Lately, I’ve attended numerous webinars, and when I say numerous I mean like nearly one every other day. I love everything about webinars, including the ability to be able to interact live and in real-time with the hosts and fellow webinar attendees. However, the number one thing I don’t like about webinars, the one thing that literally drives me up the wall is a webinar that is promoted as a teaching opportunity and it isn’t. Its really just an hour long or more opportunity for the host to pitch their product. This is by far the sleaziest and most insulting way to promote and sell a product, because its a complete lead-on and lacks integrity.
Do Things the Right Way
Now don’t get me wrong, I think webinars are a wonderful method for launching a new product or service, and when done the right way I’m all for it. Done the wrong way, completely drives me, again, up the wall. So you may be thinking at this point, how is a webinar done the wrong way? There are plenty, but the number one way outside of being completely unprepared and not bringing any value to the table with it, is to breeze through whatever you are “promising” to teach attendees and jump straight to your sales pitch. When you do this you compromise not only the integrity of the product or service that you’re promoting, but of yourself as well. People are smart and can see through this at the drop of a hat. Its one of the fastest ways to loose my respect, trust, and support, because its an insult to my intelligence.
It doesn’t matter to me that you “recapped” what you taught me for 5 seconds, because I can see that you’re dying to jump straight into your pitch. And yes, I experienced this very thing recently at a webinar I was attending and as soon as the pitch came my brain turned off and I hit the X on the tab. I had learned nothing, because the information that was supposed to be being taught lacked detail and was rushed through. I’m that person that is diligently listening and taking notes and I couldn’t even keep up because the information was being breezed over so fast. The information I did manage to take notes on, I felt needed more depth and didn’t provide the value I was expecting.
Be Honest, Be Upfront
I’d rather someone be upfront and say they are launching a product…and they are going to teach and show me how to use it. This way I know before I sign up for the webinar exactly what the purpose of it is and what I’m getting myself into. It doesn’t take for you to mask the real purpose of the webinar with a fancy headline to draw me in. I’m either going to attend it because I like you, I’m interested in the product you’re promoting, or I legitimately want to learn whatever it is that the headline promises. I’ve spoken about writing good headlines before here on the blog, but the main takeaway from my post on headlines was that you have to come through on the promise of it. There is no option, you have to!
[Tweet “Promoting & Selling: Be upfront and let your audience know that you’re selling.”]
Its the same thing when you’re writing newsletters and email campaigns. Don’t suck people in with a crafty headline, and its really a sales pitch or email full of affiliate links that you want people to buy from. Again, people can smell a rat from a mile away. Be frank, be honest, and respect the intelligence of your audience. People have no problem being pitched to if they know it, and its done in a none pushy, sleazy way. The one mistake a lot of people make is that they think they’re smarter than their audience and that no one is going to see through what they’re doing. WRONG!
[Tweet “People have no problem being pitched to if they know it, and its done in a none pushy, sleazy way. “]
Related reading: How to Write Powerful Headlines that Increase Your Traffic
Transparency = Integrity
Transparency has been a huge buzz word in the creative space lately, but its not so much about being transparent as it is about being honest and having integrity. Giving away your secrets and showing people a behind the scenes look at your business is great and I love when business owners do that, but even more so, I love it when they do it with integrity. I don’t want to see a blog post or email about whatever service you’re an affiliate for and you’re telling me claims of outrageous results you got from it. That doesn’t tell me anything, because while that may have worked for you, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will work for me.
[Tweet “Being transparent is about being honest and having integrity. “]
I’d rather just simply know how it makes you a more efficient and productive business owner, and you show me how you use it. If you show me how you use it, I’m smart enough to see how it could possibly be helpful to me. I don’t need to see that you gained x-amount of subscribers or customers from using it, because you should be providing social proof in other ways than throwing out numbers. Numbers don’t tell me anything, and I’m less likely to trust numbers without some visual proof that they are actually accurate. True testimonials, people sharing your content, and your consistency is the type of proof you should be focusing on. Not crafting a bogus headline and throwing out numbers.
[Tweet “Provide social proof; true testimonials and images of your work being shared!”]
Related reading: Why Transparency Is The New Way to Do Business
What Not to Do!
Recently, I received an email with a very engaging headline and was super stoked to open it and when I did, I saw before even scrolling down; sleaziness. Numbers were already being thrown out, and to make matters worst they weren’t believable. I’m not saying that the numbers weren’t accurate, but reasonably thinking, they appeared to be quite inflated. There was no supporting information or graphics to back them up, which as I mentioned above is a huge problem. People need to see proof of things like this, especially when numbers are mentioned, because they can be quite arbitrary. For all we know, you could have pulled these numbers out of thin air and that’s just not going to stand up against some real proof.
We have to stop trying to be so clever with our audience, and focus on being honest and having integrity. If you want to sell something, by all means sell it! Let your audience know in the headline what you’re doing and then let your amazing pitch sell the product. No need to try to outsmart people, because especially in this day and age in the digital and online space, most people expect for you to be trying to sell them something. They only get offended or turned off if 1) They’re not interested or 2) You try to be slick about doing so.
[Tweet “Don’t be clever with your audience; be honest and have integrity. “]
Keeping The Promise
When I craft my headlines for anything I’m doing, but especially my blog posts, I try to insure that my content reflects the promise of the headline throughout it. This is one reason I change my post titles more times than I can count, because sometimes once I start writing, it goes in a different direction than what I initially thought it would. Its a very intentional thing I do, as I’m sure that when people are being sleazy that they’re being intentional as well. The thing is to be intentional in the right way for the right reasons.
If your goal is to make money from a particular post or newsletter, make sure that your headline denotes such. Again, if someone likes and trusts you, they will click on your email or open your newsletter to at the very least see what you’re offering. You don’t turn lookers into buyers by being pushy or sleazy. You turn them into buyers by being honest, giving a truthful testimonials, and connecting with them.
[Tweet “You don’t turn lookers into buyers by being pushy or sleazy.”]
[Tweet “You turn lookers into buyers by being honest and connecting with them.”]
Related reading: My Top Blogging Pet Peeves
Don’t be afraid to pitch and sell your products and services. You’re a business owner, it’s okay to make money! Go forth and sell honestly, while maintaining the respect and trust of your audience or list, because you’re keeping your promise to them. It only takes once for you to disappoint someone or for them to feel like you aren’t the person they thought you were to ruin a relationship. When you put integrity at the forefront of your business, offending and disappointing is something you will find yourself not having to worry about. You can focus on creating high-quality helpful content and products and services that people will actually want. The best thing about it is that they will want them because they’re getting it from you and they trust you. You can’t put a price on that!
[Tweet “Sell honestly, while maintaining the respect and trust of your audience or list.”]
[Tweet “Promoting & Selling: You can’t put a price on trust!”]
Have you ever dealt with sleaziness in being sold to? – How do you approach promoting or selling with integrity?