Stop me if you've had one of these thoughts when you start to write an Instagram post or email update that could help you sell more in your business:
“I don't want to bother anyone.”
“If I email people more than once a month I'm going to annoy them.”
“Adding a ‘p.s. – I'm selling this thing!' has worked for me so far.”
You know you're not alone in those feelings. For most of us, it's more comfortable to rely on feel-good content that motivates or inspires than to ask people to support our work. Unfortunately, smart people often hide behind being inspiring on social media, and train their audience to expect pretty content… that doesn't really help them.
But if you rise to the challenge by flexing your sales muscles from time to time, you can strengthen your business and deeply help your best customers!
After helping brands large and small on their marketing and social media for years, I've developed a theory.
Here's my theory: Your audience pays more attention to what you help them accomplish than anything else.
If you're a photographer, you help them remember this moment in their lives.
For teachers, you help them learn new skills and accomplish new things.
If you're an entertainer, you take them out of their lives for a moment.
So if what you sell is even more helpful than your free stuff – which I'm betting it is – then what you sell helps your people accomplish things on a whole other level.
When helpful people create solutions to real problems, selling is the best way they can help their people. If you sell more solutions to their problems – or remind them of your solutions – you both win.
We can all remember an experience with a pushy salesperson we would like to forget. So when caring bosses doubt themselves, they tend to jump from “Using new skills is uncomfortable” to “Am I making other people uncomfortable?!?”.
If you're anxious about selling, slow down and focus on helping your customers so you can sell from the heart and genuinely help.
When you approach marketing and selling with a focus on your customers, it takes the pressure off you, and lets you focus on helping. That makes driving revenue much easier (and more fun!) than you initially thought.
Here's how I help my clients get past their selling baggage:
- At least some people are following you because they are in search of a solution to a problem. These are your ideal customers.
- Other people enjoy following you too – but they're not looking for information, product, or a service you provide. They are not your ideal customers. They're more like background noise. Not a problem, but not useful to focus on.
- To have a profitable business, it's most effective to focus on helping your ideal customers.
- If you sell your best stuff, helping your ideal customer should also include selling them those things.
Good selling is about deeply helping. So let's get to helping!
Start to build trust by building commitment
A great way to start building trust with your customers is to ask them to make a commitment to take action. The commitment – in their time or money – gives you the chance to send them high-quality, well thought out, actionable information for them to act on. If you've done your work right, the small win that your customers accomplish makes you a memorable trusted resource.
If you've done your work right, the small win that your customers accomplish makes you a memorable trusted resource. How you ask them to commit to take action, how you deliver a win, and if you offer yours for free to paid should only be limited by your creativity and what helps your customers get results.
Here's how small – but effective – commitments look out in the wild:
Fitness coaches ask potential clients to commit by taking a free 7-day challenge. They deliver the win by email prompts, Facebook group and sometimes video content.
Jewelry designers ask potential customers to commit by designing beautiful displays that require we ask to try on individual pieces. They deliver the win when we look in the mirror and envision the outfit we could frame around the piece.
Information product creators ask potential customers to commit with $5 products that solve incredibly specific problems. They deliver the win through actionable PDFs and video courses.
Once you start looking for small commitments in action, you'll have trouble unseeing them.
Begin with free content, or with an entry level price point for your brand.
And keep in mind, “entry level” is different from for one brand to another. For car companies that can be $15,000+, for service businesses, it's often $1000+ and for information product or training companies it can be anywhere from $10 – $1000.
Either way, you can rest easy because helping your customers with their problems makes you the opposite of those pushy salespeople. When you focus on sharing useful, solution-based products and services, selling can start to come naturally.
Just remember: In marketing, as in life, treat people how you would like to be treated.
How can you help your audience, starting today? What is one small solution you can provide to show them how you can help them solve their problems?
You've got this, Boss! Share your knowledge!