By Jeffrey Hedquist

Here’s a marketing idea that will help your clients prosper any time, but might be especially welcome during this challenging time.

In past articles I’ve recommended positioning the advertiser as the expert, and the power of providing free seminars, consultations, etc. to get prospects into the marketing funnel. The expertise and experience every advertiser has in their niche is a valuable resource that they can share with the public as a free lead-in to make money on customer purchases or as a whole new profit center.

These free or fee programs will establish closer relationships with prospects and customers, leading to more purchases or to continuity programs where customers learn skills, expand their knowledge and find new ways to use the advertiser’s products and/or services.

The continuity programs can be in the form of teleseminars, seminars, courses, boot camps, newsletters, workshops, webinars, ebooks, personal coaching, Podcasts, Tweets, exclusive blogs... whatever. They are transmitted to subscribers regularly (usually monthly) and they are customarily paid for by automatic credit card deductions.

Now… think a little outside the box here. The information doesn’t have to be strictly related to the advertiser’s products or services. Ask, “What else would your customers be interested in?”

Here’s an example. A friend of mine owns a French restaurant. Her son is now running it and she’s offering an inexpensive French Conversation Course at her home for people who have studied French for a couple of years and want to improve their skills.

“We will review grammar, learn new vocabulary, speak the language. Homework will be given; it will include watching movies in French with English or French subtitles (depending on skills). We will then discuss the movies in the group. My French library will be available for participants to borrow books from.”

And then, to make it a direct traffic generator at the restaurant: “All those interested in practicing French will be able to meet for lunch at Petit Paris every Wednesday. We will have “The French Table” downstairs where we ONLY speak French. Besides the cost of your food, there is no fee to attend.”

What could she do next? French cooking classes. Wine tastings. French author appearances or musician features. Tours to France – art, architecture, wine, cheese or spiritual site tours.

This scenario can work for many restaurants and the principles can be applied to any advertiser to help them prosper, and you can be the generator of their success. I’ll have more on this next month.

© 1997-2009 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.



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