When people are proactively looking for your type of product or service, you already know their intent is to buy. But will it be from you? That’s precisely why sharing your expertise without expecting anything in return could grow your business.
With the combination of consumers needing to stretch their dollar further due to a retracting economy and looking for kinship among other people, more than ever, customers are buying based on trust. When you freely give advice on your blog or social media without expecting anything in return, you become a resource to your audience. By sharing your ups and downs during these wild times, you become relatable to your audience. When you post genuinely, you connect genuinely.
People want to buy from people, not from a faceless company. Through your genuineness, you can become your audience’s go-to when they’re ready to buy.
“But Damon. Why would I give away my expertise for free?”
Because you can’t lose.
There are three types of readers who will consume your content:
- You help someone, and they don’t become a customer. Good. You helped someone. Besides, this type of consumer was probably never going to be your customer anyway. So you never “lost them” to begin with. Yet, at least you helped someone.
- They found your content useful and will remember you when they are ready to buy, or they’ll refer someone to you who needs you now. Win.
- They become a customer. Win/win.
Show me the money!
I get it. These examples are theoretical. So I’ll give you real dollar examples.
My area of expertise is SEO. You can see that, in my articles about search engine optimization, I often give readers the exact answers to their SEO needs and with no call to action. I repeat this same approach on Facebook and LinkedIn. The following topics have led to the following deals:
- How to conduct SEO keyword research = $4,000 deal.
- How to analyze a competitor’s SEO strategy = $50,000 deal and counting ($2K/month retainer going on two years+)
- A roundup article featuring “24 SEO Value Bombs” = $66,000/year retainer and counting ($5,500/month going on one year+).
- How to align search engine optimized content with reader intent = attracted my newest SEO lead from a company valued at over $1 billion.
‘But my business is different.’
No, it’s not.
You may be saying that it’s easy for internet-based companies to share internet-based advice. But the same concept applies to any other industry.
- Talk about the secrets behind your favorite dish — why that one extra spice makes it a magical plate.
- Do a selfie video of you opening up your restaurant at 5 a.m. to get a headstart on the day. Talk about how you love seeing the shining stainless steel, all cleaned from the night before.
- Show how to replace a toilet flapper — you know, that $5 part that might be worth an $80 job for you but a massive headache for your customer because their toilet won’t stop running. That constant running noise is driving them crazy, and so is the added cost to their water bill. In “losing” those $80 deals by showing people how to replace their flapper for free, you gain a loyal audience that’s grateful for the wisdom you shared. And when their several thousand dollar mainline or water heater job comes along, you’ll be top of mind.
That last phrase is key: “top of mind.” By staying top of mind, your customers will come to you when they need you. If someone isn’t hungry, they’re not hungry. And when a plumber isn’t needed, a plumber isn’t needed. But when Italian sounds right or when that pipe bursts, by staying top of mind, your customers are much more likely to have you on speed dial when they’re in need because they now know and relate to you through your content.
Originally published by Damon Burton Forbes, July 6, 2020.