Giving away something for free when you’re trying to grow your business seems like a counter-intuitive strategy. You’re already shelling out a good amount of resources into keeping the business running, so why do marketing experts stand behind the power of free knowledge-sharing?
What are examples of free knowledge-sharing?
An energy healing practitioner walking visitors through the different points of a Main Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Flow is an example.
A Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach shares a few techniques to help with anxiety in a Facebook Live session is also freely shared knowledge.
A chiropractor who conducts a free alignment evaluation for athletes while giving them mobility-enhancing exercise tips is also a way of sharing knowledge at zero cost.
Anytime you’re sharing a portion of your expertise, you are freely giving highly useful information to your audience.
The next question would be: Aren’t you driving away businesses by teaching others to troubleshoot their problems on their own?
The short answer to that question is – No, you are actually attracting bigger business in doing so. Here’s why:
People want and need information. You become their go-to source. 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past several years which makes it a challenge to sort through all the available information. It can be overwhelming and that’s where you come into the picture.
When you’re able to provide specific and niche information about your line of expertise, you automatically cater to a need. When your business fulfils that need, the chances of enquiries and repeat visits to your channels increase. You create a relationship when you share knowledge with those who need it.
Unique information gets shared exponentially, in turn, creating a buzz for your business. An article or video can be shared with a click of a button. Now, it’s considered a marketing best practice to have as many relevant social sharing buttons (e.g. Facebook Share, Retweet, Send through Whatsapp, etc.) on your website to make it easy for anyone to reshare your content to others.
Big online knowledge hubs like Mashable or Buzzfeed have helped professionals get more impressions on their profiles when they feature their content.
Here’s a great example of one paediatrician who shared a technique to help new parents calm their newborns. His 4-minute video was uploaded his video on YouTube in 2015 and it was picked up by news outlets and social media very soon after it went live. He went viral with over 36.8 million views on his original video to date.
Had he kept this information to himself, then he would not have been able to bring his practice to a wider audience. The free piece of knowledge he shared put him in a position of authority in the eyes of his patients and anyone who has seen his content. Let’s assume that 1% of those views converted to enquiries, you can imagine that that meant a substantial return for his practice.
Knowledge-sharing helps build authority and credibility. The caveat to successfully establishing your authority as a thought leader is to consistently share insightful content through your channels – whether it’s in LinkedIn or on a podcast.
Consistency helps keep your audience engaged. Try to stick to a schedule so they know when to expect your blog or videos. For instance, Therasmart releases a newsletter every Thursday with two fresh posts – one blog discusses the theme for the month and the other is a business development-focused article for practitioners.
Here are examples of wellness practitioners who have successfully built their reputation with consistently knowledge-filled content:
- Joy McCarthy, the founder of Joyous Health, is a certified Holistic Nutritionist expert who has over 72,000 YouTube subscribers. She publishes how-to videos on preparing healthy meals and other nutrition-related topics. Because of her channel, she has been regularly invited as a keynote speaker and TV guest to share her expertise.
- The Naturalista was created by Xochi Balfour who now has more than 14,000 Instagram Followers. Her website has become a well of knowledge for healthy eating and mindfulness practices. She also uses her website as a channel to promote retreats and workshops to her audience.
- Dr. Tori Hudson, a naturopathic practitioner, was awarded one of the top holistic health blogs of 2019 by healthline.com. Her blogs date back as far as 2006 – right when social media started to get traction. Her efforts into publishing hundreds of blogs have given her a great advantage in terms of establishing herself as an expert in her field.
The achievements of these three practitioners support the answer to the big question earlier, which is, giving away knowledge for free can exponentially grow your business. And as long as we are authentic in the knowledge we share, we will stay on course towards our entrepreneurial goals.
“In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.” – Deuteronomy Rabbah