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Giving Too Much Away?

 In Content Marketing, Mindset, Strategy

When business owners start understanding the need to create content and what that means, it often leads to this common question:

I understand that providing valuable information for free attracts people to my business, but if I give away everything for free, no one will pay me. How much is too much?

While this is an understandable concern, it is unfounded and based in a number of misunderstandings.

If pure content is what you sell, like a book or a written course, you certainly can’t give the whole thing away for free. But if you provide anything more in the way you work with clients and customers, like services, personal interaction, products or other forms of engagement, you can’t possibly give away the real value of what people pay you for.

Having a “giving first” mentality is good for business. I don’t really believe you can give away “too much” in the form of content. Here are three reasons for giving away more.

Don’t give it away in one fell swoop

When you begin creating content to share, you don’t give it away in one fell swoop. One blog article can’t possibly encompass everything you know, nor should it. Each content piece offers only a small part of your knowledge and value. You “drip” out your content in small amounts (which is why it is sometimes called “drip” marketing).

Over time, you will put a lot of stuff out there. But the likelihood of anyone reading ALL of it is incredibly small. Is it possible that someone might look at your stuff and get as much free content from you as they can and go off and try to do it themselves? Sure. And that’s okay! We both know that they won’t get the same results as they would if they worked directly with you. Plus it’s likely they would never have hired you anyway.

You can’t give away too much content if it is in small pieces over time.

The more you give the more value you project

These days, people are looking for answers and information. If you don’t provide enough of this kind of content, you can be perceived as not having value to offer. If they visit your website and find a static site with little current information or activity, they may assume that you don’t have anything useful for them. If they can’t see you providing value, they may think that you don’t.

On the other hand, if you are publishing content regularly through social media and other platforms, and people visit your website to find updates and articles every week or two, it projects extraordinary engagement and value, especially for a small business. Without even reading or taking in all of your content, they quickly get the sense that you are someone with a lot to offer, and someone they should work with.

More giving leads to more receiving

The worry about giving away too much is actually an inverse equation – the more I give away, the less I will get paid for. That’s actually backwards! It’s a thought pattern based in scarcity and fear and desperation. Flipping it around leads to a much more open, productive and effective approach.

Giving and receiving have a direct relationship – the more you give, the more you get. When you understand this process, it is easy and exciting to share content consistently and frequently.

Those who worry about giving too much away often end up giving away too little. The worst is when you make a lofty promise through the title of a piece, and then don’t deliver value in the piece itself. That communicates a stinginess that is not attractive to your prospects.

Of course there is a line somewhere where you can’t give everything away for free, and it is different for every business. But it’s probably a lot farther away than you think. Lean toward generosity, and see how far you can go.

Do you worry about giving too much away? Are you being generous or stingy with your free content? Let me know in a comment below.

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