The first post of this series focused on the Web marketing concept of freemium, and how to successfully integrate it into your small business marketing.
In all of its forms, sharing is another means for giving away free content, products, or services — and it is one that you should strongly consider incorporating into your marketing strategy if you expect to be relevant in this new economy.
Why Give Anything Away?
Marketing has evolved from look at me, to trust me, to here's proof.
You now actually need all three. Look at me was traditional marketing. Trust me is word-of-mouth. In times like these where budgets are stretched, most of us will still want to validate the advice of our trusted friends.
We want proof.
When you allow your prospect to take a trial run with no strings attached, with nobody looking over their shoulder, you allow them to convince themselves. We all make decisions in different ways. I happen to make decisions quickly, but then I like to "sleep on it" just to be sure.
Sharing gives your prospects the time they need – the space they need – and the opportunity to experience your product and service in the way they need to.
It Doesn't Hurt to Ask
When I was growing up my mother impressed upon me that it doesn't hurt to ask. If you don't ask, how will you know? I believe that advice is especially timely today.
As long as your request is reasonable, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask for the opportunity to try out (at least a portion) of what you intend to purchase. For one thing, it engages a prospect with a company, and that's why you should accept reasonable offers.
A No-Obligation Trial Run
When I was in the green industry I once interviewed dozens of admins that all seemed highly qualified for the open position. I chose the best four and offered to pay them for a one week trial to get a feel for how they performed. Three accepted.
I would have been especially impressed if one of them had suggested this: "I'm so sure that I"m the right candidate for the job that I'll go you one better. I'll work one day for free, which should be enough for any business owner to make a decision. What do you say?"
That offer alone may have been enough for me to offer them the job right then. Why? It demonstrates the confidence to put everything on the line, as well as the business acumen for making an alternative offer. Once again, it doesn't hurt – in fact, it helps to ask!
Your willingness to put your content or product and service to the test will do the same for your potential buyers. In Part 3 of this series I will share some methods that have worked for me.
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Until tomorrow, Jeff
Photo Credit: Brent