Building Credibility—When What You Have Isn’t Enough
Most of the time when working with autoresponders, you won’t have to worry about credibility. Your well-developed product will speak for itself. However, if you don’t have background experience that relates to your chosen topic and you would feel more confident with credentials, there are several simple ways to position yourself as an expert in your field.
Testimonials. Testimonials are statements from customers about their satisfaction with your product. These can range from short blurbs to full-page letters, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including establishing credibility. A full discussion on getting and using testimonials can be found later in this book.
Articles. If you choose a topic that you’re interested in but haven’t had much experience working with, you will have to do some research. As you find out more, you can write short, informative articles on your subject and publish them on the internet to establish yourself as knowledgeable in your field. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites looking for content that will be happy to publish articles with your byline and a link to your web site. Look for sites relating to your topic, or try these general article submission sites to spread your name around the internet (no, really; that’s a good thing):
iSnare.com: Maintains a database of over 200,000 free articles. Add your own, and get great content for your web site while you’re there.
ArticleBeach: A search engine directory of articles. Submit your article for inclusion in their expert database.
EzineArticles: Allows e-zine or e-mail list publishers to post informative articles free for use on other people’s sites or in their e-zine or newsletter.
Marketability: Will they buy?
We’ve mentioned that the topic you choose has to not only be of interest to you, but also have widespread appeal. This is the marketability factor. You will have to be able to make your product interesting and attractive to buyers. So you’ll need a subject that a broad audience can relate to.
How can you tell if your topic will interest enough buyers to make your autoresponder campaign successful? The following quiz will help you determine the marketability factor for your product.
QUIZ: The Marketability Factor
Answer the following questions as thoroughly as possible to help figure out whether your topic has mass-market appeal.
1. How often do you hear your topic mentioned in the news? If the news media considers your subject important enough to report on with regularity, it’s probably something quite a few people are interested in. Televisions, magazines and newspapers are looking for ratings, and they get them by drawing large audiences with the information they present. The broader the audience they feel can be reached with a topic, the more often they will seek to cover it.
2. How many products are available on the market relating to your topic? Finding out you have a lot of competition is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means there is a large enough consumer base to support products that deal with the topic—and that will include your product.
3. What is the approximate age range of people who would find your topic interesting? The best topics have broad demographical appeal. If your subject can interest anyone from teens to retirees, you have a great shot at creating and selling a successful product.
4. How fast would you act on a great deal for a product relating to your topic? How about your friends? Would you jump at a bargain if it related to the topic you’ve chosen? And how about the people you hang out with—your easy-to-reach target market? The sooner you can hook people into a sale during the buying process, the more likely your autoresponder campaign will be profitable.
5. What are the benefits of knowing more about your topic that customers would gain by buying your product? People want to know they’re getting what they pay for. Your topic should be able to provide buyers with some tangible knowledge or skill they would not otherwise have if they hadn’t purchased your product. Being able to list the benefits of your product will also help in your marketing, which will be discussed further.
The Marketability Factor Quiz: The Quickie Version
Ready? Answer yes or no:
1. Is your topic in the news a lot?
2. Do you have existing competition?
3. Does your topic appeal to several age groups?
4. Would you or your friends buy a bargain product related to your topic?
5. Does your topic have useful benefits?
If you answered “yes” to at least four of these, congratulations! Your topic is marketable! Proceed with confidence; you’re on the right track.
Next post: JUMPSTART YOUR TOPIC DECISION