Promote your Service with Five Easy Ideas

Many small business managers are wasting fruitless energy pursuing mass marketing tactics — aiming to blanket their local area. In addition to newsletters, there are plenty of other ways to promote yourself and your services to a narrower, more interested audience.

1. Publicity in the local newspaper, if you are new in town, have just joined another partner business, are hosting a seminar, or are in the midst of inventing something.

2. Put on a low cost event that resonates with your target market or a free seminar night at your office. (Or at Redcliffe Hive / event hire space). It’s often worth it to rehearse your presentations among friends or your own networking club first.

3. Ask a supplier or a noted author/blogger to feature your story on their website, if your goals and markets align nicely.

4. For those who write articles, there is a wide range of digital magazines cropping up which you can be a part of. Many of them are women focussed or location focussed, e.g. Samara magazine (women), ROOOAR magazine (women), MyTown magazine (Moreton Bay), etc. Some of them offer quite low cost advertising as well when compared with print.

5.  Similarly, there are a growing number of communities which help connect people businesses, such as LocalSmile.com.au, SavvySME.com.au, and FlyingSolo.com.au. You can interact as a community member or choose to upgrade to a premium member. Often networking groups also allow you to post articles on their site if you’re a paid up member.

Whichever tool you use to get the word out, make sure you consider your target market and their reader habits. Explaining things at their level of understanding, without being patronising, is a fine art… so don’t slop that paintbrush!

 

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Three Types of Content to Reach Your Audience

When you are building up a reader platform, seriously consider creating and giving content and ebooks away.  These will help sell both “you” (your services or overall brand) and your current book.  It’s Content Marketing 101. And it comes across far better than shouting “here’s my book — do you wanna buy it?”

So, what are these easily-created content items? They are blog posts, print articles and news releases. (Newsletter articles no longer have their own category, because smart marketers send their blog posts to their reader list, perhaps adding a small editorial).

Blog Posts

The most read and shared kind of content is How To posts, Picture List Posts (montage stories, comparisons or before/after images), Infographics and Quizzes (according to Uberflip/BuzzSumo).  Which of these are the easiest to do for you?

‘How to’ posts are fairly easy to write if based on something you have done before. Step by step, you will reach an audience who is looking for such information on Google or Bing. How to posts are usually 1,000 to 1,500 words long.  Also make sure your blog has “social share buttons”, so that viewers can share them. (e.g. Shareaholic plugin).

Print Articles

If you want to influence, then there is no better way than getting a print article published and mentioning your book. It doesn’t usually have to be letter perfect, as magazines have sub-editors, but it does have to resonate with THEIR readership’s target audience. So aim for industry magazines, business magazines in your area, and also try for digital magazines with a similar target following. (e.g. you run women’s female empowerment webinars and their market is for female entrepreneurs).

  • You could also take an intriguing, ‘understandable’ extract from your book, adding a quick introduction, and mail it to a select few magazine editors.
  • Ensure that you have read each publication’s submission guidelines, particularly about word limits and format.
  • Ensure you have omitted any direct advertising and self-promotion.
  • Remember to write a 20-word bio for your byline and include your book’s title and where to buy it.

News Releases

You can wait for something amazing to happen in your world… or you can research your way to a news story. You might have discovered some things about your topic or its audience while writing — so dig out one nugget which coincides with media commentary or current social thought.

Here is a basic News Release structure (with thanks to Jack Delosa in Unprofessional):

  • Headline that Talks to the Topic
  • Outline your argument
  • Introduce your facts / stats
  • Expand the debate… perhaps use another person’s influential voice
  • Quotes from you (in third person voice).
  • Closing: Why this is relevant. Include where you can download the report or buy the book.

Perhaps cherry pick 4-5 newspaper or radio stations to send it to, follow up with a couple of phone calls, and explain you can send a high resolution photo or be available for interview. You can also use ‘news wires’ to distribute releases:  PR Wire (mainly free) or the huge one, PRWeb ($159).

So that was three strong, simple types of content to reach your audience — an audience who is looking for your knowledge. Now, are you going to hide your light under a bushel — or are you going to start creating a debate around your topic?!

If you’d like to some help in creating eBook content, then contact Jennifer by email or phone today… a professional copywriter.

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New Ideas to Promote a Service via Ebooks

Do you want to promote a coaching or consulting service? Do you do guest talks, hold workshops, etc?  Then there is no better way to broaden your service awareness and extend your intellectual property than with an eBook.

An eBook, when done in a strategic way, can cement your authority in a niche. For instance, I have a client who is an Organisational Development consultant and her topic of interest is “followership”. Not many people are looking for that topic, however the related topic “Leadership” is pretty hot. So in branding her book, it would have to clearly explain the USP (unique selling proposition) of this book and solve a problem.  Something like “Get Your Team to Lead”, Subtitle: “Relax, Reduce Conflicts, and Smile More with Followership Principles”.

The book description is incredibly important in clearly articulating what the book covers and who it is for. Did you see how I made sure that browsers know that this (imaginary) book is for Managers & Leaders? There is no point trying to address “everyone in a workplace” on your first go. It will get lost amongst the rest of the tomes. Don’t go on about yourself, instead make the book seem irresistible to those “insert target market here” who want to solve a problem.

At no point would her amazing consultation services get mentioned, except under “About the Author” or as an offer at the back of the ebook. Promoting services directly would be best through giving the LEAD GEN eBook free in a landing page… Follow up with a phone call or email series… ensure people receive invites to events, notable news, etc.

eBook Formats & Distribution

For a first attempt, create your ebook with a clear PDF (1.2 line spacing), a $25 cover image, and then list on your website in exchange for email address. Once you have got some feedback on it and ironed out the kinks with editing, then possibly upgrade your cover and format it better.

Next level up is ePub. Righto, with stripped Word .doc or already created ePub format, you can load onto Amazon Kindle Direct and also onto Apple via Smashwords and use their ISBN. However, you might like to hold back on this until you see some sales through Kindle.

When you have it in Word, and you have a cover designed, it is not that much more work to format it for print, right?  Well, actually it takes a lot more thought. There is a minimum number of pages for perfect bound; your high resolution cover has to be front/back/spine the exact size, there is the margins, footer/header, page numbering starting at 1 on the first page; there is the typeface to choose, you will put glossary, index, references, about page towards the back, there is the CIP, ISBN and Copyright matter, the dedication, title sheet, preface, and perhaps some black and white illustrations.

eBook Costs

It costs fairly little to create an ebook of a PDF nature. You can do that for free and then get a little web designer help to load it on your website. (Or use Instapage landing pages).

But if you want to distribute it globally, you will have to get a cover designed (about $25 on PeoplePerHour or Fiverr), format it to specifications (about $100 for the service or else spend days working it out), but the distribution part is usually free. (IngramSpark charges US$25 or $49 for both ebook and book but it saves messing about with various platforms).

The editing is important though. I would say allow $500 – $750 for editing an eBook of about 20,000 words.  I would charge $600 for this copy editing, including some advice on order of chapters and lengths of sentences and paragraphs. Many writers have sentences that are far too long.

Who Will Want to Read My eBook?

Do you think people will buy your eBook right off the bat?  Perhaps they will need a little warming up with your trusted blog and Facebook posts first. Don’t pounce on new followers!

Make your eBook an attractive price, ensure you have a great cover that visualises your theme, and work on your title till it hurts.

If you don’t fancy doing this, then simply stick with a cleverly designed PDF, available at your website. You can easily offer it with use of Mailchimp forms and/or Picreel lead capture software.

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