How to Be Successful Selling Clothing Online

 

How to Be Successful Selling Clothing Online

Selling clothes online is an experience that many have these days as a one-off ?time to get rid of this expensive x,? but who among us have what it takes to turn it into a successful side hustle ? or even a full-time ship-from-home business? Truly, everyone who is willing to put in the time and effort required to build a successful brand online can succeed at selling clothes both new and old online. The trick is to know where to start.

Know Your Market

While this is a cliched term for a cliched idea, knowing your market is perhaps the most important aspect of building a successful business. This involves both marketing your items to the people who desire to buy them as well as switching up your inventory to serve your current customer base as necessary.

Where you market, and how you build your brand, is also important. If you choose to sell on a website such as eBay, Poshmark, or Facebook marketplace, you start at an advantage, as these sites allow you to build your business within a known framework while simultaneously marketing to your desired locations. This is especially helpful for those new-to-the-biz self-starters who need to build a base quickly or don?t know how to build a brand otherwise.

The alternative option is to build your own website on another host, such as Shopify, Squarespace, or WordPress, where you can fully customize your brand and your base ? and maintain full responsibility for your website traffic, as the marketing tricks of the trade such as purchasing advertisements, SEO-optimization, and hyping up your products are entirely on your shoulders. If you believe you have the chops to truly thrive in the business, taking this risk might be worth the freedom granted.

Photography

For a material-based business, photography is the best (and only) way to truly show shoppers what you mean when you say ?one-of-a-kind, high-waisted, lace-backed jeans with zebra print stripes down the side and a giant golden buckle.? While descriptions are critical and should be carefully considered ? do you want to be funny? Edgy? Business-serious? ? they are not the end of the line as far as the customer experience. Photography gives shoppers a clear idea of what you?re selling ? and is another way to market to your base more effectively.

When taking pictures of your items for sale, there are a few key features that should make it into the photo, including: full views of all sides; labels (especially if claiming name-branded); any visible flaws; and any ?fancy? details such as embroidery or lace. One of the tricks here is to upsell through your photography without lying. You want to emphasize the good qualities of every piece while also being honest about any blemishes that your second-hand or factory-defect options possess.

One way to do this is to be selective with your background and lighting. It?s best to work with solid, neutral or non-irritating colors, and choose (or curate) lighting that is most flattering to every piece posted. For full-time sellers, investing in a mannequin or dress form is the best way to show off those clothes as they will fit a human, which can both boost your sales and curb your returns in the long-run.

Consider Your Prices

Online shoppers are seeking to shop in their underwear and get a good deal doing it. As a new clothing seller, you?re seeking a solid return on your initial business investment. While these two objectives may seem at odds, this is the nature of any business (minus the shopping only in your underwear bit), and there is a sweet spot to be found if you know where to look.

Competitive pricing is critical to succeeding as an online shopper, as anyone looking at those classic Levis on your store can probably find a slightly more beaten up pair on eBay for half off. To know your margins, search for that exact or similar items online ? a basic Google search should do it ? and gauge the current market price points. Select a price that is on par with ? or even slightly below, for new sellers ? these prices.

If you?re a ship-from-home business, that means you?re doing a lot of?well, shipping. And shipping is expensive. If you?re willing to eat the shipping cost on every item as a cost of doing business, this should be taken into consideration when pricing. If the customer pays for their own shipping, this is more money out of their pocket ? if your prices are quite high to begin with, and then they have to pay $25 shipping on top of that, you may have just lost a sale.

One strategy many online sellers have is to list an item some percentage higher than they expect to get out of it and hope that some customer bites. If that doesn?t occur within a set period of time, usually two or three weeks, you can drop the price to something more reasonable and watching the purchase orders roll on in. This way, you can ?reduce prices? without actually losing any money.

Brand It Up

Building a brand is often an underrated aspect of selling items online from home. While it may seem simpler to just list a bunch of clothes at low prices and watch your products fly off the metaphorical shelves until you?ve built a customer base (and then jack up the prices like one of those no-good corporations), this isn?t compatible with a long-term business plan for most individuals.

