Once a cherished project such as your first ebook or ecourse has been completed, we need to turn our attention to the marketing of your project.
Here's where things sometimes turn somewhat difficult if the author and the marketeer are one and the same person, and here's where we have to be cautious and take the right steps in the right order, so we might stay on track.
In order to write ANY form of marketing material for your ebook or course, you need to be completely FAMILIAR with all the benefits of your product.
Now it seems obvious that the author, of all people, SHOULD be familiar with the benefits but there is such a thing as over-familiarity, as well as having been immersed in the project for a long time and thus not seeing the proverbial forest for the trees any longer.
I was assisting just such an ebook author and absolute AUTHORITY on writing their major sales page the other day, and I was astonished that they couldn't answer certain basic questions I put to them, such as:
"How many chapters are there in your book?"
"How many pages does your book have?"
"How many illustrations?"
"How many words?"
"What's the ISBN?"
The answer was always something along the lines of, "Ahm ... I guess I could look it up ..."
These are the kind of "technical details" that are handled in a publishing house by "other people" - but of course, in web publishing they need to be known EXACTLY by the author, because these things comprise the "technical specifications" of the product and a prospective purchaser might well enquire or need to know up front before they make their buying decision.
But that's just an example and in a way, it is the tip of the iceberg.
What became very apparent was that the author in question had missed out on the first step of ANY marketing analysis.
This important step, which is the core topic of this article, is ESSENTIAL to be able to write any form of advertising copy, to target the correct audiences with the correct approach and to market the product, full stop.
This first step is called "the benefits extraction".
*** How To Do The Benefits Extraction ***
You need a printed out copy of your book or course, PLENTY of empty pieces of paper, a big pot of coffee and then, you take off your author's hat and instead, you put on your marketing hat and go through the text, ONE PARAGRAPH AT A TIME, and "extract" ALL the benefits that could possibly accrue for the reader/user/learner AND all they come into contact with *if they follow the advice and procedures outlined* exactly.
There is a HUGE range of potential benefits that can and will be found in this process, and even before we get into the text and content itself, there's also benefits such as:
Good sized print - easy to read for older people, avoid headaches!
Good use of white space - easy on the eye, relaxing reading
Well structured - information flow is logical, and thus easy to understand and learn
Fully indexed - things are easy to find, you can quickly get to what you need to know.
Helpful diagrams and illustrations - pictures say more than a thousand words ...
... and so on.
Once you get into the content, you will notice that sometimes, a single sentence or paragraph hides a MAJOR benefit, such as:
"The SINGLE little known SECRET to all your marketing problems!" (Page 23)
Take your time and keep backing up and asking yourself over and over again, "What BENEFITS will the reader/user get from this?"
Immediately, short term, long term?
Don't stop with things like,
"Reader will learn how to use the snarkometer ..."
That's not a benefit.
A benefit is what happens WHEN you use a snarkometer as its creator designed it to be used - so the benefit might be:
"Reader will be able to capture even well hidden, rare and elusive snarks."
From there, you can go on to further future benefits, such as:
"Reader will become famous and rich from his snark sales."
That's the point, after all!
*** Sorting Out Your Benefits ***
If you do this properly, you will find HUNDREDS of benefits, big and small, and for all sorts of different applications, situations and people, and from all sorts of different angles, in ANY decent ebook or ecourse.
You will have them all written down, as they come, with the referencing page numbers on your many sheets of paper.
Now it's time to sort them out.
Firstly, go through your list and find the MAJOR benefits that would make the best HEADLINES and major bonus lists.
As soon as you've got those, your advertising and marketing falls into place because now you know WHAT IT IS THAT YOU ARE SELLING!
"Deep down", of course you knew that all along but it's extraordinary how "deep down" this stuff often is and how hard one has to dig to get it out of the authors to bring it to the surface!
Pick out the top ten benefits and transfer them to a new sheet of paper.
Now, pick the next 20 or so which will become benefits in lists on pitch pages, or will be laid end-to-end in classifieds and sales letters.
Finally, take all the rest and sort them out in any way you want.
You might find that a particular market emerges that you hadn't thought about before with their OWN benefits list that is quite separate from the general main benefits, and where you can then market your product accordingly.
You might well find material amongst those benefits that you can use to write articles or engage in customer "education" - explain how and why these benefits arise in separate articles so they get to appreciate what you do and how VALUABLE your product really is.
You will find ideas, headlines, tag lines, and pure advertising GOLD COPY in this benefits extraction and analysis.
And once you are done, NOW you are ready to write REAL advertisements of all kinds - and you'll find that now you ACTUALLY KNOW what your product is from the marketer's standpoint, you'll also be able to SELL IT TO OTHERS.
Oh, and one more thing.
A benefits extraction is also possibly one of THE most motivational and exciting things any author or creator can do for THEMSELVES.
Yup, it's all true. It really is THAT good, and it REALLY has all those benefits!
It'll do the world for your self confidence AND for YOUR ability to start shouting about the amazing benefits of YOUR amazing product from the rooftops - and that in turn, leads to a whole lot more sales, more money in the bank, more joy and freedom and love all around!
So if you have not yet done your word-by-word extreme benefits extraction, go for it NOW.
It is absolutely THE FIRST STEP to ALL future marketing.
Good luck and surprise blessings,