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Sell Me Something Damn It

Internet marketing types know that the only thing that matters is the sale – all that build up, spammy sounding long form sales copy, and gut wrenching emotional hot button pushing is about the sale and little else.

I get that, you get that, but you’ve grown up online in the more genteel social media environment and you’ll go to your business grave before coming off salesy in that kind of way.

But here’s the problem – many of you are going broke because of the belief that you can’t sell and still be social media pure. I attended BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles last week and, while I thoroughly enjoyed the people and the content, I was amused by the gyrations that speaker after speaker went through to assure us that they were not going to try to sell us anything.

One speaker even said – “I can talk about this one product of mine without being sleazy since it’s no longer on the market.”

Look, selling and selling your soul are not one in the same.

I buy stuff from people I know, like and trust. If you send me something out of the blue and I don’t know you, there’s a good chance that I’ll ignore it and maybe ignore you, because I don’t know, like and trust you. You may or may not be a spam sending sleaze ball, I just don’t have enough data to really make an informed call.

Each speaker that I experienced at this event, however, had earned the right and the opportunity to sell me something and, in my opinion, did me a disservice by not helping me understand how I could get more of their brilliance.

It’s time to stop being so sensitive about promoting what you do for a living. If you’ve built trust you owe it to our relationship to move beyond and your business will fail if you don’t.

I know people that have grown to household name status in social media circles who can’t pay their bills and it pains me to see the waste caused by the lack of a financial conversion component to their community building.

You’ve got to create content that educates, content that builds trust and content that closes if you want the content creation aspect of your business to do what it’s suppose to do.

If you yourself are struggling with this notion, here’s my formula for selling with complete integrity.

1) Tell your audience as you’re building it that you have something for sale – don’t hide it until you decide to roll out a new product or campaign. In fact, you can go as far as telling every new follower that you expect to earn the right to sell them something at some point in time and that they’ll be happy when you do.

2) Make your free stuff better than your competitor’s paid stuff.

3) Educate and give with every interaction in every network and through every vehicle.

4) Give people a way to try and experience you and your products live and in person.

5) Remind your followers that you’re going to sell them something, tell them they are the first to get access to it, and then show them how they can acquire what you’ve been sharing with them all along.

I know this sounds simple, but the only way this works is if you create the expectation that they will want to buy what you have to sell and then you earn the right to ask for the order.

There are people we all follow that have our permission to send us a one line email that says something like – hey, I’ve got something new for you, click here to check it out, and we gladly click here – get to that place with enough people and you know you’re doing the five steps above right.

The problem most people have is that they give and give and forget to build the case for the value that comes with becoming a customer. Then, when finally ask for the money, it’s too late.

This isn’t a trick of any kind, this is a simple acknowledgement on your part that you’re serious, you have a business to run, value to offer and a deep burning desire to work with people that appreciate that.

Now, tell me this – what part of that sounds even remotely spammy or sleazy?

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