How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business with Freelance Talent
There’s no question how profitable running an online store can be. With ecommerce being responsible for more than $2 trillion worth of sales in 2017, can you really blame veteran and aspiring business owners if they want to jump on the bandwagon?
Though having your own online store may seem easy, the truth is it’s not as easy as it looks. There’s more to it than just selling products online. Someone needs to take care of product research, marketing, and website design just to name a few.
You obviously need all the help you can get if you really want to scale your business and take it to the next level. A good first step to take is to outsource some of these critical tasks to experienced and talented freelancers because admit it or not, you can’t do it alone.
Below are some of the areas you can begin with.
1. Product Sourcing
When you’re in the business of selling products, you always need to be on the lookout for potentially profitable items you can sell. It’s a never-ending process, especially if your goal is to stay ahead of the competition.
The task itself isn’t that simple, though. You need to have a good nose for potential best-sellers and have the patience and perseverance to talk to several suppliers who can give you the product you’re looking for at the most affordable price.
This will obviously take a lot of time, and since you have your hands full running the business, outsourcing this task to a dedicated freelancer who has the experience and necessary skills makes perfect sense.
2. Order Fulfillment
Processing orders aren’t difficult at all, but when your products are selling like pancakes and you have to process orders by the hundreds, that’s something else. Besides, this task isn’t as important as your CEO tasks which require more time and attention. So instead of taking care of this yourself, why not hand it over to a freelancer to free up your time?
While the task can be considered mundane, it does require a certain level of attention because the slightest mistake can prove costly. Not only will you drive customers away, but it will also be a huge blow to your business’ reputation. Make sure you look for someone with an eye for detail.
Maintaining inventory can also be considered clerical, but by no means can it be deemed non-critical. It takes skill, experience, and attention to detail for to properly maintain inventory.
On the one hand, you need to ensure that there’s enough stock sitting in the warehouse to cover customer’s orders. On the other hand, you also need to make sure that you’re not overstocked, especially if the product isn’t one of your best-sellers.
Outsourcing this task to an experienced freelancer is still the better option because by doing so, you’re not only freeing yourself up, but you’re also entrusting a critical task to someone who can do it better.
4. Customer Service
As much as you would like to be there for your customers 24/7, we all know that it’s humanly impossible. When you have someone who can deal with customer inquiries on your behalf, however, your problem is solved!
This is exactly the reason why it’s an excellent idea to outsource your customer service needs to a freelancer. Customers appreciate it when they are given attention and importance especially if they have questions or requests that require someone they can talk to.
What makes hiring freelancers perfect for this task is because most of them are located in a different time zone (even opposite yours), which means they could be working while you’re asleep. And they can be dedicated to this task, which means that all your customer gets taken care of immediately.
5. Product Listing Optimization
Your product listing is the heart of your business. It’s where the whole sales process begins from the time they find your products online to the time when they actually press the checkout button.
A good product listing should be able to attract potential buyers and this is made possible by a combination of several elements like a catchy title, a detailed product description, and an attention-grabbing picture, just to name a few.
If you want your product listing to become a total customer-magnet, you need someone who knows how to make all these elements work both individually and in harmony with the rest of the other elements.
The good news is that there are freelancers who specialize in product listing optimization so you don’t have to spend countless hours crafting efficient and attractive product listings. With a product listing optimization specialist taking care of this part of the business for you, you’ll have more time to focus on the more important aspects of the business.
6. Social Media Marketing
Social media has become more than just a place to meet old friends and college buddies. Today, it is considered one of the most powerful (if not actually the most powerful) marketing tools companies use to drive more traffic to their business to increase sales. In fact, it’s rare to find companies today who are not on any of the leading social media channels.
While the task of promoting your business on social media can easily be handled by anyone who knows how to use it — which is practically anyone who has a social media account — having someone who actually knows how to use the power of social media to grow a brand makes a huge difference. This is exactly what you’ll be getting by hiring a social media specialist.
With the majority of people, today on social media most of the time, the opportunities and the people you can reach is almost limitless. You’re not only freeing yourself up from stress, but you’re also giving your business a bigger chance to succeed.
7. Graphic Design
One of the most important factors in any online endeavor is visuals. With a highly-visual audience whose attention span is relatively short, it’s crucial to make a good first impression especially when it comes to the products you want to sell more of.
This is where a creative and talented graphic designer comes in handy because it only takes a few seconds for a potential buyer to either entertain the idea of buying a product or go somewhere else. If you have a freelancer who knows how to create stunning and visually-stimulating graphics, you immediately increase your chances of getting more leads and eventually, loyal customers.
Graphic design is a very specific skill and a talent that not everyone has the privilege to boast of. Luckily, there are a handful of freelancers on the market who fit the bill. Availing of their services is no doubt one of the best decisions you’ll ever make — not only in terms of productivity but also in terms of performance.
Where can you find the best freelancers?
Once you’ve decided to hire freelancers to help you run the business, the next question you probably have in mind is, “Where do I find them?”
Upwork is considered the biggest freelance market in the world today. With over 12 million registered freelancers and 1.5 million clients under its belt according to freelancing website Virtual Assistant Assistant, it’s undeniable that it is the most popular of all freelance markets as well. This is not surprising since as a product of the merging of two of the biggest freelance markets Odesk and Elance, the range of skills available for you to hire is almost unlimited.
With over 3 million registered freelancers in its pool, Guru is one of the largest freelance markets companies can rely on. There’s a wide array of talent to choose from that you can hire either on an hourly or fixed rate basis.
FreeeUp is one of those up-and-coming freelance markets that brings a new dimension into the way you hire freelancers. With FreeeUp, you don’t need to conduct interviews left and right because the marketplace already does all the dirty work for you. FreeeUp prides itself as a platform that pre-vets and pools the top 1% of freelancers that sign up to join. With its 5-step interview process, clients are assured that they are getting the cream of the crop.
Unlike the other freelance markets where freelancers apply for projects they want to work on, Fiverr does it the opposite way. On this platform, freelancers showcase their skills and market themselves. Clients then bid on their services. By posting their gigs, clients can then decide which freelancer suits their needs.
Running an online store is no walk in the park. Taking it to the next level is even harder, but with the help of experienced and talented freelancers, you are giving your business a fighting chance. By freeing yourself up and focusing on your daily operations while letting the experts take care of the tasks you hired them for, there’s no other way for your business to go but up.
This post is published on behalf of Connor Gillivan
About The Author
Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO.