A logo is a direct reflection of your business; it is a visual mark that connects your brand with consumers and depending on the quality of the logo – it can either help your business or hinder it. Of course I want you to succeed, in fact, it’s so important for me to help other businesses grow that I want to help you find the resources you need to create a logo that is not only visually appealing, but also benefits your brand.
This is something that is often overlooked but when you start a brand this should be done once you know what your brand represents and what the theme of your brand is.
Consider this for a moment; what brands can you easily identify just by their logo? My guess is that most big brands are easy to spot.
I.e the Starbucks mermaid, the golden arches of Mcdonalds and the Nike swoosh are all easily recognizable even if you were to remove the words.
Here are several resources that you can look to for the creation of a logo and depending on your business objective and budget we have several options for you:
Design the logo yourself
If time isn’t an issue and you are a creative soul (or perhaps on a tight budget), consider creating a temporary logo yourself until you have the means to hire a professional. If you have any artistic talent this will work for you. However, if you’re anything like me this is not even an option.
Using a FREE online website called Pic Monkey anyone can create a basic logo without spending a pretty penny. While the website is 100% free to use, you can have access to supreme fonts, designs and various other effects by opting for their Royale package.
Outsource the logo
Don’t have the time or enough creative juice to come up with your own logo? Go to Fiverr.com and get someone to design it for you; with everything starting at just $5, you’ve really got nothing to lose. Do not feel shy about outsourcing some small labour; while it may take you hours and even days to come up with something decent, someone on Fiverr could do it for you.
Fiverr is a cheap way to get this done and it’s a place I’ve used several times.
Hire the help of an expert
The internet brims with many talented and artistic folks who can help you design a logo of your liking. For instance, If you’re looking for something more personalized and best suited for your taste; Sarah Decker Design is amazingly talented and provides exceptional customer service. By reaching out for help from a professional, you can be assured that the job will be done to your satisfaction. Less time worrying about your logo and brand means more time you will have to strategize on ways to make your business successful. It’s a win-win situation.
Keep in mind that as you grow your business, your logo and brand, too, will naturally change and evolve with the flow of things. While you will want to put some thought into it, you don’t want to spend too much time stressing about a logo. For now, create something visually appealing that speaks to your style and you can (and probably will) change it later on in the game.
This is typically a more expensive option and you’re likely not going to want to with an expert.
Use these tips to get a good logo made. Remember image is important and you need to make sure that whatever design you select for your logo ultimately fits your brand.
When you are planning to start an online business that sells physical products you need to figure out what you want to sell online.
In learning about physical product creation and affiliate marketing I have found an immediate parallel of success in both fields.
I am going to give you some personal advice today based positive and negative results I have personally encountered.
First here are the three things that will help you find a market that will lead to success. These 3 things will help you figure out what you want to sell online in marketplaces and your own webstore.
Now I am going to explain these things above and guide you through figuring out how to choose products that fit for you personally.
This isn’t always easy but you need to determine if you’re passionate about something. If you’re not passionate about anything you’ll struggle to communicate effectively with potential buyers and you’ll struggle to make the gains you’d like in this market.
I’ve found over the years that people are often passionate about things but think they do not have a passion.
So below is a list of things that could lead you to find your passion.
See the things above are often passions that many people do not recognize as passions.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you collect model trains and train sets, landscape and tracks. You basically love building these and look forward to working on the layouts etc.
This is likely a passionate hobby you’re involved in. How cool would it be to be able to create your own line of train sets, tracks and landscapes? How cool would it be to make money doing that?
That was a rather easy example. Let me give you another example based on a topic rather than a product to start with.
Let’s say you love gardening. Every year you plant a garden and harvest your rewards at the picking season.
How awesome would it be to create your own gardening line of tools and equipment? Again, wouldn’t it be amazing to make money doing this?
Maybe you don’t do much with gardening but you love canning fruits and vegetables during harvest season. How great would it be to develop your own line of canning supplies?
My guess is if you’re passionate it’d be great.
Now picture creating products in a field where you are not passionate. Think about a line of products that you would hate to deal with on a daily basis.
