Becoming an entrepreneur is liberating, terrifying and one hell of a learning experience. It doesn’t take long to get overwhelmed and at some point, likely not too far in, you’ll get discouraged in one way or another.
Your success doesn’t depend on how many ads you post or how much money you spend on your website design. It’s about creating something great that people can’t get enough of and letting your business sell itself. Let’s talk about 5 ways you can stop selling and start focusing on your actual business.
Entrepreneurship 101: 5 Ways to Let Your Business Sell Itself
It all starts with you…
Know your story
Every entrepreneur has a story. The decision to leave the security of a 9-5 job or add the responsibility of a side business in addition to a traditional job, always has a reason behind it. For some, it comes from necessity for financial or lifestyle reasons. Others simply wanted more than their corporate job could offer.
The thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are far from alone. Plenty of people want to be entrepreneurs and more than likely there are quite a few trying to “sell” whatever it is that you offer as well. But no one has your story.
When you speak to your audience with a truly authentic voice, they form a connection with you. This can be in any form but is most commonly done through blog posts, social media and landing pages.
Selling a product or service by telling your audience why it’s great simply doesn’t cut it. You need to tell them why you’re great. When a client or customer connects with you or your business on a personal level, they will want to support you in any way that they can. Find your voice, tell your story, and incorporate authenticity in everything that you do.
Give the people what they want! As a brand or business, you are here to serve. Your aim should always be to provide something that your ideal audience wants and needs. No one is going to fork up the money for a product or service they can’t justify in some way.
Whatever you do, do it well. There are too many others out there trying to grab the attention of the same audience and, unless what you’re offering is too good to pass up, your audience won’t take the time to even take a second look.
Instead of spending that majority of your time focusing on selling, shift your focus to creating more value. Does your product or service make your customer or client’s life so much easier, or enjoyable, that they simply can’t resist telling everyone they know about it? A happy customer will always have a better success rate with selling your product than you will. And if you catch the attention of an influencer, you can expect a serious bump.
Create Great content
Posting a half-assed blog post everyday telling everyone why they should support your brand is far less effective than creating one well-crafted, incredibly useful article each week that highlights how your brand can benefit your audience.
Take the time to make sure you craft great content for your site and social media platforms. When someone decides to check you out, they won’t care if you haven’t posted or pinned something yet today, they will care about the quality of what you have posted.
Of course, you want to be active and frequently updating your fans and followers, but this shouldn’t be the driving factor. Focus on quality and consistency more than anything. Quantity is something you can add into the mix when you can afford to hire someone to push out those updates more frequently.
Open up the gates
Okay, you’ve solidified your story, added value to everything you offer, and created irresistible content. Now it’s time to open the gates. Send it out into the world. Share it on social media. post your URL wherever applicable, and tell everyone you know.
This is isn’t the same as selling. Yes, you are promoting your business, but you aren’t just telling everyone to buy something. It’s about giving people the resources they need to find your product or service on their own. Share a testimonial on twitter to show how happy your current or former clients are and you’ll give your followers a reason to click to find out more. Pin a graphic that shows off new ways to use your product. Or create a blog post that helps your audience solve a problem and, within that post, tell them how your product will make their lives even easier.
Think of your business social media accounts as a personal one with your business avatar steering the wheel. What would you share on your personal Facebook profile? Would you tell all your friends about your new favorite store because you want them to buy everything there? No, you tell them about it because you’re excited. You want to share something with them that you truly think they could benefit from knowing!
Biased Note: One of the reasons I love Pinterest as a marketing platform is because it’s personal. You can pin tips, ideas, products and services that pinners will want to save to their own personal boards. It’s not a billboard, its a genuine resource.
Once you open those gates and start connecting with your audience, your work is not done. You need to show them that you’re really there. Respond to comments, answer emails, comment on their posts and interact with their other content.
Whenever you have a chance to “shout out”, by all means do. With so much competition out there, it may be tempting to go into “every man (or woman) for himself” mode, but I urge you not to do so. Some of the best publicity I have received has been from my peers. I can’t tell you how many of my repins on Pinterest are from other Pinterest Marketing professionals and I am always happy to return the favor.
Bonus Tip: Go all in
You can’t be a half entrepreneur. Sure, you may need to work a full time job to pay the bills in the beginning, and life in general may get in the way from time to time, but you need to be dedicated. When you get behind, you get back on track ASAP. When you hit a roadblock, you don’t quit. Follow your passion and people will feel it, especially when you share your authentic story.
Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a Stay at Home Mompreneur. The success I had with my mom blog through the use of Pinterest led me to a career in Pinterest Management where I help other bloggers, businesses, and entrepreneurs grow their business with Pinterest.