“It’s Not About Selling. It’s About Creating Value For Your Audience.”
~ Jerry Allocca
Whilst you’ll hear me extol the virtue of consistent content creation all day long, churning out content is not enough to see an impact on your bottom line. It goes without saying that not all content is equal and there are various factors at play when it comes to how successfully your content supports the growth of your business.
1. You’re not asking for the sale often enough
Let’s get straight to the point here. Are you asking for the sale? If you are not in the habit of consistently sharing your offers within the content you publish, then that would be the best place to start.
Most of the conscious business owners I know worry about asking for the sale too often and the truth is that 99% of the time, they simply aren’t asking enough. The people in our audience are usually busy and overwhelmed and even when what you are offering might be perfect for them, if they only see information about your offer once or twice (or not at all if you’re not sharing it adequately) then they’re more than likely to overlook it altogether.
Make sure that you are sharing about your products and services often, people expect this from you. They are engaging with you because you are a business that offers products and services that they are interested in.
2. You are being too pushy or salesy in your content
This happens when we follow traditional advice and lean on manipulation and pressure to make the sale. If you are a conscious business owner offering services to other conscious folk (be they spiritual, sensitive, purpose-driven and/or ethical) using traditional sales copy, this is more than likely going to be a turn off for your people.
I find talking about my offerings in a direct, transparent and honest way to be the most effective way to write sales copy. I aim to avoid all use of manipulation or pressure and think of selling much like being a courteous waiter. Allow me to explain.
Do you feel sold to when, after a delicious meal, the waiter comes to your table again to ask if you want coffees or to see the dessert menu? No of course not, you’re at the restaurant to be served and being told what’s on offer without having to grab the waiter’s attention feels good not pushy or intrusive.
If you can approach your selling in this way, you’ll find your customers thank you for telling them what’s on offer rather than feeling pressured into buying.
3. You’re not setting your content up for engagement
One of the key things your content should be doing for your business is facilitating engagement with your audience. You want to think of your content as the start of a conversation. Initially, it will feel like you are speaking into the abyss. The sound of crickets is perfectly normal to begin with, because it takes time for your audience to trust you.
You need to be showing up consistently for some time before people will start to truly engage with what you are putting out and you need to ensure that the content you do create allows for engagement to incur.
One way to do this is to end your posts with a question and invite readers to answer the question by leaving a comment (or getting in touch directly). Make it clear in your content that you want to hear from people and that you are curious to know how your words are landing for them. If you don’t invite people to comment, they’re less likely to.
4. You’re not following up with those people who do engage
This is a common mistake that I see. Business owners going to the trouble of creating good, engaging content but not taking the time to deepen relationships with the people who do appreciate and engage with it, instead allowing the conversation to go cold.
When someone leaves a comment on a piece of your content, I want you to imagine that you are having an actual conversation in real time with someone. Rather than simply ‘like’ their comment or leave a minimal response like “thanks for your comment”, I want you to engage right back with the person.
So if they say something like “great post, very insightful” get curious and delve deeper ask them, what about the post was helpful for them? Would they be willing to say more about what insights they had? Not only is this a powerful way for them to make the most of what they’ve read, but it also allows for a deeper conversation and relationship to unfold.
5. You’re not distributing your content widely enough
If you’ve been publishing consistently for a while but you’re still not getting enough likes or engagement, it could be because people aren’t seeing your content. It could be a visibility/distribution issue that you need to address. This is something I’ve talked about before — unless you are repurposing your content, distributing it widely and even paying to promote it — the chances are people aren’t even seeing what you’re creating. Check out this post for more on this topic and for help creating a content strategy that maximises the chances of your content being seen head here.
6. You’re not demonstrating your ability to solving your potential client’s problems effectively enough
One of the best things you can do in your content is demonstrate your expertise. When you create content that is valuable and impactful for your readers, it gives them a real sense of how you would help them if they were to hire you.
Many people worry about giving away their best advice for free but when it comes to working with you, people aren’t paying for your ideas or advice, they’re paying for your help to implement them — whether that’s in the form of a course, workshop or through 1:1 coaching.
