Get More Attention to Your Social Media Posts With These 3 Copywriting Hacks

Remember when Facebook decided to update its newsfeed algorithm so you pretty much had to pay any time you wanted to show up in your fans’ newsfeeds?

Sucked, didn’t it?

So now you’re faced with keeping a social media advertising budget, but making sure you get the absolute most out of the money you spend can be hard.

A major way to stand out, though, is to tweak the copywriting you’re using in your posts to say something different than what every other one of your competitors is saying.

It’s a lot easier than it sounds, and no intensive copywriting tutorials will be involved, I promise. In fact, I've got three copywriting hacks for your social media posts that you can test today. Let me show you how.

1. Say what your competitors aren’t (and maybe even what they’re afraid to)

It might sound a bit mystical at first, to figure out the things your competitors aren’t saying... but it’s actually pretty easy to figure this one out.

The thing is, as business owners (and especially as women, if I can say that), we tend to under-value what we do and the products and services we have for sale.

Denise Duffield-Thomas illustrates it perfectly in this video:

But the thing is, men and women both have the tendency to do this from time to time, which likely means that your competition probably isn’t tooting their own horn as loudly as they (or you) should be.

Because within every single industry, the vast majority of business owners and marketers unknowingly fall into saying exactly what everyone else is saying. They sell the same products, offer the same services, and say the same things about them.

This might make it “easy” when deciding what to write in your social media posts, because you can just check out what everyone else is writing. But when you sound no different from your competition, your prospective fans and customers aren’t going to notice or appreciate your differences, and it’s those differences that make you and your business worth their time and attention.

“Forge your own path and leave your own mark,” said Drew Eric Whitman in Cashvertising. “You don’t need permission from anybody to do things your way. You be the leader. You be the one people copy because what you’re doing is so unique. Shake people up in your industry. Why be just another person in your industry who does nothing new, nothing worth noting, nothing that gets people talking and buying?” (emphasis mine)

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media posts

This guy, for example. Not to hate on him, but he’s trying to use every emotional-ridden jargon word for his industry, and it’s killing him. Not to mention that pose. So cliche. And the screaming caps. Just no.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media Posts

Or this post. It’s way less painful to read and doesn’t make you cringe, but he could definitely be getting more (& better) attention, increasing his click throughs and leads.

But by breaking out of the industry norms and saying things in a way that shamelessly help the people behind these ads toot their own horns (in a non-douchey way, of course), we can really help these ads stand out.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media Posts

I can’t edit the bottom half, but look at the new top half I’ve written. I’ve taken out most of the jargon, spoken to pain points without using all caps, and make a promise I can deliver on if you click through.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media Posts

I open this ad with a hook that’s focused on a pain point so many aspiring travel writers feel threatened by. Then I “buddy up” to the reader to show that I share in their annoyance. Finally, I make a promise to let them see how people who have their dream job did it, so they can do it to. And suddenly, you’re clicking on it, aren’t you?

2. Ask only for the next step - not the main goal

Social media is social media.

It’s not a product shopping cart.

It can be tempting, though, to use the time and effort you spend on social media to go ahead and ask for the sale. After all, you don’t want to waste your time pansy-footing around when you’ve got a business to run and money to make, do you?

But that’s not what social media is for.

Getting people to click through to your site from social media is much less about getting the sale right away and much more about building up their momentum to keep clicking and subconsciously saying “Yes!” to you.

“You’re helping them focus on the benefit they want from the product rather than their hesitation to make the investment to own it,” said Tom Hopkins on Entrepreneur.

So by only asking for the next step (which might be to read a blog post or get a free ebook), you’ll generate more clicks and get more traffic to the pages you want people on.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media

Become an owner of an Allstate agency before I’m ever even a customer or in their professional HR pipeline in any way? Don’t think this ad is going to work on me, sorry.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media

On the flip side, though, even though I am in this guy’s ad network because I’ve visited his site, he isn’t asking me for much—just for an email subscription in exchange for his advice (which he knows I’ve already seen). It’s a much more likely step, isn’t it?

