How To: Use Ebooks to Help Market Your Small Business
Posted by Amanda DiSilvestro on September 21, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 4 Comments ]
If you run a successful small business, you know that just about everyone in America uses the Internet to find the answers to their questions and keep up with the news.
While the Internet may be the focus of most Americans, just about everyone in America also has access to newspapers, commercials, and other more traditional ways to get information. In other words, I am assuming you have tapped into both (Internet and traditional) marketing approaches. However, there is one sector of the marketing world that does not quite fit into either category—Ebooks.
An Ebook, or electronic book, is a text published in digital form. While many conventional, printed books have been converted into Ebooks, small businesses are beginning to take advantage of the new phenomenon by creating books simply for the digital screen. A few of these digital screens, also known as Ebook readers, include Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Sony e-reader.
People are starting to realize that reading using an Ebook reader is significantly more pleasant than staring at a computer screen or having to deal with a newspaper. In other words, Ebook readers are becoming yet another outlet for consumers to find information. Below explains how to create an Ebook that will allow your small business to get in on the action:
How to Create an Ebook—An Easy Way to Establish Credibility and Increase Your Subscriber List
1. Expect to give your Ebook away for free
Most small businesses that create an Ebook give it away to customers on their subscriber list for free. The goal should be to establish credibility and get people reading your Ebook as opposed to selling the material; in the end the exposure will generate more revenue for your business (Ebooks usually only run for about 90 cents). By offering the Ebook free for subscribers, more people will be opted to join your subscriber list.
2. Create your Ebook Content
Be sure your content is informative rather than a sales pitch, and use lots of subheadings and lists to make it easy to read. When it comes to choosing a topic, look through the blog comments on your website and any other types of feedback customers have given to try to find a topic in high demand. Furthermore, if you have a new product or service coming out, focus your Ebook on that subject. At the end of your Ebook, be sure to include your contact information for those interested in learning more. The general rule of thumb for the length of a good Ebook is about 20 or more pages.
3. Ebook vs. Mini-report Specifics
Many small businesses offer free Ebook mini reports as opposed to a book. A mini-report is usually more specific and answers a question. While mini-reports may be easier to write, do not count out writing a book. The term “writing a book” sounds intimidating, but your book does not have to be long. Simply choose a topic to write about and cover all aspects of that topic; this should be more than enough information to create a book. Having a full book will help build your overall credibility and show that you really are an expert in your field.
4. Making the Ebook Available
As discussed above, Ebooks are usually offered on a business website. If customers see the free offer and want to download the Ebook, they must provide their email address and name. The next step is simple, and if you utilize email marketing, then making an Ebook available will be second nature to you. If not, don’t sweat it. Use an autoresponder email service such as AWeber, and let the software do the work for you. It will send out your Ebook to anyone who signed up for it on your website; it’s as simple as that!
5. Make sure potential customers can find your Ebook on your website
Your Ebook is something that should be featured on your website. Consider giving a sneak preview of the book by including the first few paragraphs, the first chapter, a list of chapter topics, or a combination of all three. If people are interested in the topic and want to know more, then they can sign up for your subscriber list.
Soon, everyone is going to catch onto the fact that an Ebook reader is lighter and smaller than a laptop or a big textbook. Better yet, a free Ebook will get readers even more excited about using their Ebook readers. In the end, you want to be that free Ebook that gets consumers excited.
Photo Credit ghacks.net
Editor’s Note: This “How To” blog geared towards small business owners will run each Wednesday, the goal being to assist small business owners in their day-to-day operations. As a small business owner, is there a topic you would like to see covered? If so, email: Amanda.DiSilvestro@resourcenation.com