Dec 5, “MONEY”

Today I’m giving away one of the greatest books about money ever: “MONEY: Master the Game” by Tony Robbins!

If you’re keen to finally find out what you need to achieve financial freedom, just sign up and win this amazing book!

$25 AppSumo Giftcard

Today you have the chance to win a $25 gift card from AppSumo.com. Get amazing tools for entrepreneurs to a suuuuper discounted price! Sign up now!

Entrepreneur’s Advent Calendar

Ho, ho, ho! 🎅🏻 🎅🏿

It’s time to announce something I am super excited about! From 12/01/2017 to 12/24/2017 I will run the entrepreneur’s advent calendar!

Each day you will find right here at timkock.de  (better bookmark the page now!) a new amazing giveaway. Total worth: OVER $1,140 !!! 💸

Hint: click here to find out what’s the first giveaway!

What’s Included

  • Business Books*
  • Software/Tools*
  • Facebook Ad Credits*
  • Instagram Influencer Campaign*
  • Business Calls

In total worth over $ 1,140 💸💸

The Rules

Come back each day to timkock.de and sign-up for each giveaway. Per sign-up, you have 1 entry. Refer 1 friend and you get 3 more entries (you will receive a link to share). The winner of each giveaway will receive an email seven days after each giveaway!



 Dang, I’m so pumped about this!!! – may the luckiest entrepreneur win!

Ok, let’s build something real… this time for real!

Sick and tired of not moving in the right direction with your dropshipping business?

I know you are (I was, too)… scroll down to finally build a real business!

Good move… let’s get sh*t done together!

I’m currently creating a comprehensive video course on how to (finally) build a real business out of AliExpress dropshipping. No bullshit – I promise!

Forget about the times chasing sale after sale! It’s time to build something real… something sustainable… something worth the effort!



I know you are keen to start your first dropshipping business! you are motivated as hell – you read tons of blog posts, watch millions of YouTube videos and listen to podcasts while driving to your hated 9 to 5 job…

>> fast forward your life… >>

One year later: you’re still driving to your hated 9 to 5 job – your business failed. Why? Because it never was a real biz. You never had a fair chance!

I’m so sick of seeing people like you being motivated as f*ck, having amazing knowledge but will never see something like this…

(Good job on that one, Derek!)

That’s why I will show you how to…

  • Find your profitable niche
  • Use real validation techniques (not just Google Trends…)
  • Make your first dollars before building your store
  • Build excitement around your store
  • Do all the boring (but necessary) work like a boss (eg. calculation)
  • Find people who love to spend their money in your store
  • Create a work habit like… dang, there’s no one out there hustling as hard as you will
  • Build a sustainable dropshipping business from scratch (not just trend-hunting…)
  • Do free marketing (if it’s free, it’s me, I take three…)
  • and, most important – how to have fun!

sounds good? Yay! sounds really good!



Give More Than Your Competition

Today’s post is all about giving. As you (hopefully) noticed already I’m a huge fan of giving instead of taking. That said I don’t just give you my general thoughts on something but really actionable (and simple) tips how you can start giving.

Why Giving?

Like I said in my You vs. Amazon post you have to hunt in areas where big player like Amazon can’t or won’t hunt. One example I gave was to create content that’s really niche related. If you really put out content people care about they will remember your store. They’ll appreciate that you’re caring about them. And guess what? there’s only one way to thank you: buying from your store.

But because most of don’t have any deep knowledge about our niche we just don’t know where to start. If we really want to create content people care about we have to know their problems and find solutions for them.

The Holy Research

Like I said before most of us don’t have any deep knowledge about our niches. But to give value to our customers we have to get in their minds and find out what’s their biggest problem. To do this kind of research we will just use Google.

Let me give you an example:

If you would own a store who sells dog related products you could write a short eBook which you give away for free. The topic of this eBook has to be something which will help those dog-owners.

To start your research just go to Google and search for:

forum: “[your niche/product]”

Google will show you every forum on their index which is dog related.

Google Research Content Creation

For any other niche just replace “dog training” through your product/niche.

You now have a complete list of a lot of dog training forums. After you skipped the first ones (ads) just copy the url of those forums and search for problem-related topics within this forums. One way to do this is by using the word “help”.

So just search for:

“help” site:[copied url]

You’ll now see all sites on your copied website which includes the word “help”. This is a good start to take a look at the problems your target audience has to handle with.

