Are you giving plenty of free advice on your blog? Perhaps you’re worried it’s TOO much?
There’s two main reasons people worry about giving away too much:
- My competitors will steal my content
- My customers will take my free advice
Indeed, two valid concerns.
But are they a good reason to stop giving too much on your blog?
I say NO.
Consider the alternative: saving quality for paying customers
Let’s say you decide to save your best content for your paying clients. Essentially it means, you choose to put out your B material (crappy) content for free. That way your content will be:
- generic in nature
- shared by others, not just you
- dated or old-fashioned
- vague and lacking detail
Is that the image you want to put out to the world? Sharing sub-par content won’t appeal to potential customers. They’ll be running for the hills.
People know crap stuff. So they’ll doubt your ability and expertise. Please don’t do this.
The second alternative: putting out no content for fear of giving away too much in your blog posts
I had a client who was planning to delete his great blog advice and discontinue blogging.
This blog post is practically a transcript of my pleas to him to reconsider. He did. Relief.
If you stop blogging you:
- stop showing up as an expert
- miss the chance to prove your knowledge
- stop gaining trust from customers
- miss out on people potentially sharing and backlinking to your content
- reduce your website dwell time
- limit your chances of SEO
‘But my competitors will copy me’
Yeah, this really sucks. We all have competitors and yes, it’s astounding what copycats will do.
They will swipe entire blog posts and reproduce them. It’s kind of flattering. If it wasn’t so infuriating!
The worst part? Your audience won’t know who had the idea first. There’s no way to tell if YOU copied THEM. Insulting.
But if you don’t share content for fear of competitors? Then you risk also not showing up for your customers either.
My take on competitors
I can’t do anything to stop competitors. So I just have to keep sharing great stuff for my audience. Sharing free helpful stuff is more important. Stopping due to competition is letting them win. If you stop, they’ll find someone else to copy. They keep sharing (stolen) free helpful stuff. Meanwhile, you are silent.
You can reduce your chances of competitors copying by:
- writing blogs in a unique style that is unmistakably YOU – making the cut and paste impossible
- keeping an eye out for copycats and requesting they remove your content or give you a credit backlink
- sharing your frustration with your audience (sparingly) so they know you are not the copycat (and potentially calling out your competitor)
- being kind to your competitors and open to some sort of collab (I wouldn’t but it may
But really, the best approach is ignoring competitors and blissfully concentrating on your own awesome content. Keep innovating, keep learning, keep sharing and competitors can’t keep up.
But my customers will take my free advice
You WANT customers to take your free advice. Why?
Let me introduce you to Geri
She discovered you and follows you and reads your blog and social posts. She takes your advice and implements while never spending a cent on you. This is GOOD.
Geri can’t afford you right now but she wishes she could.
She believes in your content because she has used it for her own benefit. She’s a fan. She’s likely to:
- share your stuff with her audience
- endorse you with testimonials
- recommend you in her networks
- comment on your social posts
- subscribe to your newsletter
Geri may or may not become a client down the track. But in the meantime she amplifies your content to her audience. If someone asks her for your service, she confidently suggests you.
You need plenty of Geris in your world. They share your message and support you in non-financial ways.
Now, let’s meet Emma.
Emma finds you through Geri. Just like Geri, she consumes your free helpful stuff. Because you’re sharing awesome content, she starts to know, like and trust you. After she’s followed you for a while, she decides: I’m in. She’s convinced.
Unlike Geri, she has the budget and is happy to invest in your services. You need the Geri in your world so the Emma can find you.
So, stop resenting the customer taking all your free advice. They are a powerful part of your funnel.
What you can never give away for free
There is one part of your service you can never give away for free. Your customised advice.
I write blogs about blogging for small business every week. But what I can’t do? Offer a blog writing service that is tailored to YOUR business. Only paying client get my blogging strategy, keyword research and writing targeted specifically for their audience.
If someone reads your blog they get general advice. If someone pays to work with you they get SPECIFIC advice tailored to their situation. It’s the difference between:
- servicing your own car or hiring a mechanic
- cutting your own hair or using a hairdresser
- reading The Barefoot Investor versus booking a personal consultation with a financial planner
So sharing the free helpful stuff convinces people of the value of your expertise. It proves you know your stuff. Someone like Emma starts to follow you and consume your content. Then she thinks:
- ‘She sure knows her stuff’
- ‘I’ve tried her advice for free and it worked’
- ‘I’d love to know what she’d do for me’
- ‘I’m ready to work with her’
If it’s good enough for Google it’s good enough for you
Google gives away an insane amount of free stuff. It goes far beyond blog content. Google search is free. Gmail is free. Analytics is free. Search console is free. You get the drift.
By giving away free tools, Google becomes a brand we rely on every day. I reckon Google is a pretty successful company. So if it works for them, it can work for you.
So to summarise: giving away too much on your blog
You can never give away too much! It establishes your authority and expertise. It broadens your network. Customers who follow your free advice become your champions. Competitors? Don’t worry about them. (They are not a good reason to stop publishing quality blogs).
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