Once or twice a week, my husband and I hop on our bikes or walk up the road to Georgia’s house.
She lives in a beautiful old yellow farmhouse with a stone chimney running up the back. Tulips and daffodils are pushing up near the front steps. Chickens parade through the yard and several pigmy billy goats gruff send us bearded greetings when we approach.
A few kids bikes are usually scattered in front of the barn.
You would never know that we’re about to do something in this idyllic setting that’s considered highly dangerous – even illegal.
We buy milk.
We buy raw milk, taken from the cow fresh that morning.
A few months ago, an Amish farmer was arrested for selling milk without pasteurizing it.
And according to the FDA and several other regulatory watchdogs, raw milk is not good for you, putting you at risk for terrible bacterial infections that can result in death.
And I agree – given how milk is produced in most dairies, I wouldn’t trust it without a good pasteurization to kill all the microbes hiding out there.
But I’ve spent enough hours milking cows by hand to know the full story. And with Georgia’s milk, it’s different.
I know her farm. I see her cow and calf out in the open pasture, leisurely munching on grass.
I walk into her house and see her attention to detail. Her kitchen gleaming and the floor swept clean – despite having three young boys.
I talk with her and watch as she alternates between holding her sons close and reprimanding them if they act disrespectfully. She’s passionate about her kids. And she’s not someone who let’s things slide.
I know her pretty well and so I trust her enough to buy raw milk.
She doesn’t have to produce any certificates or videos showing how she cleans the udders each morning. I don’t do a swipe test for microbes.
I hand her my money and take home a gallon of creamy, fresh, nutrient-rich raw milk with full confidence.
In here’s an important marketing lesson . . .
Too many of my clients make a terrible mistake when it comes to marketing.
They don’t build trust and use it to make marketing easier. Here are two ways this happens . . .
Trust Marketing For Health Businesses Mistake #1
They don’t work on developing a house list – a fanbase that knows you well, respects you, and trusts you.
By not working on listbuilding, you lose out on having the easiest market to sell to – people who know you.
No other market will be quicker to buy your products. And recommend them to a friend.
It’s why smart marketers focus on listbuilding. It’s why smart marketers will lose money on customer acquisition campaigns.
Georgia doesn’t have to work to sell me her milk because I know her. I know a lot about her that has already made me ready to buy from her without hesitation.
And the truth is – like most successful sales – Georgia’s milk sale didn’t come in one shot. It came through chats near the barn, talking about unprocessed foods. It came through musings over boiling maple sap. It came through hearing her gut-wrenching story of how her youngest had to fight for his life when hit by illness. It came through a revelation that they got a cow. It came through the first suggestion, “Hey, would you like to buy some milk?”
Which was followed by another couple of conversations, a discussion about organic milk prices and grain prices and eventually us getting a gallon to try.
It was a process – and not all of it about the sale itself.
That’s what usually happens. Very few people who are interested in your product are going to buy the first time they hear about it. Even if they’re very interested in your product.
Even very interested.
It usually takes a while. That’s why a list is so important. With a list, you can have multiple conversations with your prospective customers. And at some point, they’ll convert.
Every single page of your website should have an opportunity to join your list with a nice incentive to do so. And much of your marketing work should be focused on directing traffic not to your sales page, but the page that encourages them to join you for free, as a subscriber.
By offering a free report or other incentive you can get people to raise their hands and indicate their open to hearing from you – even if they’re not ready to buy something yet.
But your list isn’t always enough. You want to keep building it and expanding your customer base.
Here’s where the second best place to advertise is . . .
Trust Marketing For Health Businesses Mistake #2
This is where marketers go wrong a second time. Often enough, instead of using the same principles to step out of their home turf, marketers throw this principle of trust and familiarity to the wind.
They go wild with PPC or Google adwords, spending money on traffic that’s only been qualified by a few keywords. Or they buy email lists only chosen by a few demographics.
Now there are some strategic ways to use this advertising. But here’s the thing . . .
You don’t have to go the route of going up to a total stranger and asking for a sale. Instead, get an introduction . . .
Instead, advertise through someone else’s list. Get introduced to their raving fans who are listening to every word the publisher says. And enjoy the advantage of having their reputation and recommendation rub off on you a little.
That’s where Charlie Page’s Directory of Ezines creates so much opportunity for you.
A labor of love and marketing integrity, Charlie has catalogued hundreds of online ezines. He’s put together contact information, advertising rates, subscriber numbers and more.
And many of the ezines offer discounted advertising rates to DOE members.
By advertising in an ezine, you gain an incredible advantage.
The subscribers are used to opening up the newsletter.
Plus, if the publisher has worked to build a good rapport with her subscribers, you have people who are more open to your offer simply because of the referral.
Start off with some classified ads and a small segment. Build on success and try a solo ad. Expand the segment. Try a new ezine with a similar subscriber profile.
It’s an incredibly solid way to build your business.
Sure, you’ll still have to sell. You’ll still have to build trust and credibility. But some of the work will already be done for you.
And you can lower the bar and increase your ultimate sales numbers by using these ezine advertisements not for pushing traffic to your sales page . . .
But to a subscription or squeeze page. Or even a page on your blog that has a subscription box on the sidebar.
Which takes us back to step one. You are directing traffic to the place where you can ultimately forge the strongest relationship with your potential customers – and reap the biggest rewards from – your own house list.
So don’t make these mistakes in marketing. Build your business on the solid foundation of trust – which can bring you happy customers, ready to recommend you.
1. Work on your house list by developing an enticing optin. And focus much of your advertising on getting subscribers.
2. Get an introduction by advertising through an ezine. By joining Charlie’s Directory of Ezines, you’ll be able to do this strategically and easily.