11 min read
Oh heeeey! Guess what?
I’m pretty dang excited about today’s blog post.
Why? Because I want to talk about something that can be a little bit of a sore spot for many creative online entrepreneurs – Why you aren't making sales. (But don't worry, we're also gonna talk about how you can fix it! Because talking about the problem without a solution would be depressing. I mean … right?)
Before we go into the reasons why, allow me to share a quickie story about my own mega sales flop with you first.
Earlier this year I was super freaking pumped to release my second ever paid online course. I thought the idea for it was amazing, I put tons of love into it and I thought that people would surely gobble it up as soon as I released it into the world! After all … my first paid course was a success in my mind, so why not this one?
So, without any launch preparation (mistake #1), I sent a broadcast out to my entire e-mail list as soon as the course was finished announcing what it was and why they should go check it out (with a link to the sales page!) And then?
From that list of 9,000+ people, I literally made ONE sale with that e-mail announcement. It was probably one of the most anticlimactic moments ever.
I felt a little discouraged and disappointed (okay, A LOT discouraged and disappointed!) and questioned if I majorly sucked at making online courses. Like … maybe I just wasn't good enough. I pretty much just threw myself a giant pity party …
Thankfully, I quickly got my shiz together and realized that it wasn't me who sucked (or the thing that I was selling), but it was my strategy that sucked.
Whether you're selling online courses, digital products OR physical products, it's likely the same case for you. It's not WHAT you're selling that sucks, it's your selling strategy that sucks.
We're gonna look at a few reasons below why your —insert awesome thing here— might not be selling, and one or more of these reasons might apply to your situation. So with that lovely little tidbit in mind, let's look at 5 reasons why you aren't making sales, and how to fix it!
Before you got all hyper with excitement over the idea for your offering, did you bother to actually see if there was a genuine need / want for it? Even if YOU think your offering is the bestest, other people either have to WANT or NEED it for you to actually sell it.
Yes … you need a bloody e-mail list!!! (Well, not a “bloody” one because that would be gross, but you do need an e-mail list, and you need to focus on growing it.)
A couple of years ago I was so in denial about e-mail lists that I literally paid $2,000 to take Marie Forleo's B School (where one of the six modules is entirely about the importance of having an e-mail list), and I STILL ignored starting and growing my list for nearly 2 years after. Your e-mail list is your ONE direct connection that you have control over (because social media is constantly changing), and people are a lot more likely to see your e-mail then they are to see what you just posted on Facebook in the sea of 10 bazillion other Facebook notifications.
And not only that, but you need to get people who are actually interested in the exact topic of whatever you'll be launching on your e-mail list. Because let's face it, getting e-mail subscribers is nice, but getting e-mail subscribers who are specifically interested in the topic of what you'll be offering is even better! Speaking of launching …
This is one of my #1 biggest fails of the past! You can't just create something awesome and plop it out into the world with no preparation and then expect people to flock over like a herd of penguins! You need to get people both excited and educated about whatever it is that you'll be launching BEFORE you actually launch it. Because while YOU obviously know why people need your offering / what makes it amazing, most other people likely DON'T. They might not even know what the sam hill it is! (Does anyone else love using that term? Haha!)
The thing about selling things online nowadays is that it's extra important for people to actually both trust and like you, especially if your thing is pricey. I mean … would YOU want to buy something from someone online that you either didn't like or trust? Probably not! You need to treat people like actual people, not just potential dollars in your wallet. You need to create a connection with them, be personal with them and give them tons of value (for free) to help build that ever so important trust!
Ah yes, sometimes we put so much time into actually creating the thing that we want to sell that once it's created we don't put nearly the same amount of time and effort into promoting it. (Can you relate?)
And if there's one thing I've learned over the years of running my own business, it's that you usually need to spend even MORE time promoting your awesome thing then you spend on creating it!
Alright buttercup, look at that little ‘ol list. Are you guilty of doing any of the above? For me, I've failed pretty hard at #1, #2, #3 and #5 at some point or another during the past. When I look back at particular moments and wonder “why the hell didn't that sell very well?” the reason directly correlates to one thing or another listed above. DOH!
There's different things that you can do to correct all of the above fails, but I've found that the most effective way (that also takes care of ALL of the above fails), is by doing webinars. And if you're totally against the idea of doing webinars (like I was a year ago!) then hear me out for just a second.
