It seems paradoxical – the more you give away, the more people are willing to pay for your services – but it’s true. This exact approach has worked quickly and effectively for me for years. The key is that it’s got to be good and of high relevance to your target audience. This builds people’s confidence that you consistently know your stuff and that you can be counted on for long-term value. People soon realize that if you’re willing to give away such valuable expertise, think how great the solutions they pay for will be!
So how do you share your expertise with your target audience? Through writing and speaking. And it starts with being able to get your core ideas down on paper in a way that catches your audience’s attention and compels them to action.
If the idea of writing an article or giving a speech feels overwhelming, stay with me. I’m going to show you how easy it can be if you follow a basic formula that works every time.
Formula for Success
We’ve all stared at a blank page, at a loss for words or ideas…and wondered how in the world to write the article, proposal, report or presentation that’s due soon…with the deadline looming and no inspiration in sight. It’s the worst feeling and brings out the procrastinator in all of us.
Next time you’d rather clean out your desk than force yourself to sit down and write something, try this easy approach:
1) Brainstorm a short list of things that your clients struggle with. What problems drive them to you? Why are they willing to pay good money for your services? Remember, it’s not about you -- it’s about them, their pain, and their needs. This is now your list of topics for articles and talks.
2) Pick one topic and answer the following questions:
- What’s the problem?
- What’s the lost opportunity?
- Why is this important to address?
- What will happen if it’s ignored?
- What’s your solution?
- What tips do you have for implementing your solution?
- What example can you use to illustrate your point?
3) Write your answers to these questions and don’t worry about how it flows or even that you’re using good grammar. Just get your ideas on paper (or into the computer). Notice that by now, you have at least a page written. Pat yourself on the back and keep going.
4) Go back and clean up what you’ve written, add a catchy title and some headlines to break up the text, keep your paragraphs short, add some bullets or numbers to guide the eye. Maybe add references or a diagram. Step back and review what you’ve done. By now, you’ve got an article!
5) Ask a couple of trusted colleagues, clients or friends for feedback on your draft – really do this because it helps! Plus, it’s a great confidence booster and low-risk way to share your writing with a small audience first.
6) Put your new article on your website, offer to send it as follow up when networking, send it to current clients, use it as the basis for getting booked for talks (more on how to in a future newsletter)…whatever you do, don’t let it languish. USE it as a way of sharing your expertise.