case study of a successful free download
In the last two months we’ve covered strategies for generating new business with free downloads — everything from digital coupons to white papers. If you need to catch up, use these links to check out what makes a great free download and how to maximize their effectiveness by industry. This month we’ll wrap this three-part series with a closer look at a successful promotion.
the LinkedIn solution
Sometime in late 2013, I started noticing that a lot of my clients were talking about LinkedIn, and commenting that they really didn’t know how to use it. They didn’t understand why they needed to be there, what the advantages were, or what to say about themselves.
I’ve occasionally helped people develop a better LinkedIn profile, but it’s not the heart of my business nor something that I really want to offer as a service. But many people who struggle with LinkedIn questions are also likely to be good prospects for my business. I quickly realized I was being handed a way to help my clients and build my email list at the same time.
The result was a special report titled 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn, which answered all the questions I was getting regularly plus additional tips my readers might not have considered.
Posting this report improved my business in several ways. First, the size of my newsletter mailing list increased by 25 percent in about a year. Second, it enhanced my credibility by demonstrating my expertise in a skill related to my business, even though it’s not a service I promote.
Best of all, the LinkedIn report was instrumental in securing two new clients, one of which was responsible for nearly 10 percent of my income that year. The report wasn’t the only factor, but it was part of the total package that closed both deals.
Much of the LinkedIn report’s success came about because the topic has a long shelf life — there are always new prospects looking to get the most from LinkedIn — and because the content is useful enough that people tend to share it with their colleagues. Recently it received an extra boost when it was featured in a newsletter read by some of my better prospects. Nearly a year later, the report is still generating new subscribers regularly because the content is constantly being found by new people, passed on by existing subscribers, and referenced in other places.