FREE Snackable Writing Course

16 ultra-short emails with easy-to-implement tips
Learn how to write persuasive content and win more customers
 
 

45 Enchanting Ways to Market Your Business and Boost Sales

Successful brands have passionate followers.

Think Apple. Nike. Whole Foods.

What makes them different? Why are they so successful?

It’s not just their products.

They know why they’re in business. They’re on a mission. And they’re not afraid to be different: Their positioning is unique.

They also have enormous marketing budgets. Of course. That’s why we all know them.

But the Web allows you to market your business without a huge advertising budget. A few examples:

  • The Dollar Shave Club took on marketing giant Gillette with a video costing US$ 4,500, which gained over 7 million views on YouTube;
  • Social media tool BufferApp gained 100,000 customers in 9 months almost exclusively by guest posting – writing for other blogs;
  • An eco-resort in Belize gains 80% of its business by publishing a blog about travel in Belize. This blog gets them ranked in Google for many keyword phrases.

The old way of marketing still works. But interrupting people to attract attention to your brand is expensive.

The Web allows you to market your business in a different way – either as replacement for the old way, or complementary to it.

The new way to market your business requires enchanting content. Content that delights, entertains, or supports your target customers. Content that gets found when your customers search for information on Google. Content that gets shared, liked, tweeted, and plussed.

How can you create enchanting content to market your business online?

Follow these three steps:

  • Develop your brand personality. Become fascinating.
  • Change your attitude from pure selling to helping people select and buy. Create content that’s helpful, engaging, and entertaining.
  • Use email marketing or social media to engage with and sell to your audience.

Let’s have a look developing your brand personality first:

How to become an enchanting company

Does she work for you, too?

  1. Define your mission. Not a boring mission statement, but a real commitment to why you’re in business. What are you passionate about? And why?
  2. Be different. You have to stand out to attract passionate customers.
  3. Be human. People don’t connect with companies. People engage with other people.
  4. Develop a unique tone of voice. How chatty do you want to be? Which words express your company’s culture? And which should be banned?
  5. Share stories. Because stories fascinate. Stories engage. Stories are far more interesting than dull product specifications. And more memorable. Talk about the challenges your business has overcome. Explain why you’re in business. Tell stories about how your product is manufactured or why you developed it.
  6. Use familiar language. Please cut gobbledygook like best-in-class, world-leading, and cutting-edge. If a word doesn’t have a real meaning, just skip it. Don’t sound like a company. Sound like a human.
  7. Be passionate. Because your passion is contagious.
  8. Stop bragging. Let your customers decide how great your service or your product is.
  9. Don’t use drab stock photography. Because it makes you look like everyone else. Surely, the people working at your company are real? Or do you download staff from the Web?
  10. Exceed expectations. Do you know a better way to gain enthusiastic customers who spread the word about you?

How to sell without being a sleazy sales man

Are you honest about your products?

A hard sell can put people off. That’s the same online as face-to-face.

Don’t give the impression you’re trying to sell something nobody needs. Like a stereotypical used car salesman. Pushy. Dishonest. Sleazy.

Instead, build trust online. Become recognized as an authority; a helpful source of information; a trusted advisor.

How can you build your reputation? How can you sell without scaring potential customers away? And how can you inspire your customers to buy?

Follow these fifteen tips to create content that Google will like, and your audience will love.

  1. Understand your audience. What are their objections to buying from you? What questions do they have? What words do they use?
  2. Be helpful. Create a buyers’ guide. Help people select a product rather than sell to them.
  3. Answer questions. Create the most comprehensive FAQ section of your industry.
  4. Be newsworthy. Comment on industry news. Or inject your ideas into breaking news.
  5. Quote experts. Because it will enhance your status. But remember to give credit.
  6. Have an opinion. Don’t just relay the facts. Have something to say. And become a thought leader.
  7. Provide testimonials. Let others explain how good you are. But make sure your testimonials don’t sound too sugary.
  8. Share case studies. Because it helps people imagine what it’s like to work with you; or what it’s like to use your product.
  9. Include visuals such as photos, drawings, graphs, posters, info-doodles, or infographics. Visuals are more shareable than written content. And more memorable.
  10. Interview others. Because it’s a quick way to produce more content.
  11. Be honest. Don’t lie about the downsides of your products. Don’t hide your weaknesses. Your customers look for honest, trustworthy advice.
  12. Don’t focus on features. Instead talk about what problems you solve. Because problems attract attention.
  13. Anticipate objections. And make sure you address them all.
  14. Energize. Use emotional words to let your passion shine through. Inspire people.
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. But ask at the right moment. If your customer is not ready to buy, why not sign him up to your email newsletter?

