I've previously written about what a Promotion Plan is, and why it's SO essential for all businesses to always have a current Promotion Plan.
If you haven't already followed that article to make your plan then I suggest doing that first.
But, after we’ve got our Promotion Plan, and we’re clear in our offer(s), what then?
For those of us who have a block when it comes to promoting ourselves, I wanted to discuss some tried and true methods for promoting yourself without feeling icky, or gross.
Because, for many small businesses, promoting their products and services can really bring up a lot of uncomfortable feelings.
Unfortunately, many times, these uncomfortable feelings can get in the way and prevent people from taking action.
This lack of action taking absolutely has a direct negative impact on people's sales results!
That's why it's important to tackle these feelings head on, so that you can promote your business like a boss, rather than feel icky or gross about it.
Here are 10 ways to promote your business without feeling like a sleaze:
Focusing on solving problems your customers have
One simple shift to stop feeling icky and sleazy, is to create a simple mindset flip and focus on them, not you.
How can you SERVE your customers?
If you focus on serving your customers, by solving their problems, then it shifts the emphasis of YOU and what you’re trying to create.
Your customers have a problem that you can solve. So, wouldn't they be grateful to you for helping them? When you flip the mindset to serving, the selling part happens more organically and with less force.
This in turn will make it far easier for you to show up and promote your offers.
Be systematic with your promotion
If you follow a system and spread out your promotion over the month, then you can make sure you get the balance right between attracting, engaging, serving and selling.
I like to set days of the week for certain things - e.g. Monday I motivate. Tuesday I do tips. Wednesday I share blogs and so on. By making a structure for yourself it makes it easier for you to promote and schedule etc.
Tell your story and how it relates to what you’re promoting
People love stories. It creates a connection. Sharing your story is a less in your face, but very attractive way of sharing what you have. So, for example, how did you start your business. Why are you passionate about what you do? How has doing what you do changed your life?
Share your customers' stories or give them a shout out.
This is really another way of story telling - and creating connection with your audience in a very comfortable and organic way.
By shouting out your customers/clients it makes them feel good, it promotes them, it shows you value your clients, it can start a conversation, and it promotes happy/success stories that you’ve helped create.
Give value away for free to gain people’s trust
Business is the exchange of money. And money is really the exchange of trust. People won’t buy off you if they don’t know, like and trust you. So, think of some creative ways that you can give value away to gain their trust before they buy.
Some examples of this in the online world are “lead magnets” or resources.
Offline it could be free samples of your products or a free strategy session.
If you have a course or book, maybe give away the first lesson/chapter for free.
All these kinds of things can help people feel “safe” to purchase off you and grow trust with your audience.
So - ask yourself - what value can I give, to help people trust me?
So you posted something and it didn’t get any likes or comments. It’s easy to give up when that happens.
But I encourage you to keep going.
Promotion takes time. Staying consistent with your messaging is really necessary. It used to be that people needed to see something 7 times to purchase. Now I’ve heard it can be as many as 20 times or more, and I'd believe it.
So, don't be tempted to give up showing up too quickly. It takes time to build up momentum with your promotions and marketing. In my business, it can take 6 months of consistent action to start seeing some consistent results.
I encourage you to define how often you'd like to market your business, how you'll do that, and take consistent action.
Use raw or live videos to engage and promote
Professional or pre-done videos are wonderful. But, there’s something powerful about being “live,” “raw” and “real”. It holds an authenticity that people respect and they feel like they get to know you better.
Live/imperfect videos are powerful when it comes to sharing your message and promoting your business.
This is why Instagram/Facebook Reels, Tik Toks and YouTube shorts are one of the most effective ways to build trust and create sales these days.
Are you using short-form video in your business consistently? If not, how could you start to introduce it?
Share snippets of what’s going on with you - e.g. Instastories
This is something I’m personally inconsistent at doing.
But, stories are a great next layer at building trust with your customers.
Think of the short-form video, posts and other marketing as being a "first introduction" to a wide audience. Stories are the next layer above that and they help people get to know you much more deeply.
Of course, short-form video can do that too. But stories generally only get shown to your followers. Which is why they're more intimate.
They're also a really great way to build engagement - by using polls, questions and so on.
Is there a way you can use stories, or improve your story consistency, to improve your sales in your business?
Put calls to actions in all posts
So much of the time I visit people's social profiles, or receive their emails, and I'm lost as to what they do, or how they can help me.
That's usually because there is much too much emphasis on fun posts, and not enough time spent on explaining how they can help. Or the benefits of their products/services.
Another HUGE mistake I see people make, is talking about something, but not explaining how to take action. You really need to make it easy for people, or they'll just give up and keep scrolling. So, make sure you have a call to action on almost all your posts.
Links to your offer/group/etc at the bottom of on point, motivational/engagement posts can be a very effective way to promote your business.
One of my clients is incredibly good at doing this and it’s helped her grow a group of thousands of members. Whenever she posts fun things such as quotes, or motivational/engaging posts, she reminds people at the bottom of the post to come to join her community. It's helped her gain thousands of new community members.
Are you always giving a call to action?
Collaborate with other businesses
Last but not least, my FAVOURITE way to promote your business is by collaborating with other businesses or partnerships. There is power in referral marketing. So, who do you know, that has a complementary business, that you could help each other out by sharing your offers with each others audience? OR, working on an offer together that you both share with your audiences?
This includes things such as guest blogging, guest podcasting, guest interviews, pushing someone’s offer in your newsletter, etc etc.
Think about what could benefit your audiences and focus on providing value.
Following this strategy can exponentially grow your business.
Ready to improve your promotion skills and get your sales humming?
I have a variety of ways I can help you at all different price points.
So, let's have a chat and explore what might suit you best...
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).
Number 1 is totally number 1, I agree! ? great info Kat
Fantastic tips Kat – you really know your stuff! Love following your blogs. Thanks for sharing.