In this post, I want to talk to you about marketing, that “necessary evil” we all love to hate and I’m going to share with you 6 ways to market your business without feeling like a sleazy salesman.
The deeper I get into my entrepreneurial journey the more I realise that marketing has got a bad rap and the more I see how we can reclaim marketing in authentic and genuine ways. Here are the ways I “market” my business without feeling salesy.
1. Teach Your Audience
As a soul-led, conscious business owner, it’s my guess that the service your business provides to people is grounded in a skillset, modality or way of being that you yourself learned at one time or another. Which means that there are things you could undoubtedly be sharing with your audience that will better educate them in achieving their goals. Allow me to illustrate with some examples.
- A Life Coach might do a Facebook Live to teach her audience how to deal with her inner critic.
- An Energy Healer might teach her audience how to better ground themselves during emotional times.
- A Business Coach might teach her audience how to market without feeling salesy!
Get the idea? You can teach using your newsletter, a video (live or pre-recorded), a free workshop, a blog post or any other medium you can think of.
Teaching is a great way to serve your audience at the same time as demonstrating your expertise, inevitably leaving certain audience members keen to deepen their relationship with you. Don’t market your skills with clever sales pitches, show people your skills by teaching them what you know.
2. Share client testimonials
It can feel cringe-worthy to talk about our own skills and abilities – if you’ve ever tried to write your own about page copy, you’ll know what I’m talking about! – and the thing is you really don’t need to. If you are working with people, either paid or for free, you really want to be collecting testimonials and reviews from people who have had a positive experience of working with you.
A super easy way to do this is to set up your Business Facebook Page (I highly recommend you create one if you haven’t already) and use a template that allows for reviews and recommendations. Then every time someone thanks you for a great session or service, simply write back and ask them if they would mind leaving you a review on your page.
Be sure to link to your page in the email to make it as easy as possible for them to do it. Let other people sing your praises so you don’t have to! It’s far more powerful than anything you could ever write anyway.
3. Tell stories
When you talk about what you do, it can feel extremely difficult to put into words, how exactly you help people. Trying to can feel deeply uncomfortable and like we’re trying to sell ourselves, but it needn’t be that way.
Every time you help a client in your business move from island A (their struggle or challenge) to island B (the outcome they desire) there’s a story to tell about how how you helped them to do this. In fact my guess is that you’re sitting on a gold mine of stories.
One way to start to collect these stories is to take time after you’ve had a session with someone and make notes on what came up and how you helped them with their issue or struggle.
One of my favourite Marketing specialists, Tad Hargraves, has a great 8 minute video on how to do this to best effect which you can view here
4. Share resources
This is an easy one because it doesn’t even have to be resources you have created, it can be a combination of tools or resources that you yourself use to achieve the results your clients are also looking for and it can also be resources that you have specifically created for your audience for the same purpose.
A few ways I do this:
- When I read something powerful in a book or blog post that has an impact on me that I know could help my audience, I share it.
- When I create a tool or template for myself to be more organised in my business, and I think it could also benefit my audience, I share it.
Often people feel reticent about giving their best content away for free or sharing other people’s best content but this is a huge mistake. When we support our audience with tools and resources that really help them and at the same time demonstrate your expertise and your understanding of their struggle, there will always be members of your audience that will want to go deeper with you.
You want to aim to share more of your own resources than others, but there is no harm in being seen as the go to person on issue X, even if that’s because you always find and share the best information out there (whether it’s yours or someone else’s). The key is to position yourself as the go-to person on whatever topic you help your clients with. When you are generous with your content and with the sharing of other people’s, you also find that people are more generous about sharing what you create or share, expanding your reach even more.
5. Create and share really great content
This relates to number 4 but this is more about you creating and sharing your content on a consistent basis. Every newsletter, blog post and social media post you write is an opportunity to share more about your unique business perspective and your particular way of working with the problem your audience needs help with.
Let’s take my business as an example, I help conscious business owners to succeed in business using strategies rooted in integrity. So every blog post and newsletter I write aims to help my audience do just that.
Consistency is key here because consistency, in the eyes of your audience, equals reliability. People need to know that you’re reliable and that they can depend on you, if you expect them to pay for your services. If you’re flakey and inconsistent in your content, whose to say you won’t be flakey and inconsistent in your service provision. It’s that important.
6. Serve your audience
A great way to “market” your services is to serve your audience as if they were already clients. Offering complimentary sessions is a great way to do this. If you are a coach, for example, rather than offering a 30 minute “discovery session” during which you’ll ask about the person’s problems for 10 minutes or so and then pitch your services for the rest of the time, offer obligation-free, powerful, 60-90 minute coaching sessions instead.
Nothing helps a person understand how you work better than actually working with them. If people have a powerful experience, whether they choose to buy from you or not, they’re more likely to write you a glowing testimonial and or become a source for referrals. Complimentary sessions or services create good will and can generate word of mouth marketing so that you don’t need to and ultimately they are more likely to turn an audience member into a paying client.
So there you have it, 6 ways to market your business without all the cheesy gimmicks. What these have in common is that they are rooted in service and supporting your audience to better understand how to overcome the challenges they face. When you do this, people start to see you as a trusted advisor rather than someone trying to sell to them and it’s precisely this trust that can support you to build a truly sustainable and meaningful business.
Which of the above strategies appeals to you most? Are there any you’ve yet to try that you now feel inspired to give a go? I’d love to know in the comments below. If you found this post useful, please do share it with others who may benefit.
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