Here are some useful tips on running an online store in order to make more money while running a YouTube channel.
Step 1: Why Run an Online Store
So you're trying to make a go on YouTube, things are going pretty well - however you quickly realize that the Adsense money isn't bringing in quite enough. Now you may have a great channel - with a great audience, but truthfully unless you're getting tons and tons of views, relying solely on YouTube Adsense, is really difficult.
So then you think to yourself, how can I utilize my channel better, take advantage of my social media presence, and make more money?
Now there are of course several ways to go about this, but one way - is to sell things directly - to run an online store. Now this can be a small thing, it can be a big thing - it's all about how you set it up, so let's go over some tips on running a store, to make more money on Youtube.
Step 2: Product
First of all you need a product, could be anything that fits you, and your brand. You can sell merchandise - t-shirts, if you're a maker like me - you can sell something you make - like I sell wax polishes and sometimes mallets and notebooks. Now, you can partner with someone and sell someone else's product. You cab also write something and sell an E book or plans, or downloadable art - something digital. There are so many options here, and you just have to figure out what works for you.
Whatever it is - start small, start doable. Don't commit to doing something too complicated and time-consuming that's going take you away from where your strength fundamentally lies - making videos and connecting with your followers.
Step 3: Your Market
Whatever your product may be, make sure it fits your market. And what's your market? Well, it's your audience, people who follow you, who support you. Most likely, they have interest similar to yours - although that may not always be the case. Either way, make it a goal to really figure out what your market over time, and gear everything towards that.
Step 4: Define Your Brand
A great reason to run a store, is because it forces you to define your brand, your aesthetics - and that comes back in the form of your videos, your presentation, your product. Once you define your brand, you'll be able to focus more in every way - what your videos should be about, what your product should be, and how you can connect with your audience within that structure.
Step 5: Fully Use Social Media
The awesome thing about selling a product through a YouTube channel - or some other social media presence, is that you can integrate it seamlessly into your content. This is a great thing - and this is what companies ultimately pay for when they go for sponsored content. A way to show how and why a product belongs in your world. So I for example, use my wax polish on most of my projects, which I would whether I'd sell it or not, because I like it. And because it's a very natural integration, I don't have to constantly push it, I might make a mention every now and then, but it doesn't have to be sales-y. Along the same lines - if you sell merchandise, or clothing - wear it, because ultimately it must come back to fact that you like your product, and you want to use it.
Step 6: Be Open About the Process
This is especially true if you make something to sell - if you do art-work, build something, write something. The end-product is only one part of it all. How you come about creating that product, the process, the journey, the how-to, what inspired you - all of that should hopefully should fit within your type of content, and be natural to make videos about.
The worst is when you come across someone who refuse to share their process because they're afraid someone's going to steal their technique, or other secret. 99.999% of the time, nobody cares - and most of the time people don't actually want to make it themselves, they may enjoy learning about how you made it, but that doesn't mean they're going to go out and start a business of their own. So don't be a guarded person- it doesn't fit with the world today.
Step 7: Be Adaptive
Make sure you keep your eyes open. If something goes wrong, or doesn't work out as planned, make sure you're ready to correct it. For example, when I started I was notified by customers that one of my wax polishes - the mineral oil was leaking out of the tin in warm weather. So I immediately adjusted my formula, upped the wax ratio, to future problems - and of course immediately sent out a corrected tins.
Step 8: Take Great Project Shots
In the world today, you need great product shots, you just can't get around it. Good news however, it doesn't have to be difficult to accomplish. There are two things to think about here - have a solid background, and I either use a white or a black board, you can pick up cheap foam boards or white boards from the craft store. Secondly lighting. If you have a soft box, great. I put mine close to the product and it gives off a really cool light. If you don't have a good light, a regular old window will do fine.
Step 9: Do Great Packaging
Showing that you put in that extra effort and packaged your product nicely, really goes a long way. Now there are many ways to package a product, and of course it depends on what you're shipping. This is how I do it - I used to use plastic sleeves, but I've upgraded, and now I use a cardboard box which I fill with wood shavings - because I produce a lot of them. Then I place a vacuum sealed tin of wax along with a bookmark, a little info card on the wax, and a thank you card.
Step 10: Be Consistent With Your Branding
Make sure that any labels, cards, packaging is consistent. It gives a much more professional impression, not to mention - it goes back to branding. So I like to have everything social media related, be consistent with my packaging branding as well.
Step 11: Connect With Your Customer
Since your customers are also your viewers, your followers, it's extremely important to add a personal touch. I write a thank you card along with every order - and if I recognize the person - for example some of my best customers are also my patrons, and people who I just recognize from the comments - well, then I make a point to actually highlight that. People buy because they want that connection, they're not only interested in the product, they want that one on one contact. So give it to them. And if it isn't feasible to write everyone an individual thank you card, then find some other way to add a personal touch. Because ultimately your viewers, your social media followers are the ones that makes it possible for you to even have a market. And let me tell you, you can have the most beautiful product in the world, but if noone knows about it, then noone will buy it. So to have good marketing, which a social media presence ultimately is, is incredibly valuable. So show that, and really appreciate it when someone buys something, because that's truly awesome.