Look out of your window. See that guy walking down the street? A stranger. Never heard of you or your product. Doesn’t care.
Right now, he is probably thinking about work, or the argument he had with his wife in the morning, or that he needs coffee.
You are not in the picture. Not even close. Not even hypothetically.
And yet, here you are. A business owner with stuff to sell. Great stuff, no question, but right now, nobody knows about it. You are in a universe full of strangers who don’t care.
What do you do?
How to get people to buy your product or services
What do you think should happen for someone who has never heard of you or your website to buy from you?
It’s actually pretty straightforward, and yet I know many entrepreneurs who haven’t given it much thought.
To buy your product or hire you, a regular person will need to find their way to your website and get to know, like and trust you. Only then there is a chance that they’ll buy from you, but only if your offer is convincing.
Successful salespeople will tell you that your customer needs to know, like, and trust you before she’ll buy. […] Use your content to build desire for your product, and to create an unshakeable relationship with your audience, then ask for the sale.Sonia Simone, Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication
In particular, your potential customers need to:
- Find their way to your website
- Get a good first impression and get their question answered
- Be able to easily discover more relevant quality content that reinforces the great first impression
- Trust you
- Be convinced that your product is something they need and be able to easily purchase when they’re ready
Do you think it’s too simple?
Then look at this part:
“Easily discover more relevant quality content”
To fulfill the promise of these 6 words is hard work that includes flawless user experience on your website, clear navigation, internal links, and many quality posts and email newsletters.
Enough to get your head spinning, huh.
That pyramid you need your potential customers to climb – this what should happen from their side, this is what they need to make it to the top.
But what does it mean for you as a new business and website owner? How can you help them reach their faster?
4-step process to get people to buy your product
Step 1. Drive traffic to your website
This whole shebang starts with getting your product or services in front of your target audience, which at this point you must have identified. Here are three ways to do it and to drive traffic to your website.
Optimizing your posts for search engines is your best shot to attract consistent traffic from your target audience.
Here, only two search ranking factors really matter: Keyword optimization and backlinks.
You shouldn’t expect immediate benefits, as it takes time and consistent efforts for your SEO efforts to kick in. But once they do, you’ll feel as if you’ve just won the traffic lottery.
Traffic from social networks
Unlike organic traffic, social networks will bring you spikes in traffic on days your content get more engagement – likes and shares.
Promote your content on social networks posting engaging content and interacting with others. Make it easy for people to share your content by adding the share buttons on your website.
Yet, don’t fall into a trap trying to be on every possible social network. Doing it right and turning your social media followers into actionable audience takes a lot of time and effort – scarce commodities you should use wisely.
And even then, you may never get enough conversions from social media that would justify the time and money you spend on it. This survey of the digital marketing activity of 500+ small and medium businesses in the UK showed that social media isn’t as effective selling channel as many assume:
In my experience, social media isn’t the best way to sell online. It’s just too noisy, and your target audience is there primarily for fun / conversations / stalking their friends, not shopping.
But to me, social media it’s indispensable for networking – building relationships with my colleagues and target audience – that naturally results in shares, (hello, free traffic!), backlinks (hi there, SEO!), or even guest posts (hello, my new audience!).
I believe that Facebook or Google ads are neither a sustainable way to get traffic nor a profitable strategy to sell things online for small businesses on a tight budget.
If you have a budget and/or are a larger company, yes. Otherwise, your competitors will bigger budgets will outbid you, especially if you’re in a saturated niche.
Yet, paid traffic is a quick and easy way to test and tweak your new web pages with your target audience. If your website doesn’t convert and nobody is signing up for your course or buying your essential oils, you’ll know early enough to be able to improve things.
Before you start creating ads, make sure you understand which is better for your business, Facebook ads or Google AdWords, as they are very different.
Referral traffic & direct traffic
There is also such thing as referral traffic (which means that visitors are coming to your website through external links on other website) and direct traffic (which means a truck loads of different things). But those are mostly implicit results of your content marketing efforts that you can’t influence directly. So, I’ve mentioned it here just for the sake of completion.
