How to Create Your Hook
What is the hook that keeps your business filled with just the right clients or customers? Is your "hook" compelling? What are the three ways to generate and disseminate your offers? Get the answers in the article: How to create your hook.
Copyright (c) 2009 Meredith Liepelt
One of the greatest things about having a "hook," otherwise known as a free offer, is that you create it once, and it is used over and over again, day after day, year after year to attract new prospects and clients. You never have to update it, change it or modify it unless you want to. Perhaps every few years you can change it, but why fix what's not broken? If it's still relevant and valuable to your prospects, leave it alone and focus on other aspects of your growing business.
So what is a "hook" anyway? It can be a variety of things, including a white paper, an e-course, an audio course, a video course or free teleclass or whatever you can cook up! It's up to you. If you don't like to write, an audio course may be a great option for you. If you do like to write, you can write a report, a quiz, or a top-10 list. The choice is yours.
There are several reasons for creating a hook. First, you build your distribution list quickly by taking advantage of organic traffic to your site. Secondly, you gain credibility, which leads to future sales. You also build a list of people who learn to know, like and trust you and therefore, may hire you in the future and make referrals to you. For me, the best part of this strategy is that you don't ever feel like you have to hard sell or cold call people. It's a very proactive way of building your business.
The point of your hook is that you want your prospects to think of you as the person who provides valuable information that they need. They see you as the expert and feel good about purchasing your products and services and recommending you to others. Your hook should be broad enough to appeal to many, but address a specific problem that your target market faces and would gladly pay to have resolved. This is how your prospects enter into your marketing funnel.
Let's explore three options for disseminating your free offer.
In my opinion, the easiest way to create your free offer is through a written report that you create from scratch. You need to make it compelling enough for prospects to want to download it immediately - remember that 95% of your web traffic will not buy from you the first time they visit your site nor bookmark your site to revisit, so it's important to capture their email address on their first visit! Your written report should provide information on a topic that your target market may even be willing to pay for! My point is that your hook must truly provide value to your prospects, even though they are not paying for it. Your free offer is your way of showcasing a sample of your product or service directly to your target market. Be sure it makes a positive impression and doesn't come across as an advertisement. Nobody likes to be "sold." To receive the written report, prospects simply enter their name and email address and they are automatically registered for your ezine. Your "thank you" page, which is automatically generated, includes your report as a downloadable PDF.
Another great option is an e-course. You will need to have an autoresponder set up for this through a system such as 1ShoppingCart, so that once you create your course, you can set up the system to send out the e-course to new subscribers automatically. The e-course can come in a series of emails, spaced out by a day, 2 days or a week. I wouldn't stretch it out any more than a week, or you risk having your new subscribers forget who you are and losing interest.
An audio course or one-time download is another fantastic option. I recommend Audio Acrobat® to create your own recordings. There is no tricky audio equipment necessary, and it's very simple to record yourself. You can use your "thank you" page to include a link to download your information.
Note that a title for your hook is imperative, no matter what format you use to disseminate. If you need help with this, refer back to my article on headlines. If you are new to my ezine and need help with this, just send me an email and I'll send it to you post haste!
Now that you have your report created, it's important to post it on your web site. Research has shown that the best place to put this is in the top right corner of your home page. Include your headline and be sure to tell visitors that by downloading your report, they also will receive a complimentary subscription to your ezine. Make sure it is clear that they will be added to your list. This isn't intended to be a trick of some sort, only an added value. Once you have provided your prospects with highly valuable and free information through your hook and your ezine, you also have them asking, "hmmm.. what's next? I'd like more information." This is how you start to shift prospects into clients and work them through your marketing funnel. Your marketing funnel will consist of various ways that your clients have access to you and your knowledge, whether it's through an information product, a teleseminar, a live workshop, a mastermind group o r one-on-one coaching.
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