The information may be free, but the company puts a wall up between you and their knowledge. It is free but not really. You have to give up your information.
Hey, I am guilty of the same thing. But then I read an article that put it in terms that I understood.
The blind date wants something from you before you even know if you are interested.
Asking for someone’s email address and contact information before they have a chance to read your white paper or free e-book is the same thing.
Creates an interesting visual, doesn’t it?
So how do you get their information?
Ask for it afterwards.
As soon as I finish this blog post, I’m going to make sure my white papers are set up the same way – but here is the trick…
Offer a free paper, book or article without asking for anything in return. (Ask David Meerman Scott how successful that approach was for him – wildly!)
You have to assume that your information is valuable and when people read it they will be blown away by your brilliance and want to learn more. They will be so impressed, they will forward it on to a friend. That’s the social part.
At the end of the article, before they’ve left the page, invite them to click on a link for more of your brilliance and then ask for their email address.
Back to that blind date – he takes you out, you share a meal and conversation and you find that he is witty and smart and entertaining. He brings you back home and asks if you’d like to go out again.
At this point, you have a better understanding of what you are getting yourself in for and now you can say yes or no with more knowledge.
Same thing with your articles or white papers or e-books.
Give it a try and see if people aren’t more willing to read what you have to say and provide their email address more often. Give them a chance to see what you know before you ask for something in return.
Be accessible without creating a barrier or series of hoops that people have to traverse before learning more about you.