The Secret To Selling Online - Whether Or Not It's Your Product!
I've been visiting a lot of forums lately - more than usual even - and one thing that I'm thoroughly sick of seing is spammers blatantly advertising their product.
HEY! Pay attention - this might be you!
I know when I was starting out in the affiliate marketing field, I used to do this a lot too. Then I learned to market properly ; Now listen up, because I'm about to let you in on a big marketing secret (well, it's not really a secret, but it is very important for you to know):
People don't want to know about you, or your product. They want to know about how you can help them solve their problems! This isn't at all a revolutionary concept - and a lot of the spammers have heard it before. But here's another point you might not be aware of: Business isn't about selling - it's about building relationships! THAT is exactly why all the "guru's" are telling you to "Build your own list". But all too often people destroy all their hard work (and money) by desensitizing good subscribers to their sales messages - because they never offer any good content!
So, now I'm going to show you how you SHOULD be promoting your products and services. The rule of thumb here is to strike that perfect balance between selling and content. If I just sell to you, you're not going to listen to what I have to say. If I provide you with fantastic content but don't tie that into a sales message, than you're not going to buy anything.
There are two main ways of advertising I'd like to address today - optin email lists and forum posts.
My marketing strategy relies heavily on both of these. I frequently get between 100 - 200 unique visitors a day from various forums I post on - taking about 20 minutes per day of my time. These people then arrive at my website and sign up for my ezine.
Now, firstly, I have to establish my credibility, and give them some good info in my post. Then I work in a few links to my site (where possible). My goal is to get them saying "Wow, that's a great idea, this guy knows what he's talking about" and for them to go to my site to learn more.
Then they arrive at my site, see my (hopefully) compelling sales message, and sign up for my ezine (because there's a HUGE incentive for them to do so - my "Best of the Web" marketing pack). If they are still unsure they can browse my site and see all the great content it has. They will usually subscribe after that.
Now, I also use other ways of advertising - ezine ads and Google Adwords for example - but they rely more on a "hard sell" than a gradual rapport-building process.
Now, when I send out my ezine messages, I have to make them WANT to receive my ezine. No one wants an ezine where it's just sales letter after sales letter every issue. I try to get a few links or whatever in there, but I try to limit my full-blown sales-grabbing efforts to about 10 - 25% of the time - this means that when they DO come around, my list don't just see me as someone running an advertising ezine. I use Intellicontact Pro to do this and it has all sorts of handy features like click-through rate monitors and survey abilities. This helps me keep my list as responsive as possible, which is very important to me. Intellicontact Pro can be viewed at:
Those of you who have a carefully trained eye will notice that I just seamlessly wove a product promotion into my message. Do you think this hurts my credibility? No way! I am giving great information and solving people's problems and that's exactly what you should be aiming for!
Of course, I have to establish my credibility in EVERYTHING I do, or else I don't make any sales. In this day and age if I recommend a crappy product, they'll just get a refund, I'll lose my money and I'll lose them as a potential future customer - not a smart way to do business.
My point is that building relationships (even artificially) with your customers is just as vital - if not more-so - than the actual sales process itself.
If you want to boost your sales, start treating your customers like your friends - because that's exactly what they are. Without them, your business is not going to be around for long.
- Solve problems, don't talk about your product
- Sell benefits, not features
- Build rapport with your customers
- Make sure your customers respect you and see you as a source of valuable information
- Never, EVER do ANYTHING that will hurt your credibility with your customers
If you've got any more questions about this subject please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Author
Daniel Scott is the founder of Superpreneurs.com. He teaches up-and-coming entrepreneurs how to be successful, without all the hype and BS. Visit him online at: http://www.superpreneurs.com?source=ezineAnnouncer&kwd=howtoadvice
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