The beauty of digital sales is that all it takes is a link — a single link to cash in on sales from anywhere. And you don’t have to sell from one single place. In this article, we’ve laid out six of the most lucrative places to sell your goods.
What follows is your no-frills, straightforward skinny on blowing through a sales clog by using all the means at your disposal. Your goal is sales. Therefore, put on your pragmatic face, and sell everywhere you possibly can.
Each of these platforms has something in common — they’re social (with the possible exception of number 6). Most entrepreneur oriented startups can’t pony up several thousands in web dev, so they dive into the closest opportunity they can — the free marketplace made up of their warmest sales leads. In other words, they go to the social media world. There’s nothing but sheer logic that backs up this approach.
Here’s where you need to be selling.
Instagram is not just a place for twenty-somethings to post pictures of their craft beer, gluten-free lunch, and duck-faced selfie. Instagram’s viral potential, insane popularity, and image-based platform is perfect for sales of any kind. Any kind? Yeah, like people selling sheep.
As a sales platform Instagram is perfect because people love images, look at images, engage with images, and share images. That’s social selling at its best.
Smithsonian Magazine reports that “some clever people have turned Instagram into a business,” but that’s not exactly accurate. More precisely, Instagram has turned their good idea into a profitable business. The Smithsonian pieces goes on to tell the success stories — like the woman selling sweaters from her closet.
Right now, only 25% of the Fortune 500 brands employ Instagram as a social platform. It’s early enough in the game for early adopters to establish credibility and a following. To take an example cited by Entrepreneur Magazine everyone has heard of Disney. And, true to form, Disney has an Instagram account. But not everyone has heard of GoPro, a portable video camera maker. However, GoPro has hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, placing them at number 11 on the top Instagram brand. Disney, by contrast, slots in at number 37.
What this example points out is that it’s not popular brands alone that can capitalize on the sales potential of Instagram. Instead, it’s skillful use of the medium.
You don’t need millions of followers to use Instagram to successfully sell. You just need your mobile phone camera and an Instagram account. By adding your sales link in your Instagram profile, you’ll start feeding your digital sales increase with a fresh influx of eager customers. An article from TwistImage states it simply: “Anyone with an Instagram account is simply putting a price on whatever is in the photograph, and selling all of these unique, used, new or slightly altered products and services to those interested in the photo sharing online social network.”
A perfect example of an individual selling on Instagram is #laurengleisberg, a self-described “health and fitness junkie” who sells health program downloads.
Lauren uses a variety of ways to educate, inspired, and entertain her audience of 40k followers. Lauren posts pictures and videos of workout moves, providing both instruction and information for her audience.
Interaction with fans and followers is key, and Lauren does makes full use of Instagram’s photo commenting. She uses plenty of tags (broader exposure across Instagram), and talks with her fans. Here’s an example:
Notice how Lauren provides a complete description of her picture, and responds to @eprokopets. Not shown are Lauren’s tags with the photo. Lauren’s process is simple. She provides an active Instagram presence, [mentions her products occasionally](http://instagram.com/p/hDxhWfE-b_/), and people visit her blog to buy her products.
Take pictures. Start selling. Instagram is a marketing platform you shouldn’t be skipping.
On the subject of pictures and videos, it’s hard to ignore YouTube. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and the 3rd most visited website. People aren’t just looking for kitten videos, either. They’re looking for advice, self-help, comfort, entertainment, and maybe even some good deals. One woman I met recently makes $20,000 each month from YouTube sales alone. People watch her videos — casual, down-to-earth, and real conversations about health, happiness, and losing weight — and then they buy her products. Her product is a health drink that is available in any pharmacy. Her unique angle, however, is that she is able to connect the product with a person (herself), add some advice, and deliver it on a platform that people use.
One strong example of YouTube sales is PhotoLightProNet. YouTube is perfect for showcasing the capabilities of their product.
