Put yourself in your prospect's shoes...
They are exposed to more promotional messages today than in any time in history
Source: Richard Elzey
They have probably purchased a product or service in the past (like yours) that has not lived up to their expectations.
They are naturally skeptical and are becoming increasingly skilled at filtering out sales messages. What's worked for businesses in the past is now a case of diminishing returns at best. The power has now well and truly shifted in favour of the consumer.
Enter Helpful MarketingTo set your business apart from your competitors, you need a marketing process that delivers value to your prospects, rather than noisy sales hype. That way, prospects are more likely to interact with you and take up your offers.
Professional Services ExampleLet’s say you are a financial planner. Then your prospect's desire might be to safely invest their money to ensure they are financially independent in retirement. In order to help your prospect, you might:
- Give them a step by step guide on how to automate their current finances
- Provide them with relevant market updates and expert analysis
- Teach them about the risk profiles of different investments
- Or answer their most pressing questions about finance
A helpful marketing strategy involves offering up some of your expertise BEFORE your prospect becomes a client. To some this doesn’t make sense but the following advantages far outweigh concerns about 'giving away IP’ or 'not having time to be creating free resources'
Allow your Business to be Found & HeardBy giving away desirable information to your prospect, you will instantly gain attention. On the proviso that what you produce is in fact valuable, people will share it around the internet by email, social media, and it will naturally rank highly in the search engines for phrases you want to be found for. The result is increased website traffic and targeted leads.
Demonstrate to the Customer that you can Help themEssentially, you are giving your prospect a taste of what to expect before they do business with you. Let's say they implement the 'step by step guide on how to automate your finances'. Now they have less stress, more control and they have improved their financial situation. You’ve proven that you’re the real deal and can help improve their situation.
Earn TrustEvery time you release helpful material, your audience’s trust will grow. When it comes time to make a buying decision, your service is going to be the logical choice.
Become an Authority in your MarketplaceYou will start to position your business as an expert in your market. People will seek you out, people will reference your content and you will receive lots of free exposure.
Build a Strong DatabaseImplementing this strategy will help build up your email list and social media communities because people like hearing from you. This is so important because only a tiny percentage of people that land on your site are ready and willing to get out their wallet or submit an enquiry.
Stay in TouchAs opposed to ‘salesy' communications, helpful content allows you to engage with your community as often as you like because they are receiving value at no cost. What's more is you won't lose them if you continue to help them.
Make More SalesThink of every piece of ‘free content’ as a sales page. You can align paid offers with content, as long as it's relevant. For instance, you might say, "hey, if you liked my ’Step by Step Guide To Automating Your Finances you will like [insert PREMIUM SERVICE] This is where we [add benefits].
This alone would be deemed ‘salesy’ but not after delivering up front value. The sale becomes more natural and there is no need to use any pressure tactics to force them in to buying.
Every business has the ability to attract attention by giving away material that helps move their prospects (and existing customers) closer to their desired outcomes... Today. ..At virtually no expense aside from time. Applying this strategy to your business will result in an increased audience, which means more people to spread the word on your behalf. If managed right, your growing “community” will feed your business for years to come.