ARKAD’S AXIOMS to Virtual World Marketing
ARKAD’S AXIOMS to Virtual World Marketing by Arkad Baxton
edited by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal
SL offers international unlimited connections, perhaps friendships, and ultimately endless opportunities. It has advantages over real life business. Without counting the real value of the lindens, the virtual work is easier. Having a furniture store in SL is nothing like having a real one! Here, make everything only once, and then have it forever—there is no restocking needed, no manufacturing, no shipping. But only the physical side is better. Business and sales principles are transferable.
1. Create what people ask for. I like to build, see what people need, and make what they want. Start by listening and creating custom products. Then, if those sell, then make more of the same category.
2. Start small. Real life money may be necessary to get a business off the ground. Consider an IPO process to grow without pumping in more real money. Reinvest profits back in to make it work better. Eventually, you may be able to exchange funds from SL to real life.
3. Respond fast to customers. Solve any issue within 24 hours. Be polite. Communication is vital. Don’t use the “My IM’s get capped send me a notecard” excuse. Have IM’s sent to e-mail.
4. Place products on Marketplace. Craft your store, product photos and descriptions. Watch the stats. Marketplace can even be an advertisement by itself.
5. Keep in-world real estate minimal and strategic. Shoppers go to an in-world store to see the quality. Change it often. I cannot place everything that we can have on MP because in-world is limited to prim count. The store is mostly for advertisements and samples.
6. Offer gifts, specials, or rewards. Regular deals are a good reason to communicate with groups and subscribers. Landmarks advertise the store and links advertise the products.
7. Communicate weekly, maybe more. Keep the attention of fans, groups, or subscribers. Frequency for new products and promotion really matters. The more someone sees a message, the more inclined to investigate.
8. Use free promotional options first. Only pay for advertising after free options are used. For those who start small, free tools are more powerful than any paid promotion.
9. Use tools to attract followers and subscribers. Smartbots can promote to groups and Subscribeomatic can promote to subscribers. Linden-earning game concepts also help SL business. Facebook is good for “friends”–especially to gather “likes.” Flicker and blogs gather followers. Update at least once a week.
If you have a huge audience, you can sell anything. Get yourself known and get a lot of people to follow you. To build business takes numbers, exposure, and consistency.
10. Manage the audience. Groups, followers, members, and subscribers are the real power behind a business. Use groups to advertise a special or an event—not to spam.
11. Learn from friends. Bring knowledge from real life into SL. Then there are friends within SL that give tremendous help! Also find those willing to trade.
12. Leverage several revenue streams. Build products that relate to the core of business growth.
13. List with Capital Exchange when ready to grow faster. The IPO process helps to focus. Being part of CapEx gains exposure.
14. Balance talents with partners. No one can do everything, so collaborations, trades, and exchanges help move everyone forward.
15. Use product vendors. Categories, host commission on sales, and space-saving presentations, boards can be spread all over the grid.
(re-edited from the original, published in Bowler Business Review, by Eleanor Medier)
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