How do you get people to find (and buy) your products online?

Shai Schechter • 2017

So, you’ve got a fantastic product or service to sell people.

The trouble is, your potential buyers don’t yet know or trust that that’s true.

Most people who want to sell things online will try one of two marketing “strategies”:

  1. Wait for people to show up and buy
  2. Ask people to buy (through, for example, Facebook ads)

Option 1 is hardly a strategy.

And option 2 is totally fine for selling small things, but falls apart if you’re selling any product or service at more than a few $.


Because going from total stranger to give me money is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. They don’t know you, they don’t trust you, they don’t know whether you have anything of value to offer them.

What should you do instead?

Just like with the dating example: let them get to know you first!

By far the most effective way I know to sell online is to create a ladder of:

Free → Cheap → Expensive

…providing value all the way. The free stuff can be as simple as writing blog posts that answer the question your ideal buyers often have before they buy.

You’re letting potential buyers get to “know” you over time. Showing them that they can trust you have something valuable to share.

How do you get started?

  1. Find five questions you’ve been asked by your target buyers in the past
  2. Write an article on your blog / web site answering each one. 200-300 words is fine.
  3. Share the articles, rather than your sales page. Google prefers it, people browsing Facebook prefer it.
  4. When someone reads your article, they get a small amount of value from you. If they enjoyed and want to hear what else you have to say, you invite them to provide their email address and you’ll follow up with more useful content like the content they just read, or (pro level: ) an automatically-delivered email course or “lead magnet” (PDF checklist; mini guide; …) that’ll help them with whatever expensive problem it is you’re in the business of helping people with.

Two things could happen:

(A) They give you their email address

Perfect! They received enough value from you that they have explicitly opted in to wanting to hear more from you. You now have a space in their sacred inbox and can, over time, educate, deliver value, ask for the sale (or phone call, or whatever you’re looking for as a next step). Just keep delivering value, and pitching when appropriate.

(How long before you pitch depends on how much of an ask buying your product/service is. Pro level: if you’re selling something expensive, build out a ladder of cheaper offerings that you can gradually lead people up from cheap → expensive).

(B) They don’t give you their email address

That’s OK. Some people aren’t ready to make that small commitment yet. But through the beauty of technology, it doesn’t have to end there. Now that they’ve visited your site, you have the ability to retarget them later.


Let’s say you want to retarget them with Facebook ads. As long as you have Facebook’s ad pixel installed on your site, Facebook now has a record of the fact this person read an article on your site.

Which means you can set an ad on Facebook that’s shown exclusively to people who:

  • Have visited your site
  • But are not on your email list

And advertise your lead magnet (or another article) to them. It’s cheaper than normal Facebook targeting, and gives you another opportunity to get in front of that same person and invite them to convert to your email list.