Part Two -Getting Publicity for Your ‘Bait Piece.’

In part 1 of this article I covered how using problem solving “bait pieces” can put you in a position where you never have to cold call again. Imagine what your life would be like if you and your sales team only handled calls from interested prospects? What would that do for your productivity and for your bottom line?

We also covered why it’s getting harder and harder to access prospects.

Today I want to show you how to get publicity for your bait piece, so you don’t have to break the bank promoting it.

Getting Publicity for Your “Bait Piece.”

Publicity is powerful because people tend to believe what other people say about you more than what you say about yourself.

More importantly, with a little creativity, you can get lots of free publicity. Often this free publicity gives you coverage that would cost many thousands of dollars if you were to buy the equivalent in advertising space or time.

The first question you need to answer is what media targets your customers? Once you know the answers then you have a number of choices for where you’d like to target your publicity efforts.

Some magazines and newspapers will publish articles written by outsiders, but most have a paid staff who look for news stories and who write articles or do interviews for the publication. This is also true for radio and television stations. The best way to reach these journalists is with a well written press release.

With your written article or press release, always include your by-line. A by-line is your opportunity to tell readers who you are and how to get in contact with you. If you direct readers to a web page, make sure it’s a page that will enable you to capture their names and contact information in exchange for your information.

You can also send your press release to various websites that either publish press releases or syndicate articles depending on what you have put together to publicize your bait piece.

If you’ve done a good job of writing your press release or article, you can expect a certain number of people to ask you for help. Turning these interested people into customers should not be difficult if your bait piece is well targeted and provides valuable information to your target audience.

Advertising Cheaply

Another more obvious way to promote your bait piece is to advertise it. The question however is how to do it cheaply so that you don’t break the bank.

The first thing to remember is you are not selling a product, you are offering valuable free information that helps makes your prospects more informed buyers and helps them set buying criteria that you can fulfill. Preferably only you can fulfill. Don’t try and sell your products or services. That can wait until your customers are ready to trust you.

Offer your bait piece free in exchange for their contact information. If you can afford it send out hard copy as that is more likely to be read. Also it enables you to collect mailing addresses as well as e-mail. Mail is still a more effective medium in the direct response world than e-mail.

Once prospects have contacted you for your bait piece, this is an opportunity to offer them your free newsletter so you can stay in touch.

Include a letter with every bait piece you send out, inviting them to call you. This will begin the process of making your phones ring with interested prospects.

Develop a script to deal with the callers and a follow up script so that every person who receives you bait piece gets at least one call.

Here are some other places where you can advertise your bait piece without overspending:

  • On-line directories
  • Content sites
  • Search Engines
  • Google Adwords
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Magazine classified
  • Yellow Pages, although this can be expensive it can be a very effective source of leads.

Nurturing Your Leads

The majority of people who read about you will not contact you, so don’t be disappointed if the number is small.

Keep sending out articles and press releases to appropriate media and soon you’ll see the cumulative effect of your efforts produce results.

Of those people who contact you a number will not buy, but this doesn’t mean they are not interested. Sometimes people take a long time to make a decision to buy, particularly if you sell big ticket items.

The key is to develop a systematic follow up process so you stay in touch and they don’t forget about. If you don’t stay in touch, most people will have forgotten about you within 30 days. In fact this is where your sales process begins in earnest. Each contact should move them towards buying from you and gaining a dominant position in their minds through the relationship you build with them.

Here’s what you need to do through your on-going contacts with prospects:

  • Continue educating them on the most effective ways to solve their problem.
    – Newsletters are a simple and cost effective way of doing this.
    – Direct Mail is very effective, but can be expensive if you have a large list.
  • You need to warn your prospects of the dangers of no action, as this is what most will do.
  • Guarantees reduce the risk for the buyer. Remember the bigger and bolder the guarantee the more effective it becomes.
  • With your guarantee increase urgency with:
    – A time limited offer, or
    – a limited quantity
    Remember scarcity sells.
  • Include customer testimonials, they offer powerful social proof that others have benefited from what you do. None of likes to be first when it comes to risk.

And finally think about the psychological advantage you have if instead of you calling out to people who are unsure of who you are and how interested they are in what you do; you only take calls from people who have sought you out because they recognize that they probably need your help. This puts them in a position of need and you in a position of power. It’s virtually impossible to obtain this advantage with any sort of outreach program.