by Dr. Joe Vitale
Writing books, booklets, articles, and special reports as a promotional device isn’t new. Businesses have been doing it over 100 years. Knowing that people like information, coming out with an “info product” is a proven way to build credibility for your service while also promoting it. Online, this technique has never been more powerful.
Think of what your customers and clients want to do and why they come to you. Then pick some aspect of that subject and turn it into a special report. For example, if you’re a tax attorney, you might write a report titled, “10 Ways to Beat the IRS this year.” (“Ten ways” to do anything is a sure-fire easy way of writing virtually any report.) If you’re a florist, you might write a report called, “How to know what flowers to send for the right occasion.” The idea is to create a benefit rich short article that people will want to read, and while they are reading it, they are thinking that you are the expert because you wrote it and because the examples in it just happen to plug your services. Your report, in essence, will become your sales letter.
One of my clients has a college funding service. He looked at all the ads on Compuserve and complained, “There are dozens of people posting ‘Cash for College’ ads on there!” He added that they were all selling a computerized scholarship service, and not offering a truly beneficial service to college bound people. I advised him to create a special report titled, “The Truth About Those ‘Cash for College’ Ads!” By creating such a report, he’d separate his service from all those other ones online. And because people online devour information, they would eagerly download his report and then, later, call him for his services.
Here are some examples of booklets and reports from real businesses:
Guarantee Mutual Life came out with
“How to Protect Your Business”
U.S. Savings & Loan League came out with
“How to Stretch Your Dollar”
National Football League came out with
“Official Record Book”
American Cancer Society came out with
“You Can Fight Cancer and Win”
You can create a Special Report that offers real information to people while also plugging your business. Something as short as 400 words (about two typed, double-spaced pages of text) would suffice. Think of how your service benefits people, and then write an article that helps them perform that service for themselves. If you’re a plumber, it might be “5 Ways to Keep Your Drains From Clogging Up.” This is acceptable advertising online. When people read your report, they learn solid, helpful information. They don’t learn enough to replace you, however. So when they have a plumbing problem, you are the person they think of to call!