How To Create The Best Business Logo Design

How To Create The Best Business Logo Design


A logo is an important aspect of any business and this guide will provide you with information, tools, and resources to create the best company logo design for your brand. Logos need to be beautiful and functional—they represent our businesses in so many different ways so they must also be effective, and when it comes to creating your company logo design there are plenty of resources available to help you create the best one. Whether you want to create your logo yourself, work with a reputable logo designer or a high-quality online logo generator, we’ve provided all the best tools and resources in the industry to help you create the company logo design you’re looking for.

Let’s jump into everything you need to know about how to create the best logo design for your company.

Bonus: We’ve curated and pre-vetted 50 logo designers to help you with your next company logo design project. Whether your budget is $100 or $5,000, we have you covered. To access the directory of logo designers, click here.

What Makes a Great Company Logo Design

A logo is a window into the personality of a company and acts as a visual representation of the brand. What makes a great company logo design for one business might not make a great logo for another—it’s entirely dependant on each business’ individual identity. Ultimately, what a great company logo comes down to is that it’s an authentic representation of the business and all the elements that make up the logo itself work together harmoniously.

Beyond pairing design elements together seamlessly and authentically communicating the brand’s identity, a great company logo must also function appropriately for the places that it’s required to act as the face of the business. This means that the logo must be the right size, shape, resolution, and color so that it can adapt to all the necessary circumstances it might be required to perform.

A logo is used for many different functions: it might be used for apparel, merchandise, products, digital marketing, print marketing, advertisements, social media profile photos, and banners, etc. Each of these circumstances will have varying size, shape, resolution and possibly even color requirements that your logo needs to be able to meet. A great business logo design will be able to function under each circumstance without losing impact, quality, and composition, and ultimately without losing its ability to communicate the brand’s identity.

Elements of a Company Logo Design

We discussed all of the business logo design elements in detail in our How to Create a Unique and Memorable Logo: The Comprehensive Guide post, but what it essentially comes down to is the color, icon, and typeface. A great business logo design will pair these three elements together seamlessly so that each element complements the other while fulfilling the ultimate goal of authentically representing the brand.

  • Color: Logos can be in color or in black and white, but if you’re choosing to use color you must also have a black and white version of your company logo design as color logos may not always be appropriate for all marketing or advertising circumstances. When thinking about the color of your logo—or perhaps lack of color—take the psychology of color into consideration so your logo makes the impact you intend for it to make.
  • Icons: Icons can also evoke different psychological meanings whether you choose to use circular, square or triangular shapes, or any other type of image. Consider whether you want to use icons such as cartoons, initials, lettering, or any other relevant shapes for your business logo design.
  • Typeface: Typeface plays a huge role in how your audience will perceive your business as it helps to convey your brand’s voice. Some typefaces give off a very classic and elegant feel, while others can give off a modern, contemporary, playful or quirky feel so choose your typefaces wisely.

In order for you to create a great company logo design that makes the best possible use of these design elements, you must know your brand inside and out so you can communicate your brand’s identity to a logo designer, or be able to configure the elements yourself—whichever method you choose.

Types of Company Logo Designs

There are all types of company logo designs from different genres of business and services that use the three main design elements—color, icons, and typefaces—differently. Off the top of your head you can probably think of different types of logos: Nike, Netflix, Warner Brothers, Coca-Cola—but what category do these logos fall under? It’s important to think about this because identifying different types of company logo designs will help you understand why businesses choose the logo designs that they do to represent their brands, and it will help you to determine the type of logo design that will best represent your business.

One of the best online logo generators, Looka, has created a massive database of different types of company logo designs ranging from apparel and fashion logos, automotive logos, blog logos, cosmetics and beauty logos, film and TV logos, food and drink logos, marketing and PR logos, and much more. There are over 1,200 logos from 42 different industries so you can get a bird’s eye view of all different types of company logo designs plus tips and tricks for font, color and layout to help you understand each logotype in more detail.

While we discuss some of the most popular types of company logo designs below, refer back to Looka’s database of logos and see if you can categorize those logos by type to figure out which businesses have opted for which type of logo.

Let’s jump into the most popular types of company logo designs.

Minimalist Logo Designs

Minimalist Company Logo Designs

Minimalist logo designs are by far the most common type of company logo design, mostly because they’re classic, timeless and professional. Since it’s the most popular type of logo we’ve thoroughly broken down what makes a minimalist logo design what it is, and we’ve included a list of 40+ designers we’ve curated that specialize in creating minimalist logo designs.

What is a Minimalist Logo

A minimalist logo is a logo that uses simplistic and strategic design elements to create a beautiful and functional logo that maintains impact without being overwhelming. Minimalist logo designs use elements like color, shapes, and fonts carefully so as to cleverly convey the identity of a brand, and every element is used with a purpose. When it comes to minimalist logos there’s no room for overly-decorative design elements that bear no meaningful representation to the brand, and minimalist logo designers tend to create the logos by a “less is more” philosophy.

A minimalist logo uses the exact amount of design elements needed to represent the essence of a brand without being too overdone, over the top or decorative. Minimalist logos are one of the most popular types of company logo designs because they are timeless and never go out of style. Because they’re so simple and classic, they also represent businesses in a professional manner, which is the type of persona many businesses try to convey.

What Minimalist Logos Are & Aren’t

Minimalist Logos Are:

  • Simple
  • Classic
  • Elegant
  • Refined
  • Clever
  • Strategic
  • Sparse
  • Spacious
  • Understated
  • Effortless

Minimalist Logos Aren’t:

  • Gaudy
  • Tacky
  • Dated
  • Chunky
  • Clunky
  • Busy
  • Overwhelming
  • Kitschy
  • Distracting
  • Elaborate

What Makes a Great Minimalist Logo

Just like a great logo, a great minimalist logo must represent the essence of a brand’s identity, pair design elements together beautifully and be able to function wherever it’s needed most. In addition, a great minimalist logo must also embrace minimalist ideals (such as simplicity, spaciousness, and sparseness) without misrepresenting the brand. Some brand’s identities may be the opposite of minimalist ideals, so it’s important when creating a minimalist logo design that the minimalist ideals don’t do a disservice to the brand by focusing too much on keeping the design simple, spacious and sparse if it doesn’t authentically represent the brand. In order for a minimalist logo to work for a brand it must be tailored to fit the brand’s identity and if that means adhering by some minimalist ideals but being flexible for others, then that’s okay.

A great minimalist logo uses just enough design elements to portray the brand’s identity authentically without leaving anything out, and without overdoing it. Minimalist logos are best when they’re effortlessly impactful.

Elements of Minimalist Logo Design

The use of design elements is really what sets minimalist logo designs apart from other logo designs and these are the most important elements that make the biggest difference:

Strategic Arrangement of Shapes

Minimalist logos use shapes as part of the overall design of the logo and they don’t use shapes, images or icons as extra decoration that is irrelevant to the overall logo. Since minimalist logos are designed with a “less is more” approach every aspect of the design counts towards the whole so the icons need to be relevant and a useful part of the overall logo design.

Embracing Open Space

Minimalist logos embrace open space and either use it as part of the logo to fill in the blanks, or they just let the logo be surrounded by the space without feeling the need to fill the space with additional decoration. By embracing space in the way the designer has in the above images he is able to create a scene without having to draw the entire picture, which gives context and complexity to his designs while still being quite minimal and spacious.

Intentional Typography Pairings 

When dealing with minimal design elements, making smart typography choices is paramount. Not all logos will be primarily type based but some are (like ours), and the typefaces need to work together seamlessly to create a logo that works well as a whole and doesn’t appear awkward or disjointed.

Simple Color Pallets 

Minimal logos are all about simplicity but that doesn’t mean you have to completely shy away from using color, it usually just means that more curated color pallets are selected. Color is very important when it comes to logos—customers can identify a brand just based on the color in some cases, just check out the BrandColors resource—so it’s important that the color of your logo accurately reflects your brand. If you’re aiming for a minimalist logo design you might want to stick to just one or two colors, a muted color palette, or even monochromatic shades. By using too much color or colors that don’t pair well together, it can leave your logo feeling overwhelming or busy which is not ideal if you’re aiming for a minimalist logo design.

A Purpose for Every Element

It’s so important with minimalist logo designs that every design element whether it’s a color, typeface, shape or icon, has a purpose and is used intentionally. For your logo to achieve a minimalist look it needs to be simple, clean, spacious and effortless, and in order to achieve all those things every design element must have a purpose to make the overall logo get closer to those goals, or else it’s unnecessary. Unnecessary design elements will only work against you by making the logo seem busier than it needs to so make sure every element of the logo plays a role towards being a visual representation of the brand that’s functional and minimalistic.

To help you save time vetting minimalist logo designers yourself, we’ve created a list of minimalist logo designers at varying price points that we’ve personally sought out. Bear in mind that just because we’ve contacted each designer individually we haven’t personally worked with them so you’ll need to do your own due diligence to make sure they’re the right logo designer for you.

Check out this list and search each of these designers on Instagram to get a glimpse into their work.

Bold Logo Designs

Bold logo designs are similar to minimalist logo designs in that they’re quite simple and sparse, but Bold logo designs are primarily typeface based, meaning the majority of their logo is not comprised of an icon and the type of typeface they use is strong, clear and bold.

Bold Company Logo Designs

What is a Bold Logo Design

A bold logo design makes a statement and commands attention without being overwhelming or overbearing. It uses strong, blocky typefaces that are clear to read, and robust color choices that are powerful but not too over the top. Bold logo designs exude confidence and professionalism and instill trust in their audience.

What Bold Logo Designs Are & Aren’t

Bold Logos Are:

  • Strong
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Robust
  • Solid
  • Stable
  • Substantial
  • Powerful
  • Direct
  • Effective

Bold Logos Aren’t:

  • Quirky
  • Busy
  • Playful
  • Delicate
  • Petite
  • Unassuming
  • Weak
  • Gentle
  • Mild
  • Ineffective

What Makes a Great Bold Logo Design

A great bold logo design will typically only use one typeface and two contrasting color choices to make one big statement. In terms of icons, bold logo designs focus on using square, rectangular or triangle shapes—anything with points, straight lines and corners—to add to its directness. A bold logo design is great when it uses simple design elements to make a big impact.

Playful Logo Designs

Playful logo designs are typically the opposite of minimalist and bold logo designs because they’re often quirky, colorful and fun. Their design elements stray from the sparseness of minimalist logo designs and the directness of bold logo designs by using flowery typefaces, circular shapes, and bright colors.

