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25 Ways to Use a Free E-Book or Special Report

You might have heard the idea of writing a free e-book and sending it to as many people as possible. Maybe you know somebody who did it, and scored a new sale, a consulting assignment or even a long-term contract with a new client - based solely on her e-book. You can do the same.

Writing the e-book isn't difficult. The real value is in how you distribute it. Let's look at 25 different ways to use that e-book.

Lead

Our first group of techniques is based on the strategy of getting more traffic to your business or Web site. In other words, it's about generating leads.

To lead more people to your business or Web site with your e-book, you can:

  1. List it in directories of free e-books on the Internet.
  2. Exchange links with related Web sites, where they promote your e-book and you promote theirs.
  3. Tell your audiences to visit your Web site to download the e-book.
  4. Create promotional CDs with the e-book on it (with links to your site).
  5. Give it to your existing e-zine subscribers who refer a friend to sign up.
  6. Tell other people to refer their clients to your Web site, so they can download the e-book.
  7. Promote it in newspaper advertising (Yes, you pay for the advertising, but it gets a better response than advertising a paid product).
  8. Mention it in radio interviews (even those that don't allow commercial advertising).
  9. Give it to colleagues to put on their Web site for download.
Sell

When clients are at your business or Web site, you can use your e-book to encourage them to buy. You can:

  1. Make a limited offer, so they get the e-book only if they order by a certain date.
  2. Offer it as an incentive for people to sign up to your e-zine.
  3. Make it a free sample - i.e. a cut-down free version of the full product.
  4. Use the e-book to help the reader identify their problems (but they have to pay for your products/services to get the solutions).
  5. Give it away, using the reciprocity principle, which says that people who get a favor from you are more likely to do you a favor in return.
  6. Demonstrate how much value you're willing to give away for nothing, which makes them wonder just how much more they will get when they pay.
  7. Demonstrate your credibility as an expert in the field.
  8. Help new Internet users get comfortable with downloading files, reading e-books, etc., so they are more likely to buy your other electronic products.
Notice that some of these "sell" items conflict with the "lead" items. For example, if you're offering it as an incentive for people who buy something else, you can't also have it as a free download available to everybody. That's why it's important to get your strategy right - otherwise, you'll have a mish-mash of techniques that bump into each other and diminish its value.

More

How can your e-book get them to spend more? You can:

  1. Put a dollar value on the e-book, and bundle it together with your other products.
  2. Use it instead of discounting (i.e. Instead of offering a discount on a product, offer them the added value of the e-book instead).
  3. Offer it as a freebie for people who leave without buying, so that they still get something from you, and might buy from you in the future.
Again

Finally, how can you use your e-book to encourage existing customers and clients to buy from you again? You can:

  1. Offer it as an incentive for signing up to your mailing list.
  2. Send it as an "unadvertised bonus" immediately after they order your product, so that it's a pleasant surprise and avoids buyer's remorse.
  3. Send it to loyal customers as a gift later, which reminds them that you exist.
  4. Offer it free as part of a "clients only" special offer.
  5. Send customers an e-book later that tells them how they can get more value out of the product or service they bought.
As you can see, there are many benefits to writing an e-book and giving it away. Not all of these will apply to you. But I'm sure some will; and if you put on your thinking cap, you'll probably find others that will work for you as well.

Author:. I'm an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, thought leaders and other business professionals. Business owners often ask me what to do about the Internet. They know it's important, they know it's affecting their business, but they don't know how - and they don't know what to do about it. I'm an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. Since 1997, I've worked with leading thought leaders, change agents and entrepreneurs, helping them reach more people and leverage their expertise, on and off t... Go Deeper | Website

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