Branding Building Your eCommerce Store | Beginners Guide | Alex Huston | Skillshare

Branding Building Your eCommerce Store | Beginners Guide

Alex Huston, Coach

Branding Building Your eCommerce Store | Beginners Guide

Alex Huston, Coach

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4 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Intro: Importance of Branding Your Store

    • 2. Customize Your Store Front and Content

    • 3. Brand Presence on Social Media

    • 4. Basic Tips and Tricks

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About This Class

Start building your Shopify store! Click here:

Start customizing your content and brand with freelancers on Fiverr:

So you’ve built your Shopify eCommerce store but now what? It is time to get to work on branding.

It is 2019 folks! Online direct to consumer sales is becoming a more and more competitive space (that doesn’t mean it isn’t still massively lucrative). In the 4 day span of Black Friday to Cyber Monday in 2018 the eCommerce market broke an all-time high of recorded sales equaling a total of $7.9 billion. Yep, you read that correctly. Not to mention this was an industry increase of 19.3% from 2017.

With that being said, as business owners and entreupenuers, we need to take responsibility for setting ourselves apart in the market place online.

The lesson plan for this course consists of the following:

  • Set your brand apart with a custom logo
  • Set your brand apart with custom photography
  • How to outsource customized brand work
  • The importance of having a brand presence on social media
  • Using influencer networks to generate customized brand content
  • The 3 types of traffics that are important for your eCommerce store
  • Tips and Tricks for building brand legitimacy with new and recurring customers


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Meet Your Teacher

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Alex Huston



Alex is a determined and focused young professional who has developed an array of skills to share over the past 10 years. With primary focuses around digital marketing, eCommerce, music production and various creative software, his knowledge is applicable to several different industries.


His zealous passion and worth ethic stem from a love of learning and application of new skills to the projects and businesses he is involved with.

