Cashing in on Information When You’re Not Google

information ageThe hot commodity today is information.

Look at the most visited websites in the world and our thirst for information becomes obvious. Of course Google is at the top and Facebook is next. It’s critically important to fully understand and appreciate that one-two punch of most popular websites.

Google is where we go to gather general information and ask questions. Facebook is where we share information about ourselves and get information about our families and friends.

Two very different web portals offering different services, yet both are built on the foundation of information consumption.

You aren’t Facebook, now what?

Where does this leave you? I would bet that most of you sell something other than information. However, you need to find a way to take advantage of the consumer demand for information. Right now you’re offering your customers or clients a product or service; how do you weave an element of information into it?

I’m certain you are familiar with all the tools you can use to pull this off: blogs, YouTube (number three most visited website, by the way), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, podcasts, newsletters, webinars and more. Your next three steps should be:

  • Defining what information you need to offer,
  • Deciding which are the best vehicles to share your information, and
  • Planning the best way to promote your information sharing.

You and your customers are the experts who will best determine what information you need to offer. In some cases it might be obvious. Restaurants, for example, can share recipes on line. They can also hold cooking classes. Also, don’t forget the personal side of information sharing; some customers might be interested in knowing more about who you and your employees are.

Know your customers

If it’s not obvious what information you should be giving your customers, ask yourself this question: What issues do my customers have that are directly or indirectly related to the product or service they are buying from me? Also, chat up your customers. Find out what’s on their minds and what they would like to know more about. Ask them what websites they visit, what blogs they read.

Deciding how to best share your information depends on the nature of the information. I recommend a two-pronged approach for most people. The first prong is for shorter bits of information offered more frequently. The second prong is for more in-depth information offered less frequently. The first prong is also used to promote the second prong.

For example, establish a Twitter or Facebook account and share short bits of information. Also use it to announce new longer articles on your blog, your new podcast, or your new YouTube video. Of course, also use your website to promote both prongs.

This keeps you top of mind and establishes your business as the expert in the field. These attributes lead to long-term growth and success. Because they don’t produce immediate impressive sales, many small business owners stop trying to provide information after a few months.

Let your competitors make that mistake.

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