Before there were websites, before there where buildings where people sold “goods” there were open air Markets. There still are too. An open air market is a place where people come to buy needed or desired items. “Vendors” (Those with a product or service to sell.) would set up their area, (booth, specific location) arrange their products, and wait for customers to arrive.
That’s the hard part. In the marketplace, potential customers (foot traffic) will show up. Online (your website) you have to go get them, convince them to show up, encourage them to buy your product or service and then, make it happen (the Sale, of course)!
As people walk by an open market, Many vendors “hawk their wares” that is to say, they yell out or do something to attract the attention of the people walking by. Their purpose is to draw individuals over to them, so they can do their best to sell their products.
The word “hawking” can be used metaphorically today to describe people or businesses who aggressively promote anything for sale. Notice the words “aggressively promote”. For many (writers, artists, etc) being aggressive takes you out of your comfort area. But unless you are very aggressive with the presentation of your product/service to creative an awareness (branding) and then remember to ask for the sale, it isn’t going to happen! So before you try to sell anything, it is a very good thing to understand the nature of the “art of selling”.
- Know who is most likely to be interested in buying what you have to sell. (your potential customers) and focus (target market) on them.
- You don’t need to know fancy or special terminology to understand marketing. Follow the wisdom of the successful “Vendors” in the outdoor markets.
- Have a specific area where people can come to view that which you’re offering for sale.
- If you don’t have a naturally ability to be “out there” (promote) so people notice you and your products/services, hire someone else to do that, and or have a hook (an original angle that attracts people to your location). Multi-media leads the way for getting the word out in the online world. And there are numerous online locations to “hawk your wares”, so take you time in deciding what combination of these communication connections will be of greatest value to you.
- Create an online identity with yourself and/or your product (branding) that people will come to recognize. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Stay tuned for my next marketing post!
- Have a “hook”. A clever angle that draws the customer to you. (yes I know I already said this, but it bears repeating to you artistic types).
- Understand and know you need great passion believing in yourself and your product (every day). This passion will give you the much needed ‘will power’ to be aggressive (not an “in your face” aggression – but a persistence of purpose or attitude to sell). There are many unsuccessful people with great talent. The two greatest assets for selling your product or service is persistence and determination.
In my next Marketing Basics post I’ll discuss the Art of Promotion (yourself and your product) – getting the word out there!