Are you searching for additional revenue streams to keep your business solid and secure in this ever-changing economy and uncertain world? Today, we are going to talk about how you can make money with white papers in your business.
First, let's get clear on what a white paper is. It is simply a report or guide that is authoritative and educational. They are used as a support guide for products that are sold, to create “leading authority” status for you in your industry or to simply share or teach.
You can use white papers (also known as an eBook) as a free giveaway in exchange for your prospects email address. You can use them as a stand-alone product to make money or you can combine them with other products or white papers to create information-based products.
4 Ways to Make Money With White Papers
Give it away for free! Don't skip this. There are easy ways to make money from a free report. Let's say you are a successful hair salon owner and you are wanting to drive new clients into the salon. You could write an eBook about how to choose the perfect hairstylist. Throughout the eBook, you insert links to your booking calendar and reasons that they should book with you. I'm not a big proponent of discounts but I do think that on the last page of the report you could offer a small discount for first-time clients.
Offer a white paper as an upsell or additional sell behind an online activity! If you are having people take action online, for example, they are booking an appointment, etc. You can write white papers that partner with what they are doing. Let's say you have a lawn service and you have your clients booking their appointments through your online calendar. Once they have scheduled they will see the confirmation page. On that page, you could offer a white paper about how to care for the 6 most popular types of grass in your area for $17.
Offer it as part of a followup behind a sale! It doesn't have to be an online sale. It doesn't matter whether you are selling a physical product or a service. For example, if you are selling life insurance, after selling a new client a life policy you should be following up to thank them and not to mention ongoing marketing opportunities. When someone buys life insurance they are in the process of thinking about their future. What if you offered them an eBook that takes them through a process of planning for the future.
Bundle several of them together and sell them as an information product. I have done this several times so I will use one of my mine as an example. My clients often ask me about social media marketing. I bundled 8 different white papers, covering topics from Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram. You can see how I sell it here.
Remember that the white paper is not a sales conversation. Use it as an educational tool that will then prompt someone to take the next step with you.
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Initial post June 2010, Updated August 2020