Givers GainPosted by Jason Hawkins / May 23, 2006
Recently, we have encountered several clients being very nervous about the amount of information they publish on their website. There are arguments for and against releasing what your business may consider ‘Intellectual Property’ (IP) for all to read on the Internet. As Web Consultants, we are advocates of releasing some information about ‘industry related’ ideas, topics and expertise on the web because we know it works.
In the information age of today, you can find anything about everything on the web for FREE if you look hard enough. Wouldn’t you prefer that prospects are coming to you first!
So where does this place small to medium business?
What is working well for business these days, especially service related industries, is publishing regular ‘articles’ on the web (similar to this one) that give prospects and clients the perception that you are the ‘expert’ in your field. It can be equated to being one step back from being an author or column writer. For example, if you have published a book about a particular topic are you not considered the expert? The same applies to the web. Only you don’t have to write 300 pages of content and then approach a publisher! You can get started very easily with a few online tools.
How does it benefit your business?
- You become a recognised source of valuable information.
- Prospects approach you first because you are the ‘expert’.
- Search Engines LOVE good solid content. If you are regularly adding industry related content to your site about a particular topic that is rich in key words, you will boost your ranking legitimately.
- You will attract repeat visitors and build the length of time they stay on your site.
But how much is enough?
Information has value! As a business, you need to decide on the level of value you place on information. I tend to use the Bloomberg or ASX model of release of information as a good example of how to judge.
Bloomberg, one the USA’s largest providers of stock market data, provide latest stock price information for FREE. Imagine the investment to make this happen! But what’s the catch? The prices are delayed by 15 minutes.
For the average punter, receiving stock price information 15 minutes behind real time is not an issue, but for serious traders, 15 minutes can mean the difference between making a million and losing a million! As a result, they offer a real-time service for a price and additional services on top of that.
It is a simple process to apply the same theory to your own business. Give information away, but don’t give it all away! Let prospects know how good you are at something and over time, the results will be amazing.
How do you get started?
- There are free Blog style tools you can add to your site, or like this site, build a custom data-driven system to facilitate smooth delivery site wide.
- Make sure you can use a database to store and deliver your articles – so that you can easily track, publish and archive easily.
- ALWAYS proof read your articles BEFORE you publish (we use colleagues to read each others articles).