It’s all the rage to talk about how to get lots of people to visit your website and engage with it. Yet the fact remains that visits, hits, tweets, likes, and shares don’t fuel a business--money does. While building an online presence is vital to success in the 21st century, you ultimately need to turn your followers into customers.

The first step to persuading an online visitor to pay for what you’re selling is to get them to make a commitment of some kind. Often this is simply a matter of asking them to provide their contact information in exchange for a piece of content that is more substantial than what they can obtain every day on your regular site or blog.

It’s no secret that people will give up information online for a hefty offering that will improve their lives or businesses. It might be an e-book or a “100 Tips” piece (e.g. 100 Tips For Turning Your Visitors Into Customers). Whatever form you do choose, it’s got to be weighty, lengthy, and extremely useful.

How to Move Followers Forward

What typically keeps businesses from creating this sort of lynchpin content is the time involved. It’s one thing to ask an employee to create a five hundred-word blog post every so often; it’s another to add a fifty-page document on top of someone’s regular job duties.

When people think of the work required to do this kind of online customer building, they often push it to the bottom of the to-do list … indefinitely. However, creating “big ticket” content is only prohibitively time consuming when you place the responsibility for the project on only one or two people in the organization.

Instead, crowdsource the content of this content across your company. For example, if you’re producing a fifty-page e-book that offers “100 Great Tips,” have each employee contribute one or two nuggets of wisdom for his or her own experience. If two heads are better than one, imagine what five, ten, or fifty can come up with. The result is that you will be able to quickly and steadily produce the kind of free giveaways that move your online fans one giant leap closer to becoming paying customers.