How to get sales out of marketing

We have all read them … the factual articles promising to give us answers and insights… that turn into a boring advertisement encouraging us to buy their widget or sign up for their life-changing program. Companies set aside thousands of dollars for their marketing budget and wonder why they are not getting the returns they desire. You may not have the marketing dollars to splash around so how can you ensure the effort you are putting into your marketing activities will result in actual sales … and better still, loyal customers who keep coming back for more?

You can create customers through a well-planned and carefully implemented marketing strategy. Here are six crucial rules to keep in mind:

  • Don’t try to sell. If you are constantly ramming your product or service down your reader's throat, they will turn off and won't bother reading. People are tired of endless advertising invading their day-to-day activities. You don't want to be seen as just another advertisement and have potential customers turn off.
  • Engage your audience in conversation. Create a topic they want to talk about and invite them to add their thoughts and opinions.
  • Create engaging content. Write something your prospective customers want to read. Use content that adds value, educates, entertains and provides solutions to the problems you know they want to solve. Make it different so that it grabs their interest.
  • Research what your customers are looking for. Use Google as your first port of call to find out what topics are of interest. Check out online forums and discussion groups to see when and why they respond. Yahoo communities are worth checking out to see what questions are being asked about your area of expertise. Address the issues you see being discussed by giving feedback on content or providing your professional knowledge.
  • Ask questions and make statements. Make it easy for yourself by using Good Alerts and Scoopit to bring the information to you. Get the topics to come to you then make a contribution to the content you glean.
  • Make an offer. Give away some of your expertise for free. Show readers that you know what you are talking about and understand their needs and concerns. Create e-booklets, videos and e-papers for them to download. Capture their name and contact details and get their permission to keep communicating with them. Build a relationship that gives you permission to start marketing to them.

Selling doesn't come easy to everyone so save yourself some time, worry and money by engaging with your potential customers in such a way that they think of you whenever they need your product or service. Keep your name and expertise uppermost in their minds. Generate a following that looks to you for solutions. Enjoy watching your marketing create customers who love what you provide for them. You will be creating a huge marketing team who will recommend you to others. Most of all, you will enjoy the process!