As I mentioned in the last blog, Niblick in his book ‘The Profitable Consultant’ suggests that we need to focus on education-based marketing (EBM) not sales-based marketing. He offers three rules for effectively applying EBM. They are: #1. Seek to educate – not to sell #2. You give away knowledge – but you charge to help apply it #3. Own the blood bank
Intrigued? Here they are with a little more substance behind them.
#1. Seek to educate, not to sell
Change the attitude that has been developed over the years that you must pitch your wares and ‘close’ prospects. Also when you deliver education you give it away for free. Remember you are not educating people on what your firm can do for them. You are giving them actionable content they can use tomorrow that will make a difference to some aspect of their life. The more valuable and unique that information, the more you become an expert.
#2. Give away knowledge but you charge to help apply it
The whole purpose of education-based marketing is to get people to pay you to help them do what you are telling them to do. Anyone can buy books, or attend seminars, or undertake courses online in the area you operate in. Where they need your help is in saving them the time it would take them to become experts or develop the skill set you have, plus the experience in how to actually apply that knowledge.
#3. Own the blood bank
The objective of EBM is to create a significant demand for something you control. For example, if your niche area is building customer loyalty, then having a structured process to train staff and develop such loyalty is vital. The body of your educational message needs to highlight those specific steps and include any proprietary materials, but you are not actually telling your audience how to engender loyalty. You must simply create demand for how to actually do what you said.
So in the case of Insight Plus (my own business), I would want to point out the keys to effective meetings or workshops, ways to measure participant engagement, tools that are useful for getting consensus. But I create demand for how to do what I have talked about – the result is that I am asked to train people in facilitation or to actually facilitate a major workshop.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Do Niblick’s three rules of education-based marketing intuitively make sense? Which of the rules do you feel least comfortable with? For what reasons? In your experience, are there any other rules that you think could apply to education-based marketing? What might these be?