Want More Sales? Give Away Intellectual Tips – Not Stuff

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© Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

I have been a longtime member of various professional writers’ groups. At most of the group’s meeting, the organizers would bring in a guest speaker who was an expert in their field. For example, one writer’s group brought in an accountant to discuss taxes. Taxes. I almost didn’t go because I don’t do my own taxes. I use an accounting service. But at the last minute I went—and was I ever glad I did. 

This accountant who came in to speak to our group was not only informed about his topic matter but also aware of his target audience. He knew that writers and entrepreneurs needed to know about specific tax loopholes available to them. He also knew that many of us didn’t know about these things, nor did the generic accounting services that we used.

For example, writers often have workshops and book signings and interviews. Thus, our physical appearance matters to our business. This is true of any entrepreneur who is a public persona or a company figurehead or in the public eye.

This means that things like haircuts, manicures, clothing, etc. could be considered a feasible tax write off. I didn’t know that until this accountant came to talk to us.

This accountant came in and gave away all sorts of tax tips to our group. Wouldn’t that hurt his business?

This is one of the biggest concerns I hear from entrepreneurs about giving away their intellectual expertise for free. They are afraid that it will cost them money via lost customers in the end. After all, the accountant told us all the things we could write off, so why do I need him?

For three reasons:

  1. He didn’t tell me how to tabulate these amounts nor did he tell us exactly what to write on each line of the taxman’s form, so I still need him.
  2. I am an entrepreneur with no interest in losing time and sleep over figuring out my taxes and would much rather pay someone else to manage it for me. But now that I am better informed, what I will want is an accountant as aware and dedicated to my taxes as this guy. Who would I know that fits that bill? That guy himself. Et voila. Business for him. Plus, I will tell my writer friends about him as well.
  3. People are drawn to confidence. If you are confident enough in your business and skills that you can afford to give away tips and information for free, you must be successful. If you are successful, you must be good. Thus, you are likely a person who could be trusted with the consumer’s business.

Basically:

Trust = Loyalty.
Loyalty = Increased business for you.

Post information on social media and teach workshops and write blogs and articles to showcase your expertise. If you give it, they will come.

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