Posted by: DrAlanRae | January 9, 2008

Selling your knowledge on-line

The web is made for people who are dealing in information.

Search engines are designed to help people find you. Google depends for its position on delivering information that’s accurate and relevant. So it values content that’s relevant and is updated regularly. If it finds that content it will revisit it regularly.

An up-datable portfolio is a key marketing tool for knowledge professionals. This is what the combination of web sites and blogs give you.

A blog gives you an online diary which means that you can write interesting stuff frequently. So you can provide the renewable copy that will attract a better Google ranking and means that you will over time be found more easily.

It also makes it particularly easy for you to create an evidence base of the kind of work that you do. Most knowledge workers can quite easily put together something that’s of interest to their prospective clients. 10 ways to do this – the 5 key things to look out for when that. Personally I do a lot with free downloads – people can download a free marketing plan which helps them work out better what their story is and where they should be telling it. In exchange you can get permission to contact them with offers.

If you are selling knowledge products, you can build up a momentum using this technique – everytime you send 1000 emails you get a couple of sales. Over time you build a customer base.

If you are selling services then you need to download something a bit more substantial – a white paper or special report. You need to understand that what you are doing is automating the prospecting process. These proofs of your abilities need to be tailored to encourage people to contact you to ask you to do some work for them.

On-line prospecting needs a good marketing mix to work effectively.

Many small business people have not had the benefit of professional formal sales training. They don’t seem to be aware that to make a sale you have to have several prospects – to find them you need 5-6 suspects for each prospect and that it takes anywhere up to 100 marketing touches to find a suspect – it’s generally reckoned that people have to have contact with on average 7-8 times before they actually part with their cash.

This means that in practice they’re uncertain of how many leads they need to generate – and at what cost.

The correct approach was put best by Andrew Woolley – one of our interviewees. He said “ I decide at the beginning of the year how much money I want to make. I know what the ratio of closing for each of the lawyers who work for me is and I know on average how much revenue I’ll get for each one. I get my marketing manager in and we have a conversation about how many leads we need for the year. I ask her for a price for providing these – and that’s the marketing budget done.”

So the key thing is to make sure there’s enough activity going on to generate the numbers you need. I believe the key elements of online marketing are

  1. Good interesting content that’s frequently updated
  2. Pay per click ads
  3. Understanding of how networks operate
  4. Linking strategies
  5. Ways of creating additional locations that you CAN control
    1. Blogs,
    2. Squidoo
  6. Ways to create once and publishing many – RSS
  7. Understanding how to be found – keywords, headlines, tagging, control of the anchor text.

    If you deploy these things effectively you will generate enough leads to make your numbers by making sure that enough people see a sample of what you know to get the continuing stream of enquiries that you want.

    Technorati Tags:

    Small Business Marketing, Internet Marketing, Lead Generation, Prospecting, Blogs, White papers, Free Downloads



    1. Great blog Alan. Its a good way of working out how much time, money, effort is used to promote something. Thank you Andrew Woolley as well.

    2. This is a very interesting article. As I work on my marketing strategy for my Educational Consulting business I will take each of your 7 points into account.

    3. Really good post Alan. For years I’ve heard ‘content is king’ and the more I research and put together information for my online business, the more I realize the truth in those few words. PPC and now Social Networking are the new wave so I was glad to see them both high on your list.

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