Most searches online looking to buy a product or service start with a search looking for more information. Providing that information is the first step in the selling process. Online or offline. Here is how this works.
Education Marketing is also called Information Marketing or Content Marketing. In its simplest form, it is providing an interested prospect general information on a solution your product provides. After this first step, it is much like any other system of selling, they contact you, ask questions to gather information about their needs, you make a recommendation, and they buy.
The big change in the selling process is that you are providing the prospect with real, valuable, accurate information on the front end. This information will usually include your product or offer as one of the viable solutions, and them funnel down to your offer being the best solution.
But you are giving information that is of real value as a first step.
This approach has several distinct advantages over other methods of selling;
1) You establish yourself (or your company) as an expert in your field.
2) With any published information, like an article or a book, you become an authority figure in the mind of the prospect.
3) You become instantly more familiar in the prospects mind, and that reduced sales resistance.
4) If you are marketing online, information about your subject category may show up earlier in an online search than pure business listings. Your content will certainly attract the attention of the prospect looking for information.
5) Posting your information online is almost always free, and will magnetically pull prospects to your information website.
6) It is far easier if you are cold calling to offer information to a prospect than to ask for a sales appointment. This information softens the resistance to talk with you further.
7) Leads generated in this manner are far more likely to bu from you, because they have demonstrated their interest in your solution to their problem, and you have demonstrated your interest in helping them solve their problem, all before you sit down to talk business.
A typical online form of education marketing is posting an article, like this one. The process works like this;
1) You post articles on website that make it easy for prospects to find your information.
2) You offer a small gift (like a free report or book) at the end of the information
3) The prospect is led to a website that offers even more free information
4) Eventually the prospect buys something, or hires the information provider as a consultant.
Education Marketing also acts as a form of brand building. This makes any further sales efforts easier on the prospect. You (or your company) are recognized by the prospect as a trusted advisor, rather than as a pitch person. This is a major reason progressive sales organizations are embracing this idea. Its also the least expensive, apart from some writing, of any lead generation system. That fact alone makes this approach attractive.
Of course this can work in any business, in any area of the country.
One big benefit to all of this is that you become recognized in your industry. You get asked to speak to groups, and get recognized as the “Go To Guy” in your industry. This may be profitable enough by itself, to justify the whole idea of Education Marketing.
This has just scratched the surface.