Give your knowledge away

Give your knowledge away

There is compelling evidence that the information sales age is over. With the growth of freely available information on the Internet, where you can research any subject and understand the basics of ‘how it's done’ quickly, the days of companies holding onto and trying to sell information are over.

But if people can simply research how to do things themselves doesn’t this mean we are all heading for unemployment? Well, potentially, however, despite the DIY option being available, service companies still prosper.

Running a business in the age of open research means that you have to become a provider of free information. This goes beyond having a website that simply tells people what you can do or how they will benefit from your activity. That is expected as standard. What people are looking for more and more is education.

If you remember ‘Joe 90’ from the early 60’s, it was a TV show in which a young boy had the mind of an expert ‘beamed’ into his head so he could do things beyond his skills and experience. Substitute the client for the boy and the Internet for the beam, and you have the same thing now. We live in the age of the instant expert where sadly people believe the first thing they read on the first website they come to and hold that up as the yardstick in their research.

Maybe in the coming months, I will write about ‘how to surf online’, but for now it is enough to say that you need to position yourself as an education resource first and a selling machine second. You need to become the giver of knowledge. Think about it, you were never going to capture 100% of the market, so if you educate potential clients about what you do and make a case for how you do it, there is more likelyhood those who won’t DIY could come to you.

We all know that working with informed customers, as opposed to customers who think they can do your job themselves after ½ an hour on Google, gives a more pleasant business relationship. The clients will understand what you do, which means you can impress them with your implementation. Once you have developed a tactful way of correcting their errors, most of which are caused by them guessing based on partial knowledge, you will build stronger and more loyal clients than you have ever had.

For example, we give away a 48-page book on how to write the content of your website. It is a free download, and you can go to our website now and download it. We don’t even use the old marketing trick of trying to capture your email address so we can spam you to try to win your business. We truly believe that once a client reads and understands what is involved in building an effective website they will seek the help of a professional company, we hope it is us because they have been exposed to our knowledge. They also understand the process we will use when they choose to work with us, which removes confusion and adds to the cooperative nature of our work.

What information could you give away freely that would help your target customer to become more educated about the intricacies of what you do? Often giving them the keys to the kingdom allows clients to see what is involved and they decide that it might be better to get you to rule while they will stand and watch you. At this point, they accept they need to pay you for your services as ruler.