Picking a name for your online business might seem to be underrated if you?re on a marketplace such as Facebook or eBay, but it is an essential central component of your brand that can be transferred when you?re ready to make the leap to your own personalized website. Keep it appropriate to your products and your market; if you can, throw in a pun or other little wink-wink to bring a chuckle to your customers.

Knowing your niche is a lot like knowing your market. You are selling to people who want to purchase your products ? stick to items that those people, or customers like them, will want to continue buying. Unless you have the room to run a full clothing store out of your basement, it?s best to select and maintain a few styles or sizes, or maybe build your brand as a seasonal store so you can move your product in and rotate them out again in three months (which allows for potential to rebrand if you think you made a mistake a season ago).

The most important part of building your brand is selling yourself. This means both marketing and humanizing yourself. People are more likely to buy your products if they feel that there?s another person at the other end of every transaction. Social media marketing is a wide-cast net that allows you to be human with all of your customers, former, future, and potential, in a single post, while also promoting your brand. It?s also important to keep in communication with your customers through every step of the purchasing process, from answering their initial inquiries to letting them know payment is received to even sending a quick ?Thank you!? blast to your email list at the end of the day.

There is No One Secret to Success?

 

?but there are several key steps, features, and processes you can factor into your business plan in order to maximize your potential for success. It all starts with knowing your base market and builds from there ? horizontally with your practicality, and vertically as you expand your merchandise, best business practices, and marketing presence. At the end of the day, while it takes a lot of work to achieve, success is conceptually simple:

  • Market
  • Picture it
  • Price it
  • Brand it

 

 

 

 

 

4 Steps to Build a Budget

Having a budget set in place, regardless of your financial status or age, is an incredibly important step toward a stable fiscal future. Knowing where your money flows is the only way to get a grip on excessive spending and successfully prepare for the future.

Creating a budget may strike as a daunting task at first glance, but really, it’s just a matter of a couple of hours and a calculator. Sit down with a pencil and paper and get ready to be responsible.

 

Step 1: List Your Income

The first step in building a budget is to make a complete list of your income per month. If you have a steady job with consistent hours, then this is as simple as adding up your paystubs. However, if you work gig jobs or unusual hours, you may want to add up your monthly income for the past three months and divide by three to get a look at your average earnings.

Additionally, don’t forget to include non-employment related income, such as:

  • Government payments, including disability, SNAP, SSI
  • Dividends or other payouts from your investments
  • Child support and alimony

 

Step 2: List Your Expenses

When looking at your expenses, it’s important to list out every single payment or consistent purchase within a 30-day period. In addition to regular installment payments such as credit bills, utilities, subscription services, and rent, you’ll want to consider your grocery and gas bills.

You’ll also want to include yearly and quarterly payments, such as is common with insurance premiums. To add these costs in your monthly budget, take the amount spent over a year, and divide by 12. This will give you the exact amount of money you’ll need to set aside each month.

 

Step 3: Divide Your Expenses

Once you have your expenses listed, divide them into two categories: essential and nonessential. Essentials include items such as toilet paper, food, and rent – the things you need for daily living. Nonessential items are products such as entertainment subscriptions, takeout or date night, and unneeded luxuries.

 

Step 4: Make Adjustments

Once you have a complete visual on where your money comes and goes, you can set realistic goals. First off, find areas where you may be spending disproportionate amounts of money. You may find that you are spending too much on entertainment and eating out or not saving enough toward your goals. Consider cutting out unnecessary expenditures to free up some cash flow.

After you have tallied up your adjusted expenditures, compare this number against your total monthly income. If you’re coming out negative, it’s time to find more cuts. On the other hand, if you’re in the black, consider opening an emergency or rainy-day savings fund.

 

Pro Tip: Use a Budgeting App

If you’re not good with numbers or want a second set of eyes on your work, consider a budgeting app to help you along. Services such as YNAB, Mint, and Clarity Money can help you keep track of your expenses and stick to your budget, so you’re prepared to invest in your future goals.

 

 

Building a budget doesn’t have to be difficult, and the rewards from having – and keeping to – a budget can literally be measured in the thousands of dollars as you age into retirement. Make a plan, stick to your goals, and reap the rewards of responsibility.