Playful Company Logo Designs

What is a Playful Logo Design

A playful logo design is focused less on exuding a rigid, professional persona and more on appearing bubbly, bright and fun-loving. Brands that use playful logo designs often include companies related to selling products for children, but not always! It really depends on the company and whether a bubbly logo design fits their brand.

What Playful Logo Designs Are & Aren’t

Playful Logo Designs Are:

  • Bright
  • Bubbly
  • Busy
  • Fun
  • Whimsical
  • Delightful
  • Personable
  • Amusing
  • Lively
  • Pleasant

Playful Logo Designs Aren’t:

  • Dark
  • Dull
  • Rigid
  • Overly Professional
  • Stuffy
  • Gentle
  • Subtle
  • Muted
  • Monotonous
  • Tame

What Makes a Great Playful Logo Design

A great playful logo design will use design elements that are exciting and enticing to look at. Playful logo designs are eye-catching, so a great logo design needs to use bright colors, interesting typefaces and fun shapes. A great playful logo design will also be able to make a busy logo that’s full of interesting design elements not be too overwhelming.

Vintage Logo Designs

Vintage logo designs are inspired by design elements from the past such as classic shapes, retro features or timeless typefaces. Some vintages logos may have been made in modern-day to look vintage, while others simply were made decades ago and never updated to pay homage to their roots.

Vintage Company Logo Designs

What is a Vintage Logo Design

Vintage logo designs use nostalgic design elements to create a traditional and timeless logo. These types of logos typically use sophisticated color palettes, retro typefaces, and tasteful icons to create a logo reminiscent of past decades. Some vintage logos are quite simple and discreet, while others can have plenty of ornamental aspects that reflect popular design styles from different eras.

What Vintage Logo Designs Are & Aren’t

Vintage Logo Designs Are:

  • Retro
  • Nostalgic
  • Stylized
  • Traditional
  • Timeless
  • Sentimental
  • Sophisticated
  • Refined
  • Polished
  • Tasteful

Vintage Logo Designs Aren’t:

  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Stylish
  • Trendy
  • Daring
  • Rough
  • Direct
  • Bold
  • Edgy
  • Blunt

What Makes a Great Vintage Logo Design

A great vintage logo design is immediately recognizable because it evokes a sense of nostalgia in the audience. It stays true to the design subtleties of the era it refers to, whether overtly or subtly, and sticks to traditional design features. Vintage logos won’t work for all businesses but when they are relevant to a company’s brand it can give customers a familiar and rustic feeling.

Logo Design Inspiration

There are plenty of resources for logo design inspiration but the best places to pursue logo design inspiration are the two biggest visual sharing platforms: Pinterest and Instagram.

Searching Pinterest for Logo Inspiration

To search for company logo design inspiration on Pinterest, simply use search terms such as “Company Logo,” “Business Logo,” “Brand Logo,” or other related keywords in the search bar. With Pinterest you’re able to scroll through hundreds of images easily, making it an efficient platform to search for inspiration on.

When scrolling through the business logo designs take note of the design elements you see that you like, such as the use of color, icons, or typography, so you can share your interests with your logo designer if you choose to work with one in the future. Even if you plan to design your business’ logo yourself you’ll still probably want to reference the logos you like later, so be sure to save them to a board.

Take note of which styles of company logos you’re drawn to, such as type-based logos or icon-based logos, and also think about where you need your logo to be able to function and if your preferred style of logo lends itself well to the functions you need it to fulfill. For example, if you need your logo to function on social platforms for profile pictures your logo will likely need some sort of icon that you can use for your profile pictures as a text-based logo may not fit within the social platform’s constraints effectively. Check out this post by Looka for a Step by Step Guide to Using Your Logo on Social Media.

Searching Instagram for Logo Inspiration

Instagram is another great place to search for company logo design inspiration as there are two ways you can search: By hashtag or by the designer. If you’re just looking for general inspiration, start searching through hashtags like “Logo,” “Brand Logo,” “Business Logo,” or “Company Logo” or any other keyword variations such as the type of logo you’re specifically looking for, and scroll through the results that pop up. Click on logos you like and see which accounts have posted them. If you’re lucky it’ll be the designer that posted the image, but if not just tap on the image once to see if the original designer has been tagged in the image or check the comments section to see if the designer has been credited.

This is how you’ll find logo designers on Instagram and once you do you’ll be able to look through their portfolio of work that they share on their Instagram feeds. On designer’s accounts, check through their “Following” list to see if they follow other logo designers that also make business logos you like. When you find logos you like on Instagram, don’t forget to save them to your “Saved” posts by tapping the flag underneath the image on the bottom right-hand side. This way you can refer back to the images later when it comes time to actually designing your business’ logo.

When it comes time to design your company logo, there are a few different routes you can take to create your logo: You can use an online logo generator, a logo designer or design the logo yourself. We’re going to dive into all of these methods now and what each of them pertains to.

How to Make a Logo Using an Online Logo Generator

When designing a minimalist logo, an online logo generator can easily and quickly create logo designs for you that you can either purchase as-is or perform minor tweaks such as color or font changes to make the logo exactly what you’re looking for.

Creating a company logo design with an online logo generator is a great way to get started because it usually only takes a few minutes of your time to take an interactive quiz so the AI technology can learn your style preferences, then the generator can quickly create several logo styles for you to choose from.

Online logo generators are usually free to use so they’re low risk—you only pay for the logo once you’ve created it and love it, so you don’t have to purchase a logo you don’t love and won’t use. Unlike working with designers, who usually take anywhere from weeks to months to create a logo, logo generators create the logos in a matter of minutes and you’ll have several variations to choose from. Compared to designers, logos created by online generators are also less expensive, sometimes significantly, which can be advantageous if you’re on a bootstrapped budget.

That being said, logo generators have their disadvantages. Unlike a designer who can take the time to learn about your company and really get to know your brand so they can infuse its personality into your logo design, logo design generators can only do that to a certain extent. Although logo generators are made of sophisticated artificial intelligence technology, they can’t replace the human mind when it comes to creativity and innovation, yet. So if you’re looking for something truly bespoke, a logo designer may be your ideal option.

That being said, these are the top logo generators we’d recommend if you want to create a beautiful, functional, high-quality company logo design on a budget:

We’ve discussed some of these logo generators and others in greater deal in our Logo Generator Resource Roundup post, so check that out if you want to learn more about each one.

Finding Great Logo Designers

If creating a company logo design through an online logo generator isn’t what you’re looking for, then hiring a designer may be a better option for you. If you’re looking for something more bespoke and tailored to your brand’s personality, then a designer is a better choice than an online logo generator that can only understand your style preferences. While an online generator can still create beautiful logos that may suit your exact needs, a successful logo designer is a master at pairing design elements together to provide you with the beautiful and functional design that you’re looking for.

Designers freelance their services at all different price points—some not much more than an online logo generator—and they also offer different services including how many logo concepts they prepare and how many revisions they allow, etc. You’ll have to inquire with each designer individually to understand what their prices are and how many concepts and revisions they provide for their price. Also, remember that working with a designer will usually take a lot longer than creating a logo with a logo generator. It can take weeks or sometimes even months to have a company logo design custom created by a designer so take that into consideration if you’re interested in working with a logo designer.

Where to Find High-Quality Logo Designers

Finding a logo designer to work with that suits your tastes and fits your budget can be the most difficult part of the logo design process. Oftentimes it takes companies a lot of time to search through various online platforms, marketplaces, and websites to find the logo designer that’s perfect for them. If you’re looking to find a high-quality logo designer to create a logo for your company, business or brand there are many places you can search online.

No matter what budget you have to work with whether it’s less than $100 or more than $10,000, there’s a designer to suit your needs, you’ll just need to search for them on the right platform.

1. Instagram

Instagram is a great place to suss out logo designers because you’re able to view many different profiles simply by searching through a few hashtags or keywords. You have access to view so many different designer’s profiles and you can even check out their history of work and their clientele. There’s a huge variety of designers at different price points on Instagram including designers who are just getting started to seasoned veterans. If you don’t have a solid idea of what kind of logo you want to create or just want to get a sense of what’s on the market, check out logo designers on Instagram to see what’s out there. It’s also super easy to get in touch with designers on Instagram through the Direct Message feature so you can easily communicate with them about their price, schedule and the number of concepts/revisions they will create.

2. Dribbble

Dribbble is the online hub for designers of all kinds to show and tell their projects, and you’ll find many logo designers on there. In fact, when you’re searching through designers on Instagram you may notice that many of them link back to their Dribbble profiles. It’s one of the main marketplaces logo designers go to promote their work, and it’s a place where you can go to hire designers. Either search for designers by skill set, experience, rate or location, or if you have something in particular in mind just post a job and let designers come to you. Like Instagram, you’ll find a variety of designers on Dribbble ranging from different niches to different price points so if you need a specific logo for your company Dribbble is one of the best places to look.

3. Behance

Behance is a very similar platform to Dribbble in that it’s a marketplace for creatives to show off their work. Filter and search by popular creative fields such as Graphic Design or Branding to find a logo designer whose style you like or post a job if there’s something specific you’re looking for. On Behance, you can follow designers you like and even reach out to them if you’re interested in learning more about their services or hiring them for your company logo design project.

4. Fiverr

Fiverr is an online freelance services marketplace that offers just about any kind of creative service that can be outsourced, including logo design. If you’re on a lean budget or need a decent logo made quickly then Fiverr might be a great resource for you. Services for logo design on Fiverr can range anywhere from $100-$200, but it depends on the project and the freelancer. Typically, the freelancers on Fiverr won’t give you the same experience as working with an independent designer who takes the time to learn about your company, but if you’re willing to search through the talent on there you can likely find a freelancer that can design the perfect logo for you.

Here are some Fiverr postings we recommend checking out:

5. Logo Design Contests

The final option to source designers online includes logo design contests. On marketplaces such as 99designs and Crowdspring, you can create a contest for logo designers to create a logo that meets your needs and once several designers have created a logo for your contest you select your favorite and pay the chosen designer for their work. Logo design contests are a great way to see many different logo design options for your company, but they’re slightly controversial in the design community because the majority of the designers who contribute work to the contests don’t get compensated. It’s up to you if logo design contests are a route that you want to pursue, but if so, these are two marketplaces you can check out (both offer money-back guarantee policies)

Pre-Vetted Logo Designers

We’ve curated and pre-vetted 50 logo designers to help you with your next company logo design project. Whether your budget is $100 or $5,000, we have you covered. To access the directory of logo designers, click here or see the embedded directory below.