From their YouTube page, an interested customer can move to purchase the product within a single clicks, drastically shortening the conversion funnel and increasing sales. Notice the screenshot below. Under the heading “Download now,” customers can immediately purchase the Mac or Windows version of the software.
Since these sell links are paired with the stunning visual showcase of the product’s capabilities, it is the perfect placement for a sale.
How does one sell digital goods on YouTube? With Sellfy, it’s a cinch, as we’ve explained in a recent tutorial. Just add a link to your video as in the above screenshot, and let the consumers click away.
Facebook is synonymous with social media. As the goliath of the social industry, there’s every reason in the world to taking your commerce to the masses of the Facebook world.
Facebook is primed and ready for digital peddlers to cut deals and boost sales. By posting offers, links, images, and pinned posts you can modify the approach to best suit your product and/or audience.
Since it is the biggest and most profitable social platform, Facebook offers myriad ways to get your product in front of the right people. Keep in mind, however, that your best allies for Facebook victory are insanely pleased customers and your plodding consistency on working the crowds and posting great content.
Adam White is a U.K. based personal trainer who drives ebook sales, consulting gigs, and personal training sessions through his Facebook page.
Adam’s Facebook page is worth the “like.” He posts videos, photos, educational tips, and motivational encouragement.
For example, here’s a motivational quote from his feed:
So, how does Adam sell his digital product?
It’s simple. Occasionally, Adam mentions his book, and provides a link to buy it:
By harnessing the marketing power of Facebook, Adam has a single link that sells his product. A simple call to action — “Buy My Latest Ebook,” and information “just £11.25,” and a link to sell it: https://sellfy.com/p/7X1Q/.
Customers are directed to a simple sales page on Sellfy.
Sellfy provides a unique Facebook advantage. Sellfy sellers can cut special deals for Facebookers. If the purchaser shares the product on Facebook, they earn a discount. Not only can you thank your customer with a discount, but you can also turn them into an evangelist and tap in on their social network. A little organic socializing always helps.
In the one second it took you to read this phrase, 5,700 tweets were sent. At the time of this writing, there were over 230 million Twitter users. In Twitter’s 7.5 years of life, there have been 300 billion total tweets. There’s a whole lot of communication going on in the Twittersphere.
Before you dismiss Twitter as being too ephemeral, think #hashtag. Hashtags are an enduring trait of our digital society. And there’s no greater place to explore the expansive empire of hashtagging than Twitter — the veritable granddaddy of hashtags. Hashtags are the secret to your digital sales enterprise on Twitter. Through strategic admixture of popular and unique hashtags, you can get your products trending…and selling.
Twitter marketing changes things on the bottom line. For example, one online merchandiser launched a Twitter-only sale using hashtags and a ton of Twitter activity. The result? In one day, they gained 100 new customers, thousands more customers, and a 1,200% ROI, according to Vocus who reported on the event.
Campaigns are cool, but there is also a lot to be said for the consistent, steady, and faithful transmission of tweets, follows, favorites, and shoutouts. Being awesome on Twitter is about playing the game according to the rules — written and otherwise — and making sure that you keep playing even if you’re not seeing an ROI.
@DeanTrippe sells on Twitter.
But the cool thing for Dean — he’s not the only one selling his product on Twitter. Thankfully, he’s not pushing his product to the nausea of his 4,500+ followers. Check out the shoutout from @SuperSpaceChick, and the direct link to Dean’s sale page.
— Kristin Hackett (@SuperSpaceChick) November 24, 2013
You have to admit, Dean’s artwork is pretty compelling.
His price is right ($0.99). And his sales process is a song:
The beauty of Sellfy is that selling on Twitter is shockingly simple and easy. Simply pop a link to your product, and people can easily buy your goods. Twitter account plus Sellfy equals major sales. Now, in the intervening seconds since you read this, more than half a million tweets have been sent. Time for you to get busy in front of a few of those 230 million users.
