Is your free e-book hurting your business?

Why invest a serious amount of time and money for something that you’re giving away for free?

That’s an obvious question that most website owners and businessmen ask themselves at one point or another.  Sure, you know that you either have to invest a substantial amount of time, money, or both when you’re making a product to sell, but an e-book is free.  People shouldn’t expect much for free, right?

That mode of thinking is a great way to make your e-book not just ineffective, but actually counterproductive.

If you give away an e-book, it should serve two purposes.  The first is to get the e-mail addresses of those who visit your site.  The primary rule of internet marketing is that the money is in the list.  They give you their e-mail address and you give them information.  In truth, the e-book isn’t really free.

The second purpose of an e-book is to establish yourself as a resource for readers.  You must provide readers with valuable information if you want them to buy from you in the future.  If you don’t give your readers something they can use, there’s no reason for them to come back to you.  It’s like when you see a speaker for the first time.  If they give valuable information or tell a compelling story, you’ll want more information from them.  It might be books, CDs, or other products, but you want to know more.

Now, if you have an e-book that doesn’t provide value, two things will happen.  The first is that people will unsubscribe from your list.  They got their book, didn’t find anything useful, and now they feel bothered by additional e-mails you send.

Perhaps more importantly, those people will never buy from you.  Never.  They do not view you as a person who provides value, so they’ll find someone who does.  Even if you’re in such a unique niche that nobody else is providing the information, products, or services you are, they won’t buy from you because they see no value in you.  They’d rather figure it out for themselves than give you money.  Ouch!

Does this mean that you shouldn’t give away e-books?

No!  E-books are a fantastic way to build an e-mail list, establish credibility, and turn prospects into customers.  The thing is, though, that you need a well-written, informative e-book that establishes you as a valuable resource to your potential customers.  That takes time.

If you want a valuable e-book to help you get e-mail addresses, but you don’t have the time to write it, shoot me a message.  I’d be happy to write you an e-book that will establish your credibility, provide value to your readers, and put you in an excellent position to turn one-time visitors into lifetime customers.


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