How to Get Your First Sale (Before Your Free Trial Ends)

get your first sale

So, you wanna get your first sale before your free Shopify trial ends?

This isn’t the time to come up with an idea for a publicity stunt or create an elaborate marketing plan.

This is the time for creativity, high impact and quick turnaround.

It’s not about getting rich quick, it’s about proof of concept.

Did you choose the right niche and products?

Let’s find out!

These are all the ways that either I or one of my colleagues have gotten the coveted first sale. So do they actually work? You bet.

How to Get Your First Sale in Two Weeks

#1. Get Your First Sale by Building Your Audience Before the Store

get first sale

I used to run a print on demand dog store but before I started the store, I started building the audience. Every day for about three months I’d post dog pictures and videos on Instagram. It wasn’t until I had a few thousand followers that I actually decided to start building the store. Once the store was built, I was able to get a few sales by creating product posts directly to my audience. But the success came from building the audience before I started building the store so getting those first few sales could happen right away. Check out How to Get Followers on Instagram to learn how to grow your Instagram account to 10k followers.

#2. How Retargeting Ads Can Help You Get Your First Sale

When I was dropshipping products in the fitness niche, I wanted to get sales fast. We didn’t have an audience built up first but we wanted immediate sales. I had just heard about how effective retargeting blog content was and wanted to test it out to see if I could actually land sales that way.

I didn’t want to play the patience game, I wanted to get proof of concept. So I wrote a few blog posts that featured influencer quotes. Niche influencers who had a big audience had an entire page featuring their quotes. Before I started promoting my posts on social media, I created a retargeting ad. Since the ad was running, I started reaching out to all the influencers on Twitter tagging them the link of the article hoping for a retweet. Not everyone retweeted it, but enough did that I got my first few sales with this tactic.

#3. Getting Your First Sale by Paying an Influencer

You can get your first sale with a little bit of influencer marketing. This strategy isn’t about sending a product to an influencer and hoping they’ll convert their audience. It’s about reaching out to a bunch of influencers and paying for a shoutout. You can create your own graphic or send them a picture to repost on their Instagram account. You’ll want to make sure that the picture is Instagram appropriate. Meaning that it’s not just a model wearing an outfit on a white background. It has to look like it belongs on Instagram. You can then ask the influencer to post about how she wants it or how cool it is. Look at past posts to see what other product posts have been like. You can then offer the influencer an affiliate commission for sales or pay their flat rate. Since you don’t have to send products, you’ll be able to do this with a few influencers without having to pay for product costs allowing you to keep a lower budget. When I tried this strategy for my store, the page I posted to charged me $35 per post and resulted in dozens of sales. My picture? It was just a couple of mugs on a colored background that I designed in Canva. Sounds basic, but it worked.

influencer marketing

#4. Using a Giveaway to Get Your First Sale

One of my friends had tried making money with giveaways on her store. And it worked. Essentially, she’d host a giveaway on her website for a chance to win a product from the store. There were multiple ways to get entries such as sharing on social media, referring friends and more. The giveaway drew countless participants. After one week, a winner was declared. However, emails were also sent to all the runner-ups saying that they’ve won a runner up prize. The prize? A $5 gift card to your store. You need to make sure that your product pricing is high enough that you’ll still make a profit with the gift card. And make sure people can’t score free products with your gift card which can put you at a loss.

#5. Using Buy and Sell Groups to Get Your First Sale

You can get your first sale online on Facebook groups. You can add keywords like ‘fashion buy and sell groups’ in your Facebook search bar to find groups where you can sell products. Both myself and my boyfriend have personally sold products in these groups successfully. We’ve also bought products from them too. People join these groups with the expectation that they’ll either be buying or selling on them so people don’t feel like they’re being sold to. They actually want to find great products to buy.

get your first sale with buy and sell groups

There are also niche Facebook groups that allow you to sell certain types of products. For example, one niche group page allowed me to sell any products within the niche as long as they weren’t t-shirts. The group wasn’t a traditional buy and sell group more like a fan page but product posts were allowed in the group. I was also able to add my store link as well so people could buy directly from the product page.

