One of the biggest things I will ever say to everyone is you have to provide quality and value to your customer. Always. In every way that you can, you should be giving something away for free. Now, you may be asking, “How in the damn hell am I supposed to be making money at this business when you’re telling me to give something away for free at every turn?” Well, it’s quite simple. Providing value and freebies is not the same as not making money. I promise by the end of this post, this will make sense and if not, you can email me here to rip me up. I’ll take it like a champ and help clear things up where I can. Your brand should be woven into every piece of content you create and should be valuable to your dream client. (Not sure about your brand? I got you. Click here.) So go ahead, give away the kitchen sink because it comes back to you.
Am I Giving Away Too Much?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say more likely than not, you’re not giving enough away. See value plays a huge role for you as a business owner. There are three major reasons for this. The first, and maybe the most important, is the connection that it makes with not just your current customers, but your potential customers. It creates a genuine connection because there aren’t a whole lot of people in the world that would say no to valuable content that was written with them and their needs in mind. Developing quality content makes your audience appreciate what you have to give them for free so that when you have something to sell, again designed and produced with them in mind, they are far more likely to reach back out to you and say, “Count me in.” Second, providing value in all of you content and processes establish expertise for you and a sense of trust with your audience. I’m going to share with you a personal example of this. My entire education, I have been told do not write like I speak. Use my “big girl” vocabulary, don’t use contractions, don’t use slang, and sure as hell don’t write “holy moly” as often as I do. But how do I show you that I’m a person on the other side of this screen if I write like I’m writing a thesis? How do I explain to you what I have to share if I’m writing to you like I’m trying to bore you to death? I can’t. I have never in my life been so liberated as when I sit down at my laptop and just talk to you about information that I have to share. This content I create, I make it for you. Who are you more likely to trust? Research paper author Nicolina or that graphic designer and marketer that blogs about stuff you need to know about as a small business owner? I like this me better too. Third, value keeps people coming back. You keep offering amazing content, great advice, creative ways to use your product and the next thing you know, you have someone reading you regularly, or following you on social media, or emailing you to ask a question about something that you said in an interview. Value provides a sustainable connection which keeps people on your website longer, browsing your cleverly placed content upgrades, and moving closer to a purchase. Bottom line, just provide value. It benefits you, it benefits your customer, and it creates a win-win working relationship.
Not The Iceberg Method
When I first started developing this post I was going to go a different direction than I am now. I was going to talk about the Iceberg Method, which is when you jot down everything you know about a topic and give away the top 15-20% of it for free. Anything more than that, you should be charging. But honestly, the Iceberg Method has always made me feel a little icky. The first 15-20% of marketing and graphic design is like nothing. There is so much information available that if you had enough time and resources, most services and products could be replaced with something less expensive and more DIY oriented. But everyone is looking for a way to make the most impact in their lives and businesses with as much ease for them as possible. So if you want to bootstrap it and DIY the crap out of your business and you will succeed if you are willing to do the work. It may take a little longer and you will probably make more mistakes, but it’s doable. So I’m not going to write about the Iceberg Method here. I’m going to tell you how to make giving away the kitchen sink work for your business.
Creating Paid Content That Sells
You’ve curated the crap out of everything. You’ve been providing value at every opportunity. You’re building a little following and it’s really starting to look up for you. Now you’ve got this product or service to sell and you’re scared that no one is going to buy it because they are able to read your blog or social media for free. And yeah, they can. But you’ve been building a relationship based on an honest desire to share, not sell and when it comes time to say, “Hey I have this amazing thing,” they are going to be much more receptive than if you didn’t take the time to build a relationship first.
Not My Best
So this blog post kind of turned into a hot mess. Sorry about that. I know it’s not what I’ve been posting, but it felt right. And isn’t that why we share? Because it feels right? I want to share with you. And hopefully, you want the information that I have to give. Hang in there with me. Next week will be better. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for hearing me out and I hope you can take this post, decipher it, and really start giving away the kitchen sink knowing that your people will be right there, ready to support you when you do.