Sometimes all the money in the world couldn’t keep your interest if you do not like the industry. I really try to steer clear of products like this myself.
I’ve been in niche markets that I have no interest in and the ideas start strong but my lack of interest leads to the idea of continuing that niche to fizzle out.
I wanted you to picture that because I would advise you to ignore that route.
Passion can help steer us in the right direction and passions are important, but they are not everything.
Read on and I’ll explain why.
You must still find a market that you’ll commit yourself and time to.
You can be extremely passionate about something but also not want to commit to creating products in that field.
A quick example would be if you love discussing politics but you wouldn’t love creating products like t-shirts or books around that field. I’m not saying that t-shirts and books are the only thing that sells in politics as there is obviously so much more. However, I just wanting to give you a basic example to increase your understanding.
Maybe the thought of creating products in this field sounds fun but you wouldn’t want to create new products in this field over and over again?
These are questions to ask yourself before selecting the niche you’d like to be involved in.
Perhaps there aren’t many products you can think of creating in this field? I.e. let’s say you can only think of 1 product for this particular industry. Think long and hard about if getting into that field is worth it.
Sometimes it is. Other times, especially if you can’t think of continuing to grow a product line, it might become simply mundane and you’ll feel it’s not worth your time.
Sometimes passion and commitment aren’t the final factor. Nope, sometimes it’s the market. Some markets are too narrow and don’t have enough money flowing into them.
So before you jump into a market you need to see if there is some demand for it. If there is little to no demand it might not be the best market for you.
The following factors will help you determine if an industry is making money or not.
If you can’t search the Internet and find a competing website you may not be entering a good field.
Look, everything has been done before. You’re not looking to reinvent the wheel you’re simply looking to get the wheel moving.
So if something isn’t being done at all it usually means that the market just isn’t there.
Of course, you may have a great idea for a product line that isn’t currently being addressed properly and this is good. But, if you look around and there is no one doing anything in that field, watch out.
This is sometimes hard to find but it’s something I tend to look at. Visit your competitors on social media and look to see what people are saying.
Are people talking about how much they love buying their products? If so, that’s a great sign. Just pay attention to interaction. Look for anything that can denote that people are buying this company’s products. If they are, this is good for you.
If you can’t find much about information about someone buying from this company it shouldn’t deter you still unless other factors I mention here are not met.
I have loved Google Trends since it was created for the public. Google Trends let’s you search industries via search keywords and see how much they are being searched for online.
Here is the beauty of this.
You can type in a search term in any industry and see where it’s rise or fall have started or ended.
Check this out.
Let’s say you wanted to look for the term “buy a drone”
You simply type it into the Trends Search Box and press “Enter” on your keyboard.
Then, you’ll be able to see a nice graph come up showing when it started getting a number of searches and from which countries.
You’ll notice on this graph that right before 2013 people started searching for this term and it’s done nothing but climb since.
This shows that there is a market for this. I deliberately looked at “buy a drone” because I wanted to see if people are looking to spend money on this type of product.
From this I can determine that there “IS” money in this industry.
Of course the media is an easy source to find what people are talking about. I still remember when people first started talking about drones; the media discussed it daily. This showed the early signs that a market was emerging.
By watching media trends and paying attention to sites like INC.COM will help you see what new start-ups are doing well and what is being predicted for the future.
A Simple Google Search
You’d be surprised at how much information you can find by just using Google, Bing and other search engines.
Try this. Think of a market, go to a search engine now and type in “your market sales statistics.”
In my example below I search for “Gift basket sales statistics.”
Well, what do you know! The first result is several years old but it still discusses stats. Scrolling down a little bit I can look to see if there is anything more recent.
If all else fails I can always put this term into Google Trends and see which way the arrow is pointing. Pretty easy eh?
Using everything I’ve demonstrated above make a list of topics that you are passionate about, or believe you’re possibly passionate about.
Then think about the industry. Would you like to be in this market?
Do you think you’d like to make an entire product line here?
Then finally check to see if there is money in the market.
Go ahead and try it out. If you have any questions, just ask.
When you are starting an eCommerce business or looking to build a new brand it’s important that you have a source for great products.
