Free information (or content) can be a very powerful way to set you and your business apart from your competitors and inspire the needed confidence in your prospects.
Most prospects when assessing a potential supplier need to feel confident that you can deliver the best service or product for them.
Content goes a long way to demonstrating your understanding and highlighting your expertise. It can be delivered in many forms such as:
- Blog articles
- Audio (MP3 or CD)
- Videos on YouTube
- Presentations on SlideShare
- Seminars and talks at networking events
The issue is, as has been raised by many writers, there is too much low quality content out there. E-books that are in reality long sales letters, videos and audio recordings which add little real value and are dedicated to pitching products or services, seminars and talks which are just thinly disguised infomercials.
This last one has particularly eroded the numbers attending free workshops, talks at networking sessions and seminars at exhibitions even though many are worthwhile.
The best content is that which adds real value and has no selling beyond a few lines or a few remarks in the closing minutes.
The issue when I talk to business owners is that they say “We don’t want to tell people how to do it as they will just do it themselves.”
I could watch a YouTube video on how to plaster my from room but I’ll be honest I’m not going to try it. I’d rather pay someone and save myself the hassle and get a proper job done. Same for professional services like making a will or investing my savings. This is the same for any B2B or B2C service.
OK, a few people or a handful of businesses will try it themselves but they were never going to buy from you anyway so you’ve lost nothing. In this case content has a double benefit as these “prospects” who were never going to spend with you won’t waste your time in meetings, asking for proposals etc.
Content can take time to produce but once done it’s there forever (even seminars can be recorded and put on YouTube). It can continue to help you win business for years to come. It is definitely worth investing your time in.
Why not have a look at the list above and think about the content you can produce and what you can do this month and this quarter. I would set low targets to start with as it can take sometime to produce good content. Your might be as simple as setting aside 2 or 3 hours a week to work on content.
Do it for a few weeks and you’ll be surprised how quickly it mounts up.