Let’s talk about the ultimate cold hard truth. If your business doesn’t provide true value, then you’re just making noise in the marketplace. But, in order to provide true value, you really need to know your customers.
I know what you’re thinking.
If you’re a brand-new company, this certainly sounds like a Catch-22. How can you provide true value to customers you don’t have yet? How can you build relationships, focus on their desires, qualify their business, and then dissect their wants and needs when they don’t exist?
Well, this is where everything you learned in school goes out the window, because it’s something you’re constantly going to be working on and improving, and you’re never “done” growing and understanding your audience.
The short answer to this dilemma is that you have to go where your potential clients are gathering and get involved. Then you need to build your products or services around their wants, needs, and desires.
Most people create a product, then find an audience, but that’s a little backwards. How can you create a product for an audience that doesn’t exist? The more you work on fostering these relationships, the more value you can then create.
Let’s dig a little deeper to uncover the truth about selling digital marketing services.
Providing Value is Your Best Marketing Tactic
I heard a quote from author Ryan Holiday that goes something like, “The best way to sell a book is to write another one.” This sounds a little ridiculous, but it certainly makes sense.
Your potential clients, or readers in this case, want to know you care deeply about your subject. Creating something new and ongoing helps new people find your voice, and then they may go search for more and read your back catalog. The same thing is true for selling digital marketing to small business.
At Cereal Entrepreneur, I follow this basic idea with blog posts, YouTube videos, and new courses. We do lots of actual marketing too, but if you’re not doing the real work in between promos, then no one is going to care. It’s all about creating value.
If you don’t feel like you’re creating value for clients, this could have something to do with your education in the field. Marketing can be simple, or it can be quite complex. If you’re looking to start a company that does a bit of everything – the marketing jack-of-all-trades – then you’re going to need to know a bit of everything.
But, if you’re looking to start your own marketing niche, then you need to take a deep dive into your niche. If you’re going to market to Amazon Sellers, for example, you need to understand the ins and outs of obscure products like Feedback Whiz, but this means taking a deep dive into your subject, learning from clients, and continuing to grow your mindset.
Once you really know your market (in the market), then you can better explain and better price your services. This also boosts confidence and creates additional value for clients or potential clients.
Defining Sales VS Marketing
So far we’ve talked about value, but where does value come in when discussing sales and marketing? Well, first, these are two different things.
Sales is meant to be one-on-one. Whether you’re selling vacuums door-to-door or cars on a lot, these are all individual sales. Marketing is sales on a much grander level. You’re not completing one sale at a time, you’re looking for an audience that might want to be your product, or creating products for a specific audience.
Both methods are targeted, but marketing has the greater potential for growth. In marketing, you want to find or build an audience and then give them to the option to buy. Again, creating value for this audience inspires them to buy.
In some ways, marketing is the quarterback, who throws the ball to the running back, which is sales, so he can run with it. Basically, you need both aspects to win the game, but sometimes you run, and sometimes you toss the Hail Mary. Again, education is key, and then experience will start to fill in those pieces.
Either way, if you’re just starting out, conversion rates are going to be low no matter how much prep work you. Conversion rates might only be at 1 percent in the beginning, so if you’re dipping your toes in the water, you’re going to have worse conversion rates, but these rates will grow as you get better at what you do.
The more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to land a deal. The best thing you can do to jumpstart your business is to increase your numbers every day. If you reach out to fifty businesses and don’t land a deal, that’s not the end of the world. I recommend contacting 50-100 businesses per day to get started, even with a specific niche.
Methods for Selling Digital Marketing Services
So we’ve discussed providing value and the truth about selling digital marketing services, along with the differences in sales and marketing, but how does all of this come together to understand selling digital marketing services, and what is involved in selling digital marketing?
Let’s create a scenario. Imagine you want to sell a video course on “Better Grilling Techniques” to weekend warriors who like to host cookouts for the big game. One way to do this might be to try and sell the product one-on-one.
This sounds tedious, but it’s actually how AirBnB got started. Now AirBnB is a huge online company where travelers use an app to find a non-hotel room, like a spare room or empty house owned by an individual, and then book the room based on a star-rating system, generally for less money than overpriced hotels.
Well, the guys at AirBnB named their company because they literally started with an air mattress in their floor. They also visited the first few dozen sign-ups as guests to learn how to better improve their service. This task doesn’t seem scalable, but doing it in the beginning drastically improved their service for the long haul.
Let’s go back to the grilling guide. If you don’t want to spend time talking to individuals and building your own audience first, then look for an audience. Get really specific in your marketing to make better sales.
Instead of selling “Better Grilling Techniques,” look for die hard fans, like individual who buy Traeger grills. Then market a lead magnet or video on “Traeger Grilling Techniques to Take You From Amateur to Pro in 48 Hours” to this specific audience, like people who follow the brand on Facebook or even Joe Rogan’s audience, since he too loves this product.
Create your own persona as a business owner, consider reaching out one-by-one to gather information, share on social media, and then you will understand your audience to make sales.
Why Most People Fail at Getting Clients
For individuals who wish to pursue digital marketing, there are a ton of reasons why a business could fail, but generally new businesses don’t understand how to explain the service they are selling. For those that do understand, it’s also possible that they’re marketing the wrong services or just pricing their services wrong.
This often comes from a lack of education on marketing practices. No matter what you want to sell, it’s crucial to speak the same language as your customers, create value for them, and then sell them something that will actually improve their business.
Selling business to business should be simpler than selling to individuals. Theoretically, it’s a tax write-off, but it’s also a method for them to make more money (which we like to call an investment!).
If they’re not buying from you, they don’t understand how you’re creating value. This is because digital marketers focus on selling a product instead of solving a problem.
Are you selling a book or are you helping them get more clicks? Are you creating video content or are you boosting sales and profits by 10 percent? Are you managing social media, or are you growing social outreach by 5 percent each week?
If you’ve read this far and still feel like you have everything in order, but just aren’t making sales, then it’s possible you’re not approaching businesses that can afford your services. Maybe you’re not doing the research on the marketing they might need, or maybe you’re not understanding the niche service they need.
Again, speak their language and create value. Don’t just help them write emails. Create drip campaigns for their MailChimp account so their emails are unstoppable. Don’t just help with cold calls. Create proven scripts to use on warm leads to get results.
Where can you create more value, and how can you better pinpoint your target audience?