It’s simple. It works. Anyone can do it. I’m sharing it for free. Marketing ‘gurus’ won’t like it. Want in? Read on…

IHAVE a secret sales plan. It’s served me well for years and it continues to serve me well to this day. It’s resulted in people coming to me and actually asking if I’ll accept them as a client. In fact, that happens pretty regularly.

I could just as well call this My Secret PR plan, My Secret Visibility Plan or My Secret Personal Branding Plan. Honestly, it’s all the same thing.

There’s not a sniff of a blueprint, seven point strategy or conversion funnel. I haven’t shelled out thousands of pounds to marketing gurus.

I’ve watched. I’ve listened. I’ve read. Success really does leave clues, and the antidote to all this flashy, marketing hogwash we’re continually blasted with is to stop listening to what they say and, instead, watch what they actually DO.

Actually, there’s a caveat to that… it’s only worth watching what they do if they’re as good as they claim to be.

Think about it… how many times has some hot, young personal branding influencer popped up on your social feeds in a sponsored post? Every time, right? You’d never heard of them before, but suddenly, they’re invading your social space because they’ve paid Facebook to put them there.

Let’s put that in some context. These people claim to have all the answers, to be able to help you shortcut the system with their special strategy, and yet they can only get in front of you by buying a Facebook ad.

Wise up. They’re not making their millions as a result of some swanky rocket-science social strategy they’ve spent years developing. They’re making their cash by selling you a dream — one they’ve had to spend their pocket money asking Facebook to deliver for them.

They’re confusing mental mazes. You can convince yourself you’re doing everything right, keep throwing thousands of dollars at them (and the ‘gurus’ that create them) and still have nowhere near enough clients.

The trouble with all those strategic client conversion tools, marketing funnels and social media blue prints is that it’s way too easy to get lost in them.

They’re confusing mental mazes. You can convince yourself you’re doing everything right, keep throwing thousands of dollars at them (and the ‘gurus’ that create them) and still have nowhere near enough clients.

These ‘strategies’, more often than not, condition us to live in our heads and cut off from our hearts. We end up pumping out plastic sales and marketing messages that are devoid of emotion, empathy, compassion, caring… everything that makes us human.

No wonder our potential customers are switching off!

When it comes to watching what people do and picking up those success trails, it’s best to observe people who really are living a life you’d love to be living — not those who claim to be doing so!

Who do you admire? Who has a good, online presence AND good levels of engagement and advocacy? What are THEY doing? What are they talking about? What kind of content are they creating? Where are their opportunities coming from? How could you LEARN FROM (not emulate!) them?

Let me give you some ‘strategies’ that have worked for me. I’ll happily leave you a trail of clues through the rest of this article. Read on, MacDuff!

My Secret Plan

Who wants My Secret Sales/Personal Brand/Visibility/Social Following/Audience Building/PR Plan?

Here it is…

You ready?

Step 1) STOP SELLING!

Stop trying to follow someone else’s plan.

Stop trying to convince people to buy from you.

Stop shoving your wares down everyone’s throat.

Stop adding links to your podcast/radio show/blog/product line onto every comment stream you see.

Stop begging for likes. Stop touting for sales.

You don’t ‘attract’ clients. You *create* clients through every conversation you have — online and off, and that includes your social feeds.

When was the last time you bought something because someone shoved it at you? We’ve all avoided those street fundraisers, haven’t we? Same thing.

When was the last time you WANTED to buy something, because you had a need, a desire, and you fell in love with the way something was packaged, the way it was delivered, the vibe and ethos around it?

See the difference?

Step 2) STOP TRYING TO BE THAT ‘PRO’ YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE

Stop trying to BE anyone other than YOU!

The chances of you being born a human being at this time are 400 trillion to one. That makes you absolutely unique. You, my friend, are a special creature indeed and, when that comes to demand for your products and services, it makes you a rare commodity.

It sounds ridiculously simple, but the more you try to be like all the other coaches/speakers/trainers/‘experts’, the less authentic you’ll feel and the less people will like your vibe and buy into you.

The more YOU you become, the more the right people will be drawn to you.

Step 3) DROP THAT OLD SCHOOL ROI BULLSHIT

I’m talking specifically about your social channels here. Building your brand, showing the world who you are, generating trust and interest, is a world away from old school advertising.

In the old world, we could place an advert and directly corollate our spend to the amount of people who bought our product.