Consider this content right here. I’m giving you all of my best advice on how to ensure that your content helps you to make more sales, but nothing could replace the support I could give you if you hired me as your coach. As your coach, I’d be able to help you brainstorm content ideas specific to your industry, read your actual content and give you feedback, teach you how to use FB ads to promote that content and hold your hand as you create and implement a content strategy.
The point I’m making is that giving your best ideas away for free, won’t harm your ability to sell your products and services, but rather will leave your audience far more willing to buy from you.
7. What you are selling isn’t a fit for your audience
It’s one thing to have great content but are your products and services a fit for your ideal clients? If what you are offering doesn’t feel relevant to your audience then it doesn’t matter how great your content is, they simply won’t buy.
Too many business owners create products and services without ever really asking their ideal clients what they really want. Because here’s the thing, what you would love to create and what your audience want or need you to create might not be the same thing. If, for example, your target audience is looking for community and group support but you just want to make pretty, digital downloads then you’ll struggle to make the sale.
To know what your audience wants, ask them. I can’t stress this enough. You must be in conversation with your audience as much as possible. Send out surveys (with incentives to complete) and set up calls with more active members of your audience to find out what would be most useful to them and then go make those things. See here for more ideas on how to conduct effective market research.
8. Your doorbell is broken
Let’s imagine that your content is valuable and visible and your business offers products and services that your ideal client wants and needs to buy, but you’re somehow making it difficult for people to buy.
I love this analogy from Tad Hargrave :
“So many people set up their businesses in the middle of a forest with no paths leading to it. They are hoping that somehow, lost in the woods, the right people will stumble upon them and want to buy what they’re offering.”
The more paths (in this case, your content) you have established that lead to your door, the more easily you can be found and ultimately the more revenue you will generate. The thing is that some people have the paths piece down only to drop the ball when people show up at their door.
What you absolutely must do, is make sure that your home is set up to receive guests once they land on your doorstep. Imagine if you did all this work carving out the perfect path (i.e. creating valuable and visible content) but then your doorbell was broken so you didn’t even answer the door to people when they arrive, because you had no idea that they were there.
A broken doorbell in this sense might be broken links on your sales page or a really slow website so that you lose people who get bored of waiting. It could look like unclear next steps on how to buy on your sale page and so on. If you’ve done all of the work to get people to your website to buy, then please make sure your doorbell is working!
9. You’re resisting the sale
This one might sound silly if you’re sat there wishing for more sales but you might be surprised just how many people sabotage their own success simply by resisting it.
Fear of success is very real for many people, so if you think this might apply to you then I encourage you to spend some time considering just how open you are to succeeding in your business and making the number of sales you tell yourself you want to make. Are you, for example, harbouring any negative connotations with success? These might include, a fear of losing all your free time if you get too busy or having so much work that you won’t have to time to relax? If you ever find yourself having thoughts like this, you might be resisting the sale and setting yourself up for failure instead.
10. You’re not providing enough value
This isn’t an easy one to hear, but if you have gone through the previous 9 points and feel confident that everything is working as it should be, then you have to consider the fact that what you are offering isn’t valuable enough for the people you are trying to sell it to. This is different to the “fit” we discussed under point 7, because you could have products that are a fit for your audience but that aren’t valuable enough.
Let’s use the example of 1:1 coaching.
Perhaps you help people to be more productive and what your audience wants is tailored 1:1 support to be more productive, which you do offer. Your content is good, your sales strategy is on point but when you do a free session/discovery call to enrol a potential client you fail to deliver or demonstrate the necessary value. Your coaching simply isn’t good enough.
It might also be that the service you offer is valuable but that what you are charging is more than your audience is prepared to pay i.e. it’s not as valuable as the price you have given it. If you think that this could apply to you, then I would recommend reviewing your prices and adjusting accordingly and/or looking at your product or service to see what you can do to improve it.
And there you have it, 10 reasons that your content might not be converting into sales. Do any of these apply to you? If so drop a comment below and let me know.