Tips to Be Successful on Fiverr

What is Fiverr?

 

Fiverr, once known as the marketplace of cheaply-paid gigs for cheaply-produced results, is no more. Fiverr, where freelancers with a dream and a little extra time can build their careers for hundred or even thousand-dollar contracts, is our new reality as we enter its tenth year of existence.  With millions of gigs in 120 categories of products and deliverables, there is truly a little something for everyone.

 

For those new to or yet to enter the Fiverr workplace, their M.O. is quite simple:

 

Sellers – the freelancers – create gigs that clients purchase.

Buyers – the clients – purchase gigs or post want ads that sellers can apply to.

 

Advantages of Fiverr:

  • Freedom in your day-to-day, your clients, and your hours
  • Beginner-friendly, both for new freelancers and for those new to their entire craft
  • Guaranteed payment through Fiverr’s system – buyers can even leave tips!
  • Variety in buyers and gigs

 

Disadvantages of Fiverr:

  • A commission of 20% off every gig on the freelancer’s side; buyers can expect to pay Fiverr $2 per gig under $40 and 5% per gig over $40. In essence, Fiverr is guaranteed up to 25% of a gig’s total value.
  • High competition, even for beginners – because so many freelancers are willing to sell themselves cheap to get buyers, and the poorly-performing freelancers never rise above the cheap, unfortunate gigs, there is a lot of competition at the bottom for very low-paying work.

 

 

Where to Start?

 

Fiverr is a fairly self-explanatory website, but there are a lot of little steps along the way. The key is to make sure you have a decent chunk of time for initial set up and gig creation, so you can truly pay these crucial first steps the proper amount of attention.

  • Account Registration. Like most registration systems, all you have to do here is follow the prompts. When you actually reach the point of entering unique information – your username – make sure you choose something eye-catching and appropriate for your desired field.
  • Flesh Out Your Profile. While it can be awkward to do so much self-marketing, freelance sites are where it’s absolutely critical to do so. The trick is to be honest without scaring away clients with a doomsday pronouncement while also letting potential buyers know you’re willing to put in extra effort. Your profile is every client’s first impression of you, so make it an impressive one.
  • Create Your First Gig. Your gig is both a job description and a representation of your abilities, so make sure it’s impeccably presented and an accurate depiction of what you can deliver upon.
    • Step 1: Write a clear, brief title – for the gig, not the service – select your category and subcategories, and choose a minimum of three relevant words or phrases that describe your final product
    • Step 2: Write a clear, brief title – this time for the service itself – and describe the offer. Follow the prompts to choose your timeframe, any included revisions, and price.
    • Step 3: Describe your gig and preemptively answer any FAQs. These can be questions you’ve received before from clients outside Fiverr or questions you expect to receive. The benefit of answering them now is in the time you’ll save not having to answer them repeatedly for multiple clients through the months.
    • Step 4: List any requirements the buyer will have to fulfill for you to get started.
    • Step 5: Add any related or appropriate photos (up to 3), a video on your service or yourself if you have one, and up to two documents buyers will need to see up front. Note that only the first three pages of each document will be visible to potential buyers.
    • Step 6: Publish your gig and promote it on any social media you may have.
  • Apply to “Freelancer Wanted” posts. While this is optional, applying to gigs buyers have posted is the best way to get your first few gigs and begin building your profile.

 

 

Where Does Success Begin?

 

Success begins with you – more specifically, with your profile, which is merely a digital extension of you. The key to a successful profile is to be professional, appealing, and real – add real photo and video, accurately and openly discuss your abilities, and throw in a little humor to make your future buyers smile.

 

In your gigs and on your profile both, you have a chance to stand above the crowd and be seen by all those potential buyers. Highlight your best qualities at the top, especially if you can offer faster-than-normal delivery. If you can’t, be sure to explain why your buyer waiting three more days is actually beneficial to the outcome.

