When you are operating an online venture, you don’t want to be seen as someone who lacks expertise. Instead, you want to be known as the “go to” person when people are looking for information. Establishing yourself in this way will take some effort, but it is well worth taking the time to do so.
People who are known and respected as being experts in a particular niche inspire confidence in the people who visit them online. They have a network of regular site visitors who rely on them for quality information. A respected site owner also has accumulated a large mailing list of potential customers that they market to.
Once the mailing list is established, it is a perfect way to provide extra information to subscribers. Some site owners use this method to offer discount coupons and other incentives to encourage subscribers to turn into paying customers. They also use it to announce new products in advance of the “official” launch.
Another way that a mailing list can be used as an effective marketing tool is to use it to promote your own information products. Having your name on a report or an e-book is a great way to establish and build on your reputation as an expert in your niche market.
Right now, you may be thinking that you don’t have the skills necessary to write a book. The Internet has made it easy for people to share information with each other. Since you already have a good deal of knowledge about your market, you can package it and share it with the people who visit your site.
E-books and Reports
If you are going to develop your own information products, consider writing an ebook. Unlike books that are available in the brick and mortar world, your ebook doesn’t have to be several hundred pages in length. A project of this magnitude would be quite time-consuming to put together. Many site owners either do not have the time to do so or are not willing to take time away from their other duties to work on a project that may take several months.
The good news is that an ebook doesn’t have to be lengthy to be an effective way of establishing you as an expert in your niche. Depending on the topic you choose, your ebook can be an effective way to establish your as an expert in 50 pages or less. There are many people who put out shorter versions of 20 or 30 pages that focus on a specific idea or issue only.
Keep in mind that people who are looking for information online are looking for it in bite-sized chunks. They are not looking to sit down and go through 100 pages or more to find what they are looking for. There is still a place for a book that a person can pick up and hold in their hand, of course, but ebooks are written for a different market.
Reports are shorter versions of ebooks. If the idea of writing a “book” is too overwhelming, consider sharing information that can be presented in 5-10 pages. If you decide to go this route, focus your topic on a single concept only. Any more than that, and you run the risk of needing more pages to explain it.
A report can address a particular problem or concern the reader has quickly. Since you have done the work to find out what your target market’s needs are, you are able to give them the information they need in a format that is easy to digest.
To Charge or Not to Charge?
This is a judgment call. A short report that helps your readers solve a specific problem or concern they are having can be used as a giveaway to the people who sign up for your mailing list. You can choose to offer a free report on your web site. This can be combined with informative articles to provide value to your site visitors.
Ebooks and reports are items that you can add to your inventory as products that you can sell from your web site. People are always looking for information and they are prepared to pay for it, even if it is readily available elsewhere. There are consumers who feel that paying for the convenience of having information they need being delivered directly to them is great value. They would rather pull out their wallets than take the time to find the information themselves.
Credibility in Your Market
As a site owner, you can use this fact to your advantage by anticipating your customers’ needs and meeting them. When you offer information products under your own name, your credibility with your niche market goes up. People are going to evolve from casual site visitors to paying customers more readily if they feel they can trust you and what you are selling.
To be able to advertise that you are the author of a helpful report, an ebook, a series of ebooks gives your credibility an instant boost. If you don’t have the time or the expertise to write your materials yourself, then hire a writer to help you.
An experienced freelancer can work with an outline you provide or a general concept to get your message across. The information product will be yours, whether you get help from a ghost writer or not.
If you have done all the right things by offering your site visitors a site that is easy to navigate that offers good quality information that is updated on a regular basis, the next logical step is to branch out into information products. This step will help to establish you as an expert and it can become a lucrative income stream as well.