & Fashion Trends

SEO-Best-Practices | Img via http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-28208462/stock-photo-web-seo-chart-on-blackboard

You already know that you need to show up on Google to succeed in business. But with so much to learn about SEO, it can be overwhelming. You don’t need to be an expert to get your site ranked. Just follow these SEO best practices to get you on your way.

The Basics of Google Ranking

The way Google ranks pages is based on keyword relevance, relevant backlinks and social media participation. How relevant and popular Google thinks your site is will determine how high it ranks in search results. For example, let’s consider the keyword “fashion apparel.” If you want to rank well for “fashion apparel in New York City,” you will need to include keywords like “women fashion apparel nyc,” “dresses nyc,” and “shirts nyc,” for example. Simply use Google AdWords and the Keyword planner tool to get list of current keywords your e-commerce site can leverage. The more specific your keywords, the easier it will be to differentiate your site from the competition.

There are a few different elements that must be addressed when working to get your site well-ranked in Google:

Keyword density - This refers to how many times a specific keyword appears on your website. It determines how pertinent your website is for a particular keyword. However, please note that Google made an algorithm shift called “Hummingbird” in October 2013 that is better at detecting hacks. It rewards companies that are actively blogging. Simply creating hidden pages with repeated keywords will no longer work; this is what many SEO consulting companies do. These days keyword density must be used by simply sprinkling them within your copy content. For example, if you sell a gothic fashion line, ensure the term “gothic apparel” or “gothic jewelry” is used throughout your site.

Backlinking - This refers to the number of sites linking back to your website. It determines how influential your website is. When people link their website to yours, it shows that the information you provide is of some value to their users. This creates an air of authority for your website. The more websites that link to yours, the more authority you appear to have.

Here is how you work to build backlinks:

  • PR: Reaching out to various news publication and blogs will help you create backlinks.
  • Commenting on blogs: Research the web for interesting articles that relate to your subject matter and write back a response that is pertinent. If you have written a blog post that is related in the past, you can go ahead and link back to your site. This option is extremely time-consuming so I usually don’t recommend it unless you have the time.

Tools For Better SEO

Google Webmaster Tools - This free tool helps find and fix vexing SEO problems. Also use Google AdWords and Google Analytics to see what type of organic searches you are getting and which keyword is performing well for you.

Consolidate your URLS - Specify the canonical URL in the HTTP header of the product page for an item on sale. This tells Google it’s a duplicate of another URL, and to rank the unique version of the page, not this one.

So basically your goal to help your ranking is to have as many people talk about you as possible and have the most relevant keywords on your site. Keywords are an important part of SEO but they are also helpful for customer searches. You want to make it easy for customers to see and find your products. Keep keywords simple and make sure to properly tag products with descriptions that can be easily searched.

This is an excerpt from my book The Global Influence. If you want to learn more about SEO and how to turn your e-commerce site into a global brand, grab my book here.

VD10: How To Get More Reviews From Your Customers

August 13, 2014 | Filed under E-commerce & Fashion Trends

If you can’t see video above, click here:  http://youtu.be/Qg0NLrrlKu0

However, asking customers to provide reviews can be tricky. As a business, you don’t want to be too pushy and turn-off your customers.

Watch this video, to get some ideas on how to get more reviews from your customers without coming off like an “Ask-Hole”.

1) Give customers a reason to provide a review

Offer outstanding services and products. Understand specific needs of each of your customer. Try to help them find a solution to their problem; whether shipping an item just in time for a special occasion or walking them through your return policies. Be patient and kind.

Analyze customers’ behaviors on your site and interact accordingly.
Install a cart abandonment app to reach you to customers dropping off from your site – try Jilt or Rejoiner.

Finally, thank new customers who just purchased from you. Make them feel special, perhaps add a surprise goodie like a free music track, etc. Your extra efforts will translate into positive reviews.

2) Include After Purchase Prompts

Email your customers right after they have purchased from you. You can also providing 20% discount on future purchases or Free Shipping in exchange for a review. The following is a standard practice. Make sure to ask for an honest review otherwise following practice is questionable. You want customers to provide a review on their specific purchasing experience or product. Ask them to rate a series of questions – make the process of providing a review as painless as possible.

3) Social Media Polling: 

Listen to what customers are saying about your brand on Social Media and key reviewing sites. The following should be part of your ongoing reputation management strategy. Set-up Google Alerts and be review social media chatter.

Apps you should look into implementing within your e-commerce site include: Yotpo, Dropifi and Get Five Stars.

Conclusion: Always thank your customers for the feedback they provided, even if it’s negative. Do not under-estimate the power of word of mouth.

Streamline and organize your sales marketing funnel by automatically including feedback requests   from loyal customers. Include each reviews directly within your site to ensure visibility.

 

EP#12: Black Milk Clothing’s Quest For Global Invasion

August 12, 2014 | Filed under Podcasts

Black Milk Clothing Podcast Luna Vega

You can also download this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Black Milk Clothing was founded in 2009 by James Lillis with just a Tumblr blog “TooManyTights” and a thirst to revolutionize the clothing industry.

James Lillis bought a sewing machine, picked fabrics at local markets and started experimenting from his home in Brisbane, Australia. He used Tumblr as testing forum, by posting his legging designs and asking for feedback. Black Milk Clothing bonded with their audience by including them in the creative process. Within a few months, Black Milk Clothing built a community around their blog and opened their e-commerce store in 2010. Black Milk Clothing his now a multi-million dollar company selling globally.

