Want More Clients? You Can’t Just Say You’re an Expert…You Have to Prove it

Want More Clients? You can’t just say you’re an expert…you have to prove it.

In marketing guru Seth Godin’s book, ‘The Purple Cow’, he explains that the days when a company can simply create a product and spend a bunch of money shouting at people about its virtues are long gone. This is no longer an efficient way to reach customers and build brand awareness.  

Nowadays, consumers are exposed to thousands of ad impressions daily and have become adept at tuning them out. So how does a business owner effectively reach consumers and build his or her brand now and in the years to come? Give away your secrets!

As counter-intuitive as that sounds, the most effective marketers today are those who are most active in sharing what they know with others. Its a natural human instinct to want to protect that coveted knowledge that you took a lifetime to build. But times are a changing, and you best evolve, or risk extinction.

Take my father’s business for example. He runs Allstar Passports & Visas, an expedited passport and visa service. Their specialty lies in assisting travelers with acquiring specialty visas for non-US passport holders who wish to work, study, or settle in the UK.

He hired a specialist in the field, Myra, a woman who spent 15 years working at the UK consulate. During her tenure, she processed thousands of visas for every situation imaginable. If anyone has the expertise to secure a UK visa, its her. For she is arguably one of the world’s foremost experts on UK immigration.

When my dad came to me for marketing advice, his goal was to “let the world know what an asset we have in Myra”. Rather than suggest ad campaigns to shout out this message, I immediately suggested that we set up a series of interviews with Myra in order to cull her knowledge into a series of blog posts, articles and FAQs, about UK immigration. The idea being that this content would cement Allstar as an authority on UK immigration, thus positioning their website for top rankings for their most important keywords.

Although I should have anticipated the response I got, it caught me by surprise and made me realize just how immersed I’ve been in the world of web marketing. Rather than “wow son, what brilliant advice”, the response I got was er much more subdued. You see, I’d failed to realize most people still see the idea of giving their secrets away as terrible idea that will remove any incentive a prospect might have to patronize their business.

Most people still feel that giving away content in the form of articles, videos, webinars and the like seems like the last thing they’d want to do. For, their logic goes something like this: “if I tell people how to do it themselves, then why do they need me?”

How to cash in on your knowledge
Not only is telling the world what you know the formula for successful inbound marketing, it is essential for your very survival as a business owner. If you fail to communicate your value as a thought leader in your niche, then you will become irrelevant in a short period of time. I know that sounds harsh. But that’s the truth.

The web has not only leveled the playing field for many industries, it has turned the eCommerce landscape into one where you truly do reap what you sow. On the web, many savvy entrepreneurs have already become multi millionaires by heeding the timeless proverb “the more you give, the more you get”.

Be prolific. According to wikipedia there are more than 150 million public blogs on the web today. These blogs represent every possible topic known to man. There is no better place to share what you know than posting on blogs about it. And rather than just posting on your own blog, guest post on other authoritative blogs in your niche.

Give away the kind of insights from which your target clients would gain the most benefit. While you may encourage some portion of your potential clients to heed your advice and do it themselves, you’ll gain something that far outweighs this detriment – trust.

Be a thought leader
By being a though leader in your niche, you’ll gain the trust of your target audience. They’ll see you as the expert in your field and will be far more likely to come to you to solve their problems when they arise. You will have earned their loyalty through all of your insightful contributions to the topic.

The net result is that you gain far more in the form of new customers and new business then you ever lose by giving away the information. And this ratio of new business to cannibalized business is hugely disproportionate in favor of new business. We see evidence of this all around us.

Rand Fishkin from SEOMOZ.ORG
Take Rand Fishkin for example. There are thousands of SEO practitioners around the world offering their services to website owners. But no one is better known or more trusted in the SEO circle than Rand Fishkin of SeoMoz.org. Why? Rand’s blog is arguably the most informative and influential SEO blog on the web.

He did not spend heavily on PPC advertising, running banner campaigns or cold calling to build his business. He shares what he knows with the world at large and does it with complete transparency. The result? SeoMoz has become one of the most profitable and scalable SEO firms in the world.

The lesson here?
Let go of your fear of divulging too much information and take a leap of faith. For if your value as a professional is only one blog post away from evaporating, you’re not really a professional anyway. Share what you know and cement yourself as a true authority on your topic. And the reward will be increased brand awareness and a never ending stream of new clients who find their way to you, ‘the expert’ in the field.

This is a guest post by Dan Ripoll. Dan is the founder of GuestBlogGenius.com, an outsourced guest blogging service for SEOs and eCommerce site owners.

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