Some Advice and Motivation Needed

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Hi!

So... last month I paid someone on Odesk hourly to build a store for me using Prestashop. HORRIBLE idea! I spent over $500 and guess what? It's STILL not ready! I had to fire him like right away because I knew he'd be making me pay over $1k for bull shit. Needless to say I've put that project on the back burner because I still need to learn the script. I really think it'd be dumb to start all over after spending all that money. Makes me so upset and sad to think about it!

I decided on Sunday ( my birthday ) that it was time to actually use the domains I had for dropshipping like NOW. I have about 5 of them!

So I built my water faucet website yesterday. Today I'll be building my seed website.

I built a twitter account for the faucet site and I have a campaign starting on Bing today. I'm thinking of doing some CL postings ... what else could I do? My target market is women who are remodeling with a large budget to spend. I'm thinking of writing a free report on how to install a faucet 100% on your own. But I'm unsure what else? I was also thinking of doing a few ads on forums but don't know if that's worth the investment.

Any advice and motivation would be super right now. The freelancer totally killed me mojo for awhile; glad I got it back.
#advice #motivation #needed
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Always vet freelancers thoroughly. I am a freelance writer/editor/proofreader and I only charge fixed rates. This means my clients know exactly what they have to pay before the job starts.
    If it takes me longer than usual, that's my problem, not theirs.

    I know it can be hard to do that with website design but perhaps ask around in here for referrals to help you. Then you can check credibility.

    Don't let this get you down. It's merely a hurdle in the journey towards success.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

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  • Profile picture of the author SmallRevolution
    Hey there,

    Sorry you got burned on oDesk. I've got a $50k+ account, and that mostly means that it's been lots of lessons learned

    Not that it necessarily matters to you now, but rather than handing over a whole project on fixed price I hire on hourly and get them to do just ONE task first. I run trials before I take anyone on for a full job. This has worked well for me with all our stores.

    Most of the SaaS carts these days - Shopify + Bigcommerce - are very easy to use. Glad to hear you've decided to just get on with it and start building. Prestashop is a very good choice too. You will be able to build most of it yourself with a bit of guidance from tutorials.

    However.... regarding your approach to marketing ....

    1) Houzz.com is the go-to website for interior design-type products. It would be a much better platform for you than Twitter. It is visually-based and you could show the faucet in-situ which is going to sell better than a Tweet and a photo.

    2) Think carefully about how your customers are buying. Are they hunting around for the best price? Or are they looking for something unique? Something that is branded? Whatever their motivation is is what should govern your strategy.

    How to find out?

    Go and look at all the top-selling water faucets on Amazon, particularly the customer reviews. You'll find 'instant' market research in there.

    Lots of people will be commenting on what they did or didn't like about the faucet, what they wanted to use it where etc. etc.

    There are 1,000s and 1,000s of reviews. Read lots of them.

    This will give you ideas for what to write about. I doubt that they're all saying "I wish I could self-install this thing!"

    They'll be talking about the taste of the water out of the faucet, if they can attach a water purifier, whether it tarnishes over time. These are your topics for content.

    3) Selling a branded product (e.g. not your own brand) is tough. You're up against a lot of strong competitors who can under-cut your price so you'll need to work out the EDGE cases.

    Listen to this interview over at Mixergy - How a Mixergy fan built a profitable e-commerce site - with Jordan Gal - Mixergy

    Jordan was selling solar lights and then realised people were using them to light up their American flag at night. This was an "Ah ha" moment that enabled him to find an edge for his marketing.

    Onwards and upwards,
    Katrina
    Signature

    Founder of SmallRevolution.com
    Build your own online store, step by step.

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  • Really sorry this happened to you....but I'm glad you've got your mojo back!

    I love the recommendations above me. My only additional suggestion would be to see if you can guest blog or guest pin for a site that your target market checks in to. Is there an upscale home reno blog they follow? Who do they trust and look to for suggestions? Reach out to the blogs they read and see if you'd be able to write a guest post for them. You don't have to be sales-y, you can just present them with advice or tips that you as the expert are aware of. Have some good decorating tips? Are there certain steps they need to follow to ensure safe installation if they are DIYing? I'm just spit balling ideas here - you know this stuff way better than I do.

