How Content Marketing Prepares Buyers to Sign On The Line

www.jeffkorhan.com

Need a reason to embrace content marketing?

People tend to fear what they do not understand.

Therefore, they are unlikely to work with your business if they do not understand your process for helping them.

Your current customers are your customers because you have earned they trust. They know, like, and understand you and your business.

The others are simply not ready to step forward because they have doubts that are holding them back. Your content marketing can remove those obstacles.

You understand your current customers well, so naturally your business seeks to attract more folks just like them. They are out there in the communities your business serves, but there are challenges that may include the following.

  • They don’t recognize they need help
  • They are not quite ready to change
  • They are unwilling to do the work
  • Use your content marketing and social media to remove these three obstacles, and more.

#1 – Help Buyers Understand How You Can Help Them

In the film A River Runs Through It, Jesse asks Norman: “Why is it the people that need the most help won’t take it?”

There are plenty of buyers out there that your business can help, but for whatever reason they are not ready. Use your content marketing to help them recognize they have a problem.

If you bend to accommodate them you will then compromise your ability to help others. This often comes in the form of cutting prices, which we all know doesn’t work. So, don’t do it.

Instead, refine and share your success stories to clarify what your business does well and why it is unique. These stories create memorable and shareable content that prepares prospective buyers to be your next customers.

#2 – Increase The Pain that Your Solution Eliminates

This is probably the most important time to be committed to your process for helping your customers.

When you seek to put a “Band-Aid solution” on a big problem your value plummets. If a Band-Aid will do, then how necessary is your premium solution?

Without sensationalizing, take bold moves to help your buyer feel the pain.

Buyers are people, so they will differently respond to different stimuli. Some will have to see how your solutions work, some feel it, and others hear it.

Therefore, use the available multi-media formats to create content that reaches all types of buyers. Here’s a tip:

Help your buyer feel good about their pain; it means they care about something. Tweet this

#3 – Remove Obstacles to Adopting Your Solutions

When you build trust with buyers they will share the truth with you.

We learned early on at the landscape business I founded that many buyers wanted to upgrade their landscape, but only if they could be assured it would be properly maintained.

We quickly realized we had to launch a maintenance division to remove this obstacle. We also had to create tutorials for those that preferred to do the work themselves.

I’m sure you will not be surprised that to learn that many that initially did the work themselves later called us in to do the heavy lifting, such as the spring cleanup, tree trimming, and mulching. Why? Because our content marketing helped them understand there are no shortcuts to doing things right. (#1 above).

How about your business?

Helping is the New Selling

Your content marketing will sell more business if you design it to be helpful. Every single piece of educational content you create (such as a blog post) is either a stand-alone tutorial, or a portion of something more comprehensive (such as an eBook or printed reference guide).

Helping people understand how you can help them goes beyond answering questions. Facts and figures are useful, but they are impersonal and easily forgotten. Stories are relatable, and therefore memorable.

Your stories should help buyers understand how you can help them, why you want to help them, and why they will enjoy working with you.

When you do that you will make emotional connections that will move buyers to sign on the line which is dotted.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Email Subscribers

email www.jeffkorhan.com

During my networking at Social Media Marketing World this year I had the opportunity to talk with some of the top experts in the world about Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and more.

Given their respective areas of focus, it should not be surprising that they all take a slightly different approach with their social media. This is includes their overall strategy, as well as the channels, tactics, and tools they prefer to use.

Nevertheless, they all shared one common objective: Use social media to increase your email subscribers.

Growing your list should be among your top three objectives for a number of reasons, with one being its ability to convert your social marketing engagement into profitable outcomes.

Email Subscribers are Your Business Lifeline

When you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with social media, you can more easily focus your efforts.

There are a lot of moving parts involved with social media marketing, and all of it is continuously changing. However, your list is a digital asset that can anchor everything.

  • Your business owns it
  • It keeps your customers, prospects, and influencers informed
  • Your business is always in control
  • You can be more intimate with your audience
  • Special offers are welcomed

If you have read Built-In Social, you know that when I sold my landscape business after 20 years it was my list that everyone wanted, not the dozens of trucks and trailers that weighed down our balance sheet.

