Some business owners live for the sale. They spend months designing sales funnels, testing offers, and reviewing conversion rates to maximize their efforts and ensure that every dollar they pour into advertising comes back with friends.
For other business owners, time spent marketing is time they would rather spend developing their product line or handcrafting their goods. They know marketing is a vital part of building a business but they see it as a chore. They would rather do anything—even clean the office—than chase those conversions.
But there is a solution. Marketing doesn’t have to be about spreadsheets and copywriting and sales software. It can be about customer engagement.
Or to put it another way, sales can happen when you talk to people with the same interests and tastes as you. That doesn’t feel like work. It certainly doesn’t feel like marketing. It feels like fun!
There are three ways to engage with leads and customers.
1. Let Your Fingers Do the Talking
The simplest way is to join online groups and forums where people discuss products like yours. Every interest is represented online from beauty tips to garden gnomes so whatever you’re selling, you can find your community. Look for them in forums and discussion threads. Follow people discussing your topics on Twitter, and collecting images on Pinterest. Search for Facebook groups that are filled with people who might love your goods.
Join those groups but don’t sell in those groups. Instead of marketing, just take part in the conversations. Talk about a subject you love, and do it regularly. Mention that your expertise comes from making or selling related products but don’t push for the sales. Trust the sales to come to you as people get to know you, and see your expertise and passion for an interest that they share. As they recognize your knowledge, they’ll come to trust you. Once they trust you, they’ll want to buy from you. You won’t have to persuade them. The sales will come naturally.
2. Create Your Own Shopping Channel
You can also broadcast live videos.
While forum and Facebook group discussions will let you take part in discussions about your industry, a live video will let you show people how to use your products. Sellers of beauty products, for example, have used live videos on Facebook to demonstrate make-up techniques—and offered ways for viewers to buy the products they’re demonstrating.
Promote the broadcast details before it takes place so that people know when to watch, and make use of the ability to see comments as they come in. Live video is interactive. You’ll be able to answer your viewers’ questions on the fly and you’ll be able to talk with audience members while you’re demonstrating.
The aim should be to make sales, but it should also be to enjoy yourself. When you’re demonstrating the benefits of a product you love, you should be having fun. That pleasure will be infectious. Your audience will feel it and they’ll want more of it. They’ll sense that by buying the products you’re demonstrating in your live video, they’ll have access to that fun whenever they want.
3. Set up Your Booth
A live video will put you in front of lots of people at the same time but there will still be a distance. There will always be a screen between you and them.
That’s why another great way to market (without feeling like you’re marketing) is to take part in your industry’s fairs and conferences. These are opportunities to meet your most dedicated customers and leads in person. Again, you won’t be pitching here. Your booth might be decorated with all sorts of marketing material but the aim will be to talk to people like you, to listen to their preferences, and hear their needs. Those conversations will bring sales too. The discussions will open new networks. The knowledge you share and receive will deepen customer loyalty and make you the first choice when those people want the products you sell.
None of this feels like marketing. Why?
- Joining discussions on Facebook groups will feel like procrastination. It’s the sort of thing you do when you don’t feel like working.
- A live video will feel like showing friends something really cool—and being appreciated when you do.
- A fair or a conference is a chance to meet old friends and have a coffee with the people you’ve met online.
It’s fun—and that’s when the marketing magic really happens.
About Joel Comm
As an Internet pioneer, Joel has been creating profitable websites, software, products and helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1995. He has been at the frontlines of live video online since 2008 and has a deep expertise in using tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat to broadcast a clearly defined message to a receptive audience or leveraging the power of webinar and meeting technologies.
Joel is a New York Times best-selling author of 15 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 3.0.” He is Co-Host of The Bad Crypto Podcast one of the top crypto-related shows in the world and has spoken before thousands of people around the world and seeks to inspire, equip and entertain.
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