Attending a recent social media “bootcamp”, the discussion of content sharing came up. Working with a collection of my organization’s thought leaders, we discussed content creation and strategy. And a question was raised that I feel is worth revisiting.
How much content do we give away? At what point are we showing too much under the hood, sharing too many of the ingredients in the secret sauce, giving away too many of those delicious CostCo food samplers… well you get the idea.
There’s no easy or 100% steadfast rule to this, but I believe that there’s a price to being a thought leader. That means putting something out there can be potentially mimicked or copied. In my business we see it all the time… where competitors suddenly find themselves spouting the same messaging and value proposition that we’ve been communicating for months. And to that I say “THANK YOU!” Mimicry is the best compliment and only reaffirms our position as thought leaders.
Now obviously you don’t want to be giving away secret algorithms or confidential intellectual property, but there’s nothing wrong with a “how-to” that’s based on your own deep expertise.
I’ll use as an example a good friend who recently remodeled his bathroom. After reading up on all the right things, he decided he could tackle the DIY project himself. Half-way into ripping out the bathroom tiles, he realized that he was over his head. And then he called in the experts that originally advised him on his DIY endeavors.
Moral of the story is that delivering solutions is hard… and just because you have the playbook doesn’t mean you can execute. It requires expertise that can’t be stolen from a blog. It’s actually quite the opposite… that content can only serve to set you up as a thought leader.
So get out there and FREE YOUR CONTENT!