Google Research for DropshippingIf you now check the headlines and descriptions of those search results you will (in the most cases) find out something people care about a lot. But we’re not at the end of our research here.

In our example “whining” seems to be a problem for dog owners. But because we shouldn’t just go by guess we search again:

“[problem you’ve found]” site:[copied site]

Research

Take a look at the amount of results. In our example there are 474 topics in this ONE forum which are all related on “whining”. If you dig a little bit deeper you will find more topics which are all related to this specific “whining”-problem.

If you go to Thesaurus.com and search for synonyms for “whining” you will get this results:

synonyms for deep research

I just chosed “cry”, went back to Google and searched again:

“[synonym]” site:[copied site]

Dropshipping is about giving

Bam! Another 660 results. For just two words on one forum. Isn’t that great?

Even better: The first result also gives us new synonym we can also search for. The sky’s the limit, my friends!

Next Step: Gaining information.

Now is the time to proof that you are a real entrepreneur and really want to have success. It’s time for hard work. Open every topic, read all this stuff, make notes and compile it.

Create That Ebook

Now that you have a lot of information it’s time to create the ebook for those dog owners. Just write five to ten pages about the best tips to stop their dog from whining and give it to them for free in exchange of their email address which you can use for email marketing later on. And if you have any information left, which weren’t good enough for your ebook then use those information to build a blog post. This will build trust as well. Just give!

Conclusion

As a dropshipper we have to handle a huge field of competition. If we want to stand out we have to give something our competition cant. The above mentioned tactic is a great way to do this. You can become THE authority for your niche which will lead to tons of sales.

So don’t be lazy and do your work!

Start here!

 

You vs. Amazon

People seem to be scared of all those big players like Amazon or eBay. With this post I will change your point of view on this topic. #TheStruggleIsNotReal

The Most Common Question

There is one question which all new (or even established) ecommerce entrepreneurs seem to worry about:

“How can I be competitive against Amazon?”

We’re worried about the low prices on amazon, the fast shipping, the great return policy and the trust. Everyone thinks about this. But those are just four pieces of a huge puzzle. So forget about that stuff and change your view!

But I know: it’s easy to say. So let’s get a little bit psychological.

It’s Nothing But a Lie

If you would ask a neutral person where he/she would prefer to buy “from Amazon or from an unknown store” the answer will always be “Amazon”. But that’s a lie.

If it were true why so many independent online stores are successful? But step away from this question for a second. Let’s start with a more important question: why does this “neutral person” lie to you?

In fact he/she’s not lying at all. He/she just don’t know the correct answer. Sounds confusing, right? Our brain tends to give a rational answer. We just don’t want to sound like a snob. The most of us really think we are the smartest human on earth and never buy anything which is not worth the price. But to be honest: we all buy useless products. Even worse: we absolutely love it. And so do your future customer…

From now on you should (really) forget about a thing called “rational customer”. It’s a lie.

Go Hunting Where Big Players Do Not

Now that you’re in full knowledge of these lie it’s time to take a look on what you can do different/better than Amazon:

  • Build real relationships with your customer
  • Create niche related content
  • Be exclusive

Amazon or any other big player doesn’t focus on those three points because they do not hunt for the next 100,000 $ which are the result of the effort. They’re chasing the billions. And an online store, even if it’s a big player, doesn’t reach that goal by building relationships, creating content or by being exclusive in one specific niche. Huge companies earn billions of dollars with crazy products like Amazon’s newest Echo Dot or the Amazon Prime Air Program.

Amazon can’t and really don’t want to focus on small projects. They never will hire content creator for filming daily Vlogs. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, will never write you a direct message on Instagram to build a real relationship. It’s just not possible for him. The return-on-invest (ROI) would be way to low.

This is your opportunity!

100,000 $ is not that much for Amazon – but it’s probably for you!

So if you go hunting in areas where the big players don’t hunt then you have quite some advantage. But let me give you some actionable advice for the mentioned three points.

Build real relationships with your customer

Search on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for # [your product/niche] and shoot a lot of messages to people who seem to be interested in it. Be honest and say that you about to build a store/own a store and would like to have some honest feedback on some ideas you have in mind. Share your ideas and talk about them. Don’t sell at this point. Just build a real relationship.

Create niche related content

Build a blog, film some Vlogs, create tutorials or write an eBook. Just do something that’s relevant for your target audience and give it away for free. After some time your audience will always have you in mind when they think about your niche. That’s the moment where you become an expert and people want to buy from you.

