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Archives for August 2008

Using Flagship Content to Make Sales

Yesterday morning I was on a call with Cindy, a great lady who specializes in international and cross-cultural marketing. Cindy was saying how she had been spending a lot of time and effort in building up her Flagship Content and that it had started to show real dividends in terms of traffic and attention. She had been taking calls from as far afield as South Africa.

I love it when people tell me these techniques work so well. I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet but please excuse me while I dance a little jig around my office?

OK, back now. Where was I?

Flagship Content Sells

You will have heard about content selling all over, especially from CopyBlogger. As a matter of fact a while ago I was discovering my own ebook was making other people sales. You see, even though I advise other people on this stuff I had made one major mistake with my own Flagship Content.

By the way, as a side-note, if you want to know the difference between Flagship and Pillar/Cornerstone content, check out my Linkbait, Diggbait, Flagship Content article.

You see Flagship Content can sell. It sells very well. But you have to tell people what they need to do. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

OK, clients have mentioned my ebook to me and how much they like it. I know they have passed it around organisations. But at the same time I heard a few months ago that it was being used while engaging freelance copywriters as part of their brief.

Palm. Face. D’oh.

There is a good chance that if at the end of that little ebook I mentioned “By the way I can write this Flagship stuff for you too” that I might have pulled in work directly from it. As it happens I am happy for those other copywriters (grrr) but still, lesson learned.

How does Flagship Content sell?

  1. Attraction – You know your content is Flagship when that is how visitors find you. If people talk about your content then it will draw new pre-sold visitors to your door.
  2. Education – In your niche is there subjects where people get confused? Is there something that you are especially well equipped to help with? Demonstrate your expertise, prove you are the person to come to.
  3. Trust – What do you get when you combine third-party endorsements with great educational content? The answer, of course, is a good foundation for trust.
  4. Decision – Is your approach and alternative to another method? Are you aiming to differentiate yourself from competitors? Work it carefully and you can help the reader, or now surely potential customer, take the decision in your favor.
  5. Action – Finally you give the reader tools so they can take action, at the very least ways in which they can get in touch with you. This is where I slipped up, my only call to action was to make sure people knew to subscribe so I didn’t miss all the people who came by my ebook through other channels. Don’t make the same mistake, it doesn’t need to be a hard sell as by this point they will already be convinced you know your stuff.

Getting it Out There

Unlike your cornerstone/evergreen/pillar resources, which are vital by the way, this content goes out into the world, educates your potential customers and brings folks back to you.

Encourage people to share. The more hands you get your content into, the more customers you create.

While this content could be a series or a large post, it is more portable as a file that people can download, send around, print out. If your content is video or audio, provide the option to save as well as listen online.

I have seen business cards used as an excellent Flagship Content delivery system. What is the number one problem with business cards? People throwing them away. Put an attractive headline and a link to a free download on there though …

It has gotten to the point now where people ask me about my ebook in interviews. That’s how I know it has worked. Just like though on night time talk shows, if you are in an interview and you have not been asked about your content, don’t miss the opportunity to plug it yourself :)

Summary

Take your best resources to the next level and get them off of your blog in a portable form. While series and comprehensive articles are excellent Flagship Content, they will provide you with many more benefits if you supply the option to download, especially if you gain an opt-in to send follow up messages.

Help your content make you sales!