One of the things that NCC Founder Candye Hinton wanted for the NCC community was to make sure this was a place where members could feel safe to promote their products and services. A successful business requires successful marketing, and marketing, like any skill, takes some practice. That’s why we don’t just allow promotions from Friday-Sunday; we actually encourage you to market yourself!
But for many of us, marketing doesn’t come easily. In many cases, you have to first overcome a whole set of negative beliefs about self-promotion.
If you’ve ever noticed yourself complaining about other people’s marketing or feeling reluctant to dive in and promote yourself here (or anywhere), you may have some *stuff* to work through with regards to this thorny topic. That’s probably more than I can cover in this post. =^)
But if you’ve been brave enough to try some marketing here at NCC and haven’t gotten the results you were hoping for, this post’s for you!
These tips are for NCC members who want to improve their marketing results on the NCC listserv:
- Take the time and make the effort to get to know people before you post a promotional email. Introduce yourself, participate in conversations, ask/answer questions, offer support and encouragement and generally be a good networker!
- Even if your target market is coaches and virtual assistants, I promise you this: everybody on this listserv is *not* your target market! You’ll get a better response if you clarify exactly who your offering is for, rather than just tossing it out there for “anybody/everybody”.
- Consider offering your freebie/pink spoon rather than a paid product or program, at least initially. You’ll find it easier to grow your mailing list than to make sales directly from email promotions, especially when marketing to diverse group of people like a listserv.
- Instead of trying to send your whole sales letter via email, consider sending a brief, friendly invitation to colleagues and friends. Give enough information so people can make an informed decision about whether they want more info (as opposed to giving ALL the information that someone might need to buy from you. The latter is what your sales page is for.)
- A single well-written testimonial carries far more weight for most people than all the clever sales copy you could ever write. It’s especially effective when a testimonial is from someone who is known within the community.
- Focus on the top benefits or results that people will get from your offer, rather than the features or logistics.
- Include the #1 benefit in your subject line so that people who are looking for that type of benefit will be more likely to read your message.
- Also be sure to include [FF] or [Free Friday] in your subject line so that folks can tell it’s a promotional email.
- The call to action should be to either contact you directly (off-list) or visit your website for more information, rather pushing people to register after reading one email. You’re much more likely to generate interest when people don’t feel pressured to buy before they’re ready.
- Avoid using ALL CAPS in your promotional emails (any email, really.) Your words should do the heavy lifting, not your shift key.
- Also avoid centering the text in your emails; it looks more professional to use a conventional business style in email.
- Don’t add the NCC email address to your prospect/customer database. Remember, you opted to join the NCC listserv, not the other way around. You can broadcast promotional emails to your own list as often as you like, but you can only send promotional email to the NCC listserv from Friday-Sunday.
- If you really want to improve your results, how about giving your NCC colleagues a professional discount? Or some type of referral bonus if they send their friends your way? A little professional courtesy goes a long way. And if you attend someone’s event or use their product — and you liked it — consider posting something here on the NCC listserv sharing how much you liked it. Why not give them a testimonial?
One more thing, and this is for the folks who might tend to have a critical eye when it comes to marketing: Your feedback could be very, very helpful to those who are testing their marketing wings. Just please remember to be constructive and kind! If a marketer is open to hearing feedback about something they promoted to the listserv, your contribution could have a significant impact — if you approach it as a colleague who wants to help, rather than as an offended consumer who needs to vent.
We’re all trying to learn how to be better coaches and better business owners here. I hope these tips help in that regard.
Kathy Mallary, the Signature System Coach(tm), works with personal and professional/business coaches who want to learn how to make money with their own signature coaching system. Discover how to build a thriving one-of-a-kind coaching business at www.spiritspring.com