Give It Away! Content Marketing Is About Giving

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This is week twenty of a series where I'll be sharing a chapter from my book (Stop Selling Start Helping) each week. If you missed the previous weeks, click here to view all chapters. To learn more about Stop Selling Start Helping, click here.

Just Be Useful

I mentioned Jay Baer earlier. He’s the author of Youtility. I’m not sure if it’s a quote from the book or one I grabbed from his blog, video series or podcast at, but he says, “Just be useful.”

It’s a pretty basic concept, but one that hits right at the center of everything I’ve talked about in this book.

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Just be useful. defines useful like this: “being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, or of good effect; of practical use.”

Being useful means getting beyond your product or service and actually considering the human being on the other side of the table. What is bothering her? What challenge is he facing? What frustration is she dealing with? Is there something you can do to help?

CH 20 Give It Away! Content Marketing Is About Giving

“Why in the world would I give away all our knowledge for free?”

I’m going to pull a piece of brilliance here from Joe Pulizzi’s book, Epic Content Marketing. He answers that question this way:

“As the great Don Schultz has always said, communication is the only true

competitive advantage. If you don’t help your customers reach greater heights,

who will? Your competitors?”

Think about it this way...

  • Do you want to position yourself as the expert in your field? Give away your knowledge.
  • Do you want to show how you’re leading the industry in thinking and innovation? Give away your knowledge.
  • Do you want to be recognized as the go-to source for doing what you do? Give away your knowledge.

Make it clear that you know what you’re talking about. Don’t hide it and assume people will “get it” by looking at your product-focused website or leave-behind brochure!

  • Do you have a process you go through? Share it.
  • Do you have a specific pricing structure? Share it.
  • Do you have suggestions that could improve the lives of your customers and/or prospects? Share them.

When your audience learns from you, when they gain knowledge from just being associated with you (even before they’ve bought anything from you)...THEN they are much more likely to trust you, to reach out to you when they have a problem.

I had a prospect share with me recently that after reading through one of our weekly emails, he had learned more from that one email than from his current web company over the past two years!

This stuff really does work!

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