Should you give away knowledge for free?

It’s a question that many clients ask: Why should I give away my hard-earned knowledge for nothing? Won’t my competitors use it?

Sometimes, when developing marketing strategies for brands that need to build and nurture leads over time, we suggest creating new content. Not just any old content, but something that’s deeply thought provoking and insightful, that potential customers might find genuinely useful.

It’s a particularly useful strategy for complex products or high value sales, where the buying process is nuanced, and… long.

Educate the customer. Prove how knowledgeable you are. Help them to trust you.

Unless prospects understand the nuances and complexities of what they’re buying, they’ll find it difficult to grasp the benefits of buying from you. How can they know that widget x is better than widget y, if they don’t know what a widget is?

And here’s the thing. Sometimes making a buying decision requires a leap of faith.

If company x is telling me how to tell the difference between widgets, they must be pretty confident about their widget.

If you can offer valuable information to help prospects to make the decision more easily, you’ll earn trust.

They might still not buy from you. They might choose a different widget on the basis that you explained how to choose the right widget for them.

That’s a risk – sure it is.

But if by giving away valuable information you gain 10 additional leads, and just one incremental sale, does it really matter where the other 9 go?

The reality is that keeping your knowledge locked up is no way to win new business.

Give away value and you’ll build credibility and trust. You’ll be seen as helpful.

Or exchange value for something that’s helpful to you – their contact details?

And at the end of the day, if you don’t help your prospective customer, someone else will.