Dropshipping Guide, Branding
By now you have begun to lay the foundation of your business. I went through many parts from niche selection to company establishment. You have come a long way, but still there are important steps.
I talked about building your business but a business is not a complete business without a unique identity. Here is the branding part.
With the right branding, you can build your business as a trusted seller, and this can help with digital marketing too. This is what helps some retailers rise above others and stay in customers’ minds.
Think of your favorite company. You probably know their logo, the tone of voice they use for advertisements, and even their slogan. These items are important to a memorable brand, and to really stand out, you’ll have to do some serious work to develop a solid brand.
Many dropshipping stores do not have brands. Think of all the online showcases that look the same. They are interchangeable. They won’t give you an interesting reason to buy from them.
Building a brand takes effort, and some dropshipping shops pop up just to make quick money. This is why many dropshippers offer the lowest prices.
However, a brand is very important. When customers see a good brand, they know it. The best companies in the world have great brands, so why not have your store too?
However, the concept of branding can be a little confusing or ambiguous. What exactly is covered by a brand? What is the process behind branding? Overall, branding goes far beyond the scope of this guide, but I’ll put in the basics so you can get started.
First I’ll define what a brand is and then I’ll show you what you need to focus on branding your business.
What is a Brand?
You know every company has a brand, something that makes every job unique. So a brand is essentially the identity of a company. Just as no two people are the same, no two businesses are the same, and brands are what makes them different.
If you want, you can think of the brand as the personality of a company. A brand tells its customers who you are and what you are providing products about. The essence of his job is who, what and why. Many companies go to branding later.
If you follow this route, you will find it difficult to gain attraction and acquire new customers. Without a brand, the business won’t be memorable and it won’t make potential customers think they’re special.
This is the reason why first-time dropshippers give up and quit. They don’t spend enough time on branding. Branding is an issue that runs through his entire business. Everything about your business should be associated with your brand.
Your social media, digital marketing strategies, and even your ad text reflect your brand. Branding is both internal and external. Internal branding deals with mission statement and company values, while external branding deals with elements such as design and replica.
Also, branding is part of your value to the target audience. Whether your customers are loyal or not will depend largely on how well your brand appeals to them.
An outstanding brand will attract customers by connecting with them and help turn ordinary customers into loyal followers.
Whether you are a sole entrepreneur or a manager of a small team, your company needs internal branding. This may seem trivial, but I urge you not to ignore it.
Internal branding allows you to understand what your company (and the team members you have) means. It is another way of saying that his company is focusing on his customers.
While customers won’t see what your internal branding is like, your public presence will reflect the attitude you maintain. A good interior brand ensures everyone is on the same side and makes it easy to maintain proper work ethics.
Two common ways to implement internal branding are mission statement and a list of values.
Creating a Mission Statement
Throughout this guide, I put a heavy emphasis on value. By now, I hope you have gained a world-class mindset focused on how to best serve your target audience. This value comes first idea is an integral part of a successful mission statement.
Mission statements can sometimes seem corny or insincere, but a good mission statement can do wonders for your business by giving you a customer-centric perspective.
You’ve probably seen many mission statements before, but if you haven’t, here are some famous examples:
- Warby Parker: “To lead the socially conscious business while offering designer glasses at a revolutionary price”
- Nordstrom: “Providing customers with the most attractive shopping experience possible.”
- JetBlue: “To inspire humanity both in the air and on the ground.”
These mission statements are more than just blank phrases to boost some good PR work. It is designed to guide every worker in everything he or she does.
A good mission statement improves morale, creates a positive environment and helps everyone communicate better. To see the power of mission statements, take another look at the mission statements above.
It’s all about what the company does for its customers. This issue is very important because if your mission statements are all about your company, it won’t work. Just as you develop the value first mindset, you need to develop the value comes first mission statement.
Again, this might seem like too much advertising for a dropshipping business, but trust me – many dropshippers don’t take this seriously.
It may not always be obvious, but many successful dropships with great brands have an extraordinary mission statement that drives them. Companies like IKEA work this way.
You may not realize this at first, but IKEA’s goal of helping more people create a better life at home affects everything they do, from product design to shop layout.
This is exactly the kind of interior layout you want to create for your dropshipping business (even if you’re plain right now). It’s also important to build your internal brand before you start working on any external branding.
This is like building a house on a solid foundation. External branding is the home and internal branding is the basis. Not an expert at crafting inspirational mission statements? Do not worry. Here are a few tips to support you.
Do not make the statement of duty yourself. As I said, you have to put your customer base first, and that means avoiding overloading your mission statement with “we”.