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1. Intro: Importance of Branding Your Store: Alright, guys, we're back again with another lesson that I hope will help you along your journey into the world of e commerce and direct to consumer sales online. If you haven't already give my profile my teacher profile follow. I've got a lot of great lessons on their anything from email marketing to store set up, and I'll be continuing to release more and more warm or lessons, so be sure to give it a follow and stay tuned for the future lessons. Today we're gonna be talking about branding the importance of building a custom brand. How we could do that, Why it's important, why, why it looks good to our potential consumers and how communicating with potential consumers from a custom brand identity is important, especially in 2019. As more and more people stepping in the space of the commerce. We're gonna go over some of the different tips and tricks that we can use and were to do this very quick things that weaken Dio in order to build a strong brand identity. And we're also gonna go over some of the bigger important aspects of building out, you know, custom content and things along that matter and having having a strong social presence online without further ado, let's pop in my computer. I'm gonna show some examples while we go through this. Talk about the mind set you need tohave kind of kind of the idea behind. What? We're what We're really gonna wanna be looking for the quality and really just the baseline standard that we should all hold ourselves to a Z business owners, and so let's dive in. 2. Customize Your Store Front and Content: Okay, guys. So the first thing we're gonna talk about is what we can do in order to set our brand aside on our marketplace on our actual website and e commerce store. So the 1st 2 things I'm gonna point out is developing out. Ah, customized logo and developing out custom content. Now, the example I'm using here is a company called Strong. Um, it's company that I work with, ah, feature them in some of my other lessons. And they're really great company. If you want to take a look at them, Um, go ahead. It's get strong dot com. Um, but you can see right out the gate, we've got a customized logo and we're gonna be able to use this, you know, on our website, it's gonna be used in our email newsletters and email marketing efforts. It's going to be used on pretty much any piece of content that we're putting out on social media on our social media platforms, and it's gonna differentiate us from any other brand. Um, developing out ah, customized logo with a customized font and some type of customized graphic will allow you to associate custom imagery to your brand into your products. Ah, that people will be able to recognize. You know, there's a reason why um, the Nike swoosh is so famous. You know, when you see that anywhere you know, it's Nike. Um, and so there's something very powerful in doing this. It doesn't. It inhibits your competitors from directly copying you. Um, when when you go and make your own way than you build your own brand. Um, it's it's much more difficult for anybody else in your niche or in your industry to just directly copy it, because you're up to something that is unique, that is individual to you, your company and your products. And so this is very important. Um, I bet there are tons of lessons on skill share about how to develop out of customized logo , whether it's doing that in, you know, photo shop or designer or affinity. Um, if you don't want to do that, there's a great freelance website that you can use called Fiverr. Ah, there's a link in the description, um, and you can pretty much find anything on there Anything from designed to photography. Um, and so that's a quick fix to in order. Teoh get over that hurdle and and and really begin to set your brand apart. Ah, the second thing that we want to talk about is customized photography. Okay, we're gonna head over to another page of our of our brand. And, um, customized photography is also a really important an aspect of building out, um, building out a brand and brand presence online, because again, it's gonna be way less easy for your competition to replicate or copy you. Um, and it's gonna set you apart if you're developing out content consistently around your Brandon around your products. Um, it's just gonna set you apart in the digital space. People can tell the difference. Consumers are getting smarter. Um, and there's really no excuse, especially as business owners these days. There's really no excuse. Pretty much everybody has an iPhone or some type of smartphone that can take pictures. Um, and if if you're getting creative enough, you can you can make some pretty good looking custom ah, photography from from your iPhone. Um and so it's just that little bit of extra effort that's gonna put you your marketplace. Ah, your products and your ah, your presence on online and in the digital ecosystem, um, ahead of anybody else, especially in 2019. As more and more people are starting to come into this space, it's becoming more and more imperative. Ah, that as business owners, we take these extra steps to make sure that we're ahead of the curve and ahead of our of our competition. 3. Brand Presence on Social Media: Okay, so the next thing we're gonna talk about here is the importance of a social media presence . Um, you know, if if we're going to be selling products online from our own marketplace, it is really important to have a social media presence both on Facebook and Instagram. At the very least. Obviously, if you're gonna be marketing from these platforms, you need a Facebook account. Um, Twitter is also ah, great platform to engage with people dependent on what your product is or what your service . Ah, But typically, my main focus is on Facebook and instagram and more primary are more primarily it's on instagram because that's where we're gonna be sharing content. That's where we're gonna be developing out our audiences for the most part. Um, so let's dive into that. I'm gonna use a few examples here of ah, how we can do this, what it looks like, um and really the time and effort that we can take because again, these air these air free market access tools to us is entrepreneurs. And as business owners, you know, it doesn't cost anything to set up a Facebook account. It doesn't cost anything to set up an instagram account. And again, if we're hustling out there, it doesn't cost anything to take custom pictures of your products with your iPhone or your smartphone in 2019. Um, other than maybe you were your skill share subscription and learning how to edit a photo, your photo or to, um So what we want to do here is take a peek. We're gonna look at movement watches there. A huge, huge e commerce company. Ah, they do when men's and women's watches, sunglasses and other small jewelry accessories. Um, and you can see that they have a very deliberate effort into the quality and, um, consistency of their content creation. Um, and you'll notice here that if we were on mobile, you'll notice that within Shopify they tag all their products. So anybody who sees this picture can click on this picture and directly go to, um, their store to try and try and purchase it. So that's a huge, huge major, Um, a major advantage of, you know, tying in your instagram platform into your Shopify back end. Um, and if you have any questions on how to do that, feel free to shoot me a message. It's really easy to set up. But product tagging on instagram is a great way to use again this free market access tool to try and sell product. Um, so again, if we take a look at this, we can really see the effort that they take into to