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How to become a Shopify Expert?

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In this article, we’ll delve into Shopify Expert, a program enabling you to assist countless Shopify users. Discover what a Shopify Expert entails, the skills required, and the application process. Learn to enhance your expertise, create a portfolio, and expand your business. Plus, find out how to locate and engage a skilled Shopify Expert for store assistance.

Key Takeaway

  • Shopify Experts are vetted contractors who offer their services to Shopify users through the Shopify Experts Marketplace. They can help with various aspects of building and running a Shopify store, such as design, development, marketing, and content.
  • Becoming a Shopify Expert requires the growth of a business profile and the consistent evolution of personal expertise.

Who are Shopify experts?

Shopify Experts are highly-regarded Shopify Partners approved by the platform to perfectly demonstrate their specialized expertise and skills to help Shopify stores grow. Shopify experts can be designers, web developers, photographers, or programmers (agency or freelance) who have been listed in the Shopify Experts directory. Shopify Experts can be found all over the world, not just in some particular areas.

These experts are pivotal in shaping and optimizing online stores, helping businesses thrive in the competitive e-commerce landscape. The diverse roles within Shopify Experts include:

  • Shopify Web Designers: These creative visionaries craft visually appealing and user-friendly storefronts, blending aesthetics with functionality to create captivating online experiences.
  • Theme and App Developers: These technical wizards enhance store functionality and user experience by developing custom themes and apps that streamline processes and elevate the shopping journey.
  • Freelance Experts: Offering personalized solutions, freelance experts provide tailored services that cater to individual brand needs, from store setup and configuration to troubleshooting and optimization.
  • eCommerce Agencies: These comprehensive collaborators offer end-to-end support, boasting a team of experts in design, development, marketing, and strategy to create holistic e-commerce solutions.

To be verified as a Shopify expert, you must know Shopify inside out. A Shopify expert usually has averagely five years of working experience in his field on both technical and business elements of Shopify projects and exclusive Shopify elements and third-party integrations.

You also need proven records of your high-quality provided services in helping Shopify businesses thrive. Services offered by Shopify Experts are diverse. Here are some of the most popular ones: visual branding (logo/banner design), product setup, customer domain setup, building sales channels and sales strategies, web auditing, social media marketing guidance, etc. Merchants can find these services on Shopify Expert Market Place.

On the surface, it seems like Shopify Partners and Shopify Experts are doing similar tasks and getting access to the same tools. There’s a big difference. You only need to sign up for the Shopify Partner Program to become a Shopify Partner. Still, you can only become a Shopify Expert once your work is well-reviewed and meets the platform’s standards, and you will be vouched to the Shopify Expert Marketplace to start making money.

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Basic requirements on how to become a Shopify expert

How to become a Shopify Expert
How to become a Shopify Expert

One thing for sure, your earning potential as a Shopify expert will dramatically increase. You can offer your services at your prices, provided they meet the regulations on Shopify. You can also directly invoice your customers and collect payments through Shopify.

You can apply to become a Shopify expert and get featured on the Shopify Expert Marketplace when you’ve satisfied the following requirements:

  • You are a partner of the Shopify Partner Program
  • You’ve had experience in growing at least 5 Shopify stores
  • The landing page on your business website attaches the Shopify logo/banner and your affiliate link

If you want to access the Shopify Expert Marketplace, you must complete the Experts Marketplace request form. If you don’t get any news or updates from the Experts Marketplace team, your request might have been turned down because it did not match the standard criteria, or your services are not in high demand enough. If your request is approved, the Shopify Experts Marketplace team will contact you to discuss and walk you through the next steps of the process further.

How to become the Shopify Experts

Prerequisites to be a Shopify Expert:

Embarking on the journey to becoming a recognized Shopify Expert requires a well-rounded approach. Here are some comprehensive tips to guide you on mastering the art of e-commerce excellence:

  • Create a Shopify Partners Account: To begin, you need to make a Shopify Partners account. It’s free for everyone, and it’s like your ticket to the Shopify world.
  • Work with More Than 5 Shopify Stores: Showcasing your skills and experience is essential. When you’ve successfully helped more than five clients set up their Shopify stores, it tells others that you know your way around and can build stores or apps.
  • Become a Specialist: Becoming good at something specific is valuable. This could be development, design, writing, marketing, or product development. Being an expert in a particular area helps you stand out and offer targeted solutions.
  • Build a Portfolio: While not mandatory, having a portfolio is like showing off your best work. It could be projects you’ve done with links, pictures, and details. It’s a way to prove your skills to Shopify and clients who want to work with you.

