Educate, don't sell: An introduction to education based marketing
People don't like being sold to. Good advertisers know this and create adverts that blend into the environment. Subtle enough to appear as if they are not trying to sell to you.
Marketing on the web is pretty similar. People don't care about you or your business (yet). But they do care about themselves. If you can help them become better versions of themselves and teach them something useful, they are more likely to (eventually) care about you and your services.
What does all this mean in real life?
Don't sell your products or services to your potential customers from the outset. Educate them. Help them.
The problem with email newsletters
How many email newsletters do you sign up for only to find that you are being bombarded with sales emails. You get email after email with the latest offers and new products. And if you are really lucky, you might get emails about their office moves, office parties and information about their team members. Does that make you feel more motivated to buy from them? Or just more likely to delete their emails?
A different way
If, on the other hand, you received emails that actually helped you in some way, would you be more likely to read it? If you learnt something new that made your life (or business) better, even if in a small way, would you be more likely to read the next email from the same sender? And the next one?
Before long, you are reading all of their emails because they are quite simply helping you. You are learning something that you care about. You end up liking and trusting the person sending you these valuable tips. You might even think of them as an advisor or a mentor.
Selling is ok, occasionally
The person sending the email needs to eat and put a roof over their head. So every now and again, he or she might include something that promotes one of their products or services. Not in an intrusive way or in your face. More of a "p.s. I'm having a 20% black friday sale" at the end of another educational email.
You already know, like and trust the sender. Is the chance that you will check out his offer greater than the first guy who just blasts you with offers? Thought so.
You help people over a period of time and they are more likely to buy from you. That gives you the funds to help even more people. It is a total win-win.
Attract people through blogging
And it doesn't end there. By providing valuable educational material to your email subscribers, you have content you can publish on your blog. Because it is educational and helps people, others will share it on social media. Bloggers will talk about it and link to it. It might get picked up on other newsletters. This gets even more people into your eco system - more people to help. More people who know you, like you and trust you.
This is the power of educational based marketing.