Let me rephrase that: You ARE the authority in your field, or else you wouldn’t be in it, right? You know how your product will make life better, or how your intellectual property positively affects business processes, or how your machine will economize business. Are you letting people know that? Or are you just asking for an order and wondering why no one places one?
Prospects want to buy the best product, consult with the most knowledgeable consultant, or work with the most efficient machines.
Establishing your expertise, credibility and product production capability will let your prospects know that – and when they know that, making a sale becomes an easier and more productive process.
How do you do that? (I knew you were wondering.)
Authority Marketing is easy. Three simple components:
1. Database: First, you have to have prospects to talk with. How accurate is your prospect database? Do they (ideally) need your product or service? Are they the right size company? Are they in the geographic area in which you can provide your product or service? And do you have the contact information – a name, phone number, street address and, most importantly, an accurate email address? And, are there enough contacts on the list to produce enough conversations that will result in a sale. At the end of the day, sales is a numbers game, and you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.
2. Content: Next to an accurate, large database, content is king. In authority marketing, you aren’t advertising a sale or promoting your newest design. You are providing information about your area of expertise that will be valuable to your prospect. You’re giving away just enough information to be helpful, but not enough to negate purchasing your product or intellectual property. It doesn’t even have to be about you; it can be about the economy, the market or ideological issues regarding your area of expertise. The prospect wants to know that you or your product will be helpful beyond the actual purchase, and that you are indeed providing the best product and/or service in your authoritative space. Content occurs in:
a. Drip marketing campaigns: these are short, simple emails that provide a bit of information that links to more on your website.
b. Webinars: opportunities for prospects to experience your expertise and personality without the fear of one-on-one interaction – yet.
c. Direct mail: with postal rates on the rise again, this option is getting more and more expensive, but it remains an effective third option to reach out to your prospects with newsletters, personal letters and postcards.
d. Your website: here you can create a library with downloadable white papers, blogs and testimonials that transform your website into a resource, not just an order form.
3. Timing: If you have a good database and quality content, your prospects are interested in hearing from you, but not every day, or every week. There is a magic number, and if we knew it, we’d charge a lot of money for it. But the frequency of your authority marketing campaign touches depends on your market space, and the demand for your product or service. If you sell ink to printers, you’ll be in demand more often than the company that sells power generators to utilities. You want to keep in touch just enough so that when your prospects need you, they’ll know to get in touch with you, but you don’t want to touch them so much they get annoyed and unsubscribe. So you’ll have to pay attention to your feedback and listen to your prospects as they respond to your authority.