Selling Early to the people on your List
Many people online approach things from the point of view that if you give tons to your customers at first, then they’ll be in a better position to sell them something later. This approach can most certainly work. After all, giving can create a stronger bond between subscriber and publisher, plus it fosters an environment of sharing and spreading the word about what you have to offer.
However, you can have the best of both worlds in a way that is manageable and very profitable.
The give, give, give approach means you sacrifice a lot of profit early on in the hopes of a bigger payout later on. It also relies on VOLUME to make it work because you’re focusing less on converting your prospects and more on getting a lot of them, so you can sell at a later time. A lot of extra work and stress can come with that volume.
If you’re a small publisher who doesn’t have huge subscriber numbers and followers, you have to work with what you’ve got and that’s why it is a good idea to focus on conversion. You don’t need a lot of traffic or a huge list to do really well for yourself, but you have to be willing to sell stuff. And seriously, it’s not that hard to combine tremendous value with selling. Plus, when you provide value and sell/recommend at the same time, you will attract the targeted audience that you want. Someone who wants your great information…but who is also willing to consider your product offers readily.
Consider These Scenarios:
Scenario #1: Jane is a natural soap maker who embarks on a campaign to get 5000 Facebook fans, so she gives out free incentives for becoming a fan and for referring friends. She is also building a mailing list at her site that is growing a little more slowly than she’d hoped, but that’s okay because she’s growing her Facebook following. She is getting lots of likes and comments on the tips and content she shares, but sales are coming in slowly as she isn’t quite sure how to convert these fans into customers.
Scenario #2: Jane, still a natural soap maker, decides to focus on building her own mailing list because she feels that having this asset of her very own is important. She offers a free gift on subscription, but decides not to sell anything at this time, because she wants to build a rapport with her readers. She gives out more free gifts and about 3 months down the line, she sends a promotion for a product she is very passionate about. She gets a couple of sales, a lot of opt-outs and a few complaints from subscribers telling her she promised free information and that she shouldn’t be selling to her list.
Scenario #3: Jane, still making natural soaps, has decided to really focus on her marketing and building her mailing list on her own website. She knows that email has really good conversions and it doesn’t cost much to build and market to a list, so like in scenario 2, she wants to build this asset. She also has decided to give out a free report with sign up, but has carefully put in a hard-to-resist offer in that report and makes sure to follow up with her subscribers. As her subscriber numbers grow, she is able to see sales coming in and continues to follow up to sell other products to those subscribers.
It’s a simplified view, certainly. But as you can imagine, all three scenarios could eat up about the same amount of time…but without a good sized mailing list of her own and a conversion plan in place, Jane struggles to make things work. If you present yourself as a business owner who has good information to share, but also has products to sell, you are more likely to attract your target customer. When you focus only on the free and growing your following, you attract a much wider audience, many of whom will have no interest in buying what you have to sell.
And really, what’s more important? Fame or a successful business that gives you what you need to live a fulfilling life outside of a computer screen? I guess that’s a decision we all have to make for ourselves.