By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a respected Shopify Expert, ready to help businesses thrive in online commerce.

Step 1: Enrollment in the Shopify Partners Program

The foundation of your Shopify Expert journey commences with joining the esteemed Shopify Partners program. To initiate your entry, furnish the Shopify Partners form with the following essential details:

  • Business name
  • Primary business email
  • Website link
  • Physical address
  • Main avenue for profit within the program
  • E-commerce platforms you’ve previously engaged with
  • Enroll in Shopify Partners

Applying to Shopify Partners is open to all, regardless of whether you’re merely testing the waters. Upon entry, a dashboard will be at your disposal, facilitating the creation and management of client sites.

Step 2: Supervising a Minimum of 5 Client Stores

An essential criterion for attaining Shopify Expert status is managing at least five distinct Shopify stores within the Shopify Partners realm. This entails overseeing the entire developmental journey and eventually transitioning ownership to the respective clients.

Individuals outside the development realm must participate in the Partners program and oversee at least five stores. This isn’t limited to developmental work; it could encompass writing, photography, and other services. The key is ensuring active and sustained management, a prerequisite for Shopify Experts’ consideration.

Step 3: Cultivating a Portfolio of Past Work

A distinguished presence in the Shopify Experts marketplace necessitates a well-documented record of prior accomplishments. While the platform provides a designated space for experience, portfolio items, rates, and location, a preliminary listing remains inaccessible until acceptance into the Experts marketplace.

We recommend constructing a personalized website utilizing platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly. Such a portal can effectively showcase your portfolio, spotlighting your experience within the realm of Shopify.

The curated portfolio should encompass a comprehensive gallery of past projects, contact details, and comprehensive project descriptions. This multifaceted exhibit provides a window into your capabilities and a testament to your expertise.

Step 4: Extending a Request for Inclusion in the Shopify Experts Marketplace

Shopify Partners of repute are frequently presented with invitations to join the coveted Shopify Experts marketplace. However, waiting for an invitation is not the only recourse for proactive individuals. You can accelerate the process by reaching out to Shopify and formally requesting inclusion.

The channel for this request involves communication with the Shopify Partners support team. This can be initiated by navigating to Support > Contact Partner Support. Subsequently, you may select from options including online chat, email, or phone communication.

Composing a compelling message outlining the rationale for your inclusion is imperative. This message should include substantiating evidence such as a portfolio website, years of industry experience, a history of accomplishments, and a proposed communication timeline.

Step 5: Crafting Your Shopify Experts Marketplace Profile

Upon gaining admission to the marketplace, your Shopify Partners dashboard unveils several novel tabs. The initial priority involves populating your profile with pertinent information, spanning services, contact details, and pricing. To execute this task, navigate to Services > Profile.

Notably, access to the Services tab is contingent upon being granted entry to the Shopify Experts marketplace. Additionally, Shopify provides a comprehensive guide to facilitate the setup of your Experts Marketplace profile, ensuring a seamless and compelling portrayal of your offerings.

The Shopify Experts Application Process

The Shopify Experts program is designed to connect experienced and skilled professionals with merchants who need assistance in various aspects of setting up and running their online stores on the Shopify platform. Here’s an analysis of the application process:

  • Initial Application Submission:

Prospective Shopify Experts start by submitting an application through the Shopify Experts website. The application typically requires providing information about your skills, experience, and the services you offer. This can include areas such as store setup, design, development, marketing, and more. The application may also request examples of your previous work and a portfolio.

  • Review and Evaluation:

  • Once the application is submitted, Shopify’s team reviews the information provided. They assess your skills, experience, and the alignment of your services with the needs of Shopify merchants. They may evaluate the quality of your portfolio and your ability to deliver value to merchants.

