How to Get First 1000+ Ecommerce Customers Without Spending a Dollar on Ads or SEO

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How would you like to get your first 1000+ paying customers quickly and cost-effectively? 

How about getting your first set of paying customers without putting in two or three years for SEO to work? 

Would you like to avoid having to spend top dollar in budgets for paid advertising and still be able to get customers for your eCommerce business?

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get your first 1000+ customers for eCommerce store without the painful time or money spent on paid ads or SEO: 

Put Yourself Forward [With human Faces] 

You can pull off a faceless brand with a blog or for an online content publication perhaps, but not an eCommerce store aspiring to be a brand. 

You need to put faces behind names when you need to build a brand and when you want people to trust your brand, to buy from you, and to buy from you again. 

Humanize your brand by showing your face and your team members’ individual faces. Let people connect with real people, even if it’s a pure eCommerce brand that you’d be building and promoting. 

People buy from people. Period. 

Video Marketing

Video is big. It’s only getting bigger as you read this. Available in a ton of different formats and types, videos allow for a high-impact content format with almost guaranteed reach for your content. 

Go for short video formats such as TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and short videos on social media networks. Or dig your claws into long-form video content such as YouTube videos, live streams, Webinars, and Video-On-Demand(VOD). 

Regardless of the route you take and the ingredients you pick, using video gives you the winning streak you deserve sooner (rather than later). 

Organic Social Media 

Organic social media is all of those things you do on social media networks which just don’t scale (as Paul Graham of Y-Combinator likes to call it). Organic social media includes: 

  • Organic distribution (can be automated as well) of other content you create and publish. 
  • Engagement and responses to comments on any of your content. 
  • Small conversations
  • Thought leadership, leading with authoritative content, and
  • Growing your social media presence and network gradually, over time. 

While organic social media presence and reach for your brand might not seem as exciting as running paid campaigns on social media, the potential for reach and engagement for your content (or activity) is just the same (and maybe even better). 

Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is a serious business, worth billions of dollars. It’s so big that even Shopify has a feature called Shopify Collabs to allow Shopify merchants tap into the power of influencer marketing, manage influencer marketing relationships or campaigns. 

There are different flavors and methods available to make influencer marketing work for your business. 

Find, use, and tap into the sheer power of each of the specific audiences that each of those influencers managed to build. 

These audiences that influencers build for themselves are based on trust and vulnerability. 

When your brand ethos, products,and services match with those of the influencers’, you have a possibility. 

Leverage marketplaces 

There’s such a thing as positive exposure: the more places your brand is known on, the more sales you manage to get for your eCommerce business. This is often the promise of multi-channel marketing.

When you leverage existing market places, you clearly define other channels that you can promote and sell products on.

For instance, your main branded eCommerce store could be on Shopify. But you also have a presence on other marketplaces (each with audiences of its own) such as Etsy, Amazon, Alibaba, and so on)

You’d only have to sign up, list your products, and write appropriate descriptions for your products to start selling on these well-established eCommerce marketplaces. 

Tap into The Power of Community & UGC Content 

What’s common between brands such as Harley Davidson, Jeep, and several other brands? They grew bigger thanks to passionate customers who cnsider themselves a part of communities. 

You truly witness the power of community-building for business when a strong community of customers turn into evangelists. 

When you have dedicated communities discussing ways of using products, product tips, and other discussions around product “How-to”, you’ll reap the benefits of brand evangelism. 

These communities can be officially managed (on Slack, or on Private forums). Or your brand power will see standalone public communities being created on Reddit and several other public forums or social media groups. 

Email marketing

Email marketing is a serious money-maker. It’s also one of those marketing channels that’ll work even if you are just starting out, have no large audiences to boast of, or even when your market budgets aren’t too big to begin with. 

Email marketing is marketing to “limited, but captive audiences”. Each member of the audiences in your email list has subscribed to your email list on his or her own volition. They voted with their inbox space (and also mindspace). 

Send regular broadcasts (announcements, offers, news, tips)-- at least one or two per week. 

Set up automations to nurture existing email subscribers with email marketing sequences. You can also launch advanced email automation workflows depending on triggers or actions that your existing or potential customers take on your eCommerce store. 

Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing slightly differs from Influencer marketing (above). While Influencers and brands can arrive at all sorts of engagements, deals, and allowed transactions, affiliate marketing is clearly rooted in specified transactions that’ll reward affiliates for their effort. 

Affiliate marketing usually ends up paying affiliates for “results” they get for brands. 

Affiliates are paid for leads generated or are paid a percentage amount (one-time or recurring) for each successful sale transaction. 

Typically, affiliates are smart and enterprising with content assets (such as websites, blogs, YouTube channels) that they’ll leverage to help merchants achieve sales goals or for lead generation. 

Imagine thousands of affiliates (each with content assets, websites, blogs, channels, and communities) promoting your brand, products, or services. 

You pay only for results. 

Which of these powerful ways will you pick to get your first 1000+ customers?

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