As a communication coach and creative director, I hear a lot of stories every week. Some of them are thrilling. Others are heartbreaking. I don’t like any of the latter kind, but there’s one heartbreaking tale that hits me harder than any other. Mostly because it is so simple, and so reversible.
It’s a story about content marketing--or more specifically, about why the woman in question is not using simple tools like blogging, e-resources, video and social media (ie: content) to grow her income and her influence.
“Lisa, I just don’t think I should use content to market my business,” she says. “I mean, sales and speaking engagements are already a struggle to book. If I give away all my secrets, my audience will hire someone else.”
Does this sentiment sound familiar? I once used it long ago, when I was afraid of my own voice, of success, and of being more visible in the big, wide, scary world. Maybe you have used it too for those same--or other--reasons.
But can we speak freely for a moment, sister to sister?
Your hesitance to share your expertise is not saving your business. It’s killing it slowly, one (untaken) keystroke at a time.
The irony of this whole conversation is that the woman I am speaking with on any given day is always struggling to get more eyeballs on her work. Yet she is also refusing to take advantage of a free (in terms of money, not in terms of time) way to get more eyeballs on what she does and demonstrate the VALUE she brings to the table.
Her fear of losing more is what holds her back from gaining everything she wants.
So what would I say in response to this? To convince her that putting her voice out into the world, and raising her visibility, will actually have the opposite effect on her business? (And yours too, if you happen to be caught in this conundrum.)
A few things, of course. Because I’m a communication specialist, after all, and I naturally have a lot to say. But also because I have been there.
These are the things I had to say to myself when I was stuck and struggling, afraid that “giving away too much” would land me right back into a corporate cubicle.
These are the reasons why content is your secret to Cash (and Caché, too).
First, people cannot see the value in your expertise when they cannot see your expertise.
The number one hesitation I hear from women about creating regular content for their audience is that in doing so, they will arm people with the tools to go pick another service provider--or go DIY.
While this may happen in some instances, the truth is: people are not picking you (yet) because they don’t realize the value of your expertise. Or how your knowledge could make the process so much more effective, powerful, and cost-efficient.
People cannot buy what they don’t know about.
Hiding your candle under a bushel never works out well. As you withhold information from people, you withhold the “ah ha” moment that will make them realize how much they need you. And also prevent the right clients from finding you.
Which brings us to another observation . . .
Withholding information from people basically implies that “there's not enough of me to go around.”
When you believe (even subconsciously) that the world is full of Lack and Poverty, it will be full of lack for you. You can take that to the bank. When you believe that people will run off with your information without buying from you, they absolutely will.
What you focus on grows. So you can focus on being the expert and being seen as the expert, or you can focus on fending off the leeches.
This brings us to a really tough question:
Which do you think will probably have the better impact on your business?
How are you ever going to create abundance for yourself and your team when you go out the gate totally convinced you have to conserve resources (in this case, information) due to poverty?
Now, please understand I’m not saying you just put all your programs up online for free.
But I am also not saying that you hide everything you know until someone pays you for it.
Because you have to be seen as an expert--many, many times--before someone will be ready to give you their hard-earned resources in exchange for the particular brand of change/transformation you offer.
When no one sees you, they cannot make the decision to hire you.
Yes, there are techniques you can use to ensure you still make yourself a desirable, necessary commodity in the process. There are ways to share information, and ways not to share it.
But the point is, sharing it is a prerequisite to selling anything.
When you’re seen as an expert by enough people for a long enough period of time, you will attract inquiries you can convert into business.
So if you’re wondering how to get past obscurity and attract more paying clients, it’s time to step up and start putting forth the CONTENT that can over time accrue both CASH and CACHÉ.
A great content strategy will help you always know what to write, and be laser focused in tying your content back to your offerings …
Which is what I am going to do right now.
As a full-service creative agency, my team and I can help you create that strategy and develop content for the right channels to get seen by the right people, with opportunities to take the right actions. We have access to just the right women specialists to help you get set up for success and gets started being seen and heard by the people who need you. (The ones who are hiring other people or shopping online.) And do it in a way that grows your business rather than simply costing you time (and money).
Are you ready to CASH and CACHÉ in on your expertise? Then it’s time for content.