By Jess Lander
Many of your marketing efforts, like social media, blogging and email, require a lot of time and constant upkeep, yet likely result in minimal sales or conversions. So what if we told you that you could create strong one-off pieces of content that will generate high-quality leads (and even a little cash flow) on a regular, ongoing basis?
The golden content we’re talking about is special reports. These quick, easy, and highly-effective content pieces come in many forms, like e-books, reports, whitepapers or case studies. Once implemented into your marketing strategy, they will work their magic over and over again—but only if they are of high-quality and valuable to potential clients.
What makes up a great special report?
Special reports are not your average informal blog post. They need to be extremely valuable, serious, specialized, specific, and well written all at once. This means you shouldn’t create a report on something that anyone can find with a simple Google search. Moreover, these reports will often be a lead’s first real impression of you and your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure your report is something you’re proud of, just as you would with your resume, website or business card.
Luckily, you’re an expert in your field with a wealth of valuable knowledge to share, so coming up with content ideas shouldn’t be too difficult. Make a list of common problems your customers face, questions they ask or concerns they share, and then create reports that will solve, answer, or reassure. But only solve for certain aspects of your business—you want them to still need your services or products.
For example, if you’re a photographer, you can create a how-to guide on dressing or posing for the best pictures, or a report on the most important questions to ask before hiring a wedding photographer. A personal trainer might create a sample six-week 5k training plan. Are you in the process of launching and/or selling a new product? Conduct a case study to showcase its effectiveness or validity to potential buyers.
Special reports vary in length, so don’t feel like you need to write a novel. In many cases, 1-10 pages, will do. Like most things in life, it’s about quality, not quantity, so keep in mind that the higher the quality and value, the more leads or money you’ll reap from each report.
Ok, now what?
I think I can guess what you’re wondering next. Once you’ve created your awesome special report, what do you do with it? How does it magically help you build your business?
There are multiple strategies that marketers use, so we’re going to talk about our top three that in our experience, lead to high-quality leads that will actually convert down the line, not just sit dormant on your email list. Over time, you’ll have multiple special reports and can employ all of these tactics at once. Let’s break them down.
Sell it: We’re betting this is the most attractive option to you because it translates to cold hard cash! The Internet is a wonderful thing and will allow you to seamlessly convert your report into a downloadable PDF that you can sell to people for a set price. Sell just one PDF and you’ve already turned a profit as there will be no printing, binding or shipping costs.
You’ll want to save the best of the best special reports for selling. Ask yourself, “Would I pay money for this?” If not, you might want to use it in one of these other ways.
Give it away: You may be wondering why you would put in so much hard work and then just give your special report away for free. How is this different from every other blog post you write? What we really mean is for you to give it away as a bonus to another offer. For example, a personal trainer can give away a free nutrition plan with the purchase of their workout DVD series. If you’re selling a book, offer a free audio version with it. These premiums will add value to your products and give a lead the final push they needed to hit the purchase button.
Use it as a lead magnet: We call this the “Bait Piece.” Offer your special report to potential clients at no cost except for their email address. Make it simply irresistible and few people will hesitate handing over their information, which you can then use to follow up and eventually convert them into a paying customer. All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch your mailing list grow exponentially, right before your eyes!
Just hit autopilot...
Once you have your special reports created and published, they work for you on autopilot. But we’re going to be honest: If this sounds like a lot of work to you, it’s because it is! For a special report to work its magic, and bring in highly qualified leads and sales, it needs to be done perfectly. While you’re the expert in your business, you may not be a great writer, efficient in the right computer design or publishing programs, or you frankly may not have the time!
So why not hire someone who is an expert in special reports, just as you’re an expert in your field? At William Ballard Enterprise, LLC, creating these conversion machines is our business. Click HERE to find out how we can quickly and easily create a series of effective special reports that will increase your sales tenfold.
(© Copyright 2016 William Ballard Enterprise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Certified Content Marketing Specialist -- Jess Lander
Jess is a Freelance Writer and Certified Content Marketing Specialist. She joined the Content Creation Department and Top of The Funnel Content Marketing Team here at William Ballard Enterprise, LLC early June 2016.
She tried the 9 to 5 life, but realized real quick that it wasn't the life for her. She is a major asset to our Content Creation Department and brings many cherished and appreciated gifts and talents to the table (The Writer's Round Table, that is...).
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