I often receive inquiries from people who wonder how they can increase market reach, establish credibility and market trust. The easiest way to do this is to showcase your expertise.
There are a number of ways to do this. One of the most effective is by offering a free report, eBook or teleseminar. I find all three work exceptionally well if the quality of the offer is stellar.
The primary benefit of offering free information before you ever ask for a sale is three fold.
1. You establish your level of expertise
2. You build market trust quickly
3. When people find great value in something you offer at not cost, they are likely to be more inclined to purchase from you should they have a need you offer a solution to.
The key here is to offer stellar information regardless of whether or not you charge for it. Every bit of information you present to your market represents you. To assure success in virtually any industry be very conscientious of all you are doing.
A great way to increase your market reach and credibility is through social networking. Patsi Krakoff of The Blog Squad recently wrote a great posting about social networking.
"There’s a lot of buzz online right now about whether or not one should use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Are these sites important for content marketing? You’ll have to decide for yourself and for your business. But it sure does look like you can’t ignore this trend." To read more of what Patsi has to say visit her blog, Coach Ezine.
Of course you need to give information away for free. How else can people know what you have to offer?
A while ago, a newspaper with an on-line version was asking people to create an account. Before being able to see anything at all. An account was “free” but in reality, by signing up, you are giving away valuable marketing information – information the newspaper can use. Why should anyone give away their valuable information without being able to get any idea of what they could expect in return (flashy sensation? in-depth reporting?)? Give people access to your front page, and ask them to sign up if they want to click through – that’s a good strategy. It is, in fact, giving away some information to get something (reader data in this case) in return. Needless to say, I did not create an account – and I let them know why.
For me, it’s always been the other way round. I’ve always given away all my information away for free. Now, I’m setting out on my own to make a living from my expertise – but the way I plan to so that is to continue to give information away for free, only use that to market my services.
But when you give stuff away for free – make sure it’s free for everyone. “Information” is an abstraction, to actually give it away it has to take on a shape. Make it free regardless of the shape it takes, whether it’s video, audio, or text. It’s not the format that you should give away, but the actual information, regardless of form. Accessibility is the smart thing to do (and could bring you more customers), charging for accessibility is discrimination.
So when you give information away, make sure you actually give the *information* away, not just one physical format.