Step 2. Make a great first impression and encourage your visitors to discover more content
Once you got people over, you can’t disappoint. Moreover, you need to grab their attention, pull them into your story, and make an emotional connection. Drop the ball, and you’ve lost them to cat memes, new shoes or your next competitor.
Regardless of what page of your website your visitors land on, it needs to give them a great first impression.
It goes without saying that all of your content needs to be:
- free from typos (yes, people care!)
Note: Next time I catch you using altering images as a background I’m personally flying over there to smack you!
If it’s a blog post:
- Make it relevant and helpful, giving your visitors the answers they came to you for.
- Write it in your own voice to engage and let your personality shine.
- Use internal links in the text to encourage people to discover more content.
If it’s your Homepage, About- or Services page:
- Make sure it sends a clear and convincing message.
- Give it a clear structure.
- Anticipate and answer the questions your visitors may have on each page.
- Add social proof (testimonials, case studies, etc.) that supports your claims and add to your credibility.
- Add a compelling call to action guiding your visitors to the next step.
Somewhat counter-intuitive but great tip that absolutely make sense: Remove your Testimonials page and use testimonials on other, relevant pages.
Do not put testimonials on a testimonials page. Put them on the relevant product or service page. Visitors will likely miss evidence if it isn’t in context. We recommend you remove your testimonials page from your website.Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director of Orbit Media
When it comes to encouraging your visitors to discover more content so that they will get to know and like you, website navigation is your best friend. Make sure your navigation is:
Don’t forget to add a subscription form to your newsletter. Yet, treat everyone who trusted you with their email address with respect and focus on helping and not selling. Making your email newsletter regular and relevant to your audience will earn you more trust points.
Another great way to encourage your visitors to discover more content is to customize your Blog page. Your Blog page is one of the most visited pages of your website, and whoever visits it is obviously interested in your blog posts.
So, go beyond a list of your latest posts and consider adding to your Blog page:
- A short paragraph describing what you blog about
- A list of selected blog post categories that link to the corresponding category pages
- Featured posts that visually stand out from the rest of the blogroll
…to maximize the chances for your blog posts being read.
Step 3. Win their trust
If you keep solving the problems of your audience, over time, you’ll gain their trust and loyalty.
Now, they’ll listen to what you have to say. Now, they won’t cringe and delete your email promoting your new course. Now, it’s time to present them with your offer.
How do you know when the time is right?
Look at how many people open and click on the links in your email newsletter (i.e. your click-through and open rates). Look at the comments on your website.
If you have an engaged audience that is genuinely interested in what you have to say, now it’s ok to market to them.
Step 4. Present your offer
Even your best friend won’t buy from you if he thinks that whatever you are selling is useless to him.
But by now you have an audience that is interested in your product. So, you can be sure your offers are relevant to them.
Now, you have to lay it out for them why they need it:
How will it solve their problems? How will it make their life easier? What will they miss on if they don’t buy it?
Create a sales pitch that:
- Is relevant to your audience
- Contains and clearly communicates a unique value proposition
- Focuses on benefits and not features
- Paints a vivid picture of what they will miss if they don’t get your product
- Addresses and eliminates the objections, anxieties and reservations your potential customers might have
- Has a clear call to action that opens the door to a clear, easy and transparent way to make a purchase
Present this offer to them as a lead page or as part of your email newsletter, and harvest the reward of your hard work.
Use your website to create a strong relationship with your customers. Impress them with your expertise. Woo them with your personality. Show them that you care. Help them reach their goals first, and they will help you reach yours.
What can you do right now?
Ok, now you understand the theory. But how can you put it into practice for your own online business?
I have something that’ll help.
Based on this 4-step process of how to get people to buy your product, I’ve created a 200+ point website checklist – a kind of a checklist I bet you’ve never seen before.
It’s designed specifically for solopreneurs and small businesses, and will help you identify:
- what’s missing on your website
- what you’ve been doing wrong
- and how to do it right
…while making sure you get all the 4 steps of the process I talk about in this post covered.
I’m afraid, now you’re really out of excuses to not fix the issues on your website.