How do you sell a product online?
In order to get you charged up for this post, I want to clarify a fact here.
Because many people online think that SELLING is EVIL, but these same people shop every now and then offline.
The important thing to remember about content marketing is that YOU must sell a product, if you ever want to make money online. Period!
How would you see a blogger who always complain that he or she isn’t making any money online – and you discovered he didn’t monetize properly. Or, he didn’t even monetize at all.
Content marketing has been perceived as building relationships with prospective customers, but it’s not enough.
Yes, quote me anywhere. You’ve got to sell a product or go look for a job!
When you’ve relationships with target audience, you’ve got to sell your products and services to them or they’d switch over to another website where the real selling takes place – because they want their problems to be solved.
And oftentimes, ‘free tips’ will not suffice.
Marketing Vs Sales
Two days ago, one of my clients called me and asked a very simple question. “What is the difference between marketing and sales?” He asked.
Even though I knew the answer to his question, I was a bit disturbed.
Because I couldn’t find the right words to express my answer for him – but with confidence, I replied: marketing is all about identifying the needs and challenges of your ideal customers, and finding ways to reach them with your products/services which has the appropriate answer.
On the other hand, sales simply can be defined as offering your product/service to those perfect customers and closing the sale – getting paid.
Do you make THIS mistake?
In content marketing, bloggers and content creators work tirelessly day in and day out to promote their websites.
They write guest posts, interact with their facebook fans, update their twitter followers, use pay per click advertising, distribute their content and are active on discussion boards and blog directories.
But in all these activities, most marketers DON’T sell a thing, or they don’t know how to sell and make money for themselves. Each time I think about it, it makes me want to puke.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’d agree with me that I don’t hard-sell or push you into buying any product. I simply write epic content that can help you GET hold of your content marketing purpose.
Does it mean that I don’t make money online to live my life? Of course not – I still do make money, but I use a different strategy. I sell my writing services to prospective clients and that’s how I make my money. See my offer page here.
Although, I’ll be launching my e-book this year, and that’d be another source of passive income for me – while helping you achieve your content marketing objectives.
Quick fix: If you’re not making enough money from your blogging and internet marketing hard work, it might be that you’ve be wasting your time on MARKETING: identifying and building relationships with prospects and have neglected SELLING.
Right now, you’ve got to stop and start from scratch – because the end product of effective content marketing is that you sell a product or service and smile to the bank.
Did you enjoy this part? Now, let me show you the 9 strategies to sell effectively and build stronger connections with your target audience. Are you ready?
1. Define your product/service
While marketing emphasizes on consumer needs and finding out how desperate they need solutions that work, selling stands out on its own. In that, the FOCUS is on the product or service which you want to sell.
There comes a time in your business as a content marketer when you’ll begin to FOCUS on the product you have in store for your target audience. You’ll need to define its purpose and send the message across.
How did you monetize your blog?
Is it with affiliate banners, or your own digital product? Whatever it is, don’t see it that way.
When someone who may or may not need your product asks about your business, don’t tell them you’ve an e-book or software per se. Of course you do, but it’d be hard to convince them.
Tell them what that e-book or product will do for them. Think about the answer they’d get by reading the e-book or using your software. That’s your selling point.
That’s the true definition of your product. For instance, I’m a freelance writer, but I don’t sell freelance writing. Instead, I help my clients and prospects to drive targeted traffic through content marketing.
With this definition, winning the hearts of a new prospect is sure – and retaining the old ones is more certain. What do you think?
2. Listen and take action
So you’re serious about selling “that” product or service without annoying your target audience? Well, it’s possible and it begins with you listening to what your prospects are saying.
Through guest blogging, social media marketing, video marketing, podcasts and other means of distributing quality content online, you’ve been able to define your audience. You understand their challenges now – you want to truly help.
Now, don’t stop at that, start listening to them – because their needs are going to change over time.
I’ve been an active guest blogger for more than 2 years, but I’ve since slowed down. Because I’ve discovered that majority of blog readers no longer responds to guest posts, as they used to.
These days, the focus should be on your own blog and building that strong relationships with people, who already like, believe and trust in your wealth of knowledge. When you visit forums, don’t just rant and contribute to the noise.
Listen attentively. Identify a need and begin to align your product to meet that need. Listen and take action immediately, because CHANGE is bound to happen, if you waste any time.
3. Build a customer care business
The only business that’s going succeed in today’s competitive market is a “customer care business.”
Wait a second, does it mean that every internet marketer must set up a business that bears that name? Give me a break – you should know better than that.
When I say customer care business, what it means is that you MUST be willing to answer questions that your customers and prospects are asking.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you’ve to be very careful with the products you recommend to your audience. Because if anything, and I mean anything goes wrong, you’d be held responsible. As an affiliate, you’re not totally free.
Remember, content marketing is a long-term business. And if you’re not ready to stand tall with your buyers and prospects, your business is going to collapse even before you realize it.
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic business model, but don’t go overboard just because you need to make quick money.
Take your time to study the product. If you’ve not used the offer before, don’t make claims that you’ve – that’s a dent on your self-image and nothing can erase it.
People are not buying your product because they’re scared of losing their money, and losing you.
In a nut shell, will your business still be there when your customers and target audience runs into muddy waters? Think long-term and you’ll be able to sell more and earn more.
4. Keep in touch with first timers
Studies have shown that you need to expose your product at least 7 times to a potential customer before they can buy or make the final decision. In order to complete a sale, always keep in touch with these people.
When someone visits your website for the first time, you should have a way to capture their personal details. Now, this is not the typical list building where you’re collecting leads and bombarding subscribers with offers.
