Maybe you already disagree with my point of view just from the title of this blog post. Maybe the idea of sharing all your “proprietary” knowledge and expertise seems ridiculous to you. Because maybe you have the notion that if you give away all the answers, no one would need to buy your service anymore!
This couldn’t be further from the truth. If it were, 70% of consumers wouldn’t say they feel closer to the sponsoring company who produces content, 90% of consumers wouldn’t find custom content useful and 78% wouldn’t believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them… but, in fact, they do!
Here are more compelling reasons why you should give away all your advice and never look back:
Solving people’s problems builds trust
Consider this: You are a service provider in a sea with many other service providers who are providing the same service to the same target audience. If your target audience doesn’t already have a warm introduction to your business, how are they going to learn about you? More importantly, why would they consider and choose your business over anyone else?
When you produce helpful content, you have the potential to intersect with your ideal client at their exact time of need. When you help by answering someone’s question or you solve their problem, you establish credibility and start building trust with your audience. When you regularly offer your expertise willingly, people know they can turn to you when they need you.
Regardless of whether or not someone has even spoken to you yet, you can begin building trust by simply being a reliable resource and showing (not telling) your audience how you work and what you’re like. That’s reason enough to give away your knowledge bombs!
Teaching others positions you as the expert
Aside from acquiring new clients, perhaps another goal of yours is to be featured in the media as an industry thought leader and expert in your field. In order to be known as an expert, you have to share what you know! Scientists publish their research. Academics publish articles and essays in prestigious journals. Experts write guest articles for major publications and speak at conferences.
Writing leads to speaking. And you can’t write in vague cryptic rhetoric. You must offer up material of substance and value! The Wall Street Journal isn’t going to ever pick up the phone and call Joe Vanilla who no one knows about to ask his opinion on the stock market and the impact on investors. Plain Jane isn’t going to be asked to keynote at the next big industry conference if there is zero evidence of her expertise and style available to sample.
Give it away, folks. Just let it go and let it rip. More opportunities will come to those who put themselves out there.
People are looking for answers before they’re looking for you
Isn’t that the truth! Contrary to what the ego would like to hear, people are researching to find answers to their problems before they are researching you. People would rather read an interesting article or watch a funny video before they read your sales pitch or company values. Keep in mind that your advice is what can draw people to your business so that they want to read your sales pitch and company values, but in order to do that, they need to know about you first!
Giving away your advice makes it possible for you to show up in search results when your audience is Googling their queries, like: “When should I get a financial advisor?” “What’s the difference between a realtor and a real estate agent?” “Family law attorneys in [insert city].” Show up where your ideal clients are by offering your advice on the things they most want to know about.
Understanding something doesn’t mean they don’t want a professional
And remember, just because people understand what you do or even how you do it, doesn’t mean they want to do it for themselves or can do it as well as you. Plenty of people know how to bake cookies, but that hasn’t slowed the success of bakeries or cookie manufacturers.
You and your business provide value offering a service that people are willing to hire a professional to handle on their behalf. So, don’t think of your content that shares your advice and know-how as an alternative to your service. Instead, see it as the vehicle that drives awareness of your business and awesomeness! It lets your audience know that you know what you’re doing and can help them. It actually helps convince them to work with you. The people who would rather DIY their finances, legal issues, and real estate transactions aren’t your ideal client anyway, so don’t worry.
So, go for it. Give it all away. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you get back in return.