The goal of marketing comes down to selling more stuff.
“Stuff” = programs, books, services, coaching, fidget spinners, whatever.
If you want to sell more stuff, there are a few things to look at:
1. Do people care? Do they really want what you’re selling? (How you know: A. Someone else is successfully selling something similar that you can deliver better. B. People are asking for you to sell this thing — and not just friends and family who tell you that your mobile ferret washing service is a great idea.)
It seems obvious, but every day I see products that aren’t selling well – but are “me too” products that provide no clear value over existing solutions. You can’t have something “just as good as” what’s out there; it needs to be BETTER — significantly better.
2. Do people know about it? If people don’t know what you sell or do, or how to buy what you do, they’re going to have a hard time giving you money for it. (This is the point of a lot of marketing – to “get the word out.” But that’s not enough – you need the rest of this list, too.)
3. Do the RIGHT people know about it? You can rent a billboard in Times Square to advertise your new housecleaning service in Georgia… but if you’re not getting your message in front of the people who want and need your service, you’re wasting your duckets.
You’d be surprised how often businesses are targeting the WRONG DARNED PEOPLE and don’t even know it.
For instance… in the past week I’ve been targeted on Facebook by ads for:
• Nursing moms (my youngest is almost 13)
• Goth dresses (I own a pair of Doc Martens, but I’m way more prep than punk)
• Colorful cat litter (I have two dogs)
What a waste of money. And it’s annoying.
4. Do people understand it? It’s amazing how much money is spent on Facebook ads, TV commercials, radio spots, and other paid advertising… with no clear message to the target audience. The ads are confusing, too complicated, or simply not clear. Let me make THIS super-clear: IF YOU ARE CONFUSING YOUR MARKET, THEY WILL NOT BUY. Don’t try to be clever. Don’t try to incite curiosity at the expense of clarity. Just SHARE your message clearly and simply.
That means you have to know what you’re selling, why they want it, and how to communicate it in language THEY understand. (NOTE: If you want more help on this topic, check out “Communicating Your Awesomeness: Where Do You Start?“)
5. Are you giving people opportunities to buy? I went to a website the other day that “sells” exercise programs via video and digital delivery. After 3 minutes on the site — which is 12x the amount of time most people will give you — I STILL could not find where to order, or what exactly the offer was. I knew it was exercise videos, I was ready to buy — and I left without spending a dime.
It’s easy to roll our eyes at scenarios like this, but it’s really quite common.
When I review autoresponder email series (the series of emails new subscribers receive when they sign up for your email list), often there is NO clear offer made. When I ask the business owner why they’re hiding their offers, they say stuff like, “I don’t want to be too ‘salesy,'” or “I don’t want them to unsubscribe!” or “I read so-and-so’s book and they say to build a relationship first.”
I get that, but there’s a BALANCE. There’s no specific formula that says, “Send three emails over 75 hours before you ask for the sale.” There are a lot of factors that play into it, from the price point of your offer, the pain the potential customer is in, and how prepared they are to buy.
If you offer a program to help people deal with marriage problems, people may seek you out when they are on the brink of divorce and they’re DESPERATE. By making them go through a five-week “indoctrination” series before you make an offer to help alleviate their pain, you’re actually punishing them.
Yes, it is possible to provide buying opportunities without going overboard and devolving into “used car salesman” territory. I help clients do this every day.
So if you are on a quest to get people to BUY MORE, one or more of these five elements will steer you in the right direction. In my experience, it typically is more than one thing that is not firing right… like it’s an issue of message clarity AND buying opportunity, or product offering AND awareness. But don’t get overwhelmed with trying to do it all at once. Start with one product, one offering, one funnel, and start optimizing. Get the quick wins by addressing the obvious deficiencies, and then move on to the next.
In fact, you can download a free diagnostic worksheet here to walk you through these issues and how you can deal with them.
You got this!