Every year in December, people start talking about Christmas and what it’s really about. For me, one of the most important aspects of the festive season (aside from spending as much time in our local pub by the log fire) is giving. It’s about giving gifts to people you love and looking for something that you can give them, which will make their lives better, easier or more fun.
The same applies to successful marketing. If you focus on what you can give, rather than what you might receive in return, you’ll find your marketing far more effective.
For many years I’ve believed that giving away your trade secrets is the best way to promote your business, especially when you provide a service such as coaching, consulting or training. How can this be? Why should you give it all away, instead of expecting people to pay for your time and expertise?
Look at this way – would you rather work with someone who starts by offering you free advice when you ask? Or the person who insists on you paying them first, before they will share even a scrap of knowledge with you? Giving away your expertise and experience will help you to build up a solid reputation, showing potential clients that you know what you’re talking about. Here are few examples of simple ways to do this:
Email Newsletters & Blogs – Our newsletter, Scribbles, isn’t about selling you anything. Every month, the focus is on giving you marketing tips that you can put into practice for your business. You can use a blog in the same way to give away advice. Pick a topic and go into it in detail, to really show that you understand it and can help other people to understand and implement it. If you don’t already subscribe to Scribbles, check it out here.
‘How to’ Guides, Downloads and Ebooks – One of my clients put together a really comprehensive guide to help people overcome the fear of putting up their prices. It’s free and is packed with advice. If you’d like a copy, click here to ask for one.
Social media – You can give away bite-sized pieces of advice through Twitter, LinkedIn updates and Facebook. Pick the channels where your clients and prospects hang out and use them to give away tips, rather than just telling the world how great your service is.
Videos – We’ve recently filmed some of our clients giving away lots of advice on the subjects in which they are experts. The videos are shared in their newsletters, on YouTube, through their social media channels and on their websites. Anyone can watch them and take away their advice to use. If you’d like to know about health and safety in your business, click here; for advice on networking, giving presentations and developing your career, click here.
Talks and Presentations – If you’re invited to speak at a networking event, or anywhere in front of an audience of potential clients, use the opportunity to give. Just as with written marketing, give away advice, share tips and answer questions. This year I was asked to run a number of webinars for different coaching and consulting organisations. The bit I enjoyed most was answering the questions of the people on the calls – giving them specific advice for their businesses. The next webinar I’m running will be on 24 January 2017. It will be free and will give you opportunity to ask me any questions you have about marketing your service business. Look out for more details in the January issue of Scribbles.
Many years ago I was given a brilliant piece of advice. I can’t remember who said it, but someone told me to treat all potential clients as if they’re paying clients. I’ve always followed that advice and continue to advise my clients to do the same. Think about what you can give away to your clients and your prospects and watch how your generosity is repaid. If you need help coming up with ideas on what you can give away, call us on 01635 578 500 or click here to email us – and we’ll give you lots of free advice!