By Jimmy D. Brown
You can be persuasive without indulging in hype, using strong-arm tactics, or preying on people’s emotions. In this article, I’d like to propose one way of convincing others to buy without compromising your ethics.
The premise is simple: write a piece of content (Example: article) that depends upon purchasing your product in order to most effectively use or use at all.
Let’s look at three very simple steps for this process…
1. Write a content piece that shares a set of points
It doesn’t matter if they are tips, keys, steps, ideas, ways, or any other type of list or how-to tutorial. The important thing is to share 3 or more of these related points.
• 3 Keys To Making More Money From Your List
• Top 10 Ways To Get More Volunteers To Serve At Church
• The Simple, 5-Step System For Selling More Used Cars
• 7 Quick Tips for Toning Your Tummy
• How to Nurture Good Child Behavior In 3 Easy Steps
• The Ultimate Training Program For Running A Marathon
Nothing very surprising there. Folks do this all day long. And this works with everything we’ve talked about so far. Here’s where things are different…
2. Make everything you share dependent upon a single point or premise.
If you can make all of the content you share dependent upon one of the points or an idea that runs throughout the entire content, then you can start counting your orders now.
As always, let me give some examples to illustrate what I’m talking about…
EXAMPLE: A while back I wrote an article that shared, “3 Keys To Making More Money From Your List”. The three keys were: Consistency in quality, consistency in regularity, and consistency in delivery. In key #1, I talked about quality of content and how to provide exactly what your list members want in order to keep them reading. In key #2, I revealed a HUGE mistake that I had been making in how often I sent PROMOTIONAL mailings to my list. (Believe it or not, I wasn’t sending them often enough!) In key #3, I talked about spam filters and problems with email delivery as I spelled out how CRITICAL it was to get your mailings delivered to the inboxes of your subscribers.
Did you notice how key #1 and key #2 were COMPLETELY DEPENDENT upon key #3? It does you absolutely ZERO good to have content your list members WANT to read, and have promotional mailings that your list members WILL respond to if they NEVER receive the mailings!
That’s the idea here.
Let me give you a couple more examples to illustrate…
EXAMPLE: Let’s take a quick look at that content piece, “Top 10 Ways To Get More Volunteers To Serve At Church”. You could identify methods for getting volunteers such as sending out recruiting emails, letting volunteers choose when they are and are not available to serve, providing training materials, and so forth. You can frame everything in the content so that it is dependent upon having a program (software, web-based app, etc.) to manage it all. You could even provide a case study example of how that program is used to work with all the methods you mentioned. But, that’s not even my point. The entire list of ways is dependent upon the church HAVING A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IN PLACE.
EXAMPLE: What about that content piece I mentioned a moment ago, “The Ultimate Training Program For Running A Marathon”? In the article you could talk about various types of runs you need to build into your training program such as hill repeats, speed workouts, long runs, recovery runs, etc. Mention that a mix of each is needed. Discuss varying paces and duration of each. All of this is excellent. But, here’s the thing: they STILL NEED A TRAINING PROGRAM. They know WHAT to put into a training program, but they don’t know HOW to develop the right mix at the right pace at the right intensity at the right duration.
This works for many, many pieces of content.
Give them good, useful, meaty information in all of the points and then stress at the close how they are all dependent upon some thing. And that “some thing” is…
3. Offer something related to the point or premise upon which everything is dependent.
Here’s the call to action. Here’s where you get people to leave your free content and go face-to-face with a buying opportunity for your recommended product.
What you have, in essence, done is create a problem for the reader. A problem that you are about to solve.
What you’ve told them is this: “These are all great ideas. But you can’t put them to work for you. Unless…”
At the conclusion of your free content, you not only mention that everything you’ve shared is dependent upon something, but you recommend a product that will enable them to actually use what you’ve just revealed to them.
Let’s take a look at how this would work in each of the three examples I mentioned…
EXAMPLE: In that first example, everything was dependent upon delivery of the email. That is, the subscriber must actually receive the email and open it. So, in that example, I would offer a product that teaches “How To Get Your Emails Successfully Delivered And Opened.” And that’s actually what I did a while back when I created a product entitled, “Get Messages Read”. I offered a product that solved the problem, that offered a solution for which everything I shared in the article depended upon.
EXAMPLE: In that second example, the offer being presented could either be a course on how to setup a volunteer program. Or it could be a done-for-you service where a third party sets up the program on your behalf. Or it could even be a robust suite of online tools that managed the entire volunteer program. Lots of options here, but you could make a case for the entire content piece – every idea shared in it – dependent upon an offer that is mentioned at its conclusion.
EXAMPLE: For our third example you could offer a variety of things ranging from a set of training programs, a done-for-you training program where a qualified expert creates the program, a course that teaches how to create your own training program or even a software program or app that creates them. The problem created was the necessity for having your own custom training program, and the solution is made available in a recommended resource that you strategically reference at the conclusion.
Ultimately, the goal is to connect your free content to your paid product.
And you can do this in a paragraph or two, or as little as a couple of sentences dependent upon available space. There is a sales process in place somewhere – all you want to do at the conclusion of your content is to get them to initiate that sales process. IE Click on a link and arrive at a direct response sales page.
There is an extremely easy way to do this. The call to action is simply using a here’s how, where, what or why statement…
• Here’s how I / we use it…
• Here’s where it really is beneficial…
• Here’s what it can do for you…
• Here’s why this will [insert desired result]…
Explain the benefits, specifically stressing that it will make everything they have read “even better” or “even possible”. Then provide a link to a page where they can learn more about it. This connects your content to your offer.
And that’s how you persuade people to buy your product by using free content! No hype. No strong-arm tactics. No preying on emotions. Just meaty content that strategically builds toward a connected offer.
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