making really nice content. Um, Teoh developing out a consistent engagement with their audience. Um, you know, we can see they've got over 35 are close to 3500 posts. Um, I believe this company started back in 2012 or something like that. Um, and and we can just really see the effort they put into this. Um, I think another thing I'd like to mention they don't do it so much on this on on this brand . But, um, take time and use the tools that are available on these platforms to your advantage is I really love to see companies who do who do that, uh, who do something like this where they take the highlights and they collect them and make them very nice and organized up top. Here. You can see this company has customer reviews. They talk about their support. They talk about their shipping and they feature some products. You know, again, these are all tools that, with just a little extra work, a little extra time we can really make our presence and our brand look legitimate and look appealing to consumers. Um, and it's it's all available to us with just a little extra time in a little extra work. So, um, if we were to go back to movement, I think the biggest thing that, um a lot of these successful e commerce companies have really been able to, um, isolate is how they generate all this content. So, um, if we go and reverse engineer a little bit of this and I actually had the opportunity. There was a live stream that the the two owners of this company did where they did a Q and A and I I actually asked them this question and they answered it. This this was probably 2.5 years ago, and I said to them, How do you develop out all this content? And it appears that you don't develop it out yourself. How have you have? How have you gone about doing that? And so what I mean by that is, if we take a look at each of these images, we can go in and look at their content and every single image that they have. They credit a photographer, they credit somebody who has taken this photo. So what we can do from this is you know, we obviously we can click on this profile and take a peek at it. We can see that this guy is a luxury travel creator. He does photo and video. He probably works with a ton of brands creating content for them. And, um And so what the's large e commerce companies have done and have become smart enough to do is develop out a network of people just like this guy mere, um, where they probably have anywhere from a company this size, probably anywhere from, ah, 50 to 100 different injured individuals, generating content for them on a regular weekly basis. Um, now, I know that sounds intimidating. If you're just getting started, there is a easier way to do this. Um, you know, you can find people, uh, like this gentleman, um, who are just getting started as well. Okay, so there this is the basis the basics of what we would call influencer marketing. Um, and we can tell that mirror is a pretty reputable one. He's got a large audience. Um, he clearly does this for a living, or at least one source of income. But there's also other people on the platform that you confined just by searching either via hashtags that relate to your product or your company, Um, or or by looking at other companies and seeing who they're using, Um, you can find other people who are just getting started with this and what we would call a micro influencer who has has anywhere from 2500 to 10,000 people in their audience. They're probably a little more approachable. They're probably a little bit, uh, less expensive toe work with, um, and you'll still get great custom content, Um, to the level where you're outsourcing it on it becomes a consistent effort. Um, and hopefully it'll help you drive sales. So it'll become, um, an effort that eventually pays for itself, especially if you're using product tagging and things like that. And you're and you're developing your own following. Um, so I think that's a major thing to look at here about developing. Ah, custom brand and I really standing out with your online presence is using the tools and the people and the network that's available on these platforms to your advantage. It is all there to tap into, um, and it's actually pretty cool. You can get lost in it following the trail of I call it the Spider Web. You can follow the Web wherever it goes and see, See what this guy does. And maybe he works for a company as well and see what that company does and find all the people that work for that company who also do this, Um, and so you can really start to build. Probably within an hour or two. You could have a list of anywhere from 50 to 100 people that you could reach out via email and see if, if they're willing to work with, you are interested in helping your brand develop develop its presence online. And so I think, for the the third and final thing that we want to hit as it relates to building a social media presence is, um, your audience that you're building you know there's. There's a reason why these companies consistently develop out Ah, really high quality content to post It's not. It's not just toe, um, to make their instagram page look good. It's also because they're developing and building a community that they can tap into. And so this is where it really becomes important on the level of marketing and and what we want to accomplish his business owners, which is making sales online. And this brings us to the last topic in this in this in this video about three different types of traffic. And so the first type of traffic that we're gonna find in the world of e commerce is organic traffic. This is traffic that's gonna come from s yo from search just organically. You're not paying for it. People are just kind of stumbling upon you. Um, it can also come from, you know, using hashtags properly on instagram to place your photos in front of people who have similar interests and what you're product or brand has to offer. The second type of traffic is gonna be, um it's gonna be traffic. You pay for traffic you pay for, and that's gonna look like search. Ah, ECM through Google Google ads. It's gonna look like YouTube ads that's gonna look like paid social media advertisement. Um, and if you really want to take it old school into the next level, you know, radio, commercial, things like that. Um, but traffic you pay for in the third and Final is gonna be traffic you own. And so these are gonna be the people who like your facebook page thes. We're gonna be people that, um, that follow you on instagram. These are gonna be people who have subscribed your email list. And the main goal off all three of these traffic sources is to turn organic traffic and traffic you pay for in a traffic you own. So that's where we get into the conversation of if we're paying for traffic, we want to make sure that we're trying to capture their email on our website. Um, same with organic traffic. If somebody stumbles upon us and they get to our website, how are we? How are we? How are we gonna be able to re engage them to a point where we don't have to pay for it again or the cost of it is very, very low. Um, and I think the most important thing when we look at Instagram or Facebook in building these communities again why these companies take such an effort into developing out content like this is, um, those one million followers that this company has within paid social platforms they could run advertisements directly to those people. People who have engaged and actually gone through to their instagram page and hit follow and said to instagram, I want to see anything that this company does. I want to follow them. I want to engage with them. Um, and so it's not so much traffic traffic we own, but again, the cost of it is gonna be very