Can anyone be a livestream seller? 5 tips to start this side hustle - Alvinology

Can anyone be a livestream seller? 5 tips to start this side hustle

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Have you bid for a handbag or perhaps even bought fresh produce from a wet market grocer via Facebook or Instagram Live recently? You’re unlikely to be the only one, especially with livestream shopping for all kinds of goods taking off in Singapore.  A recent report by Worldpay from FIS , a leading payments technology company , revealed several findings that point to the rise of the livestream economy.

The report titled Generation Pay, explores spending habits, purchasing experiences and payment preferences across different generations, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.

According to the study, over 4 in 10 millennials (Gen Y) in Singapore said livestreaming influenced their social media purchase. However it’s not just the younger generations that are hooked by this new trend. In fact, livestreaming is the top motivation influencing Boomers’ (38%) social media purchase. The study also found that many Singaporeans (35%) like to use social media to discover new brands and products, so it’s not surprising FB/IG Live which promotes products in an innovative way have taken off here.

Stringing the findings together, maybe it is well worth considering exploring a side hustle as a livestream seller in this post-Covid world of the Creators Economy and one where Work-From-Home is the new normal. 

While I have not explored hosting a livestream sale myself, there is much that we can learn from the likes of successful homegrown livestreamers like 60-year-old Getai veteran, Wang Lei, who sold over S$1 million worth of Gucci products in less than 2 hours and early livestream viral sensations, Lerine Yeo (aka S-Hook Lady). 

1. Find your niche

Can anyone be a livestream seller? 5 tips to start this side hustle - Alvinology
Wang Lei (aka Mai Yu Ge)

With so many livestream sellers across various platforms from Facebook to TikTok to YouTube, to stand out from the crowd, it may be wise to go for a niche segment and own it, rather than to go mass from the start. Wang Lei started out selling fish and seafood in his livestream, and was known as “Mai Yu Ge (Fishmonger Big Brother)”, before he branched out into other products, including luxury fashion. The latter only came about after he acquired a critical mass of subscribers and viewers. 

2. Be thick-skinned

Can anyone be a livestream seller? 5 tips to start this side hustle - Alvinology

Lerine Yeo is the OG for this. Her videos went viral because she was super candid with her opinions when touting her fashion wears, even going to the extent of hanging S-hooks on her dress to demonstrate an unconventional utility (hence her moniker, S-hook Lady). Livestreams are meant to be fun and casual. Do not be afraid to make a fool of yourself by being yourself. The audience will like a livestream host who is thick-skinned and honest.

3.  Find the right platform

If mainstream platforms like Facebook and YouTube are too hard to penetrate, you may want to consider newer platforms in your  local market. For instance, 17LIVE, a leading live streaming platform in Japan and Taiwan has just expanded to Singapore recently. If the platform is new-to-market, they may be more willing to help promote the first adopters on their platform to build a following, even putting marketing efforts behind it. 

4. Assemble a team

Can anyone be a livestream seller? 5 tips to start this side hustle - Alvinology
the backend team at 17LIVE

It may be daunting to do it alone. If you are too shy to livestream alone, consider getting a co-host to banter with onscreen. You may also want to consider putting together a small crew to take care of logistics and administrative support like helping you take orders, replying to messages during the stream and cueing you on content. To bootstrap costs, the initial team can be paid with a promise to split the sales profit from the first few livestream sale experiments until a sustainable and viable business model is established. Alternatively, you can always tap on ‘free’ labour like your spouse or other family members at the start when you are just experimenting and trying out. 

5. Be organised

Having run my own business for over a decade, being organised sounds like a hygiene thing to do, but it is often neglected when it comes to family-run business or solo ventures like livestream selling. While this may be a side gig, it does not mean that you can operate it in a haphazard manner. Just like how you would take pride in the work you deliver on your day job and keep things organised with proper processes, bookkeeping, ledgers and all, you will thank me later for this reminder to ensure your side gig is equally organised. If your livestream sale is to suddenly go viral, you would not want to be caught by surprise and have problem fulfilling orders because of poor bookkeeping habits. 

That’s all I have to share with you. Good luck with your livestream sales venture should you decide to start one in 2022 as one of your New Year Resolutions! 

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