When it comes to your business, making sales is the name of the game. The more sales you make, the more likely it is that you are running a successful business.
The main problem with most businesses selling their products online is that they struggle to get sales on a consistent basis. As far as they are concerned they seem to be doing all of the right things in terms of marketing their business, yet the sales never seem to arrive as they should.
But where do those sales come from? And more importantly how can you get more sales, on a consistent basis.
The Scatter Gun Approach
Most of you reading this article will be regularly marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and possibly linkedin.
Everyone mentions Social Media as a KEY way of getting more sales to your business and I would be surprised if any of you didn’t use any of the methods above on a daily basis.
However using social media to promote your business is very different from using social media to get more sales…
A huge number of people that I work with on a daily basis are using social media in the wrong way.
On Facebook they are obsessed about the number of likes their page has or how many people are seeing their posts.
On Twitter and Pinterest its the number of followers and seeing how many repins and retweets they can get..
Are you the same?
The chances are that you may be adopting a similar approach in your marketing which believe it or not is having an impact on your sales…
The Social Media Myth
More likes, followers, repins and retweets will not get you more sales. They may increase the chances of making more sales, but they do not guarantee more sales. You will certainly get a few sales here and there, but they will tend to be from impulse buyers…
People are rarely in a buying frame of mind when they are using social media sites and yet the bulk of online businesses that I deal with claim to use social media to drive sales for their business.
However a simple change in approach and the addition of our “missing” link makes Social Media a completely new beast all together.
The Great Promoter
Rather than thinking of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin as the sites that generate sales, you need to start thinking of them as your Promoter.
Rather than focus on the number of Likes and Followers, start focusing on the number of comments, shares and mentions. In other words you need to start focusing on the engagement of your fans rather than the number of fans.
I’d rather have 30 engaged fans over 100 fans who never interact…
The actions of those 30 engaged fans begin to Promote your business for you…and that is when social media gets interesting.
But what exactly are you promoting?
The Missing Link
If your social media sites are your Promoters you need a central base which becomes the focus of all of your marketing activities.
90% of the craft/handmade/home businesses that I deal with are missing this crucial step in their marketing plan, which is a risky step.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin are all private businesses with their own agendas and interests. Over night they could theoretically close down all your business sites, resulting in all of your hard work to be lost forever!
The missing link in most marketing plans is your very own self hosted blog, which you control all of the time.
Let me explain why this is a crucial bit of your marketing plan.
Having your own blog which you host and control (Not a blogspot blog or wordpress.com blog!) means that you alone control your business. It doesn’t run the risk of getting shut down and you alone decide the direction that it takes.
Keeping it simple!
Use your social sites to drive traffic to your own blog with your domain name. So rather than tell people to look for you on Facebook you can give them your Domain name instead.
Building a List!
Having your own blog means that you can start to build an email list of prospective customers who are interested in what you have to offer. So rather than just generate traffic which simply browses your pages and then disappears, your traffic now becomes a valuable asset.
Offer your readers a coupon or a discount in return for their email address and you can now market to them whenever you have something to offer them.
Get them Sharing!
Use Social Media plugins to enable your readers to share your content with their friends and family. This allows you to grow your traffic without doing any extra work.
Grow your business!
Every article you post onto your blog allows you to gain more and more traffic, with the older articles bringing you long term traffic to your blog. As long as you post consistently good content your blog will continue to grow.
How Does This Lead To SALES?
By having a central hub for your marketing, people will know where to find you when they want to buy off you. Building an email list allows you to maximise your marketing efforts, helping you to make more sales.
Remember I said that people are not in a buying frame of mind when they are on social media sites?
You blog gives you an opportunity to shift that mindset.
If someone clicks on a link on a social media site in order to read or view some of your content, that content now has the opportunity to offer them some information or even an incentive to give you an email address.
By providing people with valuable content you take them from being a browser to being a reader, and if that content is good enough to get them to take an action on your website (i.e. Share your content or provide you with an email address) they are far more likely to buy.
That is because you’ve offered that person something in return for their time. (Either information in your content or a discount) Hence they are far more likely to be receptive to a sales pitch.
Now that you have their email address you can easily provide them with further information or offers related to your products and hence increasing the chances of making a sale.
In other words…its all about building relationships!
Can you do this on social media?
The answer is yes you can… except is far more challenging and frustrating to engage people on social media where the average attention span is far lower than on other platforms.
So the question is:
Do you need a blog?
If you want to grow your business over a period time so that you start to make more sales on a consistent basis, then I can honestly say that you need to start building your blog and get on the marketing trail!
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