Scan 2016-1-21 10.46.17A giant mistake I often see businesses make is confusing “product education” with “content marketing.”

Product education is when your marketing messages are about YOU and YOUR product. Oh sure, you might be telling the prospects about how your product will help them save money, save time, be more efficient, separate them from the crowd, and make the opposite sex wildly attracted to them…but it’s still all about YOU.

Content marketing is when the focus of the message is about the PROSPECT and seeing the world through his or her eyes. Content marketing is about providing information that is immediately useful whether it involves your product or not. Content marketing is about providing information that solves problems, guides prospects to new and better solutions, makes their lives easier, with NO DIRECT IMPLICATION that they need your product to do so.

People do business with people they KNOW. People do business with people they LIKE. People do business with people they TRUST.

We all know this. But just as important to know is people do business with people they know, like, trust, and REMEMBER.

If they don’t know you or like you, then your first objective is to develop those by establishing you can be trusted. I wrote about establishing yourself as a TRUSTED AUTHORITY in a recent newsletter. You can do that before they even know you or like you. And even more powerful…when they see you as CREDIBLE, they will always remember you. Then when the lightning bolt comes out of the sky, hits them in the head and they say, “I NEED that solution RIGHT NOW!”…they think of you first.

That’s the power of content marketing.

I’ve often shared about using Lead Magnets as highly effective trust-building tools. Below is a link to very good, but IMNSHO misused, lead magnet on LinkedIn.

Short and sweet, Greg Bennett, shares what he calls, “The 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Rental Management Software.” Notice how these questions ostensibly could be used when interviewing any possible provider. That’s very helpful for the prospect! But Greg does the smart thing and makes questions four and five to fit his company top benefits.

This is just like way back when I was primarily a trade show consultant. I wrote a piece for Exhibitor magazine titled, “The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Trade Show Consultant.” We received calls for several years from people who used this list. They interviewed me not even noticing my name as author of the article! And guess what. I fit my own criteria very well!

So this is an excellent example of a lead magnet. The mistake I believe Greg makes is by simply posting this in LinkedIn’s Pulse. Instead I think he should have OFFERED the list to his connections on LinkedIn, maybe his Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and even run some Facebook Ads with the offer. Get people to exchange their emails for the 5 Questions! Then he would have a very strong target list for follow-up.

Read the post. Then STEAL the concept for your own company.