Everyone wants to know how to make big money on Shopify. It’s a blazing hot new frontier, that has made it possible for hundreds of eager entrepreneurs to make fortunes overnight. Just 20 years ago most business ventures cost thousands and thousands of dollars to start up. Tons of risk. Lots of gray hairs, sleepless nights, and draining business costs. Now people are starting up lucrative stores online for $29 per month (+ a little ad spend)!
But do you want to know the sad truth about Shopify? Most people that hop onto it don’t make a dime. In fact, as the number of people starting up stores on Shopify has EXPLODED, the number of successful Shopify stores has actually declined.
So is the opportunity gone? Is Shopify dead? There are a lot of people that will tell you it is. YouTubers who needed a click bait title, Shopify store owners who became bitter or jaded after their first store didn’t perform like they assumed it would – but the opportunity with Shopify is just as big as ever.
What’s the problem then?
Hundreds of aspiring business owners are flocking to Shopify, excited about the possibility of freedom, money, and escaping soul-sucking, hourly paid office jobs. But they’re crashing and burning because of these 2 things:
A. They expect it to be easier than it is
B. They go in blind without knowing how to do it
While there’s not really a secret formula (despite what some gurus may suggest), there ARE right and wrong business practices, and actionable strategies that can make you money from day 1 on your Shopify store. By applying the right strategies I was able to make over $500 within 10 hours of launching my store. Shopify is NOT dead! Here’s how to make big money on Shopify…
Step #1: Base Your Products Around People, Not The Other Way Around
This might sound a little confusing at first, but it’s absolutely, 100% essential if you want to build a profitable Shopify store. And this applies just as much if you’re selling on Amazon, Etsy, or anywhere else. Think about the group of people that you want to help, before you think of a product that you want to sell to them. What do they need? What do they like?
Base all of your product research around a group of passionate people. How to find them? Facebook groups are the easiest place to start. By engaging with specific groups of enthusiasts, you can find out EXACTLY what makes them tick. Find out their pet peeves. Find out their pain points. Learn to speak their language. Then find products to market to that group of people that will help with the problem they’re having, or that matches their interest.
This is how you target a niche.
Here’s an example of how I used this to make money through my Shopify store. When I was a kid I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I could name dozens and dozens of obscure dinosaurs by the age of 7, because I read crazy numbers of books all about dinosaurs. When Christmas or my birthday came around, my aunts would buy me dinosaur stuff as gifts. My Grandma would stuff my stocking with dinosaur merchandise. My parents would get me dinosaur shirts, and socks, and pajama onesies. My sister would get me dinosaur things… even as an adult, when my college friends caught wind that I was still a dino-nerd at heart, what did they do? Surprised me with sweaters that had dinosaurs on them of course.
So when I launched my clothing brand on Shopify, one of the first things I did was search Facebook for Dinosaur groups. And sure enough, there are boatloads of adults all around the world who are still obsessed with dinosaurs. This is an example of a perfect niche market. I introduced myself to this group, talked nerdy with them, read their posts… And then I created this line of dinosaur clothing in my Shopify store and casually dropped it into a post on the group board.
You have to be careful doing this, because Facebook groups hate spammers and self-promoters, and rightly so. But do this tactfully and you can often create a huge brand opportunity for yourself! Basic principle = base the dinosaur shirts around the dinosaur nerds, don’t pick a product first and then try to find people who are interested after.
2. Find The Influencers
Unless you’re selling on an online marketplace like Amazon, you need to invest some money into promoting your business. This doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your brand for free too. The first $1,000 we brought in was through free Facebook and Instagram traffic (mastering Instagram growth is crucial). But if you want to hit the ground running, with your tires already spinning, you need to make some advertising investment.
If you’re strategic, and do this properly, you’ll make massive return on your investment from Day 1. You just have to target a specific niche, and ONLY that niche. Think dinosaur groups. If you can make your targeting more accurate and specific you’ll save TONS of money on what I call peripheral expenses. The expenses you pick up from casting a net too wide.
Think of it like fishing with a net. You pay for the size of the net. The bigger the net, the more it costs. So rather than just tossing a huge net in the middle of a lake where you know there are fish somewhere, cast a small, cheap net in the exact spots where smaller schools of fish are waiting. The peripheral costs are all that extra space you’re paying for, and don’t need to.
One of the best ways to target a specific niche, is to find an Instagram or other social media influencer who is in that niche.
