There are many inexpensive ways small online business owners, e-zine publishers or Webmasters can promote themselves. One inexpensive way is to create and offer free e-books. They are powerful viral marketing tools but today, free e-books seem to have lost their novelty. Too many people are creating free e-books that tell you the same thing.
Most free e-books contain articles you've seen dozens of times on other Web sites or on popular article announcement lists. And unless a free e-book has something very unique and valuable to offer, it will be no different from the thousands of free e-books already available for download.
So while everyone else is creating free e-books, you might want to take a different approach. Create a free e-mail workshop, and let it distinguish your business, e-zine or Web site from the rest.
What's an e-mail workshop? It's a type of e-learning method. Instead of encompassing a wide area of study or learning, it is focused on a specific skill, and is aimed for a specific group of people.
With an e-mail workshop, you'll be able to:
- design a constant promotional tool for your business
- drive traffic to your Web site even if you're not yet listed in search engines
- increase your e-zine's subscriber base and its perceived value
- generate leads and acquire e-mail addresses you can use to send promotional e-mails to in the future...and you won't ever be accused of spamming
- build your image as an expert in your field, and add to your or your business's credibility.
The best thing about using e-mail workshops is that you can create only one e-mail workshop but you can use it again and again to promote any of your products, services, e-zines or Web sites.
If you've written numerous articles, you can use these as content for your e-mail workshop. Even though you'll make use of old articles, you won't be offering a re-hash. Why? Because once you transform your old articles and gather them together to form an e-mail workshop, you add a more focused learning dimension to them. For this, you're able to create a new and effective promotional tool.
How do you create a simple e-mail workshop using old articles? In a nutshell:
- Gather all your articles and find a common theme among them. If you've written a number of articles aimed for beginning online business owners, these articles can make up one e-mail workshop. Your e-mail workshop can be a short one (two to four articles) or a long one (five or more).
- When you've identified a common theme, arrange your articles in a way that provides some sort of logic or flow to them.
- Assign one article as one e-mail module. If you're using four articles, your e-mail workshop would consist of four modules.
- Take a good look at each article. Does it look like you can weave the activities within "lessons" or will it require you to separate the "lessons" from the "assignments" -- information first (your re-written article) and then hands-on activities or tests after?
- Do your articles use the "you" voice? If not, re-write as if you're telling your friend a story. Do your articles sound formal? Even though you're teaching something, strive to keep it lighthearted. Be engaging and friendly, but never be too flippant or condescending.
Include additional resources at the end of each module. These resources could be online references and researches, and even more intensive lessons.
- Insert your promotional texts in the beginning, middle or end of each module. But don't overdo this. People who will request your e-mail workshop are going to see through you once they find out that your promotional texts far outweigh the lessons and valuable instructions in your e-mail workshop. Put value over the content of your e-mail workshop first and your workshop takers will trust you and believe in your expertise.
- Put your e-mail workshop on sequenced autoresponders and set the delivery time each module will be sent.
Before you announce your e-mail workshop, test and re-test it. When you're certain everything is fine, go ahead and promote it.
Because you've automated your e-mail workshop, you'll be able to capture e-mail addresses you can use to build your promotional mailing list. And you now have an effective promotional tool working for you 24/7.
Copyright © 2002 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
Shery wrote the e-book, How to Create & Profit from Your Own E-mail Workshops in 3 Days or Less! She offers a customizable free workshop, Create Your First E-mail Workshop in 3 Days! that publishers and webmasters can use to promote their e-zines and sites.