Monday, 27 October 2014

Being A 'Survivor' Among 'Survivors'

Let’s say.. I just opened a shop selling Abaya. I chose to open the shop at the business commercial area. The chances of people getting to know and come to my shop are high because it is at the business commercial centre and everybody who goes or passes by there can see my shop (of course, with a big attractive signboard!)

Now the reality is I am running a ‘virtual shop’, an online business. How do I get people to know the existence of my business? It is not that easy as I thought. To create a platform of the business was a piece of cake to me! Now it is up excellently on Facebook and Instagram except now, how to tell the world to come and visit my shop. HOW?

I am so envious looking at some of the sellers who have followers more than 5k and some 10k-30k! I just wonder how they did it. Could it be the products that they sell? Or the price that they put? I’ve done some surveys on this, mostly they are selling the same things.. almost the same price.. but how they got to get thousands followers or likers, I am yet to discovered!

For the first month of my two online business (abayaoman & iwatchyourbag), we started to have 100-200 followers which mostly are our friends. Then we invited people to follow us by we first started requesting to follow them. Well.. when you follow them, doesn’t mean that they will follow you back! It depends.. if they like what you sell, they will definitely follow you. This means we have to choose the people who are into our product in order to get the ‘follow’ back.

How do we know those people? This is quite a dirty trick but I guess every seller is doing it. We are sort of ‘stealing’ other sellers customers/followers. We have to zoom in to our competitors (who sells almost like what we sell), look at their followers and click ‘follow’.

It works you know! Though the increment of the followers not that fast but at least the number of our followers changed. This was quite time consuming as you have to spend hours, days and months to do this. Another way that I noticed is you have to get a 'famous' people to tell their followers/fans about our business.

The trend in Malaysia now, if you are a celebrity, what ever they wear, eat or even sell - the big fanatic fans of them will definitely want to have the same too. There are some Malaysian celebrities are doing IG review for online sellers like me in their IG. And mind you, it is not FREE.

At first I thought they are doing a favour to new sellers like us but I was wrong. Every review or mention in their FB, IG or Tweeter has to be paid. Hmm... artis Malaysia semua sendu dah, tak laku... maybe cara ni je ah nak buat extra pocket money. Ooppss.. ampun ye... 

I've so far paid to four different celebrities to do a review on both businesses. The amount that I have paid to each of them was as low from RM300 and as high as RM1500. Damn expensive right! At first I was very reluctant to pay them as I feel that they were sort of taking advantage on us but I guess that's the privilege and benefits for being famous.

Does this work? Well.. It did worked actually. We got immediate 200-500 followers but after a few days the number of followers remain static. This is why we had invested to four different celebrities to add more followers. 

If you ask me again, 'does this really work' - I will tell you that it didn't really work as I expect it to be!! The one that we paid RM1500 is a famous celebrity that has 1.3M followers and what we got was less than 500 followers. Can you imagine how frustrated I and my partners? We were so surprised and upset as we have to fork out that quite big amount and yet we didn't achieve our target.

This is my opinion to these celebrities - they are not sincere, well why they have to right? Hahaahaha. They are more on making money instead of helping us. When they do the review in their IG, they didn't do any homework on our product. They just copy and paste of whatever we tell them line by line. They didn't make any initiative to make the review as attractive as it can be. The review looked boring and uninviting. Some were so greedy that make a condition that the review will be removed from their IG after one month. Then after 5 minutes they did the review on our IG, they already started posted rows of their pictures that will put our review post far away behind it.

Huh... I guess this is how the game is. Probably I myself, too being impatient. I put the expectations towards all of these very high. After went thru all of these, I learned that nothing comes easy. Nothing is free. There are many sellers out there that sell the same thing like I do, very stiff competition but that should not a be reason for me to quit.

From the beginning I have already tell myself that this is only my leisure business. If it strikes means I hit the jackpot. If not... it is not the end of everything. Hmm.. do I sound like I am already giving up? Hahahaha. Sound so mellow je kan...

I am not yet quitting or giving up on what I'm doing right now. It just started... not even warm yet.. It is only 3rd month for AbayaOman and 7th month for iwatchyourbag. We are still newbies here.

With the followers of 1k++ now, I would say that was quite impressive. Day by day, we have new followers for our business and that matters. I think we have to go back to the first method of adding more followers rather than to burn our pocket paying those celebrities! (ayat tak puas hati kat deorang.. hahahha)

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