Making sales in your online or brick and mortar business is the number one concern in any business. This is understandable because;
profitability, consistent income and growing for the future = a sustainable growth.
In the early days of sales, advertising in the local rags was considered smart marketing. Today with social media, websites and SEO, now business owners need to be smarter.
Consistent income requires you being consistent.
What are you doing right now in your business to stay top of mind for your potential customers?
All businesses, whether start-ups, a café, cake supply shop, teaching, writing eBooks, eCourses, YouTube, Franchising, selling on your website (e-commerce), or a big brand – there are 3 C’s to remember to get consistent sales.
‘Content’ is whatever you are wanting to sell.
If you are selling cakes, information, businesses, cake supplies, your teaching skills, tutorials, this is your content. And to sell your ‘content’ you need to ‘create’ it and share it. And this works for anything looking to be sold. Think information products such as eBooks, eCourses, tutorials, YouTube videos, etc. To sell these you can’t just say ‘’I know what I am talking about, I’m selling this eBook’. Or I am going to become a Teacher, but not going to share how I teach.
Think about Jamie Oliver. He is massively successful in selling Recipe Books. He has a website and TV show and what does he share? Recipes! It’s so simple and genius! Do you think by sharing recipes it makes us want more of his recipes? Of course it does! (Don’t let the fact he has a TV show put you off, you can start your own YouTube channel today, so that is no excuse!)
So, back to what you are wanting to sell, it needs to be shared with the world, not kept secret. You can’t claim to be an ‘expert’ or ‘know what you are talking about’ without proof. And the proof is in the pudding. Or content.
Bonus tip: sharing of your content – what you do, who you are, what you have to offer the world. That stuff is gold. That is how you build trust and a relationship with your target market. As consumers, we don’t buy a product, we buy from a personality or a belief.
‘Capture’ is getting contact details so we can stay in contact with people who are interested in our stuff.
The most popular way of doing this is capturing their email address. It can also be a phone number or postal address or some way to contact your potential customer. By capturing contact details is a game changer for any business.
Email addresses are a valuable lead generation tool. Leads are potential customers and as part of building a relationship with your customers is through regular contact. This is where the saying comes from, ‘’the money is in the list’’. You can capture contact details in many ways – at networking events, at the markets/show/fete/festival/show, people you meet every day or on your website. Or you want to become a teacher/expert and you contact business owners and offer your services. They aren’t interested right now, but will be in the future.
How will you stay in contact with them and be top of mind? Weekly emails and monthly phone calls?
Information products are the same. For example when a person comes to your website, they are unlikely to purchase the very first time checking you or your product out. So they navigate away. You have lost that potential customer forever and they were on your website and looking at exactly what you have to offer.
To capture email address on a website this is preferably done via an ‘Opt In’. An Opt-In is offering something of value in exchange for an email address.Long gone are the days of just saying ‘subscribe to my list’?
Now, people want you to give them something, for free and they want it to be good! This is because email address are valuable and they are sick of promotional material and Spam in their inbox and they are choosier than ever before in where they will give out their email address.
How to choose what to offer as an Opt-In is a whole other article, but a good rule of thumb is – whatever you are wanting to sell, offer something in mini version for free. For example if you sell cake supplies give free shipping or if you sell tutorials give a popular one away for free. An Opt In or email subscriber list can be automated (automatic) on your website. It is done via a plug in and an email subscriber list such as Mail Chimp or Aweber.
People sign up on your website, the email subscriber list will automatically ‘capture’ or add the email to your list and will also email through immediately with their free gift.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) can get that set up quite quickly for you.
Now you convert that potential customer in a sale ($ca-ching!)
This is where your marketing brain comes into play. Think of all those promotional emails and ‘spam’ that comes through to your own personal inbox. How long do you spend reading them? Which ones do you open? Which ones do you end up unsubscribing from?
Yes, you are wanting to sell your stuff but you need to be smart about it. Converting a potential customer is done by staying in regular contact with them, usually through several mediums. Email newsletters are the most common and popular. I would suggest the most important! Sending regular (and regular is the key word here), sharing ‘content’ that your potential customers will get value from and FEEL like you aren’t selling straight to them.
HOT TIP: your subject line of an email is what gets an email open!
Adding blog posts into an email newsletter is the smartest marketing move. It means people click BACK to your website. This means they are 1 click closer to your shopping cart page, they are getting value from your blog posts and it is building a relationship (& trust) over time, that you are not just a one night stand. That your business is here to stay. They aren’t likely to open every single one, but consciously or unconsciously they will see your business name come up and will get value from it from time to time. And when they have a concern or a problem that you can solve, you will be top of mind (& top of inbox!)
I would suggest a balance of 80% of providing value or content and 20% sales driven emails. This includes any platform you are marketing or sharing from. So, from your website, blog posts, email newsletters, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and whatever platform you are rocking it.
HOT TIP: if you are pretty awesome at getting sales with face to face meetings, rather than emails, then do that. Have ‘taste tester’ or workshop days, ring or text your customers regularly with deals, specials or promotions. Whatever your skills set and personality is and you know you can convert into sales better, do that. Just do it regularly.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. Trial & tweak. Repeat. The secret to your business success? Keep it about providing valuable content REGULARLY and you will build a relationship with your customers and potential customers, where they know, like and trust you. You will then be on top of mind when they have a problem your business can solve.
Rebekah Allan – Love cupcakes? Now I have your attention – with butter cream on her face, Rebekah Allan helps multi-passionate entrepreneurs grow their dream biz. With sweet results, because we all want stuff DONE.