Home >> Blog

How To Soft Sell With Social Media

August 26th, 2021
assorted-color social media signage

Social media is just another way of gaining visibility by getting attention. In this regard, it is no different from using PR to get featured in print media, radio or television, or from doing traditional advertising. It’s just another way of getting attention.

And, like PR, it is a very soft sell. If you post a link to your sales page every day or even every few days, you are very unlikely to sell anything unless there’s a limited time offer associated with it.

Social media is a way of making yourself and your business known to people who might need it at some point in the future. It’s also a way of adding some personality to your brand.

So, if you can’t post offers every day, what should you post instead?

Forget about selling products and services to your followers and focus on selling yourself or your business or brand. Remember, selling your product requires you to first sell yourself.

Focus on adding value to your followers’ lives. There are two very consistent ways of doing this: help them out for free, or make them laugh. Our feeds try to do a bit of both.

Help Your Followers Out

Post useful content that might help them with their struggle. And do it for free.

This may sound like a huge amount of work to not make direct sales from. If you’re not a natural writer, writing a 500-1000 word article every day, or even once a week may seem like a daunting task.

You could outsource this to a company like us. We’ll do it for you.

Or you can post content from other blogs and websites (although not competing brands).

The most important thing with social media is post consistently.

Make Them Laugh

Humour is powerful.

It is psychologically impossible for people to dislike you if you make them laugh. Internet humour can be weird, but in 2021, it has the advantage of being a multimedia art form.

Video clips, memes, and straight up written word are all ways of producing humorous content and making your followers laugh.

This might sound like even harder work than writing helpful articles. And yes, comedy is a skillset but incidentally one that we possess. We can create humorous content for you and post it to your feeds on a regular basis.

Engage Your Audience

Both of the above strategies are likely to help engage other social media users. When they comment on your posts or respond to your tweets, answer them – write back. This is what adds ‘humanness’ to the technology. This is what will make them trust you even more. Because behind your branding, there are real people.

Is Social Media Marketing Right For Your Business?

I would not recommend spending money on social media marketing if you’re not yet profitable. It’s a soft sell and can take a while for you to see any serious business growth as a result of it.

But if your business is already making money and a couple of hundred pounds a month doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s definitely something to consider.

Selling Is Easy When You Get These Three Things Right

April 26th, 2021
two people shaking hands

If you are struggling to sell your products and services, I’m willing to bet I know why. It’s one or more of three things. I’ve been there myself countless times in the past. Spending weeks developing a product or a website only to receive very little interest from the world.

Over many years, I came to the realisation that when a product or service will not sell, the problem is almost always one of the following:

Company Reputation

Do people like and trust the company? If they’re going to do business with the company, they need to trust it and believe that it will treat them well and deliver on its promises to them.

Companies spend a lot of money on branding and PR to maintain a positive image in the minds of their target market, but for a fledgling startup this reputation is going to born mostly out of your website design and online reputation.

4 Ways To Build Company Reputation

  • Encourage your customers to tweet a testimonial if they are pleased with your service.
  • Encourage your customers to write an online review on TrustPilot or reviews.io if they are pleased with your service
  • Invest in professional web design
  • Invest in PR campaigns
  • Invest in SEO – people still attribute status to the websites that appear at the top of Google

Website

Your website is very likely to be the first direct contact a new prospect has with your company. That means the prospect is going to judge your company and your product by your website. Website design is mission critical to most businesses.

Does it look professional? Does it give the impression that the company can be trusted? Does it give the impression that the product or service will be of good quality? The potential customer will make all these decisions and more based on your website.

Product/Service

Is the product or service something that a substantial number of people actually want and are willing to pay for? It’s surprising how many entrepreneurs create products and services that nobody really wants. Either they don’t solve a problem or they don’t solve a sufficiently big problem that people will pay to have solved. I’ve done it myself.

Often, those who try to take hobbies and turn them into business ventures can be guilty of this. They just want people to buy their hobby and little or no thought is spent pondering what problem your ‘service’ actually solves for the buyer.

When taking a product to market, it’s better to start from the other side of the table and try to identify a problem that a substantial number of people have and then propose a solution. Once you are confident your product or service solves a genuine problem, selling it is, in large part, about convincing people that your product or service will deliver on its promise to make their lives easier.

