Are you an online entrepreneur?
If I were to ask you how easy selling is for you, chances are a good 80 percent of you would frown upon the question and rather change the topic. As an online entrepreneur and personal brand, I too well know the discomfort when it comes to plain selling.
For the purpose of this article, I would discuss marketing yourself as an online entrepreneur and finding a new perspective when it comes to selling. The old "push and shove" doesn't do the trick anymore -- simple. The market today is saturated. The online participation is exploding, though the attention span is diminishing by the day. People don't have time anymore for sleazy behavior, copycats and dollar sign slogans only. People crave real care, connection and willingness to be heard.
1. Connection vs. Promotion: Promotion is needed. Yet there is a big difference between seeking only to promote your services online vs seeking to create a community with heartfelt connections. People buy from others, when they trust them. Trust is built in time and broken in a second. So the moment someone feels it is their cash only that you are after, they run for the hills. Make a human connection first. This is why I love the term Social Media used for business. So be social, as if you are in a café, shop or a place of your liking. Where you meet people, chat and have some fun. Where you make friends and create connections.
2. Serving vs. Selling: I would be bold here and assume that you, just like me, went into business to help others, to change the world, to contribute, to be free, to raise better children and provide something unique and authentic. It is actually amazing how a word change could transform the way we see things. So first, substitute the word "selling" with "serving" in your mind and perceptions. If you are not showing up online and selling your services you are hurting people. There are people right now, who need exactly what you have to offer. And it would help them immensely, if not even change their lives. Are you doing a service or disservice to those hungry and needing your talent, brilliance, knowledge and offers? I understand, selling your own stuff, praising yourself is something that many entrepreneurs stumble and fall upon. So a little trick for the mind and the soul -- look to serve. Serve by offering advice, real life scenarios and solutions, sharing your knowledge only with the goal to help and serve.
3. Attracting vs. Chasing: Understanding this is pivotal to success -- attracting people, who believe in your values, who support your mission and who are positively driven by your voice and presence. Chasing clients only results in you appearing needy, pushy and rather off putting. Attraction works when you put yourself out there, speak your truth and in that way create a following rather than force your way into people's lives. Define your mission and values and show people that you understand what they are going through. This will put you the light of a giver rather than taker.
4. Value vs. Price: Focus on the value you provide. Start with recognizing this value within yourself. Make a list of all your achievements, qualifications, knowledge and most of all lessons and life experiences. You have been where your clients are, you have experienced that pain and found a way to resolve and overcome it. Show people the value that is behind working with you or buying your services. This is not about a pricing strategy but a clear communication of what is in you and your offers that holds the value specific people are looking for. Speak of their gain. Showcase what is possible for them.
5. Benefits vs. Features: Similar to value and price, this point encourages you to give them the benefits or the widely known W.I.I.F.M (What's In It For Me). Every buyer or potential buyer wants to know what they gain or what kind of improvement in their life they will see after your product/service. Highlight the improvements and gains this certain individual would get from working with you or purchasing your services. Often entrepreneurs make the mistake of listing more or only features -- x amount of calls, x amount of worksheets etc. The "How" in this case is really irrelevant to your buyer. Yes they would be interested down the road how they make this work, but initially they are keen on finding out about the "What".
6. Your face vs. Stock photography: You are your brand. Your brand is you. I think I will never get tired of underlining the vital importance of this particular point when it comes to online self-branding. People want to connect with you. People will trust you. People will follow you. Ultimately, people buy from you. So they need to see you and know you as much as possible. Regardless if it is on your website, social media profile or posts, marketing materials or lead pages -- your face is your ticket to getting more people interested in continuing to explore what you have to offer. As much as I admire the vast amount of beautiful and captivating photography out there, authentic presentation is key when it comes to marketing and selling.
7. Storytelling vs. Inflicting more pain: This is an interesting and rather controversial point. As a copywriter and a coach, I often have to work with sales pages, marketing and presentation of services and offers. In a nutshell, we all ultimately resolve a problem. We provide a solution to a troublesome situation, a problem, a pain or overarching overwhelming topic for our clients. So how do we let them know that we understand that pain and need? Storytelling. Going directly into the pain sometimes creates even more fear in the other person. They already know they have a problem or a pain... So remind them gently by telling a story. A story of yourself overcoming what they are faced with, or your clients getting fantastic results by working with you and resolving particular pains and obstacles. Tell a story, bring them in and show that you care about how they feel. People will be much more attracted to your authentic transparency than feel threatened that they are not good enough or need fixing.
Tell your story to connect, by showing yourself and highlighting benefits and value, while serving and attracting clients to your business.