One of the biggest issues I see during webinars, in my blogging and passive income communities, and on social media, is that people still aren’t sure if they should be tweeting/pinning/promoting their own stuff and they don’t know how often to do it.
Honestly, I’m always really surprised that people are questioning this. It’s not like Target just opened up 1800 stores (yes, I Googled it) and thought…”I sure hope people show up!” No way – I’m betting you see an ad on Facebook, a billboard, a commercial, a social media partnership from them literally every single day. (Or maybe that’s just me because #addicted…but you get my point.)
Yes, the definitive answer is: you MUST promote your own stuff and you MUST do it a lot.
And I know a whole bunch of you are having the immediate reaction of:
- I don’t want to sound sales-y
- I don’t want to annoy people
- I don’t know how many times/days to share something
- It’s so much work to post constantly
- I’m not able to be consistent
- I hate talking about myself
Well, here’s the deal. If you, A) want to build a business and B) want to make money from that business, you gotta get over all of those things real quick.
People have followed you online because they want to hear from you. If they like your free blog posts and your weekly emails, they will probably be all about whatever product you’ve just launched. Don’t deny them the opportunity to work with you or advance their skills. Because that’s what you’re doing when you don’t promote – you’re making sure they miss out.
Two important things to remember when it comes to promotion . . .
1. People need to come into contact with something seven times before they’ll decide they need it. Consider this: how many times have you seen something – maybe a new trend, maybe a gadget on an infomercial – and immediately thought, “that is ridiculous” or “who would buy that??” But then you see it again, and again, and again, and again, and after a couple of weeks you suddenly want it. Bad. So bad you totally went out and bought it. (This has happened to me; don’t pretend it hasn’t happened to you too!)
2. Most people are not glued to their computer scanning all of your tweets and Instagrams and pins and blog posts all day long. At least I hope not because that’s kinda creepy. My point being, they will probably miss out on 75% of the stuff you share, so you need to share it multiple times for it to not only catch their eye, but stick in their mind.
And so – here are seven ways to promote your stuff that are a little less obvious and way more effective than, “Hey, I made this, you should buy it.”
Have your audience do the talking for you
The best person to promote your product is actually not you. It’s the customer who just blasted through your ebook and took six pages of notes. Your student who you helped make big changes. Your client who was super thrilled by the work you did. Create a short survey to ask them the best thing they learned or their favorite part of working with you and add those to your sales / services page, turn them into tweets, and make them into graphics.
Make sure you’ve got share buttons on the side of your blog to give users the ability to share your post the second they know it’s a hit. I have SumoMe buttons over there <<< which generate TWICE as many shares as the buttons at the bottom of my posts.
Click to Tweet also makes it far too easy to get people to share your products and blog posts. Add a tweet they can share into a thank you page and encourage them to tell their friends they picked up your book or joined your course. Use Click to Tweet to highlight quotes and help your readers share a bit of your wisdom. (CTT Plugin, CTT)
And lastly, re-tweet those super nice comments from people who are using and loving your products, readers who are putting your tips to good use, clients who are blown away by the results they’re getting from your work. And/or screenshot them and add them to your product pages like I’ve done over here.
Host a giveaway
It is true – people love free stuff. Giving away a copy of your book or a spot in your e-course is a clever way to not only promote it without feeling icky, but also grow your email list at the same time. I like to bundle products with anything that students might need to get through the lessons or chapters in my product. For example: Photoshop with my Photoshop course – makes sense, right?
You can go the simple and cheap/free route with Ninja Forms or Typeform, you could have people enter through a LeadPages landing page, or you could go all in and spring for KingSumo. KingSumo is AWESOME because it allows users to get extra entries for sharing their lucky URL with their friends – promoting like crazy and you didn’t have to do a thing!
Shoot a video series / live video series
I think a lot of you non-self-promoters are going to hate this option, but if you’re not opposed to video it’s a great way to connect with your current audience and draw in new subscribers. First, you could to a three to five part video series that includes quick bites of information (maybe 5 – 10 minutes long) to help them accomplish something. This should cover information or steps students will need leading up to your product, help boost your authority on the topic, and capture their email address so you can move them into a sales funnel.
Your other option would be a Periscope or Facebook Live series – either daily, bi-weekly, or weekly sessions on topics relating to your course. Mariah did a fantastic job somehow scoping for 30 days and hosting mini-masterclasses leading to her course launch. Connecting with your audience this way helps them see you as more genuine and approachable.
Create an opt-in incentive
So there are two steps to this one – first, give your audience something valuable and actionable (my two favorite words) to help them prep for your book or course. What do they need to know or figure out to get started and how can you turn that into something tangible? And next, once they’ve submitted their email and downloaded the workbook/checklist/etc., use a platform like LeadPages to send them to a thank you page that allows them to share your awesome opt-in incentive with a friend. You can add this to your site header, in a bar across the top of your site, or set up a welcome gate they will see before moving into your website. Again – product promoted without you actually having to do anything!
Set up an automated email sequence
Ok, how about writing all those sales emails ONCE and then letting them run on their own so they’re going out to tons of people every day (because they signed up through your giveaway and your awesome opt-in incentive and your Periscope series), but you’re not personally hitting send on each one. Creating an automation sequence (or many) will help you keep in contact with your audience, new subscribers, and all those people who entered your giveaway, cement you as an authority in your niche, and pitch your product so you don’t have to.
Whether it’s a guest post or a webinar, working with someone else to provide lots of information that at some point includes a pitch for your product can ease the pain and make it more about your audience and less about, “Hey, buy my thing!” Webinars with a buddy are 100 times easier than being live on camera solo for an hour. Create a series on your blog or a blog hop on your friend’s blogs to help boost the importance of your topic and share the awesome thing you’re getting ready to launch.
Mix it up
And lastly, promote content, products, and events from other people as well. This way you’re less of a marketing machine and more of an awesome resource. People will look to you for information and advice and will be more likely to pay attention when you launch something new.