Product sourcing can be a tedious task, but through this tutorial I am going to show you some places you can source these products from, how to brand them easily and some workarounds for you if you’re low on funds and need a cheap sourcing solution.
First, let’s look at a few places you can easily source products for your business.
There is no surprise here and you’ve likely already heard of this site. This is a huge Chinese company and they have thousands of businesses ready to connect with you.
Many of the companies on Alibaba offer custom branding manufacturing. You can easily browse their entire site via keyword and you’ll typically find almost anything you need here.
The companies that sell on Alibaba are world-wide and you can even search by country for your product. So if you’re concerned about what country you need to order products from this makes it easy.
Alibaba has many safeguards in place to help you avoid scams and issues. I’ve only had one issue ever arise on Alibaba out of dozens of successful orders.
HKTDC is a Hongkong marketplace. However, unlike Alibaba, they do not have merchants from the world-wide landscape. In fact, they only offer 3 regions; China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Of course, they ship to buyers world-wide so you can still easily order from here.
I have personally never ordered anything from this site as I’ve always found a cheaper supplier on Alibaba. However, I know many other people have had great success sourcing products for resale from here.
DHgate is another big wholesale marketplace. Just like the other wholesale and manufacturer marketplaces the more you order the cheaper the overall price of your products will be.
I believe the products here are all sourced directly from China.
This is a big directory of potential manufacturers at MFG.COM. These guys especially excel at sourcing the following categories:
So if you fit any of the above needs this is a great place to start your search. Of course, if you do not need manufacturing but would like already full created products that you can just re-brand then Alibaba is still a better bet.
If you’re strictly looking for private label sourcing to create your own brand(s) then privatelabelsourcing.com is a pretty good resource. Their focus is obviously on private label product sourcing and often times you can find just about anything you’re looking for here.
You’ll find many types of machined and canned products here.
If all else fails just type your keywords + private label, white label, wholesale depending on what your needs are.
You can use any search engine to do this and it’s really easy to find what you’re looking for this way.
I have one very cool company I found last year that I’ve ordered thousands of dollars in products from. Guess where I found them? Yep, search engine search. It works.
When you’re looking to source products and you’re contacting a potential business that has a product you’d like you’re most likely going to be emailing them.
Here is a quick breakdown of what you should ask them in an email to save time. Trust me you’ll want to do these things because you’re likely going to be exchanging numerous emails with them anyway.
Always ask a company the following questions.
This is what I personally start with. After they contact back I always follow up with the question:
This keeps the dialogue going and also it doesn’t overwhelm the merchant. If you send an email to a company that reads like a book, you may not even get a reply.
I advise keeping it short and sweet and if you can get the vendor on a 3rd party tool like Skype, that’s even better!
Skype allows you to have discussions with the vendor in real time, saving you a lot of time and headaches along the way.
One last note on a sample. It’s critical that you get a sample before placing an order. I’ve read horror stories where people have ordered thousands of a product and when the product arrived it wasn’t exactly what they thought it was going to be! Don’t get stuck wasting money; get that sample even if it costs you $100 for one sample.
After you get a sample and it’s time to get into ordering your products sometimes MOQ can be a real issue.
Sometimes when you’re looking for a good place for product sourcing a company will get back to you with a large MOQ. Though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when this happens you can always try what I do when this happens and I don’t want to lay down too much money at first.
I always ask for a sample batch. If they can’t make a sample batch with my logo on them I just ask for a blank sample batch. Since I am selling these online having a logo on/off the product isn’t a make or break issue.
Often times a company will gladly supply 50-100 units with a slightly higher cost. The trade off is worth it especially if it helps you get the product created.
Here is how I word the question to them.
“I see you have a large MOQ. However, since this is my first order with you is there anyway I can do a simple test batch. If these sell extremely well for me, I’d be more than happy to come back on the next order and order your MOQ. This would mean a lot to me. I want to do business with you for the long term and this would really help me get my foot in the door with you.”
Giving them the reason mentioned above it explains why you’d want to start with a smaller order at first. Without an explanation the company might not feel as inclined to help.