Yes, your mission statement will be about your company, but only about what your company has to offer. You shouldn’t be too caught up in his greed and you shouldn’t ignore it.
Consider the verbs. First of all, the mission statements listed end with “do __“. To offer, give, inspire etc. These are all actions, and who is the recipient of these actions? Customer.
It’s easier for you to keep focusing on your customers, not yourself, whatever you think your company is doing in terms of action.
Think about why your company does what it does. Every company needs a fundamental reason to exist, which is often referred to as the “cause”. It’s not good if the reason is just to sell and make money.
Your business needs a reason to improve people’s lives somehow. You then need to include this reason in your mission statement.
Warby Parker’s mission statement does it wonderfully: “To lead the socially conscious business while also offering designer glasses at a revolutionary price.”
Somewhere between 10-30 you will want to prepare a few mission statements. If it doesn’t sound good, it’s okay. Right now, you want to think of as many expressions as possible to give you the most options you can work with.
Next, narrow down the list. Which mission statements best summarize your goals? If you were a customer, which one would you prefer?
You may need to change your mission statement over time. As your business grows, you will get a better idea of your value and specific goals. Update your mission statements accordingly and make sure everyone on your team knows this too.
Here’s an excellent guide called The Balance that provides some tips for writing a great mission statement. This step helps you think like the most successful businesses in the world and allows you to align actions with goals.
Talking about external branding is complicated because everything you do represents your brand. Your logo, customer support emails, and social media avatars are all part of your brand.
(This is why internal branding is so important – you need to understand who you are before going public.)
The basic elements of a brand are your look and voice. Your business logo and website (or store) are often the first thing a new customer sees, so they should make a good first impression.
Then, the tone and style of writing you use will affect everything from sales to social shares. Text and media determine how you communicate with your customers, so everything you put forward should be meaningful to your brand.
Let’s break down these sections (logo, website, text) and discuss each in depth.
There’s a reason big businesses spend millions on logo design. This is because your logo is more than a pretty design. It’s a way people get to know your brand instantly.
I bet you can think of at least 10 different logos right now. Logos have tons of power. People are visual beings, so when we see a logo for a business we love, we almost dig it into our subconscious.
You will use your logo in your store, social media accounts, business cards, and even your email profile picture. All your customers will see this, so why not do the best you can be?
Since a good logo can be a bit expensive, many entrepreneurs choose to choose a free logo that they can make themselves. Is there a problem with that? If you have no design skills, your logo will look generic and forgettable.
That’s why you need a logo created specifically for your brand. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars, but you should be prepared to pay a fair price for a custom designed logo from a qualified designer.
That way, you won’t be just another store with a boring logo. A custom logo is an easy way to resist the competition.
First of all, you should have an idea about the aesthetics you want for your brand. Would you like to have a more formal or casual look? What emotions do you want to evoke in your customers?
A good designer will guide you, but it’s good to ask these questions ahead of time.
It’s helpful to find a few logos you like and try to understand what you love about them. What do you think makes them special? Thinking about it makes a logo designer job easier because they will be able to find ideas that reflect what you want in the logo.
Second, you should be ready to pay. How much should you spend? Costs vary from designer to designer, but a good price range is between $ 100 and $ 300 to get what you want.
Logo design takes a lot of work, and designers who pay little often do not care about quality. If you get an offer in the range of $ 100 – $ 300, you may be interested in someone who takes their job seriously.
So how do you find a logo designer? It’s worth getting into your network and seeing if you can find a designer this way. This is a great way to find and communicate with people you can trust.
There are tons of sites out there that let you get a well-designed logo that won’t charge you if you can’t find anyone on the network. Here are a few options.
Find a freelance designer. For most entrepreneurs, a freelancer offers the best value for money to get the job done.
You’re not aiming for a prestigious company, but you’re also making sure you don’t pay someone who charges you a fee by just using a free logo designer. It is a middle ground that works great for everyone involved.
You can find a local logo designer with Googling “logo design” and it will also work in your field. Most logo designers target local-based businesses, and this is a great option for connecting with someone reliable.
Sites like 99designs can help you get in touch with a designer. However, these sites are not always ideal.
Another method is to use portfolio sites like Dribbble. You can instantly view hundreds of designers and their work and contact them directly to get a quote.
This may take a little longer, but you’ll be happier in the long run.
Use an online marketplace. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are full of freelancers and you usually don’t pay a lot. It’s easy to browse the site and find talented designers, and you can normally get a finished logo in a matter of days.
On the other hand, most freelancers on such sites may be incompetent and receive very little fees. Finding designers who do not produce generic logos is also a bit difficult. However, if you mix options, you can find some gems.