Be exclusive

People love exclusivity. We all want to feel special. Otherwise there won’t be a first class on airplanes. I don’t know if you ever flied first class, but the difference between business- and first class is not that big. It’s just more exclusive. And that’s what you can do with your store as well. Be classy and don’t promote your product to everyone. Maybe exclude people on purpose.

Reasons For Your Store

The three mentioned points are reason enough to buy from you. But if you would like to hear some more reasons, there you go:

  • Some people love exploring new stores
  • There is no such thing like an “Amazon-experience”
  • No one talks passionate about the big players – just rational
  • Some people won’t buy from Amazon & Co. because it’s “mainstream”
  • Some people want to support you because they are really nice
  • Some people don’t want to search for a similar product – they want it now!
  • Some people don’t want to create an Amazon account

I know – many “some people”. But add this “some people” up and you get “a lot people”. And that’s your audience! Care about them and you will be successful!

Conclusion

As this post has come to an end the trust in your project has to start! There is absolutely no reason why you can’t have success!

Don’t be scared – do the work and grab your chance! It’s worth the effort!

Do you agree with me on these points or do you think I am way too positive? Leave a comment guys! I would like to start a discussion on that!

 

Tim

Find Your Niche & Validate It Now

A lot of new ecommerce businesses fail before they had any chance of success. Most of the problems leading to the ugly feeling of getting no sales later on is caused by not being specific enough and/or not validating the business idea.

This article is written to help people getting the basics right.

Offline-Research

Take your loved ones (or even go alone) into a mall or a city next to you. Go window-shopping and take a look what’s the big stores selling right now or what kind of products they promote as “trending” or “bestseller”. Which stores you chose to visit depends on the country you live in and maybe on your personal interests. If you’re all over into fashion you can go to H&M or Hollister. If you’re a sports geek check Nike stores or other sport related shops.

I recommend to step away from technical stuff. Look after products which are non-food and non-technical based.

Use your smartphone to take pictures of the products or take notes. Evernote or Wishlist will help a lot there.

Take your time and just do some honest work. It might not feel like work going through shops but this exercise is one of my favorites. Why? Because almost no one ever even think about this. They all jump directly to websites to do some online research (which will we do also later on), but money is not only made online. Don’t forget that!

If you’re self-confident enough you can directly ask the staff what’s the best selling items right now. I did this with kids-toys and motorcycle-equipment. Because I have absolutely no idea about these two categories I just said I am in search of a present for my nephew/brother in law and need help to find some stuff everyone in his age/with his passion would love.

While doing this kind of research never think about how you could advertise this or how you could compete against huge stores. Just make a list of things that are trending (or seem to be selling fine).

Couch Research

Is there any famous tv-show in your country? Which series on Netflix is trending? Time to watch those stuff!

Big companies paying a lot of money for so called product-placements within these shows/series. Why? Because the marketing team, which started these product placement campaigns know that their audience tend to watch these series/shows on a daily base.

Don’t you think if Oprah Winfrey would wear a yellow dress with a pink duck on it a huge amount of this audience would kill for this dress?

Same goes for smaller TV-shows/series. Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” is a good here:

At the peak of the fame of this fictional character a lot of people wanted to wear shirts like him! Don’t belive me?

Check this:

ecommerce niche

This trend is over. But if you would have done these kind of research in 2010 you were right on track! …and T-Shirts are super easy to dropship.

Within all these shows/series watch for product-placements (every brand you see is there on purpose) and items (jewelry, shapes of glasses characters wearing, fashion, special make-up or anything else) which seem to be not there by accident and make a list.

Do your homework and watch TV/Netflix/whatever platform exist in your country.

Online Research

Check the most common resources for finding a niche online:

Take your time and do some honest research. Take a deep look into each category and look for:

  • “Best Selling”
  • “Hot Releases”
  • “Most Wished For”
  • “Gift Ideas”

If you find something similar to the products on your “offline-list” then they seem to seem to sell real. Mark them!

As you now should have quite some products on your list it’s time to validate.

Before we do the “real validation” we should find some keywords which are related to the products we found.

Keyword Research

You can use the following tools to do a great keyword research:

Make a list of keywords and then it’s time to validate

Validate Your Business Idea

Google Trends Validation

To use Google Trends correct you should have done your keyword research right. Otherwise you may read the results wrong. Compare every keyword with the other. Why? Because it’s possible that two/three/four/five/… words with the same meaning do have other results. And if you just type in the one with a bad results you maybe think your idea is not worth the effort of building a business although another word (with the same meaning) is trending right now.

