Whether you sell a product or a service, you will put yourself miles ahead of your competition if you include an education element to your marketing process. This is why white papers, case studies, informative web content and ebooks are such popular and powerful marketing tools these days. It is also why many marketers find themselves in front of audiences giving speeches, seminars or workshops.

The fact is that companies or professionals who take the time to educate and share their knowledge can establish a much higher level of credibility in their customers’ eyes than those who simply go after the sale.

But what about educating customers and clients after the sale?

I found myself thinking about this after reading John Jantsch’s recent article Teach Your Way To Referrals in his blog on Duct Tape Marketing. (By the way, if you aren’t reading Duct Tape Marketing yet, you are missing out on a wealth of great ideas and information).

Jantsch makes the excellent point that after sale education efforts pay off big time in referrals, and I would also add repeat business.

This is simply not that hard to do. I am working with a client right now who has asked me to create an ebook and email marketing campaign for sales people who use his products. Without revealing confidential information, his products help a variety of sales people and small businesses generate leads.

The ebook he wants me to write is going to be a free, downloadable educational product that will give his prospects marketing tips and ideas. And once the ebook is downloaded, the prospect will receive regular emails that offer more tips and advice. (I'm sure you will recognize this as a classic "Permission Marketing" campaign).

Similarly, you can easily find a variety of ways to communicate your own knowledge and expertise to your target market and existing customers. It isn't a difficult process, just identify the problems customers want to solve or questions they ask (or better yet, look for the questions they should be asking but don't yet know enough to ask them). Create simple info products or presentations that address these hot buttons and you have an educational marketing campaign.

Jantsch puts it this way:

I know I love it when I get buy a product and the first thing I receive is a getting started guide, followed by a full tutorial, followed by daily “have you tried this” emails. Every business, product or service can do the same.

Check out his article at Teach Your Way To Referrals, and if you are not already reading his blog, start doing so now. You’ll thank me later.

And one more thing. If you would like to learn more about this educational approach to marketing, be sure to download a free copy of my own ebook, How To Increase Your Sales By Sending Out Emails. You will read about other businesses that have gotten excellent results by educating their customers and prospects.

COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown
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