The Information Marketing Primer For Helping and Healing Solo-Professionals – Part 4 – Free Report

In previous articles in this series, I talked about the importance of creating another stream of income in addition to your direct service hours. Information marketing is a natural fit for you as a solo-professional because of your extensive knowledge and expertise. It can prove to be a great source of additional income or replacement income should you cut back on direct service hours. I also discussed the importance of choosing your target market and creating an online presence.

In this article of the series, I will have you diving into the world of information marketing by creating your very first information product – the Free or Special Report. You may be asking yourself “If I’m supposed to be creating a revenue stream through selling my information to my targeted audience, why am I starting with a free product?”

There’s a good reason for it that I alluded to in previous articles…you have to build up your credibility and visibility and you have to build up your potential list of customers for your products. Having a blog is one way to create this credibility and visibility. Having a free report to offer from your static one-page or multiple page website is a critical way to increase your credibility and visibility and to drive people to your business. Making a sale directly to a “cold audience” isn’t easy, but it becomes much easier to make a sale if you are selling to people who are growing to know, like and trust you.

The Free or Special Report

There are two formats in which you can create your free or special report. One is in a written format and the other is in audio format. You are probably stronger in one or the other – writing or speaking – so start with the one that is best for you. But plan on having most of your information in more than one format because your customers most likely have their preferences for how they want to consume your information. I’ll focus on the written format in this installment and on the audio format in the next installment.

The first thing to do whether you are doing an audio or written free report is to decide the subject of this report. This is based on the target market you have chosen and what their most pressing needs are.

Let’s go back to an example in a previous installment of the nurse practitioner who specializes in working with children with ADHD. From your direct service work you know that two main concerns for parents are their child’s behavior problems and also their child’s low self-esteem. Your free report could focus on one or the other (not both) – managing behavior or helping raise their child’s self-esteem.

Or in the example of the acupuncturist who has a strong interest in helping people avoid diseases that are related to poor diet and lifestyle choices, your free report could focus on the factors that contribute to poor health or on the factors that contribute to good health.

The most important thing to remember in this report is that you are giving the “Why” and the “What”, but not the “How”…that is what they will have to pay for through your information products or your services.

You want to make sure that your free report is substantive but not so lengthy that it overwhelms your readers. A good minimum of pages is 10; maximum number is about 30 pages.

Make sure you give the free or special report a provocative or noteworthy title such as “10 Biggest Mistakes Parents of Children with ADHD Make…and How to Avoid Them” or “Seven Absolutely Essential Things You Have to Do to Not Die from Diseases Caused by Poor Lifestyle Choices”. These kinds of titles get people’s attention!

Here’s a simple format for the report:

State the problem or the source of pain for your targeted reader. (“As a parent, you find yourself frustrated and disheartened as every night turns into a battleground with your ADHD child…” or “Obesity is an epidemic in this country that is completely avoidable…”)

Add some real-life examples of this problem or pain – make it more real in their minds.

Explain why this is happening or what the causes are or what is the theory behind this problem.

Explain why what your readers have been doing to date hasn’t been working

Provide your solution without going into the “How” (“We know from several long-term studies that a behavioral program, coupled with family therapy can bring…” or “We know that eliminating processed foods, cutting out sugar, eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables…”)

Then give them the next step. For right now, as you do not yet have your information product developed, the next best step would be getting them to your email newsletter so that you can keep in touch with and eventually introduce your products to them. Once you do have a product, you will introduce it to your readers at the end of your free report. This change can be easily made when you are ready.

We will discuss the Ezine or email newsletter in Part Six of this series. Once you have your free or special report completed and your email newsletter in place, it’s time to start rolling out your information products to your audience. I’ll start presenting on how to develop these products in Part Seven.

The Biggest Mistake That People Make With Email Marketing

The number one biggest mistake people make with email marketing is people do not understanding the power, nor use the full potential of this application as a medium of communications.