Please note that we contacted all the logo designers listed to acquire pricing and details. In the directory, we have converted quoted pricing from all currencies to USD. In addition, pricing and details may change over time.

How to Create a Logo Design Brief

When working with a logo designer to create a logo design for your company, business or brand, you’re likely going to want to present them with a logo design brief. A logo design brief is essentially a document that details important information about your company, the logo you’re looking to create and other necessary information that helps the logo designer create the best company logo design for your business that’s authentic to your brand, looks how you want it to look and functions how you need it to function.

Recently at A Better Lemonade Stand, we’ve been in the process of upgrading our company logo design and when reaching out to logo designers we presented them with a thorough document detailing all the necessary information a logo designer might need to create the perfect logo for our brand. The response that we got from logo designers was overwhelmingly positive and they appreciated having an insider’s perspective on our business and having so much information that they could work off of.

Obviously we know our brand better than anybody else so it was important that we communicated our brand effectively to the logo designers we were sampling so they could do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

This is the information we included in our logo design brief:

  • Deliverable: In one sentence we outlined exactly what we were looking the logo designer to provide. Example: “A clean, modern, friendly and fun logo that captures the essence of our brand.”
  • An outline of the design elements that our logo needed to include: Our company name, our tagline and a pictorial/logomark (some type of pictorial mark that can be used alone or in conjunction with the name/tagline to identify the brand).
  • A small description of where our logo needs to function. Example: “It needs to fit within the allotted constraints of our website and be able to be identifiable in social platform profile images.”
  • A quick note about what we don’t want from our logo such as certain pictorials we don’t think suit our brand or aren’t the specific direction we’re interested in going.
  • General information about the business. This section is basically a bullet point crash course about the general landscape of the business: Our business name, tagline, website, industry, founding date, number of employees, main competitors, reason for our brand name, 5 keywords that describe our brand, the primary message we want to convey to our audience and important history about our brand (which for us included our Started from the Bottom & A Better, Better Lemonade Stand blog posts).
  • A short elevator pitch describing our business and brand in 5 sentences or less. What we do, why we do it and who we do it for.
  • An extended paragraph about what our business is all about. This discusses points mentioned in the elevator pitch in greater detail and really describes our business’ goals, what’s important to us and why it’s important to us in more depth.
  • We included our manifesto. This may not be a necessary inclusion for all businesses, especially if you’re just starting out and haven’t developed something like a manifesto yet, but for us, it was an important part of our business to include.
  • We included images of our current logo, our brand colors and the typography and fonts that we use so the logo designer knows exactly where we’re at when it comes to our company logo design at the moment.
  • We identified the three main challenges that we face with our current logo and described why they were challenging and what we were hoping to change.
  • We included pictures of exactly where our logo will be displayed so the logo designer has an image of exactly where the logo needs to be functional on both our website and social media.
  • We included about 10 images of logos that we like to give an indication of our style and the direction we wanted our new logo to take.
  • We included demographic information about who our audience primarily makes up including the main age range, gender, geographic locations and some of the information from our audience survey results.

As you can see, that’s a lot of information (it was nearly a 20-page document) but we felt that it was important that our new logo reflects our brand authentically and all this information would help the logo designer who probably had no idea who we are, understand our brand better. If you’re reaching out to designers to create your company logo design, we highly recommend creating your own logo design brief so the designer you work with has the best possible opportunity to understand your brand.

How to Choose a Final Company Logo Design

If you want to make sure that you’re making the right choice when it comes to your company logo design—it is a big decision after all—then have a few logo designs made and get others to help you make the final choice with you.

A designer is certainly capable of making beautiful and functional logos, but it doesn’t always mean that the most expensive designer will make the best logo for your business. Essentially it all comes down to the creativity of the individual designer and even less expensive designers, or designers who are just starting out may be able to better reflect the essence of your brand in a logo than a more pricey designer can.

If you think this might be the case for you, source logo designs from a few different places and then weigh your options later once you can compare them to one another. Get a logo designed by a couple of low-mid priced designers, get a few logos from different logo generators and make a logo yourself. Compare the results to yourself, family and friends, coworkers, business partners, a mentor or even a selection of customers whom you trust. Don’t tell them which logos were created by a designer, a generator, or yourself—get them to guess and get them to pick their favorite one before you reveal where each design was created. This process may give you some interesting insight.

Alternatively, you can also use a service such as PickFu to get anonymous opinions from people who have no affiliate to you or your business by voting on your logo choices. You simply ask the question on PickFu and you’ll get 50 responses immediately to help you make your final decision. This is a great option if you need unbiased opinions!

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, a company logo design needs to be beautiful and functional all while authentically portraying your brand, so we hope that the information and resources in this post can help you make the best decisions when it comes to designing a company logo for your business. No matter what budget you’re on, there are options for you to create a logo that reflects your brand, engages your customers, and helps you put your best foot forward so you can always make a good impression wherever your logo represents your brand.



Source link

6 Top Explainer Video Examples and Tips to Make Your Own

6 Top Explainer Video Examples and Tips to Make Your Own


Do you have a business model, product, or service that needs extra context for your customer to fully understand it?

Are you in a highly competitive niche and looking for a way to differentiate your brand?

Do you need a faster, more effective way to showcase your value to potential customers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, an explainer video might be just what you’re looking for.

These videos pack a powerful punch for businesses. Just look at a few of the stats from Wyzowl’s research, The State of Video Marketing in 2019:

  • 96 percent of respondents said they’ve watched an explainer video to learn about a company’s offerings.
  • 79 percent said that a brand video convinced them to buy a software tool or app.
  • 68 percent said that they prefer watching a video to learn about a new offering, versus 15 percent who prefer reading text; four percent who prefer infographics, presentations, or pitches, and three percent who prefer ebooks and manuals.

Shall we dive in?

What Is an Explainer Video?

Like the name suggests, explainer videos give your viewers a broad explanation of your company, products, or services.

These marketing tools help your audience foster a stronger understanding of what you have to offer in a quick and efficient way.

They can come in all shapes and sizes, from a quick and fun 30-second animation to a three-minute live-action demonstration of real people using your product.

An explainer video can be an incredible sales tool, especially if your company sells complex, innovative, or hands-on products or services.

They present an opportunity to submerse your audience into your pitch, showing that you understand their pain points – and you have just the thing to help solve those pain points.

Just keep in mind that explainer videos are usually an introduction to your brand, so save the in-depth details for a later stage of your sales funnel.

Now, let’s look at the most popular types of explainer videos and examples of each.

6 Best Explainer Video Examples

1. Screencast: Basecamp

Basecamp proves that you can make a simple explainer video that’s still helpful without sinking hundreds or thousands of dollars into buying fancy software or hiring a production company.

Basecamp is a product management platform, which is the kind of offering that users need to see in action before they’ll make the purchase.

To show their audience just what they’re getting and how the tool works, Basecamp created a series of product explainer videos that show a screencast of Basecamp in action.

Many companies use screencast videos with an audio voiceover. But Basecamp decided to make the software more accessible and make the brand more personable by including on-screen video of Shaun Hildner, dubbed the company’s “video guy.”

Basecamp even has a full page dedicated to learning about the tool, and it’s chock full of Shaun’s videos.

2. Cartoon Animation: Tommy John

Tommy John offers another example of a product explainer video, showcasing its patented men’s undershirt.

This video is quite clever in that it explains pain points that the target customer may not even know he has.

It targets men who hate wearing undershirts – and flips this narrative to insist that they only hate undershirts because they’re wearing plain white t-shirts instead of a specially-developed product.

The video reminds them that their t-shirts are causing excess bagginess, constant untucking, sweat stains, stretching, and a need to replace them every couple of months.

It goes on to discuss the undershirt’s design, technology, and materials that solve each of the aforementioned problems.

All of this is wrapped into a clean, high-quality animation that clearly explains the product while giving the brand extra credibility and brand alignment.

3. Stop Motion: Orgo

Orgo mastered the art of the super-short explainer video. In just six seconds, the company made a simple and effective video that shows how to use its toiletry bag.

It uses stop motion animation, which can be a great option if you’re working on a budget.

To make a product explainer video like this for your ecommerce store, it only takes a few items: a camera or high-quality smartphone, a lightbox or ring light, and a simple video editing app.

For more tips on videos for your store, see our ebook chapter on How to Create a Product Video That Boosts Sales.

4. Live Action: Dollar Shave Club

This one is a personal favorite of our team. And we’re not the only fans – this wildly entertaining business explainer video went viral, boasting tens of millions of views on YouTube.

Dollar Shave Club is a subscription box that sends their customers new razors and other personal hygiene items every month. When it launched, there was nothing like it on the market.

That’s why it was a prime opportunity to strike gold with an explainer video. And the company did so by using absurdist humor to target their audience of younger men.

It’s extra impressive that the star of the video is Dollar Shave Club’s founder, adding an extra element of connection to the brand.

5. Whiteboard Animation: HomeSquare

While whiteboard animations are less popular than they used to be, they’re still a go-to explainer video style for many companies.

Home maintenance company HomeSquare uses the whiteboard style to explain how its service model is different than what most customers would expect.

It starts off by directly quoting some of the most relevant questions that its target market is asking, like whether they chose the right maintenance person and if they’re paying the right price.

The business explainer video goes on to explain the unique service model of proactively managing home maintenance items, as well as how the company keeps a comprehensive, real-time digital profile of each customer’s home so that nothing falls between the cracks.

6. High Production Value: Apple Watch

If you’re a small business, you won’t have the kind of budget that Apple is working with (but we have faith that you will someday).

Even if you can’t quite walk in Apple’s footsteps, every explainer-video-maker should watch the Apple Watch Series 5’s masterpiece in storytelling.

This video does an excellent job of illustrating all of the watch’s capabilities, and it does so in a poetic and theatrical way that mixes live action with film-quality special effects.

The artistic strategy is clear right off the bat, as the voiceover narrator pauses dramatically in between the first few words, then a quick cut to upbeat music.

The video takes us through all kinds of environments and landscapes to illustrate each point uniquely and vividly. We launch into space to learn about GPS, and zoom inside the human body to learn about heart rate tracking.

Now, you’ve got an idea of the most common types of explainer videos. Next, let’s look at some tips and tools for making your own.

How to Make an Explainer Video

1. Choose Your Production Method and Video Style

Choosing your production method and video style will require you to consider a few things:

  • Which style best suits your brand, message, and target audience
  • Your current skills, tools, and resources, including how much time you have to make a video or learn how
  • Your available budget to spend on buying new tools and hiring a professional explainer video producer

Let’s examine production method options first. You have three choices:

  1. Create an explainer video yourself, using your own tools or purchasing the tools and resources you need as you go.
  2. Hire a freelancer or company to design and produce the complete video for you.
  3. A combination, like writing your own script and record the voiceover, then hiring help to animate it.

