By Bob Leduc
Specialized information is one of the most cost-effective tools you can use to promote your business. You can use it to attract prospects and to convert prospects into paying customers.
A few years ago I worked with an insurance agency that sold life insurance to military personnel. They advertised a free booklet titled, “A Guide To Your Military Benefits”. It described the major government benefits available only to military personnel. It even provided the forms necessary to apply for those benefits. Offering this booklet was so effective at generating sales that the entire advertising budget went into promoting the free booklet. Almost 75% of those who requested the free booklet were willing to see a sales representative and almost 40% of those who saw a sales representative became paying clients.
TWO MAGIC WORDS — “HOW TO”
The next time you pass a magazine rack, stop and take a look at the article titles listed on the magazine covers. Notice how many begin with the 2 words, “How To”. Can you guess why? Because it sells magazines. You can use these two words the same way to promote your business.
“How To” information that promotes the value of the product, service or business opportunity you offer is the most effective for developing business. Your “How To” information can be a special report, a booklet, a periodic newsletter or even an article or series of articles for publication. Some businesses have even used audiotapes or videotapes to present specialized “How To” information.
Whatever format you use, be sure your “How To” information promotes the value of the product or service you offer. Here are some examples of businesses and the titles of the “How To” information they offer:
- Health Products: “How To Lose 15 Pounds In 30 Days And Keep It Off”
- Business Opportunity: “How To Find The Right Business Opportunity For You”
- Heating and Air Conditioning Service: “13 Ways You Can Cut Your Heating And Cooling Bills In Half”
- Accountant: “How To Reduce Your Income Taxes And Your Chances Of Being Audited At The Same Time”
Your writing skill is not important when creating specialized information about your business. Your purpose is to establish yourself as an expert in your field of business, not as an expert writer. Write about what you know. Much of what you know and do automatically while conducting your business is unknown to your customers and prospects. They’re eager to learn about it.
LOW-COST AND FREE HELP
Here’s a tip for anyone having difficulty getting their specialized knowledge down in writing. Visit your local college and ask them to put you in touch with some of their students who are talented writers. Offer them a small fee to assemble your ideas and data into a finished product. They’ll be happy to earn a few dollars for an “easy job” and you’ll get a quality product.
Another shortcut you can take is to compile a collection of suitable articles by different authors into a booklet. Request permission from each author to use his or her entire article including the author’s byline. Most will agree provided you include the byline promoting their business.
Your first information product will probably be a special report. Offer it free to your existing customers and prospects. Offer it as a free article to publishers of magazines, newsletters, websites and email magazines (ezines) with themes related to the information in your report. You can even advertise it free in classified ads or by direct mail. The military benefits booklet I discussed above was offered exclusively by direct mail using a double postcard.
Providing useful specialized information establishes your credibility as an expert in your field. It’s inexpensive to produce and distribute but highly effective in promoting business.
Bob Leduc retired from a 30 year career of recruiting sales personnel and developing sales leads. He is now a Sales Consultant. Bob recently wrote a manual for small business owners titled “How to Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards” and several other publications to help small businesses grow and prosper. For more information…