If you want to sell something online, you first have to put it up on your site. Being a solo entrepreneur, you probably do this yourself. Along the way, you may have tried different methods of creating the landing page or displaying your products within your website. That’s perfectly OK… until the day you decide to start outsourcing this.
All of a sudden you realize your product pages are a mess. Some landing pages use a special sales letter plugin, others don’t. Some products have clearly laid out features while others are buried deep in a copy. Some have customer testimonials running down the side, others have them sprinkled everywhere and some don’t have them at all. They all use a different order button and the order button may be in different sizes and placement.
It is very difficult for someone to help you when you don’t have a standard way of doing things.
The upshot is, they will be asking for your input and guidance at every turn of the way. When that happens, you will feel this outsourcing stuff is way to difficult, takes too long and the person you hired is incompetent when that could be the furthest from the truth. The problem is you and your system or lack thereof.
Sounds harsh but truth hurts sometimes and I am the biggest culprit! The day it occurred to me I couldn’t simply tell someone to go put a product up on our website without them getting hopelessly lost was the day I got a huge butt kicking.
It doesn’t matter if you typically use a sales letter format or you sell packs or bundles of products. If someone cannot hit duplicate post (on WordPress) or duplicate an HTML page and only change key pieces of information pertaining to your new product, then you must do something to help make it possible. That’s what I’m working on right now. Standardizing our plugin site – it’s all over the place – yikes! I’m embarrassed to even link to it. Good thing it is changing soon and yes, there will be a plugin for that.
For some projects, especially joint ventures, this may not work due to the nature of the product and you definitely want to keep copy in mind. However, if you have several products – even if they differ a little, here’s what you can do.
- Categorize them so that all products in each category can share the same template design
- Make an attractive spot on product pages to highlight your features, benefits or the biggest whys
- Keep your order buttons in several consistent locations
- Have nicely designed callouts for reviews that display in the same areas. If space is an issue, turn them into rotating carousels
- Consistently upload your products to one place if you are going to use Amazon S3 or another cloud service, stick to it.
When you do things like this, it becomes easy for you to write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). It becomes easier for people to understand what to do when you say put this product up on the website. The faster they get acquainted with your way of doing things, the faster they will become skilled at doing that task. When your assistant becomes skilled, the time they spend doing that tasks also goes down and so does your bill.
Also, the more consistently you display your products, the faster it is for VA’s to complete the task because they know precisely where to make changes and the workflow is not interrupted.
Perhaps the best up side is, your customers aren’t confused. Each time they buy from you, they become familiar with your system. They’ll know where your order buttons are, where they should look to quickly grab the key information to make a quick decision.
If you need inspiration, take a look at these sites. Notice, for every product in their inventory, order buttons, descriptions, reviews and images are displayed in a consistent manner and location.