We’ve all done it: wasted way too much time with a “prospect” who, it becomes clear, has no intention of ever paying you for you services, but is more than happy to bleed you of great ideas. “Can I pick your brain?”
I had a conversation this past week with Adrian Miller of Adrian Miller Sales Training and Adrian’s Network. No, we did not pick one another’s brains. She’s one of the best in the business of sales training, and we were discussing the ways that her sales training and our content marketing overlap and complement one another, and how work in one area can strengthen what you’re doing in the other.
One interesting point of our discussion was the idea of not giving your expertise away and how that could, on the surface, sound like it was at odds with the content marketing we promote.
Point: Don’t give your expertise away for free.
Counterpoint: Content marketing is about creating high-value content that’s of interest to your audience. It’s not a commercial about you.
Doesn’t content marketing mean giving your expertise away for free? Adrian and I agreed that it doesn’t have to. In fact, by engaging in content marketing in an organized and on-going way, you can eliminate the free consulting that so many of us find ourselves doing.
Try This At Home
Spend the next 2 weeks (or a month, if you can) noting all the questions you get from clients and prospects. In all likelihood, you will wind up with a list of oft-repeated questions and a number of interesting questions that are more on the edges of what you do. Both, though, will be questions where you can really dive into the “what” to provide value without getting too deeply into the “how” that pays the bills.
With that list, you’ve got the seeds for creating dozens and dozens of really great content elements – posts for your blog, articles for your email newsletter, items for your LinkedIn or Twitter feed, and so on. And you know it’s high-value content because your audience essentially told you what they wanted to know!
The really cool part, aside from the great social, search, and general marketing value you get out of content marketing like this, is that you can point the folks you know aren’t a good fit or who have no intention of paying you to these free resources you’re so thoughtfully providing. (Of course, you should be careful how you determine who’s a good prospect and who really is just wasting your time. If only there was an expert sales trainer around to help with that …)
By the way, along with giving Adrian a call to talk about boosting your sales, you should check out Adrian’s Network. Truly a step above “the usual” in networking. It’s a great group of people who get networking, and Adrian facilitates phone calls and meetings expertly. Great bang for your buck and more importantly, great bang for the time invested.