What’s more, when you do get people to your site, you’ll be able to pixel more visitors for your custom advertising audience even if you don’t ask for any kind of conversion or sale the first time they’re on your site, so you can continue to reach out to them via retargeting. (More on that from Facebook, here.)

This is particularly helpful for those of us who sell higher-priced items that usually aren’t purchased in a split decision after clicking through on an ad.

By exposing people to who you are, your expertise, and your offering over time, you build their trust instead of putting them off by asking for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars right away.

Max Chierruzi, CEO of AdEspresso, a Facebook advertising agency, said that when they started focusing on the next step instead of the major goal, their cost per click went down from $0.10 to $0.03 or $0.05.

They did this by targeting ads towards people who hadn’t visited their site to simply visit and receive value. Then, after they visited and were pixeled, they ran ads to get them to sign up for a lead magnet.

3. Use testimonials & customer photos as your ad content

Now this is something which is very much worth testing.

Social media is one of the best ways to advertise to your target demographics, especially when Facebook has so many pieces of demographic information you can sort through and target based on.

By using a testimonial from a person that most closely matches the target demographic you’re going after for a particular campaign, you immediately increase your relevance and credibility with those who see the ad.

“We’re comfortable with what we know, and what we know best is our own face,” said Kate Hakala.

Extending beyond just our face though, we also know our life situation, job, industry, and region better than others, so we tend to have higher trust towards things that seem to be affiliated with those things.

If you’re showing an ad on LinkedIn, for example, you can focus the testimonial text you use around the numbers you know your target audience there would be most concerned about during the workday, when they’re most likely to be on the site.

Copywriting Hacks for Social Media

In an article about how to hire more women, LinkedIn suggests placing images of women in the recruitment ads.

It's time to start hacking your social media posts

So now you’ve got three things to try to get more attention to your brand’s social media posts:

  • Use different language than your competitors.
  • Ask for only the next step, not the sale.
  • Use testimonials and ideal customer’s faces in your ads.

All three of these copywriting hacks for social media posts are fairly easy updates, and worth testing to improve your attention and ROI. Then, you can sit back and let those social media platforms work their magic.

The Hot Seat: Sales Funnels + More with Stacey Herbert

One Woman Shop's The Hot Seat

In this episode of The Hot Seat, Cristina + Sara chat with Stacey Herbert, sales funnel expert and creator of Brazen Profit Lab. In our 45-minute chat, we learn why Stacey wrapped her laptop up in a sarong to overhaul her life from London to Berlin, hear her take on sales funnels + why they're crucial to growing a biz, dig into what makes up a client experience, and learn why "selling isn't a dirty word."

Resources mentioned:

Show notes:

  • Why selling isn't a dirty word
  • The importance of market research
  • The value of trust online
  • Anticipating your customer's potential objections
  • How content created now reaps dividends down the road

PS: Want to see all past episodes of The Hot Seat? Subscribe to One Woman Shop on YouTube.

5 Ways to Close a Sale

5 Ways to Close a Sale

5 Ways to Close a Sale

One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is when you secure a “Yes!” from a prospect who will benefit from your product or services. The feeling of closing a sale -- that moment when you achieve your desired outcome and money changes hands -- can be one of the greatest sources of validation.

Sales may not typically be a solopreneur’s favorite thing, yet feeling that close is. But before you can jump to the close -- you need to make sure you’ve done the basics of selling:

  1. Start with the potential customer's problem. How does the problem that you’re solving typically show up in your prospects’ lives? What are the symptoms of this issue? What accomplishment is this problem preventing your people from reaching?
  2. Get clear on your benefits and be able to articulate them to your potential customers. This is where much of the selling actually takes place. You need to not only be able to talk about what will be different as a result of your product or service, but also paint a picture of why that difference matters to your prospect.