  • Acceptance and Account Creation:

If your application meets the criteria and demonstrates your expertise, you may be accepted into the Shopify Experts program. Upon acceptance, you will likely receive an invitation to create an Experts account. This account allows you to access the Shopify Experts Marketplace, where merchants can find and hire experts for their projects.

  • Profile Setup:

After creating your account, you’ll be prompted to set up your profile on the Shopify Experts Marketplace. This involves providing more details about your services, showcasing your portfolio, specifying your rates, and adding relevant skills and certifications. A well-crafted profile can help attract potential clients.

  • Project Opportunities:

As a Shopify Expert, you’ll have the opportunity to browse and respond to project requests from Shopify merchants seeking assistance. The details of the projects, including the scope, requirements, and budget, will be provided. Experts can then submit proposals outlining how they can help and the estimated costs.

  • Communication and Collaboration:

If a merchant accepts your proposal, you’ll begin working on the project. Effective communication, collaboration, and timely delivery are crucial to providing a positive experience for the merchant. This phase involves implementing the agreed-upon services, addressing any queries, and ensuring the merchant’s satisfaction.

  • Feedback and Ratings:

After completing a project, merchants may provide feedback and ratings based on their experience working with you. Positive feedback and high ratings can enhance your reputation and increase your visibility within the Shopify Experts community.

Tips on Becoming a Shopify Expert

Some tips to start with
Some tips to start with

However, becoming a Shopify expert is not as easy as it seems. You’ll need to prove your authority with the community, including merchants (who are your prospective clients) and equivalent experts and partners, to gain more credibility. The most effective way is to focus on the niche marketplace development that can help you demonstrate your advantageous skill sets and utilize Shopify’s tools and training support to get the best results. The following are some tips and guidance on becoming an authorized Shopify expert, adding up with hardworking practice and determination.

Define an area to master and gain experience

It’s always ideal to start with what you’re already good at as it will save you a whole lot of time and effort compared to blank beginners. For example, if you’re good at layout design, you can try to design Shopify stores. If you’re more potential at content writing, consider creating content to help store promote. If you’ve already had some certain skill sets, you can learn how to sharpen and use them on the Shopify platform. Shopify offers many trials, so don’t hesitate to give a go.

Once you’ve defined your expertise, equip yourself with some necessary specialized knowledge, then start looking for real projects to gain work experience. Be prepared for every project you’re about to apply to. You should start as a freelancer, claim yourself as a fast learner and lower your rates to acquire first clients. Or if income is not your matter, you can offer to take the first briefs for free to polish your portfolio.

Create a solid Shopify profile

Create a solid Shopify profile
Create a solid Shopify profile

You need to establish yourself as a verified Shopify expert even before you become one. A competitive portfolio is a great option to demonstrate your skills and experience without long wordings transferred to your potential clients. Build your portfolio based on the skills set that can be applied to Shopify. Structure your portfolio under the guarantee that the Shopify-related section is visible to increase the rate of valuable customer retention.

When your portfolio is competitive enough, you’re more likely to get recommendations among clients in the Marketplace as they compare partners or experts. You should think of your Shopify portfolio as an extension to your website - that means the most polished and professional achievements should be added. Those might include customer testimonials/recommendations, details of past work, and high-definition screenshots.

Note that the Shopify Expert Marketplace rates Experts by some standards - for example, the number of recent testimonials added, the number of stores launched through the Partner Dashboard, or how fast your response to inquiries on your Partner Dashboard is.

Start providing services

The easiest way to begin selling your services is to register for online marketplaces, and Shopify provides the fastest way to locate future buyers online as an eCommerce website. The open markets are suitable for consumers to pursue these services, regardless of whether they are one-time ventures that operate longer. Start-ups and smaller firms will exploit their self-employed expertise in marketplaces, which is a very lucrative position for them.

Do some work on the numerous online sites providing the service types that you want to continue to employ. It’s a safe starting point to use a larger network such as Upwork.com or Freelancer.com, or you can try on professional sites like GeeksPerHour.com.

