Giving away information is a huge aspect of inbound marketing, where you draw potential clients to your business or website rather than you approaching them.
Your inbound marketing efforts could include writing articles and blog posts full of useful information that show off your expertise. Or using a lead magnet (such as a checklist, e-book, or video designed to inform or instruct) to get people to subscribe to an email or newsletter list. Or going on social media or other forums and being helpful or answering questions.
I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of businesses using this strategy. My feeds and inbox are full of things like: How to Set Up a Killer LinkedIn Profile, 42 Must-Know Marketing Tips, and 99 Headline Ideas.
Useful information is practically being thrown at us… for free.
But do you ever stop and wonder how businesses can make money when it seems like they’re giving so much away? Don’t they risk losing the very client they’re hoping to gain by over-educating them?
The answer is… yes, no, and maybe.
Busting the No-Freebies Myth: If I tell them how to _____, they won’t need to hire me
Let me explain…
Knowing how to do something doesn’t mean people want to do it themselves. For example, I know how to build a website… I built mine (with the help of AWAI’s Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days program). But I’d rather not do it again… I will gladly pay someone else to do the next one.
Likewise, a potential client may or may not want to tackle a big important writing project themselves. They might prefer to pay an expert like you rather than put in the time and effort needed to do it themselves.
That doesn’t mean they won’t decide to do some of their own writing. And that’s okay. If you’ve done your inbound marketing right, you’ve shown them you know how to help them. When they come upon a project they don’t want to dig into it, you’ll be top-of-mind as the person who can take that weight off their shoulders.
They also might not be able to do it on their own. We writers have put a lot of time and energy into learning our craft. And you know it takes time to complete a writing project and do it right. A prospect might not have the time or resources to invest in learning how to write (or they just might not be any good at it).
There are people who just want the free stuff and have no intention of ever hiring you to write for them. They were never going to become your client anyway. However, they might become a potential source of referrals. So don’t worry about them not hiring you.
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