The following is an excerpt adapted from the book You, Inc. by Travis Rosser.
We are now living in the Knowledge Economy, where anyone can create a business by sharing and monetizing their skills online. No longer are entrepreneurs boxed in by the restrictions of the old brick-and-mortar business model. If you have a product or service that people are willing to pay for, you can build a thriving business online.
What does it take to get started in the Knowledge Economy? Do you need a fancy website, a third-party logistics provider, and a warehouse full or products?
No way! All you need is a landing page and a basic product to get started.
In this article, we’ll look at building a simple landing page and creating a product that can be downloaded and should be available for free – yes, for free.
Building a Landing Page
A landing page has information on it which encourages potential customers to reach out for more information. For example: “Hey, I have the solution to your problem. I’ve gone through this already, and I’m going to give you the information you’re looking for.”
Your landing page is your first opportunity to connect with potential customers. That connection begins by transferring value to them through some of your knowledge.
What you get in return is a way to contact them: their email.
There are a few key elements your landing page needs to include. The first is a clear statement about who you are and how you’re going to help the reader.
This doesn’t mean a bio. Remember: the reader doesn’t necessarily care yet about who you are, just about how you and your product or service can help them.
Right underneath that, you want to describe what you’re offering. For example, what is the change or benefit the potential customer might gain?
A big point to know about online marketing is that features don’t mean anything. It’s all about benefits. People are asking, “How is this going to benefit me?”
You could say, “You’re going to lose ten pounds. You’re going to fix your credit.” Again, start with the outcome within the niche you are focusing on. Discuss what they are getting: relief, assistance, a solution, a new skill, tips and tricks, etc.
Focus on sharing what you have discovered about your niche and what you can offer your audience. This is important because some of you have discovered a solution that the customer doesn’t know about yet. They only know about their problem.
For example, if you are talking about intermittent fasting, you wouldn’t necessarily want to start there. Instead, talk about the problem of fatigue, weight gain, or menopause as a woman. Talk about the struggle so you can then explain the solution and benefit.
The next thing you can do is include a video of yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. You don’t have to do a video, but you will connect with more people that way.
It doesn’t need to be perfectly professional. If you are your raw self, willing to share your flaws, mistakes, and all your imperfections, that is the best way to gain connection.
Nobody wants fake people solving their problems. Inauthentic people make customers feel uncomfortable, like they might be selling snake oil. Don’t be that person.
Delivering the Product
Once you have your landing page and start driving traffic to it through Instagram or Facebook, you need to have a basic product ready for them to download.
Your product must be something of value for them to be enticed, and it’s best if that downloadable thing is free. Yes, free. You might be thinking, “If I give away information for free, why would anybody ever pay for it?” I get this question a lot.
When a potential customer can download that first basic product, they start to trust you. They see you’re trying to help them and realize you’re not just in this for money.
You’ll find that later you can charge for an entire course on the same subject. Even if you have given parts of the course away for free before, you’d be surprised how many people are still willing to pay for the whole thing because it’s curated and perfect.
Compare that with others online who say they will give you something, but then demand payment first. If this is your first time “meeting” that person you might be taken aback. Why should you trust them if they’re demanding money up front?
You’ve probably tried something for free and thinking, “Wow, that was awesome. I want more, and I will pay for it.” That’s what you want to do here for others.
Think of the yogurt shop. You look at all the flavors and can’t make up your mind which flavor to get. Then they hand you a small cup with a free sample, and then you say, “Okay, I’m totally getting that.” You are doing the same thing here.
Give your visitors the best stuff up front. Don’t hold back. The yogurt shop doesn’t say, “Well, I will give you a sample, but it’s missing the sugar or the toppings.”
That is how you leverage reciprocity. When you give to people, people will give back to you. It’s the law of giving, and it works every time.
You give out something for free, and in return, you’re collecting email addresses. This allows you to start building your email list and interacting with potential customers.
This is a great example of the old business versus new business difference. In an old business, you would hand out a business card or brochure or send newsletters, hoping that someone stumbles across your ad and follows up.
In the new business, your product is immediately available and benefits the customer. You give them something of value, and they can learn something right away.
In the new business, people are expecting to receive the benefits immediately, rather than just hear about them. Deliver on that expectation and your business will begin to grow as customers trust you – and eventually – pay for what you’re offering.
For more advice on starting a knowledge business, you can find You, Inc. on Amazon.
Travis Rosser is an entrepreneur, speaker, and the author of You, Inc: The Step by Step Guide for Finding A Business Within You. After a decade in the software industry he cofounded Kajabi, a knowledge capital platform that has helped customers redefine themselves as experts, free themselves from the traditional notions of a job, and live more fulfilled lives. Since 2010, Kajabi has helped more than ten thousand people launch their own small businesses, and to this day these knowledge entrepreneurs have generated more than $600 million in sales.