by Tony Vidler
An ongoing challenge for all of us in the information age who are looking to stand out professionally is how to get the balance right in our content marketing. Or as I like to think of it:
Like everyone else I have struggled at times to work out what content to provide and what content to keep for paying clients. Where is the defining line in providing useful and relevant information to the target market that doesn’t give away your very best ideas?
It is a dilemma that we face continually in marketing.
A little while ago I was introduced to a concept of working from “Free to Fee” as a way of marketing your knowledge and contentAt its most simple this means that you can separate your knowledge and content along the following lines:
1. The WHY stuff: why people need to listen to you….why they have the problems they do….why a particular course of action is the right one to take.
2. The HOW stuff: How to fix the common problems….how to resolve the issues….how to begin a course of action.
3. The WHAT stuff: what you need to to have to fix the problems….or what specific plans or actions must be addressed in what order to achieve success and so on.
The WHY material is your free content.
The WHAT stuff is the actual tools, resources and highly skilled knowledge that provides the actual solutions – and that is your core area for revenue generation.
The HOW material is mid level generic information which is useful, but doesn’t provide all the answers, and should be low cost or entry level. It is the teaser material designed to get people to say “hey, this person knows what they are talking about – we should engage with them”
A working example might be the financial adviser providing newsletters, blogs and e-zines discussing the common issues and facts surrounding your area of expertise. Provide that on a complementary basis to your target market. The same adviser might be writing short whitepapers or e-books, or providing public presentations or seminars at a relatively nominal cost that focus upon how to remedy the issues in general terms.
The one to one consultation phase is where the adviser shows what they have specifically for fixing the problems of the client, and then uses it to help that client.
As a guiding principle for content marketing in the information age I find this methodology hard to fault. It would be fair to say that there is a bit of a grey area in the low cost/How-to area where it is probable that we shall have to find a subtle blend of using a little bit of the “what” material, however if it is a conscious decision on how much petticoat to swish and it is done in a controlled fashion, then there is nothing wrong with flashing a little bit of leg!
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