How to market yourself online without selling it hard!

Let’s face it. Times are tougher than before and making the sales we require is not as easy… which has resulted in many people selling hard. Everywhere you turn people are there – in your face – selling something. On the flip side, if you don’t talk about your business, no-one will know about it. So how do you market yourself online without selling it hard?

That is a very good question!

The truth is most people are tired of inauthenticity – which is great news! Most people don’t want the hard sell as much as you don’t want to sell it hard.

Here are 5 ways you can market your business without selling your soul (as it may feel!):

  1. Forget about the sale and focus on helping and serving others. This may be hard when making the sale is important to keep the lights on but it does work. If you focus on helping others you will automatically start making sales. Some of the best sales people in the world are not pushy but rather focus on the customer and helping and solving their problems. Make them feel genuinely special – it seems to happen so rarely in the world we live in.
  2. Share what you know or what you have. Remember when you passed the bakery and they had those yummy samples and you took a piece and it was so amazing that you simply had to buy a whole cake. Believe in your business and what you have to offer. If you can – share some free tools, free training or free samples. Let your product or service speak for itself! Give them a bite-sized amount – enough to get them excited about what you have to offer.
  3. Make sure your after-sale service is awesome! We can all work on this one but just think of a time when you have had amazing after-sales service. Didn’t you tell everyone about it and the company and share it on social media. This kind of goes back to #1. Focus on helping others.
  4. Guarantee your customer’s satisfaction or offer them their money back. Yes, I know what you are thinking. There will always be those “chancers” but for the most part this will not be the case and you will increase your sales because you believe in your product and the customer feels like they can trust you and take a risk.
  5. Be lovable. What?! Yes. Be lovable. People are more likely to buy something from someone they know and like (#truestory). Think about it – how can you make your website visitors feel closer to you?

A study released by New Century Media in October 2007 showed user buying behavior after being exposed to informational and educational resources that were actually soft selling efforts from businesses. According to the study, consumers were 30 percent more willing to buy a product through non-direct advertising rather than media advertising. Not only that, consumers exposed to this method of advertising were 97 percent more likely to tell their friends about it, and 95 percent more likely to repeat their experience with the business.
gigaom.com/2009/02/25/hard-selling-vs-soft-selling-which-approach-do-you-use-with-clients

Basically, what we can take away from this is that there is no such thing as selling that is “too soft”. Focus on the needs of your customers and the rest will take care of itself. Give them some cake and they will want to eat all of it (just make sure it is really good cake!).

Online Strategist and Web Designer passionate about user-friendly design, responsive websites, small businesses, startups and her family.

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