Remember the one about the boy who sold his mother’s cow for some lousy, useless beans?
That’s right, the beans turned out to be not so lousy and useless. Good old Jack, and long may his beanstalk grow and grow. (But steer clear of those giants, Jack).
There’s a lesson for all of us in the Jack and the Beanstalk story, and I’m not just talking about kids. In business, as in life in general, there’s a tendency to stick to tried-and-tested notions of ‘value’, and ignore hidden treasures in favour of ‘the sure thing’.
But let’s focus on your business for now. Ask yourself “What do I sell?” 90% of us won’t need to think for long; it’s a given, wouldn’t you say? Whether you’re a butcher, baker or candlestick maker, the ‘what you sell’ isn’t given much thought after you decide what you want to do in life.
But like Jack’s mother, you’re missing a trick if you don’t re-evaluate the ‘what do I sell’ on a regular basis. When Jack came home with the beans, she didn’t have the imagination (and good sense) to see how valuable these items were. She was stuck in a rut, believing the only way she could survive was to sell cows, eggs and whatever else she could see in her farmyard home. Am I striking any chords here?
When it comes to marketing, you may have tried all manner of fancy methods, but are you as open-minded when it comes to your stock? You have hidden treasures, should you only open your eyes and see them!
The magic beans, for want of a better expression, are your lead magnets.
In my last blog I talked about value added content (VAC), and how it can serve to build the ‘know-like-trust’ factor and develop your relationship with customers. Well guess what? If you’re slightly less patient about seeing tangible results, VACs can be magically transformed into lead magnets. Or in other words… faster profit. As well as boost your kudos as an expert in your field, you can boost your stockpile at the same time.
And just in case you need some examples of VACs, here’s a few:-
eBOOKS BLOGS VIDEOS WORKSHOPS HOW-TO GUIDES
REPORTS/WHITE PAPERS INFOGRAPHICS NEWSLETTERS TOOLKITS
PERSONALISED ASSESSMENTS STATS/RESEARCH WEBINARS
Produce any of these VACs, and voila! You have more products to sell.
But unlike most products, you have to choose wisely how you distribute them. And that is as either one-off purchases – like your other stock – or as lead magnets.
Take a ‘step-by-step guide’ video, for example. You could post a link on your website and simply sell it from there, and never think about it again. But how many units will you sell this way? If it’ll be a source of constant revenue, then go for it.
But as a lead magnet, the video begins a process known as the sales funnel, which works like this:-
- Customer signs up for the ‘freebie’ video, and signs up for your newsletter (or updates) in the process.
- You then have this customer on a contact list, and can keep them informed of new products, offers, events and whatever else you can think of.
- Your brand begins to find a position in the customer’s mind, and they start to buy other products.
- Eventually, you’re the first brand to spring to mind when the customer needs to buy item X or item Y.
By using VACs as a lead magnet, you stand a better chance of winning customers for life, simply by staying on their radar and growing the know-like-trust factor. And the difference between a lead magnet and standard product? From a task point of view, very little! You simply have to ask for contact details, that’s all.
Of course, in these days of increased worry over fraud and data protection, the public are wary about sharing such details. But if your lead magnet is valuable enough, most would be more than happy to hand an email address over. After all, it’s easy enough to unsubscribe from your newsletter if they want to! But you’re not going to give them reason to do so, are you? You’re going to fascinate them so much that they’ll be counting the hours ’til your next email, aren’t you?
And that, my friends, leads me neatly to next week’s subject: how to write an impressive email/newsletter. But for now, I hope you’ve seen the light regarding value added content – and how it can be both valuable products AND so much more – if magically transformed into lead magnets. I hate to harp on about kid-related literature all the time, but don’t be angry with your son if he brings home beans instead of money. If planted in the right soil, those beans could grow into a huge, towering, fruit-bearing… erm… beanstalk of… erm… success?
Yes, that’ll do. Success. Bye for now!
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