Not being a fan of selling, and not liking marketing myself much more, I try to use education as much as possible to promote my business. I will be the first to admit that marketing my business only with education would be a bad idea; however, as part of a (somewhat) larger plan, education is an import aspect of my marketing.
My definition of marketing is to educate prospects as to why they want to buy a specific product or service when they finally decide to purchase. There is some emotional play involved because it is quite likely that this product and the one next door are exactly the same, and you want to inspire people towards you and away from your neighbor.
I define advertising, on the other hand, as the emotional blackmail used to get a person to buy THIS product NOW. Sometimes it is that bad, and, my definition is skewed by my distinct dislike of advertising myself.
So, the question becomes:
Where’s the Education in Your Marketing?
When people go to your website, is there information there about the facts of your product or service – your who, what, when, where, why, and how? Or is it all flashy, “Buy Now!”?
True, not everyone will read all the information available. Some will not read any of it. The people who are truly interested and closer to a buying decision, however, are going to be looking for exactly the type of information education articles provide.
Also known as blogs. However, I find that more and more business owners are getting away from that term.
Whatever you want to call them, this is when you get to totally geek out about what you do. Well… Not totally. Your readers need to understand what you’re talking about, so jargon and super specialized explanations are not appropriate.
Anyway, these articles are where you explain what you do, how you do it, what tools you use, why you love it, who you love working with, what’s new, what’s different, why someone wants you and your product instead of the competition, and whatever else you want to share.
Now that you have education, you do need to market it. First off, you need to post the information on your website. That way, the random lookers and researches can stumble on it. Next, you need to tell people there’s new content on your website so that they go looking for it. Let’s face it, no matter how much we SEO our sites, depending on people to find you online is like going out in the snow naked and depending on a coat to show up. Someone is much more likely to bring a coat if you say, “Hey world! I’m going out in the snow naked and I’d really appreciate a coat!”
There are lots of ways to tell people about your new content:
- Set up an alert system people can opt into.
- Share it on the social media platforms of your choice.
- Put it in your newsletter.
Well, now, that’s a different, yet related, conversation.
How many newsletters do you get? Most people I ask that question of roll their eyes. And most of THOSE people roll their eyes not because they get so many newsletters, but because they get so many USELESS newsletters.
If you knew that someone that interests you was going to put out a newsletter, would you sign up? You find the person engaging, you generally like to learn what they have to share, you suspect they’ll provide value. Do you sign up? Of course! After all, you can always unsubscribe later, right?
Be that person. Be that engaging, informative person who provides value. The value? That would be your educational articles.