You have very little control over the various social media channels; and most traditional assets like trucks depreciate over time. This means your list of subscribers is potentially your most valuable business asset!

Have a Singular Focus on Growing Your List

Like so many other websites, mine needs some work. Friends and customers have commented that it doesn’t do justice to what I do or who I am. I agree.

However, when you go to my home page there is one clear call to action: Sign up for my newsletter and get my very best.

I take pride in what happens within this community. This is a permission asset. You asked to be here, and that is why I am committed to honoring that by giving this my very best.

3 Popular Ways to Grow Your Subscribers

#1 – Run a Facebook contest. Here’s a free ebook from the folks at Tabsite to help you run a Facebook contest.

#2 – Provide incentives, such as a free report. Here’s how it is done at Social Media Examiner.

#3 – Use an opt-in form to offer valuable resources. Top-rated business podcast Entrepreneur on Fire accomplishes this with the OptinMonster pop-up tool (wait a few seconds for it to open).

I’m not a fan of the pop-up boxes either. However, I talked to the creator of OptinMonster and he pointed out that 70% of all website visitors never return. This is why smart marketers are learning there are times when you have to be a little aggressive.

My plan is to put all these methods into practice.

Remember that content is still king; without it you have little to offer your subscribers. So, make it a priority.

If you do that and encourage subscriptions, you will thank yourself some day for having the foresight to build a community that anchors your business presence in the sometimes choppy social media waters.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

 Photo Credit

How To Be So Helpful They Can’t Ignore You

Being so helpful (or so good) that people cannot ignore you is the basis of enduring relationships. It’s knowing that someone can count on you – no matter what. Does your marketing communicate that? How about your sales or customer service? Helping and adding value is the new marketing, selling, and customer service. Thanks to […]

Read the full article

Should Your Business Accept Blog Comments

One of the top blogs on the web recently discontinued comments, and this came as a surprise to their community. The truth is many of us have struggled with comments over the years on our blogs. This is one reason why notable marketer Seth Godin discontinued comments on his blog way back in 2006. During […]

Read the full article

How to Write an Introduction That Engages Any Audience

I recently had the pleasure of helping other speakers as a track leader for Social Media Marketing World. It was an interesting experience for me because typically I am the speaker, so in this situation I was assuming the role of those that help me to look good in front of an audience. My primary […]

Read the full article

Relationship Selling is a Commitment Process

Are you familiar with the negotiating practice of asking for a commitment for a commitment. It’s an important one for building and sustaining relationships, and that makes it essential for successful sales professionals and online marketers Selling is A Series of Mini-Commitments Especially in regards to online marketing, there is often the unrealistic expectation of […]

Read the full article

How To Network Like a Pro at Live Events

One of the seemingly improbable outcomes of digital social networking is the increased interest in live events for building relationships to further to accomplish practical business objectives. To do this well, while also maximizing your return on what is likely to be a significant investment, thorough preparation is essential. This is something I’ve been working […]

Read the full article

How Your Business Can Help Its Ideal Customers

Do you understand the primary problems that challenge your ideal customers? If your business is intensely focused on relationships, then it is continually learning about the most relevant problems for which it can be the solution. To attract new customers, they must immediately know your business understands their problems, and can offer relevant solutions for […]

Read the full article

Converting Trust Into Profitable Outcomes

One of the most challenging steps in the sales and marketing process is the final conversion into a desirable outcome for the buyer and the seller. One reason for this is the terminology. The word conversion has a connotation bordering on manipulation. At the very least it suggests the transition is mechanical, like flipping a […]

Read the full article

Relationship Selling in The Trust Economy

Relationship selling and social marketing are becoming one and the same, and this presents numerous advantages for any business that understands how the two work together. If you hate cold calling and the feeling of interrupting your best clients, then stop selling as you know it and get focused on helping. That’s the heart of […]

Read the full article