 

Using SEO can help your gigs rise to the top of the search results while you rise to the top of the crowd. Fiverr has its own internal guidelines for SEO: use your target keywords 3-4 times per gig and 1-2 times in the title(s) if at all possible. Don’t saturate your gig with stiff, unnecessary language, but be sure to build it with your target ranking in mind.

 

If all of this fails – or if you don’t want to take the chance that it could – marketing your gigs and services on social media can help you build your profile that much faster. As awkward and dislikable a process as selling yourself can be, sharing your gigs with the network you’re already familiar with may be the key to branching out into new networks. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be very valuable in beginning your new freelance career.

 

In all of this self-marketing and upselling, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to be able to deliver the sun, moon, and stars if that’s what you promise. Experienced Fiverr-ers recommend sticking to products, deliverables, and topics you know, or at least very closely related fields – if you’re a website designer, don’t tell the world you can write the content too if you can’t; if you’re the best darn writer on the block, don’t go telling everyone you can illustrate their children’s book if you don’t know a pen from a marker. In short: build yourself up only to a level you can reasonably attain. Pushing your professional limits is fine and can even be profitable – switching channels suddenly is asking for a failed profile.

 

Your success on Fiverr is measured through their leveling up system, which is done by completing quality projects quickly. All new sellers begin as, reasonably, “New Seller;” the ultimate level to reach for is “Top Rated Seller.” Each level in between comes with its own perks that can help you rank higher and get more business. Those who truly become top-rated sellers are granted their own special badge, VIP seller support, and an opportunity to be listed among Fiverr’s promotions.

 

 

What’s the Point?

Making money on Fiverr doesn’t have to be difficult for those who go in prepared and ready to work. Some of the most important work, from building your profile to posting your gigs, will unfortunately have to be done for free – but a good freelancer will be more than able to make up for lost time when the buyers and moolah starts rolling in.

Earn Money Today By Working Online Via Upwork


The gig economy is alive and well in every aspect of our modern society, from Etsy to Uber to freelancing journalists and website designers. While some types of gigs may pay more than others or be vastly more complicated, the truth of the matter remains that if something can be outsourced and freelanced, it?s going to be.

The trouble with freelancing is in what it takes clients and giggers to find each other. There?s a lot of free-floaters on both sides vainly grasping into the aether to find someone who fits their needs ? and likely failing more times than not to truly click with someone. This is where Upwork comes in.

Upwork is an online marketplace that directs clients seeking XYZ services toward freelancers willing to provide XYZ services. This is an excellent way for new digital gig freelancers to build a base client network, become familiar with their field in a professional setting, and build a name for themselves as trustworthy, reliable, and high-quality. For those who don?t wish to build a career out of freelancing, rather just taking on a few gigs here and there to make money off of a hobby, Upwork can also easily serve that purpose.

Advantages of Upwork:

  • Access to an annual spending base of $900 million
  • Immediacy of hire ? usually less than three days per gig
  • Low-risk contracts guaranteed by Upwork
  • Freedom of location, except as posted

Disadvantages of Upwork:

  • Competition: because everyone on Upwork is fighting for the same jobs, every proposal is like a job interview in which you have to prove yourself again and again
  • A fee structure ranging from 5% on high-paying clients to 20% on the lowest-paying clients (we?ll come back to this later)
  • Climbing your way from 0 stars to 5 stars, even for freelancers well-established off the site.

Despite these disadvantages, the upside of Upwork is that it?s an excellent way to jumpstart a new career, boost an old career, or provide a financially-beneficial outlet for all that free time spent writing stories and designing cartoon characters.

Build Your Profile Well

Your profile is a blend of your resume and get-to-know-you, and therefore important to use to your advantage. You need to be honest in your skills and experience without scaring away potential high-paying clients, but don?t oversell yourself in an effort to get high-paying contracts you can?t deliver on.

Things you?ll need to build a successful profile:

  • A headshot
  • Basic details, including:
  • Location (country-based), hours, and preferred rate
  • Any education (beyond high school) or certificates
  • Job history ? whether or not it?s related to your profile, it?s good to let people know if/that you?ve worked for employers before

After your initial profile is approved, you?ll go through a quick secondary security check by uploading your government-issued ID and having a free, quick chat through Google Hangout ? and then you?re good to go!

