I believe that a small business should always be selling. This may run counter to what you may have heard about content.
You may have heard some say you should give it away 80% of the time. Give 80% take 20%. Or to never use social media to sell.
Here’s the thing; this isn’t wrong, but it also isn’t right.
Sometimes the person disseminating this advice is completely wrong. But many times, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of you, dear reader.
It’s your fault
Here’s the definition of marketing according to Wikipedia.com: “Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.”
Here is the dictionary definition: “The activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc. 1: a: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market. b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. 2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer”
In this age of social media people have become selling phobic. But it isn’t because you shouldn’t be selling. It’s because people have the definition all wrong.
What it means
Selling doesn’t mean asking for money. That’s certainly part of it. But that’s the very last part of it.
It is that part of the marketing picture that should be used with caution. Asking people to buy in content and on social can be a bad thing if it’s over done.
But selling is not just asking for money. It is qualifying the prospect, grabbing attention, building interest, growing desire, etc. This should always, always, ALWAYS be done in content and on social.
Most importantly, there should always be a strategy. Producing free content with no marketing message does not serve your business at all. And you’re in business to make money, pure and simple. Too many people these days make that sound like a bad thing.
People say you can’t be self serving on social media.
Marketing is the oxygen your business needs to survive. Without it, there’s no point.
In episode 57 of the Nuclear Chowder Podcast, I bring on my good friend Ralph M. Rivera who is one half of the brains behind Web – Search – Social. We have a discussion about the importance of selling all the time. After all, as Ralph said… You can’t deposit branding in the bank.