Education-Based marketing is the process by which you attract and convert highly-qualified clients by giving them what they want… valuable information and advice that solves their problems; AND removing what they don’t want a SALES PITCH.

Education-based marketing is generally undertaken by delivering Credibility Marketing techniques such as public speaking, information based teleclasses, publications, networking, repetitive communication systems (newsletters, communities, eZines), hotlines, free educational give aways (such as reports, assessments, tools, eCourses), etc.

To develop effective education-based marketing products there are 3 Immutable Rules that you should keep top of mind:

Rule #1: It’s OK to lose money at the front end.

Whilst the development and delivery of education marketing products can be revenue positive, it’s Ok if it costs you money at the front end. As you’ll recall in previous articles, we discussed the Lifetime Value of a Client and the Client Acquisition Cost.

Many businesses often use “Loss Leaders”, or products and enticements that cost them money up front, knowing that they are going to make money at the back end (when clients convert and purchase their products).

For example: You may deliver a free Workshop on “Learn the FIVE groundbreaking strategies used by Super Star mums (including Elle McPherson and Liz Hurley) to SHED FAT after giving birth and be at normal weight within 3-months”.

The workshop may cost you $5,000 to develop, promote and deliver. You may have 30 attendees. Your upfront loss is $167 per attendee. But you may convert 12 clients and know that each client, on average, is worth $2,700 revenue for you. In this example, you have netted $27,400.

NOTE: A free coaching session upfront is probably the most common use of the loss leader principal amongst coaches, although we don’t necessarily recommend its use!

ALSO NOTE: Notice how the promotion is ‘education-based’ not sales-based. An attendee at the workshop will GAIN VALUE from the workshop REGARDLESS of whether they take up your product offer at the end or not.

You have also positioned yourself as an EXPERT by delivering valuable educational content, and have put yourself in a position to link ALL attendees into an ongoing value-add program – such as a Tele-Workshop Series; eNewsletter; etc.

Rule #2: Must be of high perceived value.

The product that you provide should be of very high perceived value to your prospects. One of the most significant barriers for business people to get their minds around with the education-based marketing concept is the idea of ‘giving away’ their valuable intellectual property.

Education-based marketing is NOT about giving away your service or information. It’s about INVESTING it.

By demonstrating the high value of your service you build substantially higher levels of TRUST and rapport with your prospects. And you position yourself as an EXPERT.

Withholding of knowledge only leads to DOUBT in the mind of your prospect as to your ABILITY to deliver on your promises. If you readily INVEST your intellectual property by giving it away, your prospects will TRUST you; acknowledge your ability to help them; and develop the perception that you have significantly more information of value to provide them (through your pay-for-service products).

Rule #3: Must be ongoing.

One of the greatest advantages of education-based marketing is that it lowers your prospects defence mechanisms, and it allows you to showcase your skills. To take full advantage of that opportunity you MUST continue to educate your prospects through an ongoing process.

At any point in time only a very small percentage of your prospects will be READY and willing to purchase.

Most businesses have a marketing system that TOTALLY NEGLECTS this critical fact.

If 100 people enquiry about your services, most likely only 8 to 15 will be seriously looking to purchase your services at THAT point in time. The others are simply inquisitive or think they may purchase at some time in the future.

As we mentioned in an earlier article, this process is called the Cycle of Life. You MUST recognise that your prospects are going through the Cycle of Life. You MUST have a means to add value to them in a non-intrusive and informative manner. And your process must be educational, informative and REPETITIVE.