To make your decision, consider the costs and time needed. For example, if you’re doing it all from scratch and have limited experience with video production, you’ll likely need lots of time to learn the ropes and explore the right tools.

The style will also make a difference. If you’re doing a simple explainer video with a screencast or screenshots and voiceover, you’ll spend significantly less time than if you want an animated explainer video (not to mention that hiring an animator will be more expensive).

Here are a few full-service companies that can do all the work for you:

2. Write Your Script

As a general rule of thumb, the best explainer videos are somewhere in between 30 and 90 seconds long. To translate this into word count, every 30 seconds is about 60 to 75 words. This means a 90-second script will be about 200 words.

You can go over by a minute or so if you have a particularly complicated business or product, but shorter is better. One study shows that 77 percent of viewers will watch an explainer video for up to two minutes, and then they start dropping off.

Keep in mind that you know your brand best – so if you’re hiring a production artist or company to do the whole project, make sure you’re at least guiding them on the script.

Here are some tips for writing a custom explainer video script:

  • Show your target audience that you understand their main struggles and pain points. What problems does your product or service solve for them?
  • After showing the problems, highlight your offering’s features and details that directly solve them, as well as what makes you stand out.
  • In addition to describing your offering, try to cover some of the common FAQs that potential customers usually have.
  • Show your brand’s personality. If it’s unique or silly, an explainer video is the perfect place to let your flag fly high.

3. Record the Voiceover

If you’re making a screencast or animated explainer video, the next step is to record your script.

Consider investing in an affordable, high-quality microphone like the Tonor PC Microphone, FIFINE USB Microphone, or Blue Yeti USB Microphone.

You can also hire a professional voice actor for this part. Try sites like:

best voiceover software for explainer video

4. Produce the Video

There are plenty of tools that specialize in helping newbies make their own videos with limited or no experience. Many of them have pre-built explainer video templates that you can choose from, as well as drag-and-drop functionality that simplifies the process.

For example, PowToon is a popular tool for animated explainer videos. The base plan costs $19 per month and allows for five premium video exports.

PowToon even has a dedicated template category for explainer videos, including styles for whiteboards, timelines, apps and software, among others.

best explainer video tools

Other explainer video software options include:

If you’re filming a live action video, you can use a video editing tool like Movavi, Blender or Lightworks.

For more options, check out our article on the 22 Best Free Video Editing Software Programs in 2019.

5. Publish it Where it Counts

Once you’ve got a great explainer video that you can be proud of, the next critical step is to make sure your potential customers see it.

We recommend embedding it onto your website, like on the homepage, an “About” or “How it Works” page, or a special landing page for conversions.

You can also use it in your digital marketing materials, like integrating it into your company’s social media strategy.

And as you can see from our examples above, you should absolutely publish it on your company’s YouTube.

Who knows, you might just go viral and become an overnight sensation.

Better Understanding Equals More Sales

While an explainer video isn’t critical for every business, yours can massively benefit if you have the kind of company, product, or service that could use some extra illustration and explanation.

This is especially true if you’re a tech company selling tools like software or apps, as these are arguably the most common industries for explainer videos.

But even other industries and niches can reap the benefits, from service-based businesses to ecommerce stores.

When you strategically balance your audience’s needs and interests with your business goals and resources, an explainer video can help you rack in the sales.

Want to Learn More?



Source link

How One Entrepreneur Built a Brand, a Community, and Her Confidence

How One Entrepreneur Built a Brand, a Community, and Her Confidence


When it comes to starting her online store, entrepreneur Courtney White admits she probably started things the wrong way round.

As well as working a full-time job and being a parent (to both children and dogs), Courtney has always run small businesses. But while she had success with her other endeavors, they weren’t things that she could scale. So, in the end, what started as something fun, ended up consuming all her free time.

That’s when she heard about dropshipping.

After starting her baby clothing store, Finer and Dandy on a whim in November 2018, Courtney was shocked when she received her first order, quickly realizing this was a different kind of side hustle. Not only was the store a great outlet for her creativity, but it was also something she could easily grow.

But the real bonus? The unexpected personal growth that happened alongside it.

Finding a moment between work, family, and ecommerce life, I recently chatted with Courtney who shared how she managed to start Finer and Dandy, build a brand, and nurture a community of ambassadors – all without spending on Facebook and Instagram ads.

Business Success – But at a Cost

Courtney White selfieSpeaking to me from her home in Texas, it’s clear that Courtney White is a very creative person – and one who is especially passionate about her business.

A technical writer by day, she explains that it’s always been important that she has a way to satisfy her creative side. And over the years she’s managed to do that with many of her small businesses.

“I had an Etsy store for a while,” Courtney says. “I used to sell crochet patterns and sewing dolls and all kinds of stuff. I’ve tried things like cake decorating, that I did out of my house.”

While these ventures were all creative and allowed Courtney to utilize her skills, once they started to be successful, they also became stressful.

“I always ended up feeling like, ‘Oh I’m tied to this.’ My time is basically tied up in whatever these customers need. And while it starts out being fun, it didn’t stay that way.”

Inevitably, once her businesses started taking over too much of her weekends and evenings, Courtney would start to dread having to fulfill her orders. And despite her items and services being in demand, she would give up on it.

It’s something that Courtney’s not alone in experiencing. While monetizing a hobby or creative project might seem perfect to base a side hustle around, it can quickly become overwhelming. Not to mention that because it’s so reliant on your skill, it can be either impossible, difficult, or costly to scale up.

It was after trying these other business ideas that Courtney learned about dropshipping. With her background working in tech, she knew she could create a beautiful website, but that was sort of where her forethought stopped.

“I had no idea what I was gonna sell, didn’t really do the research that I needed to in the beginning. I knew how to build a nice looking website, and I did that and that was fine, but I just kind of threw some stuff up there and I didn’t really have the right mindset going into it.”

Then the unexpected happened: She made a sale.

An Eye-Opening First Sale

Finer and Dandy homepage with Black Friday sale

Despite not researching her niche or products, Courtney’s store still managed to get its first sale. It was at this point that her whole attitude towards the store started to change.

“I was shocked, but I think ultimately what happened was it opened my eyes to ‘Wow, I really could make this a legitimate business. Somebody bought something from me.’”

With that first sale under her belt, Courtney got serious about dropshipping and started researching how she could make Finer and Dandy a success. She knew it wasn’t going to be a get-rich-quick scenario and that first sale helped push her to set goals and put in the work.

After gaining more knowledge, Courtney developed a plan for Finer and Dandy and decided the route to success was all about the customer journey and forming tight customer relationships. It was an interesting realization for someone who had never considered themselves very good with people.

“My background is in IT and technical writing, and I have always thought that I was not a people person. I’m not a salesperson, I’m behind the computer. I’ve jokingly said, ‘I don’t like people.’”

But as it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It’s crazy because my favorite part of running the business now is interacting with the customer. When you have your own business that really is yours it’s a very different relationship, a different dynamic than where I was before, like saying, ‘Oh I don’t like people,’ because I’m like, ‘Well, I love people, I just didn’t realize it!’”

Building a Brand with Affiliates Not Ads

Courtney White selfie with coffee cup
With her plan to develop the Finer and Dandy brand, Courtney put herself in her customer’s shoes and thought about what would make her trust a store.

She knew she could send emails or make paid advertisements, but she didn’t feel that would build the type of community that she wanted. Instead, she settled on a different approach: Personal outreach.

Using Instagram, Courtney began to raise awareness for her brand using an affiliate program. She didn’t bother contacting influencer moms with millions of followers, instead, she sought out regular moms, reasoning that we’re all influencers within our social circles.

“I started reaching out and networking with just regular people and regular moms, and even if they only had 50 followers on their accounts. I think that has helped me build relationships, and really what’s helped grow the community is opening my mind to that. I don’t need someone that has thousands or millions of followers to help me get the word out.”

From there, Courtney took things even further, establishing a Facebook group to share tips and advice that would help her affiliates achieve as much success as possible – with her Finer and Dandy and beyond.

“I’ll create videos for them that will help them to be able to share things,” she says. “So it’s also teaching them not only how to share my products, but if they are influencers for other brands or they’re ambassadors for other brands, helping them in that way as well.”

Screenshot shows Finer and Dandy's affiliate program results

It was this personal approach and affiliate program that helped establish the Finer and Dandy brand. And because it was free – aside from the affiliate tracking software fee – Courtney pocketed a much larger share of the profits than she would have if she used paid ads.

It’s a tactic that she thinks more dropshippers should consider.

“When it comes to dropshipping, the biggest sort of barrier that people see is that, ‘OK, I’m gonna have to spend all this money on ads.’ And really for me, I have not. I’ve done this completely free of any ads – other than one that was for one day and I spent $5 on it.”

And not only have Courtney’s affiliates helped bring new customers to the store, but the affiliates themselves have become the biggest fans of Finer and Dandy. A true win-win.

These days the program continues to generate purchases, with posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest also driving traffic. And between the social posts and affiliate program, Finer and Dandy has a steady stream of traffic and sales.

Screenshots of Finer and Dandy example Pinterest posts
Reaching Personal – and Financial – Success

Thanks to her affiliate program and social media presence, Courtney’s store has generated more than $17,000 in sales since opening a year ago. And she’s even been able to take on a former customer as a part-time digital content creator. Not bad for a side hustle that doesn’t spend on ads.

A screeshot shows Finer and Dandy's sales revenue to date

But aside from sales numbers and revenue, Courtney’s store has helped change her entire mindset.

Although she was already successful in her full-time career, running Finer and Dandy gave her a confidence boost she didn’t know she needed and made her. Now she’s focussed on not only growing her store but helping others build their own – including her teenage son – and she’s excited about the challenges ahead.

“That’s probably been the most exciting and most rewarding thing for me, just learning these new things and being able to change my mindset, and being able to help other people too, to overcome those things.”

“What has happened over the course of the last year, it’s just really, really freed my mind like, I am capable of doing this, and I can have a business, and I’m just loving it. It’s absolutely amazing, I love every aspect of it.”

Finer and Dandy’s (Baby) Steps to Success

For Courtney, Finer and Dandy is a labor of love. While she hasn’t spent money on advertisement, she has spent time reaching out to people, developing her methods, and creating a cohesive brand.

