If you’re like most experts, you’re looking for ways to reach more of your market in order to build trust, create value and ultimately do business.One of the best ways to do this is to give potential customers and clients a “taste” of what you do by way of samples. Someone who perfected this model is Debbie Fields. As the story goes, when she first came up with the idea for a business Debbie tried to sell her cookies. Not many people were interested.Rather than give up, she put a “sample” plate together, going door to door, offering free cookies to whomever was willing to take some.Within a short period of time word got around how good the cookies were. Debbie Fields aka Mrs. Fields, quickly went from giving her cookies to reluctant strangers to building a multi-million dollar enterprise. Granted, there was a lot of work building the business, but had Mrs. Fields not been willing to give people a taste of what she offered, she would have ended up like countless others; throwing in the towel, chanting, “This stuff doesn’t work.”
Actually, giving people a sample of what you do can work great. In the online space you can offer eBooks, eReports, videos, audio files, podcast shows and articles to name just a few of the many ways to create value first before asking for the sale.Make sure whatever you offer is of very high value. The notion that it can be low quality because it’s free is way off base. After all, in many cases this is the first touch point potential customers have with you.Additionally, make sure that you have a clear path to where you want to take people. What is your end game? Where do you want potential buyers to end up? What needs to be put in place to make this happen?If you’re a consultant who uses free reports to secure leads, do you have a process in place to follow up with those who have expressed interest by opting in for your report.An obvious path would be:
Series of follow up messages
An invitation to complete an assessment
A complimentary coaching call for those who put effort into the assessment
A discussion on what solutions you provide via various consulting programs
Authors, a chapter of your book turned into a report is a really nice giveaway. Another idea for authors is to shoot a short video that explains something written about in your book. Then there’s the idea of hosting a webinar on a topic that is directly related to your book.Bottom line is this; whatever industry you’re in, if you are a service based business, offering free content is one of the best ways to gain trust, generate leads and grow your business while serving your market.