It’s a good question, and worth considering. Who’s going to read a forty-page marketing spiel? Who’s going to read something that specialized, especially if it’s clearly branded by your company.
But maybe you’ve heard all about how effective eBook marketing is in generating leads. Or maybe one of the ferociously skilled consultants from Calamus Communications is making it sound like a great idea. (E-mail us if you want to discuss this directly, of course!)
So you want to write an eBook. Where to start?
You are an authority
One of the best reasons to write an eBook is to establish yourself or your company as an authority. Clients are your clients because you understand their world; potential clients who don’t know you are asking who is the most knowledgeable service provider out there?
If you weren’t an authority, then you wouldn’t be succeeding in your area of business. So start there: what do you know about your customers’ point of view? What are they constantly talking about? What features or extras are they always demanding?
Let’s look at my friend’s accounting firm. She’s developing specialized software tools to help her clients navigate some of the intricate areas of corporate taxes. She understands what her clients have problems with, and every fiscal year, these clients come to her with the same demands.
What can she do? How about an eBook that helps them prepare better for tax time? How about a guide to deciding how to declare income in the most complex and intricate parts of the tax submissions?
She’s not cannibalizing her own business by doing this; she’s helping her clients do their own part of the process better. And in the meantime, she’s showing that she’s done it before. She knows the subject so well, she can tell them how to do it better. A free eBook reminds existing clients that they made a good choice doing business with you, and indicates to potential customers that you’re worth talking to.
You solve problems
You sell products or services, but customers don’t buy them; they buy solutions to their problems. That’s a marketing truism, but it’s a good place to start when you’re thinking about what information your potential clients might be willing to download and read.
Think about some recent conversations with clients. What were their problems? What are the common themes in those conversations? What are the issues you’ve seen from every client in your business space?
Those problems are what every potential customer is going to react to. Promise them help with these problems, and not only will you establish yourself as an expert (see above), but they’ll be interested in what else you have to say.
It starts with their problems. And if you offer them a way to solve one of their problems, even a small one, you’ll get their attention. The value they can get from your expertise and experience will far outweigh their reticence to sign up for your mailing list. And if your content is good enough, they’ll be eager to sign up. And I don’t need to tell you how valuable a self-identified lead can be.
It’s part of the conversation
You know that every successful sales call – in fact every successful business transaction – is a conversation. Good business isn’t about standing on a soapbox, or worse yet shouting in someone’s ear. It’s give and take, push and pull, talking and listening.
Think of an eBook as just another sentence in that conversation. (A long sentence, maybe, but an important one.) Maybe you’re always trying to tell clients the simple tips and tricks you’ve picked up in your years in their business space; why not put them together in a handy eBook, and have that part of the conversation before you start talking to them?
Or maybe there’s a key question you use to show the client how much better their business could be. Why not make that question the subject of your eBook? Then you can spend some time discussing how your clients might answer that question, stepping through the issues they need to consider, the resources they have to marshal.
Think of some of the sales conversations you’ve had recently. Now think of how much better it would have been if your client was primed with an eBook that had already told him that you were an expert on her business, and that you could help her with her biggest problem. You would still need to have that conversation, but it would be on a different level – their level of interest, and your ability to convince them that you can provide a solution, would be much higher. That’s better for you, and for them.
Start your eBook today!
Think about it: you have a privileged position that none of your customers can ever possess. You are a specialist in solving their problems. Your whole business is designed to satisfy their needs. And you have a specialized knowledge and perspective that they probably don’t have, with the limited viewpoint of their own day-to-day business.
So it’s time to put that expertise and experience into action. Look at your authority on the subject; what do you know that most of your clients don’t? What problems could you help them solve? And what is the conversation you’d love to have with all of your clients?
That’s where to start with your eBook. It’s a unique marketing tool, with exceptional benefits. And you can begin your first one today.