Educating Consumers - The Good of Goodwill
Hey guys, thanks for tuning in for another week of Small Biz Sundays. Before we start, I just wanted to say that I am by no means an expert on these topics and today’s article is something that we at FHL have tried to implement into our own business based on some compelling theories from the marketing, content producing and entrepreneurial experts such as Gary Vaynerchuck and Sabri Subry. I am not telling you what you should do, but simply sharing the information I found to be useful for other businesses as well as FHL.
The topic this week is all about educating and engaging consumers. It’s a topic I think is more important than ever right now given the amount of screen time COVID-19 has given us all. There has never been more time spent on social media than in the last couple months, and that is where the biggest opportunity for small business owners and the self-employed lies.
When I say self-employed, I mean anyone who generally works one on one with customers to provide services or sell products, such as accountants, brokers, car sales people or lawyers. This strategy will help you just as much as it will help whole businesses and you’ll see why in a minute.
The strategy is relatively simple: give away consistent educational content completely free with almost no strings attached before asking for anything in return. The only thing that you should be asking for is a name and an email, and that’s all you need.
This concept is described in the title of Gary Vaynerchuck’s best selling book ‘Jab Jab Right Hook’: you give away and give away (jab jab) before you ask for something in return (right hook). It is also the core concept of Sabri Subry’s best selling book ‘Sell like crazy’ in which he details every step along the path of creating attention grabbing, value adding content before finally delivering your ‘god-father offer’ (an offer they can’t refuse).
These content pieces can be videos, articles, interviews, live Q&A’s. The whole idea is to help people with the problems in your industry, it is not to sell them. The intention is to educate consumers on how they can solve their problems and become more educated and confident on a topic, like getting better insurance cover, or getting the best deal on a car, or how they can use a certain type of mulch to help their plants grow, whatever your industry is, it will have problems that you can freely help customers with, without needing to buy your product. This does a few things, it:
Positions you as someone willing to help and offer information freely, something every customer wants. Just imagine how you would feel going to meet someone you know is excited to help you solve your problem!
Positions you as an expert in your field; when the dust settles and the market returns, who is the first person people want to be in business with? That’s right, the expert!
Identifies those in the marketplace who are interested in what you or your business does or sells for the long run.
Eventually, people are going to take the leap and buy, whether it’s a car, insurance, or plants, whatever it is, who are they going to go to first? It’s the people who they know will do anything to help them because they’ve done it over social media a dozen times already and they provided great quality information.
By identifying those in the marketplace who are interested in your industry, you not only grow your contact list, you grow the amount of potential prospects who will eventually buy from you, if you don’t push them with sales messages straight away. That’s why everyone hates ads! All they do is try to sell you straight away and get you from wherever you are, to their checkout. There is a place for those messages but the research shows that method applies to only 3% of potential prospects, those few who are ready to buy right now!
For the other 97%, a different approach must be taken, most of them are still in the information gathering stage, or just interested in the topic. That is where the biggest potential for more sales lies, and is exactly who is targeted with educational content.
Who are you more likely to buy from: Someone you know and trust to be willing to help you, provide expert information and do whatever it takes to get the perfect product for you at the best price, or some random bloke telling you to buy his thing? Exactly.
Research shows it is 5X more expensive to sell to a random consumer than it is to sell to someone who knows you, knows your product/service and is apart of your community.
When I say community, I mean people in your industry, your followers on social media, anyone you interact on a day to day basis through your business, your profession or your online presence.
The more helpful content you produce, the more people will join your community, the more people you can ask for something in return down the line. You must first give, before you receive.
Think of problems in your industry or profession that you think would be valuable for customers to know, and produce a piece of content educating them on that, it’s that simple.
In reality I understand it can be difficult to put into words what you know so well, and often what could be the final piece before a customer buys is overlooked as being important to an expert in the field. Don’t overthink it, if you come from a place of trying to help, I guarantee you will grow your community, they will thank you for your help, and when they are ready, they will return the favour.
Give for the sake of giving, for being of service and help to those in your community, and what you give, is often returned 10 fold.
Producing helpful content is the ultimate win/win - consumers become more educated on the subject and more confident to make a purchase, they like you, you help people, you are positioned as someone willing to help and who people want to do business with, you grow your community, your potential prospects, and eventually, your paying customers!
To think about it another way, the more people you can get into your die-hard circle - those who are loyal to you and will buy from you consistently, the more you will make. Say if you sell plants for $10 but you had a die hard following of 1000 people who bought five plants from you a year, that’s $50,000! Or if you sell clothing and you had a die-hard fan base of 500 people who bought whatever new piece you introduce, and say you introduce three items a year for $30, that is $45000! Not bad for 500 people.
Whatever your industry or profession, take the time to do the math of how beneficial it is to build a loyal fan-base to your bottom line. Just look at Apple, they sold 10 million Iphone 6’s in the first weekend! That is the best example of a loyal, die-hard fan base.
You don’t need to be Apple, but you do need to understand the maths of how a loyal fan-base will benefit your company or your profession in the long-run. It can be massively increased by starting to produce high quality, educational content pieces for people in your market.
Given that everyone is sitting at home on their phones, there has never been a better time to start building your content, your community, and your engagement. The best way I can encourage you to do so is with what Theodore Roosevelt said: do what you can, with what you have, where you are. There is no magic formula, no fancy sales funnel, just help people.
Help people for the sake of helping people, it will be worth it, I am confident of it.
As always, if you want any help with how you can specifically produce content to grow your community and die-hard fan base, I’d love to chat with you and help brainstorm ideas, I am in the middle of it too so I understand it can be hard. The best we can do is try to help each other.
To your success!