Whaaat? Isn’t Rule Numero Uno in business to hide your secret sauce so no one can copy you ? After all, if I give away my secret sauce, why would anyone buy from me? They can just do it themselves. Or steal my brilliant idea.
In Chapter Seven of The Pumpkin Plan, Author Mike Michalowicz argues the following:
…”in the olden days, by shrouding yourself in secrecy, no one could copy you and thus you had a key advantage over everyone else. But now, thanks to the great equalizer known as the Internet, everything anyone would want to know about anything is out there and accessible in just a few clicks.”
This was true in 2012 when the book was published, and its even more true today. Since then, “information marketing” has become a huge thing. Every company is out there educating you on how to do what you want to do.
To be clear, if you have a special way of manufacturing something or delivering a service that gives you a competitive edge and that no one else in the universe knows how to do, and you don’t want your competitors to benefit from it, then by all means hold those details back. Or file for a patent. But being as transparent as possible is the key to winning the trust of your ideal clients and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.
Did you know that movie trailers intentionally show you the best scenes in a movie. Yep, its true. They give away their best stuff on purpose. Why? Because they know that if you are wowed by the trailer, you will assume the entire movie is that good, and you will run to see it.
The same is true for businesses. Show them your best stuff, and they will assume that when they hire or buy from you, they will get more of the same. You will attract more business.
There are three key reasons why giving away information does more good than harm:
If all someone needs to do is read an article or watch a short video to solve all of their problems, then they are not your clients. They don’t need you. They truly can solve their problem themselves. It’s the people who need your entire system, the totality of what you offer, that you are trying to attract. Your information marketing is not going to give that to them in any organized, meaningful way.
Let’s say I search for how to do something, and your “how to” videos keep popping up. In my mind, you have demonstrated your knowledge and expertise and there’s a very good chance that if I don’t want to do that thing myself, I will reach out to you to do it for me.
There will always be Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers) out there. They are not your clients. But they could be your evangelists. Imagine this. A DIYer follows you on social media and reads all of your blogs. He has taken your information, used it, and had success. He feels good about you and your company. Then he sees one of his contacts post on social media asking for recommendations because they want to hire a company that does what you do. Mr. DIY recommends your company, and raves about how you have the best system, are the most knowledgeable and can clearly be trusted. That third party recommendation is gold. And it happened because you gave some of your knowledge away.
I have observed this phenomenon with the book The Pumpkin Plan. We hear from many business owners who read the book, implement key pieces of the strategy, and experience phenomenal results.
We also hear from many more business owners who say that they are reaching out because a friend or colleague read the book, implemented the strategy, and experienced phenomenal results. These entrepreneurs also love the Pumpkin Plan strategy, but they don’t want to figure out how to implement it in their business on their own. They recognize that they are “in the weeds” of their business, and hiring an outside coach – a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist – to help them see the bigger picture and guide them through the process will save them time and frustration, and will result in the growth they are looking for.
The book tells them exactly what to do. The value that the Strategist brings is her insights and ability to interpret the information. The strategist has the experience to recognize solutions, craft strategy, and support the business owner in taking the highest value actions and making necessary changes with confidence. These are things that a business owner can’t get from reading a blog post or watching a video.
The key to showing your secret sauce without giving away the pumpkin farm is to make sure you scratch the surface of what you can do, and that your paid offering brings value beyond what you have already revealed. Give your target market a sample of what you have to offer and what makes you special, but make sure you always leave them wanting more, and you will successfully attract more business.
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