For a long time, I believed that creating helpful content would pay off.
That karma would shine down on me and clients would fall from the skies eager to work with me.
Did this happen?
Because when you do this you’re playing a waiting game.
Your audience laps up all that free content, and you sit there waiting for the sale.
Your audience is in control.
But at some point, you’ve got to bite the bullet and ask for the sale. And you have to do it directly! Not at the end of a really helpful blog post where you scurry out like a mouse and say ‘oh, by the way, you might find my services helpful go check them out’ and then scurry back into your hole in the wall.
No. You have to directly and confidently tell people what it is you do, who you help and how you help.
Yes, you cover this on your product or service pages on your website. But people have to naturally find their way to these pages.
I’m talking about getting this information directly in front of your audience.
I’m talking about creating sales content.
What is Sales Content?
Sales content is exactly like it sounds, it’s content that is designed to get you sales. It includes everything you might talk about on a sales call. It answers all those questions you get from your potential customers. And it relates directly to YOUR products and services (not your industry as a whole).
We talk a lot about sales content in our book, Content Fortress. Sales content makes up one of the key pillars of content marketing.
The Huge Problem With Content Marketing…
Ever heard of the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is a process that your customers will go through before they buy your product. It consists of three stages: awareness, consideration and decision.
At the awareness stage, the buyer realises they have a problem.
At the consideration stage, they begin to research all the potential solutions to that problem.
And finally, at the decision stage, they’ve decided on a solution strategy and are looking at suppliers or companies to buy from.
An Example of The Buyer’s Journey
Awareness Stage Example
Let’s say you’re at a networking event and someone says to you, ‘oh, you sound great, do you have a website?’ and you realise that you don’t and this may be a turnoff for potential customers. You’ve become aware of the problem.
Consideration Stage Example
So you go home and begin to research all the available solutions to that problem. Building your website yourself on Wix. Building it using page builders such as Elementor. Hiring a freelance web designer. Hiring an agency. Lots and lots of lovely research. You download some checklists or guides from these websites to help you.
Now you’re at the consideration stage, where you’re researching all the potential solutions to your problem.
Decision Stage Example
You do your research and then you decide you decide on hiring a freelance web designer. And then you go about comparing different people.
You’ve found the solution strategy.
Most companies produce content that covers the first two stages. They produce helpful content that teaches people how they do what they do (how to build a website, for example). Or they help people get to the ‘decision stage’ by creating content that helps them choose the right solution strategy. For example, like our blog post ‘should you hire a cheap web designer or design your website yourself?’
But they fail to produce content that hits people at the decision stage. That sells themselves (over their competitors).
The Buyer’s Journey Can Be A Slow One: Speed It Up With Sales Content
The buyer’s journey process can be quite slow – particularly for service-based businesses or high-cost products. It could take someone weeks, months or even years to go through this process.
When we create helpful content we imagine our audience reading it then thinking ‘oh that was helpful. I am now going to read their entire service page and then get in touch with them if I think they’re right for me.’
The reality is a bit messier.
The reality is they go away. Other stuff takes priority. You’re still in the back of their minds but they need more time.
In 2019, we looked at our previous 10 clients. 7 out of 10 of those clients were on our email list for at least 3 months. One person was on it for two years, consistently consuming our content until they made the decision to buy. Proof that this is much messier than we think!
This is why you need sales content because it hits your audience right between the eyes! They’re not just continuously reading your helpful content. You suddenly present your audience with sales content, and they then are encouraged to make a decision as to whether they should work with you.
How Sales Content Earned us £25,000+ From One Blog Post
In 2019, we produced a piece of sales content called ‘Why we’re raising our web design prices.’ In it was a clear call to action that said: if you buy before x date, you can still get our prices at the current rate. We emailed it to our list and made $25,000+ from that one blog post (that we can trackback directly).
Sales content was the content we’d been missing all along. People kept consuming our free helpful content but they needed that nudge help them decide if they actually wanted to work with us or not.
Get Your Web Visitors’ Email Address
That’s why it’s a good idea to get your readers email address. So you can continuously bring them back to your content. You can find out more about how to get someone’s email address in our blog post, how to create a lead generating website.
If you have an email list, you can simply send your sales content to them.
How often should you use sales content?