After you understand these two things about what you’re selling, you’re ready to have a sales conversation you can close.

These five strategies are Authentic Selling® (my signature sales system) approved methods to close the sale with prospects on your list that will leave both you and your client feeling like a million bucks. Please note: All of the following solutions take place after you have a customer on your list or as your prospect.

1. Follow up

The first -- and often overlooked -- way to close a sale is by following up. Statistics show as much as 50 percent of all sales are closed in follow-up communication. Most people don’t take the time to follow up because they fear being too pushy, yet 80 percent of sales require up to five follow ups. Get over the fear and develop a way to follow up that feels authentic to you. It’s a closing technique you can’t ignore.

2. Be of service

This is one of the easiest ways to close a sale and one of the least “pushy.” Ask your prospect what questions they have while coming from a place of genuinely wanting to help them make the best choice at this time. Be honest if you can’t help them, but show them how you can. By doing this, you show the prospect you’re willing to put what’s best for them over closing a sale.

You can’t give too much away, and you’re not wasting time by being of service. With every opportunity to help, you are selling the prospect on yourself, your product, and/or your service. A potential client is never going to close until they know, like, and trust you. How can you be of service? Host free webinars, book free consult calls, or offer a valuable, free opt-in. You are closer to closing the sale every time you give something away for free that is of service.

3. Nurture relationships

Simply put: Friends buy from friends. In fact, stats show that nurtured leads make 47 percent more purchases than non-nurtured. You don’t have to make someone your best friend, but you do need to follow the golden rule and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Get to know your prospects. Call them by name. Ask them about relevant events going on in their lives or cities. With today’s technology, it’s not tough to find ways to show you care. Three ideas for nurturing a lead are: sales funnels, free webinars, and engaging on social media in an authentic way. Ask yourself, if you were a prospect, what would make you feel nurtured and blow your mind? Once you have an answer, implement it.

4. Create a raving fan with every interaction (even the “mistakes”)

In my business, this has landed almost as many clients as following up. When you screw up -- and we all make mistakes -- ask yourself how you can turn those who witnessed your error into raving fans.

Recently, I sent out a marketing email that wasn’t ready to be sent. It was full of typos and errors. To make matters worse, I sent it on Mother’s Day. I had two choices: ignore the mistake, or acknowledge it and create raving fans. I sent out a second email with a genuine apology and offered free coaching to anyone who had a sales issue, as a thank you for accepting the apology. The result was incredibly thankful prospects rather than annoyed subscribers, and five new customers.

5. Never, ever give up

This is going to mirror the no. 1 item on this list a lot -- but it’s necessary. It sounds cliché, but never, ever give up is great advice for closing a sale, for running a successful business, and for life. At some point, your offer will be rejected. It’s going to happen. Make peace with it and realize it has nothing to do with you. Also understand that a “No,” might simply mean “Not right now.” It could mean, in the future, after some follow up, the very same prospect that told you “No,” could be saying “Yes.” Things change day-to-day, and month-to-month. Don’t give up.

As mentioned above, statistics show 80 percent of sales require five follow ups or more but only 44 percent of people follow up more than once. It’s not about pressing the same people over and over; it’s about checking in with them. One way to do this is to simply email a prospect who originally said no and let them know you’re thinking of them. Provide them with a book, blog, or resource to help them along their way. When they’re ready to purchase, you will be top of mind and they will be raving fans because you were the one person to check in over all the others.

Overcoming objections

Now that you understand the foundational steps to having a sales conversation and five ways to close a sale, let’s discuss one other very important part in closing any sale: Overcoming objections.

Anything that prevents the close of a sale can be considered an objection. It could be the prospect believing your product or service is too expensive, or it could be that they don’t feel it’s the right time to make a change. Whatever the reason, understanding what to say and how to close by overcoming objections is key to making more sales. (I believe it’s such an important part of selling, that I created “7 Ways to Yes - Simple Solutions to Overcome Objections, a free training available to you here.)