Building an e-commerce business is at everyone’s reach and Cameron Parker will explain how.

Black Milk Clothing was able to differentiate themselves with their niche brand, unique design and early technology adoption. Deciding to go online from the onset, enabled them to put Brisbane, Australia in the Fashion map. Their marketing strategy consists of providing cheeky content, having one on one discussions with their customers, and not being afraid to encourage inactive customers to unsubscribe.

With a slogan like “Give me nylon or give me death” and 920K followers on Instagram, Black Milk Clothing knows how to engage w. their audience.

Black Milk Clothing adopted early on hashtags by including pics of their customers wearing their leggings within their e-commerce site. Cameron highly recommends up and coming brands to integrate this feature within their site  >>  watch my past Instagram episode to learn which apps you can use to implement following feature.

In this podcast, Cameron will provide:
- tips on best ways to get your online business started
- recommendations on best ways to build an audience from scratch
- social media best practices
- wise words on how to keep your customers happy

Thanks for listening! Was this Podcast useful? Let me know what you are working on by hash tagging #globalinfluencer on Twitter or Instagram.

Join other #GlobalInfluencers for exclusive tips on creating an international business.

 

 

Want More Customers? Follow These E-commerce Best Practices

August 7, 2014 | Filed under Digital Marketing Tips, E-commerce tips

E-commerce-Best-Practices | img via http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-52434685/stock-photo-stop-doing-what-doesn-t-work

Many of my clients often come to be frustrated that their site is not bringing them more sales. They think that increasing their social media efforts will be the answer to their problem, when in reality the real problem is their online storefront.

Even if you are using a template e-commerce site there are several usability best practices which will help ramp up your business.

  1. Photography and Design are key - I can’t say this enough. Good presentation  says a lot about your brand. Having beautiful photography that nicely displays your product, including shots from different angles, will help turn browsers into buyers. Make sure that your design is clean and modern. Use online shop templates if you don’t have access to a web designer. Here are some great templates, I recommend: Shopify Templates, Prestashop Template, WordPress Template, Squarespace Templates
  2. Display your products in the homepage - Your customers shouldn’t have to look for your products – make it easy for them to buy and find items they need. Your products must be displayed front and center in the homepage. You should also include clear descriptions for your products. Take the time to write copy that is engaging and tells a story. Additionally, adding descriptions and Alt Tags to your images will help your SEO. On your secondary product pages you should include zooming functionality on all of your products and pictures. Users need to get a good understanding of the type of product they are buying. Zooming in enables them to get a sense of what they are about to purchase. It’s akin to them picking it up in a store and looking at it closely.
  3. Clear navigation & search functionality - Your site must have a straight forward navigation that is  easy  to understand. Do no try to reinvent the wheel. The user experience is similar on most e-commerce sites for a reason. People are used to navigating a site in a particular way. Changing things significantly will likely confuse your audience. If you have a big inventory – YOU MUST include a search functionality and bread crumbs. Ensure the result page includes recommended products and has filters such as color, sizing, to help user find specifically what they are looking for.  Add an auto-completion feature as it will help suggest products to look for on your site.  You need to ensure that users can easily find what they are looking for beyond navigation.
  4. SEO Optimized keywords & Copy –  Many e-commerce store under-estimate the power of copy. Including copy with SEO optimized keywords will help your google ranking.  Be playful while making sure that keywords relevant to your brand are used frequently enough to help you google rank. You can find relevant keywords by simply using Google Ad Words. You will need to include descriptions and Alt tags on all of the images you upload.

You need to work to have your e-commerce site stand out from the crowd, whether it’s through the story you have to tell or the uniqueness of the product you sell. Photography, engaging copy and clear website navigation is key for an e-commerce site to succeed. Following these few e-commerce best practices will seriously boost traffic and conversions on your online store.

VD9: How To Boost Your Sales Using Instagram

August 6, 2014 | Filed under Videos

 

If you can’t see video above, click here: http://youtu.be/Maeos0LzQRk

Instagram was named “King of Social Media Engagement” by a Forrester research.

One of the challenges when using Instagram is that photos do not directly drive traffic to your site. A brand must generate enough interest for users to click on their profile.  Ironing out your Instagram marketing strategy is important.

1) Pick a theme & schedule your pics:

  • It is important to extend your brand story through visual language.
  • Choosing a few themes which complement your brand narrative will help you post pictures that add value to your messaging.
  • Some suggestions of themes include travel, behind the scenes, inspirational or lifestyle. It’s important to not make it all about your product or take too many selfies.
  • Next, schedule your pics ahead of time – use an app like lategram.me and scatter your post to twice a day.
  • Consistency is key when looking to engage with your audience.
  • Finally, make sure to re-post and interact with your audience.

2) Integrate Instagram within your site

  • It’s been proven that people feel more comfortable buying when they see others have already purchased from you. It helps generate trust.
  • Additionally, users like to see how garments or products have been used by others. 
  • Social Photos & Tag Tray are 2 apps you can easily integrate within WordPress / SquarespaceShopify and BigCommerce sites.

3)  Run a contest

  • Contests are a great way to engage your audience but the challenge is to make it compelling enough. Additionally, you need to make the price appealing enough.
  • Providing a 20% discount to your e-commerce store won’t work. I encourage you read other brand’s case studies to understand effective marketing strategies, like Beardbrand’s success story.
  • Tools to use include: Iconosquare.com or Gleam.io

Conclusion:
Give your audience a reason to follow you. Do not get discouraged and feed a steady picture stream for at least three months.

Thanks for watching!

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