You’d be surprised how well this works. I’ve ordered products in batches of 50-100 where the company wanted an MOQ of 1000-5000.
Of course, I’ve always come back and purchased their MOQs later after I’ve vetted the products if they’ve sold well.
Go use the sites and methods I’ve shown you above to get good product sourcing right from the start.
If you have any questions just make sure to ask.
I’ve been asked several times before what the major differences between drop shipping and affiliate marketing are. Having ran both types of businesses and being currently active in both I feel that I am more than qualified to answer this question.
Experience certainly helps as there is quite a bit of information that you should know about each type of business.
When we look at affiliate marketing vs drop shipping it’ll become clear that both have similar positives and negatives. These two businesses types also have some wide differences as well.
So we’ll look at drop shipping vs affiliate marketing to see which one is better for you.
Drop shipping is a method of building a business in which you order products in various quantities and sell them on various platforms. Many people opt to create their own brand this way.
There are numerous online platforms to sell on including, Amazon, eBay, Jet.com, Etsy and of course your very own website. Of course, ultimately everyone should own their own website and never fully depend on third party platforms but third party platforms can certainly help give you a start.
With drop shipping you ultimately own all of the products you buy.
Affiliate marketing is simply promoting someone else’s products or services and earning a commission anytime you generate sales.
You do not own the products so you’re limited to where and how you can promote. I.e. you cannot list products on Amazon, eBay and so on. However, there is no customer service in affiliate marketing because you do not own the products and the company you’re promoting handles these things.
If you’re interested in affiliate marketing I have entire systems dedicated to teaching this.
Now let me break down the pros of each of these business models.
You own the products and brand. This means that you’re able to build a brand that people can only buy from you. Unlike affiliate marketing where people can sometimes get around going through your affiliate links. This is also why I think it’s a good idea to build a brand and create your own unique products over just ordering resalable products.
It’s a viable business model that can be built from home. Since you can build a business website easily and list your products on various other third party platforms (again: Amazon, eBay, Etsy etc…) it’s not super-expensive to get started in like building a retail shop in a physical location is.
Work your own hours (usually). You can set this business model up to work your own hours. This is critical if you’re already working another job and you need to work in your off time. The reason I say you can usually work in your own hours is because there are times where you might need to fulfil orders in times you’re not expecting it. I have taught people this business model that simply order products and work on packaging and shipping them while they sit on the couch, watching TV.
Easy to understand business model. Most people understand the process of buying and selling. It’s at the heart of every society. When you have a tangible good that someone wants/needs they’ll simple buy it from you to fulfill that want/need. Some people I’ve taught to run a dropship business have had better success at this model than affiliate marketing because they grasp the concepts easier.
Feels “more real” than certain other ways to make money. I’ve had numerous people tell me that drop shipping felt like more of a real business than affiliate marketing or even digital product creation. Again, as I mentioned above for many it’s an easier to understand business model that other methods because it’s more familiar.
Sometimes much faster to see results. Because you have the ability to list on 3rd party platforms and bank sales on someone else’s traffic it’s sometimes easier to see faster profits in drop shipping than affiliate marketing. Though I will throw out some caution here because most people fail to account for their expenses that it took to get those sales rolling in.
Can easily run advertisements. Because you are selling physical products you’re able to run Google Adwords or Bing Ad Campaigns for your website unless you’re in a prohibited market.
Just like drop shipping affiliate marketing has numerous pros and benefits. Let’s take a closer look together and this will allow you to better compare affiliate marketing vs drop shipping.
Low entry cost. Affiliate marketing is a cheap business model to start with. For about $20 you can start up a website and start putting out content. This still holds true today. When I first started in affiliate marketing I started at a minimum cost and was able to generate quite a bit of money before I ever thought about buying anything extra for my business.
Easy learning curve. Though this business model is not as familiar as simple buying and selling, it’s easy to understand. The basic premise is build a website in a niche, write or pay someone to write good content for you, recommend products to your readers, build your audience and make commissioned sales.
Work at home. Just like drop shipping this business model allows you to work at home and work your own hours. Unlike drop shipping, you’ll have nothing to ship so there are not the unexpected shipping issues you might have there.