Being lazy in this step can cost you an awesome opportunity

Real-Life Example:

I just typed “sofa” and “couch” into Google Trends. (Just) two words with the same meaning (at least for the public – in terms of global thinking) have different results.

ecommerce business

“Couch” is pretty stable whereas “Sofa” seems to trend over last years.

This is just one example where I don’t even done a keyword research. I just searched for synonyms.

Reading Google Trends

Some people might think the “100” of the Google Trends charts is the monthly search volume. This is wrong. The numbers (0-100) are just a scale so you can compare one term with others. 100 is the highest amount a term can achieve in Google Trends.

So again: This number is NOT the monthly search volume of your keyword.

Big Player Validation

(At least I guess..) none of us invented some crazy own product. We are what we are: dropshippers. Chances are pretty high (101%…) that someone selling exactly the same product as we want to.

In most cases through Amazon. Should we be scared about this? Definitely not!

It just shows you that someone who is way more experienced than you are did his/her homework and think the idea you have works. Otherwise he/she wouldn’t invest time and (a lot of) money into this. Think about that!

Go ahead and search for your items on Amazon. Someone’s selling them? Perfect. Take a deep look into the ratings, amount of reviews and the reviews itself. Search for the bestseller. If people love the products on Amazon  they will also love “yours”. Period.

Don’t think about how you should compete against someone who is listed on the first site of Amazon and has better prices than you can offer. Trust me – don’t think about this!

Social Media Validation

Search for hashtags related to your niche on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . See if there are enough potential customer talking about the products you want to sell (or about niche related topics).

Don’t just go by numbers, REAL people have to talk about your niche. Not some accounts of small stores. If there are quite some people take a look at what they’re saying.

The more controversial the talk on social media, the better is this for your business!

If you found a great amount of real people who are interesting in the stuff you want to sell you are allowed to be happy.

But if you want to sell iPhone cases don’t just make it too easy and search for #iphone. This wont work… Always search as specific as possible!

Validation Through Selling

This one should be one of the last steps you should take in the whole validating process. Never do this at first. Otherwise you could lose money!

THE BEST METHOD to test if you are able to make some money out of your idea is to actually make some money. But don’t go ahead and put the effort into building a shopify store yet.

Buy just one piece of the product you want to sell (hopefully it’s not a rolex watch…) on Amazon (or any other store), remove all tags that shows that this one is new, make some nice pictures of it with your smartphone  and sell it on eBay, Facebook or any other platform.

Tipp: Shopify have an awesome DIY product photography tutorial

Set the price about 2-3 times higher than you bought it for and see what happens. Post it on as much platforms as possible to reach more people.

If you’ve done your research before this last step correct your chances are high that you will be able to sell this one.

Now that you’ve sold your first product it’s time to build your store.

I can highly recommend to reach out to the person who bought the product from you and ask for a testimonial. Be honest and say you want to build a brand and would like to have him/her on board. Always try to get the most out of everything!

Dig Deeeeep

Found a niche? No? oh… no problem! Repeat the steps above OR dig deeper.

Real life example:

“Jeans”

Google Trends Validation

versus

“Ripped Jeans”

Trending Products

If you then take a look at the global market finder you could see the monthly search volumes.

“Jeans” (90,500 monthly searches)

monthly search volume

“Ripped Jeans” (74,000 monthly searches)

google search volume

Just a slightly difference. Through the fact you’re in search of a niche which one would you chose?

Definitely “Ripped Jeans”, right?

Because those ripped jeans tend to trend. This means nothing less then people have a strong desire for those. With just a difference of 16.500 monthly searches it’s a great start.

In Terms of SEO

If you google for “Jeans” (with “”) you’ll see right beneath the search field the number of websites which include the word “jeans”

Google Results

…you’ll never ever win this fight! Don’t even try to…

But (!!) If you search for “ripped jeans” …

Find a Niche with Google

This is a huuuuge difference. Don’t get me wrong: this also would be a fight you would lose (in terms of SEO). But I think you get it; be as specific as you can be.

Conclusion

If done correctly all steps together will lead to the niche you searched for!

  1. Offline Research
  2. Online Research
  3. Validation
  4. Start Selling

Even if you have NO knowledge about your niche you should go for it. You want to run a successful store, not a blog.

If you do have knowledge then I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. You know got the tools!