Working my way through Bob Bly’s excellent new book, “How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs and Other How-To Content.” (Some title, eh?) It is a good read. And extremely practical (like everything Bob writes!).
Early on, Bob refers to author Jeff Davidson’s list of seven ways that authors, speakers and other how-to information writers and packagers can add value to their content. To this list, Bob adds two more and calls it nine value-added techniques to get your readers (viewers, subscribers, listeners) to pay you more for your intelligently packaged and formatted content that you deliver to them. I’ll sum them up here for you.
- Immediacy, meaning you’re able to deliver your specialized content to your reader/subscriber/listener far faster — and in a “ready-to-use” format that he can immediately use and benefit from — than if he had simply ventured haphazardly into the untamed wilds of the Internet (where all that raw, uncooked, untested data resides!).
- Personalization, meaning seminars, workshops, training, consulting, coaching, whereby you can command prices (as Bob points out) far higher than when that same content is presented in a book or report.
- Interpretation, meaning newsletters or digests of data and information that you assimilate, compile and compose into a usable format that not only tells and reports what happened in terms of news-worthy events and important developments in your field or industry, but also perhaps gives useful, helpful, even valuable tips and advice on how to capitalize on the “good” and/or prevent the “bad” of what you’re reporting to them, and show them how they can use that specialized knowledge you’ve just given them, i.e., they’ve just acquired from you for free or fee, to their greatest advantage.
- Trust, meaning, yes, of course there’s all that FREE information out there on the Web, but really, how much of it can you actually trust? Now, because of this element of suspicion and uncertainty — which is reasonable and prudent in a situation where you’re dealing with a medium that pretty much anybody and everybody can access and publish and proclaim practically WHATEVER they want to — people will pay you and pay you well, if, (a), they consider you a “guru” — or at least recognize that you’re a pretty knowledgeable chap in your particular field or industry (remember just how low the barrier-to-entry really is to join this “elite” club of experts! See my previous article on targeting your niche market.) — and, (b), they trust you. Simple as that. Trust and expertise in your business or industry will lead clients to seek YOU out and pay you (sometimes handsomely) for what you know. Why? Well, frankly because (as Bob says) people trust experts and want to do business with them. Period, end of story!
I’m going to save the remaining five points of this nine-point, how-to-add-value-to-your-content list of techniques for tomorrow’s article. In the meantime, ponder these first four items and begin to think how you can utilize them in your company or industry, to both YOUR and your clients’ advantage.