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The Value Of Information Products In Small Business Marketing

If you want to generate more new enquiries, you have to give people a reason to identify themselves as interested and tell you who they are.

One really effective way of doing this is to offer them free but valuable information which will build your credibility whilst subtly promoting your business.

Providing information will position you as an expert

Information is a valuable commodity, and if you have a story to tell, experiences to share or knowledge that could benefit a potential customer, publishing it in the form of a guide will help you in several ways:

  • It establishes your authority and expertise.
  • It shows that you care about helping and informing clients rather than just promoting your business.
  • It will promote your business in a way that means that you don’t have to blow your own trumpet.
  • It gives your website visitors a reason to give you their contact details so that you can build a valuable database of people interested in your business – these prospects represent future income.

Unlike newsletters or brochures, which often offer the reader little and are usually extremely dull, a professional information guide will both ensure that you stand out from your competitors and genuinely promote your business to your readers.

The angle you take for your information booklet is entirely up to you. You could write about the advantages of your product or service, what to look for when deciding on a business in your particular field, top tips on how to perform better in your niche.- the choice is yours.

Whatever you choose, as consumers are always looking for advice, your guide will be an effective marketing tool for your business.

By offering potential clients a free information booklet on your website, you can instantly start filling your marketing funnel. By positioning the guide as an authoritative item, visitors will exchange their contact details for the information.

You are now able to start marketing to them in a regular and planned manner.

 

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Stop Selling, Start Giving

Over the last few years marketing has changed dramatically.

A huge amount of emphasis has moved from offline to online.

The focus has changed from “outbound marketing”, where you go looking for your customers to “inbound marketing” where you put the information out there and your customers choose to find you.

The third and possibly the largest change is in information marketing, where you freely share your knowledge and expertise with the market.

This is the crux of the matter. The best way to grow your business may be to stop selling and to start giving.

You Must Make A Difference
If you ask most business owners and managers what the deepest purpose of their business is, they will probably all say it is to make money and profits.

Now of course we all need money to live but for your business to be successful it has to make a difference in some way to the lives of its customers.
It must have an impact, make life better in some way.
Only after it has had this profound impact will it be able to generate the profits that your business needs.

Never Has The Expression Give To Get Been So Relevant
For someone to become a customer or a client of yours, they have to believe that you are an expert in your field and the best provider of your particular product.
Traditionally we all have tried to convince our prospects of this, bombarding them with our sales messages.

The problem with this approach is that you’re interrupting your prospects with information they haven’t requested.
So my advice is to stop selling and to start giving.  Start adding value to the people you come into contact with.
Give them information in any form you can.
Talk to them, email them, send them information in the post. Instead of giving them what you want, give them what they want.

The classic and easiest place to do this is on your web site.
Fill your web site with useful information that visitors can read there and then or download. If you look at our website www.bda.me.uk you’ll see what I mean.

What will the effect of this be?

  • It will position you as an expert in your field
  • It will be the start of a relationship between you and the reader
  • It will generate repeat visits to your web site.

The result is that you will differentiate yourself from the mass of mediocrity out there, I think you may be surprised and quite possibly stunned at the results.

The Ultimate Win-Win
The phrase ‘win-win’ is very over used these days, but if you are willing to give it a go, this strategy is true win-win. Your customers get an amazing and unprecedented experience from you …and you get hoards of happy customers and potential customers, bowled over by the information you’re sharing with them.

My basic message here is that maybe we’ve got it all wrong. We’re so immersed in working out how to increase sales and grow our businesses, in how to improve our own lives – we’re missing the obvious way to do it – and it’s right in front of you.

The irony is that if there is a secret to your success it is to stop worrying about your success and start thinking about the success of your customers and potential customers.

Pay attention to their problems, their needs.

It’s a great way of doing business.  It can totally transform the quality of your working life. The purpose of going to work has now shifted from ‘paying the mortgage’ to enhancing the lives of the people around you.

So do you agree with what I’m saying and do you find it works for you?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

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It’s Not What You Do It’s What You’ve Done

We all want more leads as leads are the starting point for new business.

A brilliant way to generate a regular stream of warm, prequalified leads is by offering  your knowledge and experience in the form of information products in return for your prospect’s  contact details.

Leverage Your Experience

It is often said there is a book in all of us. When you think of all your experience, there may be enough information for more than just one book.

Remember you don’t necessarily get paid for what you do, but for what you’ve done. It’s your experience that people want and are willing to pay for.

So by offering your knowledge in return for your prospects’ contact details, you can create a list of potential customers who you know are interested in your products.

You can produce these “Information Products” in a range of formats:

  • Download
  • CD
  • DVD
  • MP3
  • Book

Creating Your Information Product

The first step is to decide what your overall theme is going to be. What is your area of expertise? Whatever area it is, you can bet there are people out there hungry for your information.

The Title

The title of your piece is absolutely vital.

Your title must be intriguing and engaging. It must grab attention and make the reader desperate to know more.

“7 Shocking Statistics About Business Failures”

Or

“10 Fast and Simple Ways To Grow Your Bottom Line”

These are the kind of titles which will generate high levels of response from readers, eager to learn more.

It is the title of the piece and the sense of value that it conveys which will determine the number of responses and thus the number of leads that you generate.

The Content

The length and style of the content will be dictated by the type of product you’re creating. If you’re writing a book, it’s likely to be a lot longer than a white paper.

Whatever the format, you should write it in a light and chatty way. Using long words and heavy syntax won’t make you appear clever or expert. All it will do is discourage your audience from reading it and destroy the positioning as an industry expert that writing the piece should confer on you.

By including elements of your biography you can prove your expertise and so show the reader why he should take notice of what you’re saying.

The last element that you will need will be to put a price to the piece. If the reader knows that he is being offered £9.99 or even £49.99 worth of value, then the offer to receive it for free becomes even more attractive.

Marketing Your Information Product

Now you have to decide how you’re going to market your information product. There are of course plenty of ways you can do that.

  • E-marketing
  • Web site
  • Social media
  • Advertisements
  • Direct mail
  • Flyers

Whatever route you choose you will want to drive respondents to a web page, where as a minimum you will want to collect their name, email address and phone number.

You might like to collect more information about their business, but the more information you ask for the lower the response rate will be. People don’t want to fill out long forms on line. So you’re best advised to stick to the minimum.

Follow Up

So you now know that these prospects are interested in whatever you sell and you have their contact details. You now feed these leads into your sales funnel and turn the leads into customers.

So remember: your experience is very valuable and when utilised correctly will produce a continuous stream of  high quality leads.