When you have an idea for an offering that you'd like to create, it's juuuuust a little important to actually make sure that people want it / need it first. If you aren't sure whether or not people are into your idea, doing a webinar on the topic is a perfect way to gage interest! Because … 1.) you can see how many people sign up, 2.) You get to see what kind of questions people have and thoughts they have about it, which is total GOLD if you actually go on to create your offering, 3.) You can straight up just ask people at the end if they'd be interested in your idea and 4.) if you decide to create your thing, you just got people on your e-mail list who are actually interested in what you'll be offering later!
Webinars are the freakin’ bomb diggity for growing your e-mail list. (Yes- especially if you're starting from zero!) Why? Because doing free, LIVE training on video is high value, baby.
Want to grow your e-mail list even faster?
Do a jv (aka “joint venture”) webinar with someone in your niche! You’ll literally grow your e-mail list twice as fast by getting in front of TWO audiences at the same time. AND like I said above, you can strategically do webinars on the topic of whatever you'll be offering to get people on your list who are actually interested in what you'll have to sell.
Ohhh!!! :::starts jumping up and down and clapping hands::: and not only that, but you can use your old webinar recordings as high value content upgrades and opt-ins throughout your site to get even MORE e-mail subscribers! (Content upgrades = those delightful little pieces of bonus content that you offer within a blog post in exchange for someone’s e-mail address.)
I literally get around 3,000 new e-mail subscribers a month from webinars and using my good ‘ol webinar recordings as opt-ins. The proof is in the puddin’! (Chocolate flavored, naturally.)
Speaking of growing your e-mail list with content upgrades, let’s not forget about how doing content upgrades will grow that list like a magic beanstock!
Content upgrades in your posts = magical e-mail list growing fodder.
I don’t mean offering just one or two, I mean offering as many as humanly possible to go with your blog posts (even if it’s just something simple like a checklist or a PDF version of your blog post.) Focus on creating as many as you can, baby! The more the merrier.
I’ve got a ton of content upgrades throughout my site, and one content upgrade alone has gotten me over 1,200 subscribers!
So to grow your list more with content upgrades, you should:
So. If you know in advance that you plan on selling something, you should definitely create a launch strategy in the 1 – 3 months leading up to it! As you already know from above, it's really important to get your audience both educated and excited.
Doing webinars as a part of your launch plan is super effective for loads of reasons, including 1.) they are perfect for educating your audience leading up to your launch, 2.) they get people really excited (because FREE value, duh!), 3.) they strategically grow your e-mail list, which I've already talked about at least twice (ha!), and 4.) you can use them to create real urgency during the actual launch because let's face it … sometimes people just need an extra little kick in the pants before they buy!
Guess what? Webinars are wonderful for building trust and connection because not only are you giving people tons of value for free, (which makes people think, hey if their free stuff is this good, then their paid stuff must be awesome!) but they actually get to hear your voice and connect with you as a person and not just as a business.
There's a lot of cold, selfish businesses out there in the world that just want to take people's money. But when people can connect with you and see that you're actually a person who cares and not just a business, it helps to build a trusting relationship. Can ya dig?
Remember how you actually need to promote your stuff a shiz ton? Webinars are basically free and effective marketing for your business. (I say “free” because you can literally put webinars on for free by embedding a Google Hangout onto your own site for zero dollars!) and I say “effective” for all of the reasons that we just talked about above.
Webinars are also effective because you are promoting your webinar, which is FREE value that you're giving away. In my little ‘ol opinion, you should be promoting your awesome, free stuff more than you're promoting your paid stuff. (Your free stuff can gently lead into your paid stuff.) Why? Because people are much more likely to want to sign up for something you're offering that's free, especially if they don't have a relationship with you yet.
Remember, buttercup. It's likely not you or your offering that sucks, it's your selling strategy.
I highly encourage you to try doing a webinar if you are guilty of (or struggling with) anything listed above. And lucky for you, I've got a free crash course to get you started with webinars! Free video trainings, checklists, cheat sheets and more all delivered straight to your inbox. (No fluff-filled BS that you feel totally jipped after reading, I promise!)
What about you? Have you struggled to make sales for any of the above reasons?
Don’t be shy, I wanna hear about it. We’re in this together! 😀