When you’re about to launch a new product or service, you need some buzz.
Sure, you can use your blog to mention your plans a few times leading up to the launch. You’ll probably ask some fellow bloggers to write reviews. You’ll use your best copywriting techniques to craft pitches for your blog and email list, and send as many people as you can to the sales page on the day of the launch.
That’s all good.
But there’s also a more subtle route.
You can generate interest in what you want to promote without actually mentioning it — and you can start building that interest long before you’re ready to announce it’s on the market.
Blog about the problem
Every product or service should address a problem that your potential customers have.
(Note: if your product or service doesn’t address a problem, you don’t have a good product or service yet. Please go back and try again.)
Quite often, your customers don’t realize yet that they have this problem.
For example, my friend John Hoff created a product to help bloggers protect WordPress blogs from hackers. He knew that blog hacking is a problem many people have, but most bloggers don’t know they’re at risk.
For John, a bunch of guest posts around the web and a series on common ways blogs are hacked would have worked well to build some buzz for his product.
By the end of the series, readers would be getting a little concerned. “Hey, maybe this is something I should look into. This might happen to me, too.”
Then John could pop up with a nifty solution to the problem, and those worried people would be grateful.
A little education saves him the trouble of convincing customers that they need the product, and it benefits the reader at the same time. His sale gets infinitely easier — and he gets a bunch of informative blog posts, traffic, and readers out of the deal as well. Sweet.
Blog about the solution
When you blog, be sure to mention solutions to problems you’re going to solve.
You don’t need to go into step-by-step lessons and give every single answer away. That’s usually something you save for the product or service itself.
But you definitely should talk about what to do, and then sell how to do it. Blog about what solutions you think are best for different angles on the problem. Then sell them your expertise in the best way to go about carrying out those solutions for themselves.
This approach lets you show readers that you know what needs to be done. And your confidence lets them see that you have a very good idea of exactly how to do it.
Blog about the client
A good way to reinforce the impression that you have expertise is by blogging about clients you’ve already helped. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Case studies: Write up a story about a problem your client came to you with, and how you solved that problem. You don’t need to give away all your tricks, but be specific about what problem the client had (she had pests in her garden) and what you did (you eliminated pests completely). You don’t need to go into every nitty gritty detail of how you did it (you released ladybugs in her garden), but a few well-chosen specifics will make the story more compelling.
- Interviews: If your client is willing, do a full-scale interview centered around the topic of the problem and post it to your blog. Ask your client what it was like to live with this problem. Ask her what she’s learned and what she would do differently next time. Her story will help your potential clients see the value of what you’ve got.
By the time you’ve spent a few weeks blogging on topics that relate to the problem you’re about to solve, your readers will be fully informed and ready to buy. And you won’t need to beat them over the head with pushy sales talk. That’s a win for everybody.