5 reasons why every business should offer a free eBook

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Offering a free eBook is a great marketing strategy for any type of blog or business - big or small.

If you want to drive growth, increase sales and conversions, then creating a free eBook is one of the most affordable ways to do it.

It's important to understand that a free eBook is a representative of your business. It is your voice on the Internet. As such, there is little point in creating an irrelevant, poor quality eBook for the sake of creating an eBook.

A good eBook provides value to potential clients. It should help them, engage them, inspire them, and above all, help to put them in a position to pick up what you are putting down.

This article highlight 5 reasons why creating a free eBook is a great idea to help your business, and shows various tips and tricks to creating the perfect eBook that will do just that.

5 reasons why offering free eBooks are good for business

Before we discuss some of the many benefits of creating a free eBook, it is important to note that creating an eBook is a time consuming task.

Not only that, but it requires intimate knowledge of your industry - because it needs to be directly relevant to your business in order to be effective as a marketing tool.

To learn more about how to save time, effort and money on creating eBooks, I recommend you read How to make money blogging with free eBooks - which highlights a way to combine your business blog with eBook creation.

1. Showcase expertise

Free eBooks should be packed full of awesome advice and information. This information should be highly relevant to your business or blog - and highly relevant to potential customers.

Think of a free eBook as a platform to show off. If there is something your business does well, talk about it. I'm not suggesting you divulge sensitive information, but there is always plenty of good information that a company can provide about their industry, how things get done, innovations, creativity, and so on.

An eBook is your time to shine. Demonstrate knowledge and skills so that anyone reading that eBook is left in no doubt that your business is competent and knowledgeable.

2. Alternative marketing channel

eBooks can get to places that other media can't. For example, consider making the eBook available on Amazon's Kindle store. This opens up a new market of Kindle readers - as opposed to people who read blogs, or visit websites.

eBooks can also take on a life of their own and go viral - provided it is sufficiently useful that people talk about it and share it on.

Think of an eBook as a distinct marketing vehicle to carry the message about your industry, niche and business.

3. Trust & Credibility

Trust and credibility are vital components in the business/customer dynamic. Businesses that are looking to generate sales and conversion online, in particular, have a difficult time getting people to part with their money, precisely because it is so hard to build trust over the Internet.

By showing off your expertise, and providing information of value to potential clients and customers, an eBook helps to build trust and credibility for you.

A potential client that has invested a few hours reading an eBook, and is happy that they have gained the information they wanted, is far more likely to view you as a credible source of expertise and information on that subject.

Being viewed as a leading expert in your niche, is an excellent way to gain trust and credibility, and, by extension, sales and revenue.

4. Opportunity to teach

An eBook is not only a showcase for your skills and expertise as a blogger or business. It is also an opportunity to teach potential customers how to work with you.

For example, you might consider writing about a real-life case study that lead to a successful conclusion for an existing client. Information like this is relevant to the reader, but it also tells them "this is how we work", "look how happy our customers are", and so on.

It is important that this message comes across without sounding like a sales pitch. Don't make the mistake of using an eBook for blatant self-promotion.

5. Open the sales funnel

As a result of being a distinct vehicle that carries your marketing message, an eBook is also an opportunity to cast a wider net than your current marketing initiatives.

For example, it may be that other organizations will find your eBook useful for their members. A highly focused information resource on any niche is likely to find a number of places where people will actively promote it due to its intrinsic value - think along the lines of a local chamber of commerce adopting your free eBook as it's own small business startup guide.

There's nothing stopping you adding a few links to a few of your own resources and landing pages, where it appropriate to do so. In this way, you are extending your sales net and opening up the sales funnel.

Have you created an eBook to help drive trust, credibility and awareness of your blog or business? Did the eBook sizzle of fizzle? Share your thoughts on how an eBook can drive new business and market blogs and businesses in the comments, or join me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to continue the conversation.