    Guest blogging is a great (and free) way to get in front of your audience, gain their trust and build credibility. Definitely add in back links to your sites (when appropriate), but do it in a way that isn't pushy and feels organic. I recently wrote a blog on why guest posting is so great for marketing, but I know there is a wealth of knowledge on best practices circulating the internet. Give it a shot - you may hear "no" the first couple times, but eventually someone will let you stand in front of their audience to share your expertise.

    Good luck! Wish you lots of success in your future
    Tiana with ecomdash
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  • Profile picture of the author wmrwl
    Always learn from bad experiences. They are not failures, they are merely experiences. Everything we do produces a result, whether it's a good result or bad result. The idea is to learn from the mistakes and reproduce the successes.

    I'm sorry to hear about your $500 loss and I hope that doesn't set you back too much financially. A few years after I started my first e-commerce business we spent over $3,000 developing a system that was essentially a really fancy custom CRM. It was poorly coded and didn't perform as expected and we ended up pulling the plug on that project and developing it in-house by ourselves and got a much better result. This was actually a family member of one of our suppliers and he actually lived in our State and we still had a bad experience!

    The important lessons to be learned here:
    1. Whenever you outsource ANYTHING to ANYONE (whether they are local or overseas) is to have a clear vision of your end result and relay that to your contractor.
    2. Monitor the progress and if they are going in a direction that isn't inline with your end result vision, pull the plug immediately.
    3. Assess whether or not you can you do the project yourself. If you can't, then hire slow and fire fast.
    4. Only invest money into projects that you can afford to lose. $3,000 wasn't much to us back then so we just wrote it off as a loss and it didn't hurt us much.

    I wish you the best of luck! Stick with e-commerce, it's one of the best ways to make money online and there is a lot of room for you in the market.
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    • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
      Thank you all for the great advice. I'll be taking it all.

      I can't let that horrible experience get to me. The price to pay for knowledge was expensive but it didn't kill me. It just made me realize that I need to focus more and know everything I need before I hire someone. It wasn't a huge lost only a time lost.

      Thank you for the link to Houzz! Never even knew about it so will be spending some time checking it out! Love the comment hunting idea ; will get started on that this weekend! Will be listening to the interview later today as well.

      Guest blogging would be GREAT! I'll be looking for some blogs and writing some queries for certain blogs. Thank you for that idea!

      Thank you for all the advice and continued motivation. I have no intention of quitting so every piece of input is moving me toward success. I'll make smarter choices when it comes to hiring freelancers for projects similar to that one.
      Signature

      keep moving forward

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    • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
      Originally Posted by AnthonyCapetola View Post

      So is this site actually selling products?
      Yes ... water faucets and the other is selling seeds and sprouts.
      Signature

      keep moving forward

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  • Profile picture of the author threadyblock
    When looking for a freelancer, my suggestion for next time would be to go through the platform partner program to find an "authorized" developer. We're Shopify and BigCommerce partners for example, and I know they both do a pretty good job of ensuring we had a certain level of experience as well as quality of portfolio. Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loridori4
    Originally Posted by sweetcrabhoney18 View Post

    Hi!

    So... last month I paid someone on Odesk hourly to build a store for me using Prestashop. HORRIBLE idea! I spent over $500 and guess what? It's STILL not ready! I had to fire him like right away because I knew he'd be making me pay over $1k for bull shit. Needless to say I've put that project on the back burner because I still need to learn the script. I really think it'd be dumb to start all over after spending all that money. Makes me so upset and sad to think about it!

    I decided on Sunday ( my birthday ) that it was time to actually use the domains I had for dropshipping like NOW. I have about 5 of them!

    So I built my water faucet website yesterday. Today I'll be building my seed website.

    I built a twitter account for the faucet site and I have a campaign starting on Bing today. I'm thinking of doing some CL postings ... what else could I do? My target market is women who are remodeling with a large budget to spend. I'm thinking of writing a free report on how to install a faucet 100% on your own. But I'm unsure what else? I was also thinking of doing a few ads on forums but don't know if that's worth the investment.

    Any advice and motivation would be super right now. The freelancer totally killed me mojo for awhile; glad I got it back.
    Wow you sound like me! Multi tasking entrepreneur
    I have a makeup biz, done some drop shipping, promoted some affiliate stuff.
    1. I recommend 3dcart. Easy web building tools and fast responsive support. I've had my site with them for over two years. Pm me if you want the link..

    Secondly, it can be hard to make it on such laser pointed niches. Hence why I went with Dubli.
    Signature

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Lorraine Pierce, CEO & Founder
    LA Minerals

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