Brands want to work with influencers because they’re an asset. Assets garner attention and can lead to sales. But product placements and campaigns aren’t the only way that you can monetize your influence. With the rise of virtual stores like Shopify and Big Cartel, you can tap into Ecommerce and build a microbusiness selling products that align with your brand.
Ecommerce can help you scale your business. This revenue stream allows you to grow your brand and create intellectual property around your own designs, products, and concepts.
Currently, some influencers leverage Ecommerce by using affiliate links, curating hand-picked items on their personalized page within a retailer’s website, or collaborating with brands to create products if they have a large following. However, these tactics still depend on a brand partner. Virtual stores level the playing field so you’re empowered to monetize your following in a direct to consumer market.
Here are three tips if you’re thinking about starting an Ecommerce store:
- Identify a theme that ties into your brand
A virtual store is an extension of your brand, so it has to make sense. For example, if you’re a travel influencer who is passionate about solo getaways, you could open a Shopify store based on the theme and sell relevant products. A shirt with #flyingsolo embroidered across the chest, an iPhone case with a globe, a stylish pair of sunglasses and an eye-catching passport cover are examples of items you could sell from your virtual store.
- Do what you do best and delegate everything else
Promote your shop by creating relatable lifestyle content that inspires while subtly infuses the products to drive purchase consideration. Tools from Shopify, and plug-ins such as LIKEtoKNOWit and Snapppt allow your followers to purchase directly from Instagram.
Consider using a dropshipping service so you don’t have to carry inventory and can focus on what you do best. According to Shopify, “dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.”
If you’re struggling to get your virtual store off the ground, holla at us! We worked with beauty influencer Sarah Lou Who and apparel brand Kickback Culture to create a Shopify store centered around stylish fashion accessories for your next vacation – including beachwear and sunglasses. We can help with your Ecommerce strategy as well.
- Use your virtual store as leverage
Once your store is up and running, add it to your media kit so potential brand partners can better understand your work. The type of content that you create for your own store can give marketers a glimpse into how you could promote their products if you were to partner.
E-commerce and influencers go hand-in-hand and will continue to drive the future of consumer marketing. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until a brand hits you up — by creating a virtual store you can monetize your influence on your own terms.