And if you’re interested in following a similar path with your store, this section is for you.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the many things that have helped Courtney build her store’s identity and nurture her community. From practical tips you can implement today to things that will keep you striving for more, they will all keep you chasing success.

Let’s dive in.

Take a Genuine Approach

Although it sounds like common sense, being genuine and treating your customers well is a sure-fire way to guarantee success.

Rather than relying on templates or pre-written messages, Courtney prides herself on reaching out to people with a message unique to them.

“My go-to methodology for contacting potential customers or affiliates is authenticity,” she says. “I like to engage in real conversations by genuinely complimenting or commenting on something I’ve seen on their page that was relatable to me.”

By being so authentic with her customers, Courtney has established Finer and Dandy as a brand that people want to be associated with, buy from, and remain loyal to. And recently, her returning customer rate has been spiking as a result of putting in that effort.

Two screenshots showing the increase in the returning customer rate

While the results are impressive, the best bit is that anyone can do it – and it’s an approach that doesn’t cost anything, except a little time.

“There’s no secret other than sincerity – a generic copy/paste message doesn’t really inspire most people to engage in conversation.“

15 Minutes Here and There Adds Up

Like many dropshippers and entrepreneurs, Courtney’s store is just one of the many things she does every day. So, with a full-time job, a family, and pets also needing her time and attention, she’s a big believer in finding pockets of time and using them efficiently.

“I actually will get on my phone when I have free time,” she says. “That could be a few minutes a day while I’m watching TV, in between cooking dinner, getting my kids ready for bed, just little spurts of time here and there. I mean, you can build a whole business and a whole customer base around 5-10-15 minutes in little tiny chunks.”

a hand holds a smartphone with social media appsThis is a tactic particularly suited to tasks that can be done quickly – like reaching out to potential customers and affiliates. Although it might just take minutes, it all helps to build the Finer and Dandy brand.

As for maintaining the website and processing orders, Courtney had to find extra time in her day where she could focus solely on her store. So, rather than squeezing it in at the end of her day (when she’d rather be relaxing), she gets up at 4am and works in the quiet morning hours before going to day job.

Hey, no one said being an entrepreneur would be easy, but if you really want to succeed, there are always areas of your life you can optimize. Besides, people like Apple CEO Tim Cook and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi also get up that early – so you’re in good company,

Develop Your Brand and Then Expand

From the start of her store, Courtney let customer behavior inform what she kept in her catalog and what she got rid of. This approach allowed her to build a cohesive brand and made it easier when it came time to expand her range.

“My journey up until this point is really looking thoughtfully at what those customers want, what are they buying and being able to let go of things. That’s what’s really honed my niche and even the look of the website. It’s really been refined and developed over time.”

Finer and Dandy products

By putting in the work to learn what customers want and developing the look and feel of the store based on that, it then makes it easier to see directions for expansion. In Courtney’s case she was able to create complementary in-house designs, which she incorporated through print on demand products.

These days, around 50 percent of Finer and Dandy’s catalog is Courtney’s in-house designs and she’s been able to add new products, including hospital bags, swaddles, and blankets.

Because she scrutinizes customer behavior so thoroughly, the print on demand items are incorporated based on what Courtney knows will resonate with buyers and what will complement the store.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

Setting up a dropshipping store may be easy to do, but that doesn’t mean it can’t achieve big things. And for Courtney, overcoming a limiting mindset has truly been what’s made Finer and Dandy a success. Take for instance her recent collaboration with a charity she supports.

After installing a Shopify app on her store, Finer and Dandy customers were able to round up their purchases and donate the difference to Courtney’s chosen charity – the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. However, after finding that every customer was donating, she wondered if she couldn’t do more than just round up change – so she sent the organization an email.

“And, surprisingly, they go, ‘You know what? We really wanna get into working with these smaller brands.’ I was shocked when they were absolutely thrilled and wanted to work with me. They’ve been building this custom plug-in for me, and I’m actually meeting with them next week to get it installed.”

The newly designed plug-in will allow not only allow Courtney’s customers to select the amount they want to give, rather than just rounding up their purchase, but also choose the specific hospital they want to donate to.

For Courtney, it’s proof that having the confidence to ask will often result in great things.

“I think that’s one of the things, is just not being afraid to ask. If you don’t ask someone for the sale or you don’t ask them for that partnership, they’re never going to be able to say yes, right? And so that’s really just given me the confidence to, not only know how to approach people, but know that people do say yes more often than they say no.”

Want to Learn More?



Source link

How to use IGTV for Marketing (With Examples)

How to use IGTV for Marketing (With Examples)


When Instagram announced plans for IGTV, a new standalone app for long-form vertical video, the talk of IGTV taking out YouTube began. After Instagram video did away with Vine and Instagram Stories swiped a massive opportunity from Snapchat, Instagram looked poised for a hat-trick.

A year and a half later, YouTube is still going strong. So, what happened?

IGTV was slow to start, but its recent spike in engagement might offer some clues. With the recent feature releases, growth in viewership on the platform, and the current appetite brands have for experimenting with new forms of content, the ways in which IGTV will reshape Instagram marketing are becoming clear. 

What is IGTV?

IGTV is both a stand-alone video-sharing app and an extension of the existing features of Instagram. When it first launched, IGTV only allowed vertical videos on the platform. This was partly to differentiate it from YouTube and position it as a mobile-friendly video app, but it was also a move meant to inspire creativity. 

In an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described how the initial limitations were meant to encourage creativity, saying, “One of the things I like most about the new format is that it’s actually fairly difficult to just take videos that exist online and simply repost them. That’s not true in feed. That basically forces everyone to create new stuff.”

Perhaps bloggers and tech journalists misunderstood IGTV. Though IGTV later dropped the restriction on landscape videos, the app itself is still designed with vertical video in mind. On top of this, a number of features unique to IGTV make it fundamentally different from YouTube. Understanding the differences is key to utilizing IGTV’s uniqueness for growth.   

IGTV dimensions, specs, and requirements for uploading

If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you’ll need to create one before posting videos to IGTV. Although IGTV has a stand-alone app, your followers and following lists are the same as your Instagram account. Since IGTV works best as a tool for growing your Instagram audience, you’ll want to have an active presence on Instagram-proper as well.

What are the video requirements and specs for uploading to IGTV?

    • Length: Minimum of 1 minute, maximum of 15 minutes (on mobile) or 60 minutes (on desktop)
    • File Type: Uploaded in MP4 File format
    • File Size: Maximum file size is 650MB (for videos under 10 minutes) or 3.6GB (for videos 10-60 minutes)
    • Dimensions: Video displays at a 9:16 aspect ratio (for vertical videos) or a 16:9 aspect ratio (for horizontal videos)
    • Resolution: Minimum resolution of 720 pixels
    • Frame Rate: Minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) 
    • Content Guidelines: Your video is at risk of being reported and removed if it does not adhere to Instagram’s Content Guidelines.

How to use IGTV

IGTV acts as a separate content feed parallel to your existing Instagram account, however, your Followers and Following lists for both platforms are synced. The videos you post will appear on your IGTV channel, which can be accessed from your Instagram profile or directly from your IGTV posts. Anyone following you on Instagram will be able to see your IGTV posts. 

Uploading videos can be done from the Instagram app, the IGTV app, or in a browser. Note that you must have an active Instagram account in order to be able to use IGTV

How to create your IGTV channel

On mobile: 

  1. Download and open the IGTV app, or tap the IGTV icon in the top-right corner of the Instagram app. 
  2. Tap the “Settings” icon and then tap “Create Channel”.

On desktop:

  1. Open a web browser and go to Instagram.com.
  2. Click the “Profile” icon in the top-right. 
  3. Select the tab labelled “IGTV” under your profile description. 
  4. Click “Get Started” and follow the on-screen instructions. 

How to upload videos to IGTV

On mobile:

  1. Open the IGTV app or tap the IGTV icon in the top-right corner of the Instagram app. 
  2. Tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner, select a video, and tap “Next”. 
  3. Use the slider at the bottom of your screen to select a screen-shot to use as a cover photo or select a file from your camera roll and tap “Next”. 
  4. Add your title, description, make any edits to your cover photo, and select your preferred sharing options. 
  5. Tap “Post”. 

On desktop:

  1. Open a web browser and go to Instagram.com.
  2. Click the “Profile” icon in the top-right. 
  3. Select the tab labelled “IGTV” under your profile description. 
  4. Click “Upload”.
  5. Select the “+” icon and select a video from your files or drag and drop a video file
  6. A cover-photo will be auto-generated when uploading, but you can select “Edit” to add your own image. 
  7. Add your title, description and select your preferred sharing options. 
  8. Click “Post”. 

IGTV for Business: What makes IGTV different?

How a platform displays lets users interact with content determines what content works best. This crucial detail explains why IGTV was able to grow its user base without clashing with YouTube.

Whereas Instagram Stories and Video features were largely similar to Snapchat and Vine⁠, IGTV is fundamentally different from YouTube and other video sharing platforms in a number of significant ways.

 

IGTV videos autoplay

On IGTV’s stand-alone app, videos in your feed start automatically with a loading screen resembling television static. The experience is designed to emulate the experience of flicking through TV channels. 

IGTV is designed for vertical video

IGTV’s biggest selling point when it first launched was its exclusivity for vertical video. While this changed not long after, the app’s functions are still designed with vertical video in mind⁠, meaning vertical videos appear larger and more assertive in their design, making them more eye-catching than horizontal videos.

IGTV has less competing content

More content means it’s harder to be seen and harder to show up in searches. Starting an IGTV channel now puts you in the unique position of being able to corner a content market. Although this might mean fewer users initially, there’s a far higher prospect of long-term growth if you’re able to establish yourself as an early adopter of IGTV. With Instagram pushing users to IGTV, posting consistent content now, means more exposure later.

IGTV is inseparable from Instagram feeds and stories

The continuity between Instagram and IGTV makes it easier to move users from your Stories to your Instagram profile to your IGTV account, which lets you publish many forms of content to grow a single, larger audience.

 

IGTV offers more creative possibilities

With the platform being relatively new, the “norms” of IGTV have yet to be established. Without being certain of what IGTV content is supposed to look like, users tend to be open to more offbeat content. 

IGTV offers a more direct way to drive traffic with clickable links

Say goodbye to “link in bio” and hello to IGTV’s clickable links, which can now be added to your video descriptions. With this feature, IGTV has finally created a seamless flow from stories.

IGTV’s peculiarities may not seem significant on their own, but taken as a whole they provide clues to understanding how brands can utilize the platform. 