Search Engine Optimisation: Who Needs It And Who Doesn’t?

April 19th, 2021
monitor screengrab

While it may sound like one, this is not a rhetorical question. SEO is a visibility strategy much the same as billboard advertising or door-to-door flyers or any number of other methods of letting the general public know you exist and what you offer.

Search engine optimisation is the process of getting search engines to rank a website strongly so that it appears in search results when people search for keyword terms related to whatever the business in question is.

For example, if you are a carpenter in Hull making bespoke furniture, you might want to rank for the term “bespoke furniture” or “carpenter in Hull”.

But does every business need SEO? At Smart & Slick, we are not in the business of selling anybody a product or service that we do not genuinely believe will benefit their business. And the answer to this question is no. SEO is not for everybody because it will not benefit everybody.

Our carpenter in Hull. We’ll call him Hal. Now, Hal from Hull might be selling all types of furniture: bed frames, drawers, wardrobes, dining tables – literally anything they have at Ikea.

Now, if I want bespoke furniture, there is no brand name or organisation that instantly comes to mind. Ikea is not bespoke. Sliderobes might come to mind if I wanted wardrobes, but apart from that, I’ve got nothing. That is why I am likely to go to Google and search for “bespoke cabinet”.

Now, if Hal from Hull has a search engine optimised website, he might come up in the Google results for that search term and I might find him that way. And if his website is good and his marketing says all the right things and Hal can convince me that he can give me what I want, I might place an order.

Hal from Hull would clearly benefit from an SEO campaign because his business stands to benefit considerably if his website ranks for all of these terms relating to bespoke furniture: “cabinet”, “bed frame”, “wardrobe” and on and on and on.

But now let’s look at a different type of business.

Across the country in London, there’s Larry in London. Larry is a comedian. Now, Larry’s core business model is to sell tickets to public shows in theatres and comedy clubs. But it is highly unlikely that his customers are going to go online and search “comedy show” in order to find him. They’re far more likely to have been initially introduced to Larry by a method other than a Google search.

As such, Larry is probably not going to benefit much from an SEO campaign, except maybe for ranking #1 for his own name. But that’s likely to happen organically and is so easy that we don’t even really consider it to be SEO.

So while Hal from Hull would be well advised to invest his marketing budget into an SEO campaign, Larry from London would be much better off spending his marketing budget on YouTube marketing, social media and general brand building activities.

How To Get YouTube Subscribers

March 24th, 2021
youtube

Web video is the world’s most accessible medium. And YouTube is the current dominant platform for web video. Put those two facts together: Success on YouTube is worth the cost. It is one of the only media channels that we recommend to every single organisation we work with, regardless of their age or maturity. Whether you are a one day old startup or a ten year old company, YouTube can benefit you. In this article, we discuss how to grow your audience on the world’s largest video platform.

I was a little surprised when I did the research for this article. A lot of the search data suggests there are quite a few people out there looking for ways to get more YouTube subscribers with cheats and hacks. So, if that’s you, I have to tell you that I really wouldn’t advise it.

How We Get YouTube Subscribers Organically

There really is no need to cheat or hack YouTube. We build audiences and subscriber bases for businesses and brands using a simple white hat formula.

Professional Channel Branding

We make you look like you deserve to be taken seriously. Branding 101. By creating or commissioning professional graphics to use as your YouTube cover art and your profile picture, we immediately improve the first impression you have on YouTube users who are new to your channel. Regardless of your video content, one of the first things anybody is going to see when they visit your channel is your artwork. And they judge you on it.

Do The Research

We figure out what it is your particular market or demographic wants to watch. We have a process for doing this consistently.

Post Videos Regularly

This is the bit people find most difficult when they try to do it themselves alongside every other thing they have to do in their business. YouTube is extremely content hungry. And their algorithms reward accounts and channels that post regularly. This has also been shown consistently to be a creator behaviour that encourages new people to subscribe to your channel.

We Don’t Stop

This may sound obvious, but the truth is that most people do. Of course, if you’re on a contract with us, we will stop if you terminate the contract. But otherwise, we keep making videos and the snowball continues to grow in size.

