Whether you’re a filmmaker, author, editor, producer, photographer or creative professional, you can start making money with your existing Facebook audience by applying these strategies below.
We’re going to look at how you can start selling products directly through your Facebook pages, how to build your online store and also run through some of the ways to create engagement with your fans in order to make sales. You might already have an online store on Etsy, a product page on Amazon and even perhaps a Paypal Buy button on your personal website, but the problem you’re having is not making enough sales, or perhaps you haven’t considered what you could be doing to make more money. Let’s get started.
Understanding the need
Quite simply put, if you don’t have an audience you can’t sell a product or service so it is important that you understand what your community needs. It could be entertainment, expert coaching or even professional headshots. It’s also essential to consider the demographic of your fans as well. Do you have a male or female audience? What age range are they? What kind of things do they like? Where are they based? In cities, towns? Can they get to your film screenings? Do they need your products? Have a think about this and create a profile for them. This will make a huge difference in how you sell and promote to them on Facebook.
Choose your product and/or services
Now that you’ve established the need for your target audience, it’s time to start creating a product. What you’ll need to do in this step is to clearly define what your product or service does, how it solves problems and what the benefits of buying it are. You may have already done this step for a product and uploaded it to Amazon but consider the following: You could have an untapped source of revenue with your existing fan base that you haven’t even explored yet.
Have you considered this?
For example, let’s say you make action films. You’ve got a fan base of 5000 people in a community group and you release a short or indie movie every year. Your main product at this point is a DVD or perhaps a VOD screener online. However, your target audience may have a desire to buy other products from you that you don’t even offer yet. If your action film included some awesome stunts with ninjas, you might have within your existing fan base a group of people interested in taking martial arts courses. You could even sell props and clothing from your film to your fans who really liked the military camouflage or crazy ninja suits they saw.
Having a range of products instead of just one will greatly increase your sales. Take a look at the Star Wars franchise to get some inspiration. Disney has a multi-billion dollar merchandising business supported by its films that create demand for products. Why not apply this to your films? You might like to study the Disney marketing approach in further detail and apply it to your own business.
Creating your online store
After completing the first steps you’ve now got some awesome products and services to offer your fans. It’s time to sell them. At this stage, you might already have your own online store but are your products listed on a marketplace somewhere else with hundreds of other related products that are not yours? Most of us will have explored listing our own products on places like Ebay, Etsy and Amazon but the problem with doing that is not everyone likes to buy from those places. In fact a lot of the time, your product listing will appear next to another product competing with yours. Why would you want to send your fans to someone else’s product too?
What if you could provide your fans with a single place where they could buy all your products and/or services and pay for them using VISA, Paypal, and even Amazon Payments? We’ve researched many online shopping plugins and platforms and decided to build our own marketplace on Shopify.
With Shopify, you can create your online store and start building your catalog of products which you can then choose to list in different categories to make them easy to search for. If you’re selling a physical product you can also add shipping options. For services, these can be removed if need be. It’s also possible to sell digital downloads directly to your fans with Shopify all automatically.
This is an example of one of our product listings below. You can design your shop with free templates and customize it to match the look and feel of your brand.
Once you’re ready to go and you launch your shop you’ll be able to immediately start accepting payments and begin to promote your product listings just as you would for Amazon. However, we’re going to take it one step further.
Setting up your Facebook Shop
It is now possible for you to build a shop on your Facebook fan page without people having to leave to go to yet another website. Let’s say you have several thousand fans already engaged with you on that page. Why not give them an easy one-click option to buy from you? With your Shopify store, you can select which products you want to list and place them on your Facebook page like this:
Once people click on your shop and choose the product they want, they’ll be able to order directly from your page which brings them to a secure checkout area: (These are example pages we tested from our own store.)
There is enormous potential here for you to tap into your existing audience and if you decide to explore the Shopify option they do provide a free trial for you to test out the features. You may have explored other services to do this but allowing your fans to buy from you directly inside of Facebook brings with it some major advantages including speed, trust and most of all, no competition with other products. They buy from you and you only.
Getting people to buy from your personal website
In addition to your Facebook shop you may also have some of your own websites where you promote your work and even offer some consulting services or products. If this is the case you are most likely using Paypal or a 3rd party payment processor. What you can do is integrate the Shopify Buy button into your existing pages with a single line of code. We’ll show you below some live examples of this integration. The great thing about this is you can sync what’s on your shop to your other websites and track all the payments and orders in one dashboard. It also includes a Paypal option in the payment area which makes life easy. If you already have several websites consider this option to increase your sales without having to build a separate online store.
Creating engagement on Facebook
At this point, you’ll want to start creating engagement around your products or services on Facebook to drive traffic to either your online store, personal website or to your Facebook shop. To do this, create a series of articles that bring people to your products and introduce them to their benefits. What’s really important in this step is to provide upfront value to your audience and create a consistent flow of content. With regular articles and product promotions, you can start to sell in big numbers. We spend so much of our day on Facebook it’s a no-brainer to tap into this audience to start making a living from your passion.
You can see our online marketplace to get a feel for how Shopify works. Take a look at the products on those pages and think about how to make yours stand out. Also, if you decide to explore the Buy button option check out our press release distribution page. Scroll down to the bottom and hit the buy now button. You’ll see how the integration with our existing site works.
Thanks for reading and good luck! You might also like to read our popular tutorial on the 7 things you can do in 30 days to make more money in the film industry.