When African American entrepreneurs first jump online or start a business, their first instinct is to sell to anyone and everyone. You know this person. You shiver when you see them coming because you know that they will steer the conversation towards trying to sell you. You unfollow them on Twitter because every tweet is a ‘buy now’ call to action. You delete their emails and avoid their texts because you know what they are on.
You avoid ‘salespeople’ because you know they dont care about you or your needs. They just want to shove their product or service down your throat.
If that salesperson above sounds like you, chances are you haven’t gotten many sales. That’s because no one watches television for the commercials. They watch for the content. If you are a walking commercial, people will change the channel quickly.
You might be wondering what you should be doing if not moving units. The answer is producing content so good that your target market cant help but view it. Your market is either looking for the answer to a problem, or passing time with brands they love. Give them the information to solve their problem and entertain them and they will be yours.
Educate and Entertain
Great content – not you being pushy – is what will turn your target market into clients and customers. There are two types of content that you should start with: content designed to educate and content that entertains.
Content designed to educate an audience includes:
- How to videos
- A history of [your field]
- Who the top influencers in the field are
- Product Reviews
Content designed to entertain includes:
- Comedy skits
- Opinion pieces
- Inspiring and motivating pieces
Lets say you have a website selling beats. You could try spamming Black Twitter and pray someone buys a beat from you. Or you could start a podcast where you talk about the history of hip hop, how to produce beats, and who you think the best artists in the field are. Use your beats in the background of the podcast and let the audience know where they can buy the beats if they enjoyed hearing them during the show.
Or lets say you sell shea butter. You could write blog posts on 101 uses for shea butter, a history of shea butter , and do videos on how shea fits into a more organic lifestyle.
And lets say you want to start a clothing line. You could follow in the footsteps of Gary from Tshirt Help Desk and do predictions for the next year in fashion, a podcast that teaches others how to create a clothing line, and put together resources for your audience.
Focus on the Funnel
Once you start to generate dope content, your audience will want more. That is when its time to drop them into a sales funnel. A sales funnel is the process you want your customers to follow as they go from prospect to client to loyal brand ambassador.
It starts with them liking your content. Then subscribing to it. Then making a small purchase. Then a larger purchase. And finally, becoming a lifelong friend of your brand.
Now, instead of focusing on making just one sale, you are focused on building a relationship with your top fans.
Using our earlier examples, if you are selling beats, your podcast subscribers buy beats from you in the first part of the process. In the next part of the process, maybe you reach out to them and offer a free consultation. After the consultation, you offer to stay on their team as a paid consultant. Once their project is finished, you sign an agreement with them to distribute their content on your platform on a regular basis. You could also let them advertise on your site for a monthly fee. Later, when you go on tour to meet your tribe members (by doing a live podcast maybe) you can team up with your customers and do a joint event. As you get better and bigger, you can start to do management, A&R, etc for your new lifelong client.
See how that works?
So stop investing all your effort in ‘selling’ and start creating great content and building long term relationships. You will make more money, build your website traffic, and keep your friends.
Want examples on how you can start educating and entertaining your audience? Want advice on how to set up your sales funnel? Leave a comment below with your website, idea, or question and I will give you a free consultation!