When you’re selling, you’re getting a “Yes” from a prospect and that means your business is making money and a difference. That’s the power of closing a sale.

7 Sales Tips for Online Entrepreneurs

The marketplace is full of competitors, which can be intimidating when you are starting out on your entrepreneurial journey. This is exactly why it is important to learn how to feel confident selling your products/services. Depending on your personality type, this may come easier for some than for others -- but every solopreneur has to be a saleswoman. So, why not get comfortable with it now and save yourself the headache later?

I have struggled in getting comfortable with everything from pitching, to selling, to pricing. But over time, I’ve learned a few key lessons that make sales more formulaic and less emotional. Here are my top 7 sales tips for online entrepreneurs:

1. Build trust with your audience.

Before you sell anything at all, you should build trust with your customers. Your customers can go anywhere for products, but why should they buy from you? Is your site personal? Are you transparent? Do you give value to your visitors? Or, are you throwing ads in your visitors’ faces as soon as they’re on your site, asking them to buy before they’ve had a chance to get to know you?

People buy because of a feeling more than anything. Give your customers reasons to like you, trust you, and want to buy from you before you even offer them anything. For example, if you send an email newsletter, connect with your subscribers by being open and transparent (like you would with your friends). Create a free, valuable opt-in -- perhaps a free checklist, template, or bundled advice. Find ways to create value without asking for money. After you build trust and your audience likes you and is connected, then you can offer them something for a price.

2. Get your visitors used to clicking links.

If you have a subscriber list, consider including links in your emails. This will get your readers used to clicking and will help them become more receptive to promotional links (a tip I learned from Dan Faggella in episode 159 of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast). Again, keep in mind that you want to build trust first (the email shouldn’t open with an offer to buy your latest product if it’s the first email you’re sending someone).

Instead, draft emails to your subscribers that engage your readers, help them to get to know you, make them trust and like you, and then include links throughout the email to your work, including your latest product. The links can be in the middle of the page or toward the bottom, after you have engaged your readers. In fact, some will argue that you should include just one link in your email -- and that’s fine, too. The point is to get your visitors used to the idea of you providing stuff (some free; others for a price).

3. Use your analytics.

Decide where you want to sell your products by paying attention to your analytics. A good place to start is by looking at your page views. Where are most of your visitors going when they land on your site? If your visitors hang out on your resources page much more often than in your store, then it would be wise to include your products on your resources page.

For me, the most visited page (by far) on my personal finance blog is my store. I know this because of my analytics -- and it’s helped me optimize the page. It would be a shame if I had my products hidden on miscellaneous pages that didn’t make it clear to my visitors where they can spend their money.

Use your analytics (I use Google Webmaster Tools) to help you make intentional choices about where to place your products. For you, it might be a “Start Here” page, a “Work With Me” page, or something entirely different. Once you see trends in how your visitors navigate your site, you can learn how to better optimize it for sales.

4. Pay attention to your brand and your target customer when pricing.

Keep prices in line with your overall brand and your target customers. You pay more at Nordstrom than at Walmart -- but you expect it to be that way. Which brand are you, and are your prices in line with that? There is a market for both Walmart and Nordstrom – you just need to figure out which you are.

Consider your customers, specifically. What types of customers are you targeting? Are you targeting everyone? Females? Female nurses? Female nurses under the age of 30 who have expendable income? Pricing is about the marketplace and it’s about the customer – it is not about you. Be very thoughtful about who your products are best suited for. This will help you be strategic in your pricing and your marketing.

5. Do your market research.

Consider your competitors. Look around and compare what prices competitors are selling similar items for in your niche market. Doing this will give you an idea of what’s already out there and what things are selling for. You can adjust your prices accordingly, or you can completely ignore them if you want to. Generally, it’s smart to stay within what’s considered “market” for what you’re selling because that’s what people are paying, but you might have a good reason to go outside market prices.