You will move on to top platforms providing professional services as you accumulate more expertise and improve your portfolio guide. The PeoplePerHour, FreeeUp, Guru sites will supply you with the best talents in different niches. They are the areas where you can get free of individual deals and truly stand out while you are a shop specialist.

Continue to learn and grow

Now that you’ve offered services and might have acquired the very first clients, just keep learning from your experience. Take time to learn about what your clients value to make proper adjustments to your portfolio and enhance the quality of your services. The following are some ways on how you can elevate your position in the Expert Marketplace.

  • Create content - Contributing valuable content is the most effective and “authentic” way to attract the online community. Create content that is beneficial to both merchants, and other experts will position yourself as an expert and help you decently promote your services and give you more opportunities to network with other professional experts. To get started, you can open your own blog sharing experience in your expertise, or write for third-party blogs of the same field.
  • Always be active online - Shopify has gathered a community of Experts, Partners, and merchants through its series of forums. In these forums, merchants will ask many questions, and it’s an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and skills by answering them. Joining discussion forums will help you understand your prospective clients’ needs more, which will likely gain you more engagement and help you serve better.
  • Set up face-to-face meetups - Hosting in-real-life meetings with your fellow experts and potential clients can increase the chances of generating leads and help build complementary relationships with other experts who offer services that add up to yours. Meetings like these will get you more in-depth connections with the community, help you share skills, and acquire more valuable knowledge. You can start by holding a meetup in your region by yourself or asking for assistance from other experts to guarantee a higher success rate.
  • Collaborate with other Shopify Experts - Your enemy can be your greatest friend, your competitor can be your most excellent teacher. Creating ties with other trustworthy organizations or freelancers also results in mutually beneficial cooperation. Try to reach out and develop working relationships with other Shopify Experts. When either of you cannot take on a specific project, you can work on projects, plan, or refer customers to each other.

Shopify Expert’s Categories

If you want to be a Shopify Expert, you have many options to choose from. You can pick one or more categories that match your skills and services. You can choose one of these categories or sub-categories:

  • Marketing and sales: You can help users with email marketing, SEO, search engine advertising, content marketing, sales channel setup, conversion rate optimization, analytics and tracking, and marketing and sales guidance.

  • Online shop setup: You can help users with things like building or redesigning their store, migrating their store, setting up products and collections, customizing their theme, adding visual elements, configuring their settings, setting up POS, customizing their checkout, integrating with Amazon or Etsy, and giving them store setup and design guidance.

  • Development and troubleshooting: You can help users with things like developing custom apps and integrations, installing apps from the Shopify App Store, developing custom templates, setting up custom domains, creating custom commerce experiences, improving site functionality and speed, and troubleshooting issues.

  • Content writing: You can help users write product descriptions, and produce website content, and marketing content.

  • Visual content and branding: You can help users create logos, banners, graphics, videos, and animations.

As a Shopify Expert, you can offer services in multiple categories. Many Shopify Experts do that to reach more users and offer more value.

Benefits of being a Shopify Expert for your Business and Network

Becoming a Shopify Expert can help your business in many ways. You can get more exposure and network with more people who use Shopify.

Some of the benefits of being a Shopify Expert are:

  • Raise your brand’s image: You can make your brand look more professional and trustworthy. People who see your name on the Shopify Experts marketplace will know you are good at your work. They will trust you more than someone who is not on the list.

  • Access to mass Shopify’s user segment: Shopify has millions of users and websites, and many need help with their shops. When you are a Shopify Expert, you can show your services to all of them. Sometimes, they will contact you first, so you don’t have to spend money on advertising.

  • Connections to other Shopify Experts and Partners: As a Shopify Expert, you can benefit from a highly efficient communication system that operates within the Shopify interface. While it’s not mandatory, a significant portion of your communications can be conducted right here. This interface is user-friendly and comprehensible for both Shopify merchants and fellow Experts.

However, if you prefer, you also have the option to take your conversations outside of the Shopify environment. This flexibility in communication not only makes it convenient for you but also maintains a sense of security and reliability.

  • Secured Payments: When you engage in agreements through the Shopify Experts marketplace, the funds for the project are held in escrow. This means that you can have confidence that the necessary funds will be available once you successfully complete the job.

