A couple of days ago I have submitted a post here about my first ever (sample pack) sale online and the importance of giving out free items, which actually helped me achieve that. In less than 24 hours after posting the article, I eventually made 2 more sample pack sales and now I wanted to share with you how this came together.
I have been reading a lot about Content Marketing lately and there are many sources online suggesting it is one of the most powerful promotion tools nowadays. I personally see Content Marketing as a mutual, close relationship with people, where you try to give out knowledge and experience, in exchange for potential interest in what you are actually selling.
Ever since I have been familiarizing myself with it, I have wanted to give it a try. I have actually written a couple of articles, but neither one felt like it was the right thing and were not released...up until a Monday morning.
How I decided to do it
I work a 'nine-to-five' job, which actually starts at 2PM for me locally. I have been spending the mornings in the past month helping out my wife with the newborn and, in rare occasions, trying to educate myself on business and plan my ideas further.
It was around 11:15 AM, the day after my first sale online. I was lying on the couch and had my daughter on my chest thinking about that really small accomplishment I made the previous day. I was feeling so happy inside and I was so eager to share my experience with more people. I thought it was the perfect moment to write about what happened and share it. Ideas started going through my head, but I could not get to my computer to write those down. I only had my phone (with a seriously broken display) around, so I just grabbed it, opened a note-taking app and starting writing. It felt so naturally and in less than 15 minutes I had half of the post done. It was already time for me to go get prepared for work, so I left the baby with the mother, but instead of going to take a shower, as I would normally do, I got on my computer and finished the story. It was time to post it online.
You must not doubt, but act
Let me know if it is like that with you, but I am always in doubt, when I finish something, whether I should release it or not. If I had 5-10 more minutes to spend thinking about whether I should post the article or not that morning, it's very likely that I would not have done it. Time was definitely something I did not have at the moment, so I opened Reddit, posted about my experience and got to work.
Just an hour later, I started getting comments and personal messages from people who could relate to the story and/or were interested in my samples. I was really surprised to see how openly sharing about my experience managed to reach fellow producers, who have been struggling with similar experience. A lesson learned for me was that I should doubt less, when I feel I want to share something online, and just do it. As trivial as that, but I would not have been able to do 2 more sales that day if it was not for that.
How my post led to sales
When you want to share your experience with the world and try to help other people in the same situation, you need to be ready to continue the conversation. I got dozens of comments and messages from different people either supporting me or asking for further help. I did my best to answer everyone and help as much as I could. There were also a handful of people stating their willingness to purchase the sample pack I was talking about. I provided links to my service in personal conversations and 2 of those people (THANK YOU!) eventually bought the sample pack at a discounted rate. It was less than 20 hours, to be precise, after posting that first article, before my third sale became a reality.
You should speak your heart out, be open and honest about your experience and keep focus on sharing experience and not advertising your brand directly.
No brand mentions
I want to make a note here about mentioning your brand. If you post in your blog, it is totally acceptable to link to your services and mention your brand, add discount codes , etc . However, if you want to give out to a community of people, such as a Reddit, it is vital that you only share the moral of the story. As you could see from my experience above, I made no mentions, but this did not affect making a sale, even two...okay, as a matter of fact, I did mention the brand in one my comment replies, after being asked about it, however I learned a lesson this was not appropriate, so I deleted my comments shortly afterwards and would not repeat this mistake.
Spending a few more minutes to reach out to a person directly compared to linking your brand to a community post is the proper way to do it. Why? Linking your service in a post on Reddit automatically makes it Spam even if people are asking about it. You must never forget that what you are doing is actually sharing your experience with people and trying to help out others. As it seems, people would always find means of figuring out what your service is if they are interested about it.
What I plan to do next
For the past 48 hours I have been feeling like I am running a business. I realize I am still far away from that, but I feel determined to continue and hustle every day in order to accomplish that. As I am sure many of you do, I really want to put myself in a position, where I can quit my 'nine-to-five' job and solely focus on my music. Since a young kid (started playing the drums at around 7 years old) I have always wanted music to be part of my life entirely. I can say that many years later, after going through various stages in my music career, I feel ever more encouraged and ambitious to accomplish that.
I know there are many people using Content Marketing for promotion by sharing their stories in difference niches. However, I believe everyone's journey is different and there is always valuable experience we can all learn from as we go. I plan to continue documenting my personal journey developing a brand that offers sample packs, WordPress hosting and other services. I wrote down a simple promotion plan on how I would try to attract traffic to my site in the next couple of weeks and I will share the experience with you on-the-go, so that hopefully some of you can learn from my attempts and mistakes.
I hope this helps.
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