What is Educational Marketing
Educational marketing is an alternative to the "hard sell" approach that has been a part of network marketing in the past. When you engage in educational marketing, you're not marketing your business opportunity - you're marketing information. Of course, you're indirectly selling your opportunity by creating an interest. However, it is not the traditional sales pitch that provides your prospects with no real information.
Positioning Yourself as a Leader
Ann Sieg, author of The Renegade Network Marketer, says that success depends on positioning yourself as a leader. I have found that I can set myself apart from other network marketers by providing my prospects with valuable information, even before they ever sign onto my opportunity.
This is what's known as education marketing. Educational marketing is one way to establish yourself as a leader in the field of network marketing. If you're going to give educational marketing a try, you must first know what you should be educating your prospects about. The answer? How to build a business.
The Benefits of Educational Marketing
At first glance, this seems counter intuitive. After all, if they know how to build a business, why would they sign up for your opportunity? Why not strike out on their own? According to Ann Sieg, the reason for teaching your prospects how to build a business is two-fold.
First, reading about starting a business will get them excited about your opportunity. They will say to you, "Now that I know how to start a business, I need a business to start!" Luckily, it turns out you have an opportunity just waiting for them! What you have also done is convert your business opportunity into an "add-on" sale. That is, rather than trying to sell the opportunity upfront, you are offering it at a later time when your customer's interest is piqued. Add-on sales, as a rule, are far easier to make than the initial sale.
Second, sharing this type of valuable knowledge proves that you are an expert. People want to work with an expert because it improves their odds of success. Instead of just claiming to be a leader in network marketing, you are showing them you are an expert at building a business.
Use Educational Marketing to Ease Their Fears
In many areas of life, not just network marketing, lack of knowledge is a major cause of fear. Educating your prospects, then, is the most effective way to assuage their concerns about network marketing. Exaggerated statements such as "You can make $5000 a week doing only 10 minutes of work each day!" do not address a prospects
Your prospects want to know how their investment is going to translate into profit. If you can provide them with the answers, you will gain their trust, and you will be the person they turn to when they are ready to get started. I had an opportunity to put this theory into practice at a recent Networking Event and was surprised at the amount of interest I generated by sharing some of the knowledge I had gained by reading the e book. At least four people approached me following the meeting to get more information from me.
Educational marketing possesses true value. The plain old sales pitch does not possess value. Your information product, then, should not be a sales pitch disguised as an article or e book. The information should stand alone as a worthwhile retail product. Providing your prospects with informative, entertaining and unique content should be your focus. Investing in a person before they have committed to you is the best way to prove that you truly care about their success.