For example, maybe all of the online courses that you see for sale include 7-12 modules and are selling for $300-$700. If you have a 20-module course with other extras, you may want to consider pricing your course at $1,000 even though that’s above market for what you’re selling. Regardless of what you decide to do with the information, it’s still better to have the market research and at the very least, have a starting point from which to work.

6. Offer packages with different price points.

Offer packages that give your customers options based on price. This is a lesson I heard on several Smart Passive Income podcast episodes and seems to be widely accepted. Bundle your product into three different priced options ($29.99, $59.99, and $89.99, for example). This allows people with smaller budgets to buy your product while it still gives you the opportunity to earn a lot more from -- and provide more value to -- the people who have more money to spend.

Most people end up buying the middle option (think about it – do you order the cheapest glass of wine on the menu or the second-to-last cheapest?). And quite often, businesses earn the most revenue from the highest-priced item. So, having three packages is a good way to maintain lots of customers and also increase your revenue.

7. Have confidence to sell.

Before you’re convinced that you’re Walmart, I urge you to consider whether you’re actually Walmart or whether you’re Nordstrom that just lacks confidence. It is scary selling products – especially in the beginning (and it is okay to feel this way). Instead of discounting yourself, take a step back and reevaluate your product.

Think about what you’re selling. Think about the value you’re providing to your customers. It’s really important to believe in what you’re selling or you shouldn’t be selling it at all. If you review what you’re selling and you know you are providing tremendous value to your customer, price what your product is worth and not any lower. There is no reason you shouldn’t price high if you’re providing high-end value to your customers.

Start selling, solopreneur

March on and have the confidence to sell, sell, sell. Confidence comes from putting yourself out there through trial, error, and revision -- but you’ll never know if you don’t first try. These steps will get you started. For more specific tactics on gaining confidence selling, I highly recommend To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

PS - One of the best ways to cultivate more sales? Building a loyal, engaged community.

Make Money Selling Your Ideas (Course + OWS Discount!)

The One Woman Shops of our community have a lot in common, but one thing comes up more than others: a mutual fear + discomfort when it comes to selling.

Your ideas are great, your products and services are top-notch, but your sales pitch? It's tough, it's lacking, and you just don't feel good about it. It makes you question your idea in the first place.

Ever feel this way? We sure have. That's why we couldn't wait to share Penelope Trunk's latest creation, her course Make Money Selling Your Ideas.

Because if there's anyone who knows how to sell an idea, it's Penelope. She's a serial entrepreneur and a true role model to One Woman Shops the world over.

Here's what the course, co-taught live by Penelope and her Quistic co-hort, Cassie Boorn, will teach you:

  • How to figure out if you should pitch ideas or a service or both.
  • How to find your most valuable skill.
  • How to determine the best people to pitch.
  • How to develop a slew of things to pitch instead of just one.
  • How to make $500 in a day when you are desperate for money.
  • How to pitch without picking up the phone.
  • How to escape your cubicle by learning to pitch.

The course includes four days of live video sessions, live chat and email-based course materials. All of the live sessions will be recorded, so you can view any sessions you miss on-demand (and refer back to them over and over again as you begin to implement!).

Get more details on each module + register by clicking here.

The course is $195 but One Woman Shop members get $50 off with our special code. Members -- look out for the discount code in the weekly email update! Not yet a member? Find out more and apply!

Having a solid, clever pitch that you believe in will give you the confidence you need to start -- or boost -- your selling. The course starts next Monday, December 15, running four nights from 8-9pm EST.

Note: The link in this post is an affiliate link. We only promote products, services, and courses we firmly believe can help One Woman Shops!

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This post includes affiliate links, meaning we will receive a commission when you make purchases on the sites mentioned. 

Sell Your Products Online: Bootstrap an Online Store

Ready to sell products online but too caught up in the day-to-day tasks of marketing and management to build your online store?

