Educating your audience electronically is one of the best ways to sell yourself and your services without selling directly. In addition to getting your message to your audience quickly, you will boost your online presence and credibility as a subject matter expert.
Blogs, e-newsletters and social media are three tools you can use to educate (and sell to) your audience. Learn more about each tool, tips for educating (and selling), and the keys to success for each.
Blogs are interactive websites that allow you to educate your audience in various media formats – writing, images, videos, audio, and presentations- and have conversations with your readers. Because this is a space you own and control, you can post what you want, when you want, how you want, and as often as you want.
There are several ways your blog can be used to educate your audience. Share how your products and services make your customers’ lives easier; interview your customers, vendors and other partners; announce new products and services, events and other company developments.
Commitment, valuable content, and promotion are the three keys to blogging success. You have to consistently produce information that’s valuable to your audience. Not only will this build your credibility as an authority; it will keep your audience returning. Promotion is essential for driving traffic to your site and business.
Electronic newsletters (e-newsletters) are newsletters sent directly to your reader’s e-mail boxes. The goal of your newsletter is threefold: to build your e-mail list; to drive traffic to your site or to your physical location; and to prompt readers to take an immediate action.
Ideally, the information you share in the newsletter will already be posted on your site. This way, you can write a summary of the topic and link back to your site. You can also use it to announce new developments, products and services; promote specials and coupons; and invite your audience to your in-person and online events so they can meet you and learn more about your products and services.
The greatest benefit of using e-newsletters is that your messages are going directly to the e-mail boxes of people who are genuinely interested in receiving them. If you don’t have a mailing list or want to grow your existing list, make it easy for people to sign up online and offline.
The keys to e-newsletter success are building your mailing list and e-mailing your newsletters consistently. You want prospects and customers to think of you first when a need arise.
Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube are great for free publicity, online branding and conversations with your target audience. You do NOT have to be on all social networking sites; but you do need to be where your customers are, even if you do not like particular sites.
There are two main things you want to do on these sites: listen and hold conversations. By listening, you will find out what your target audiences need and want. You may discover other needs and opportunities you never considered. This is your chance to educate (and sell) them on how your products or services can solve their problems.
Here’s the caveat with social media. Although you don’t have to pay cash to use these programs, you do pay in time and creativity. You have to be present and active, which means you have to put in the time to see results. Also, you have to update consistently; reach out to your audience; and respond when they contact you. Lastly, you have to be creative about how to get your messages read above all the “noise”.
To be successful using this method, you must have patience building a following, promote consistently and creatively, and hold conversations with your followers and target audiences. Ultimately, you want to build your brand, educate your audience, and drive traffic to your site or to your place of business.
Blogs, e-newsletters, and social media are three ways you can educate (and sell to) your audience electronically. You can use each one individually or combine them all for maximum impact. Each of them requires time, patience and consistency. If done effectively, you will boost your online presence, your credibility as a subject matter authority, and bottom line while educating (and selling to) your audience.