Content strategy is something you’ll hear many people talk about, but very few people actually do. That’s good news for you, since you want to be seen as an expert in your industry, and there’s more people asking questions than there are answering them.
The people in your industry that are considered thought leaders aren’t just talking because they have to say something. Those people are at the top of your field because they help people by answering their questions. This gives their customers a sense of well-being, because they understand something better than they did before.
No one likes to be confused about something. Knowledge truly is power.
If you want to bring more people into your store, or make your business the first one they think of in your industry — I’m advocating you to Teach One to Reach One.
Fighting The Inner Resistance
There are many reasons business owners resist teaching others.
If you’re a newer business owner like me, you may tell yourself that you don’t know as much as you’d like to. That so many others know more than you do — our competitors — hell, even our allies have us outmatched, so why bother?
The truth is that you know more than you think you do.
For every person ahead of you on the knowledge curve, there are others farther behind you that would look to you for guidance, if only you were sharing your knowledge.
Like Cory Miller says, your good enough is someone else’s awesome.
Another one that I hear is that people are so heads down in their work every day that they don’t have time to share what they know. I also hear from people that say they don’t know how to write well. It’s an intimidating thing to hit the Publish button, so I get that.
But there are many ways to share and teach. Not all of them take a lot of time. And writing is something that gets easier the more you do it. Just like a muscle that you exercise, teaching others gets easier the more you do it.
The beauty of being in this day and age is you can share your knowledge in different ways. It doesn’t have to be writing. If you have an iPhone, you can record a video and upload it to YouTube. You can record your voice and upload it as an audio file. Teaching people doesn’t have to be done on particular platforms, but it’s important to do it.
Benefits of Teaching Others
Every business wants to get more traffic, more serious inquiries, and more revenue. But what makes a person call you and not your competitors?
Trust is a big factor. When people know you, and believe that you’re the best person for the job, they’ll go out of their way to do business with you.How do you establish that trust? By demonstrating what you know, by answering questions and teaching people more about your craft.
It’s great if you have a loyal customer base right now, but if you want to grow that base, you have to attract new customers. Here’s some examples.
There are hundreds of auto shops around Sacramento. But the one place I know has their stuff together is the Car Czar chain. Why?
Because Doug Brauner, the Car Czar, has more than a catchy name. He has a radio show on Saturdays where he answers questions. He has a YouTube channel where he answers questions. He appears on TV and answers questions.
I can see you saying, “Yeah, that’s good for Doug, but I don’t have a TV or radio show, so why bother?” Because you have to start somewhere before you get that traditional media exposure. Doug has been doing content strategy since the internet was a new thing. He’s been teaching people to expand his reach for years.
Here’s another example. My partner in crime, Amy, has been ramping up to start her stained glass business. She knows she needs help with her soldering work. There are probably classes nearby, but she’s making plans to drive 100 miles one-way for eight weekends in a row, because there is a shop that has been teaching for years the exact things she wants to improve on.
This shop in Chico has been teaching people, both other glass artists and customers, more about their craft for a long time. They are doing content strategy the old-school way — in person. After learning about it on their website, they got a new customer for their workshop and more than likely their supplies.
Here’s another example. Last year, I worked with a client who was selling instructional videos with other people in their industry. A big part of their positioning was having strategic alliances with other instructors. They were worried other competitors would lure their affiliate partners away with promises of more sales.
I pointed out that they had a knowledgeable staff who were already producing instructional videos in-house. With that conversation, their mindset shifted from piggy-backing off of others with a bigger name, to positioning their business and staff as teachers and experts on the same level as their partners.
The Point I’m Making Here
I talk to a ton of people who are hands-down experts at what they do. In their respective fields, they know so much, but very few people know who they are. Their businesses should be kicking ass and taking names instead of just doing okay.
A big part of The Work is getting people to know that you can do the work better than your competitors. For generations, we’ve been told that word-of-mouth should be good enough to get you found. While referrals are always good, it’s not enough to stay competitive anymore.
Only 10% of all people on the internet publish anything at all. Only 10% of those people publish things on a regular basis. This means that if you answer questions your customers have, if you teach people how to use your products, if you teach people how to fix the small problems they have — then they will trust you to fix the big problems they have.