We get it. As one-woman businesses, we’ve all been there. Our time is extremely valuable. We don’t have the space in our schedule -- or the skills -- to create an online store, especially when eCommerce is just plain intimidating.

There are a lot of moving parts to e-commerce: confirming secure transactions, solidifying payment methods, sorting out product delivery, and handling customer service, among others.

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. While there are plenty of e-commerce platforms you can choose from to build your own online store, I have great news for you: there are fast, affordable, and easy ways to sell your products online without the backend hassle. In fact, you could be selling your products in less than an hour!

Sell Your Digital Products Online

Digital products are one of the easiest and most cost-effective products to create. One of the biggest perks: you don’t have to concern yourself with inventory management. Another perk? There are a variety of digital products you can create. You could:

  • write a how-to eBook
  • create a video tutorial
  • record audio coaching sessions

Those are just a few examples. Selling digital products is a great way to grow your brand’s image and highlight your expertise, while making some extra money.

My suggestion for getting started: in less than an hour of your time (once your product is created), you can create a customized Selz store and start selling your digital masterpieces. Selz’ newest app, StorePro, allows users to create an online store using one of their professional themes. Plus, customers can shop from any tablet or smartphone. Setting up a Selz store is free, and they only charge a small percentage of each sale. One of the best parts about Selz is you don’t need any technical skills. They handle the entire sales process.

See it in action: Sofia Cope sells her Pretty Procrastinator Planner using Selz, which is an undated printable planner designed for busy women.

Pretty Procrastinator Planner Selz

Sell Your Own Line of Merchandise Online

One drawback when creating a line of brand merchandise is the enormous cost of selling it. This includes buying inventory, paying set-up and printing fees, and more. It can cost thousands of dollars, with no guarantee that it will sell, typically making it cost-prohibitive for most solo businesses. However, there’s a solution -- if you’ve got a great design or brand logo, you can create an entire line of merchandise without any upfront costs.

My suggestion for getting started: Zazzle allows users to create an entire line of merchandise, and sell if from your own Zazzle shop. You can customize a variety of products, including t-shirts, paper items, baby products, business items, and pet products. Simply apply your unique design to any product you choose, and Zazzle handles printing, shipping, and the entire sales transaction. Zazzle charges a royalty for each sale, but you don’t have to worry about having leftover inventory or shipping costs. You don’t need any special skills to create a product or set up a Zazzle store. It’s a great choice for any solo business!

See it in action: Artist Melanie Taylor sells hundreds of unique products -- from tote and messenger bags to mugs and iPad cases in her Zazzle store, The Creative Taylor.

Creative Taylor on Zazzle

Take Your Local Shop Online

If you run an offline business, you may not realize you can easily sell your products online. You’ll give your local customers a new way to buy your products, plus you can attract new customers outside your area.

My suggestion for getting started: Square allows users to create a professional online shop for their products. They cater to a variety of businesses, including food & beverage, retail, beauty, and health & fitness. It doesn’t cost anything to create a Square shop, and Square charges a small transaction fee per sale. You don’t need any special skills, and they handle the entire sales transaction. Square also has helpful features for offline businesses, including an appointment feature where customers can book an appointment with you online. Plus, your store will get listed in the Square Market, which may attract new customers.

See it in action: Alison Comfort is the owner of House of Moss, and sells creates miniature woodland-themed felted wool items from her Square store.

House of Moss Square shop

Anyone Can Bootstrap an Online Store!

In all of the above examples, One Woman Shops are selling digital products, merchandise, and physical goods online with no tech skills necessary and very little investment.

You don’t need to invest in inventory, an ecommerce website, or learn coding. You can easily bootstrap an online store by using an eCommerce framework like Zazzle, Selz or Square. For any solo business woman, using one of these platforms takes the risk out of eCommerce - and leaves the overwhelming aspects of selling products online to the experts.

Spend your time focusing on growing your business, and creating products you love. Remember, running a solo business is challenging – but creating an online store doesn’t need to be.