Consumer Guides

“An Educated Consumer is Our Best Customer” ~ Sy Syms

A consumer guide is any type of downloadable document  or a website-based informational resource designed to help potential customers make informed buying decisions.

Often called lead magnets, these guides provide valuable customer-focused tips and advice about a particular product, service, or a wide range of offering, including details about their features, benefits, comparisons, pricing, and more.

A consumer guide is created as a “goodwill” piece that given away for free to prospective customers to build trust and rapport. They can also be great marketing tools that use psychological techniques to persuade potential customers to reach out to your business, but more on that in a bit.

Consumer guides can come in a variety of formats, including:

Digital guides or eBooks: These can be downloaded from a company’s website or sent via email. They provide the same kind of information as a printed guide but in a digital format that can be easily updated and distributed widely.

Website pages: Many companies create online consumer guides in the form of topical web pages or blog posts. These might include “how-to” guides for their products, product comparisons, or hiring guides for specific services or service categories.

Videos or Webinars: Some consumer guides are presented in a video format, providing visual demonstrations and explanations to help potential customers understand a product or service better.

Email Courses/Sequences: While most people overlook this type of guide, a series or a sequence of emails can be used to inform consumers as a “course” but they can also act as a connector to other educational resources online.

How Can a “Consumer Guide” Bring in More Business?

By Giving the Gift of Content…

  • By offering a consumer guide (a downloadable PDF or lead magnet) that provides free information, valuable tips, or “insider” insights, you create a sense of indebtedness in people. This tit-for-tat exchange, means they are more likely to visit or call your small business as a result of the all good stuff they have received for free.
  • A consumer guide can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge. This can position your and your small business as a trusted resource.  Plus by including courses, years of work in the industry, credentials, certifications, or testimonials from satisfied customers in the guide can further increase your credibility and reliability. 
  • No matter what people say, we all tend to follow the crowd and rely on others’ actions and experiences to influence our decisions.  By adding some “social proof” in your consumer guide, such as the aforementioned customer testimonials, success stories, or case studies, can create a sense of confidence and trustworthiness in you. Social proof acts as real-world evidence that others have benefited using your small business.
  • Use your consumer guide as an opportunity to showcase your personality and values of your small business. Incorporate relatable stories about why or how you got into your business, share content about why you picked certain products or use certain equipment in your service.  You can even add a personal introduction in your guide to help consumers see a real human-being behind the wizardry. This is because when people feel an emotional connection with you, they are more likely to visit your shop or consider hiring you.
  • By positioning your consumer guide as a limited resource or a exclusive offering, you can create a sense of urgency and encourage people to take quick action.  You can create urgency by adding a limited number of downloads, setting deadlines, or requesting people to signup using their email. This can motivate them to access this valuable information before it becomes unavailable.
  • When people read your consumer guide, you can take the opportunity to prompt them to take small actions that reinforce their commitment to follow-up by visiting your calling. For example, you could include a call-to-action within the guide, such your business phone, or a clickable button to sign up for a newsletter or a web link to follow you on social media.  By encouraging these consistent actions, you increase the chances that potential customers will visit your business or hire you in the future.


The ultimate goal of a consumer guide is to educate the consumer about their options, help them understand what to look for when making a purchase or hiring decision, and ultimately guide them towards making a decision that best meets their needs or desires.

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