Give it all away; that’s probably not advice you’re looking for. But what if I told you that giving it all away was the best way to succeed with Social Media Marketing? What if giving it all away was the best way to find your Ideal Client?
So what do I mean by “give it all away?” That term is vague at best.
What I mean when I say “give it all away” is that you need to share all of your knowledge and expertise. You need to tell the world everything you know about what you do. And you need to give it away for free.
Do you design custom homes? Tell me what I need to know about zoning issues related to building my new home. Demonstrate for me how to lay out an open floor plan. Tell me how to select the best builder. Explain to me what I need to plan for so I can age in place. Show me the 5 most critical details in the construction of my new home.
Write blog posts, post photographs to Instagram, upload videos to YouTube; use whatever Social medium best highlights your expertise.
So, do you think I’m crazy?
I figure this idea will probably have the hair on many a business owner’s neck standing on end. You’re an expert. You’re entire business is based on being paid for what you know that your clients don’t know.
Hear me out. I’m not talking about working for free. I’m talking about putting your skills, your talents, and your expertise on display so that when your Ideal Client finds you they recognize your value.
I’m talking about giving it all away so that your Ideal Client can find you.
Do you know Marcus Sheridan? He got into Social Media Marketing in 2008 when the economy was crashing and he was in danger of losing his swimming pool business.
His company has since become one of the most successful in the country because of Marcus’ very simple mantra: “They ask. You answer.”
Marcus and his partners sat down and made a list of 200 questions that customers and prospective clients asked their sales people, their office staff and their installers. That’s a pretty extensive list of FAQ’s. Their goal was to answer every question they’d ever been asked.
They gave away all their knowledge. Today it’s hard to google anything related to swimming pools (especially fiberglass pools; their niche) and not have Riverpools and Spas pop up at the top of your search results.
If you’re thinking about building a pool your research will lead you to Marcus’ company. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge about pools in general and Riverpools and Spas products and services specifically. They even provide a free buying guide on their website.
By the time you leave their website:
- You’ll be well educated about swimming pools.
- You may decide that a new pool is beyond your budget.
- You may decide that a fiberglass swimming pool isn’t right for you.
- You may decide that you’d rather work with one of Riverpools and Spas competitors.
OR, you may decide that Marcus and his crew are the most open and knowledgeable swimming pool company around and that they’re the company for you.
How would you like it if everyone that called you was already educated about your process and had already decided that they wanted to work with you?
Would that help your business by cutting down on the number of potential client interviews and cutting down on the amount of time you spend meeting with people you may never hear from again?
Would that help your business because you’d be able to spend that time on billable projects rather than meetings that you’re not getting paid for?
Are you still worried?
Jay Baer is one of the smartest marketing minds in the business right now. He owns Convince and Convert in Bloomington, Indiana. I like the way he puts it:
“Giving somebody the list of ingredients doesn’t make them a chef.”
“Knowledge and expertise is not the same thing. No one can steal your expertise.”
Putting your expertise on display, giving away your knowledge is not going to hurt you.
Still not convinced?
Build LLC is an Architecture firm that’s giving it away. Check out the Build Blog. It’s a wealth of resources about designing and building architecture.
Build provides tools like the “Residential Construction Budget Cheat Sheet.” Wouldn’t you love it if your Clients came to you with a realistic, refined budget? They publish information like their Case Study House(s). This is where they outline the project process, timeline and cost from start to substantial completion. And they suggest design ideas, examples and accessories that match their architectural style.
Once you’ve spent some time on the Build Blog you’ll not only know what Build is all about and how they work, but you’ll be an educated Client.
How valuable is a prospect that already knows and identifies with your style; that understands your value and your process; that walks in the door educated and with realistic expectations about their project timeline and budget?
Is “giving it all away” worth it?
What are you giving away? How are you displaying your expertise? Do you need help figuring out the best way to highlight your skills and knowledge?
Original Image Credit: Lane Hartwell