Would you like more clients?
Stupid question huh?
One of the best ways to gain new clients is to write and distribute an eBook.
You may have signed up for one of these in the past with various suppliers.
And these display the main feature of content marketing – giving valuable stuff away for free.
Give it away for free? You must be mad.
I know, crazy right?
But bear with me because this really works.
Think about how you feel about someone that gives you something for free.
You feel good about them.
And if it is something valuable that solves a problem then that’s even better.
By giving a prospective client something you begin the process of engendering trust and you need trust to be able to sell.
What kind of eBook should you give away?
Well that is entirely a matter for you but there are all sorts of clever ideas that work really well.
The trick is to give something that is useful but slightly to the side of what you do.
So, for example, I once wrote a series of articles for a client on GDPR.
It was a horrible time that was confusing for everyone concerned so my clients had some blog posts that explained the situation in broad-brush terms.
We then produced a giveaway which was an eBook with a template to allow the client to carry out their own GDPR survey.
They gave it to all of their client base but also offered it on sign up to everyone.
It worked really well because it did three things;
- It showed their current clients that they really did care
- It put them back in the forefront of their client’s mind
- It got their current clients thinking about extra services
- It produced an email list of prospective future clients
OK four things.
How to write an eBook
This sounds pretty stupid but there really is a process you need to go through to write the book.
It’s not just a case of sitting down one day for half an hour and blatting out some words.
The first thing you need to think of is who are your ideal clients?
You can even write a little pen picture of them if it helps.
Most importantly you need to think about what their problems are.
Because this leads you to the most important thing – you need to write what they want to read about and not what you want to tell them.
it sounds simple but in fact you’d be surprised at the blog posts I see from my clients who have written up something exceptionally interesting on FRS102.
Interesting to me because I’m an accountant.
No use whatsoever to someone who just wants to work out how to do a budget.
So you know what your clients’ problem is, now you need to write up the book.
It doesn’t need to be massive, generally,2,500-5000 words are ample.
Get it nicely designed.
Call it a ‘white paper’ if you like.
Get it proofread for spolling mistooks* and then work out how you are going to deliver it.
And if you have a PR person then get them to ping out some press releases to the local and trade press. This does wonders.
No such thing as a free lunch
People today understand that you don’t get anything for free nowadays.
The most popular way to deliver an eBook is to have a simple email sign up process and then either send out or allow download of a Pdf.
Because it’s the email address that is your gold.
Once you have the email address then you can email a few days later and simply ask if they liked the book.
But that’s sneaky and they will hate me
I remember once I was working as an FD of a fast-growing company and was checking out software systems.
A consultant offered an eBook on how to choose your next system and I signed up for it.
I did so in the full knowledge that they would contact me and I was hoping they would because the book raised some interesting points.
It made them subject matter experts in my mind**.
So very often prospective clients will fill in their email addresses in the hope that you will make contact with them. It kind of takes the pressure off them speaking to you for the first time.
Some won’t but frankly, they aren’t a loss anyway because you never had them as a client in the first place.
You may need to send out a reminder mail a few days later because people do forget or get distracted.
So that’s it
Writing an eBook or White Paper is an amazingly effective way to give value to your clients and get potential clients talking to you.
It works amazingly well for accountants because it gives you a chance to position yourself as a subject matter expert and to introduce new services to clients who may not even have known that you offered it.
Have a go, and if you get stuck then give me a shout.
I admit that not everyone loves writing as much as me so if you’d like someone to take the pain away then why not drop me a line?
*This is my most common joke so if you’ve seen it before apologies. And if you haven’t apologies because it’s a rubbish joke.
**And guess what?
They never contacted me.