Here’s how it works: If you’ve an e-book that can help prospects “build a strong brand” for instance, it’s wise that you should give away free chapters of the e-book in exchange for their personal email addresses.
When this happens, the list you’ve is not the newsletter type, but a premium list. You’ll need to follow up, give a strong reason why your product is what they need at this point in time.
And don’t forget to lead them to your sales page or store. Make it easy for prospects to place orders.
Giving away free chapters of your e-book at no cost is marketing, but recommending the complete product through your list is more IMPORTANT – it’s called SELLING.
5. Connect with a strong story
Storytelling is often talked about as a powerful tool for selling. But how many internet marketers actually use it to complete the sale?
Two months ago, I purchased an e-book and after reading it, I was able to earn more from my writing business. My hourly rate increased from $75 to $100 and my clients were happy about my decision.
Now, when I shared my true story before recommending the same e-book to my loyal readers, I deeply connected with people – through that strong story. I sold more of the e-book within 48 hours.
The story is strong because I’ve been struggling to raise my rate for a long time, but had no real success. I shared my struggles and how I eventually found solace with that single book – in the 5th chapter actually.
No matter what you’re selling on your website or blog, always tell a story to connect, build the friendship and call to action. It’s going to skyrocket your sales, guaranteed!
6. Use remarketing to sell more
Remarketing is a common term in PPC advertising.
When someone visits your website and clicks on an ad and for one reason or the other, the person didn’t buy, subscribe or even click to know what more you’ve in store, you can use that data to boost your sale.
There are several reasons why people would come to your site, fall in love with your product and decide not to buy.
You should understand that spending money online is risky. If you’re not careful, you might lose more money, than you spent.
I might be wrong, but I’ve been billed for services I didn’t request for. Of course, on the store, I was told that a one-time payment was all that’s needed.
But at end of the month, I got an alert that my credit card was billed for the month. I fixed some immediately, but others took me time to address.
Now – back to remarketing. When a prospect comes to you and asks for a quote or requests for free chapters of your e-book (or book), don’t let them alone at this point.
Already, they’ve shown strong interest in your product or offer. If you didn’t get a sale initially, follow up after 2 days with a better offer. Ask the prospect why he or she is still reluctant to complete the order.
Give reasons why they need to buy now – use curiosity and strong benefits. Don’t use hype or tricks.
Be yourself. Build deep connections with a short story and call to action. Remarketing works and I’m still experimenting with it. Keep reading this blog and subscribe to my list for updates.
7. Sell value – it works better
When I first started blogging and eventually became a content marketer, I was making a terrible mistake. It doesn’t matter what you’re promoting online, don’t follow the crowd or you’d fail woefully.
In a nut shell, sell VALUE. What can your product do for people, if they decide to buy now?
Why is it so important to buy from you, while there are thousands of other bloggers and content marketers selling similar or better products than you are? Prospects and customers are looking for “what’s in it for me.”
Forget the title you’ve tagged yourself, a freelance writer, a business coach, a professional blogger, a social media expert or what have you.
Those titles will never get you sales or increase your earnings online. Instead, focus on what you do with that title and your sales would skyrocket.
For example: if you’re web developer, tell prospects that you design websites that can generate qualified leads, load faster and engage people – so as to bring more profit for them. Now, that’s real value and you’ll be on top of your game.
8. Confidently ask prospects to buy
I believe in earning the trust of my target audience.
But my college life changed my perspective about marketing. Keep reading…
One of my lecturers at the time clearly told me that some prospects will never buy what you’re selling, no matter how much trust and believe they’ve for you.
Most of these prospects are unwise. They can’t make decisions on their own. They need you to tell them what to do and they’d do it right away.
Most people have money to invest in good and professional wordpress theme, but their website looks awkward. Now, what do you call that?
As a content marketer with a purpose and a value to sell, always confidently ask prospects to buy your product. The worst they can do is to unsubscribe from your email list or say NO.
If your business is client-based, don’t be shy or scared to ask potential customers to at least try your service. Just do it or you’d be broke and complain and whine.
Even if you’ve to reduce the price of your products and services in order to win that initial sale and customer, go ahead and do it.
Most of the time, the first sale is always TOO difficult to get. But after that, it’d be a lot easier to influence and get repeat sales from the same customer who was hitherto stubborn.
I’ve to leave you now to contribute your comment, but take this last sales strategy…
9. Eliminate the fear of losing money
It’s vital that you crown your customers and prospects Kings, because they are the ASSET you’ve for your business.
Earlier, I said that consumers are TOO careful when they want to buy any product online. They’re afraid of losing money. I’m afraid too, what about you?
What you must do in order to win their hearts and get more money from them, is to give a strong reason to buy.
And if they don’t like the content or the benefits you offer them, you will easily refund their money – at least, within a stipulated time frame.
Secondly, use testimonials from real people (please don’t manipulate) to show that the “value” you offer in your product and service is working for other people.
Ideally, each testimonial must have a personal photo or a real website to back up your claims.
Once you can eliminate fear of losing money, you’d sell more products and offer clients what they need, while earning what you’re really worth.
It gets even better
I’ve never been afraid to approach a client and offer my writing services. Maybe because I was born with that gift, or what do you think?
Trust me; it takes confidence to make a living online.
Selling is like getting married to a lady or gentleman who doesn’t speak or understand your language. How are you going to inspire, learn from each other, cherish and love that person for the rest of your life?
Through effective content marketing, you can enjoy PEOPLE and help them solve their problems easily. But having a product or service to sell on your website is a MUST.
Do you find it easy to sell your product/service online? Could you please highlight your points in the comment below – I wish to address them one by one. Thank you. See you ahead!