Loan Officer = Teacher

From: Ameen Kamadia

You offer a service, not tangible products that your potential customer can touch, inspect, or take for a test drive. Your "product" is more or less thin air, and bought largely based on trust.

How do you create at least the beginning of trust with prospective clients? Give them something they can "taste" before they buy your services. Nothing will build your credibility faster than producing and sharing your expertise in ways that educate your prospects and clients in ways that are useful to them. Creating content to offer as "free samples" gives your market a feel for your style, approach, and level of expertise.

Free content can be used in numerous ways, from free downloads on your web site to hard copy handouts at trade shows or speaking gigs. You can assemble pieces in first contact packages along with your brochure or upload articles to portals on the Internet. Use is limited only by your imagination and, possibly, your time.

Here are some suggestions for educational marketing pieces for free distribution to your marketplace:

1. Tip sheets or e-book. Organize your know-how in numbered lists. You can create short one-pagers for downloading from your site and sending out to prospects. Or collect tips until you have "99" or "101" or more and create an e-book for the same use.

2. Articles for others' use. There are numerous article banks on the Internet that serve as repositories of info you can share.

3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) lists. Over time, your clients will ask you many of the same questions. Write these down and then write out thoughtful answers. You can post these FAQs on your website or they can be separate information products.

4. Other peoples' knowledge. Conduct recorded telephone interviews with experts in your field. Have several prepared questions and talking points that you give to your interviewee in advance. Then after the call has been recorded, you can distribute the CD as an information product.

5. An e-course. You can easily find opportunities to teach classes at local adult education venues or online in the form of an ecourse. Your outline should suffice for the first class, but you will want to create more materials for your students as you go along. Each handout you write, each syllabus, each worksheet and each workbook can all be used as information products to your prospective clients.

Be sure to recycle. Cross pollinate your article bank collection with your blog posts with your newsletter articles with your tips sheets with your .... you get the picture. This gives you a lot more value for the material, whether you wrote it yourself or paid to have it written.

Be sure to keep your content fresh and updated based on your insight into your market and what your clients and prospects feed back to you. And remember: Things that you consider mundane or old hat are likely news to your readers. Mine your own head and share what you consider basic stuff, and you will gain awareness and interest in the population that you want to serve.

Happy Originating!


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