Entrepreneur - - By Andrew Neitlich

From the eye of the hurricane (almost)

Hurricane Charley is a few hours away from testing the skill and integrity of my home builder here just south of Tampa, FL. Before the lights go out, let’s get down to business….

http://www.sitepoint.com/blog-post-view.php?id=187177

The last blog (link above) showed you a tool for getting your message out to prospects in an educational way. If you want to attract more leads, it is essential that you know how to craft good educational marketing materials. Here are the elements:

1. A strong headline (see http://www.sitepoint.com/blog-post-view.php?id=186087)

2. Content that matters to your target prospects, and is as specific as possible to their industry and job function. An article format with a “top 5” list is a common example. Or, describe a framework that you have created (i.e. “A Nine-Point Assessment of Your Ecommerce Capabilities”).

3. Short paragraphs, broken up by curiosity-generating subheads, to get people to read more.

4. Content that gets into their problems, and also shows how they can solve their problems. For instance, if you get into 5 common problems with web sites, then explain how to overcome those problems.

5. An offer that compels them to learn more. In the last blog’s example, there is a survey at the end of the presentation offering a coupon for a discount on a book. You could also offer something for free, like a free 5-part assessment of their web presence, etc.

6. Unique and creative media. You can take your content and create CDs, Webex presentations (or Flash presentations), tele-seminars, pre-recorded messages, videos, etc.

Also, some quick notes on Webex:What I like about it is that, as a non-programmer, I can quickly upload my presentation to their hosted application, and then record voice by phone. It makes it easy for people like me (and my CEO clients) who don’t have the technical skills or time to do anything other than speak into a phone and press the # key.

But Webex is not inexpensive, with a monthly hosting fee. I’m using it because my clients are, and they don’t mind me taking up an extra spot on their account until they need it.

Designers: Think about creating a Webex practice. You can get an account (or wait for a first client). Then you can help your clients create great presentations, script them, and help them get attract leads via their web site and email. Could be a nice stream of revenue for you, and at least a good “value added” service.

Okay, time to prepare for the 110 mile an hour winds that are fast approaching….I hope to write to you again soon!

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