There are Instagram accounts about cats, about ice cream, about hemp infused power drinks… you name it! Almost every niche has an Instagram personality or profile out there that has a big following. You can direct message these people and often offer some money if they’ll give you shoutouts on their accounts. The typical cost of a shoutout on big established accounts is $30, but there are hundreds of Instagram personalities that haven’t even thought about monetizing their IG and would ask almost no money for the opportunity to shoutout your brand.
Because of the nature of Instagram marketing, this kind of endorsement can launch you to thousands of dollars in profits within hours. Check out this video from a helpful YouTuber I follow, YOUSE. He explains this pretty well…
3. Become An Influencer
Having a social media presence is not optional for a business owner anymore. Especially not in the Shopify/physical products world. But how can you grow your own account?
By increasing your influence and reach on social media you’ll dramatically reduce what you would have to spend on Facebook ads and Instagram influencers. Once you have thousands of followers in these places, every time you post about new products you’ll be reaching your pool of potential customers.
I made hundreds of dollars through free traffic within the first 10 hours of launching my store by growing Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
If I were to try to give you every detail and strategy needed to become an influencer on social media, it would break my little WordPress site. It would be longer than my senior thesis paper in college (which I’m still trying to forget).
It breaks down basically like this:
a. Use powerful hashtags (start out using mostly hashtags that have over 100,000 posts but less than a million. i.e. Don’t use #Instagood)
b. Use engagement groups and Follow For Follow groups on Facebook, like THIS ONE.
c. Engage with other accounts in the same niche
d. Eventually, consider buying some followers to get a boost
e. TAKE GOOD PICTURES
a. Use good SEO practices
b. Use a free app like Canva to produce attractive pins
c. Join and use engagement groups from Facebook, like THIS ONE.
d. Pin a minimum of 3 times per day
e. TAKE GOOD PICTURES
a. The most powerful place for targeted ads
b. Join Facebook groups and post in them
c. Invite your friends to like your business page and share it to give it
your first boost
4. Focus On Your Visual Aesthetic
All the senses matter when you’re inviting people to buy your stuff online. But the most important element that you’re using to catch people’s attention is sight. Online shopping is an extremely visual experience.
So don’t skimp on your visual aesthetics! Invest time into the look of your website. You can easily create beautiful logos with free apps like Canva, and Logo Maker by Desygner. You can also use many beautiful stock photos from Unsplash, or from Shopify’s free photo resource Burst.
This will especially be important when you want to take photos of your products.
Don’t have a fancy, $1,000+ camera? Don’t sweat it. Many modern Apple and Samsung phones have great cameras, and with some touch up on a free app like SnapSeed, you can make them look incredible. But don’t be lazy about this. Look for good natural lighting. If you sell clothes, ask friends to model for you. Look for unique settings to shoot in. Use props. These are some shots I took of our clothing products at unique locations.
Your Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, Etsy, and even your store will benefit enormously if visitors can get a good picture for what they’re buying. It usually makes all the difference.
Mock ups provided by your product supplier, whether it’s on Shopify’s dropshipping directory Oberlo (which you can read a review of here), or from a print on demand apparel company like Printful (see review), can be a decent start. But you should absolutely get some samples of your products, and use them in your photoshoots.
Here are some examples of photos my wife and I took for our own business…
Colors, images, and settings can even become part of your branding. Take the opportunity!
5. Hustle. With. Consistency.
Becoming a millionaire through a Shopify store is very, very possible. If that’s your goal, you CAN do it. And there are hundreds of other people who are doing it too. Even if your goal is to just work on your own schedule, or make a little side income, you can do this.
This only happens, though, if you apply these strategies consistently, without tiring out. Shopify success doesn’t usually take as long as affiliate marketing (my affiliate marketing efforts took me a year to just get on my feet), but it still takes a ton of consistent action.
Post to social media, communicate with your target market, learn the language of your buyers, and do it again and again. This takes hustle. This takes patience. And it takes persistence.
Have you tried Shopify yet?
If you think that you have the drive and the passion that it takes to succeed on Shopify, don’t wait! No one becomes successful by studying theory to death, but never moving on what they’ve learned.
If you’re not going to give this what it takes, it’s not worth bothering with. But for the determined entrepreneur, Shopify is a land of opportunity.
See for yourself! Check it out at the banner below and you can even try it out for a couple weeks, totally free.