Add-ons to consider:

Upwork has a number of sub-profiles and specialized features that can improve your chances to meet your ideal employers. Each of these sections can be utilized or ignored at will ? but the more of these you complete, and the faster you complete them, the faster you?ll get to where you want to be.

  • Your portfolio is an optional section where you can upload or link to projects for prospective clients to view. The more high-quality, relevant pieces you display, the more clients you?ll get.
  • Specialized profiles allow you to build secondary and tertiary profiles geared around a particular skillset. In addition to your general ?about me? profile, interested clients can view a skillset more targeted toward their required needs.
  • Popular projects is a section that lets you detail an outline of offered services ? for example, building a set of webpages, writing a short story, or illustrating a comic strip. For clients who aren?t sure what services they want, or clients just browsing through profiles, this can be a good way to catch somebody?s eye and earn a contract you weren?t even searching for.
  • A well-worded, succinct description of yourself 
  • A description of your skills, abilities, and desired work
  • Job tags: you?ll select these through the registration process, but it?s worth a quick mention here. Job tags (such as Website Design, Creative Writing, Business, etc) are what Upwork will use to build your feed, which is an amalgam of the job posts that fit your skills. Be sure to take the time to figure out which tags are most useful and profitable for you, as not doing so can mean you won?t be shown jobs you may really want.

Market yourself

In freelancing, marketing yourself is just the name of the game, as awkward and unfortunate as it may seem. On Upwork, this is done through thoroughly pimping your profile, from your description to your portfolio to anything else you upload or fill out.
This includes your proposals.

The basic function of Upwork is such: freelancers find jobs posted by clients, assess the required skills and timeframe, and apply with a proposal. Each proposal has a blank cover letter, which is where you can respond to questions or claims in the job posting, explain your skills and experience, and really sell yourself to that particular client. The key here, as everywhere else on Upwork, is to be honest ? especially if you?re applying for a job you don?t qualify for based on requested criteria but believe you have the skills to complete otherwise.

Proposals also allow you to request your desired fee, either broken down into units or as a whole project. For clients, proposals offer a chance to ask specific questions: some are designed simply to weed out bots and mass-produced temples; while others ? usually the higher-paying clients ? are designed to truly learn more about a freelancer?s skills and desire to complete the job.

Get to work

After your profile has been fully built and you?re confident that you?ve explored the website enough to understand how to best utilize it, it?s time to actually work. New freelancers can expect to bid low and haggle higher, or just take the insultingly low pay on a project or five to get those first few critical reviews on your profile. After you have a few four-to-five-star reviews, higher-paying clients will be more likely to look twice at your proposal and give you serious consideration.

Completing contracts is a very straightforward process. When you?re hired, a contract will be started. Clients deposit money into an escrow account, the freelancer completes the work, and the client approves the payment ? pretty easy, right?

The catch: Upwork?s fee structure.

While Upwork does its job well, this is only possible due to their commission structure, which works as such per each individual client (billed over time, not per project):


  •  20% on $500 or less
  • 10% on $10,000 or less
  • 5% on anything over $10,000

This is a fairly high price to pay, especially for freelancers who can?t seem to land those big contracts. However, the cost can be offset by building strong relationships with individual clients, and by negotiating higher pay per contract.

Conclusion

The last step of every contract is for the freelancer and client to rate each other based on their interactions and the work delivered. As always, be honest but fair ? if a client was truly a pain in the kiester, let the world know. Likewise, if your work was subpar or needed thirty revisions, expect the world to find out about your major flaws as a freelancer. Either way, the client and freelancer don?t get to view each other?s rating until after they?ve submitted their own, so get those in fast!

Building a profile and making money on Upwork isn?t difficult, but it requires a basic knowledge of how the site functions, some playing around with your profile, and a lot of time and energy invested in marketing yourself over and over to clients who most likely will reject your proposal in the end. Growing a thick hide and being prepared to face rejection is essential for a freelancer on Upwork, as is the desire to grow and succeed in their chosen craft.

To all of you new freelancers out there: Good luck and enjoy your newfound income.