It’s worth pointing out that you shouldn’t use sales content all the time. People will get a little tired of it. Sales content should be used as a seasoning, not the main meal. Usually, one out of every five pieces of our content is classed as sales content.
More Examples of Great Sales Content…
We encourage our members in our 90 Day Content Marketing Challenge to create sales content. Here are some examples to inspire you!
The ‘Everything You Need to Know’ Blog Post: Debbie Ekins
We love ‘Everything You Need to Know’ Posts. They are blog posts that tell you…well, everything you need to know about a particular product or service.
They work well because it helps summarise what your product or service is all about and it answers all your audience’s questions or potential objections.
What we love about Debbie’s ‘Everything you need to know about my blog writing services‘ post is that she doesn’t shy away from the kinds of questions many businesses don’t like to answer (but our customers really want to know!) – things like ‘how much do you charge’ or ‘when do I need to pay’.
The ‘Case Study’ Blog Post: Jo Francis
I personally love case study blog posts. Most people put their case studies on a dedicated page on their website. Which means someone has to actively find the case study.
If you have a ‘case study’ blog post you can get in front of more people. You just have to reframe it slightly. A traditional case study is more about how you helped your client. A case study blog post looks at the steps you took to help your client achieve a particular result. It’s half helpful blog post/half highlighting your services.
Jo, a Facebook ads specialist, does a great job with this in her blog post: How to grow your email list by 1000 contacts for £110 ($150).
Jo explains how she worked with her client to grow their email list using Facebook ads. I particularly like how useful this blog post is to the reader. She breaks it down step-by-step. But Jo also doesn’t shy away from promoting herself too – and why shouldn’t she! Jo clearly gets great results for her clients.
The ‘Reasons to Buy’ Blog Post: Adanna Bankole
A ‘reasons to buy’ post generally focuses on the benefits of your products or services rather than the nitty-gritty details.
These posts work well because they highlight exactly what your customers will get out of your products.
I love how Adanna approached this blog post because it’s actually a pretty scary one to write! In her blog post, ‘4 Reasons to Buy My Business Plan Templates‘, Adanna talks about why you should invest in this product. She lists her reasons clearly like ‘it will save you time’ or ‘it’s more convenient. She also features a testimonial from someone who has bought the templates – a really nice touch!
The ‘My Services Explained’ Blog Post: Sara Bussandri
This is typically where you explain how your products and services work and why they work so well.
Even though it may seem obvious to you, a lot of people might not understand how your products or services actually work, and they may have a lot of questions about it.
Sara does a great job with her blog post: My blog writing service and packages explained. She explains why she doesn’t just write individual blog posts, why she doesn’t offer a ‘trial’ and she tackles the issue of how someone can actually write for another business (without being in it).
The ‘I’m Raising My Prices’ Blog Post: Janine Coombes
This is my ultimate favourite blog post! Is it scary? Yes! But it’s so much fun to write and it’s the one we’ve found delivers really good results.
We all should raise our prices at some point during our business careers. Normally, we do this ‘under the radar. We don’t tell anyone about it, we just simply change our websites to reflect our new prices.
With existing clients, it’s trickier, because we have to email them to let them know that there will be a price increase.
This is why we love the ‘why am I raising my prices’ blog post. Because it’s your opportunity to tell people how flipping brilliant you are and how much value you deliver. And therefore why (justifiably so) you’re raising your prices.
This is also a great thing to send to existing clients. As we always say, people don’t care what you say, they care what you publish. And if you state publicly that you’re raising your prices, your client will believe and trust that this is a decision you’ve made for all your clients. Not just for them.
We love how Janine, a marketing coach, tackles this in her blog post: The 5 reasons I’m putting my prices up. Janine is super confident. She states that she’s raising her prices because ‘I’m seriously good at what I do.’ And then she goes on to explain what she’s done for her clients.
She breaks down exactly why she’s raising her prices in a transparent and frank way. And it works incredibly well for building trust and authority.
What Are Your Next Steps When It Comes to Creating Sales Content?
So there you have it. Some great examples of businesses using sales content. And there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do this too!
If you want help, support and some accountability when creating sales content (and lots of other content too), why not join our 90 Day Content Marketing Challenge? This THE challenge that will help you create content that delivers you rankings, traffic, leads and sales.
The doors are next opening on the 22 April. Join the waitlist now.
Owner at Jammy Digital, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer of Young-Adult Fiction.