Someone finds you, books you and pays a good sum of money through your website, without ever having met you, spoken with you, or asked you questions.
Surprise is the most frequent response I receive when I share that this happens for me all the time. Surprise or disbelief.
Most people press me further, to get me to admit I’m lying when I tell them that I regularly get clients who come through Google, Facebook or Instagram, and engage me without a meeting or phone call, or sometimes even an email.
My last three one-to-one business coaching clients have found me through Google. This is unusual considering that business coaching with me is a commitment of six months (I’ve never offered one-off sessions) and that it’s highly interpersonal, requiring a great deal of trust.
This isn’t a radical concept. This is simply digital marketing in practice.
If you have a program, offer or package that’s defined, rather than a bespoke, open-ended service that requires you to scope and quote on, it can be done. This is how to reduce the time, effort and angst of meetings, quoting and haggling, and use your website to sell your services, quickly and effectively.
Make your offer relevant
Making your offer relevant takes some experimentation and is sometimes difficult to ‘nail’ when you’ve first start out in business. Central to your offer being relevant to your audience is empathy. You need to speak with people and suspend your judgment so that you can better understand what they want and are willing to pay good money for.
As the expert, you likely have different ideas about what they need than they do. So what does your offer focus on? Them, not you. Sell people what they want and then give them what they need.
Our wants ride powerfully over our will, while our needs are begrudgingly met. Repeat after me: sell people what they want and then give them what they need. (This was a most expensive lesson.)
Most people whose offers aren’t selling believe it’s a problem with the price. “Nobody can afford me”, they moan. But when I do a little digging, more often it’s a case of:
- They haven’t spoken with their best clients to get feedback on their offer
- They haven’t marketed their offer enough (or at all)
- They are expecting instantaneous results and aren’t patient enough.
Your offer will likely evolve over time, but it needs to be in collaboration with your best clients and perfect-fit people to ensure it’s powerfully relevant (and scintillating attractive).
Charge for the outcome, not the hour
I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s true. Don’t charge by the hour, charge for the outcome of working with you.
If you’ve been doing your craft for five years or more, you’ve invested in training, and you’re at the coalface with clients daily, then I daresay you’re pretty good and you should charge accordingly. (Need help in putting your prices up?)
Your offering, whatever it is, should be on a sales page, which means specifically spelling out the problems, issues, worries or inconveniences that you’re seeking to solve, and the benefits and outcomes of purchasing.
Don’t leave people to figure out how your offering transforms their lives – tease out all the benefits and make these clear and detailed.
Be clear about the process
So you’ve done a great job with the sales page, naming the problems your offer seeks to solve and painting pictures in people’s minds of the outcomes of the benefits. What next?
Have a strong call to action! (‘Book now!’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Don’t wait – nab your spot!’). Give people all the information they require to make a decision to book you. This includes answering any FAQs about your offer, addressing any barriers to purchase, and noting any guarantees.
Answer “what’s next?” or “what’s the process?” You don’t have to go into the nitty gritty detail of your process but people need to know what to expect after they click the ‘buy now’ or ‘book now’ button, and the step after that.
Make lead generation everyday
Most businesses, regardless of the industry, don’t have a repeatable process for reliably generating new leads and inquiries. Most businesses do ad hoc marketing, if and when business is slow and they’re in serious need of new clients. This is the worst time to do marketing.
‘Always be marketing’ is your mantra. Swap out the word ‘marketing’ for ‘communicating’ if it makes you feel better, but know that you can’t meet new people and develop these online relationships if you only contact people when you want something from them.
Give value regularly (through your content marketing), keep top-of-mind by being consistent with staying in touch, start with bare minimum marketing, and don’t stop when you get busy. Your momentum and energy when busy makes for great marketing.
Build trust and rapport
Your prospects are likely visiting your sales page, then your blogs, signing up to your email list, reading a few more blogs, checking out your website ‘About’ section, then a few more blogs, and back to your sales page. They’re checking you out on social media, watching any videos you might have, and trying to gauge how credible, trustworthy and expert you are. This happens over time.
If they want it, and you’ve done a great job, why don’t they just buy?! Because we’ve been socialised not to. Our parents and grandparents taught us to walk away and consider it. Especially if we’re really keen on the thing, we’ve been socialised to slow down and think about it. So don’t get discouraged.
Building trust and rapport takes time.
It’s not a single piece of marketing. It’s the sum total of your commitment to communicating with your audience. It’s your skill at making people feel like you see them, hear them and relate to their experience, through screens and devices. In other words, it’s digital marketing.
Are you doing it?