Actually, the headline should read: How to create the ultimate consumer
awareness guide. But that may have confused you. That is because most fence companies do not know about “consumer awareness guides”—and most will never create one.
It is also known by other names: Special Report; Free Report; White Paper; Guidebook; Information Guide.
Bottom line: a consumer awareness guide is more important than your traditional company brochure.
This is not your company brochure.
A brochure is all about you. It talks about your products, your services, your installation terms, your warranties—you, you, you and even more you.
Most company brochures are self-centered because they scream: “This is a sales message! This is a brochure about our fence company! Buy from us!”
A consumer awareness guide, on the other hand, is about your customers. It is written from the prospect’s point of view. It answers the real and unspoken questions every prospective buyer is asking.
What can a consumer awareness guide include?
1. Concerns your prospects may have about all fence companies in general. In a way, a consumer awareness guide is an exposé about the fencing industry.
2. Mistakes prospects should avoid while shopping for a fence.
3. Misconceptions about the fencing industry.
4. Scams prospects should be aware of in the fencing business.
5. Quality in the fencing industry. There are cheap products; there are expensive products. In your report, you can talk about these quality discrepancies.
6. Tips, hints, and ideas you can give to help prospects make the right buying decision.
7. Questions they should ask before buying from you or anyone else.
Benefits of a consumer awareness guide
• It positions you as the fencing expert and sets you apart from your competitors. Most of your competitors are trying to sell themselves. You will now be perceived as the expert, not the salesperson.
• The process of creating this guide helps you discover what you know and don’t know about your business and industry.
• It forces you to put into writing things you already knew and believed about the fencing industry.
• It is the kind of information your prospects are looking for. They know knowledge is power.
• It backs up what they can find on the Internet, but you put it in a format that makes it easy to digest.
• It “sells” you, but in a non-threatening manner. You are under the radar. They do not perceive it as a sales threat. It filters out the not-so-serious lookers and eliminates people who are buying solely on price.
• It will appeal to those who are willing to pay more for a better product and the knowledge you bring.
How to create your consumer awareness guide
Step 1: Answer the top 10 questions your prospects
continually ask about fences.
List the top 10 questions your prospects regularly and consistently ask—especially during the first call or visit. What are the most common questions you hear every day about fencing?
Step 2: List the fears your prospects are feeling.
Get inside your prospect’s head. What are some common fears prospects feel before buying? Your prospects are thinking and saying these things to themselves:
I don’t want to be RIPPED OFF
I don’t want some fence company to LIE to me
I don’t want to make a MISTAKE when buying
I don’t want any MISUNDERSTANDINGS
I don’t want the company to hide SECRETS
Step 3: Choose an irresistible title.
Choose a title that speaks to the fears and desires of your target market. What are you going to call your consumer awareness guide? The title is the headline for your guide. Possible titles:
Everything you need to know about fences
The 8 biggest blunders homeowners make when buying a fence—and how to avoid them
The definitive guide to buying a vinyl fence
10 things fence companies are hiding from you
5 ways to end up with the best vinyl fence
Step 4: Give your prospects a list of questions they should ask you as they buy a fence.
What are the questions you wish your prospects would ask you? This is different than Step 1. Those are the questions they normally ask. Now you should write down the questions you wish they would ask you and then write your answer to the question.
Step 5: Include an introductory letter.
Introduce you and your company. Establish your credentials. Show that you understand them. Tell them why you are writing this guide. Give them an overview of your guide. Tell them what to do after reading your guide and give your contact info.
Step 6: Tell them what to do after reading it.
What do you want them to do after reading your consumer awareness guide? Call? Visit? Come in for a consultation? Sample your product? Buy? No matter what you ask, you must ask them to take the next step in your sales process. Don’t assume they’ll know what to do next.
Step 7: Put it all together quickly and inexpensively.
Do one section at a time. Write a cover letter. Ask and answer the top 10 questions. List fears and dispel those fears. Give them a list of questions to ask and tell them what to do next.
Would you like FREE help on creating your consumer awareness guide?
Our in-house marketing expert at National Vinyl Products has created a detailed mini course on creating a consumer awareness guide. This course is free and includes a 22-page workbook, multiple audio tutorials, samples and step-by-step instructions on creating your consumer awareness guide from scratch. Contact your Territory Account Representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.