Sell Your Service, Not Your Brand
This is a huge mistake made by small businesses. They hire some agency or freelancer who delivers them a pretty image ad that doesn’t sell their product or service. They want to build their brand in their advertising.
Potential customers and paying customers do not care about your brand. They do not care about your profits. They do not care if your business succeeds. They are looking for a service. They have a problem they want fixed or a desire they want satisfied. They will buy from you if you give them the best solution at a price they are willing to pay.
If you try to sell your brand, you are asking potential customers to give you everything you give your business: passion, time, loyalty. They do not want to do that. They want you to give your passion, time, and loyalty so you can fix their problems. And they want to pay you to do it.
On the other hand, if you sell your service (ie benefits of your skills or product), you are asking potential customers to trade your solutions for their money—which is what you want anyways.
Don’t Be Afraid to Always Sell
If you don’t sell in your advertising, you shouldn’t expect to get a sale.
What is selling exactly?
Telling, showing, and proving that your product or service is more beneficial/effective/useful than any other and offering it to them for money.
Don’t be afraid to do it.
Your customers are looking for (either passively or actively) solutions to their problems. They will not be upset with you for selling them something that truly solves their problem.
Some people are scared of coming off as pushy and sell-y. You should be afraid of being pushy. You have to tell, show, and prove—if you do this, you won’t have to be pushy. Customers will go ahead and buy if they are convinced. All you’ll need to do is offer it to them.
People are generally skeptical of claims. They are not, however, unwilling to be convinced. There are lots of ways for a small business to prove themselves: testimonials, case studies, scientific studies, partnerships with other reputable companies, consistency, portfolios, becoming a respected authority etc.
Proving yourself does not necessarily always need to come in the form of a paid advertisement. Customers can give validity to your brand by word of mouth. You can prove yourself by consistently delivering a good product. You can prove yourself by charging high prices. These are just a few.
There are many ways to weave proof into all the various forms that your customers interact with you. If you can find them and use them to your advantage, you can expect new customers to flood in and repeat customers to be relentlessly loyal.
Need help marketing your small business locally or nationally? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org