How’d you like to learn how to get a massive amount of comments on one blog post?
Better yet, what if you could use those comments to convince your readers to buy your products or services?
Because you can. In this post, I’m going to take you behind the scenes of a strategy Laura Roeder showed me to pull in 294 comments on my post and eventually attract more than 30 consulting clients.
It uses all of the copywriting techniques and psychological triggers that we promote here at Copyblogger, but it combines them in a unique way that generates a lot of buzz.
Here’s why that’s important:
Why buzz is essential for selling anything
Have you ever hesitated to buy something because you didn’t see anyone else interested in it? You were genuinely interested in the product — you just didn’t want to be first?
We all do it. It’s a well-documented phenomenon that psychologists like Robert Cialdini call social proof.
The question is: how do you deal with it, if you’re trying to sell something?
If you’ve watched any of our product launches here at Copyblogger, you’ve probably noticed that they generate a lot of buzz. People are talking about them on Twitter, course members write about them on their blogs, and many of the influential bloggers in our niche help us promote the course. Altogether, it’s a huge amount of buzz.
And it’s far from accidental. We prepare for weeks or even months before the launch date in order to make sure everyone is buzzing about the product all at one time. We want to give prospective customers as much social proof as possible, so that they can feel comfortable with buying it.
Except . . . what if you don’t have a big blog like Copyblogger? What if you’re just getting started, and you have hardly any readers at all?
Is it still possible to create buzz?
Creating fans out of thin air
A few months ago, I noticed a lot of buzz on Twitter related to a video from Laura Roeder about creating fans out of thin air.
After speaking on a panel at South by Southwest, working with celebrities like Brea Grant from NBC’s Heroes, and creating some stellar results for small businesses of all kinds, Laura is quickly becoming a preeminent social media expert, and her video lays out one of the best strategies for generating buzz that I’ve seen.
Here’s how it works:
- Hold a competition where the winner gets a free sample of your product or service
- Build buzz with social media (Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc.)
- Use that buzz as social proof, convincing folks that didn’t win to pay you for your product or service
The only problem with her approach is that it’s a little simplistic. You can tell Laura is targeting business owners who are inexperienced with social media, and she’s trying to make it as easy as possible. Instead of using a blog to showcase the competition, she shows you how to create a simple website with Google.
But can this strategy work just as well for bloggers?
You bet. Let me show you how I modified it to take advantage of the powerful social proof from comments.
How I launched a consulting service here at Copyblogger
A reader stops by your blog and sees that you are giving away 20-30 free consultations. All they have to do to have a chance to be chosen is leave a comment with their biggest frustration. So, they take a few minutes to jot one down.
Later, they see that there are 100s of other comments, and they’re not surprised when they don’t win. The demand is enormous!
But then what happens? A few days later, you announce that you were absolutely overwhelmed with the response, but you’re willing to do a limited number of additional consultations for $95 each. The first people to email you get them.
How do you think your reader is going to feel?
Sure, some of them might hold back because they figure they’ve already lost their chance. Others will have no interest in your services, so they’ll go on their merry way. But after seeing all of those comments, none of them will doubt that your services are in demand.
The social proof in the form of comments helps people see the value in the offer you’re making.
It may seem a bit sneaky, but it works. I’m spilling my secrets here, because the above scenario is exactly what I did to launch my consulting services here at Copyblogger, and I’ve been booked solid ever since. The demand was so high that I had several people offering double or even triple the normal rate if I would move them to the head of the line.
The key, of course, is to offer true value. But beyond that, there are plenty of people offering great value in obscurity.
Don’t be one of them.
It’s the power of social proof that makes the difference, and you don’t need a huge blog to harness it. Here’s how to launch a product or service from your blog, even if your audience is still fairly small:
How to launch a product or service from your blog
Step 1: Watch Laura’s video about Creating Fans Out Of Thin Air. It’s the foundation for this approach.
Step 2: Write a post announcing that you’re giving away a limited number of free samples of your product or service to readers who leave a comment describing their biggest frustration with a certain topic. If your audience is small, don’t do 20-30 free consultations like I did. Start with 5 or 10.
Step 3: Use the competition to create lots of buzz on Twitter. Get all of your friends to tweet about it. Also, ask the winners to tweet a testimonial for you, helping you create even more buzz.
Step 4: Offer a special deal on your product or service to everyone who didn’t win. I didn’t even follow this step, and I was still overwhelmed with clients.
Step 5: Write another post on your blog pointing to all of the comments on your first post and telling everyone how you’re overwhelmed with entries, so you decided to go ahead and put the product up for sale.
I used this process to launch a consulting service, but really, you can use it for anything. In fact, Laura has several more videos about how anyone can harness the power of social media to help get customers talking about their business.
Click here to check them out. If you’re interested in learning how all of this social media hoopla converts into money, I really think they’ll help you.