Small Business Marketing – Telling The What But Selling The How

Small business marketing is all about SELLING a product or service that people have a need for, unfortunately most people on the internet are looking for free and easy. That is why we tell most of our clients to be free and loose with the WHAT and sell for access to the HOW.

Small Business Marketing - Selling the what not the howSmall Business Marketing – Telling The What

I was talking with a client the other day and he was worried that having a blog and talking about his business and the intellectual property was hurting the chances to SELL something.

The funny part of this is that we had just gotten done talking about how great the response was from some of the recent things we posted – TRUE business opportunities!

In this day and age of instant access to whatever your heart desires, it can feel like selling anything via the internet is a lost cause. “Buyers” are looking for money for nothing and the clicks for free. That having been said, I have found that there are 3 types of “buyers” on the internet:

  1. People who want information for nothing – These types were never going to buy and if you help them great.
  2. People who want information and want to do it themselves – These types are good for a membership site or to get signed up for a seminar or class.
  3. People who want information to make an informed buying decision – BINGO! These people are checking out what and how you say things in anticipation of working with you or buying your product in the future and are the ones that we should focus on.

If you dumb your stuff down so far that you are not giving away anything, the chances of anyone noticing you is slim. It is much better to share too much and then have a rock-solid plan for monetizing that traffic or audience which brings me to…

Small Business Marketing – Selling The How

If you are a reader of this blog or have attended one of my live free events, you will hear me say often, “give your best stuff away”! For me that means telling people in the room the one neat thing that I found that works great or the couple of key things to do that will increase their business. This goes back to my three types of buyers above, the ones that were never going to buy still will not BUT the ones that are cruising for real help will definitely get their ears up if they think I know something REAL that can help their business.

Additionally, I will often tell you exactly what you should do, sometimes in EXCRUCIATING (to you) detail. I know as I am writing when I have crossed a line – when I tell you HOW to do it. That takes away from potential sales to my membership site or small business services company. For my client above, telling them what real estate markets to target is fine, telling them what types of investments are good is fine, posting how to buy them (or even find them) without him in the middle somewhere is less than fine!

So, long story short (too late I know)! For your small business marketing efforts, make sure they are in this order:

  • Sell something you like and are knowledgeable about
  • Get crystal clear about what product or service you are going to sell
  • Share your knowledge about your industry and make sure you have calls to action to purchase your product or service

To find out more, check out our Small Business Marketing Resources.


  1. says

    Tara – I really enjoyed this post. It reminds me of that very simple principle …. When you give without expecting anything in return, that’s when you are blessed with abundance.

    Marketing Artfully’s success helping so many with small business marketing is certainly a testimony to that.

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