Find a graphic design firm. This is a more expensive option but can produce great results. If you want to pay for a professionally designed logo, you can call famous graphic design companies.
These companies usually have an in-house team of designers working to create the logo of your dreams. These firms are common in big cities, and if you find a local firm you will have the comfort of having a personal conversation and working with a designer to get the best results.
Regardless of the angle, your logo is the face of your brand. All of your digital marketing materials will be found, so while it may be hard to digest the idea of spending a few hundred dollars on a logo, focus on the long term.
So far you have chosen a sales channel. If you are going to use your own website, you need to consider the design of your site.
If you use eBay or Amazon, there is nothing you can do about design, which limits your ability to effectively brand your business. A website offers you a solid web presence and allows you to sell the way you want.
You know design matters, but let me ask you a question: Can you remember how many websites you visited last week? Probably not so much. Because the design of an ordinary website is not taken seriously.
You will usually see variations of the same WordPress or Squarespace theme.
Now, there is nothing wrong with using WordPress or Squarespace, but there is something wrong with having a generic site. You don’t want potential customers to forget your site just because it looks like another site.
Even worse, a site with no soul can lower your conversion rate and drive people away from your site.
Website design is another aspect of your business that should allocate a significant budget. In terms of price, you can spend as much as a few hundred dollars or as much as a few thousand dollars.
Plan your finances accordingly. Your website is one of the most important business investments you will make.
There are ways to set up the site yourself, but you’ll get better results if you hire a web designer. No matter how you set up your site, you should focus on two important things:
Integrating your brand into your site. It is not called ‘brand identity’ for nothing. Your site must be an organic extension of your brand. This means the colors, fonts, and images you use should be consistent with your brand.
Attention to detail is essential here, because anything that doesn’t fit your brand looks awkward, and it hurts the customer experience.
Have an unforgettable design. Your site should just look like yours, not someone else’s. Despite what you might be thinking, having a memorable design doesn’t have to drain your funds.
It is very possible to have a unique design using a website builder like WordPress but you have to work for it.
You can hire the designer if you want your site to be customized by a professional to your needs, but it’s not necessary.
There are two ways you can go: create a site yourself or you can find someone to do it. Both have their pros and cons. Choose carefully, as a bad website will cost you dearly.
Making Your Own Dropshipping Site
In theory, you could save tons of money and create a site that will get you started selling products quickly.
It is not very fast. This has its benefits and is sometimes a preferred option, especially because of the resources available to you. It is also not the right choice for every dropshipper.
It is very important to decide what is available on a dropshipping site before you decide to take on the job. Your site needs to have product pages, an integrated payment processor, and encryption to name just a few things.
If there is any error on your site, it can be said that it is very bad for your business. Therefore, if you have zero experience in building and designing a site, I suggest you find someone experienced to help you.
Yes, it’s an additional cost that you can technically avoid, but paying a little now could help save your business in the long run.
On the other hand, if you have sufficient web design and / or development experience, this option may be for you. Keep in mind that this will take longer than projects you’ve worked in the past. Some details are likely to be overlooked, but you shouldn’t.
It has to be said that there are other website solutions to consider. While these won’t give you as much flexibility and customization as a designer, they are more affordable and will get things done.
WordPress is one such option. Even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person in the world, there are plenty of e-commerce plugins to help you set up a store.
You will likely have to pay for some premium (paid) plugins, but the final cost will be much cheaper than looking for a designer. Squarespace is another popular web design solution.
If you go this way, you can use Shopify features and add-ons. These are designed to be incredibly user-friendly and are helpful step by step through the whole process.
Using site builders like WordPress or Squarespace can make technical work easier, but you need to work more on design. You don’t want to use the same theme other people use.
You can also take a hybrid approach, do your best yourself and hire someone to do the rest.
The opposite of using site builders like WordPress is being able to use the e-commerce plugins I mentioned. There are many plugins that handle payment processing, store design, email lists, and anything else you can think of.
While many dropshipper prefer to set up a site like this and it works well, you may find it lacking.
Finally, it all depends on what you want from your site. If you’re comfortable and experienced with creating and designing websites, consider the DIY approach.
If you want a professional touch or aren’t well versed in website creation, consider hiring someone for the job.
Working with a Digital Marketing Agency
Hiring a web designer is a great choice in most cases, as the success of your entire business depends on the smooth running of your site. It is a long-term investment and may damage your wallet now, but it will pay for itself over time.
The options for finding a web designer are the same as finding a logo designer. You can access your network, find a freelancer online, or work with a design firm.
