Brian Clark released his ‘Teaching Sells’ report last week on the internet’s potential as a training medium and as a call up for freelance copywriters to think about creating and charging for educational content. No doubt the report will have got entrepreneurial brains racing on how they can build businesses around creating interactive learning environments, and jump on Brian’s approaching gravy train.
However, there’s already a sleeping giant sized market for copywriters to write educational material, and that’s in the world of business.
Knowing that teaching sells shouldn’t be news to any switched on internet marketer. Consumer mindsets are increasingly averse to being sold to, particularly online, which means a more sophisticated approach is needed to persuade them of the benefits of your business.
Selling online also presents unique challenges in building trust and credibility with skeptical visitors. Why should they buy from you rather than the next store down in the search results? What differentiates you from the competition?
You can build trust and differentiate yourself by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise through the provision of educational content. By providing articles that offer a solution to a problem or fresh insight, you can swoop under a visitor’s anti-ad radar and convert them into a prospect before they even know they’re in the sales funnel.
A homepage that confronts visitors with ambiguous claims and overt marketing language wont ingratiate you with people who are already suspicious and don’t appreciate the hard sell. On the other hand, if you offer content that will teach them about which product best meets their requirements or how to use it most efficiently then they might reward you with their email address.
The beauty of the internet is that it’s never been easier or less expensive to start an educational marketing campaign.
You can distribute white papers, ebooks and newsletters to every browser, and start them on their path towards enlightenment and becoming a buyer.
The challenge for businesses is first appreciating the value of educational marketing over the traditional sales/promotion approach, and then putting a content development strategy in place. Building trust and credibility is an ongoing process and you’ll want to keep your prospects’ hunger for info well fed.
So, don’t dictate. Educate.