How to Use a Free Report in your Marketing Efforts

“7 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by _________,  just enter your name and e-mail for instant access”.  That’s it, isn’t it? That’s how you’re building a database of names interested in your niche.  And when the prospect exchanges their information for your information it’s game over. You won! Congratulations!

But what is it you’re giving them? I’m sure it’s good information – perhaps even great information. And it’s quite possible you created this report by putting together 7 of your Ezine Articles or rewriting some PLR. (Actually, I’m not sure what you’re doing to write your reports – leave a comment at the end, I’m curious).

Moreover, I’m willing to bet your report is written in the second or third person with sentences like “A person looking to hire a ________ should first do this. . . ” or “You should do this: _____________, before engaging this kind of service.”  And your reader probably had no problem understanding it – and was likely appreciative.

So my question to you is “Are you becoming the expert in your field merely by giving away the free information OR are you becoming the expert because you are the information?” That’s a huge distinction.

Well, I’d like you to scrap that report. That’s right – toss it out. Or at least open the editable version and start editing. Your “free report” shouldn’t be generic. It shouldn’t be a compilation of articles or PLR snippets. It should “BE YOU” (which is a great book, by the way – ask if you’re interested in reading it).  Take your 7 tips articles and write them in the first person. That’s the first step.

The first person is so cheesy isn’t it? Well, instead of saying “The first thing you should do is . . . “, start with “I’ve noticed many of our clients were making this mistake. As in the case of Betty Clemens, we were able to help her avoid that mistake by first doing . . .”

See. You’re not only providing the 7 tips but you’re proving the worth of the tips by showing them in action and proving that you’re the expert when it comes to implementing these tips. Explain how you or your client screwed up the first time, learned from it, then tweaked and now “own it”. Put you and your expertise into it.

Don’t just give away a free report. Give away a little bit of you to engage that little bit of them that wants to hire you. Give them a taste of your expertise. Imagine how much more comfortable you would feel if the pamphlets your doctor gave you were all about experiences with his patients? That generic garbage doesn’t make you an expert – it just makes you the source.

If you’re interested in learning more about that “expertise part”, read my post on “Dog the Bounty Hunter”.

And don’t forget to leave a comment about how you’re creating  your reports. I’m sincerely interested.

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Celebrity Apprentice: Right Guard proves the buying process

Last week on the Celebrity Apprentice, the folks at Right Guard got asked a pointed question.  They first  instructed the celebrities that the Right Guard target market was young, sporty males and thus their advertisement needed to reflect that. One of the Celebrity Apprentice team members asked, “Should we market to the mom’s and wives who may actually be the ones who buy the deodorant?”  And like they should, Right Guard knew the answer.

That’s one of the things we drill in our local marketing workshops – the buying process. If you don’t understand how your customer comes to buy your product, how do you market to that customer?

So their answer was, “Mom’s and wives may buy our product but we’ve found the males in the house influence the decision”.

That goes directly to the effectiveness of your e-mails, your headlines, your blog posts and your in-store advertising. If you don’t know who your real customer is, what are building upon?

Imagine an entire campaign laid out in Woman’s Day Magazine, in Oprah Magazine and in People attempting to educate mom’s on the benefits of Right Guard for their sons. Do you then marry the message with the look? Do you take away the sporty, edgy feel and give it a more wholesome “good for you” quality? And are your contests then loaded up with “mom” prizes?

. . . Only then to find out that your repeat buys are next to nothing because the boys want the edgier, more heavily celebrity-weighted “Arm & Hammer” – the next time? Because in the end, the mom’s and wives want their men to actually wear the deodorant. “Good for you” or not, if they don’t wear it – they won’t rebuy it.

Don’t begin the process until you look deeply at your own customer. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How does my customer first hear of my existence?
  2. What is my customer doing moments before they buy my product?
  3. What is my customer buying? (In the case of Right Guard, the name of the scent? the look? the brand?”
  4. What stops a similar person from becoming a customer?
  5. Finally, what does my customer overcome to become my customer?

Have you figured out the buying process of your customer? How did you come to that conclusion?

And; if you’re interested in learning more about the buying process, check out our other buying process posts.

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