This is part 4 of our series on getting your online holistic nutrition business off the ground. Part 1 covered gaining clarity on what your unique gifts are and who your ideal client is. Part 2 covered getting your social media and website up and running. Part 3 was about deciding on the product, programs, and services that you want to offer.
Today’s post, part 4 of the series, is about creating free resources. This is probably what you will be spending most of your time on, especially in the early stages of your business. Creating free content is essential for drawing people in to your business. It’s important that you don’t just create tons of content without a plan though. We want each hour that we spend creating free content to be very intentional and something that moves the needle in our business. You don’t want to spend tons of time on something that isn’t doing anything for you. That’s why we are going to lay out our plan for creating free resources today.
Why is it important to create free resources? We touched on this a little bit in previous parts of the series, but the main reason you want to create free resources for your audience and potential customers is to not only establish that you are an expert in your field and your particular niche, whether that’s gut health or women’s health or sports nutrition, etc., but you also want to give your audience members a quick win. When you offer up free resources that are genuinely helpful to your exact ideal client, you show your audience that you are capable of helping them with the exact problems that they are struggling with.
Your audience needs to know that you understand them and that you have the skill-set to help them with whatever health issues they are facing before they decide to work with you. In marketing, we talk about the “Know, Like, and Trust Factor”. In order for a person to buy something from a business or individual, they need to know, like, and trust them. This is why social media plays a big part in your online business: they get to know you and begin to like you. When you create a free resource that helps your audience take the first step or two, you’re building that trust factor. Keep this in mind as you think of ideas for free resources. You want whatever you create to be helpful enough that it can build their trust in you so that they can feel ready to purchase your services. You also need to know who your ideal client is so that these free resources are specific to them.
You can create all the free content you want, like blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, and more, but if you don’t have a clear direction or next step for your audience members to take then you are not maximizing each piece of content. It takes a lot of time and effort to create free resources. Maximize the time you spend doing this by ensuring that there is a clear goal in mind. When we’re talking about the goal in this case, we want the goal to be that the audience member decides to purchase your product, program or service.
When you are creating your blog posts and ebooks and podcast episodes, keep this goal in mind. You want to build the trust factor through the resource itself, and then offer up your paid services as a natural next step. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you specialize in helping new moms get their energy back through proper nutrition. Then you might create a free 7-day meal plan and recipe book that they can download. In the email that you send the meal plan in, or even in the meal plan document itself, you are going to include the next step that your audience members can take. It might sound like “Want to keep up the momentum with your nutrition? Click here to take the next step by signing up for one-on-one coaching with me so we can work on your goals together”. You might also write blog posts that teach your ideal client, new moms, about foods that boost their energy and foods that might decrease their energy. At the bottom of these blog posts, you’ll include the same thing. You’ll invite them to take the next step by purchasing your program or services.
Your goal is to turn audience members into paying clients. Always keep this in mind and make sure to leverage every piece of free content you create by including how they can take the next step: working with you. Next we will talk about how to actually create free resources that make your audience members want to become paying clients.
There are different types of free resources that you can create. I recommend doing what you genuinely enjoy doing. Here’s what I mean: if you hate writing, setting a goal to write 3 blog posts per week is not going to go over well. You’re the boss here, don’t make your job miserable! Your audience members will fall in love with you when you do the work that you love. They can feel it through their screen, trust me.
Different types of free resources have a different amount of “perceived value” to your audience members. For example, a short blog post about 5 different foods that help your immune system has a “lower perceived value” than a free 7-day meal plan with a recipe book. You’ll want to create some of each. I suggest taking one format of a “lower perceived value” resource that you really enjoy creating and creating them regularly. For me, for example, I love to talk so the free content that I make most frequently, and is considered “low perceived value”, is my weekly podcast episode. You could write blog posts or make videos or record podcast episodes. Choose whatever you could do at least once per week that can educate and provide some value for your audience.
You’ll also want to create one “high-value” freebie. This is usually something like an ebook guide to a specific problem, a 7-day meal plan and recipe book, a 7-day video course, or a 10-day challenge that is emailed to them with prompts each day. You can get creative here. The main goal with your “high perceived value” freebie is that it is highly actionable so that they can try out your suggestions and build some trust in you. Don’t make it overly elaborate, complicated, or long-term. Your goal with a “high-value” freebie is to get your audience member a quick win that makes them want to take the next step by purchasing your program or service. Remember your goal and always include how the audience member can take the next step to become a paying client within the text of your emails or the freebie itself.
To actually create your “high value” freebie, just know that you don’t need to make it overly fancy or complicated. You can even just create a PDF file with text and images in Microsoft Word or Google Docs that you email to the audience members who sign up for it. You can also just email them every day for 7 days with one task to do for their 7-day challenge. Canva is a free and easy online tool that you can use to make well-designed and aesthetically pleasing ebooks and recipe books if you want to make your freebie a little fancier.
Then, simply download your PDF files and email them to your audience members. You can set this up to happen automatically with your email provider like MailChimp, Flodesk, Convertkit, or any other email provider. Your audience member will click on a link to a sign up form, enter their email address, and your email provider will automatically send your pre-written email with the PDF downloads or the written prompts that you have created.
This may sound a bit complex, but I promise you it’s not. There are just 3 things you need to do.
Keep it simple, keep it specific, keep it helpful, and remember to invite your audience member to take the next step by purchasing from you and you’re all set.
Contributed by Melanie Maxwell, R.H.N.