It's still one of the most effective and affordable means of marketing out there for professional firms. Today I came upon a recent(ish) post on Mack Collier's blog called "5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Marketing and Start Teaching." Couldn't agree more.
To take Mack's post a step further, there are a handful of problems or missed considerations I see in execution, or things that I am asked about when professionals want to know how to get started. Here goes:
- Let go of the fear of sharing. This is a tough one for CPAs and lawyers. You can't get away with semi-sharing. Hinting that you know something doesn't gain you any cred. Gotta demonstrate it. "Giving it away" isn't going to hurt you and the best business developers have always been the most generous ones. I implore you to watch Jason Fried's video at the bottom of Mack Collier's post. Even if you watch only the first 5 minutes...
- Know who you're teaching. You cannot overthink when it comes to defining your ideal audience. What you share is going to depend on whose interest you want to catch and hold. If you don't know who your buyers and referrers really are or what they care about, you'll miss the mark. I go into how to define your audience deeply in my book.
- Engage with others who create content that relates to yours. One of the best ways to build an audience is to interact with others who have similar interests. Engaging is another word for building relationships. Compare this to referral-source marketing. It's critically important.
- Don't talk down. This ties in to "know who you're teaching." Good teaching involves clarity and simplicity, but this doesn't mean that you should assume that your audience knows nothing at all. Just be really careful to keep the level appropriate to your readers. I see too many firms err on the side of dumbing it down. Better to err on the side of too-high-level content.
- Jealousy of the "teachers" among colleagues is dumb. Stop it. Rock stars are good for everyone associated with the record label, right? Your company is the label. Your other people are the emerging artists and your rock stars bring attention to you all.
- Don't be pitchy. You don't see Emeril blatently hawking his cookware on his cooking show. But he might be using it. Subtlety, people. Nuff said.