People hate to be sold, but love to buy. Think for a moment. When you hear the story about someone who was sold something, is the ending usually favorable or unfavorable? On the other hand, if you buy something you really like, do you say “Someone sold this to me.” or do you say with pride “Look at what I bought”?

Email marketing is one of the simplest forms of dynamic communication today. Everyone has an email address. Some people even have email addresses for their pets. The Internet is a medium that is growing by leap and bounds. “Gillions” of website and mega gillions of email addresses. They are everywhere business cards, websites, promotional products, and even on bus benches.

People love information, especially FREE information. If you are able to deliver information that has a high perceived-value, you will find some taker-uppers to your offers. People will respond, it’s just human nature. If you build trust and deliver on your promises, people will listen to you and read your messages. Many, many eNewsletters are read religiously every day, week or month. When the newsletter is late or the publisher misses an issue, they hear about it.

Wait…I see a formula for opportunity, marketing success and profitability if the numbers are only halfway right. Let’s look at this picture functionally; you’ve got mega gillions of email addresses; and zillions of people who would buy almost any product or service, if it is packaged correctly. So let me process this. If I can identify a small loyal percentage of the zillions of people and get their email address then maybe I can hold [daily (I don't suggest it), weekly (you've got to have good stuff) or, monthly (great way to start)] dialogue with my subscribers via an eNewsletter and drop a little knowledge (value) on them to promote my business in a very innocent and professional manner, yet giving them value for their time spent with me. I like that idea; it works for me!

Over time, some people will tell other people about my eNewsletter and then people whom I don’t know nor have a relationship with will want to become a part of my mailing list because of something they heard about me from someone else. I’m not dreaming folks. I become the host of my own fan club. If you are not into viral marketing, you are missing the proverbial boat. This is powerful stuff! It is very simple and easy to get email addresses and see your mailing list grow 10, 20 or even 100 fold. Just ask for them for it! A little love goes a long way.

The next step is to develop a compelling message with an appealing/eye-catching user interface for your subscribers and then sending them out email messages on a regularly basis, (daily, weekly or monthly). The articles can be long or short. Short is better in most instances, until you master the concept. Use common sense for your industry and market niche. Remember the old sales adage. “Sell to Bob the way Bob wants to buy.” Don’t make it hard or difficult. Listen to your customers and give them what they want and what you promised.

Use your writing skills to position yourself as an expert in your field or profession. What’s going on? What do people in your realm of the world or business like to hear, see, do or have a general interest in? Find a topic or something you enjoy writing about. The last thing you need is another job. If you find an area you like or have a passion for, it will be easier when you sit down and put your pen to paper.

There is help for those who can’t or don’t write very well. There are many content providers from which you can purchase content for your eNewsletter. If your kid is a good writer, hire them. Where there is a will, there will be a way! In case no one before me told you, you will need to develop a convincing title that is likely to catch your audience’s attention or appeal to a need they have. Value, value, value. Everyone enjoys listening to that same radio station WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). Speak to your subscribers in a way that addresses the issues that are important to them and use testimonials whenever possible.

With the number of people you meet everyday you could quickly and easily create a database of thousands of names that could easily grow exponentially into many thousands of names and email addresses if you put action behind your plan to get started. A growing list of small and medium sized firms and civic associations is making huge amounts of money and collecting liberal donations by putting the power and potential of email technology to use to build and enhance their relationship with their members and communities.

Not everyone is your customer! You can do quite well with a small population of loyal subscribers who like you, trust you, and respect you. There is software that makes it possible to quickly and easily create appealing email messages, build and manage large email lists, send personalized targeted messages, and track your success.