Now, you can’t just post something on social and expect sales to flood in. Not until you’ve covered way more ground.

Stop looking at social as a sales channel and start looking at it as a vehicle to build trust in you, to show your credibility and expertise, to give people the opportunity to get to know you and WANT to buy from you — when THEY are ready, not when YOU are ready.

Step 4) SHARE TO SERVE

When I gave up trying to write sales posts and, instead, started focusing on what I knew that might be able to help others, something bizarre happened.

I started to get way more traction, people started messaging me directly, I started to attract enhanced levels of positive attention.

The more I moved away from an old school sales model and into the arena of helping, serving, educating, informing, entertaining, the more people wanted to buy from me.

I kid you not… it’s almost as though people can unwittingly smell desperation — and it repels them.

I kid you not… it’s almost as though people can unwittingly smell desperation — and it repels them.

When people have a genuine desire to connect with people and inspire them to do, and be, more, they can sense that too. That’s where the good end of the magnet kicks in.

Do not ask ANYTHING of your audience on these shares — don’t ask them to go to your website, sign up to your newsletter or buy your stuff. Just give good advice, share good content, for the sake of it.

Of course, it’s not entirely selfless… they more eyeballs fall onto your content, the more your brand grows. The more you give great information, the more people will pass that on. It’s the good old snowball effect.

5) STOP MAKING SHIT UP

If you really have something to sell (and the direct sales approach should be a tiny percentage of your social sharing AND come AFTER you’ve built enough of a tribe of advocates wanting your goodies), keep it real.

The only time to say there are two places left is if there really are only two places left.

The only time to shout about a special, knockdown price offer is if there really is a special, knockdown price offer. And, in that case, I’d be asking why the hell you feel you need to do a desperate price dive anyway. Know your worth. Stick to it.

The only time you should say it’s a limited time deal is if it really is a limited time deal.

Yeah, I know, I’ve read all the books on scarcity mindset and sales tactics too, but if you’re doing it right, you won’t need to fib about it — you really will be in demand.

6) SHOW UP REGULARLY

Don’t just blast your messages across the social channels because you’re having a mortgage panic. Show up every day. Help people. If you’re a coach, coach through your content — demo by doing. Find people talking about your area of expertise and join the conversations. It’s not that hard. Carve out the time to do it.

7) GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY

Where do you need to be noticed sharing your expertise in order for those golden clients you want to notice you? Do you need to be showing up in magazines? Online? On blogs? As a podcast guest? On TV? On a TEDx stage? At business events? How can you make that happen?

Let me give you a clue… it’s much easier to snag these sweet PR opportunities if you’ve already built trust and a solid audience following. It’s much harder if you appear to be a sales grabbing desperado who only wants to speak to people to access their credit cards.

Honestly, that’s about it. That’s my entire strategy.

I don’t spend hours creating funnels. Building trust and credibility by sharing good content, keeping things real and helping where I can *is* my funnel.

There’s no blueprint. There’s not even a really robust strategy. I rough out topics I want to talk about each month at the start of each year and then, most of the time, I throw it out and talk about whatever happens to be driving me at the time.

A question I frequently ask myself: What have I learned this week that could benefit others? That’s usually where my most popular content comes from.

When it comes to talking about my products and services, of course I talk about them online, but that’s not the main reason I’m there.

If I don’t have anything to ‘sell’, I still show up.

Know why?

By being of service and sharing content that isn’t usually designed to lead people into a sale, I’m inadvertently ‘selling’ ME. That’s the byproduct of creating conversations with purpose.

The bonus to all this? When I DO share details of a workshop or event I have coming up, people trust me, they know I’m not doing all the marketing flimflam and they know it’ll be a good, genuine offering. And that’s why they buy.

I don’t ‘pitch’ any more. I don’t hard sell. I don’t make cold calls. I have a waiting list and my events sell out more often than not

My Secret Strategy in a nutshell? Show up. Be of service. Make every conversation count — make it the one conversation they’ll remember for the rest of their life. Be more ME.

Try it…I reckon it’ll work for you too. Show up. Be of service. Make every conversation count — make it the one conversation they’ll remember for the rest of their life. Be more YOU.

Until next time,

#UnleashYourAwesome,

Taz

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Taz Thornton is the author of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.

Taz is also a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards), consultant and creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome and #BrandMasterypersonal and business development programmes, as well as #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists.

She has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network.

Find her on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Insta.