“The paradox is the more info you give away; the more people will buy what you have to give …” -Brian Clark
Concerned about giving so much info away that no one will work with you or buy from you?
First thing's first: this is a fairly common concern for owners with all things limited: time, money, resources like interns or employees. Heck, even when resources are abundant, a business owner still wants and needs to make some profit from their efforts, right?
One of the biggest struggles owners deal with is finding the line between how much information to provide their audience and how much to keep. But this initial fear doesn't take the paradox (mentioned above) into account.
Many people have a fear that if they provide their too much information, their audience might not have the need to come back for more information, or to connect or to buy anything
. There are lots of components that can (and do) scare the socks off of some owners, and we'll cover those in later posts, but for here & now...let's address the fear of "if I give it all away, no one will buy it".
Allow me to explain with the concept of Show and Tell...and share the magic question.
Show and tell
The concept of show and tell may sound immature, but it's incredibly effective.
We're in an age of show and tell on social media, if you haven't noticed. However, much of the problem with business marketing is that they Show and Sell, vs. Show and Tell. Instead of sharing knowledge, they "share" a pitch for a sale.
When we were kids in school and brought in a toy for Show and Tell, it was in an effort to share something about ourselves that would give insight to others.
We didn't trudge to the front of our kindergarten class with our favorite stuffed bunny and describe all of its features then offer a "helluva price for the first kid to raise their hand." (I didn't, anyway.)
We shared. We showed. We told.
And then went back to our seat and someone else took a turn.
So what happens online when we Show and Tell?
You demonstrate your expertise
You are an expert, and your audience is not. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you are helping to make a connection with readers who are looking to soak up more information. By reading, learning from you and connecting with you, you are building trust with your audience, reader by reader, through that information exchange. They are getting to know you, how you work, how you think...and how you do business.
A reader gets the answers they want - from you! - while they get to know your brand or business. When a reader gets a sense of your brand while learning something from you, this is a win for your business.
That reader has actually given you two forms of valuable currency: their time and their attention
...And what's going on while they are giving you time and attention? They are also determining whether or not your business/solution/information is a "good fit" for them and their needs. They are asking, consciously or unconsciously, "Are they my people? Am I comfortable with this answer or this option? What else do they have for me to consider?"
This is not a slam-dunk to getting a new customer. But it could be a step closer.
You may just be developing some trust here (more on that in a bit)...yet another form of valuable currency.
2. When they read your content about how you fix "x", or determine "y", or regulate "w", a potential customer gets insight into exactly what's required to perform the work, or solve their problem, at hand.
Sure, some people may want to "do it themselves," and you'll have given them the next step or two in the process. But not everyone wants to do it themselves. Or, maybe they want to be assured that you are an expert who does a thorough job....and your content and sharing is an opportunity to assure them of your professionalism....a way to boost your own credibility.
Or, they may come in thinking they want to do it themselves, but when they discover how much work it is, they decide to hire you instead (I found this to be very true when I was managing social media accounts).
What's happening is, you're simply making the first public move to show and tell. You're offering your insights, expertise, perspectives and some of your solutions in a way that helps inform people about what it is they are looking to learn or decide on.
Enter: Strategy...& the magic question
The main question I ask to kick a strategic content plan is:
What does my customer need to know about this business or company in order to help them connect to it, either based on curiosity, emotion or entertainment?
And later on in my planning, I'll ask the very same question about specific products or services as well:
So, if you think of your content not as giving your audience all of the information they need, but rather sharing tips and offering a helping hand. Show and tell how you are an expert, and with your care and some guidance, they will make better, more informed decisions, one of which may be to work directly with you one day.
You can help to coach them through your words, and in turn they will either connect with you, or self-select away from you. The ones who connect will stay and you, if you work at it, will earn more of their trust.
When a little trust is built, they will know who to turn to when they’re ready to take the next steps on their journey.
They will turn to you.