The potential is to provide high perceived-value in the customer’s mind to establish TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness). Ideally every 8 to 14 days you should sent a new message to your target audience. Remember it may takes 7 or 8 tries just to get invited on to their safelist. Some people will read every issue of your eNewsletter strictly from their junk email folder. People are stingy about letting you into their life. With so many messages coming from so many different directions daily, you have to compete to make a serious impact to get some of their precious time. Committing to read, review or just look at your email is a serious act of loyalty on behalf of your customer. Your opt-in mailing list of people who love you, trust you and have done business with you before can generate a substantial consistent income for years to come

Don’t get it twisted; they’re doing you the favor. If they don’t like what you have to say, or the way you say it, they will just click delete, quicker than a heartbeat. The real potential is to be the favored eNewsletter that people look forward to reading issue after issue, follow recommendations from, refer to their friends, make your sales swell and expand the size and scope of your business while allowing you do the one thing you do best, talk passionately about your organization or subject of interest.

Speak in your eNewsletter about how you bring value, solve problems, save money, reduce time and effort, or provide solutions to problems your customers face. Humor also works. The question becomes in your customer’s mind; why should I give you my fat wad of cash for your itty-bitty bag of what did you say it was? With today’s technology it is really simple, easy, and affordable to set-up and start a successful email marketing campaign that requires little effort on your part. You can also track your results and manage you email lists as about 37% of all email address change over any given year.

Something very important, kindly respect people’s privacy. Be upfront and straight with them as to how you handle their personal information. Trust is very fragile. If they ask to be removed from your list, make it easy. Leave the tricks to unsubscribing them or keeping them on your list to the magicians. It is bad behavior for a web marketer to refuse to unsubscribe any user or make it difficult. Don’t waste your time with people who don’t want to hear from you. Your reputation and credibility are too important. Frankly, there are bigger fish to fry and other people who need what you offer. Stay focused.

Asking permission, keeping it simple and giving value is the formula for making the power and potential of the Internet and email marketing deliver results that increase sales to overflow your barns. It is the hardest easy work you can ever do.

Understanding the Deeper Perspective of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing has many names accredited to it like i-marketing, web marketing, online marketing or e marketing which are the services available for the people as a whole on the internet. Easy to access, low cost and globally reachable primarily has marked the huge avenue for the marketing of both product and services over the internet. The chief interactive nature makes the marketing go smoothly as the response time between both the receiver and the message providers is effortlessly reduced. This interactive medium of internet gives immense scope not only in digital media but also in building functional relationship with its potential electronic gadgets that creates electronic customer data systems.

Internet marketing has been globally accepted as one of the most frequently used medium for business purposes. It brilliantly blends the creative and the technical aspect procuring developing, designing, advertising, promoting and the sale of both goods and services.
Internet marketing highlights the following elements:

1. Affiliate marketing
2. Promoting
3. E-commerce

The consumer has always been regarded as the king in consumer world. Here what comes instantly in our minds is that services are very crucial in view of marketing concepts. The process in which one person is engaged in producing and the other enthusiastic people that are engaged in selling of those goods in the profit basis is what is popularly known as affiliate marketing.

The goods and services that is all set to be disposed to the people has to be made known and familiar to the people and that is promotion done with the help of advertising.

E-commerce deals with the sale of goods and services directly to the consumer. Although all products are for the people but this element of internet marketing launches direct sale of goods for the people.

Internet Marketing review on current market situation reveals that the online marketing has been constantly dominated by the internet marketing. Bharat Books, one of the prime collector of marketing information reveals that with over 95000 messages, it actually forms an easy way out for the people to access information on market research, strategic planning, journals and database on varied industries be it management, banking or any other.

The internet marketing has many facets which is treated equally beneficial to the manufacturer and people as well.

Personal approach- This form of approach makes a direct contact with the user that makes the internet marketing go successful. The search engine itself serves to be its ideal means of attracting its valuable customer.

Geo targeting- The importance of geo targeting is indispensable in internet marketing products. This tool serves as the source to determine the physical location of the consumers with the software called geolocation that provides varied information as per the location like country, state, city, and village.

The advantage overrides the limitations of internet marketing if one tries to track its usages and functions. It’s for sure that it provides extremely low cost to the manufacturer to reach out the goods and services to the far flung people in the world. It even makes sure that one can constantly make update on daily basis of the marketing strategies while the only hindrance to this as suggested by 410 marketing executives is that one must be accustomed to the newer technologies.