When creating content, some think you should be careful not to reveal too much.
Perhaps, you should hide your “secret sauce” behind a paywall. Isn’t it all about giving just enough to make them want more?
Your content should provide value to your audience in and of itself. In other words, your free content — whether it be a blog post, a YouTube video, or a Facebook post — should be able to stand on its own as something valuable to the user.
A common fear about sharing content for free is that the competition might use it to compete more effectively. Another concern is that prospects may benefit from it to the extent that they will not need to do business with you.
Both concerns are understandable, but invalid.
People want to do business with those who help them.
Prospects in your target market may consume your content and utilize the information, advice, and tips you provide without buying from you. But, ironically, it’s the ones who consume you most religiously that will be more likely to do business with you in the future. As soon as they encounter a situation they cannot handle themselves, you are most likely going to be the solution they turn to.
By helping others, you earn their admiration and trust, which makes them more receptive to your sales messages. The helpfulness of your content is known as its “Youtility,” a term coined by Convince&Convert CEO, Jay Baer. Youtility is a specific type of content marketing with a tangible, specific usefulness. Your brand’s short-term youtility can go a long way toward driving more conversions in the long run.
Competition – So what?
When it comes to business, it’s well known that execution is more important than ideas. Everyone has great ideas, but few implement them successfully. So, when you share ideas, tips, solutions, or ‘how-to’s,’ you can rest assured that most people who consume your content will never execute or follow through on your advice anyway. Most people are too lazy to do the work, don’t make the time, or are simply not as talented as you are in your area of expertise.
And, most of the people who attempt to copy your tactics without the substance will look hollow and cheap by comparison, even if they do see some gains from it. Those who actually do use the advice you provide in your content to their advantage and go on to be successful will be few and far between.
Let’s not pretend everything is always “rainbows and gum drops.” This is business. Inevitably, there will always be competition. But, one can measure one’s success by looking to improve rather than by trying to tear others down.
Yes, you’ll always have competition, but your content can also gain you allies. While your content may help competitors or even generate new ones, it will also earn you more attention, respect, and admiration from others. Those who benefited from your content will feel more positively disposed toward your brand and, in some cases, may even feel a debt of gratitude. By getting more people to “like” you, your brand wins more supporters, or “cheerleaders,” who will want to partner or work with you. Pooling your resources, you can come up with ways to help one another grow and succeed.
Benefits outweigh the potential costs.
When it’s all said and done, sharing quality content will win you valuable relationships –clients, advocates, collaborators, partners, and investors — that will outweigh the annoyance of copycat competitors. As much as it might inspire competition, your content will also win over more prospects, put you on the map, and essentially drive more business than it will cost you.
When creating informative or useful content that attracts your target audience, you assume the risk of inadvertently helping your competition in the process. It’s just part of the price you pay for getting noticed, earning trust, and establishing credibility. Without putting out valuable content, you will not even be able to get your foot in the door of today’s competitive market, so you have no choice, but to do it. Dealing with the competition is simply a reality of doing business. Suck it up.
Think of benefiting the competition with your content as the cost of getting business. It’s worth it.