It’s never been easier to turn your unwanted items into a bit of extra spending money. All over the world, every single day, people are taking advantage of the technologies available to them to make this idea a profitable reality. All you need is a camera, an internet connection and a little bit of spare time, and you can make some space in your closet while bringing in some cash for a rainy day.
The myTOT app was created to be a parent powered marketplace that also addresses the need to make fashion more sustainable. The aim is to give mums and dads an easily accessible marketplace to offload some of their unwanted items or find bits and pieces at a discounted price to save money.
Since its introduction to the world of online second-hand clothing, many people have gotten involved in the myTOT community and are having some success on the platform. You might want to just sell a couple of things, but if you want to make your store more successful, what can you do? How do you target your audience? What other steps are there to raise your profile and attract potential customers?
We’ve put together 9 easy steps to follow in order to help build a successful brand on myTOT, so read on to find out more.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling; it’s always helpful to have a clear image of who exactly you are selling to.
Have you ever talked about something you’re thinking of buying with a friend over coffee, then later that day, you see a commercial for the exact product you were talking about in your newsfeed? Whenever this happens, we’re convinced that our phones are listening to us, but it’s not exactly the case.
What’s happening here is that your email, social media and everyday purchase history are all talking to each other. They share pieces of information over time, and an image of you is sort of formed. Your phone isn’t listening to you; it’s just that all of the things you’re doing in your life are indicating that you would probably be looking for this certain product right now, so it’s advertised to you.
Now, what can we learn from this? It’s really important to take the time to get to know who your potential customers are. It can be incredibly worthwhile to take the time to look at things like their age, location, gender, interests and hobbies. It can also be helpful to look at what kind of trends they are into, what’s their preferred social media and which topics they’re interested in.
The more you know about the person you are looking to gain as a customer, the better you will understand exactly how to communicate with them. A good place to start is locally. You know your community better than anyone else.
2. Create a Brand Personality & Tone of Voice
There’s already so much being sold on the internet that when it comes to establishing yourself as an online seller, it’s integral that you figure out what sets you apart from all the others. You need to decide exactly how you want to come across to potential customers.
Think about what your store would be like if it were a person. You need to establish what is important to you. If your store were a person, who would it hang out with? This is a great question to ask because these metaphorical friends of your store are precisely the kind of customers you are looking to target.
The answers to the above questions will help you to figure out the personality of your brand, then you just need to figure out your brand’s tone of voice. This might sound like a bit of a technical marketing term, but it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
The tone of voice refers to how your brand comes across to customers. It’s all about the type of language used; is it casual, formal, informative, friendly, funny? Once you know how you want your brand to sound, it will become super easy to write product descriptions, posts and blogs that all sound like they have come from the same place.
3.Choose a Business Name
For many online business owners, this can be the hardest part of the whole journey, and that’s completely understandable. Everybody wants to find the perfect name that sums up exactly what their store or brand represents.
It might take you a while to find the right inspiration, but once you have narrowed down some ideas, you can do a couple of things first to make sure it’s the right name for your brand.
First, as soon as you have chosen a potential name, you should do a thorough google search of it to see if it already exists somewhere. The last thing you want as you’re beginning to build your store is to suddenly realise you’re competing with a similar name. Don’t just put your name in; alter the spelling too, see if there’s anything similar out there at all.
Also, use your friends and family as sounding boards. Ask them what they think of the name you’ve come up with. Find out what instantly springs to mind when they hear it. Most importantly, make sure it’s a name you do love and identify with.
4. Design Your Logo
Logos are incredibly important for any business, big or small. They are the image that instantly becomes associated with your brand, a visual calling card that easily represents your name and what you’re all about.
Designing a logo can be a really fun part of the process of creating a successful online store if you happen to be artistically inclined, but for the rest of us, we wouldn’t have the faintest idea where to start.
Thankfully we live in an interconnected age where finding help or an expert has never been easier.
There are many free programs online that you can download and use to create logos. There are also apps and websites dedicated to connecting individuals with freelance artists who can do the design work for you at a reasonable price.
5. Set a Consistent Picture Style
In the world of business, consistency is key. It’s important to try to maintain a uniform look across your whole store, and this includes how you photograph your items. It’s a good idea to decide the way you would like to display your inventory and stick to it.
When it comes to photographing items to sell, it’s great to make sure you do it in a well-lit space. Make sure your images look as closely as they can to the item in real life. Including a few different angles of some things can also be helpful for potential customers.
For example, if you are selling a baby’s romper, photograph it from the front and back. If it has certain details like embellishments on buttons or pockets, it might be a good idea to take some close up photos of them.
It’s completely up to you how you set up and style your photos, but if you set a consistent picture style, you will make sure your items are easy to understand, and you will also set an easy to follow routine for setting up new things in your store.
6. Apply Your Branding Across Your Shop
Even though you are setting up an independent online store, branding is still important. Using your branding across your whole store will set you apart from other sellers.
Not everyone who shops online has a great memory or is able to pull up a web page they were on last week in the blink of an eye. Most of us have had moments in the past where we’ve looked at an item and thought, ‘I don’t have time to buy it now; I’ll get it later.’ Then when later comes, we can’t for the life of us remember the name of the seller in the online store or what specific combination of search words we put in to find the item.
Using your personal branding help’s customers to find you and can also help to create brand loyalty. If they have a great shopping experience with you, chances are, when they see your brand in the future, they will know it’s one they can trust.
You can apply your brand in many places on the myTOT site, and if you want to, you can even add it as a watermark to your images before uploading them. This means that when customers are browsing images, they know items are from your store without even having to read the product description.
7. Promote Yourself Across Channels
In the old days, word of mouth was one of the most important marketing elements to business success, and this might surprise you, but in the digital world, it’s still important; it’s just changed a little.
Without even realising it, we all have access to many different networks. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok, we have more reach than we ever thought possible.
This can be very important for helping you to gain some traction. You can use social media to connect with people who are the perfect potential customers for your store. You can use these tools to not only get yourself out there but to also develop a community and learn from other like-minded sellers.
8. Write for myTOT
The myTOT vision isn’t just about buying and selling clothing and other items; it’s also about building a community of like-minded people going through similar experiences. We all know that the world of parenting is exciting, rewarding and giving, but it can also at times be confusing and leave us feeling like we have no idea what we are doing.
This is where you can share your wisdom to pay it forward. Do you remember when you discovered a hack or piece of knowledge that literally changed your life as a parent? Do you also remember thinking how great it would have been if someone had told you this before? Well, now you can.
The myTOT blog is all about sharing tips, hints, hacks and thoughts to the myTOT community. Putting some of your experiences into a helpful blog post can also help get people interested in your store and what else you have to offer.
If you’re interested in writing for myTOT, drop us a line today.
9. Request a Feature in our Newsletter
If you have an unbelievable hot tip or would like to share some of your experiences of selling online with myTOT, we’d love to hear from you.
We believe in the power of community, and sharing is definitely caring. If you’ve managed to take your online store from a few pieces to something that brings in a nice chunk of extra cash each month, people would love to hear about what you discovered along the way.
Together we can learn from each other, help each other to save and earn, and also limit the environmental impacts of fashion.
You don’t have to have a business degree to be good at selling online. The world of online marketplaces thrives on communities, and that’s exactly what’s at the core of myTOT. The people buying and selling through the myTOT marketplace are just like you. They’re like-minded people who want to reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills, or save money while still having some great outfit choices for their little ones.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you get on your way in your myTOT journey. We can’t wait to see how you go!