If you are going to succeed starting from a place of free, innovative content, you have to figure out who you're going to target. There are many different groups of people out there, even within your specific niche. It helps to understand who is most likely to latch onto your free content and spread the news of your brand and your products.
Some of the people in your market don't really pay attention to a brand or a product, even a free product, until the buzz is all around them. They want to be absolutely sure something is worth their time. They will only pay attention to a product or a brand that has a proven track record. Because of that, this is not the group you'll target with your initial launches and contacts.
Then, there are those who are quicker to try new things. However, they still want to make sure whatever it is has a good track record. This group is okay to target, but they are still probably not going to be your most vocal majority in the very beginning.
Then, there are the early adopters and the innovators. These are the people who really thirst to try things before anyone else. They know what's out there and they know what it means to be different. If they see that your marketing and products are different from anything else out there, they will latch onto those things right away. If they like what they see, they'll spread the news of what you have to offer and help you build your brand through word-of-mouth and viral marketing.
Traditionally, when you consider who your market is, you think of it in terms of who is interested in your topic or product. But, you also have to break it down even further if you're really trying to make a splash in your market. You have to know who, among your most ideal prospects, are most likely to become brand evangelists and try new things and new products.
They say that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. When you start a new campaign or launch a new product (free or paid) you need to pay attention to these early adopters. These are usually the other experts and thought leaders in your niche. These are the ones who belong to every list in your market, have bought nearly everything else out there, and are probably bored with the current selections-- ready for what's new. If you can "wow" this group of early adopters, you'll have it made with a campaign that will take off like crazy.
Who Wants Your Value?
Another consideration is who is out there that needs and wants your value. Companies who are ahead of the game understand how important it is to become popular in the marketplace. One of the best ways to do that is to gain an audience using free products. From there, you can figure out additional ways to meet the needs of your market in ways they are willing to pay for – especially after they get to know your brand and what you offer.
There's a group of people out there, perhaps beyond who you're targeting right now, who will jump all over your free products. Many of these people will go on to become brand evangelists – your best customers who will tell everyone else about you. Your new mission is to provide as much value to as many people as possible. This mission goes far beyond money, but at the same time will provide you with so much more money than you could've ever expected.
One way to make great strides forward in your business, and in your appearance as an authority in your niche is simply to ask your audience what they want and need.
So assuming that you’re building an email list of followers as you provide your free product, you should be following up by asking early on in your relationship questions like “What are your biggest problems in doing this or understanding that or moving forward or becoming unblocked?”.
Then from the answers you receive you’ll be able to create possibly numerous other products, some free, some paid, including perhaps some high-value service offerings.
It's time for you to really think about who your ideal customer is. Who are these thought leaders? Who do other people follow? Who has a relatively influential hold on other people in your niche? Don't think that you should only target those who have the largest lists or most highly trafficked blog. People are most likely to pay attention to those they know intimately – that means there are probably "smaller" thought leaders and influencers who are likely to latch on what you have to offer if you put it in front of them. Many smaller and mid-sized marketers have very devoted lists-- don't ignore them.
How to Stand In Front Of the Traffic
Traffic is a huge issue in Internet marketing. Everyone wants to know how to get more of it. Luckily, this whole book is a guidepost to getting more traffic if you really think about it. One of the best ways to get traffic has always been to give things away for free. It doesn't matter how much money a person has, they are attracted to free things.
Unfortunately, that also means you will attract people who want things for free but who are not necessarily your primary target audience. So, you don't just want a bunch of free traffic or a bunch of people downloading what you have to offer. What you want is extremely targeted traffic that will spread the news of your free content to other targeted prospects.
That's why you really have to take the time to figure out where your primary audience hangs out. You want to infiltrate that niche and become one of them. You want to become well-known by networking and being in as many prime places as possible in your niche. You need to become well-known through social media, on your blog, in niche forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or wherever else people in your niche tend to congregate.
This often means going to places on the web that your competition hasn't even considered. Sometimes, the most popular or most important websites in your niche are not the ones that pop up first in Google. For instance, there might be an incredibly active Yahoo group dedicated to your niche topic, but it doesn't show up on the first pages of Google. Therefore, some of your more lazy competitors won't even know about it.
You should also consider where people in your niche "hang out" offline. Again, you want to be in as many places as you can so you can stand in front of the traffic.
I am by no means telling you to spam these groups or to go in immediately pimping your wares. What I am telling you to do is to become known and trusted. There's no better way to become successful, quickly, then by letting people get to know you as a top expert in your niche.
You're going to be helpful. Remember that your purpose is to help as many people as possible. This is something you carry through in your networking as well as when you give products away for free.
This is all part of building your brand. The more networking you do, the more well-known you will become. Then, when you launch campaigns for free, high-value products, they are a lot more likely to go viral and to have the desired effect. The same is true when you launch paid products or services. There is simply no way to fail as a marketer if you become known, liked, and trusted within your niche. You'll be able to build your list and get as much highly targeted traffic as you desire.
But again, you can't just go in guns blazing. You have to pay attention to how your market reacts, what they want, and what kind of expert they are most likely to pay attention to. You want to earn friends in high places in your niche as well as become favored in your niche overall.
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