How to engage customers with email marketing

Do you make your customers happy with your emails

Imagine this:

A potential customer arrives at your website; has a look around and likes what he sees. But he’s not ready to buy. So he leaves your website to read a newspaper online. Or check out some blogs. Or even worse – check out your competitors’ websites.

You’ve lost your potential customer. He’s gone. And he may never return to your website. And he may never buy anything from you.

What can you do instead? How can you keep hold of this potential customer?

Sign your customer up to your email newsletter. Email is an excellent marketing tool.

According to the DMA’s survey, email generates USD28.50 for every dollar spent. ~ Ken Maghill

Follow these eleven tips to use email to engage, build trust, and sell:

  1. Maximize sign-ups. Have several sign-forms on your website. And promote your email newsletter via social media.
  2. Sign people up off line. Collect email addresses at exhibitions. Promote your email newsletter in store. But don’t email without permission.
  3. Give a reason to sign up. Provide exclusive information or email-only promotions.
  4. Re-assure subscribers. Be clear about your privacy policy. Show a short privacy statement close to your sign-up form.
  5. Explain what to expect. Will subscribers receive an email monthly, weekly, or daily?
  6. Send people a welcome email. You also welcome people when they arrive at your office or store, don’t you?
  7. Share tips. Don’t just sell. Develop a relationship. Share useful information or be entertaining.
  8. Be personal. Don’t use a do not reply email address. If suitable, use a person’s name as the sender.
  9. Write to one person. Because nobody likes being addressed as part of crowd. Imagine writing to just one person and your emails will become friendlier, more personal, and more engaging.
  10. Mix things up. Try a text-only email. Or a picture-only email.
  11. Have a clear call-to-action. Ask people to connect. Ask them to reply. Or ask them to buy.

How to gain trust using social media

Have fun and people will want to connect with you

Social media activity can humanize your business.

Social media can amplify your message – but only if you have something valuable to say. Because your message can get easily lost in the noise.

If you’re bland nobody will notice you. If you sound like a company, nobody will connect. If you tweet like a robot, nobody will engage.

You have to be human. Be helpful. Be interested. And be interesting.

Follow these eleven tips to become personal on social media. And more effective.

  1. Listen. Lurk. Observe. Don’t jump in straight away. Understand the etiquette of a platform before joining the conversation.
  2. Be humble. You’re more fascinating if you talk less about your company.
  3. Be interested. Show people you care. Ask questions. And answer queries. Be helpful.
  4. Contribute to the discussion. Provide valuable comments. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion.
  5. Promote others. Social media isn’t another advertising channel. It’s more like a networking event. A noisy, giant networking event.
  6. Show up. Scheduling tools are great, but don’t completely rely on them. Interact in real time.
  7. Connect with influencers such as bloggers, journalists, and industry experts. How? Be a good egg and be interesting, but don’t stalk.
  8. Write guest posts. Write for other blogs your audience reads. And as a bonus you’ll gain valuable links for Google.
  9. Add personality. Don’t worry about mistakes. You’re human. And humans make mistakes. That’s fine. Just acknowledge errors and say sorry.
  10. Have fun. Yep. That’s important. Be passionate. And enjoy yourself. Because that’s when people want to join your party.

The truth about enchanting marketing

I’d love to tell you it’s easy to be enchanting. I’d love to tell you there are shortcuts. I’d love to tell you to follow a few simple formulas.

But I can’t tell you that. Because I’m being honest with you.

Creating enchanting content requires energy, and creativity, and hard work. Most of all, you need to understand your target customers. You need to dream their dreams. Share their pain. And talk their talk.

It’s tough. But utterly rewarding.

Create enchanting content and your customers will like it, share it, tweet it, plus it, and pin it. You’ll gain enthusiastic customers who spread the word for you. And Google will reward you with more web traffic. More potential customers. And more business.

It might be tough, but it’s worth it.

What do you think?

Images courtesy of Bigstockphoto: Call centre, car sales man, happy email, having fun

Comments

  1. Henneke,

    Congratulations on your launch!

    I have waited with bated breath for this.
    Your site has a clean, breezy, enchanting feel.

    Good luck.

    Allan.

