"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.
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.