However, as web design can be quite costly, you’ll want to think more and do research to find the perfect web designer.
If possible, it’s always a good idea to chat with the designer and see if she’s meeting you on the same spot and understand your vision.
As I mentioned in the logo design section, fake designers can be a problem. Many “designers” only build one WordPress site and charge a premium for it.
This is not a bad option if you don’t even know how to use WordPress. But the main thing is that you have to do your duty before paying anyone. Make sure you know what a designer will do for you.
A good web designer will be able to answer your questions, integrate your branding, and showcase their past work. Ideally, you want a designer who has built retail sites before.
Since online stores require more work than other sites, it’s important that you work with someone who is used to it. A designer who doesn’t know how e-commerce stores work might create a site that isn’t fully optimized for conversion and sales.
If you think you’ve found the right designer for you, you may want to email them to people or businesses they’ve worked with before.
To be honest, personal references can tell a lot about a designer’s quality. At a minimum, check out previous sites made by the designer and take a good look at them. Are they visually and functionally similar to what you’re looking for?
Now we come to the big question: How much should you spend? This is where the costs will add up. An e-commerce site starts at around $ 1,000 and increases further.
If this seems too much to you, focus on the big picture. While it may be tempting to cut costs by doing a job yourself, paying a designer is often worthwhile because it gives you peace of mind.
You will soon have a perfectly working showcase, which means you can start selling sooner. The end product will be elegant and visually appealing, so you won’t have to worry about having a sub-average site.
Whether you design the site yourself or outsource the work, you want to know how the site works. This is especially true for e-commerce plugins. Spend some time with them and get used to how they work, as they’ll use a plugin package.
If you run into problems, you can ask for easy troubleshooting.
Ad Text Writing
Whether you build your website yourself or not, you will need a professional copywriter. Writing is an essential part of a site that most people ignore. Many entrepreneurs focus on a flashy site or a glamorous logo and forget the article.
Good copywriting is vital to a dropshipping business in several ways.
- Ad Text
- Product description
- Digital Marketing content
- Social media posts
- Additional content (eg blog posts, videos, guides)
In short, writing is a big part of how to transform people and close the sale. The right words can bring your brand to life and turn one-off customers into repeat customers.
On the other hand, boring text can also cause visitors to click but they will likely never hit your site again.
There are too many writers these days, so be careful when choosing someone to work with. You don’t need someone with a master’s degree in English, but you shouldn’t work with someone whose studies are wrong either.
Even minor grammar issues can make visitors feel like you are not caring or lazy, and this is the last thing you want.
If you want to grab the attention of your target audience, you’ll need a clearly arranged, emotionally appealing text. This means you’ll want to find an experienced writer who knows the content of sales text, digital marketing content, and product descriptions.
There is a difference between writing a book and writing website text that transforms. Therefore, the writer of your choice must have prior experience in copywriting for online businesses.
Here again you can find a freelancer, use an online marketplace or work with a company. When it comes to writing, I have to note that choosing online marketplaces (like Upwork) to find high-quality writers is very difficult.
The language listed by many authors is not a native speaker. Once these authors are filtered, you will still find many authors with features you don’t need.
But before you start looking for an author, you need to know what attitude to use. Even if your brand is comfortable, even precise, you will not want formal or poetic text.
Likewise, if you want to have a super professional look, you won’t want your text to be stuffed with slang. Again, take a look at some of your competitors and evaluate them. Which font styles do you like?
Passing this on to your author will help them understand what you are looking for.
You should also consider whether you want to find a writer to work for long term. Finding the perfect writer and building a business relationship from the beginning can help, as you will need a regular new ad copy for products and digital marketing materials.
This can save you time as you don’t have to look for a new author from scratch.
Finding a good freelance writer can be difficult, especially if you’ve never worked with a writer before. Finding someone with a fixed portfolio is usually the best choice for you. Remember that writing, like logo and web design, will not be cheap as it requires a lot of work.
While writing rates vary, you pay 10 cents per word or more to get good writing. Some writers charge hourly or per project, so you need to find per-word employees.
If it’s in a smaller or technically more demanding niche, you’ll have to pay even more to find someone experienced in the field. As a result, you need to allocate a decent amount of budget for top-notch professional writing.
Registering Your Trademark
After working on both internal and external branding for a while, you should feel that your brand is a solid whole. A permanent brand requires constant development, so tweak it from time to time.
For example, if you notice that your customers are using certain attitude, you may want to imitate this in your texts.
As your store grows, your brand will grow too. If you continue to focus on developing your brand, it will be your dropshipping business that attracts a large number of customers and keeps them coming back for more.