  2. Congratulations! I’ve been itching to see your website!

    Great starting post to get things rolling. Honest and to the point. Just the way I like it. I look forward to seeing more :D

  3. Great, Henneke!
    Congrats on the new website! I really like your first ‘enchanting’ blogpost :)

    I am definitely going to start with content marketing soon, and hope to get more visitors/clients that way. Thanks for the tips on how to make it all more ‘enchanting’.

    What I find challenging is picking a subject for the blog, not necessarily the blogpost subject, but more the bigger picture. I guess I’m just afraid of making a choice, of narrowing down, while I tend to wanting to stay more general (for example questions like: shall I write about WordPress (specific/narrowed) or just websites (general), shall I write in Dutch (specific/narrowed) or English (general/larger audience), etc, etc). This fear of decision-making has now led to not writing at all :) How do you pick a niche/subject of the blog in general and know it’s the right one? And is there a way back if it appears to be the wrong choice?

    All the best with your new website business!
    Marlies

    • That’s an excellent question, Marlies.

      I’ve been umming and ahhing for ages, too. You’re not alone!

      However, the advantage of the Web is that you can always change. You don’t have to stick to one topic, one design and one logo forever. You can always adapt and change.

      It’s usually better not to choose a topic that’s too niche, because not enough people may be interested. And go for something you’re passionate about, because then it’s much easier to write well. Passion is contagious.

      My advice: Get started somewhere, and then see what happens.

  4. Dear Henneke,
    I like your post very much! There are clear, good tips there – just helpful ones. And I like your clear website too – easy to navigate, good font size, I like the colors. Thanks and I wish you success!
    Ela

  5. Love it (the website and the post)!
    Russellx

  6. Congratulations on a successful launch Henneke!

    I love your style and content of your email messages and I am glad to see that is matched on your site.

    Looking forward to connecting and sharing with you on more than one level now.

    All the best

    ;-b

  7. Good for you Henneke! I know these comments are thrilling for you. It sucks to open shop and have no customers.

    I had a DOA blog. Not fun. I’ve been rehabbing for two years.

    • You bet! And thank you for leaving a comment, too.

      My “secret” has been to build an audience first by guest posting on other blogs, and starting an email list. This way you can build an audience before launching a blog. But you can use the same strategy for an existing website.

      And guest blogging is also a good way to test what your audience finds interesting.

  8. Kitty Kilian says:

    A nice, clean site. A great read – don’t keep up this level of detail or you will burn out! A pretty good overview of the current state of the content marketing theory as I know it, too ;-)

    Plus the cleverest use of Pinterest I have yet seen, haha!

    • Thank you, Kitty.

      And well done for spotting the link to my Pinterest board about visual marketing. ;-)

      I’m taking a break from writing long list posts – to avoid burn out. :-)

  9. Hi Henneke, many congratulations on your successful launch and what a fantastic first post. This article is packed with ideas which can be implemented and start benefitting your business now. I think it’s exciting that small and micro businesses have so many more opportunities in this new economy to interact and reach their customers on a cost effective basis. But I agree with what you say. In order to stand out you’ve got to be engaging, entertaining and enchanting. I look forward to seeing what you publish next :-)

  10. wow! awesome first post.. and heart felt congratulations for the new blog..!
    looking forward to reading more such mindblowing posts (and emails too) :)

  11. Henneke,

    Fantastic! Love the clean look and the colorful banner. Of course, your content is singing girl. Keep it up.

    Anita

  12. Thanks Henneke for your post.

    I really enjoy the content of your posts, find tips for improvement and helpful ways to frame concepts when talking to my clients.

    Amy

  13. Marlene McPherson says:

    I am here by accident in 2013, to be exact March 31,2013 and I am glad. Great post. The information is not really new but the layout makes for easy reading! Hope to be more interactive on this site.

  14. Really great post! Pretty sure I just found my new favorite marketing blog.
    Ryan Stutzman recently posted…How to Repair a Flash DriveMy Profile

  15. Hi Henneke,

    I have just discovered you, from a mention in a copyblogger post and so glad I have, loved your book, the photos in it are amazing, really lovely, great posts, am devouring all info, as just starting a blog of my own, thank you and good luck with yours :)

    • Henneke says:

      Welcome, Caroline :)

      The photos in the book are all from Shutterstock. They have a great selection and you can search by color, too.

      Good luck with your blog! Let me know if there’s anything you’re struggling with? I’m always happy to help.

  16. Hi there,

    Great post. You are a class act. I always feel like there is some trick of the trade, when in my heart I simply value clean, honest communication. You really offer that here. Thanks so much!

    Cheryl x

Add your comment

*

CommentLuv badge