Additionally, Shopify offers a dedicated customer support team that you can reach out to in case any unexpected issues arise.

  • Extra resources: Many Shopify Experts partner with each other to tackle an entire job. In fact, sometimes it’s a necessity. This means you meet other workers and have the opportunity to promote each other’s work. As this network builds, you’re able to refer clients to other Experts, and those Experts will refer business to you.

How to hire a professional Shopify Expert?

Hiring a Shopify expert can significantly boost your online store’s performance and ensure it reaches its full potential. If you’re considering this route, here are some straightforward guides to help you locate and hire the perfect Shopify expert for your business:

  • Understand your requirements and demands: Before you begin your quest, take a moment to outline what you’re looking for clearly. Are you in need of design, development, or marketing assistance? Having a precise grasp of your requirements will help you streamline your search.

  • Prioritize the search for certified Shopify Experts: Explore the realm of certified Shopify experts. These professionals have undergone certification programs endorsed by Shopify, showcasing their prowess in constructing and maintaining Shopify stores. -

  • Examine the reviews and portfolios of the Experts: Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential experts, delve into their portfolios and client feedback. A robust portfolio should exemplify their adeptness in crafting Shopify stores, while client reviews provide insights into their work ethic, communication prowess, and ability to deliver quality outcomes.

  • Arrange the interview/ conversation: Set up an interview with your potential Shopify expert. During this discussion, delve into your requirements, project timeline, and budget. Evaluate their communication skills during the interview. A proficient expert should exhibit responsiveness, articulation, and the capability to elucidate technical jargon in easily understandable terms.

  • Discuss Timeline and Budget: Prior to making your decision, ensure you discuss the project’s timeline and budget. A credible expert should furnish a comprehensive project plan and estimate with well-defined milestones and deadlines.

  • Finalize with a Contract: Once you’ve pinpointed the ideal Shopify expert, solidify your collaboration by entering into a contract. The agreement should delineate the project scope, timeline, budget, and payment terms. Before appending your signature, ensure you thoroughly comprehend the terms and conditions stipulated by the expert.

Reminders about Shopify experts

There exist some misunderstandings and misassumptions about Shopify Experts. Let’s run through some essential points for clarification.

#1: There’s no Shopify Expert qualification or testing

As mentioned in the previous sections, there are some requirements you must meet to become a Shopify Expert, but it’s not that difficult to be listed as one. There’s no qualification for a Shopify Expert. Just follow the basic guideline: become a Shopify Partner, demonstrate your skills and experience, request, and wait for approval into the Marketplace.

#2: Experts are not all good at the basics

These basics include customer care, communication, rational price pricing, professionalism, and so on. To experts, these things are hard to initially self-process, so before deciding to become an Expert, you should equip yourself with these basics. Try asking third parties with an active Shopify store for a guide if you need more trust.

#3: Experts can be removed from the directory

Yes, it does happen sometimes. You may not have to go through a stringent screening process to become a Shopify Expert, but it’s easy to remove the title. If you get complaints too often, your credibility will fall off, Shopify’s reputation will be negatively affected, and you will be more likely to get expelled from the directory. Don’t take it as a bad thing - think of it as a motivation to improve your services every day.

#4: Experts cannot change reviews

Shopify makes sure every single review is legit, so it means that you, as an expert, cannot change a review about you or your services. Reviews can be faked, but they’re not hard to be spotted as scams, so be sure to provide the best services and experience to your clients.

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Final words

Shopify’s constant explosion has opened many valuable opportunities for both merchants and entrepreneurs who start as freelancers. Job opportunities on Shopify do not just stop at being a seller or buyer - they’re also opened to those with an in-depth understanding of Shopify and expertise skill sets to apply for the Shopify Partner Program and get “promoted” as an Expert.

Many advantages are awaiting when you become a Shopify Expert: attractive rates, access to resourceful tools, usage of outstanding Shopify features, etc. Becoming a Shopify Expert is not easy, but it’s not difficult either if you follow a strategic guideline to meet the requirements. We hope that our tips have been useful to help you plan your strategy and execute it properly to win the game.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.