A good friend of mine recently wrote me a note. This person, I’ll call him Jerry, has been a friend for many years, and I consider him to be quite close. In his note, he told me that he wanted to start selling an e-book online. He wrote this book some years ago, and it is related to the business that he and his wife are in, and how being in business together was such a blessing for their relationship. Knowing Jerry, if he says this is the case, you can take it to the bank! He has always been very honest with me.
Jerry has never had much of an internet presence. Oh, he is on the net and he participates in some forums and online e-mail groups. That, in fact, is how we met. We went on to meet in person many times, and have formed a long lasting friendship. However, when it comes to selling something online, Jerry really has no presence to give him the credibility that he needs. As I said, he is a good and an honest guy, but frankly, other people don’t know that, and really wouldn’t know him from the next “get rich” schemer out there. Jerry doesn’t want to get rich, he just wants to sell a few e-books, and spread the good word of what has been good for him so that it will benefit others as well. Since Jerry is not well known on the net, though, others don’t know that he is trustworthy, and has something important to say.
As I said, Jerry has asked me what path he should take to make his goals become reality. Well, I think that I can help him accomplish this, but it’s going to be a longer path than what he expects, I think. You see, before starting to sell anything online, I think that Jerry needs to build up an online presence. He needs to establish at least one website where he can talk about the business that he is in, offer advice for others, and generally build up some credibility. You see, over time, if people visit his website and get advice and helpful hints from Jerry, they will soon come to know and trust him and his opinions. If he does this over a couple of years, he will garner quite a following of people who will genuinely want and appreciate the e-book that he wants to offer. Not only that, after they have come to know and trust Jerry, they will certainly pay more for the e-book than they would have without knowing anything about him. I know that when I run across a website trying to sell me advice, I generally browse off to a different site rather quickly. If I don’t know the author, how can I value his advice? However, if I go to a website that I visit regularly, and I have developed a trust, even a relationship with the author of that site, and I see that he is offering a new e-book, I am more likely to buy that.
At this point, Jerry is asking me about the mechanics of how to set up the sales of the e-book. The mechanics of accepting payments, offering the e-book for download, etc. I think it’s too early for Jerry to even think about this! Right now is the time to get online and build up a following.
What do you think? Do you have any advice for Jerry?