In case you missed my post from last month, you might want to go back and read that first as it ties in directly with this post, which is part 2 and will be more about…
Having spent a good portion of the last few years of my business around entrepreneurs who are heavy into marketing I’ve become painfully aware that for some reason there seems to be an aversion to ‘selling’ when it comes to WordPress.
I don’t mean selling in terms of using WordPress for e-commerce or as a platform to sell from.
I’m referring to people who have products or services around WordPress and don’t want to promote what they do (or feel like somehow it makes them smarmy to charge for something even though that is how we exist on this planet. If I could exchange graphics for my water bill, trust me, I’d be all over it. Podcast episode for the internet? Done. The website instead of a mortgage payment? SUPER!).
Yes, I'm a little facetious (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a post. Scratch that one off the list).
But it makes a great point, don’t you think?
Before we get into some of the fundamentals of ‘selling’, let’s talk about what a disservice it is to your clients when you don’t sell.
I don’t even have a portfolio on my website anymore.
Not because I don’t have a list of sites and links to send clients, but because it’s not my primary focus anymore. I’ve created a business that works for me. That being said, it’s pretty much a done deal after I’ve spent some time with the potential client on the phone (before sending them a list of sites and links).
Because I’m also a marketer.
People aren’t looking for ‘a website’. They’re looking for more business.
They want customers, clients, leads.
They want their website to generate more business, which incidentally, means more MONEY (gasp!).
If you don’t know how to get this for yourself how on earth are you going to serve your clients?
Having worked with a lot of WordPress web dev’s this last year (and I don’t even know if web dev is the right name for them. Think of people who do web development with WordPress but also want to scale their business and not be the one ‘doing’ all the time) and more than anything, the one thing they ALL wanted to create was another stream of income that didn’t require them to exchange time for money.
They wanted leverage.
I don’t care what industry you’re in or what you do, nothing beats “notification of payment” when you’re doing something else. When you get paid for something today that you created months ago.
Add to that people who are willing to pay you what you’re worth.
And not just because you’ve gotten better at what you do (which obviously goes hand in hand with higher prices), but because you’re able to communicate the VALUE of what you do and…
..how it will help your customer get what they want.
The two things that always surprise me are seeing a site where someone does WordPress sites, and there are two primary things missing:
1) A blog
2) An opt-in form to capture name & email addresses
How do you sell WordPress services when you don’t even use one of the primary features that WordPress was founded on? (blogging)
When I ask people how they get clients for the most part, it’s always one answer:
Don’t get me wrong, referrals are great.
But if that’s the only source of lead generation you’re ‘hoping’ for (because that’s pretty much what that strategy is), then you’re going to feel the stress and angst that constantly comes from wondering where your next customer is coming from. You’ll end up feeling like my poor state of California where our solution to a lack of water for the past seven years is to ‘hope’ for rain each winter. (And if you’re one of those people who has an amazing referral network and you have too much business, then you’re doing much more than ‘hoping’ for referrals. You’ve mastered the relationship side of marketing and quality service… but you’re still marketing).
What is it with this space that selling and promotion are perceived as Lord Voldemort’s offspring? (yes, I totally made a Harry Potter reference. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with Lord Voldemort, just know that he’s uber evil).
If you don’t believe in yourself enough to promote your products and services, why would anyone else?
Let’s go back to the ‘offline’ example of a grocery store (because for some reason this works for me, but you could pretty much take any retail store).
First, they don’t only tell you something is for sale or available once.
They tell you over and over and over again (and then some more), right?
They make sure you see EVERY opportunity to buy something on sale or get 2 for the price of 1, right? What about a ‘featured product’. Notice how the products on the endcaps always change? Yes, I know that other companies pay for that space, but they do it because they want to ‘SELL MORE’ of their product, right?
Do you complain to the manager?
Yell at the clerk?
No. You go about your business.
What if the grocery store decided they would only let a few people see the sale and then moved the product. Or removed the item from the visible spot it was placed in for the people who entered the store before noon? For just one day? (I know sales start & end with certain dates, that’s not what I’m referring to here).
Do you check open rates? Click-throughs? Social media links? Who’s responding to what?
Or do you put something out there once, not get the response you wanted and stop? Again.
I know this song & dance all too well because I did it for years.
It wasn’t until I started treating my business like a business, offering products and services for sale and promoting myself that things took off.
And here’s the REAL truth to “Selling” yourself.
You get to do it in a way that works for you.
But you have to do it.
Why do you see marketers ‘launching’ things?
Because it works. They provide value and people are willing to pay for it. Period.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not ‘wrong’ and it’s not ‘smarmy’.
At the end of the day, if someone is going to complain about you selling they probably weren’t going to buy from you anyways.
I’m going to leave you with a quote from someone I admire who is absolutely killing it in his business and is unapologetically himself, Garrett J. White (and I apologize if he wasn’t the original source of this quote but it’s where I heard it first):