How To Market Yourself: Be Seen As An Authority In Your Industry in 5 Seconds

March 16th, 2021

Whether you’re an author, an accountant, a consultant, an entertainer or anything else, marketing yourself is necessary. It has to be done. And your success in your career will, in part, be connected to how well you market yourself. In this article, I’m going to explain how we, at Smart And Slick, help to market people and businesses in many fields and industries from entertainment, to professional services.

8 Essential Elements For Creating Authority Status In Seconds

In the 21st century, your website is your store front. It’s the first marketing asset most people who are interested in your products or services will see. And we have a formula for positioning our clients to be industry authorities and even celebrities. And we can do it in 5 seconds.

How?

Because 5 seconds is the length of time it takes the average website visitor to absorb the content of the first fold of a website. (The first fold is the part of the home page that somebody sees when they load the page, without scrolling.

1. Being The Top Result On Google For Your Name

Most people nowadays will not type your website address into their browser address bar. They’ll just type your name into Google. And being the top result for that search is the first unconscious but very powerful status indicator that helps build your prospect’s view of you.

Unless you have a very common name, or share your name with a famous namesake, this usually isn’t all that difficult to achieve and can be done with a little SEO. (Check out “How To Get To The Top Of Google” for more info.

2. Clean & Professional Graphic Design

Graphic design is a language. It’s a form of communication. Colours, shapes and fonts rapidly communicate things in milliseconds that would take pages if you had to do it in words: Things like mood, style and vibe. Professional website is the first and most important step in shaking off any sense your prospects might get that you are, or look like, an amateur. In a nutshell, good graphic design says “this person is a pro” and poor graphic design says “this person is an amateur”.

3. Professional Photography

If you’re creating a personal brand, your first fold needs to feature a picture of you – probably a big one. There is no way to cut costs on this. If you don’t get professional photos taken, you will look like an amateur. Photographers have lots of specialist equipment to create images that are evenly lit and look great on your website. And amateur photos are the easy for anybody to spot.

We have partnered with photographers all over the country, to make this a seamless part of our service.

4. Presstimonials & Media Logos

Nothing blasts your status into the stratosphere quite like quotes from media outlets and the logos of media outlets you’ve been featured in. Of course, you do have to be featured in the media outlets first, but our Communications Department can help you with that.

When your website features a few of these, it’s basically impossible for anybody to see you as an amateur. You instantly become the real deal. And of course, the more famous the media brand, the higher your status will become.

5. Author Of, or Star Of

If you’re a consultant or offer some form of professional service, you can gain massive authority by writing the book on the subject. So an accountant might write a book about tax, or personal finance. A pharmacist could write about healthy living. A personal trainer can write a book about exercise (there are thousands). The only people who we don’t recommend to write teaching books are entertainers. Somehow a singer who writes a book about singing has reduced their status, not increased it.

But of course entertainers can be the star of their show or Netflix special or whatever. And musicians can have their music on Spotify.

6. Social Media Follow Counts

These are not nearly as popular as they used to be, mainly because it’s now fairly well known that you can buy followers or subscribers on any social media platform. Under no circumstances do we at Smart And Slick recommend that as a strategy, but either way it makes this easy to fake. However, if you have genuine followers or subscribers, particularly on a platform like YouTube, it could be worth finding space on your website’s first fold to brag about it.

7. Navigation Links

Now we’re getting into subtle territory, but don’t let that convince you that this is any less powerful than some of the other stuff we’ve covered. For most sites, these are more suited to being footer links than main navigation links, but the presence of website sections such as a “Press Office” and a section for “Investors”, if it’s applicable, are both strong indications that you’re not messing about. Of course, you will have to then create respectable pages for each section, but that doesn’t have to be difficult.

8. What Your Contact Page Says

For personal brands, #6 might not be so applicable. So instead, you can make up for it with a professional contact page.

On your contact page, list all the various reasons people might want to contact you and have different contact info for each one.

###

So that’s it. Our celebrity building checklist. The combined power of all of these techniques and strategies will create unparalleled status and authority no matter what industry that are applied in.

And when you have the kind of status we’re talking about here, you’ll attract all kinds of opportunities. You’ll more than likely start getting offered public speaking opportunities, media appearances, and you’ll be able to command higher prices.

If you’d like a professional job, get in touch and we’d be happy to assist you.