Education Based Marketing – Boosts Leads & Sales
Need more leads, sales or new clients? Do some teaching!
Education based marketing – it seems counter intuitive when you really look at. But by sharing your information with potential clients or current customers, you increase your conversion rates and sales.
Education is a great way for small businesses to market online. One of the biggest stumbling blocks with online marketing for small business is the concept of “free information”.
“Free information” goes against everything that most old-school entrepreneurs have been taught. Like the old saying goes why buy the cow if the milk is free? Well this would be an idiotic thing to do if you are dairy farmer.
But if you are a cheese-maker and are selling a variety of milk-based products, then proof that your milk is both sweet and pure would be a good selling point for your business.
So you can see the advantages of offering potential customers free samples and trials.
But what if you can’t offer a free sample or consultation or you business model is not right for this type of promotion?
Then the best thing that you can do is to educate potential buyers by offering them special reports, training videos or seminars. And let’s not forget sharing useful tips and techniques in your daily blog posts.
Why Teaching Works For Small Business Online Marketing
A universal law of marketing and selling goes like this, “people buy whenever they are ready to buy NOT when you are ready to sell to them!” This means you must be prepared to sell to them when they are ready.
There are at least four distinctive stages between a visitor or browser and a paying customer. And you can never be sure at what stage they are in even if you are working with them in a face-to-face situation.
This is why teaching works as a marketing strategy. By educating prospective customers or clients eventually they may buy from you depending on what stage of the process they are in.
The marketing research company Gartner Group did a study that confirmed 87% of all prospects that inquire about a product or service will buy that exact item or a similar one within the next 12 months.
So by preparing education materials that cover all the four stages of the selection process you can increase the odds of being the company, that people will do business when they are ready to make a decision or a purchase.
So what are these four buying stages?
Stage one — Clueless. This is the first stage that all people go through before they buy a product or service. Not to make fun of anyone, but the clueless buyer is someone who is unaware that they have a problem at all.
They are oblivious to the circumstances that they are in. Therefore they are not looking for any type of product or service to help them solve this problem. As far as they know they don’t have any troubles what so ever.
Like a person with bad breath who doesn’t know how malodorous they really are. Your job is to gently bring it to their attention without upsetting or offending them.
Like a funny TV commercial showing a man with bad smelling breath who “accidentally” blows on a potted plant and makes it wilt. The humor cushions the embarrassment of his problem.
Stage two — In this next stage the “Aware” buyer. This person knows they have a situation but they are apathetic or feel that the problem doesn’t require action, for whatever reason.
An example of this would be a comedy skit where the man with the bad breath knows it – but uses his problem as an “offense of weapon” to torment his coworkers and friends.
Your job in this case, since the person is aware that they have a problem is to “explain the pain”. What I mean by “explain the pain” is that you give offer information about how difficult or painful circumstances can become if the problem is not fixed, immediately.
To stay with our bad breath example — you could show our luckless hero breathing on his prim and proper boss and then show him sitting on the side of the road after being fired.
Stage three — Our next stage is the “Concerned” buyer. The concerned buyer knows they have a problem, is serious about wanting to fix it and is actively searching for a solution.
The educational material you provide at this time it’s more specific. This material must detail how your product or services are better, cheaper, faster or better suited to help this person than your competitors.
If your product can’t beat out your competitors on a one-on-one comparison then you must use yourself or your personal brand as a “helpful, friendly” expert to your advantage.
Stage four — The final stage the Desperate or Decisive buyer. This is the point where your buyer actually becomes a paying customer. They may have reached this point out of desperation such as our fired worker who buys a carton full of breath mints to prove that he is working on his issues.
Or the person may have come to this stage after having gone through a long or well researched progression. The higher the ticket price, usually the more the research material people require.
It’s at this stage that your in-depth product or service features, fact sheets, technical manuals or specifications are the most important. Remember, people basically by on emotional impulse.
They want to solve a problem quickly and remove themselves from any painful situation. But what they need your materials for is to prove to themselves or higher-ups that they had made a logical and rational decision.
This is why your materials at this point must help them to give a good explanation for their decisions – we by with emotion but justify with logic and technology.
Now that you know before buying stages you can use your business website to house these materials and create an effective education based marketing system for your small business.
If you want learn even more ways to market yourself better online, then I invite you to check out my latest ebook: “Boost Your Sales!”