Content ideas for brands using IGTV

IGTV functions best as a growth toolalong-side Instagram and Instagram Stories, so it’s important that there’s a continuity with your Instagram account. And while great content is often versatile, limiting yourself to cross-posting your existing content means missing out on leveraging the platform’s most unique features to capture your follower’s attention.

Knowing this, we’ve put together a list of content ideas that can serve as a lifting-off point for your IGTV channel. 

Go behind-the-scenes 

Giving an “inside look” at your brand helps build trust with your audience, but if it’s not something your followers are accustomed too, it can make your profile look sloppy⁠—not a quality you want associated with your brand. Stories can be decent spot for behind-the-scenes content, but only IGTV offers the chance to create long-form, evergreencompanion content that can exist parallel to your regular content without distracting from it.

Teach your followers something new

Teaching is the most appreciated form of marketing—customers like unlocking more value out of their products. If you’re selling food, teach us your favorite recipes. If you’re in the makeup biz, let us know how to get that perfect smokey eye. Step-by-step tutorials are a fun way to show potential customers how to use your product.

Do a Q&A with your followers 

A simple Q&A session helps you answer the most important questions your customers have: Who are you? What is your brand about? Why should I pay attention to you, or buy your products? It’s a truism, but customers find it easier to trust and support your business after the know and like you.

Try having your followers submit interview questions and answer them on video. This type of user-generated content is a great chance to build a relationship with your followers.

Vlog to your audience

Vlogging gives you an opportunity to build a personal connection with your audience. Like behind-the-scenes content, vlogging on IGTV offers a separate channel for more intimate videos, but vlogging goes a step further by making your success more personal for your fans. When you vlog, you invite your audience to not just watch your brand grow, but become a part of that growth.

Bloopers and deleted scenes

If you’re creating videos where you’ve taken a lot of footage, why let it go to waste? Viewers are often interested in what gets cut from the content they enjoy. It provides an inside look at the process of creating a piece of content and gives the user a more personal connection to your content.

IGTV for Business: Examples of brands using it well

IGTV use has increased steadily over the past year, largely due to its increased popularity among young people. A 2019 report by Deloitte found that people aged 15-24 consume an average of 20% more video content online than people older than 45.

Assuming this trend continues, we’ve only seen the beginning of how IGTV may change the way we consume media. For brands, there’s an opportunity to get a foot in the door now and build a following that is primed for long-term growth. 

Brands of all sizes have already made great strides on the platform. Below, we put together a list of a few noteworthy examples.

1. Makeup artist Neetu Josh (@neetujosh_artco)

Neetu Josh is a Northern California-based makeup and hair artist who freelances, teaches, and uses her IGTV to promote her services to potential clients. Quite a few hair and makeup artists have had success on IGTV, but Neetu Josh’s channel stands out.

Using colorful, professionally taken cover photos, Josh is able to make her content distinct among the sea of grainy screen-shots flooding the Popular tab. Rather than recycle old posts from her Instagram account or other social platforms, Josh uses her IGTV channel to craft a space for tutorials and behind-the-scenes features that without IGTV would go unseen.

Key ideas: 

  • Rather than rehash old content, enhance it by creating companion-content that’s new
  • Build trust with your audience by bringing them behind-the-scenes and showing a more personal side to your brand
  • Use tutorials to promote your own products and direct traffic to your store without content that feels too much like an ad

2. Comedy troupe The Portuguese Kids (@theportuguesekids)

The Portuguese Kids are a comedy troupe that produce original memes and sketches. As their name gives away, TPK’s style of comedy taps into the shared cultural experiences of the international Portuguese diaspora.

On their main Instagram feed, TPK creates relatable, highly shareable memes about growing up Portuguese. On IGTV, TPK writes and performs original sketches. Splitting up two types of content like this can help encourage followers to cross-over between platforms, without being repetitive.

TPK smartly stays on-brand with its content, which always draws on relatable humor. From IGTV, their audience is directed to their online store where they offer Portuguese food products, cookbooks, kitchen supplies⁠, home decor, apparel and a wide variety of small gifts and trinkets that play into the same sense of Portuguese nostalgia as their memes and comedy sketches.

Key takeaways: 

  • Create a sense of community among your followers by emphasizing their shared experiences through relatable content
  • Keep a strong, consistent brand along every step of the customer marketing funnel to increase the likeliness that your followers will visit and purchase from your store
  • Create IGTV content that’s distinct from your Instagram content, but keep both streams on-brand

3. Baker and cake-designer Laurie Shannon (@icingartist)

Laurie Shannon is the baker, cake-maker, and influencer behind the Icing Artist YouTube channel. On her channel, Shannon teaches viewers how she makes the stunning cake designs that appear on her Instagram feed.

While the cakes are dazzlingly colorful in their own right, taking perfect pictures of food is harder than it looks. Shannon’s cover photos could be hastily-saved screengrabs, but they’d never stand-out on IGTV’s Popular tab as well as her vibrant, professionally-edited photos.

But what’s especially notable about The Icing Artist is the content she’s chosen not to put on IGTV. Since Shannon already has a popular YouTube channel, she could have easily posted recycled content, but instead, she publishes unique content tailor-made for the platform’s format and features. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Create vibrant, eye-catching cover photos to help your brand stand-out
  • Create original content for IGTV to help differentiate yourself on the platform and give users a reason to follow you

Use your IGTV feed to contextualize your Instagram posts with behind-the-scenes footage

4. Artist and Designer Matt Crump (@mattcrump)

Matt Crump is a Texas and California-based artist, designer, and influencer whose unique aesthetic and off-beat humor earned him a spot on Time magazine’s list of most influential Instagrammers

Crump’s polished, pastel pink aesthetic is likely already unique enough to draw in users, but more is at play here than just bright colors. On his regular feed, Crump posts candy-coated photography, but switch to his IGTV and things take a strange turn. In vlogs, Crump dons a jarringly-detailed unicorn mask adding a layer of intrigue and mystery to his brand.

Crump’s fearless experimentation with the platform positions him to draw in a very niche audience to his online store. Though Crump’s initial success may have been on his standard Instagram feed, his use of IGTV to grow that following should inspire any creator that’s wrestling with how to approach IGTV. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Try using IGTV to build a persona to accompany already existing content
  • Add a layer of mystery to your IGTV profile to draw-in intrigued users
  • Be weird⁠—subverting user expectations is a great way to get user’s attention as well as increase the odds of being remembered

5. MTV’s TRL (@trl)

MTV’s Total Request Live was a weekly, hour-long program airing from 1998 to 2007. In April 2019, a re-tooled version of the show began airing Saturday mornings, accompanied by a new IGTV channel used to promote it.

A lot of television shows have social media profiles that fall into the trap of simply posting clips from the longer program. That approach can help with growth at first, but viewers inevitably catch on to the fact that the best bits of your long-form show get posted to IGTV, which can cause them to lose interest. And if the goal of your IGTV profile is to move users somewhere else, such as your online store, then your IGTV profile needs to encourage that movement, rather than be the end-point of your customer-journey.

MTV recognizes that if the goal of IGTV is to get viewers to move somewhere else, they must see the value in moving there. That’s why MTV opts to create original, short-form segments like 60-Second Draw, a series that this year was lauded with the Shorty Award for IGTV. The campaign was such a success that the TRL IGTV channel saw a 297% increase in viewership with its five episodes accounting for 88% of the channel’s IGTV views.

Key takeaways: 

  • Try the IGTV series feature to create a recurring segment that your audience can tune into regularly
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content you think your audience would enjoy
  • Don’t allow your content to “plateau” by just posting repurposed content⁠—give users a reason to follow you

How to get more views on IGTV

So we know that IGTV is a unique platform that makes it much easier to grow your audience from your profile to your website. But there’s a separate art to earning those views in the first place. If you want to make sure users are actually watching your videos, here are a few tips: 

Cross-promote IGTV videos on Instagram

Since Instagram makes it easy to move users from one content stream to another, it’s important to promote your IGTV videos on Instagram’s other content channels. Keep in mind that there are still a lot of Instagram users who haven’t logged into IGTV. Your audience follows you for a reason—they like what you do. Show them how to find more of it.

Optimize your titles and descriptions

You have a maximum of 75 characters for your IGTV titles, but keep in mind that the title is truncated to about 50 characters when it’s displayed on the Following or Popular feeds. The description can be quite long with a max of 2200 characters, but full-length descriptions are easy to skim or skip altogether. You can also include relevant Instagram hashtags in your description to increase your reach, like you would in stories and posts. 

As for the link in your description, it’s best to start with it first so that you can drive more people to your website or other properties. 

Use an eye-catching thumbnail image

Currently, on IGTV, there’s a high-level of re-purposed videos from other platforms. Much of it doesn’t appear to be designed with the IGTV feed in-mind and as a result, much of it doesn’t stand out. Influencers and brands that seem to be having the most initial success on the platform are ones with colorful eye-catching thumbnails, which stand out amongst the bland coloring of bland, unedited video. 

Don’t take your time⁠—get to the point

Instagram offers a maximum video time of one hour, but it’s best to keep it much shorter. Online behavioural studies show that about 25% of viewers are likely to finish a 20 minute video, so it’s wise to keep it shorter than that. 

Introduce your hook quickly; you have about 10 seconds before users decide if they want to keep watching.

Create with the mute button in mind

There’s very little information on IGTV viewing habits currently, but given that an estimated 85% of mobile video content on Facebook is viewed with the sound off, it’s safe to say most IGTV videos will be viewed the same. This makes captions an important tool, not just for engagement but for accessibility. If you’re looking for some free and low-cost options for adding captions to your video, we’ve rounded some up:

  • Clipomatic ($4.99, iOS only): Add captions to any video on your phone automatically using voice recognition. 
  • InShot ($2.99 to remove watermarks): A free video editing app that lets you add subtitles. There are also in-app purchases for additional features like stickers and filters. 
  • Kapwing’s Subtitle Tool (Free up to 500 MB upload): A platform for creating videos, GIFs, and images for free and without watermarks.
  • Happy Scribe (€12/hour): A transcription service with a flexible pay-as-you-go structure with auto-transcription in more than 120 languages. 

Measuring performance: how to track your success on IGTV

IGTV includes a bevy of out-of-the-box analytics tools to track the success of your videos. Each metric says something different about the effectiveness of your content and, taken as a whole, these metrics help reveal your audience’s relationship with your content. and what needs to be done to improve. Let’s review how to evaluate these metrics.

Views

The number of users that viewed your post (note that multiple views by the same user still count as a single view). IGTV counts a “view” as any time spent on the post that’s longer than 3 seconds. 