Email is still one of the most formidable marketing tools in your digital sales toolbox. According to a study by Jay Baer, “44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.” The better your email list, the better you’ll be doing in the world of email marketing. That’s not to say it’s an easy world where the sales just pour in with little effort. In fact, in the same study cited above nearly two-thirds of all email recipients hit the “spam” button merely when they whiff a salesy subject line.
Whether you choose to go for the hard sell in your email or not is up to you, but you can’t argue with the potential of bigger digital sales via email.
As a digital salesperson, you’re in a unique position to use the email to its maximum. You can easily offer digital freebies to build your mailing list. And then once you’ve got the addy, you can start to make a sale.
Fashion blogger Philippe von Borries discovered the power of email lists. When he built his online platform Refinery29, he wanted to make money. It wasn’t until he cashed in on his email list that he discovered how to get that money. Now, to the tune of $20 million, von Borries is still singing the praises of an email list.
Sellfy users have discovered email success. One such user is SexySuperNatural. Nancy Chalmers, health coach extraordinaire, has authored two books which she sells on her website and via her email newsletter. Here is one of Nancy’s emails that landed in my Gmail inbox:
Nancy has a powerful writing style that speaks directly to her target audience. It’s fresh, relevant, and stuff that people are interested in. Plus, it sells really well (without being obnoxious). The newsletter contains a direct link to buy her book. The green link in the screenshot above takes the user to this page. Purchase is imminent.
Digital sales have a leg up on the email technique, so it’s probably time for you to get going on it.
6. Your own Internet page
I didn’t call this a “website,” because I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea here. Call it what you want — landing pages, sales page, blog, website. Who cares. The point is, you can drive a whole lot of sales by just having a presence on the Internet of your very own. If you’re limited by budget, time, or technical expertise, don’t sweat it. A simple and unspectacular website will still improve conversions more than having none at all.
Here’s example — ThriftandThistle.co.uk. The designers at ThriftAndThistle sell “hand drawn fonts, themes, vectors, brushes, and other experimentations.”
From the homepage, you can click on a font you like to see it in action or to purchase right away:
The “buy now” button is a simple, no-frills process that leads purchasers gently through a conversion funnel that has stellar UXD.
The “Buy Now” button above, powered by Sellfy, directs to a PayPal page where the transaction is finalized.
For the vast majority of digital salespersons, there is always the possibility of selling more. What it requires is something far more simpler and accessible — being there, being present, and being active.
Chances are, you’re not trying to sell your product to the world as a whole. You’re selling to a group of people — be it code heads, sci-fi readers or photography mavens. As you find and integrate with that group on the appropriate channels, you’ll discover a new world of potential customers and better sales.
Sell digital products on the free marketplace. As an example, TemplateMonster has been providing digital products for 15 years but recently it has become a marketplace. The developers and designers can become vendors and sell their products on favorable terms.
How much profit you make depends on several things. The first is turnover. The second is the terms of sale. If you sell your products exclusively through Template Monster Marketplace, your commission will be as high as 70%. However, if you choose to sell on the site as well as other marketplaces, then you can still earn a 40% commission.
In the marketplace, you can sell:
- templates and themes for CMS
- HTML templates
- eCommerce templates
- templates for presentations, newsletters, resumes, certificates, landing pages, social media
- PSD templates
In total, there are 31 types of products you can offer.
There are several reasons to earn money selling products in this marketplace. First, it’s a well-known company with a good reputation and a solid experience in the market. Second, there were 6 million potential clients on average, in one quarter. Additionally, each vendor has made 283 sales with an average earning of $10,612!
The freedom to control your revenues is also another good reason to sell your products through TemplateMonster. You can do this by:
- boosting the quality of the product and therefore, a turnover
- launching technical support which increases sales
- adjusting the price within the suggested price range (+/- 15%)
As a vendor, pay attention to the fees for the marketplace services, client engagement, and personal management services.
With 32,000+ templates and 60,000+ digital products in total, this marketplace is a good platform for selling web design items. So, if you are a developer or a designer, it might be a pretty good source of income.