The ability to work at home and at my own pace was great for me when I first started in affiliate marketing. When I first started I was still working a fulltime job as a drugstore manager and usually worked well above 45 hours per week.
No customer service. This is a huge draw to many in affiliate marketing. Because you do not own the products there is no customer service to handle. The company you’re promoting for takes care of all the heavy lifting here.
Medium level expenses to get started. Depending on what market you get into, the costs to start can be a lot higher than affiliate marketing. You’ll need to buy products and some companies won’t let you start with a small MOQ (minimum order quantity). Because of this, it’s not uncommon to have startup costs of more than $500-$1000.
It’s also usually more expensive at first because even if you accept a company’s MOQ you’re going to pay more money for their lowest tier than if you were to order more units. Many times a company will charge you a lot more if you order 100 units as opposed to 10,000 units. There is nothing wrong with this but it’s just something to be on the lookout for.
Sourcing products. Some people hate this part of drop shipping or growing their brand. You’re going to want to carefully source your products to find a great price so you’ll be able to make money in your industry. You don’t need to be the cheapest, but you need to be able to compete.
Research times can be high. I personally spend a lot of time in research. I want to find my potential competitors weaknesses and strengths and then try to produce something better. If I really feel like I can’t do something better, I usually skip the product. Having a better product than your competitor gives you an uncanny value proposition that is hard to compete against.
But because of the extensive research, it’s hard to just dive in. In fact, many products I have sourced have taken me months before releasing. I actually see this as a great thing, though many would see this as a con.
Actually takes work. This is probably not a true con but I am going to put this in here anyway because people have a tendency to believe that everything that involves making money online means that “If you build it”, sales just magically pour in. Far from it. Everything you do to build a business online or offline takes work and effort, including drop shipping.
Be ready to have some drive and determination for success. I can’t teach you drive, you’ve got to want it.
Shipping and customer interactivity. You will need to handle shipping and customer service issues in drop shipping. It’s not bad; it’s just what needs to be done. If a customer has a problem, you’ll need to handle that too. If you hate handling your own products, customer service and shipping then this is not the model for you.
Outreach. Now that you’re creating a brand you will need to find your audience, share your products with people and let the world know who you are. It’s time consuming and not really all that uncommon compared to what you’re going to need to do in affiliate marketing. However, I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that once you get everything built you need to “go knock on some doors” so to speak to generate some attention.
Slow sales at first. This can drive some people nuts because in this day and age people expect immediate results. The problem is that nothing is immediate.
Affiliate marketing can be a little slower to see your first sales than drop shipping but usually the first few sales actually pay off your expenses unlike drop shipping.
Takes work to continue growth. Once you start seeing sales, you’re going to need to continue working at getting more. Sure you can switch nearly everything on autopilot but over time sales will dip or never increase if you fail to continue growing your audience.
Can have a lot of writing or content creation. Because affiliate marketing is more about creating content to connect and recommend things to your audience you’ll probably need to do some writing. If you hate writing, it can be outsourced easily but it will add to your expenses. I usually teach people to learn to write or create content on their own first before outsourcing it so they can teach their ghostwriter or content creator exactly what they want. If you’re not familiar I actually show you how to outsource writing that actually looks professional with this technique.
Finding your audience. Just like drop shipping you can’t just sit around once you have things built. You’re going to need to build an audience of people that want to hear from you and love the products that you recommend. Obviously, the larger you can grow your audience the more money you’re likely going to make.
This can be mundane and boring so you need to attack it with vigor. Think of every action you take as a building block to your business and it makes every action 100% worth it.
Again, this may not really be a con because I think to build any business this is a must!
Harder to run ads. Most of the ad networks are not affiliate friendly. It’s not a horrible thing but it does give an advantage if you own your own products. Since affiliate marketing doesn’t allow you to own the products it makes it harder, but not impossible to run ads.
Hopefully I have painted a realistic picture for you about running a drop shipping business or an affiliate marketing business.
Most people only give you one part of the equation but I wanted to make sure you realize that no matter what route you choose you’ll have work to do. However, do not let work scare you, because everything worthwhile takes work and practice.