What can it tell you:

  • If you have a lot of followers but not a lot of views, it means that users are not making the jump from Instagram to IGTV
  • If you have very few followers but a lot of views, it means that your content is showing up in people’s feeds, but they’re not following the account
  • If you have a lot of followers and views, you’re growing a highly-valuable audience

Engagements

An accumulation of likes and comments you receive on a post.

What can it tell you:

  • High engagement means that your videos are effectively capturing people’s attention⁠ and you should focus more on growing your audience
  • Low engagement means your videos are not capturing people’s attention: if your Views are high in comparison, you should focus on improving your content

Audience Retention

The percentage of viewers that watch your video in-full.

What can it tell you:

  • High audience retention means that your content is engaging and you should focus on increasing the number of Views
  • Lower audience retention could mean that your videos are too long, not what users are expecting, or just plain boring

Audience Retention Graph

A visual guide that collects audience retention data and serves as a visual guide to when most users are dropping off in your video.

What can it tell you:

  • If more users drop off early, it can be a sign that they found your cover photo misleading
  • If most of your users are dropping off before the end of the video, you might want to consider seeing if a shorter video keeps users engaged until the end 
  • If many users are dropping off at a very specific point in your video, it’s a clue that something in the video turned people off

IGTV is just getting started

IGTV is different from other video-sharing platforms, but this shouldn’t scare you off utilizing it. With IGTV picking up in popularity, smaller brands are in a unique position to use the idiosyncrasies of the platform to secure themselves a spot as a top content producer.

Instagram has developed into a powerful growth tool for brands, especially product-based businesses. With IGTV providing a new avenue for creativity, brands that position themselves as pioneers of the app now, stand to gain a lot more in the years ahead. 





Source link

The Future Needs More Black Entrepreneurs

The Future Needs More Black Entrepreneurs


Often, Jannah Handy’s wardrobe will include a small reference to something seemingly innocuous: the watermelon. It might show up on a pin or a hat. It might be a repeating pattern on her nine-year-old’s slippers or pajamas. For the co-owner of BLK MKT Vintage, it’s a symbol of perseverance, prosperity, and self-sufficiency. It was watermelon, after all, that created early economic opportunities for formerly enslaved Black people who grew and sold the fruit—and it became a representation of freedom. 

But for more than a century, the watermelon has been used as a negative stereotype of Black people—a racist symbol of untidiness and laziness. Jannah says she wants to reclaim it. “We sometimes forget that there is a historical context for the work that we’re doing,” she says. “Our ancestors paved the way for us to get here.” 

Panelists sit on a stage at AfroTech 2019 listening as Jannah Hardy speaks into a microphone.
Jannah Handy, right, was one of three business owners taking the stage at AfroTech to discuss the future of Black business. (James Nwobu)

When it comes to her antiques business, Jannah is usually looking to the past. But on a November evening in Oakland, California, she sits on a stage facing a packed room, ready to look ahead. She and a panel of her peers have gathered here to answer one important question: why does the future need more Black businesses? The Shopify-hosted panel kicked off the first day of AfroTech 2019—a four-day gathering of more than 6,000 Black entrepreneurs and tech professionals, aimed at driving conversation, building community, and “scaling collective power.”

This critical mass of folks of color is so important.

Jannah Handy

Taking the stage alongside Jannah were William Adoasi, founder of Vitae London; and Gwen Jimmere, founder of Naturalicious. They were joined by moderator Mandela SH Dixon, CEO of Founder Gym.

The panelists—successful founders and community role models in their own rights—have all overcome some of the barriers to entrepreneurship frequently faced by many Black business owners. In doing so, they have created representation in industries where, before they entered them, they did not see many faces that resembled their own. This was Jannah’s experience when she launched BLK MKT Vintage. “When you go into antique stores, you look around and don’t see yourself represented,” she says. “How are we a part of history but we’re not represented in the artifacts?”

A woman in a black dress bends over to look at a retail display in BLK MKT Vintage's shop.
The BLK MKT Vintage founders curate artifacts of Black history and provide cultural context for them in the antiques market. (BLK MKT Vintage)

How do communities, policymakers, institutions, and allies create greater accessibility to entrepreneurship for Black people? First, we should understand the barriers—including the historical context behind them—and the benefits to breaking them down.

Black entrepreneurs still face barriers to small business ownership

Lack of representation in business—or in any situation—can create intimidation, fear, and reduced confidence. These feelings can prevent underrepresented people from getting involved at all. Jannah says the attendees she spoke to at AfroTech were energized by connecting with other Black founders and tech professionals, as many often find themselves in circles and around boardroom tables where they don’t see themselves reflected. “This critical mass of folks of color is so important,” she says.

In a 2017 study looking at the financial challenges of Black entrepreneurs, interviewees reported that access to mentorship posed a challenge in succeeding at business. And so “social capital”—the ability to access knowledge, opportunities, and resources through networks—ends up being a barrier for some. “You’re working almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be isolating,” says Gwen, who has found support in Detroit’s strong entrepreneurial community. “You can’t live in your silo.”

Portrait of Naturalicious founder, Gwen Jimmere
Gwen Jimmere is the first Black woman to hold a US patent for a natural hair care product. (James Nwobu)

Social capital and financial capital are intrinsically linked. As over 80% of venture capital (VC) firms don’t have a single Black investor, Black founders often need to gain access to predominantly white networks in order to secure funding. Unsurprisingly, the demographics of VC backers are reflected in their investments: from 2013 to 2017, only 1% of venture-backed businesses were Black-owned.

Often, when we’re creating businesses to solve Black problems, the faces of the VC world can’t relate to it, so they don’t see the viability in it as a business. Representation matters.

Gwen Jimmere

Gwen sells a hair product designed to solve a pain point for Black women. “When I talk to white people, particularly men, the struggle that Black women have with hair is a completely foreign concept to them,” she says. “Often, when we’re creating businesses to solve Black problems, the faces of the VC world can’t relate, so they don’t see the viability in it as a business to provide funding for. Representation matters.”

More troubling are the institutional biases that contribute to a racial imbalance in credit denial rates. Financial offers, both human approved and algorithmically generated, often carry higher interest rates for Black and Latinx borrowers, a pattern that has contributed to the stagnant rates of home ownership among Black Americans since the late 1960s. This historical context is significant in explaining the wealth gap—the imbalance in median household wealth between races. In 2016, the median wealth of white American families was 10 times that of Black families, which reveals an enormous disadvantage for Black entrepreneurs who not only face challenges in accessing capital, but also are less likely to have familial wealth.

Why the future needs more Black entrepreneurs

Artifacts from Black history, including hair combs and a poetry book are laid out in a display.
Jannah and her partner, Kiyanna Stewart, see themselves as not only business owners, but also “cultural historians.” (BLK MKT Vintage)

Despite the challenges, there is good news: the number of Black-owned businesses in the US increased by 400% between 2017 and 2018. And, Black women form the fastest growing demographic of new businesses with ownership growing at a rate of 164% between 2007 and 2018.

Investment in Black entrepreneurs can close the wealth gap through job creation, strengthen communities, and create economic opportunities for everyone.

Ownership is what we need in order to build generational wealth.

Gwen Jimmere

Creating access for Black entrepreneurs creates job opportunities not only through self-employment, but also opportunities within those businesses. One study suggests that just a 10% increase in businesses owned by people of color could create one million new jobs for people of color. And Black-owned small businesses in majority-Black communities also help strengthen the local economy. Roughly 48% of money spent at a local business is recirculated locally, versus 14% for chain stores. 

“We need to own our ideas,” says Gwen. “Ownership is what we need in order to build generational wealth.” Ownership creates the opportunity to build wealth that is not reliant on past generational wealth. But Jannah also reminds Black entrepreneurs to “look back” to understand that the progress made in Black ownership rests on the struggles of the past. 

A woman in a leather jacket laughs with a man holding a wine glass at an event at AfroTech 2019.
Black entrepreneurs can open more doors for Black businesses through mentorship, role-modeling, and community activism. (James Nwobu)

Mentorship and community empowerment are two important means to enable more Black entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. “Success is not about your personal ascent,” says Mandela. “It’s about leaving a door open, throwing a rope down, and helping as many people as possible climb along with you—and even surpass you.” Exposure to entrepreneurship in one’s own community positively influences an individual’s own likelihood to pursue it. And community role models help to change the way Black youth see themselves and see the Black community’s role in society. 

How do we get there?

I’m white. This is not my story. But when I say “we” here, I mean “we.” Everyone. Centuries of systemic racism and injustice continue to create hardship and exclusion for Black people and Black business owners. We all have the opportunity to support Black-owned businesses and create a more equitable playing field for future generations of Black entrepreneurs. So, how do we get there? 

Black Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually and have an unmistakable influence in some product categories, like beauty. Supporting Black-owned businesses is voting with those dollars. And what about allies? “It’s an absolute duty of every person to make a conscious effort to support Black businesses. But, we don’t necessarily want to be supported because we are Black,” says Gwen, who herself is the first Black woman to hold a patent on a natural hair care product. “We want to be supported because we are excellent.”

We should be earning in all areas, in all fields.

William Adoasi

“Get the good word out about] what’s happening in our community and our collective impact,” Mandela urges the audience at AfroTech, “because someone out there needs to hear this story.” Black business owners who have accessed and created social capital in their industries can offer it to others, thereby contributing to healthy ecosystems for thriving small businesses. “It’s our job to affirm each other, to lift each other up,” Mandela says.

William entered the jewellery and watch industry and didn’t see himself represented. At first, he removed himself from his brand story. But when he decided to put his face on Vitae London’s website, he opened doors for not only himself, but for other Black founders in the space. “I just love that I get to break that stereotype,” he says. William was included in a billboard campaign in the UK that demonstrated that young Black men can excel and own in industries other than sports and music. “We should be earning in all areas, in all fields,” William says.

Portrait of Vitae London founder, William Adoasi
Business owner William Adoasi was featured in a UK campaign aimed at breaking stereotypes about Black men. (James Nwobu)

In Detroit—perhaps an anomaly in the American business landscape—where Gwen runs Naturalicious, there are a multitude of resources for Black entrepreneurs. But outside of her hometown, Gwen says, there is still support. She’s connected to business communities and mastermind groups online. “There are people who are out there who want to help you,” she says. “You just have to show up.”

Today, founders like Jannah, William, and Gwen are excelling in white-dominated industries, gracing billboards and securing patents. They are building wealth, opportunities, and access for the generations ahead of them. But, systemically, the road ahead is long. Biases within traditional financial institutions will only start to change with political pressure or competition from alternative funding sources

Get to know your local Black bookstore owner, get to know your local Black café owner, find a business that you connect with.

