Most think of marketing as advertising and most advertising is about getting a customer to buy your product or services. Of course, that’s the end goal of business. However, marketing needs to educate your clients and prospects to be truly effective.
By educating your clients and prospects, you help them to see how your services will benefit them. Your willingness to give valuable information to your prospect before you ever ask them to use your services helps build a relationship with them. Once you have a relationship, it’s much easier to do business with them.
So, how can you educate your clients and prospects? Here are a few ideas:
* Host a teleseminar
* Create a “10 things… ” list
* Develop a simple one-page checklist or report
* Send out a newsletter with resources your prospects can use
Once you have the attention of your prospect, you continue to educate them about your business. Your message may include case studies, benefits, advantages, and features of your services, your story (people love stories and these help them to relate on an emotional level); a call to action to let them know what to do next. Many won’t take action unless you specifically tell them what to do.
Too often we get excited about trying something new, such as sending out a newsletter or starting a blog, and then lose enthusiasm or find we don’t have time to maintain consistency.
Consistency is vital for effective marketing strategies. If you say you’re going to send out a newsletter every month or every week, do it. If you start a blog, you must post regularly. When your prospects see your consistent message, your business will be the first that comes to mind when they need the services you provide. On the other hand, when your message is sporadic, prospects will stop reading your blog and unsubscribe to your newsletter.
I signed up for a industry-related newsletter because I thought it would help me see what other virtual assistants were writing about. Unfortunately, my first newsletter didn’t arrive for several weeks and since then it’s been sporadic. I never know when it’s coming. As a potential client, I’m not inclined to seek this business out since I now feel that if this business can’t commit to a timely newsletter, they must be too busy for me.
So think about what you can do to educate your prospects, develop a marketing plan around that, and create a schedule of consistent, educational marketing.