Keeping marketing simple works. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that keeping everything in business simple works.
Yes, I know, Google does provide more accurate search results – and that’s probably the biggest reason why it’s number one. But another reason, especially in the early days it became so popular, was its simplicity.
If you look at Yahoo’s homepage, it bombards us with so many different options (entertainment, email, news, etc). What about Google? They have one main option on their homepage: the search box.
They’ve made it much easier to do what you came there to do.
I’ll be honest with you. Keeping everything simple in my business is still something I’m working on. However, I know for a fact that we’ve already come a long way.
Plus, here’s the exciting part: the more I’ve been simplifying what we do, the more sales we’ve been making.
In this article, I’ll share with you how we’ve simplified what we do and give you some ideas on how you can do the same for your own business.
Simplify your products and services
In the past, we would offer an individual breakdown of all the different services we can provide. I’m talking about Facebook marketing, Twitter posting, LinkedIn lead generation, search engine optimization, content marketing and everything else in between.
Not only did the sheer number of options confuse our potential clients (you’ll learn why later), the other problem was that these options didn’t really explain the outcome of what we do.
For example, if someone buys ‘social media services’ from us, what do they actually get? What difference does this make to their business? Saying we do ‘social media’ doesn’t completely answer those questions.
That’s why earlier this year, I decided to simplify our social media packages into two main offerings:
Lead generation and Lead conversion.
What is lead generation? We find your potential customers and capture their contact information.
See how simple that is to understand? We don’t just sell ‘social media’, we sell the result your business gets from social media.
Always sell them the result.
Selling the result will make what you do easier to understand, and consequently help you increase your sales.
Simplify how you offer your products and services
I recently watched a documentary on Vsauce called “Freedom of choice”.
(I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already. You can get a free 30-day trial of YouTube RED to watch it)
Here are two interesting things they discovered that have a big impact on the way you do business.
Observation #1: More choice = Less sales
What does this mean? It means that if you offer people multiple options (or lots of packages to choose from), people will be less likely to make a buying decision.
How did they research this?
A study compared two different store displays. One with 6 varieties of Jam and the other with 24.
Although fewer consumers stopped to look at jam at the display with limited choices, a full 30% of them made a purchase. By contrast, only 3% of the consumers who stopped at the display with more options, actually bought a jam.
This is called “Choice Paralysis” and there have been many similar studies with the same results.
What does this mean for your business? Offer your potential customers less options. If you offer packages, focus on only a few. I think 2-5 are a good amount. The less the better.
Observation #2: People are happier when you make the choice for them
I was very surprised to learn this, but now it makes perfect sense.
What does this mean? Your potential customers want to be guided and told what to do. This is why many websites, with multiple packages, always have a “recommended” package. Even restaurants do this on menus.
Without a “recommended” option, the customer doesn’t know if he is making the right choice, and might later regret it.How did they research this? Volunteers were invited to a game show. Half of these people were given a choice between herbal tea, to help them relax, or black tea, to give them energy. The rest of the volunteers were given no choice and the game show selected what tea they would have.
How did they research this? Volunteers were invited to a game show. Half of these people were given a choice between herbal tea, to help them relax, or black tea, to give them energy. The rest of the volunteers were given no choice and the game show selected what tea they would have.
At the end of the game show, they were asked, ‘how well do you think you performed?’
The people that had a choice, all said they think they performed badly, because they should have chosen the other tea (this was regardless of how well they performed or not).
For example, people who choose the black tea said they should have selected the herbal tea to make them relax. The people who chose the herbal tea, later regretted their decision, and said they should have chosen the black tea to give them more energy. In contrast, the people that were not given a choice over what tea to consume, were all happy with their performance.
Why is this?
Sometimes the pressure to make a decision can cause you to dwell on the options you didn’t choose, hindering your performance.
What does this mean for your business? Instead of giving lots of options to your potential customers and letting them choose one for themselves, limit the amount of options and then recommend a decision they should make.
Does choosing what your customers sign up for increase sales?
In my personal experience, I’ve definitely found this to be true. A few years ago, we used to offer new clients the options between choosing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram. We would tell them the pro’s and con’s for each social media channel and let them make the decision.
The problem with that is that clients don’t always know the right social media channel for them. Now, whenever we win a new client, we don’t even give them options for choosing a social media package. The first step is always for us to create a social media strategy for them. That’s it. No other options, one package, one price. It’s simple and it works very well.
After we create this social media strategy for them, we can then discuss which monthly social media option (lead generation or lead conversion) would work best for their business. We recommend what steps they should take next from a point of knowledge, having developed objectives to achieve in their strategy.
Less decisions = happier clients
By limiting the number of choices customers have, and by making the choice for them (or at least strongly recommending what they should do next), we’ve seen a substantial increase in sales and much happier clients.
Do you let clients decide what they need themselves, or do you guide and push them in the right direction? The latter will definitely help increase your sales and customer happiness.
On top of that, recommending what is the best choice for your clients will help position you as a leader and expert in your industry.
Simplify your marketing
Now that you’ve simplified your products and services, and how you offer them, the next step to increase your sales is to simplify your marketing.
How can you simplify your marketing?
Whenever you create content, reach out to potential customers on social media, or send out an email, ask yourself three questions:
1. Is this easy to understand?
2. Is it to the point?
3. Is my main message about the results I provide?
Do your best to answer “yes” to all three questions!
For example, this article isn’t only about “simplifying your marketing and your business”.
If you look at the title it’s about how simplifying your marketing and your business will increase your sales. The “increase your sales” part is the result.
With your marketing, focus on the result. If you’re a business coach, the result is not “coaching”, the result would be to “help increase your business revenue” or “manage your time better, so you can spend more time with your friends and family”, etc.
Don’t overcomplicate keeping it simple
Simplifying your business isn’t something that will happen overnight – so don’t get stressed out or overcomplicate things. I haven’t perfected everything we do and I’m sure there are many areas of my business that I could still simplify further. But that’s okay! Because, I know we have made huge progress and we are improving all the time.
So don’t aim for perfection immediately, or let a lack of perfection hold you back. Start by taking action and do what you realistically can to simplify your business today.
More simple social media tips
I was inspired to write this article by “Episode 46” of my daily marketing podcast. If you want more free social media tips, then be sure to listen to my free podcast called “Good Morning Marketing”, where I share more simple ways to grow your business every day.