by Scott Gerber
Your company’s Twitter handle has a healthy amount of interaction, your status on Skype is set to chat with customers, and your email marketing strategies are always segmented and split-tested. Though you adopted every niche social media platform early and your website’s editorial calendar is full, you still may be missing out on a huge opportunity to expand your audience and rake in revenue.
Make room on virtual bookshelves for your next ebook — those (often free) PDFs a few dozen pages long that people from all over the world are reading from their iPads and Kindles. The file has a low production cost and a high conversion rate and can quickly turn passive clickers into paying customers, and retain them in the long run as well.
I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs how to seize the ebook opportunity to not only grow your business, but also to establish yourself and your company as an up-and-coming industry authority.
1. Dangle the Bait
They should just be the bait: Ebooks provide a lot of value up front, but also entice customers to want more from you. Position your ebook in a way that it builds value and desire for your backend products/services. Seventy-percent of your revenue will come from back-end sales after a customer purchases an ebook from you. Treat it like a worm…a big, juicy worm.
2. Answer Your Audience
What does your audience need help with? What topics do they most often ask about? Take these pain points and turn them into a useful piece of content to share as an incentive for Liking your Facebook page, signing up for your e-newsletter, etc. It’s a win-win for both parties – you receive new leads and/or contact information, and your audience receives the information they need.
3. Build a Database
Use an ebook as a very easy and inexpensive way to build your database. An ebook can be very easy to produce and very easy to get out to many people. Consider writing one to give to people for free or for a very low fee in order to get your message out to people and introduce them to your services. The ebook can be passed around and posted all over the Internet.
4. Boost Awareness through Bookstores
There are ways to code any digital publication for the many ebook marketplaces online. Having your ebook listed in these marketplaces creates a great deal of opportunities when readers are looking for information in your field. The goal with this tactic isn’t necessarily more sales, but rather more awareness of you, your name and your business.
5. Trigger a Domino Effect
The purpose of one media is to get them interested in the next, while delivering the value, resources and answers they expected. If your goal is to use ebooks to increase your consulting business, then your book should build the case that they need a consultant. Everything you do is marketing. Use callouts, make references to clients throughout the text and always have a call-to-action.
6. Establish an Authority
Building a business is the same as building a following. Growth revolves around content. Share a solid ebook with useful information, covering the area in which your business lies with your audience. Your audience can begin to recognize you as the categorical authority (depending on the quality of the content) and, subsequently, as the go-to company when they need a product or service.
7. Enter New Economies
Since there are no printing or shipping costs to publish an ebook, price your ebook at a low enough cost so that customers worldwide can purchase them. As a result, you’ll have a wider and more engaged potential audience of customers who will already know you and your products.
8. Adapt to All Screens
These days, it’s extremely easy to publish an ebook in PDF, ePub or Kindle formats. Your goal is to get your ideas and message in as many hands as possible, and by adapting your ebook for all digital screens, you have the potential to get more eyes on it. This also increases the possibility for sharing, and leads to more profitable ebooks or products in the future.