Do people know what they can buy from you?

"Don't be too salesy." 

"Give your audience value."

"It's not all about you, it's about them."


These are the messages that you hear over and over about your content and they are true. You don't want to sound like a sales pitch, but you also have to make sure that you don't end up being the opposite (this is something we've struggled with ourselves).

While you don't want to constantly sell things to your audience, you also have to make sure that you're making it clear to your audience what they can buy when they're ready.

What do you sell?

How easy is it to find things that people can buy on your website? What are the things you want people to buy? Make sure that you have a list of several options that you can promote to people in your blog, on Facebook, in your newsletter, etc.  Keep in mind that the easier you make things for people the better. Whenever possible, instead of telling someone to get in touch to buy something, have a "buy now" button next to the product because people don't like taking extra steps.

For a long time we simply told people we could help them with social media and waited for them to decide how. It turns out it really helps to have tangible products that people can buy (like the newsletter course or the Simple Start program.)

How often should you promote your products?

You need to be careful about ONLY trying to sell things. What you want is a blend of valuable content (this should be the majority of your content) without forgetting to promote yourself too. While giving specific numbers for this kind of thing can be hard because it depends on your audience (as with everything) and what you're selling, a safe zone would be that 10-25% of your content can be purely self promotional. This doesn't mean that 25% of the time you're specifically trying to sell them something (though it could), but it could mean linking to newsletter sign ups, asking your audience for input or linking to your testimonials page.

Nobody engages

When you post links to your content that's for sale, people aren't going to be inclined to 'like' or comment or even share that content. That makes analytics particularly important. I had a client who was convinced that she shouldn't be posting links to her products, but when we went into her Facebook insights, the posts with the products were among the most clicked on content she had. While she was worrying that people weren't interested and that she was bothering them, her audience were rushing over to her website to find out more. Check your numbers to see how your audience is reacting to your content.

Give it a try

This week, promote some of your products on some of your social channels and let us know how it goes. You may be surprised at how easily people will buy something when simply given the opportunity.

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending March 16

Over the week we go through a lot of content - news and blog posts, how tos and conceptual posts on the state of the internet.  Every Sunday we share some of our favourites with you.

Check out the links and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you read any great posts this week!


What’s the value of a like?  People work so hard to get Facebook likes, but we all need to remember that’s simply just the start.  The real value is in then building a relationship and not letting the last action that person ever takes with regards to your business having been to hit like.  This post by Martin Waxman on the value of a like is a good reminder of that.

Google reader is going away (see Karen’s reference to the news below) and Mitch Joel wrote an interesting post about blogging inspired by this news. I never thought blogs were in danger of going away but the way people find blogs has changed significantly just in the six years I’ve been blogging. I now only use RSS a handful of times a month to find content. While on Mitch’s blog, he’s got a post highlighting some amazing advertisements - they’re worth a watch.

This post by Daniel Sharkov gives some good tips on how to improve your side bar.

Ending on a fun note, if you have kids who watch Dora, check out the trailer for the new live-action web series by College Humor :)


Google made the announcement this week that they’re sunsetting Google Reader as of July 1, 2013 (The Next Web). Since I use this tool daily, I’m not super thrilled to have to look for a replacement (Lifehacker), but some of the alternatives are already experiencing the wave of success (The Next Web). 

While Google is killing off a beloved app, Pinterest is now even better with the addition of analytics (ReSoMe), which users have been requesting for a long time. Yay, Pinterest!

Your business has superfans, so here’s some advice for converting them to customer/client status (Spin Sucks). Also, aren’t superfans just the best thing to have? Nothing makes me feel better about what I do than getting a virtual high-five from one of them or sitting down to have a session with them. 

Are you looking for content ideas? Here’s a challenge for you from Christopher Penn. If you’re not a marketer, this still applies to you. Just substitute the word “marketer” for whatever terminology fits what you do. Find your own quotes and you’re ready to go! 

Here’s why it’s important to incorporate social media monitoring (Social Media Explorer). Proactive engagement has great value. So, hopefully you’re watching some keywords for your industry.

The Media Mesh

5 mistakes that will get your Facebook page deleted

Pump up the Volume: 2013 style

App of the Week

There isn’t an app in the world that can perfectly tell you how to use any social media platform, but I like using apps like Tweet Grader every once in a while to see what they tell me. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my grade had gone from 96-98 over the first several years I was on Twitter to 100 now. (Yay, Mom, I got an A+!) You can get a rough idea from a tool like this whether you might want to tweak your content. Nothing beats personal feedback, but this is a good solution if you want to know now

Leave us a comment and tell us what some of your favourite reads were this week!