It’s no secret that many businesses remain uncertain of the overall impact that their online presence can and should have. For many service-based businesses, there is a particular hesitation with social networks and the use of blogging to generate exposure for the business. It doesn’t really compute that, today, one of the best ways to sell a service is to showcase your expertise in your field, something that often means giving away information for free that could lead to people attempting to do your service themselves. Many businesses, therefore, try to walk the line between too much and not enough information, believing that if they go too far one way or the other, they will lose all of their customers.
Here’s the problem: If someone has decided that they want to try and do something on their own, it is highly likely that if your company does not provide at least some showing of knowledge on that service, it will always be assumed that this is because you are not knowledgeable about the topic. If you are a plumber, it may not make sense to teach someone, in-depth, how to replace a toilet. It’s believed that such a detailed representation could make the business liable for any problems a do-it-yourselfer has, and that nobody will pay for you to do something that they now know how to do. These are both, however, fallacies.
If you work in a service-industry, one of the best ways to show that you are a reputable expert in your field is to go through some pains to demonstrate your knowledge. If you go into enough detail, and make your blog truly informative, you will often gain customers, simply because you have shown just how complex the problem is! A glazed-over summary of what it takes to replace a toilet will make it look easier when compared to a detailed how-to. Will the detailed how-to lead to some people trying to do it themselves? Absolutely. So will a summary. The detailed how-to will lead to the do-it-yourselfer being less likely to make a costly mistake, however, meaning they will not have to call in an expert to fix the problem.
Now, if that sounds like the opposite of what you want, you should bear in mind that such a do-it-yourselfer would be guaranteed to not call the company whose advice they followed. Why? Because the do-it-yourselfer will most certainly feel like the company they consulted doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Thus, it can be advantageous to “give your knowledge away” for two reasons:
- It shows the complexity of the problem: If it doesn’t look easy, a do-it-yourselfer is that much more likely to abandon doing it themselves and just call an expert. If you’re the one they’re reading, you will probably be one of the experts they call for quotes, because you had the courage to lay the whole process out for them.
- It shows your knowledge: Again, a glazed-over summary is something just about anybody could write, given an hour to research what it is they are to write about. If you contribute in a meaningful way, however, your blog will stand out as being a great resource for do-it-yourselfers and professionals in your business. This will build your rapport with many more people than a simple summary could ever accomplish, leading to a better position for your business down the road.
It can be scary to give away what might feel like the secrets to your business, but I believe it is important to remember that few people have time to do everything that needs to be done in their lives. You may be surprised just how many of those do-it-yourselfers you are trying to avoid helping wind up coming to you and paying you to fix their problem, simply because you offered a free, but time-expensive, solution first.