Nobody Cares About Your Business

This is the first in a series of posts about eCommerce marketing and SEO.

There’s so much to learn when it comes to effectively marketing a new business, it can be dizzying. You need to think about on-page SEO tactics, link building, pay-per-click advertising, article writing, social media, guest posting and more.

But if you can master one key concept early on, it will do more to skyrock your marketing and SEO efforts than anything else. That concept is that nobody cares about your business.  

Ouch. Pretty harsh, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s the truth. Sure, your family and friends might be interested, but the rest of the world – particularly those you’re trying to reach out to – simply don’t care about your new venture.

That’s why randomly emailing people to ask for links or posting advertisements in a forum is never effective. If anything, it annoys people and earns your business a poor reputation as spammy.

 

Identify How You Can Help People

People care about themselves and their own goals. And website owners – the people whose help you want to enlist when marketing – care about themselves and their audiences. So you always need to tailor your marketing efforts to address their wants, needs and desires.

You can do this by:

  • Writing a buyers guide that will help their visitors
  • Authoring a guest post which gives them a break from writing
  • Donating a product they need or want for review

Even rephrasing your marketing pitches to focus on the other person’s goals can have a dramatic increase in the response you receive. Assuming you blog about dogs, which email subject would you be more likely to reply to?

“Please Announce My New Dog Training Product”
– or –
“I’d Like To Help Improve Your Readers’ Relationships With Their Dogs”

When you find a way to help others, you’ll usually benefit, too. Often this is through links pointing back at your site, which helps with traffic and search engine rankings. But even if you don’t, you’re developing and deepening a relationship. And once people know and like you, they’re significantly more willing to help in the future.

 

Focus on Giving First

When you make helping others the focal point of your marketing, you’ll be amazed at the growth and traction you experience. When I started this blog, I spent two solid weeks writing my eBook on eCommerce.  I probably could have sold it, but I decided to give it away for free.

Why? Because I knew that if I produced something of value that was helpful to others, it would pay off in a big way in terms of exposure and marketing. Without it, there’s no way I would have been able to receive over 1,600 subscribers, establish a number of valuable contacts and generate more than 17,000 visits in just four months.

If you can consistently identify opportunities to help others and their audiences ,you’ll have no problem marketing your online store. And with the subsequent flood of traffic and sales, you’ll probably even forget that most people didn’t care in the first place.

Photo by Gaspi*yg

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Comments

  1. Cody says:

    Great, honest post. I’ve noticed in my own efforts that when I reach out and offer other people exposure, it almost always comes back around to help me out in return, I don’t even need to ask for it. Your point on phrasing was well put too, the difference a email subject line can make is massive.

    Also, thanks for the consistently great insight Andrew. I am in the very early stages of opening my own online retail store, and I’ve found your site to be a fantastic resource, even for someone who works SEO for a living.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for sharing, Cody! It’s amazing how much you’ll receive when you focus on helping first.

      Glad the blog has been insightful, and thanks for reading! Best of luck with your new store…

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks for the refreshing bluntness! I think this goes for pretty much any product you’re not selling locally to people that know you personally.

    I’m trying to figure out how the “giving” part applies to my business. My niche is something that there are no “enthusiasts” for. Just people with a sudden, stressful problem they’ve never thought about before, but need to fix asap. Not too much lead time for building a sales funnel with things like ebooks and I’m not really sure how effective a great blog will be aside from SEO.

    • Andrew says:

      That does present some marketing complications. My best advice would be to find related markets and/or industries and try to offer educational material about pro-actively preventing that problem. For example, if you’re selling a “Prevent Impending Foreclosure” eBook, you’d want to reach out to real estate bloggers and pitch an article on how to keep yourself out of foreclosure. Probably not the world’s best example, but you get the point.

      Good luck!

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