#6. How Advertising Can Help You Get Your First Sale

If you need instant gratification and want the best chances of getting your first sale in your first two weeks, advertising is what will likely help you convert best. In my article, I Spent $191,480.74 on Facebook Ads. Here’s What I Learned, I breakdown all the tactics that I’ve used to get sales with Facebook ads. If you’re selling internationally, you can target a Worldwide audience. I found removing countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom helped make the ad more effective and affordable. You’d then create four separate ads for the remaining countries.

Experimentation is the key to Facebook ads. Test out the products that have high order volume first. You’ll could create several $5 ads when starting out to find out which product is your best seller. Once you’ve figured out what your best selling product is, you’ll need to experiment with different targeting options. And you keep doing this repeatedly to continue growing your store.

#7. Using an exit-intent pop-up to get your first sale

To avoid high abandoned carts and zero sales in your first couple weeks, consider an exit intent pop-up. Shopify has apps like Wheelio that you can use for this purpose. You’ll need to find ways to drive traffic to your website. Maybe ads, social media marketing or posting in popular Facebook groups.

wheelio

Then, when someone is on the verge of exiting your website, a pop-up appears. This pop-up allows them to enter their email address. But it also gives them a discount code that they can use on your store to purchase an item. I’ve personally tried this on my store and have seen direct sales from the coupon codes we’ve given out with this app. Plus, you can use the email list you build from the app to send out newsletters a few times those first two weeks to land more sales.

#8. Try out Affiliate Marketing to Get Your First Sale

When you’re building out a new store, you can harness the power of affiliates to do your marketing for you. Since no one has heard of your brand, you need to offer an incentive that’ll excite potential affiliates. Great cash incentives and free gift offers can help. You can browse the Shopify app store for affiliate networks. However, that alone, especially in only two weeks, won’t be enough.

To find more affiliates you can join affiliate marketing Facebook groups to find affiliates looking for new brands to partner with. You can also reach out to popular influencers on social media and offer an affiliate deal for promoting your products to their audience instead of paying their rate. It’s a numbers game, the more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to get your first sale this way.

 

#9. Promote Your Brand on Social Media

I’m not talking about posting on social media, that’s just the standard that you should be doing. This is about outreach. I recently celebrated an anniversary with my boyfriend. No one on Twitter cared. Except for Medieval Times, a fun date night activity in Toronto.

how to get your first sale on twitter

They likely used a tool like Moz’s FollowerWonk where you can use keywords to find your ideal customer. You can also search potential customers by location or the number of followers they have. So you can also use this tool to find influencers for your niche if you wanted to. Depending on what your niche is you can use keywords such as your niche keyword, recommendations, ideas, and need to buy. You can play around with keywords and do some outreach the good old fashioned way. If you consistently try this tactic a few times each day, you could end up getting your first sale this way.

#10. Tap into niche blogs and publications

When I was launching a beauty brand online, I reached out to countless niche blogs and magazines. I looked for magazines like Cosmopolitan that weren’t as popular so I’d have a shot at getting featured. I started by focusing on magazines and online publications that were based in Canada. The magazines I pitched were still very popular with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media but not as popular as other publications in the same category. We had links in their online article and were able to get a few sales this way.

Niche blogs also work really well. Compile a list of popular blogs within your niche. Find out who the owner of the blog is to ensure you don’t send a generic, nameless pitch. Focus on blogs that really have featured product lists. For example, ‘Top 10 Summer Products’ or ‘50 Phone Cases You Need to Buy.’ I found it’s actually pretty simple to get your brands on these types of lists. You can also use a free tool like HARO to receive requests from reporters who are writing articles about your niche. It can help you get a link back to your website or product page to land even more sales for your store.

Conclusion

These ten ideas will help you increase the odds of getting your first sale before your free trial ends. However, as your business starts to grow, you’ll need to experiment with more advanced tactics to continue scaling your business. Feel free to check out my free ebook 50 Ways to Get Sales with Dropshipping. There’s no other online marketing ebook that gives such an in-depth look at marketing hacks. I literally share all my secrets and regularly update it with new marketing ideas.

Want to Learn More?

What have you tried doing so far to get your first sale? Comment below!

 

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