low. And it's gonna be a much more targeted audience, um, than anything else we will try to pay for in our marketing efforts in terms of generating sales are e commerce platform, um, marketing to somebody who is already engaged with you and and has chosen to engage with you , ah is much. It's much easier to convert that person into a customer and a recurring customer than somebody who is just being introduced to your your brand. Your product you think about it. It's like if we were to talk about this in the sense of door to door sales. Um, if if you go around your neighborhood or a neighborhood that you've never been to and you knock on doors, that's basically the same as traffic you're paying for, um is placing some type of product in front of somebody and saying, Hey, I'm knocking on your door. Thought you might like this by it. No. Okay, let me try and let me come back a few days later and try again. But if that person is, ah, it's one of your acquaintances, one of your friends or a friend of a friend and you go over and you say, Hey, I know you because you know my buddy Steve. Steve told me you like X and I sell X. Um, I thought you might want to check this out. Think about how much how much more likely that person is. Toe, um, subscribe to your brand or your product than the person that you just randomly knocked on their door. I'm so very important, very important to be ableto Teoh. Generate an audience and community around your Brandon around your products, and we can do that with the power of social media 4. Basic Tips and Tricks : Okay, guys. So the last thing we're gonna talk about in this lesson are we're gonna talk about three tips. Ah, and quick tricks that we can implement to give our brand aim or, um, legitimate presence online and especially with interacting with consumers. So the 1st 1 this should be obvious, but I see people miss it, Purchase a custom domain. You can either do this in Shopify when you set up your store or you can do it with 1/3 party provider. Whether that be go daddy or somebody else. Ah, but purchase a custom domain. Um, if you don't purchase a custom domain and you put your site live, it's gonna be the name of your store dot my Shopify dot com. Um and I can't imagine many consumers who are purchasing online really know what Shopify is , but it just looks bad, and we want to We want to have a clean and a clear brand presence online. We want people to type in our brand name, dot com and and head to our marketplace and be able to buy product, interact with us. So first things first is by a domain. The second thing is going to be purchase a customized email mailbox. You can again either do this through shop fight where you can do it through 1/3 party provider. Um, and connect that to your website. Um, this is gonna be important for sending newsletters, um, for interacting with people on customer service enquiries. Um, you know, it's going. It's gonna look more professional again. We wanna have, um, a legitimate presence to people and to our consumers. I've seen this mistake as well with people setting up a Gmail account and doing their brand name at gmail dot com. It's just It just doesn't look good. We wanna have we wanna have an email address that is info at our brand name dot com or something similar that where we can engage customers as the company as the business. Um, and these air very small, inexpensive things. It costs probably $14. Teoh purchase a domain for the year. It costs about, I believe, 25 25 bucks for the year to purchase an email. Ah, mailbox. So take take that extra step and and really bring a legitimate presence to your business so that you can interact with your customers, um, from from the standpoint of your business and and have a legitimate appearance because we are legitimate, were business owners. And we're entrepreneurs, and we we're gonna engage our customers. Ah, in a professional sense, the final trick that we're gonna want to do is, um, outsource customer service now dependent on your product or your brand and certainly where you are in the process of building your e commerce platform. Um, this is gonna be a an optional thing, obviously from in the first few weeks, the first few months, maybe even the first several months. The customer service enquiries may be manageable for one or two people. Um, in order to to manage the people who are purchasing and have issues with your products, we need to return. Um, but if it gets to a point where you can't focus on building the business, this needs to be outsourced. Um, and again, you can use resource is like Fiverr or other freelance web sites. Um, in order to search for people who can handle this, um, and dependent on your industry and the product that you're selling or the service that you're selling it may be something that you want to look into hiring 1/3 party company that specializes in something like this. I know there's a lot of technology companies, a lot of products that have a more in depth user interfaces that may require, ah, high level of customer service in order to make sure that the consumers happy. Because there's an entire psychology game that goes behind customer service. Um, well, we want always try and create a win win scenario for the consumer. And so if somebody has a bad experience with our product and needs to return it, there is a way to make that a win win experience where we can possibly have that customer come back, um, and purchase from us again. A big a big, big, big thing that I see happen a lot in this space, and we're to create that when when experience is either, ah, allow them to keep the product. If it's not something you're gonna be able to resell and just give them a full refund. Um, and guess what you have that that customers email. You have their point of contact, we can continue to market them, and if we create a good customer experience. We're not gonna lose that customer. But if we get to a point where we're not able to manage this and we're creating bad customer experiences, we are in the business of not being able to resell. And that's what's gonna cause a longevity four R E commerce platforms and our e commerce marketplaces is being able to resell to people over and over again. If we're looking for one time buyers, we're gonna need to find a lot of one time buyers think about it for a second if we have 101 time buyers and that gets us to a profitable place, well, if there one time buyers, we need to go find another 100 people. But if we're able to find 100 lifetime buyers or 3 to 5 time buyers were able to were ableto maximize that to the point where you know what we're set, we don't we don't need to scrap as much to find the next 101 time buyers because we've got 100 customers that may purchase anywhere from 3 to 5 times or more than that, and we can maximize that and we can use that to our advantage for longevity and prosperity in this industry. So those were the last few tips and tricks. Um, real quick. I'll go over it. I mentioned earlier in the lesson. If you want to be able to product tag, um, in your instagram posts, you're gonna head over to sales channels on your shop. Five platform if you're using we calmer. R Sorry, woo commerce. Um, there's probably an add on that you can use, but, um, you go into sales channels. You got to connect your Facebook account first. Ah, and then you can connect to your instagram account. And once those get verified, you'll be able to product tag any of the products that are, um, uploaded into your back end. Um, and again, use that free market tool to your advantage. So I hope you enjoy this lesson, guys, if there's any questions, um, please feel free to shoot me a direct message. Um, and we'll see in the next lesson.