You’ve worked hard to develop your knowledge, and you want to be compensated for it. It can be hard to give away your knowledge for free when you feel like you’re not getting anything in return. The benefits of giving away your knowledge for free are many – (1) validate an offer (2) it can be your most profitable marketing strategy too.
To clarify – when I say sharing value this is not talking about getting the “I want to pick your brain email.” This is someone asking you to give them free coaching and you should charge for that. Many coaches are initially nervous about this strategy, wondering what they will have left to ‘sell’ if they give away everything they know in free videos, lead magnets, and social posts; but I’m here to tell you that giving your knowledge away for free is possibly the most profitable marketing method you can use today.
Benefits of Giving Away Your Knowledge for Free
How many times have you opened your email only to find spam emails that you have to delete and block? Or the times have you opened your mailbox to find advertisements for credit card companies, that you then have to throw away? In today’s world, we get sales being pushed into our faces all the time. When you give away your knowledge for free, you’re not just providing value to your audience; you’re also:
- Building trust and credibility. People are more likely to buy from you if they know that you’re an expert in your field. By providing valuable information for free, you’re establishing yourself as a credible source of information.
- You are creating a more loyal following by building relationships with your audience
- Giving away knowledge for free can also get you referrals. If people like the free content you’re providing, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
- The bonus – giving away knowledge helps you to validate your offer/s!
The bottom line is that giving away your knowledge for free can help you build your business by building relationships.
Why it is a Profitable Marketing Strategy
Traditional sales methods no longer work like they used to however social selling (relationship-based marketing and sales) is all about building relationships. The most effective method of getting positive exposure to your business is to openly share your expertise and know-how with your audience. A great example is a famous chef on television, with their own best-selling recipe books like Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver. They publicly share their best recipes and their “secret” ingredients on television and in their books. They also demonstrate to you exactly HOW to make the best dish, yet many of us never follow it through. None of these successful chefs withhold their trade secrets because they know implementation is the thing most people struggle with. The same holds true for your prospects. You have the experience and expertise so even though you may be giving away knowledge few if any can implement it with ease. The ones who want to shorten their learning curve will see the value of following you and at some point, potentially investing with you.
How to Give Away Your Content Without Giving Away Too Much
When you’re creating content, it’s important to provide value to your audience. Here are a few tips for providing valuable information without giving away too much:
- Make sure that your content is helpful and relevant to your target audience.
- Keep your content focused on providing solutions to problems. ‘How to’ content is great but also include ‘why’ content.
- Use case studies and examples to illustrate your points.
- Stay up to date (and ahead of) the latest trends in your industry.
- Head off objections before they happen by answering questions in your content. (this is important!)
- Provide a lead magnet to give people a taste of your expertise.
- Make sure that you have an offer that is a natural next step
If you follow these tips, you can provide valuable information to your audience and begin to build a list of engaged followers to that you can make paid offers once you’ve built a relationship. Be sure to schedule time to brainstorm the different types of content you will share with your target audience. Pro-tip: an easy way to stay out of content overwhelm is to create one blog post (or video script) and then repurpose it! The free content you share should be a natural next step to your paid offers. Far too often I see ‘experts’ posting content that has little to do with the service they provide so be sure to think through your offers, content pillars, and content strategy first.
Outbound vs Inbound
In the marketing world, we have two terms to describe the flow of traffic, information and communication between you and your potential client – outbound and inbound. The easiest way to remember outbound marketing is that its cold outreach. Examples are seeing paid Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads pop up in your feed on the latest thing you’ve been searching for. You might also get a LinkedIn or Facebook message from someone pitching you their product or service and they don’t know you yet. It could be a billboard or a TV commercial. And of course the dreaded cold call. Inbound marketing is the process of helping potential clients to find your business. This frequently happens before they are even ready to buy when they are in the completely unaware or problem aware stage. Inbound marketing examples are:
- Content marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
- Opt-in email marketing for your lead magnet or newsletter
- Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
- Live video
- Web-based training like a webinar or workshop
Another inbound marketing example is when you go onto Facebook and visit a group or business page and engage on someone else’s posts. Not only does this feed the algorithm, but it also helps you to spark relationships!
Inbound marketing is always far more effective than outbound marketing, for a simple reason – with inbound marketing, your target audience is seeking the knowledge you provide.
When someone has gained knowledge from the free information you share, they will be more open to investing in services if you nurture the relationship. Even though paid offers are a very important part of your business, it’s worth giving content at the bottom of your funnel which will result in a larger payoff as your business grows. Giving away your knowledge could be seen as a ‘loss’ when you could be charging for it – but charging for it doesn’t make you ‘exceptional’, it just makes you another business.
Shifting from this short-term to long-term vision in your marketing is an investment you’ll thank yourself for. If you know you need a lead magnet but aren’t sure where to start, grab my LinkedIn Quick Start Guide + Canva Template here.