When you’re a helpful person, content marketing sounds perfect for you. It probably is. But…
…are you focusing so much on being helpful that you forget to sell?
I made this mistake for years. I was so busy sharing my knowledge it never really occurred to me to monetise it.
Until I tried, and everything backfired.
Google Adsense rejected me because it felt I had too many ads on the site.
(Ironic, considering all I had were a couple of affiliate links which barely converted.)
And, when I finally started selling to my audience, they unsubscribed in droves.
They weren’t used to me selling.
And, more importantly, I hadn’t prepared them for the possibility that I ever would sell to them.
So when I started to sell, they felt betrayed.
Not to mention my content had no structure or purpose. I wasn’t guiding them down the Yellow Brick Road towards making purchase. I was just blogging for blogging’s sake.
You know when things changed?
When I created a more coherent funnel and made it clear to my audience I had high-ticket courses to sell to them right from the start.
It was really hard for me to wrap my head around at first. It was even harder to adapt after years of doing things haphazardly.
But pushing through that is what made me more sales.
And I know it can do the same for you.
So, how can you work out if you’re selling too much – or just enough – in your content?
You get sales
If you’re not getting as many sales as you’d like, that’s a sign you’re not selling enough.
(Your audience may also be too small.)
And, while you MAY FEEL LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING, you’re probably not.
During my most successful course launch, I sent a final campaign at the end, asking email subscribers why they hadn’t purchased the course yet.
The most popular response? They hadn’t even heard of it.
Even though I’d emailed them every weekday for a month about said course.
Most of the people who chose that option went on to buy said course, too.
People just don’t pay as much attention to us as we may think they do. They’re too wrapped up in their own worlds.
And let’s not forget that algorithms on social media mean just a small fraction of our followers will see our posts, or the fact that most of your subscribers don’t open all your emails.
If you only email once a month, and only 20% of your subscribers open your emails, that’s 80% of your audience who have no idea what you’re doing.
If you email weekly, that’s a big improvement.
If you email daily, like email marketing experts Rob and Kennedy suggest, you’ll reach even more of those subscribers.
(They’ll even look forwards to your emails if they’re decent!)
You get engagement
Engagement is an important part of content marketing. It improves your reach on social media, and it shows that people really care about what you’re saying and doing.
Engagement includes likes, comments, and shares.
One way to build your engagement is to ask a question at the start and/or end of your post/email. If it’s a topic they care about, they’re more likely to reply and share their views, too.
Keep the question simple, though. The longer it’ll take someone to share their thoughts or opinions, the less likely they are to do it.
Once they’ve replied, you can always ask them to expand on their answer. This will lead to a conversation, which creates more trust and makes you feel more human to them.
It will also further expand the reach of your content on social media algorithms because there are more replies.
On email, it will show email providers that your email address isn’t just used for sending newsletters – it’s owned by a human. Which means your emails are less likely to end up in spam or promotion folders.
Your reach improves
It’s important to remember that not everyone who watches, listens to, or reads your content, will engage with it. But, if they’re clicking through on social media, or clicking on a link in an email, you’re going to reach more people.
When people click on your content, it trains algorithms and email providers to trust your content, and therefore show it to more people.
But if you’re not a regular poster or emailer, your reach can go down. People will forget who you are and unfollow you on social media, or unsubscribe from your list.
If you’re posting and emailing regularly, they’ll remember who you are. And they’ll be more likely to digest your content, even if they’re not engaging.
These quiet followers can still lead to sales and improve your reach, even if you don’t get loads of likes or comments, so don’t underestimate them.
You’re regularly publishing content about it
The more content you write about what you sell, the better.
Approaching it from different angles is one way to get more content ideas.
You can also split up the content about your product or service into multiple posts or emails.
This allows you to do a deep dive into a particular area or objection, which will help people get over their objections to buying much more than a post that glosses over the big questions people have about what you’re selling.
The more content you publish about what you’re selling, the more objections you’ll cover. Which means the more sales you’re likely to get.
You feel uncomfortable
Yeah, sorry about this one. But literally every marketing expert I know says that you’re only selling enough if you go way beyond your comfort zone.
So that probably means multiple emails, social media posts, blog posts, guest posts, etc, over the course of your promotion. The more you create, the more people you reach, and the more sales you’ll make.
Let’s not forget that most people won’t see your content because they’re too busy focusing on their own thing.
So, the next time you feel like you’re shouting, you may just be on the right lines.
You’re highly likely to get someone, at some point, complain you’re selling too much. This is an inevitable part of running an online business.
You can’t please everyone.
If you’re annoying someone, it means you’re probably on the right tracks.
Complainers are likely either jealous that you’re making more sales, or they’re not advanced enough in their career to understand business, sales, and marketing. They have no idea how hard it is to get your message out there.
So, kill them with kindness: politely reply explaining that you want to help as many people as possible with your product/service. And the only way you can do that is by talking about it and making money from it.
Your business pays your bills, too. If you’re not shouting about what you’re doing, neither you nor your employees can pay said bills. Which puts you all in trouble.