Jannah Handy

Gwen is thankful for VC funds like Backstage Capital, which invested in her own business, and Harlem Capital. “They are actively and intentionally looking to fund Black and minority-owned businesses,” she says. For Jannah, who says that her own barriers to funding were related to her credit score, services like Shopify Capital helped her access funds based on the merit of her store’s activity alone. 

In small ways, every person has the chance to help address the social and financial inequalities that impede the creation of Black-owned businesses. We have an opportunity to build connections, too, Jannah says, simply by asking and listening. “Get to know your local Black bookstore owner, get to know your local Black café owner, find a business that you connect with,” she says. “Find out what folks need and how you can be of support.”

Template Icon

Shopify Academy Course: How to Get Started on Shopify

Looking for a guided tour of Shopify? Merchant Success Manager and entrepreneur, Samantha Renée, shares steps to customizing your shop, adding a product and making your first sale.

Enroll for free

Illustration by Hanna Barczyk 
Special thanks to Shavonne Hasfal-Mcintosh, Natasha Singh, Maya Shoucair, and Phoebe Tagoe



Source link

11 Best Sites to Sell Your Products Online

11 Best Sites to Sell Your Products Online


Before the advent of the internet and ecommerce, yard sales and newspapers were the only places where you could sell your stuff without owning a storefront. Now, with all of the different selling websites and apps available, anybody can make extra cash selling just about anything, without having to leave your house.

Are you a creative looking to sell your homemade goods? Do you have a backstock of vintage jewelry? Have you got a connection to get a product at wholesale prices? Maybe you’re just looking to sell off that Beanie Baby collection? (Don’t lie, you’ve got one!) Or, perhaps you’re practicing feng shui and looking to declutter your living space or storage unit?

No matter what your objective is or what you’re selling, there’s a selling website out there that’s a perfect fit for you. We’ve done the research and compiled the best sites for you to sell your products online.

“Sell Anything” Marketplaces

These marketplaces are the most well-known online selling sites and accommodate just about any item you might have. 

Bonanza

Photo Credit: Bonanza

This Seattle-based company is relatively new to the online marketplace, yet is doing remarkably well. With over 50,000 sellers and 35 million different items, Bonanza is a large and growing community of online shops. Entrepreneur.com named Bonanza one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” in 2016. 

The fees to sell on Bonanza are relatively minimal and are based on what they call the Final Offer Value. The Final Offer Value is the combined dollar value of what the buyer paid plus the portion of the shipping fee that exceeds $10. So if you sell an item for $20, then charge $12 for shipping, the Final Offer Value is $22. The selling fee is 2.5 percent of the Final Offer Value, so in this example, your fee would only be $0.77. If you are selling items for over $500, the same rules apply, but there is an additional 1.5 percent flat fee on any dollar amount over $500.

This online selling site works well for those that are not able to pay listing fees. Setting up a shop is easy, and you only pay fees if you make a sale.

Amazon

Photo Credit: Amazon

Amazon is a trusted, go-to website for over 20.6 million people every month according to Statista. Selling on Amazon almost automatically creates a sense of comfort and trust for your customers. Such a large number of shoppers means that your items are more likely to be seen, but it also means that it comes with more fees.

A professional selling account on Amazon requires an application process as well as a $39.99 monthly fee. There are also fees for each item sold. If you don’t plan on selling more than 40 items a month, you can get an individual seller account that requires no monthly fee. The individual seller account charges a $0.99 per item fee plus percentage fees on top of that depending on the category in which your item is selling.

Amazon is great for those who are looking to move large quantities of products or need exposure to a larger audience. 

eBay

Photo Credit: eBay

The original online selling platform, eBay has been on the internet since 1995. There’s no denying the power of eBay selling. There is almost nothing that you can’t sell on eBay, so if you’re looking to sell something a little weird, this might be the online selling site for you.

Be aware of the selling fees when selling on eBay. They charge a non-refundable fee to list an item, and another “insertion” fee if you decide to list the same item in another category. There is also a “final value fee” that is a certain percentage of the price that your item sells for as well as a percentage of the shipping fee. These fees vary and are calculated based on what your product is, how many and what kinds of categories it is listed in, as well as shipping.

eBay has over 25 million sellers and 182 million active buyers according to Quora. Similar to Amazon, it’s an incredibly large network, however, keep in mind that there is less trust based in eBay for your customers than there is in Amazon.

Homemade Goods, Art, and Vintage Marketplaces

There are a number of online selling sites where you can sell homemade goods, art, vintage items, and antique merchandise. Here are our top two sites in this category.

Ruby Lane

Photo Credit: Ruby Lane

Probably the best online selling site and shopping forum for vintage and antiques, Ruby Lane was voted the number one recommended selling venue in 2019 by the EcommerceBytes survey. As of January 2019, Ruby Lane received more than 1.1 million unique visitors every month. 

There is a one time fee of $100 to set up a shop with Ruby Lane and a monthly shop fee of $69 for shops with 80 items or less. The shop fee changes depending on how many items you have listed.  

This online selling site is designed to bring collecting enthusiasts together. If you are looking for a niche selling website for your antiques and collectibles, this is likely the site for you.

Etsy

Photo Credit: Etsy

Much like Ruby Lane, Etsy caters to more of a niche market than that of eBay or Amazon. Etsy is a very well-known site in which you can sell your handmade goods, art, collectibles, and antiques. It is a formidable online selling site, with buyers spending more than $3 billion on the site in 2017. 

The seller fees for Etsy are probably the most simple and straight-forward of all the selling websites we list in this blog. Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for each item. The item stays in your shop for four months or until it sells, whichever comes first. When you sell an item, there is a five percent transaction fee and a three percent plus $0.25 processing fee. That’s it.

Etsy is well-known and respected. Their minimal fees, ease of use, and overall good standing in the online selling world make this site one of the best places to sell your stuff online.

Chairish

Photo Credit: Chairish

This growing online consignment store is geared specifically for high-quality furniture and home decor. Listing items is easy on Chairish and like any consignment store, they take a percentage of the selling price. The percentage that Chairish keeps depends on how much your item sells for: 20 percent of the first $2,500, 12 percent of the next $22,500, and three percent of the next $15,000. In the example on their website, if you sell an item for $40,000 you get to keep $35,350. 

The best part is that listing your items is completely free unless you sign up for their Elite service, then the cost is $149 per month. You list your items, and the curators at Chairish review them to make sure they meet their standards. Then they touch up your provided photos and make the item available for purchase. Chairish also takes care of the shipping logistics, so you don’t have to worry about shipping large pieces of furniture. You can also arrange your own shipping if that suits you.

Chairish is a great online selling site for those that want to sell furniture and other home decor. They uphold high standards, which is ideal for buyers and collectors.

Create Your Own Store

Creating your own online store comes with its own challenges, but can also be extremely fulfilling and profitable if done right. The biggest downside is that you have to market yourself and drum up your own traffic to your site. Essentially, you’re creating your own brand and that can take a little time. The upside is that your profits are yours – there are no selling or transaction fees. Here are some of the best platforms that you can use to create your very own online selling site.

Shopify

Photo Credit: Shopify

When it comes to creating your own website to sell your stuff, Shopify has got to be one of the easiest to use and most trusted. As of June of this year, there were over 820,000 merchants using Shopify. Much like Etsy, Shopify is a trusted name.

The basic Shopify fee is $29 per month. This includes your own website, blog, SSL certificates, abandoned shopping cart recovery, social media sales channels, among many other tools and perks. There is no initial set up fee or other hidden fees unless you choose to use a different payment gateway than what Shopify provides.

Shopify is an excellent platform to start your own online selling site. It’s beginner-friendly and easy to use, with excellent customer service. There are also many third-party apps that work with Shopify to customize your store.

BigCommerce

Photo Credit: BigCommerce

Newer to the market than Shopify, BigCommerce is a growing platform that you can use to build your own online store. This company powers more than 95,000 online selling sites. 

Fairly affordable, the basic cost to use BigCommerce is $29.95 per month. The price can increase depending on what you need out of the service and can go beyond $200 a month. Like Shopify, this platform comes with SEO tools and features to grow your business. Unlike Shopify, however, it does not have nearly as many third-party apps. 

This build-your-own store platform is excellent for those who already have scalable businesses and are looking for a platform to grow a very large online selling site. 

Sell Locally

You can’t go wrong with these ultimate “sell anything” sites if you are selling your stuff online to declutter your home, get rid of your old clothing or footwear, or if you don’t want to deal with shipping logistics. Free and easy to use, check out these well known online selling sites.

Facebook Marketplace

Photo Credit: Facebook

Introduced in October 2016, Facebook created the Facebook Marketplace to bring people in communities together to buy and sell. What’s exciting about Facebook  Marketplace is that the company is starting to support ecommerce merchants. Facebook has partnered with online selling platforms, such as Shopify, to help facilitate online merchant presence on Marketplace.

There are no listing fees, but there are specific requirements and guidelines that you must follow as a merchant on Marketplace.

Craigslist

Photo Credit: Craigslist

Basically just a forum, Craigslist is basic and easy to use. Started in 1995 by Craig Newmark, it was originally developed to provide information on local happenings around the San Francisco Bay Area. It is now a go-to online selling site for many individuals and even some businesses.

The downside of Craigslist is the rampant scams and the “you’re on your own” style of dealing with fraud and disputes, which makes it a higher-risk selling site. This online selling site is best suited for those who prefer to sell locally and make deals in person. Some people take advantage of buying low and selling high on Craigslist, which can turn a pretty profit for those into market arbitrage.

Nextdoor

Photo Credit: Nextdoor

Similar to Craigslist, Nextdoor is about sharing with your community and neighbors. It is a platform where neighbors can share information about what’s going on in their communities – from announcing a neighborhood block party to complaining about the traffic on their streets. Beyond being a neighborhood forum, Nextdoor also provides a free forum for selling your stuff online. Like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, there are no listing or membership fees, but you do have to meet your buyer and make the exchange in person.

This platform feels a little safer than Craigslist as it requires that you sign up and create an account. Because of that, it tends to be more private and have fewer scams.

Something for Everybody

No matter what it is you’re selling, or how you want to sell it, there is an online selling site that fits your needs. Whether you want to clear your cluttered home, expand your reach for your retail store, or are looking to break into the ecommerce scene with your unique brand, you’re sure to find a platform on this list that works for you.

Got a site that you love to use that isn’t listed here? Let us know in the comments!

Want to Learn More?



Source link

error: Content is protected !!