When you know what you want, where you’re headed, and why, almost nothing can stop you.
Why are you creating and promoting content?
Let me answer that for you, it’s sales. It is always sales.
Yes, leads convert to sales. That is part of it. But ultimately, the goal is sales.
- You don’t need a website, you need sales.
- You don’t need followers, you need sales.
- You don’t need subscribers, you need sales.
Website, followers, subscribers… are all a means to the end, which is sales.
Every single piece of your content has a specific purpose.
Think about it. Think about where the person it is for (yes, single person) in their journey with you.
Is the content meant to nurture/educate existing clients to become a repeat buyer? To provide added value and motivate them to promote you via referral or review? And for what purpose?
New leads and sales.
Take a social media post…Maybe it’s a quote or meme related to a blog post or lead magnet or full video elsewhere. What’s it’s purpose? Engagement? maybe. Get clicks through to larger content? More likely. And the point there?
Lead capture (nurture to…sale). Or maybe a direct sale.
Is it brand awareness? Why? More leads and sales.
Or is it a blog post or video meant to attract new leads by helping them solve a piece of their larger problem? Which you then nurture to what purpose? Sales.
Or maybe you are in a content creator role at a larger organization. Your focus may be on traffic or leads, but I can promise you the ultimate underlying goal is sales (or donations or some other flavor of sales).
Listen, I get it. I’m a creative. I am an artist and a designer. I even have a BFA. And I love nothing more than exploring the depths of my curiosity and creativity. I am also a business person.
It’s important to know why you are creating, especially when it has a business purpose. In my journey to essentialism, I have learned to get laser-focused on those few things that have a real impact on my business. Ultimately, it all boils down to one thing: what am I trying to accomplish in my business? What is my real focus?
And the answer is… sales.
Now the question is, how do you use content to support sales?
I think of it in two ways:
For me: building trust and authority.
Depending where you are in your own journey, you may be using content to build up your trust and authority signals.
- I publish thought leadership articles to establish myself as expert
- I guest appear on various podcasts with relevant audiences
- I contribute to expert round up articles published by others
- I am planning to publish a book in 2022
Why do I want to do this? Sales. To promote and sell our Content Creators Planner and help other creators create better and more strategic content. To make it easier to sell services at an even higher price point to an even more select few clients. To make it easier to sell my Smartist Way course.
For Them: providing the right content at the right time depending on where someone is in the customer journey.
Keep your focus on sales. Once you are closing more sales, you will have the resources to put toward building greater brand awareness.
How to get better at sales
One of my absolute favorite things I have ever read on the topic of sales is this by entrepreneur Colin Dowling:
“1. Sales is a lot like golf. You can make it so complicated as to be impossible or you can simply walk up and hit the ball. I’ve been leading and building sales orgs for almost 20 years and my advice is to walk up and hit the ball.
2. Sales is about people and it’s about problem solving. It is not about solutions or technology or chemicals or lines of code or artichokes. It’s about people and it’s about solving problems.
3. People buy 4 things and 4 things only. Ever. Those 4 things are time, money, sex, and approval/peace of mind. If you try selling something other than those 4 things you will fail.
4. People buy aspirin always. They buy vitamins only occasionally and at unpredictable times. Sell aspirin.
5. I say in every talk I give: “All things being equal, people buy from their friends. So make everything else equal, then go make a lot of friends.”
6. Being valuable and useful is all you ever need to do to sell things. Help people out. Send interesting posts. Write birthday cards. Record videos sharing your ideas for growing their business. Introduce people who would benefit from knowing each other, then get out of the way, expecting nothing in return. Do this consistently and authentically and people will find ways to give you money. I promise.
7. No one cares about your quota, your payroll, your opex, your burn rate, etc. No one. They care about the problem you are solving for them.
There is more than 100 trillion dollars in the global economy just waiting for you to breathe it in. Good luck.”
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